Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Wilkins: The Adventures of Pericles (Modern)


1300

The Ninth Chapter.

How after the death of Lychorida, the nurse, Dionyza, envying at the beauty of Marina, hired a servant of hers to have murdered her; and how she was rescued by certain pirates and by them carried to the city of Meteline, where, among other 1305bondslaves, she was sold to a common bawd.

Marina having thus by Lychorida's means had knowledge of her parents, and Lychorida having been in her life her most careful nurse, she (not without just cause) lamented her death and caused her body to be solemnly interred in a field without the walls of the city, raising a monument in remembrance of her, 1310vowing to herself a year's solemn sadness, and that her eyes also for so long a time should daily pay their dewy offerings, as lamenting the loss of so good a friend.

But, this decree of hers being accomplished and all the rites thereof faithfully fulfilled, she dismissed her body of her mourning attire and again appareled herself as before in her most costly habiliment, frequenting the 1315schools and diligently endeavoring the studies of the liberal sciences, wherein she so out-went in perfection the labors of all that were studious with her that she was rather used amongst them as their schoolmistress to instruct than their fellow scholar to learn. Only, for her recreation, betwixt the hours of study, dancing, singing, sewing, or what experience soever (for in no action 1320was she unexpert), as also every morning and at noon before she made her meal, she forgot not to revisit her nurse's sepulcher. And entering into the monument, upon her knees she there offered her funeral tears for the loss of her mother, and desiring the gods in their holy synod to protect the safety of her father, accusing herself as an unfortunate child, whose being caused the death of 1325her mother, so good a queen, and the sorrow of her father, so courteous a prince.

And in very deed, the whole course of her life was so affable and courteous that she won the love of all and every man, accounting his tongue (the father of speech) a truant which was not liberal in her praises. So that it fortuned, as she passed along the street with Dionyza her daughter, who was her companion and schoolfellow 1330and who till then she supposed had been her sister, the people, as at other times, came running out of their doors with greedy desire to look upon her. And beholding the beauty and comeliness of Marina so far to outshine Dionyza's daughter, who went side by side with her, could not contain themselves from crying out: "Happy is that father who hath Marina to his daughter, but her companion that goeth with her 1335is foul and ill-favored."

Which when Dionyza heard, her envy of those praises bred in her a contempt, and that contempt soon transformed itself into wrath, all which she for the instant dissembling, yet at her coming home withdrawing herself into a private walk, she in this manner with herself began to discourse: "It is now," quoth she, "fourteen years since Pericles, this outshining girl's father, departed 1340this our city, in all which time we have not received so much as a letter to signify that he remembers her, or any other token to manifest he hath a desire to acknowledge her, whereby I have reason to conjecture that he is either surely dead or not regards her, though I must confess, at his departure from hence and his committing her to our protection, he left her not unfurnished of all things 1345fitting the education of his child, and a princess of her birth, both of gold, plate, and apparel, even competent enough to foster her according to her degree-- nay, if need were, to marry her according to her blood."

"But what of all this? He is absent, and Lychorida, her nurse is dead. She in beauty outshines my child, and I have her father's treasure in possession (though given for her use) [which] shall make my 1350daughter outshine her. What though I know her father did relieve our city? I again do know that but few in these days requite benefits with thanks longer than while they are in receiving. In brief, I envy her, and she shall perish for it."

With the which words she had no sooner concluded, but in comes a servant of hers, and she now intended to make him the devil's. With this Leonine she thus began to 1355interpret her will: "Leonine," quoth she, "thou knowest Marina." "And madam," quoth he, "for a most virtuous gentlewoman." "Talk not of virtue," quoth Dionyza, "for that's not the business which we have in hand. But I must have thee learn to know her now, that thou mayest never know her afterward." "I understand you not," quoth Leonine. When she replied, "Take this at large then: thou art my bond-slave, whom I have power to 1360enfranchise or captive. If thou wilt obey me, first then receive this gold as the earnest which promiseth unto thee a greater reward; but if thou deny to accomplish my desire, in bondage and imprisonment I will fetter thee and by no other means conclude my revenge but by thy death."

"Speak on my task then, good madam," quoth Leonine, "For what is it that a bondman will not attempt for liberty, which is dearer 1365to man than life; and what not I then?" "Thou knowest," quoth Dionyza then, "that Marina hath a custom, as soon as she returneth home from school, not to eat meat before she have gone to visit the sepulcher of her nurse. There, at her next devotion, do thou meet her, stand ready, and with thy weapon drawn suddenly kill her."

"How! Kill her?" quoth Leonine, "why 'tis an act unconscionable and deserves 1370damnation but to conspire in thought, since she is a creature so harmless that even innocency itself cannot be more pure, nor inwardly be more decently arrayed than is her mind. Yet, to fulfill your pleasure, for the hope of gold and the releasement of my bondage, were she as spotless as Truth, here are two monsters" (drawing his sword into his hand) "shall effect it for you."

When she rewarding him 1375with more gold and commending his resolution, he goes forward to attend for her at Lychorida's tomb, and Marina, being returned from school, is also come thither to offer on the monument her diurnal devotion, when on the sudden, while her knees kissed the earth and her eyes saluted heaven, while prayers were in her mouth and tears in her eyes, all tributary offerings given unto the gods for the prosperity 1380of her father, on the sudden toward her out rushed this Leonine, and with a look as cruel as his heart and speech as harsh as his intent, he resolved her in blunt words that he was come to kill her, that he was hired unto it by Dionyza, her foster mother, that she was too good for men and therefore he would send her to the gods, that if she would pray, pray, for he had sworn to kill her, and he would 1385kill her and a thousand more ere he would be damned for perjury.

When she, that was on her knees before making her orisons to heaven, was now compelled to turn her entreaties to him; and first demanded of him what offence her ignorance had done (for wittingly she knew she could do none) either to him that (as himself said) came to murder her, or to her that hired him. But the villain neither 1390regarding her innocency or tears though showered in abundance, but drawing out his sword wherewith to have shed her blood and have damned his own soul, there were certain pirates that were newly put to water in at a creek near adjoining where the villain intended this most inhuman murder, and being come up ashore to forage for what pillage soever they could happen upon, even as he 1395was about to have given the fatal blow, whom all her entreaties could not persuade him from, beholding so bloody a villain offering violence to so goodly a beauty, they running all at once toward him cried out aloud: "Hold, monstrous wretch, as thou lovest thy life, hold; for that maiden is our prey and not thy victory."

Which when the villain heard, and perceiving his intent to be intercepted, making his heels 1400his best defence, till, having fled some distance from them and observing them not to pursue, he secretly stole back to note what the event would be; which was that the pirates who had thus rescued Marina carried her to their ships, hoisted sails and departed. At which the villain returned home to his mistress, declaring to her that he had done what she commanded him to do, namely murdered Marina, 1405and from the top of a high cliff thrown her body down for burial into the sea, advising her withal that, since it was done, the chiefest means to avoid suspicion was to put on mourning garments, and, by counterfeiting a great sorrow in the sight of the people, report that she was dead of some dangerous disease, and withal, to blear the eyes of the multitude (who with fair shows are soon 1410flattered), near to her father's statue to erect a monument for her.

According whereunto, she attired herself and her daughter in solemn attire and, counterfeiting a feigned sorrow and dissembling tears and going now to erect her monument (to the view of which all the citizens flocked), she in public assembly thus spoke unto them: "Dear friends and citizens of Tharsus: if you 1415shall haply wonder why we thus unwontedly weep and mourn in your sight, it is because the joy of our eyes and staff of our old age, Marina, is dead, whose absence hath left unto us nothing but salt tears and sorrowful hearts, as if by her death we were divided from all comfort. Yet have we here taken order for her funerals and buried her (as here you see) according to her degree."

Which 1420loss of hers was right grievous to all the people; nor was there any that was capable of sorrow but spent it for her, so that with one voice and willing hands they attended Dionyza to the marketplace whereas her father's image stood made of brass, and erected also another to her with this inscription:

Marina's Epitaph.

1425The fairest, chastest, and most best lies here,
Who withered in her spring of year.
In Nature's garden, though by growth a bud,
She was the chiefest flower; she was good.

So with this flattery (which is like a screen before the gravest 1430judgements) deceiving the citizens, and all done unsuspected, she returned home, when Cleon -- who not at all consented to this treason but so soon as he heard thereof being struck into amazement -- he appareled himself in mourning garments, lamenting the untimely ruin of so goodly a lady, saying to himself, "Alas now, what mischief am I wrapped in? What might I do or say herein? The 1435father of that virgin delivered this city from the peril of death. For this city's sake he suffered shipwreck, lost his goods and endured penury. And now he is requited with evil for good; his daughter, which he committed by my care to be brought up, is now devoured by the cruelty of my wife, so that I am deprived, as it were, of mine own eyes, and forced to bewail the death 1440of that innocent, she in whose presence, as in the fortune of mine own posterity, I should have had delight," and then demanding of Dionyza how she could give Prince Pericles account of his child; having robbed him of his child, how she could appease the fury of his wrath, if her act were known to him, or how allay the displeasure of the gods, from whom nothing can be hid.

"For 1445Pericles," quoth she, "if such a pious innocent as yourself do not reveal it unto him, how should he come to the knowledge thereof, since that the whole city is satisfied by the monument I caused to be erected, and by our dissembling outside, that she died naturally? And for the gods, let them that list be of the mind to think they can make stones speak and raise them up 1450in evidence. For my part I have my wish; I have my safety, and fear no danger till it fall upon me." But Cleon, rather cursing than commending this obduracy in her, he continued mourning unfeignedly; but she according to her sinful condition.

By this time the pirates (who before rescued Marina, when she should have been slain by treacherous Leonine) are now arrived at Meteline; 1455and in the marketplace of the city, according to the custom, amongst other bondslaves offered her to be sold, whither all sorts of people coming to supply their purposes, Marina was not without much commendations gazed upon of the buyers, some commending her beauty, others her sober countenance, all pitying her mishap, and praising her perfections. Which 1460praises of her, were so spread through the city that from all parts they came crowding to see her, amongst the number of which, was a leno or bawd, yet one who had not set up shop and kept trade for himself, but was yet but journeyman to the devil.

This leno, amongst others staring upon her and knowing her face to be a fit fair sign for his master's house -- and 1465with which sign he made no doubt but to lodge under their roof all the intemperate (even from youth to age) through the whole city --, he forthwith demanded the price, intending to buy her at what rate soever, and in the end went through and bargained to have her, paying a hundred sesterces of gold. And so presently, having given earnest, he takes 1470Marina and the rest of the pirates home with him to his master's house. Marina was there to be taught how to give her body up a prostitute to sin, and the pirates for their new stuff to receive their money.