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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Gower.]
    Gower Thus time we waste, and long leagues make short,
    Sail seas in cockles, have and wish but for't;
    Making to take our imagination
    1720From bourn to bourn, region to region.
    By you being pardoned, we commit no crime
    To use one language in each several clime
    Where our scenes seems to live. I do beseech you
    1725To learn of me who stand i'th'gaps to teach you
    The stages of our story. Pericles
    Is now again thwarting the wayward seas,
    Attended on by many a lord and knight,
    1730To see his daughter all his life's delight.
    Old Helicanus goes along. Behind
    Is left to govern, if you bear in mind,
    Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late
    Advanced in time to great and high estate.
    1735Well-sailing ships and bounteous winds have brought
    This king to Tharsus -- think his pilot thought;
    So with his steerage shall your thoughts grow on
    To fetch his daughter home, who first is gone.
    1740Like motes and shadows see them move a while;
    Your ears unto your eyes I'll reconcile.
    [Dumb Show.]
    Enter Pericles at one door, with all his train; Cleon and Dionyza at the other. Cleon shows Pericles the tomb, whereat Pe1745ricles makes lamentation, puts on sackcloth, and in a mighty passion departs [with his train. Exeunt Cleon and Dionyza at the other door.]
    Gower See how belief may suffer by fowl show:
    This borrowed passion stands for true-owed woe.
    And Pericles in sorrow all devoured,
    1750With sighs shot through and biggest tears o'er-showered,
    Leaves Tharsus, and again embarks. He swears
    Never to wash his face, nor cut his hairs.
    He puts on sackcloth and to sea he bears
    A tempest which his mortal vessel tears
    1755And yet he rides it out. Now please you wit
    The epitaph is for Marina writ
    By wicked Dionyza:
    [He reads the inscription on Marina's monument.]
    The fairest, sweet'st and best lies here,
    Who withered in her spring of year.
    She was of Tyrus the King's daughter,
    1760On whom foul death hath made this slaughter.
    Marina was she called, and at her birth
    Thetis, being proud, swallowed some part o'th'earth.
    Therefore the earth, fearing to be o'er-flowed,
    Hath Thetis' birth-child on the heavens bestowed,
    1765Wherefore she does -- and swears she'll never stint --
    Make raging battery upon shores of flint.
    No visor does become black villainy
    So well as soft and tender flattery.
    Let Pericles believe his daughter's dead,
    1770And bear his courses to be order{e`}d
    By Lady Fortune, while our scene must play
    His daughter's woe and heavy welladay
    In her unholy service. Patience then,
    And think you now are all in Metalin.