Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Tom Bishop
Not Peer Reviewed

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Quarto)

Enter Hellicanus and Escanes.
Hell. No Escanes, know this of mee,
Antiochus from incest liued not free:
For which the most high Gods not minding,
890Longer to with-hold the vengeance that
They had in store, due to this heynous
Capitall offence, euen in the height and pride
Of all his glory, when he was seated in
A Chariot of an inestimable value, and his daughter
895With him; a fire from heauen came and shriueld
Vp those bodyes euen to lothing, for they so stounke,
That all those eyes ador'd them, ere their fall,
Scorne now their hand should giue them buriall.
Escanes. T'was very strange.
900Hell. And yet but iustice; for though this King were great,
His greatnesse was no gard to barre heauens shaft,
But sinne had his reward.
Escan. Tis very true.
Enter two or three Lords.
9051.Lord. See, not a man in priuate conference,
Or counsaile, ha's respect with him but hee.
2.Lord. It shall no longer grieue, without reprofe.
3.Lord. And curst be he that will not second it.
1.Lord. Follow me then: Lord Hellicane, a word.
910Hell. With mee? and welcome happy day ,my Lords.
1.Lord. Know, that our griefes are risen to the top,
And now at length they ouer-flow their bankes.
Hell. Your griefes, for what?
Wrong not your Prince, you loue.
9151.Lord. Wrong not your selfe then, noble Hellican,
But if the Prince do liue, let vs salute him,
Or know what ground's made happy by his breath:
If in the world he liue, wee'le seeke him out:
If in his Graue he rest, wee'le find him there,
920And be resolued he liues to gouerne vs:
Or dead, giue's cause to mourne his funerall,
And leaue vs to our free election.
2.Lord. Whose death in deed, the strongest in our sensure,
And knowing this Kingdome is without a head,
925Like goodly Buyldings left without a Roofe,
Soone fall to ruine: your noble selfe,
That best know how to rule, and how to raigne,
Wee thus submit vnto our Soueraigne.
Omnes. Liue noble Hellicane.
930Hell. Try honours cause; forbeare your suffrages:
If that you loue Prince Pericles, forbeare,
(Take I your wish, I leape into the seas,
Where's howerly trouble, for a minuts ease)
A twelue-month longer, let me intreat you
935To forbeare the absence of your King;
If in which time expir'd, he not returne,
I shall with aged patience beare your yoake:
But if I cannot winne you to this loue,
Goe search like nobles, like noble subiects,
940And in your search, spend your aduenturous worth,
Whom if you find, and winne vnto returne,
You shall like Diamonds sit about his Crowne.
1.Lord. To wisedome, hee's a foole, that will not yeeld:
And since Lord Hellicane enioyneth vs,
945We with our trauels will endeauour.
Hell. Then you loue vs, we you, & wee'le claspe hands:
When Peeres thus knit, a Kingdome euer stands.