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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Simonides and Thaisa, with [Lords and] attendants, [and sit on two thrones.]
    Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?
    7101 Lord
    They are, my liege,
    And stay your coming to present themselves.
    Return them we are ready, and our daughter,
    In honor of whose birth these triumphs are,
    Sits here like Beauty's child, whom Nature gat
    715For men to see and, seeing, wonder at.
    [Exit 1 Lord.]
    It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express
    My commendations great, whose merit's less.
    It's fit it should be so, for princes are
    A model which heaven makes like to itself:
    720As jewels lose their glory, if neglected,
    So princes their renowns, if not respected.
    'Tis now your honor, daughter, to entertain
    The labor of each knight, in his device.
    Which, to preserve mine honor, I'll perform.
    [Enter 1 Lord.]
    725The first Knight [enters and] passes by [across the stage, and his page presents a shield to be read by Thaisa.]
    Who is the first, that doth prefer himself?
    A knight of Sparta, my renowned father,
    And the device he bears upon his shield
    Is a black Ethiop reaching at the sun,
    730The word: Lux tua vita mihi.
    He loves you well that holds his life of you.
    [The second Knight passes across the stage, in the same manner as the first.]
    Who is the second that presents himself?
    A prince of Macedon, my royal father,
    735And the device he bears upon his shield
    Is an armed knight that's conquered by a lady,
    The motto thus in Spanish: Piu per dolcera che per forsa.
    [The third Knight passes across the stage, as before.]
    And with the third?
    The third of Antioch;
    And his device 740a wreath of chivalry;
    The word: Me pompae provexit apex.
    [The fourth Knight passes across the stage.]
    What is the fourth?
    A burning torch that's turnèd upside down;
    The word: Qui me alit, me extinguit.
    Which shows that beauty hath his power and will,
    745Which can as well inflame as it can kill.
    [The fifth Knight passes across the stage.]
    The fifth, an hand environèd with clouds,
    Holding out gold that's by the touchstone tried;
    The motto thus: Sic spectanda fides.
    [The] sixth Knight[, Pericles passes across the stage in rusty armor and without a shield or a page, and presents his device to Thaisa in person.]
    And what's the sixth and last, the which 750the knight himself
    With such a graceful courtesy delivered?
    He seems to be a stranger: but his present is
    A withered branch, that's only green at top;
    The motto: In hac spe vivo.
    A pretty moral:
    From the dejected state wherein he is,
    755He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish.
    1 Lord
    He had need mean better than his outward show
    Can any way speak in his just commend,
    For by his rusty outside he appears
    To have practiced more the whipstock than the lance.
    7602 Lord
    He well may be a stranger, for he comes
    To an honored triumph, strangely furnishèd.
    3 Lord
    And on set purpose let his armor rust
    Until this day, to scour it in the dust!
    Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan
    765The outward habit for the inward man.
    [Trumpets sound offstage.]
    But stay, the knights are coming.
    We will withdraw into the gallery.
    Great shouts [offstage], and all cry "The mean knight."