Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Tom Bishop
Not Peer Reviewed

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Modern)

Enter Helicanus [at one door], to him [from the other door,] two sailors.
1 Sailor Where is Lord Helicanus? He can resolve you. [Seeing Helicanus]
Oh, here he is. [To Helicanus]
Sir, there is a barge put off from Metalin,
in it is Lysimachus, the governor,
Who craves to come a
board. What is your will?
That he have his.
[Exit 1 Sailor.]
Call up some gentlemen.
2 Sailor Ho, gentlemen! My lord calls!
Enter two or three gentlemen.
1 Gentleman Doth your lordship call?
Helicanus Gentlemen, there is some of worth would come
I pray you, greet him fairly.
Enter Lysimachus [with Lords, and 1 Sailor].
1 Sailor [To Lysimachus] Sir,
This is the man that can in aught you would
Resolve you.
Lysimachus [To Helicanus] Hail, reverend sir; the gods preserve you.
2005Helicanus And you to outlive the age I am,
And die as I
would do.
You wish me well.
Being on shore, honoring of
Neptune's triumphs,
Seeing this goodly vessel ride before
I made to it, to know of whence you are.
2010Helicanus First, what is your place?
Lysimachus I am the governor of this place you lie before.
Helicanus Sir, our vessel is of Tyre; in it the king,
A man
who for this three months hath not spoken
To any one, nor taken sustenance
But to prorogue his grief.
2015Lysimachus Upon what ground is his distemperature?
Helicanus 'Twould be too tedious to repeat,
But the main
grief springs from the loss
Of a beloved daughter and a wife.
Lysimachus May we not see him?
Helicanus You may,
But bootless is your sight: he will not
To any.
Yet let me obtain my wish.
[Helicanus reveals Pericles.]
Helicanus Behold him. This was a goodly person.
Till the disaster that, one mortal night,
Drove him
to this.
Lysimachus Sir king, all hail. The gods preserve you.
Hail, 2025royal sir.
Helicanus It is in vain. He will not speak to you.
Lord [To Lysimachus] Sir,
We have a maid in Metalin, I durst wager,
win some words of him.
'Tis well bethought.
She, questionless, with her sweet
And other chosen attractions, would allure,
make a battery through his deafened ports
Which now are
midway stopped.
She is all happy as the fair'st of all,
And with her
fellow maid is now upon
The leavy shelter that abuts a
The island's side.
[He signs to Lord, who exits.]
2035Helicanus Sure, all effectless. Yet nothing we'll omit
bears recovery's name. But since your kindness
We have
stretched thus far, let us beseech you,
That for our gold
we may provision have,
Wherein we are not destitute for
But weary for the staleness.
Oh, sir, a courtesy,
Which if we should deny, the most
just god
For every graft would send a caterpillar,
And so
inflict our province. Yet once more
Let me entreat to
know at large the cause
Of your king's sorrow.
Helicanus Sit sir, I will recount it to you. But see,
I am pre2045vented.
[Enter Lord, with Marina and her companion.]
Lysimachus Oh, here's the lady that I sent for.
[To Marina] Welcome, fair one. [To Helicanus] Is't not a goodly presence?
Helicanus She's a gallant lady.
Lysimachus She's such a one that, were I well assured
2050Came of a gentle kind and noble stock,
I'd wish
no better choice, and think me rarely wed.
Fair one, all goodness that consists in beauty:
Expect even here, where is a kingly patient --
If that thy prosperous and artificial feat
2055Can draw him but to answer thee in aught --
Thy sacred physic shall receive such pay
As thy desires can wish.
Sir, I will use
My utmost skill in his recovery, pro
That none but I and my companion maid
Be suffered
2060to come near him.
Lysimachus [To the others] Come, let us leave her,
And the gods make her pro
[Lysimachus, Helicanus and the other men withdraw some distance.]
[Marina sings to Pericles.]
[Coming forward, to Marina] Marked he your music?
No, nor looked on us.
[Marina approaches Pericles.]
2065Lysimachus [Falling back, to the others] See, she will speak to him.
[Exeunt Lysimachus, Helicanus, Lords and Gentlemen.]
Marina [To Pericles] Hail, sir. My lord, lend ear.
Pericles Hum, ha![He pushes her away violently.]
Marina I am a maid,
My lord, that ne'er before invited
But have been gazed on like a comet. She speaks,
2070My lord, that maybe hath endured a grief
Might equal
yours, if both were justly weighed.
Though wayward fortune
did malign my state,
My derivation was from ancestors
Who stood equivalent with mighty kings.
But time hath
rooted out my parentage,
And to the world and awkward
Bound me in servitude. [Aside] I will desist,
But there is
something glows upon my cheek
And whispers in mine
ear, "Go not till he speak."
Pericles My fortunes -- parentage -- good parentage --
To equal
mine. Was it not thus? What say you?
2080Marina I said, my lord, if you did know my parentage,
You would not do me violence.
Pericles I do think so. Pray you, turn your eyes upon me,
You're like something that -- what countrywoman?
Here of
these shores?
No, nor of any shores,
Yet I was mortally brought
forth, and am
No other than I appear.
Pericles I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping:
dearest wife was like this maid, and such a one
My daughter might have been. My queen's square brows,
2090stature to an inch, as wandlike-straight,
As silver-voiced,
her eyes as jewel-like,
And cased as richly, in pace ano
ther Juno,
Who starves the ears she feeds, and makes
them hungry,
The more she gives them speech. Where do
you live?
2095Marina Where I am but a stranger. From the deck
may discern the place.
Where were you bred?
And how achieved you these
endowments which
You make more rich to owe?
If I should tell
My history, it would seem like
Disdained in the reporting.
Prithee, speak.
Falseness cannot come from thee,
for thou
Lookest modest as Justice, and thou seemest
A palace
for the crownèd Truth to dwell in.
I will believe thee,
And make my
senses credit thy relation
To points that seem impossible,
2105for thou look'st
Like one I loved indeed: what were thy
Didst thou not say when I did push thee back,
Which was when I perceived thee, that thou cam'st
good descending?
So indeed I did.
Pericles Report thy parentage. I think thou saidst
Thou hadst
2110been tossed from wrong to injury,
And that thou thought'st
thy griefs might equal mine,
If both were opened.
Some such thing I said,
And said no more but what
my thoughts
Did warrant me was likely.
Tell thy story.
If thine considered prove the thou
2115sand part
Of my endurance, thou art a man, and I
suffered like a girl, yet thou dost look
Like Patience
gazing on kings' graves and smiling
Extremity out of
act. What were thy friends?
How lost thou them? Thy name,
my most kind virgin?
Recount I do beseech thee. Come,
2120sit by me.
[Marina sits.]
My name is Marina.
Oh, I am mocked;
And thou by some incensèd God
sent hither
To make the world to laugh at me.
Patience, good sir:
Or here I'll cease.
Nay, I'll be patient:
Thou little know'st how thou
dost startle me
To call thyself Marina.
The name
Was given me by one that had some
My father, and a king.
And called Marina?
You said you would believe me;
But not to be a
troubler of your peace,
I will end here.
But are you flesh and blood?
Have you a working pulse? And are no fairy?
No motion? Well, speak on. Where were you born?
2135And wherefore called Marina?
Called Marina
For I was born at sea.
At sea? What mother?
Marina My mother was the daughter of a king,
Who died
the minute I was born,
As my good nurse Lychorida hath
Delivered weeping.
Oh, stop there a little.
[Aside] This is the rarest dream
that e'er dulled sleep
Did mock sad fools withal.
This cannot be
My daughter, buried. [To Marina] Well, where were you
I'll hear you more -- to th'bottom of your story,
2145And never interrupt you.
Marina You scorn. Believe me; 'twere best I did give o'er.
Pericles I will believe you by the syllable
Of what you shall
deliver. Yet give me leave:
How came you in these parts?
Where were you bred?
2150Marina The king my father did in Tharsus leave me,
'Til cruel Cleon, with his wicked wife,
Did seek to murder me and wooed a villain
To attempt it, who having drawn to do't,
A crew of pirates came and rescued me,
2155Brought me to Metalin --
But, good sir,
Whither will you have me? Why do you weep?
It may be
You think me an impostor. No, good faith!
am the daughter to King Pericles,
If good King Pericles be.
[Calling out] Ho, Helicanus!
[Enter Helicanus, Lysimachus and attendants.]
2160Helicanus [Coming forward] Calls my lord?
Pericles Thou art a grave and noble counselor,
Most wise in general. Tell me if thou canst
What this maid
is, or what is like to be,
That thus hath made me
I know not.
But here's the regent, sir, of Metalin,
Speaks nobly of her.
[Coming forward] She never would tell
Her parentage.
Being demanded that,
She would sit still and weep.
Pericles O Helicanus, strike me, honored sir.
Give me a
2170gash, put me to present pain,
Lest this great sea of joys ru
shing upon me,
O'er-bear the shores of my mortality,
drown me with their sweetness. [To Marina] O come hither,
Thou that beget'st him that did thee beget,
Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tharsus,
2175And found at sea again. O Helicanus,
Down on thy knees; thank the holy gods as loud
As thunder threatens us: this is Marina!
[Helicanus kneels.]
What was thy mother's name? Tell me but that,
For truth can never be confirmed enough,
2180Though doubts did ever sleep.
Marina First sir, I pray, what is your title?
Pericles I am Pericles of Tyre! But tell me now
drowned queen's name, as in the rest you said
Thou hast been god-like perfect, the heir of kingdoms,
2185And another life to Pericles, thy father.
Marina [Kneeling] Is it no more to be your daughter than
To say my
mother's name was Thaisa?
Thaisa was my mother, who did
The minute I began.
Pericles Now blessing on thee! Rise, thou art my child.
[Marina rises.]
2190Give me fresh garments. [Helicanus rises.] Mine own, Helicanus! She is
dead at Tharsus, as she should have been
By savage Cleon.
She shall tell thee all,
When thou shalt kneel, and justify in
She is thy very princess. Who is this?
Helicanus Sir, 'tis the governor of Metalin,
Who, hearing of
2195your melancholy state,
Did come to see you.
[Greeting Lysimachus] I embrace you.
[Attendants appear with robes.]
Give me my robes.
I am wild in my beholding.
O heavens, bless my girl!
[Music begins.] But hark! What music?
Tell Helicanus, my Marina,
tell him
O'er point by point, for yet he seems to doubt,
2200How sure you are my daughter. But what music?
Helicanus My lord, I hear none.
Pericles None?
The music of the spheres! List, my Marina.
Lysimachus [To the others] It is not good to cross him. Give him way.
Pericles Rarest sounds! Do ye not hear?
Music, my lord? I hear --
Most heavenly music.
It nips me unto list'ning, and thick slumber
Hangs upon mine eyes. Let me rest.
[He lies down and sleeps.]
Lysimachus A pillow for his head. [Attendants provide a pillow.] So, leave him all.
2210[As they withdraw] Well, my companion friends,
If this but answer to my just
I'll well remember you.
[All but Pericles withdraw.]
[Music continues.] Diana [descends.]
Diana My temple stands in Ephesus.Hie thee thither,
And do upon mine altar sacrifice;
2215There when my maiden priests are met together
2215.1[At large discourse thy fortunes in this wise:
With a full voice] before the
people all
Reveal how thou at sea didst lose thy wife,
mourn thy crosses with thy daughter's, call
And give them
repetition to the life.
Perform my bidding, or thou li
v'st in woe;
Do't, and happy, by my silver bow.
Awake and
2220tell thy dream.
[Diana ascends.]
Pericles Celestial Dian, goddess argentine,
I will obey thee. [Calling] Helicanus!
[Helicanus, Lysimachus and Marina appear.]
Pericles My purpose was for Tharsus, there to strike
The inhospitable Cleon, but I am
For other service first.
2225Toward Ephesus
Turn our blown sails;
eftsoons I'll tell thee why.
[To Lysimachus] Shall we refresh us, sir, upon your
And give you gold for such provision
As our in
tents will need.
Lysimachus Sir,
With all my heart. And when you come ashore,
2230I have another suit.
You shall prevail,
Were it to woo my daughter, for
it seems
You have been noble towards her.
Sir, lend me your arm.
Come, my Marina.