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So puts himself unto the shipman's toil,
With whom each minute threatens life or death.
Thal. [aside.] Well, I perceive
I shall not be hang'd now although I would;
But since he's gone, the king's ears it must please
He’scap'd the land to perish on the seas.
I'll present myself.—Peace to the lords of Tyre!
Hel. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is welcome.
Thal. From him I come
With message unto princely Pericles;
But since my landing I have understood
Your lord has betook himself to unknown travels,
My message must return from whence it came.
Hel. We have no reason to desire it,
Commended to our master, not to us:
Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire,
As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV.—THARSUS. A Room in the Governor's House.
Enter CLEON, DIONYZA, and Attendants.
Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here,
And by relating tales of others' griefs
See if 'twill teach us to forget our own?
Dio. That were to blow at fire in hope to quench it;
For who digs hills because they do aspire
Throws down one mountain to cast up a higher.
O my distressed lord, even such our griefs are ;
Here they're but felt, and seen with mischief's eyes,
But like to groves, being topp'd, they higher rise.
Cle. O Dionyza,
Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants it,
Or can conceal his hunger till he famish?
Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep
Our woes into the air; our eyes do weep,
Till tongues fetch breath that may proclaim them louder;
That, if heaven slumber while their creatures want,
They may awake their helps to comfort them.
I'll then discourse our woes, felt several years,
And, wanting breath to speak, help me with tears.
Dio. I'll do my best, sir. Cle. This Tharsus, o'er which I have the government, A city on whom plenty held full hand, For riches strew'd herself even in the streets ; Whose towers bore heads so high they kiss'd the clouds,
And strangers ne'er beheld but wonder'd at;
Whose men and dames so jetted and adorn'd,
Like one another's glass to trim them by:
Their tables were stor'd full, to glad the sight,
And not so much to feed on as delight;
All poverty was scorn'd, and pride so great,
The name of help grew odious to repeat.
Dio. O'tis too true.
Cle. But see what heaven can do! By this our change, These mouths, whom but of late earth, sea, and air Were all too little to content and please, Although they gave their creatures in abundance, As houses are defil'd for want of use, They are now starv'd for want of exercise: Those palates who, not us'd to savour hunger, Must have inventions to delight the taste, Would now be glad of bread, and beg for it: Those mothers who, to nousle up their babes, Thought naught too curious, are ready now To eat those little darlings whom they lov’d. So sharp are hunger's teeth, that man and wife Draw lots who first shall die to lengthen life: Here stands a lord and there a lady weeping; Here many sink, yet those which see them fall Have scarce strength left to give them burial. Is not this true?
Dio. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.
Cle. 0. let those cities that of Plenty's cup
And her prosperities so largely taste,
With their superfluous riots, hear these tears!
The misery of Tharsus may be theirs.
Enter a Lord.
Lord. Where's the lord governor?
Speak out thy sorrows which thou bring’st in haste,
For comfort is too far for us to expect.
Lord. We have descried, upon our neighbouring shore, A portly sail of ships make hitherward.
C'le. I thought as much.
One sorrow never comes but brings an heir
That may succeed as his inheritor;
And so in ours: some neighbouring nation,
Taking advantage of our misery,
Hath stuff'd these hollow vessels with their power,
To beat us down, the which are down already;
And make a conquest of unhappy we,
Whereas no glory's got to overcome.
Lord. That's the least fear; for by the semblance
Of their white flags display'd, they bring us peace,
And come to us as favourers, not as foes.
Cle. Thou speak'st like him's untutor'd to repeat:
Who makes the fairest show means most deceit.
But bring they what they will, and what they can,
What need we fear?
The ground's the lowest, and we are half way there.
Go tell their general we attend him here,
To know for what he comes, and whence he comes,
And what he craves.
Lord. I go, my lord.
[Exit. Cle. Welcome is peace, if he on peace consist; If wars, we are unable to resist.
Enter PERICLES, with Attendants.
Per. Lord governor, for so we hear you are,
Let not our ships and number of our men
Be, like a beacon fir'd, to amaze your eyes.
We have heard your miseries as far as Tyre,
And seen the desolation of your streets :
Nor come we to add sorrow to your tears,
But to relieve them of their heavy load;
And these our ships, you happily may think
Are like the Trojan horse war-stuff?d within
With bloody veins, expecting overthrow.
Are stor'd with corn to make your needy bread,
And give them life whom hunger starv'd half dead.
All. The gods of Greece protect you!
And we'll pray for you.
Rise, I pray you, rise:
We do not look for reverence, but for love,
And harbourage for ourself, our ships, and men.
Cle. The which when any shall not gratify,
Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought,
Be it our wives, our children, or ourselves,
The curse of heaven and men succeed their evils!
Till when,—the which I hope shall ne'er be seen,-
Your grace is welcome to our town and us.
Per. Which welcome we'll accept; feast here a while, Until our stars that frown lend us a smile. [Exeunt.
Gow. Here have you seen a mighty king
His child, I wis, to incest bring;
A better prince, and benign lord,
That will prove awful both in deed and word.
Be quiet, then, as men should be,
Till he hath pass'd necessity.
I'll show you those in troubles reign,
Losing a mite, a mountain gain.
The good in conversation,-
To whom I give my benison, -
Is still at Tharsus, where each man
Thinks all is writ he spoken can;
And, to remember what he does,
Gild his statue to make him glorious :
But tidings to the contrary
Are brought your eyes : what need speak I?
Enter, at one side, PERICLES, talking with CLEON; their Trains
with them. Enter, at the other, a Gentleman with a letter
to PERICLES, who shows it to CLEON, then gives the Mes-
senger a reward, and knights him. E.ceunt PERICLES and
CLEON with their Trains, severally.
Good Helicane hath stay'd at home,
Not to eat honey like a drone
From others' labours; for though he strive
To killen bad, keep good alive;
And, to fulfil his prince' desire,
Sends word of all that haps in Tyre:
How Thaliard came full bent with sin
And hid intent to murder him;
And that in Tharsus was not best
Longer for him to make his rest.
He, knowing so, put forth to seas,
· Where when men been, there's seldom ease;
For now the wind begins to blow;
Thunder above and deeps below
Make such unquiet that the ship
Should house him safe is wreck'd and split;
And he, good prince, having all lost,
By waves from coast to coast is toss'd:
All perishen of man, of pelf,
Ne aught escapen but himself;
Till fortune, tir'd with doing bad,
Threw him ashore, to give him glad:
And here he comes. What shall be next,
Pardon old Gower,--this longs the text.
SCENE I.—PENTAPOLIS. An open Place by the Sea-side.
Enter PERICLES, wet.
Per. Yet cease your ire, you angry stars of heaven!
Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, earthly man
Is but a substance that must yield to you;
And I, as fits my nature, do obey you:
Alas, the sea hath cast me on the rocks,
Wash'd me from shore to shore, and left me breath
Nothing to think on but ensuing death :
Let it suffice the greatness of your powers
To have bereft a prince of all his fortunes;
And having thrown him from your watery grave,
Here to have death in peace is all he'll crave.
Enter three Fishermen.
1 Fish. What, ho, Pilch!
2 Fish. Ho, come and bring away the nets!
1 Fish. What, Patchbreech, I say!
3 Fish. What say you, master?
1 Fish. Look how thou stirrest now! come away, or I'll fetch thee with a wanion.
3 Fish. Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were cast away before us even now.
1 Fish. Alas, poor souls, it grieved my heart to hear what pitiful cries they made to us to help them, when, well-a-day, we could scarce help ourselves.
3 Fish. Nay, master, said not I as much when I saw the porpus how he bounced and tumbled ? they say they're half fish half flesh: a plague on them, they ne'er come but I look to be washed. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.
1 Fish. Why, as men do a-land, -the great ones eat up the little ones: I can compare our rich misers to nothing so fitly as to a whale; 'a plays and tumbles, driving the poor fry before him, and at last devours them all at a mouthful : such whales have I heard on the land, who never leave