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Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in Wheeson week.

      — King Henry IV. Part II, Act II Scene 1


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Pericles, Prince of Tyre


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Scene 1. On ship.

Scene 2. Ephesus. A room in CERIMON’s house.

Scene 3. Tarsus. A room in CLEON’s house.

Scene 4. Ephesus. A room in CERIMON’s house.



      next scene .

[Enter GOWER]

  • Gower. Now sleep y-slaked hath the rout;
    No din but snores the house about, 1120
    Made louder by the o'er-fed breast
    Of this most pompous marriage-feast.
    The cat, with eyne of burning coal,
    Now crouches fore the mouse's hole;
    And crickets sing at the oven's mouth, 1125
    E'er the blither for their drouth.
    Hymen hath brought the bride to bed.
    Where, by the loss of maidenhead,
    A babe is moulded. Be attent,
    And time that is so briefly spent 1130
    With your fine fancies quaintly eche:
    What's dumb in show I'll plain with speech.
    [Enter, PERICLES and SIMONIDES at one door, with]
    Attendants; a Messenger meets them, kneels, and 1135
    gives PERICLES a letter: PERICLES shows it
    SIMONIDES; the Lords kneel to him. Then enter
    THAISA with child, with LYCHORIDA a nurse. The
    KING shows her the letter; she rejoices: she and
    PERICLES takes leave of her father, and depart with 1140
    LYCHORIDA and their Attendants. Then exeunt
    SIMONIDES and the rest]
    By many a dern and painful perch
    Of Pericles the careful search,
    By the four opposing coigns 1145
    Which the world together joins,
    Is made with all due diligence
    That horse and sail and high expense
    Can stead the quest. At last from Tyre,
    Fame answering the most strange inquire, 1150
    To the court of King Simonides
    Are letters brought, the tenor these:
    Antiochus and his daughter dead;
    The men of Tyrus on the head
    Of Helicanus would set on 1155
    The crown of Tyre, but he will none:
    The mutiny he there hastes t' oppress;
    Says to 'em, if King Pericles
    Come not home in twice six moons,
    He, obedient to their dooms, 1160
    Will take the crown. The sum of this,
    Brought hither to Pentapolis,
    Y-ravished the regions round,
    And every one with claps can sound,
    'Our heir-apparent is a king! 1165
    Who dream'd, who thought of such a thing?'
    Brief, he must hence depart to Tyre:
    His queen with child makes her desire—
    Which who shall cross?—along to go:
    Omit we all their dole and woe: 1170
    Lychorida, her nurse, she takes,
    And so to sea. Their vessel shakes
    On Neptune's billow; half the flood
    Hath their keel cut: but fortune's mood
    Varies again; the grisly north 1175
    Disgorges such a tempest forth,
    That, as a duck for life that dives,
    So up and down the poor ship drives:
    The lady shrieks, and well-a-near
    Does fall in travail with her fear: 1180
    And what ensues in this fell storm
    Shall for itself itself perform.
    I nill relate, action may
    Conveniently the rest convey;
    Which might not what by me is told. 1185
    In your imagination hold
    This stage the ship, upon whose deck
    The sea-tost Pericles appears to speak.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 1

On ship.

      next scene .

[Enter PERICLES, on shipboard]

  • Pericles. Thou god of this great vast, rebuke these surges,
    Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou, that hast
    Upon the winds command, bind them in brass,
    Having call'd them from the deep! O, still
    Thy deafening, dreadful thunders; gently quench 1195
    Thy nimble, sulphurous flashes! O, how, Lychorida,
    How does my queen? Thou stormest venomously;
    Wilt thou spit all thyself? The seaman's whistle
    Is as a whisper in the ears of death,
    Unheard. Lychorida!—Lucina, O 1200
    Divinest patroness, and midwife gentle
    To those that cry by night, convey thy deity
    Aboard our dancing boat; make swift the pangs
    Of my queen's travails!
    [Enter LYCHORIDA, with an Infant] 1205
    Now, Lychorida!
  • Lychorida. Here is a thing too young for such a place,
    Who, if it had conceit, would die, as I
    Am like to do: take in your arms this piece
    Of your dead queen. 1210
  • Lychorida. Patience, good sir; do not assist the storm.
    Here's all that is left living of your queen,
    A little daughter: for the sake of it,
    Be manly, and take comfort. 1215
  • Pericles. O you gods!
    Why do you make us love your goodly gifts,
    And snatch them straight away? We here below
    Recall not what we give, and therein may
    Use honour with you. 1220
  • Lychorida. Patience, good sir,
    Even for this charge.
  • Pericles. Now, mild may be thy life!
    For a more blustrous birth had never babe:
    Quiet and gentle thy conditions! for 1225
    Thou art the rudeliest welcome to this world
    That ever was prince's child. Happy what follows!
    Thou hast as chiding a nativity
    As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make,
    To herald thee from the womb: even at the first 1230
    Thy loss is more than can thy portage quit,
    With all thou canst find here. Now, the good gods
    Throw their best eyes upon't!

[Enter two Sailors]

  • Pericles. Courage enough: I do not fear the flaw;
    It hath done to me the worst. Yet, for the love
    Of this poor infant, this fresh-new sea-farer,
    I would it would be quiet.
  • First Sailor. Slack the bolins there! Thou wilt not, wilt thou? 1240
    Blow, and split thyself.
  • Second Sailor. But sea-room, an the brine and cloudy billow kiss
    the moon, I care not.
  • First Sailor. Sir, your queen must overboard: the sea works high,
    the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be 1245
    cleared of the dead.
  • First Sailor. Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it hath been still
    observed: and we are strong in custom. Therefore
    briefly yield her; for she must overboard straight. 1250
  • Pericles. As you think meet. Most wretched queen!
  • Pericles. A terrible childbed hast thou had, my dear;
    No light, no fire: the unfriendly elements
    Forgot thee utterly: nor have I time 1255
    To give thee hallow'd to thy grave, but straight
    Must cast thee, scarcely coffin'd, in the ooze;
    Where, for a monument upon thy bones,
    And e'er-remaining lamps, the belching whale
    And humming water must o'erwhelm thy corpse, 1260
    Lying with simple shells. O Lychorida,
    Bid Nestor bring me spices, ink and paper,
    My casket and my jewels; and bid Nicander
    Bring me the satin coffer: lay the babe
    Upon the pillow: hie thee, whiles I say 1265
    A priestly farewell to her: suddenly, woman.


  • Second Sailor. Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulked
    and bitumed ready.
  • Pericles. I thank thee. Mariner, say what coast is this? 1270
  • Pericles. Thither, gentle mariner.
    Alter thy course for Tyre. When canst thou reach it?
  • Pericles. O, make for Tarsus! 1275
    There will I visit Cleon, for the babe
    Cannot hold out to Tyrus: there I'll leave it
    At careful nursing. Go thy ways, good mariner:
    I'll bring the body presently.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 2

Ephesus. A room in CERIMON’s house.

      next scene .

[Enter CERIMON, with a Servant, and some Persons who] [p]have been shipwrecked]


  • Cerimon. Get fire and meat for these poor men:
    'T has been a turbulent and stormy night.
  • Servant. I have been in many; but such a night as this,
    Till now, I ne'er endured.
  • Cerimon. Your master will be dead ere you return; 1290
    There's nothing can be minister'd to nature
    That can recover him.
    Give this to the 'pothecary,
    And tell me how it works. 1295

[Exeunt all but CERIMON]

[Enter two Gentlemen]

  • Cerimon. Gentlemen, 1300
    Why do you stir so early?
  • First Gentleman. Sir,
    Our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea,
    Shook as the earth did quake;
    The very principals did seem to rend, 1305
    And all-to topple: pure surprise and fear
    Made me to quit the house.
  • Second Gentleman. That is the cause we trouble you so early;
    'Tis not our husbandry.
  • First Gentleman. But I much marvel that your lordship, having
    Rich tire about you, should at these early hours
    Shake off the golden slumber of repose.
    'Tis most strange,
    Nature should be so conversant with pain, 1315
    Being thereto not compell'd.
  • Cerimon. I hold it ever,
    Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
    Than nobleness and riches: careless heirs
    May the two latter darken and expend; 1320
    But immortality attends the former.
    Making a man a god. 'Tis known, I ever
    Have studied physic, through which secret art,
    By turning o'er authorities, I have,
    Together with my practise, made familiar 1325
    To me and to my aid the blest infusions
    That dwell in vegetives, in metals, stones;
    And I can speak of the disturbances
    That nature works, and of her cures; which doth give me
    A more content in course of true delight 1330
    Than to be thirsty after tottering honour,
    Or tie my treasure up in silken bags,
    To please the fool and death.
  • Second Gentleman. Your honour has through Ephesus pour'd forth
    Your charity, and hundreds call themselves 1335
    Your creatures, who by you have been restored:
    And not your knowledge, your personal pain, but even
    Your purse, still open, hath built Lord Cerimon
    Such strong renown as time shall ne'er decay.

[Enter two or three Servants with a chest]

  • First Servant. Sir, even now
    Did the sea toss upon our shore this chest:
    'Tis of some wreck. 1345
  • Cerimon. Set 't down, let's look upon't.
  • Cerimon. Whate'er it be,
    'Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight:
    If the sea's stomach be o'ercharged with gold, 1350
    'Tis a good constraint of fortune it belches upon us.
  • Cerimon. How close 'tis caulk'd and bitumed!
    Did the sea cast it up?
  • First Servant. I never saw so huge a billow, sir, 1355
    As toss'd it upon shore.
  • Cerimon. Wrench it open;
    Soft! it smells most sweetly in my sense.
  • Cerimon. As ever hit my nostril. So, up with it. 1360
    O you most potent gods! what's here? a corse!
  • Cerimon. Shrouded in cloth of state; balm'd and entreasured
    With full bags of spices! A passport too!
    Apollo, perfect me in the characters! 1365
    [Reads from a scroll]
    'Here I give to understand,
    If e'er this coffin drive a-land,
    I, King Pericles, have lost
    This queen, worth all our mundane cost. 1370
    Who finds her, give her burying;
    She was the daughter of a king:
    Besides this treasure for a fee,
    The gods requite his charity!'
    If thou livest, Pericles, thou hast a heart 1375
    That even cracks for woe! This chanced tonight.
  • Cerimon. Nay, certainly to-night;
    For look how fresh she looks! They were too rough
    That threw her in the sea. Make a fire within: 1380
    Fetch hither all my boxes in my closet.
    [Exit a Servant]
    Death may usurp on nature many hours,
    And yet the fire of life kindle again
    The o'erpress'd spirits. I heard of an Egyptian 1385
    That had nine hours lien dead,
    Who was by good appliance recovered.
    [Re-enter a Servant, with boxes, napkins, and fire]
    Well said, well said; the fire and cloths.
    The rough and woeful music that we have, 1390
    Cause it to sound, beseech you.
    The viol once more: how thou stirr'st, thou block!
    The music there!—I pray you, give her air.
    This queen will live: nature awakes; a warmth 1395
    Breathes out of her: she hath not been entranced
    Above five hours: see how she gins to blow
    Into life's flower again!
  • First Gentleman. The heavens,
    Through you, increase our wonder and set up 1400
    Your fame forever.
  • Cerimon. She is alive; behold,
    Her eyelids, cases to those heavenly jewels
    Which Pericles hath lost,
    Begin to part their fringes of bright gold; 1405
    The diamonds of a most praised water
    Do appear, to make the world twice rich. Live,
    And make us weep to hear your fate, fair creature,
    Rare as you seem to be.

[She moves]

  • Thaisa. O dear Diana,
    Where am I? Where's my lord? What world is this?
  • Cerimon. Hush, my gentle neighbours! 1415
    Lend me your hands; to the next chamber bear her.
    Get linen: now this matter must be look'd to,
    For her relapse is mortal. Come, come;
    And AEsculapius guide us!

[Exeunt, carrying her away]

. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 3

Tarsus. A room in CLEON’s house.

      next scene .

[Enter PERICLES, CLEON, DIONYZA, and LYCHORIDA with] [p]MARINA in her arms]

  • Pericles. Most honour'd Cleon, I must needs be gone;
    My twelve months are expired, and Tyrus stands
    In a litigious peace. You, and your lady, 1425
    Take from my heart all thankfulness! The gods
    Make up the rest upon you!
  • Cleon. Your shafts of fortune, though they hurt you mortally,
    Yet glance full wanderingly on us.
  • Dionyza. O your sweet queen! 1430
    That the strict fates had pleased you had brought her hither,
    To have bless'd mine eyes with her!
  • Pericles. We cannot but obey
    The powers above us. Could I rage and roar
    As doth the sea she lies in, yet the end 1435
    Must be as 'tis. My gentle babe Marina, whom,
    For she was born at sea, I have named so, here
    I charge your charity withal, leaving her
    The infant of your care; beseeching you
    To give her princely training, that she may be 1440
    Manner'd as she is born.
  • Cleon. Fear not, my lord, but think
    Your grace, that fed my country with your corn,
    For which the people's prayers still fall upon you,
    Must in your child be thought on. If neglection 1445
    Should therein make me vile, the common body,
    By you relieved, would force me to my duty:
    But if to that my nature need a spur,
    The gods revenge it upon me and mine,
    To the end of generation! 1450
  • Pericles. I believe you;
    Your honour and your goodness teach me to't,
    Without your vows. Till she be married, madam,
    By bright Diana, whom we honour, all
    Unscissor'd shall this hair of mine remain, 1455
    Though I show ill in't. So I take my leave.
    Good madam, make me blessed in your care
    In bringing up my child.
  • Dionyza. I have one myself,
    Who shall not be more dear to my respect 1460
    Than yours, my lord.
  • Pericles. Madam, my thanks and prayers.
  • Cleon. We'll bring your grace e'en to the edge o' the shore,
    Then give you up to the mask'd Neptune and
    The gentlest winds of heaven. 1465
  • Pericles. I will embrace
    Your offer. Come, dearest madam. O, no tears,
    Lychorida, no tears:
    Look to your little mistress, on whose grace
    You may depend hereafter. Come, my lord. 1470


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 4

Ephesus. A room in CERIMON’s house.



  • Cerimon. Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels,
    Lay with you in your coffer: which are now
    At your command. Know you the character? 1475
  • Thaisa. It is my lord's.
    That I was shipp'd at sea, I well remember,
    Even on my eaning time; but whether there
    Deliver'd, by the holy gods,
    I cannot rightly say. But since King Pericles, 1480
    My wedded lord, I ne'er shall see again,
    A vestal livery will I take me to,
    And never more have joy.
  • Cerimon. Madam, if this you purpose as ye speak,
    Diana's temple is not distant far, 1485
    Where you may abide till your date expire.
    Moreover, if you please, a niece of mine
    Shall there attend you.
  • Thaisa. My recompense is thanks, that's all;
    Yet my good will is great, though the gift small. 1490