Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: George Wilkins
Editors: Tom Bishop, Andrew Forsberg
Not Peer Reviewed

Wilkins: The Adventures of Pericles (Modern)


1205

The Eighth Chapter.

How Pericles, arriving at Tharsus, delivereth his young daughter, Marina, unto Cleon and Dionyza to be fostered up; and how Lychorida the nurse, lying upon her death-bed, declareth unto Marina who were her parents.

1210Having thus left the recovered Thaisa amongst the holy nuns in the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, our story biddeth us look back unto sorrowful Pericles, whose ship -- with fortunate wind, favor of the heavens, and providence of his pilot -- arrived at the shore of Tharsus.

Where upon his landing he was courteously 1215received by Cleon and Dionyza, whom he as courteously saluted, telling them the heavy chances which had befallen him, both of the great storms and tempests on the sea which he with patience had endured, as also of the death of the good Lady Thaisa which he not without much sorrow suffered: "Only," quoth he, "I have here left a little 1220picture of her, who, for it was given unto me at sea, I have named Marina; and I thank the heavens is so like unto her that I never do look upon it but with much comfort, in whose protection and education I mean to use your friendship, while I go on in travel to receive the kingdom of Antiochus which is reserved for me. And 1225if you will ever show your gratitude for my former charity extended towards you and all this city in a former distress, the gods have given this cause to prove your thankfulness."

When both vowing by solemn oath their care should be on her as reason unto themselves,who is the guider of man's life; he, satisfied with that their promise, 1230thanked them, telling them moreover that with them also he would leave Lychorida, her mother's nurse (and given unto him by her good father, Symonides), that she might be a nurse unto her child, only further requesting them, and so charging Lychorida, that if it pleased the gods to lend her life to the years of understanding, they should 1235not till his return make known unto her that she was a branch sprung from him, but only be brought up as the daughter of Cleon and Dionyza, lest that the knowledge of her high birth should make her grow proud to their instructions.

Of which having likewise promise, he delivered the infant and the nurse to Cleon, and therewithal great 1240sums of gold, silver and apparel, and vowing solemnly by oath to himself, his head should grow unscissored, his beard untrimmed, himself in all uncomely, since he had lost his queen, and till he had married his daughter at ripe years. When they much wondering at so strange a resolve and promising to be most faithful with all diligence according 1245to his directions, Pericles took his leave, departed with his ship, sailing even to the uttermost parts of all Egypt, while his young daughter Marina grew up to more able discretion.

And when she was fully attained to five years of age, being to herself known no other but to be free born, she was set to school with other free children, always jointly accompanied 1250with one only daughter that Dionyza had, being of the same time that she was of.

Where growing up as well in learning as in number of years until she came to the reckoning of fourteen, one day when she returned from school she found Lychorida, her nurse, suddenly fallen sick. And sitting beside her upon the bed, she, as in care of her, demanded the 1255cause and manner of her sickness. When the nurse, finding her disease to have no hope of recovery but a harbinger that came before to prepare a lodging for death, answered her to this purpose: "For my sickness," quoth she, "it matters not, dear child, since it is as necessary to be sick as it is needful to die. Only I entreat of you to hearken unto 1260a dying woman's words that loveth you, and, laying them up in your heart, persuade yourself that in these hours no sinner should or can be so wretched to spare a minute to find time to lie. Know then that you are not the daughter of Cleon and Dionyza, as you till this have supposed. But hearken unto me and I will declare unto thee the beginning of thy 1265birth, that thou mayest know how to guide thyself after my death."

"Pericles, the Prince of Tyre, is thy father, and Thaisa, King Symonides' daughter, was thy mother. Which father and mother departed from thy grandsire at Pentapolis toward their kingdom of Tyre. Thy mother, being at sea, fell in travail with thee, and died after thou wert born, when thy father, 1270Pericles, enclosed her body in a chest with princely ornaments, laying twenty talents of gold at her head, and as much at her feet in silver, with a schedule written containing the dignity of her birth and manner of her death. Then caused he the chest to be thrown overboard into the sea through a superstitious opinion which the mariners believed, leaving 1275her body so enriched to the intent that, whithersoever it were driven, they that found it, in regard of the riches, would bury her according to her estate."

"Thus, lady, were you born upon the waters, and your father's ship, with much wrestling of contrary winds and with his unspeakable grief of mind, arrived at this shore and brought thee in thy swaddling 1280clouts unto this city, where he with great care delivered thee unto this thine host, Cleon, and Dionyza his wife, diligently to be fostered up, and left me here also to attend upon thee, swearing this oath to keep inviolate: his hair should be unscissored, his face untrimmed, himself in all things uncomely continually to mourn for your dead mother until 1285your ripe years gave him occasion to marry you to some prince worthy your birth and beauty."

"Wherefore I now admonish you that if after my death thine host or hostess, whom thou callest thy parents, shall haply offer thee any injury or, discourteously taking advantage of thy absent father, as unbefitting thine estate entertain thee, haste thee into the market1290place, where thou shall find a statue erected to thy father standing; take hold of it, and cry aloud: 'You citizens of Tharsus, I am his daughter whose image this is.' Who, being mindful of thy father's benefits, will doubtless revenge thy injury."

When Marina, thanking Lychorida for making that known to her which till then was unknown, and haply either through 1295Time or Death might have been buried in her ignorance, and vowing, if ever need should so require (of which as yet she had no cause to doubt) her counsel should be followed; and so Lychorida, through sickness growing more weak, and Marina for this knowledge and advice still tending on her, in her arms at last she gave up the ghost.