Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Tom Bishop
Not Peer Reviewed

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Quarto)


Enter Pericles wette.
Peri. Yet cease your ire you angry Starres of heauen,
Wind, Raine, and Thunder, remember earthly man
550Is but a substaunce that must yeeld to you:
And I (as fits my nature) do obey you.
Alasse, the Seas hath cast me on the Rocks,
Washt me from shore to shore, and left my breath
Nothing to thinke on, but ensuing death:
555Let it suffize the greatnesse of your powers,
To haue bereft a Prince of all his fortunes;
And hauing throwne him from your watry graue,
Heere to haue death in peace, is all hee'le craue.
Enter three Fisher-men.
5601. What, to pelch?
2. Ha, come and bring away theNets.
1. What Patch-breech, I say.
3. What say you Maister?
1. Looke how thou stirr'st now:
565Come away, or Ile fetch'th with a wanion.
3. Fayth Maister, I am thinking of the poore men,
That were cast away before vs euen now.
1. Alasse poore soules, it grieued my heart to heare,
What pittifull cryes they made to vs, to helpe them,
570When (welladay) we could scarce helpe our selues.
3. Nay Maister, sayd not I as much,
When I saw the Porpas how he bounst and tumbled?
They say they're halfe fish, halfe flesh:
A plague on them, they nere come but I looke to be washt.
575Maister, I maruell how the Fishes liue in the Sea?
1. Why, as Men doe a-land;
The great ones eate vp the little ones:
I can compare our rich Misers to nothing so fitly,
As to a Whale; a playes and tumbles,
580Dryuing the poore Fry before him,
And at last, deuowre them all at a mouthfull:
Such Whales haue I heard on, a'th land,
Who neuer leaue gaping, till they swallow'd
The whole Parish, Church, Steeple, Belles and all.
585Peri. A prettie morall.
3. But Maister, if I had been the Sexton,
I would haue been that day in the belfrie.
2. Why, Man?
1. Because he should haue swallowed mee too,
590And when I had been in his belly,
I would haue kept such a iangling of the Belles,
That he should neuer haue left,
Till he cast Belles, Steeple, Church and Parish vp againe:
But if the good King Simonides were of my minde.
595Per. Simonides?
3. We would purge the land of these Drones,
That robbe the Bee of her Hony.
Per.How from the fenny subiect of the Sea,
These Fishers tell the infirmities of men,
600And from their watry empire recollect,
All that may men approue, or men detect.
Peace be at your labour, honest Fisher-men.
2. Honest good fellow what's that, if it be a day fits you
Search out of the Kalender, and no body looke after it?
605Peri. May see the Sea hath cast vpon your coast:
2. What a drunken Knaue was the Sea,
To cast thee in our way?
Per. A man whom both the Waters and the Winde,
In that vast Tennis-court, hath made the Ball
610For them to play vpon, intreates you pittie him:
Hee askes of you, that neuer vs'd to begge.
1. No friend, cannot you begge?
Heer's them in our countrey of Greece,
Gets more with begging, then we can doe with working.
6152. Canst thou catch any Fishes then?
Peri. I neuer practizde it.
2. Nay then thou wilt starue sure: for heer's nothing to
be got now-adayes, vnlesse thou canst fish for't.
Per. What I haue been, I haue forgot to know;
620But what I am, want teaches me to thinke on:
A man throng'd vp with cold, my Veines are chill,
And haue no more oflife then may suffize,
To giue my tongue that heat to aske your helpe:
Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
625For that I am a man, pray you see me buried.
1. Die, ke-tha; now Gods forbid't, and I haue a Gowne
heere, come put it on, keepe thee warme: now afore mee a
handsome fellow : Come, thou shalt goe home, and wee'le
haue Flesh for all day, Fish for fasting-dayes and more; or
630Puddinges and Flap-iackes, and thou shalt be welcome.
Per. I thanke you sir.
2. Harke you my friend: You sayd you could not beg?
Per. I did but craue.
2. But craue?
635Then Ile turne Crauer too, and so I shall scape whipping.
Per. Why, are you Beggers whipt then?
2. Oh not all, my friend, not all: for if all your Beggers
were whipt, I would wish no better office, then to be Beadle:
But Maister, Ile goe draw vp the Net.
640Per. How well this honest mirth becomes their labour?
1. Harke you sir; doe you know vvhere yee are?
Per. Not well.
1. Why Ile tell you, this I cald Pantapoles,
And our King, the good Symonides.
645Per. The good Symonides, doe you call him?
1. I sir, and he deserues so to be cal'd,
For his peaceable raigne, and good gouernement.
Per. He is a happy King, since he gaines from
His subiects the name of good, by his gouernment.
650How farre is his Court distant from this shore?
1. Mary sir, halfe a dayes iourney: And Ile tell you,
He hath a faire Daughter, and to morrow is her birth-day,
And there are Princes and Knights come from all partes of
the World, to Iust and Turney for her loue.
655Per. Were my fortunes equall to my desires,
I could wish to make one there.
1. O sir, things must be as they may: and what a man can
not get, he may lawfully deale for his Wiues soule.
Enter the two Fisher-men, drawing vp a Net.
6602. Helpe Maister helpe; heere's a Fish hanges in the Net,
Like a poore mans right in the law: t'will hardly come out.
Ha bots on't, tis come at last; & tis turnd to a rusty Armour.
Per. An Armour friends; I pray you let me see it?
Thankes Fortune, yet that after all crosses,
665Thou giuest me somewhat to repaire my selfe:
And though it was mine owne part of my heritage,
Which my dead Father did bequeath to me,
With this strict charge euen as he left his life,
Keepe it my Perycles, it hath been a Shield
670Twixt me and death, and poynted to this brayse,
For that it saued me, keepe it in like necessitie:
The which the Gods protect thee, Fame may defend thee:
It kept where I kept, I so dearely lou'd it,
Till the rough Seas, that spares not any man,
675Tooke it in rage, though calm'd, haue giuen't againe:
I thanke thee for't, my shipwracke now's no ill,
Since I haue heere my Father gaue in his Will.
1. What meane you sir?
Peri. To begge of you (kind friends) this Coate of worth,
680For it was sometime Target to a King;
I know it by this marke: he loued me dearely,
And for his sake, I wish the hauing of it;
And that you'd guide me to your Soueraignes Court,
Where with it, I may appeare a Gentleman:
685And if that euer my low fortune's better,
Ile pay your bounties; till then, rest your debter.
1. Why wilt thou turney for the Lady?
Peri. Ile shew the vertue I haue borne in Armes.
1. Why do'e take it: and the Gods giue thee good an't.
6902. I but harke you my friend, t'was wee that made vp
this Garment through the rough seames of the Waters:
there are certaine Condolements, certaine Vailes: I hope
sir, if you thriue, you'le remember from whence you had
them.
695Peri. Beleeue't, I will:
By your furtherance I am cloth'd in Steele,
And spight of all the rupture of the Sea,
This Iewell holdes his buylding on my arme:
Vnto thy value I will mount my selfe
700Vpon a Courser, whose delight steps,
Shall make the gazer ioy to see him tread;
Onely (my friend) I yet am vnprouided of a paire ofBases.
2. Wee'le sure prouide, thou shalt haue
My best Gowne to make thee a paire;
705And Ile bring thee to the Court my selfe.
Peri. Then Honour be but a Goale to my Will,
This day Ile rise, or else adde ill to ill.