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The Argument of the whole Historie.

Antiochus the Great, who was the first founder of Antioch, the most famous Citty in all Syria, hauing one onelie daughter, in the prime and glory of her youth, fell in most vnnaturall 5loue with her; and what by the power of his perswasions, and feare of his tyranny, he so preuailed with her yeelding heart, that he became maister of his desires; which to continue to himself, his daughter being for her beauty desired in marriage of many great princes, he made this law, That whoso presumed to desire 10her in marriage, and could not vnfold the meaning of his questions, for that attempt should loose his life. Fearelesse of this Lawe, many Princes aduentured, and in their rashnesse perished: amongst the number PERICLES the Prince of Tyre, and neighbour to this tyrant King Antiochus, was the last who vndertooke to resolue this Riddle, which he accordingly, through 15his great wisedome, performed: and finding both the subtiltie and sinne of the Tyrant, for his owne safetie fled secretly from Antioch backe to Tyre, and there acquainted Helycanus a graue Counsellour of his with the proceedings, as also with his present feare what might succeed, from whose counsell he tooke aduise, for a space to leaue his kingdome, 20and betake himselfe to trauell; to which yeelding, Pericles puts to sea, ariues at Tharsus, which he finds (thorow the dearth of corne) in much distresse: he there relieues Cleon and Dyonysa with their distressed City, with the prouision which he brought of purpose; but by his good Counsellour Helycanus hearing newes of Antiochus death, he intends for Tyre, puts againe 25to Sea, suffers shipwracke, his shippes and men all lost, till (as it were) Fortune tyred with his mis-happes, he is throwne vpon the shoare, releeued by certaine poore Fishermen, and by an Armour of his which they by chaunce dragged vp in their nettes, his misfortunes being a little repaired, Pericles arriues at the Court of good Symonides King of Pentapolis, where through his 30noblenesse both in Armes and Arts, he winnes the loue of faire Thaysa the kings daughter, and by her fathers consent marries her.

In this absence of his, and, for which absence the Tyrians his subiects muteny, would elect Helycanus (whome Pericles ordained his substitute in his absence) their King, which passion of theirs Helycanus by his graue perswasions 35subdewed, and wonne them to goe in quest of their lost Prince Pericles: In this search he is found, and with his wife Thaysa, who is now with childe, and Lycorida her Nurse; hauing taken leaue of his kingly Father, puts againe for Tyre, but with the terrour of a tempest at Sea, his Queene falles in trauell, is deliuered of a daughter, whome hee names Marina, in which childe-birth his Queene dies, she is 40throwne ouerboorde, at departure of whome Pericles altereth his course from Tyre, being a shorter cut, to his hoste Clean in Tharsus; hee there leaues his yoong daughter to be fostered vp, vowing to himselfe a solitary and pensiue life for the losse of his Queene.

Thaysa thus supposed dead, and in the seas buried, is the next morning on 45the shore taken vp at Ephesus by Cerimon a most skilfull Physition, who by his Arte practised vpon this Queene, so preuailed, that after fiue houres intraunced, she is by his skill brought to able health againe, and by her owne request, by him placed to liue a Votary in Dianaes Temple at Ephesus. Marina Pericles sea-borne daughter, is by this growen to discreete yeares, she is enuied of 50Dyonysa Cleons wife, her foster mother, for that Marinaes perfection exceedeth a daughter of hers, Marina by this enuy of hers should haue beene murthered, but being rescued by certaine Pyrates, is as it were reserued to a greater mishap, for by them she is carried to Metelyne, sold to the deuils broker a bawd, to haue bin trained vp in that infection, shee is courted of many, and 55how wonderfully she preserues her chastitie.

Pericles returnes from Tyre toward Tharsus, to visite the hospitable Cleon, Dyonysa, and his yoong daughter Marina, where by Dyonysaes dissembling teares, and a Toombe that was erected for her, Pericles is brought to beleeue, that his Marina lies there buryed, and that shee died of her naturall death, 60for whose losse hee teares his haire, throwes off his garments, forsweares the societie of men, or any other comfort. In which passion for many moneths continuing, hee at last arriues at Metelyne, when being scene and pittied by Lysimachus the Gouernour, his daughter (though of him vnknowen so) is by the Gouernour sent for, who by her excellent skill in Song, and pleasantnesse in 65discourse, with relating the story of her owne mishap, shee so winnes againe her fathers lost sences, that hee knowes her for his childe, shee him for her father; in which ouerioy, as if his sences were nowe all confounded, Pericles falles asleepe, where in a dreame he is by Diana warned to goe to Ephesus, and there to make his sacrifice. Pericles obayes, and there comes to the knowledge 70of Thaysa his wife, with their seuerall loyes that they three so strangely diuided, are as strangely mette. Lysimachus the Gouernour marrieth Marina, and Pericles leauing his mourning, causeth the bawde to be burned. Of his reuenge to Clean and Dyonysa, his rewarding of the Fishermen that releeued him, his iustice toward the Pyrats that made sale of his daughter, his returne 75backe to his kingdome, and of him and his wifes deaths. Onely intreating the Reader to receiue this Historie in the same maner as it was vnder the habite of ancient Gower the famous English Poet, by the Kings Maiesties Players excellently presented.

The names of the Personages mentioned in this Historie.

80Iohn Gower the Presenter.
Antiochus built Antioch
His daughter.
Pericles Prince of Tyre.
Thalyart a villaine.
85Helycanus
Eschines Twoo graue Counsellors.
Cleon Gouernor of Tharsus.
Dyonysa his wife.
Two or three Fishermen.
90Symonides king of Pentapolis
Thaysa his daughter.
Fiue Princes.
Lycorida a Nurse.
Cerimon a Phisition.
95Marina Pericles daughter.
A Murtherer.
Pirates.
A Bawde.
A Lena.
100A Pander.
Lysimachus Gouernour of Meteline.
Diana Goddesse of chastitie