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Now sleep yslaked hath the rouse;
No din but snores about the house,
Made louder by the o’erfed breast
Of this most pompous marriage feast.
The cat, with eyne of burning coal,
Now couches fore the mouse’s hole;
And crickets sing at the oven’s mouth,
Are 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
With your fine fancies quaintly eche:
What’s dumb in show I’ll plain with speech.
Dumb-show. Enter, Pericles and Simonides at one door with Attendants; a Messenger meets them, kneels, and 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 take leave of her father, and depart, with 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
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 enquire,
To th’ court of King Simonides
Are letters brought, the tenour these:
Antiochus and his daughter dead;
The men of Tyrus on the head
Of Helicanus would set on
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,
Will take the crown. The sum of this,
Brought hither to Pentapolis
Y-ravished the regions round,
And everyone with claps can sound,
‘Our heir apparent is a king!
Who dreamt, 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:
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 grisled north
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:
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.
In your imagination hold
This stage the ship, upon whose deck
The sea-tost Pericles appears to speak.
Enter Pericles, on shipboard.
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
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!
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! Now, Lychorida!
Enter Lychorida with an infant.
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.
How? how, 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.
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
Vie honour with you.
Patience, good sir.
Even for this charge.
Now, mild may be thy life!
For a more blustrous birth had never babe:
Quiet and gentle thy conditions! for
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 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
What courage, sir? God save you!
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.
Slack the bolins there! Thou wilt not, wilt thou? Blow, and split thyself.
But sea-room, and the brine and cloudy billow kiss the moon, I care not.
Sir, your queen must overboard: the sea works high, the wind is loud and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead.
That’s your superstition.
Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it has been still observed; and we are strong in custom. Therefore briefly yield her; for she must overboard straight.
As you think meet. Most wretched queen!
Here she lies, sir.
A terrible childbed hast thou had, my dear;
No light, no fire: th’unfriendly elements
Forgot thee utterly; nor have I time
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,
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
A priestly farewell to her: suddenly, woman.
Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulked and bitumed ready.
I thank thee. Mariner, say what coast is this?
We are near Tarsus.
Thither, gentle mariner,
Alter thy course for Tyre. When, canst thou reach it?
By break of day, if the wind cease.
O, make for Tarsus!
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.
Enter Cerimon, with a Servant, and some Persons who have been shipwrecked.
Doth my lord call?
Get fire and meat for these poor men:
’T has been a turbulent and stormy night.
I have been in many; but such a night as this,
Till now, I ne’er endured.
Your master will be dead ere you return;
There’s nothing can be minister’d to nature
That can recover him. [To Philemon.] Give this to the ’pothecary,
And tell me how it works.
[Exeunt all but Cerimon.]
Enter two Gentlemen.
Good morrow to your lordship.
Gentlemen, why do you stir so early?
Sir, our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea,
Shook as the earth did quake;
The very principals did seem to rend,
And all to topple: pure surprise and fear
Made me to quit the house.
That is the cause we trouble you so early;
’Tis not our husbandry.
O, you say well.
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.
Being thereto not compell’d.
I hold it ever,
Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
Than nobleness and riches: careless heirs
May the two latter darken and expend;
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 practice, made familiar
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
Than to be thirsty after tottering honour,
Or tie my pleasure up in silken bags,
To please the fool and death.
Your honour has through Ephesus pour’d forth
Your charity, and hundreds call themselves
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 never—
Enter two or three Servants with a chest.
So, lift there.
Sir, even now
Did the sea toss upon our shore this chest:
’Tis of some wreck.
Set’t down, let’s look upon’t.
’Tis like a coffin, sir.
Whate’er it be,
’Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight:
If the sea’s stomach be o’ercharged with gold,
’Tis a good constraint of fortune it belches upon us.
’Tis so, my lord.
How close ’tis caulk’d and bitumed!
Did the sea cast it up?
I never saw so huge a billow, sir,
As toss’d it upon shore.
Wrench it open;
Soft! it smells most sweetly in my sense.
A delicate odour.
As ever hit my nostril. So up with it.
O you most potent gods! what’s here? a corpse!
Shrouded in cloth of state; balm’d and entreasured
With full bags of spices! A passport too!
Apollo, perfect me in the characters!
[Reads from a scroll.]
Here I give to understand,
If e’er this coffin drives a-land,
I, King Pericles, have lost
This queen, worth all our mundane cost.
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
That even cracks for woe! This chanced tonight.
Most likely, sir.
Nay, certainly tonight;
For look how fresh she looks! They were too rough
That threw her in the sea. Make a fire within
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
That had nine hours lain dead,
Who was by good appliance recovered.
Re-enter a Servant with napkins and fire.
Well said, well said; the fire and cloths.
The rough and woeful music that we have,
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.
Gentlemen, this queen will live.
Nature awakes; a warmth breathes out of her.
She hath not been entranced above five hours.
See how she ’gins to blow into life’s flower again!
The heavens, through you, increase our wonder
And sets up your fame for ever.
She is alive; behold, her eyelids,
Cases to those heavenly jewels which Pericles hath lost,
Begin to part their fringes of bright gold;
The diamonds of a most praised water doth appear,
To make the world twice rich. Live, and make us weep
To hear your fate, fair creature, rare as you seem to be.
O dear Diana,
Where am I? Where’s my lord? What world is this?
Is not this strange?
Hush, my gentle neighbours!
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.]
Enter Pericles, Cleon, Dionyza and Lychorida with Marina in her arms.
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,
Take from my heart all thankfulness! The gods
Make up the rest upon you!
Your shafts of fortune, though they hurt you mortally,
Yet glance full wanderingly on us.
O, your sweet queen!
That the strict fates had pleased you had brought her hither,
To have bless’d mine eyes with her!
We cannot but obey
The powers above us. Could I rage and roar
As doth the sea she lies in, yet the end
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 manner’d as she is born.
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
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!
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
Unscissored shall this hair of mine remain,
Though I show ill in’t. So I take my leave.
Good madam, make me blessed in your care
In bringing up my child.
I have one myself,
Who shall not be more dear to my respect
Than yours, my lord.
Madam, my thanks and prayers.
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.
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.
Enter Cerimon and Thaisa.
Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels,
Lay with you in your coffer, which are
At your command. Know you the character?
It is my lord’s.
That I was shipp’d at sea, I well remember,
Even on my groaning time; but whether there
Deliver’d, by the holy gods,
I cannot rightly say. But since King Pericles,
My wedded lord, I ne’er shall see again,
A vestal livery will I take me to,
And never more have joy.
Madam, if this you purpose as ye speak,
Diana’s temple is not distant far,
Where you may abide till your date expire.
Moreover, if you please, a niece of mine
Shall there attend you.
My recompense is thanks, that’s all;
Yet my good will is great, though the gift small.