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Pericles, Prince of Tyre

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[Enter GOWER]
GOWERNow sleep y-slaked hath the rout;
No din but snores the house about,
Made louder by the o'er-fed breast
Of this most pompous marriage-feast.
The cat, with eyne of burning coal,5
Now crouches fore the mouse's hole;
And crickets sing at the oven's mouth,
E'er the blither for their drouth.
Hymen hath brought the bride to bed.
Where, by the loss of maidenhead,10
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.
[ 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 takes leave of her father, and depart with LYCHORIDA and their Attendants. Then exeunt SIMONIDES and the rest ]
By many a dern and painful perch15
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 expense20
Can stead the quest. At last from Tyre,
Fame answering the most strange inquire,
To the court of King Simonides
Are letters brought, the tenor these:
Antiochus and his daughter dead;25
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 Pericles30
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,35
And every one with claps can sound,
'Our heir-apparent is a king!
Who dream'd, who thought of such a thing?'
Brief, he must hence depart to Tyre:
His queen with child makes her desire--40
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 flood45
Hath their keel cut: but fortune's mood
Varies again; the grisly north
Disgorges such a tempest forth,
That, as a duck for life that dives,
So up and down the poor ship drives:50
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 may55
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.60
ACT III SCENE I Enter PERICLES, on shipboard.
[Enter PERICLES, on shipboard]
PERICLESThou 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 quench5
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, O10
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]
Now, Lychorida!15
LYCHORIDAHere 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.
PERICLESHow, how, Lychorida!20
LYCHORIDAPatience, 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.
PERICLESO you gods!25
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.
LYCHORIDAPatience, good sir,30
Even for this charge.
PERICLESNow, 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 world35
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,40
With all thou canst find here. Now, the good gods
Throw their best eyes upon't!
[Enter two Sailors]
First SailorWhat courage, sir? God save you!
PERICLESCourage enough: I do not fear the flaw;
It hath done to me the worst. Yet, for the love45
Of this poor infant, this fresh-new sea-farer,
I would it would be quiet.
First SailorSlack the bolins there! Thou wilt not, wilt thou?
Blow, and split thyself.
Second SailorBut sea-room, an the brine and cloudy billow kiss50
the moon, I care not.
First SailorSir, your queen must overboard: the sea works high,
the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be
cleared of the dead.
PERICLESThat's your superstition.55
First SailorPardon 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.
PERICLESAs you think meet. Most wretched queen!
LYCHORIDAHere she lies, sir.60
PERICLESA terrible childbed hast thou had, my dear;
No light, no fire: the 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;65
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,70
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.
Second SailorSir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulked75
and bitumed ready.
PERICLESI thank thee. Mariner, say what coast is this?
Second SailorWe are near Tarsus.
PERICLESThither, gentle mariner.
Alter thy course for Tyre. When canst thou reach it?80
Second SailorBy break of day, if the wind cease.
PERICLESO, 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:85
I'll bring the body presently.

Continue to Pericles, Act 3, Scene 2


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