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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 the King[, Simonides,] reading of a letter, at one door. The Knights meet him.
    9501 Knight
    Good morrow to the good Simonides.
    Knights, from my daughter this I let you know:
    That for this twelve-month, she'll not undertake
    A married life.
    Her reason to herself is only known,
    Which from her by no means can I get.
    9552 Knight
    May we not get access to her, my lord?
    Faith, by no means. She hath so strictly tied
    Her to her chamber, that 'tis impossible.
    One twelve-moons more she'll wear Diana's livery.
    This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vowed,
    960And, on her virgin honor, will not break it.
    3 Knight
    Loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.[Exeunt Knights.]
    So, they are well dispatched. Now to my daughter's letter.
    She tells me here she'll wed the stranger knight,
    965Or never more to view nor day nor light.
    'Tis well, mistress; your choice agrees with mine;
    I like that well. Nay, how absolute she's in't,
    Not minding whether I dislike or no.
    Well, I do commend her choice,
    And will no longer 970have it be delayed.
    Soft, here he comes. I must dissemble it.
    Enter Pericles.
    All fortune to the good Simonides.
    To you as much. Sir, I am beholding to you
    975For your sweet music this last night. I do
    Protest, my ears were never better fed
    With such delightful pleasing harmony.
    It is your Grace's pleasure to commend,
    Not my desert.
    Sir, you are music's master.
    The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.
    Let me ask you one thing:
    What do you think of my daughter, sir?
    A most virtuous princess.
    And she is fair too, is she not?
    As a fair day in summer; wondrous fair.
    Sir, my daughter thinks very well of you.
    Ay, so well that you must be her master
    And she will be your scholar; therefore, look to it.
    I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.
    She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.
    [He gives Pericles the letter.]
    [Aside] What's here?
    A letter that she loves the knight of Tyre?
    'Tis the king's subtlety to have my life!
    [To Simonides] Oh, seek not to entrap me, gracious lord,
    995A stranger and distressèd gentleman
    That never aimed so high to love your daughter,
    But bent all offices to honor her.
    Thou hast bewitched my daughter, and thou art
    A villain!
    By the gods, I have not.
    Never did thought of mine levy offence,
    Nor never did my actions yet commence
    A deed might gain her love, or your displeasure.
    Traitor, thou liest.
    Ay, traitor.
    Even in his throat, unless it be the king,
    That calls me traitor, I return the lie.
    [Aside] Now by the gods, I do applaud his courage.
    My actions are as noble as my thoughts,
    That never relished of a base descent.
    I came unto your court for honor's cause,
    And not to be a rebel to her state;
    And he that otherwise accounts of me --
    1015This sword shall prove, he's honor's enemy.
    Here comes my daughter, she can witness it.
    Enter Thaisa.
    Then, as you are as virtuous as fair,
    Resolve your angry father, if my tongue
    1020Did e'er solicit or my hand subscribe
    To any syllable that made love to you?
    Why, sir, say if you had -- who takes offence
    at that would make me glad?
    Yea, mistress, are you so peremptory?
    1025[Aside] I am glad on't with all my heart.
    [Aloud] I'll tame you; I'll bring you in subjection.
    Will you, not having my consent,
    Bestow your love and your affections
    Upon a stranger? [Aside] Who for aught I know
    1030May be -- nor can I think the contrary --
    As great in blood as I myself.
    [Aloud] Therefore hear you, mistress: either frame
    Your will to mine -- and you, sir, hear you:
    Either be ruled by me, or I'll make you --
    1035Man and wife!
    Nay come, your hands and lips must seal it too;
    And being joined, I'll thus your hopes destroy,
    And for further grief -- God give you joy!
    What are you both pleased?
    Yes, [To Pericles] if you love me, sir.
    Even as my life my blood that fosters it.
    What are you both agreed?
    Yes, if't please your Majesty.
    It pleaseth me so well, that I will see you wed;
    Then with what haste you can, get you to bed.