Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Modern)
  • Editor: Tom Bishop

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Tom Bishop
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Modern)

    Enter Cleon and Dionyza.
    Dionyza Why are you foolish? Can it be undone?
    1670Cleon Oh, Dionyza, such a piece of slaughter
    The sun and moon ne'er looked upon.
    Dionyza I think you'll turn a child again.
    Cleon Were I chief lord of all this spacious world
    I'd give it to undo the deed. A lady,
    Much less in blood than 1675virtue, yet a princess
    To equal any single crown o'th'earth
    I'th'justice of compare. O villain Leonine,
    Whom thou hast poisoned too!
    If thou hadst drunk to him, 't'ad been a kindness
    Becoming well thy fact. What canst thou say
    When noble Pericles shall demand his child?
    1680Dionyza That she is dead. Nurses are not the fates.
    To foster is not ever to preserve.
    She died at night. I'll say so. Who can cross it?
    Unless you play the pious innocent
    And, for an honest attribute, cry out
    "She died by foul play."
    Oh, go to! Well, well:
    Of all the faults beneath the heavens, the gods
    Do like this worst.
    Be one of those that thinks
    The petty wrens of Tharsus will fly hence
    And open this to Pericles. I do shame
    To think of what a noble strain you are,
    And of how co1690ward a spirit.
    To such proceeding
    Who ever but his approbation added,
    Though not his prime consent, he did not flow
    From honorable courses.
    Be it so then.
    Yet none does know but you 1695how she came dead;
    Nor none can know, Leonine being gone.
    She did distain my child, and stood between
    Her and her fortunes. None would look on her
    But cast their gazes on Marina's face,
    Whilst ours was blurted at and held a mawkin
    Not worth the time of day. 1700It pierced me through,
    And though you call my course unnatural,
    You not your child well loving, yet I find
    It greets me as an enterprise of kindness
    Performed to your sole daughter.
    Heavens, forgive it!
    1705Dionyza And as for Pericles,
    What should he say? We wept after her hearse,
    And yet we mourn. Her monument
    Is almost finished, and her epitaphs
    In glittering golden characters express
    A general praise to her, and care in us
    At whose expense 'tis done.
    Thou art like the harpy,
    Which, to betray, dost with thine angel's face
    Seize with thine eagle's talons.
    Dionyza Y'are like one that superstitiously
    Do swear to the gods that winter kills 1715the flies;
    But yet I know you'll do as I advise.