Act II, Scene 1
Pentapolis. An open place by the seaside.
- Enter Pericles wet.
Pericles1 - 11
- 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 seas 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 wat’ry grave,
- Here to have death in peace is all he’ll crave.
- Enter three Fishermen.
- What ho, Pilch!
- Ha, come and bring away the nets!
- What, Patch-breech, I say!
- What say you, master?
First Fisherman16 - 17
- Look how thou stir’st now! Come away, or I’ll fetch th’ with
- a wanion.
Third Fisherman18 - 19
- Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were cast
- away before us even now.
First Fisherman20 - 22
- Alas, poor souls, it griev’d my heart to hear what pitiful
- cries they made to us to help them, when, well-a-day, we
- could scarce help ourselves.
Third Fisherman23 - 26
- Nay, master, said not I as much when I saw the porpoise how
- he bounc’d and tumbled? They say they’re half fish, half
- flesh. A plague on them, they ne’er come but I look to be
- wash’d. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.
First Fisherman27 - 33
- 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 devour them all at a mouthful. Such
- whales have I heard on a’ th’ land, who never leave gaping
- till they swallow’d the whole parish, church, steeple,
- bells, and all.
- A pretty moral.
Third Fisherman35 - 36
- But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have been
- that day in the belfry.
- Why, man?
Third Fisherman38 - 42
- Because he should have swallow’d me too, and when I had been
- in his belly, I would have kept such a jangling of the
- bells, that he should never have left till he cast bells,
- steeple, church, and parish up again. But if the good King
- Simonides were of my mind—
Third Fisherman44 - 45
- We would purge the land of these drones, that rob the bee of
- her honey.
Pericles46 - 50
- How from the finny subject of the sea
- These fishers tell the infirmities of men,
- And from their wat’ry empire recollect
- All that may men approve or men detect!—
- Peace be at your labor, honest fishermen.
Second Fisherman51 - 52
- Honest, good fellow, what’s that? If it be a day fits you,
- search out of the calendar, and nobody look after it.
- May see the sea hath cast upon your coast—
- What a drunken knave was the sea to cast thee in our way!
Pericles55 - 58
- A man whom both the waters and the wind,
- In that vast tennis-court, hath made the ball
- For them to play upon, entreats you pity him.
- He asks of you that never us’d to beg.
- No, friend, cannot you beg? Here’s them in our country of Greece gets more with begging than we can do with working.
- Canst thou catch any fishes then?
- I never practic’d it.
Second Fisherman62 - 63
- Nay then thou wilt starve sure; for here’s nothing to be got
- now-a-days unless thou canst fish for’t.
Pericles64 - 70
- What I have been I have forgot to know,
- But what I am, want teaches me to think on:
- A man throng’d up with cold, my veins are chill
- And have no more of life than may suffice
- To give my tongue that heat to ask your help;
- Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
- For that I am a man, pray you see me buried.
First Fisherman71 - 75
- Die, keth ’a? Now gods forbid’t, and I have a gown here!
- Come put it on, keep thee warm. Now, afore me, a handsome
- fellow! Come, thou shalt go home, and we’ll have flesh for
- holidays, fish for fasting-days, and, moreo’er, puddings and
- flapjacks, and thou shalt be welcome.
- I thank you, sir.
- Hark you, my friend. You said you could not beg?
- I did but crave.
Second Fisherman79 - 80
- But crave? Then I’ll turn craver too, and so I shall scape
- Why, are your beggars whipt then?
Second Fisherman82 - 84
- O, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your beggars were
- whipt, I would wish no better office than to be beadle. But,
- master, I’ll go draw up the net.
- Exit with Third Fisherman.
- How well this honest mirth becomes their labor!
- Hark you, sir; do you know where ye are?
- Not well.
First Fisherman88 - 89
- Why, I’ll tell you. This is call’d Pentapolis, and our king
- the good Simonides.
- The good Simonides, do you call him?
First Fisherman91 - 92
- Ay, sir, and he deserves so to be call’d for his peaceable
- reign and good government.
Pericles93 - 95
- He is a happy king, since he gains from his subjects the
- name of good by his government. How far is his court distant
- from this shore?
First Fisherman96 - 99
- Marry, sir, half a day’s journey. And I’ll tell you, he hath
- a fair daughter, and tomorrow is her birthday, and there are
- princes and knights come from all parts of the world to just
- and tourney for her love.
Pericles100 - 101
- Were my fortunes equal to my desires, I could wish to make
- one there.
First Fisherman102 - 103
- O, sir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot
- get, he may lawfully deal for his wive’s soul.
- Enter the two other Fishermen drawing up a net.
Second Fisherman104 - 107
- Help, master, help! Here’s a fish hangs in the net, like a
- poor man’s right in the law; ’twill hardly come out. Ha,
- bots on’t, ’tis come at last, and ’tis turn’d to a rusty
Pericles108 - 122
- An armor, friends? I pray you let me see it.
- Thanks, Fortune, yet, that after all thy crosses,
- Thou givest me somewhat to repair myself;
- And though it was mine own, part of my heritage,
- Which my dead father did bequeath to me,
- With this strict charge, even as he left his life,
- “Keep it, my Pericles, it hath been a shield
- ’Twixt me and death”—and pointed to this brace—
- “For that it sav’d me, keep it. In like necessity—
- The which the gods protect thee from!—may defend thee.”
- It kept where I kept, I so dearly lov’d it,
- Till the rough seas, that spares not any man,
- Took it in rage, though calm’d have given’t again.
- I thank thee for’t. My shipwrack now’s no ill,
- Since I have here my father gave in his will.
- What mean you, sir?
Pericles124 - 131
- To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of worth,
- For it was sometime target to a king;
- I know it by this mark. He loved me dearly,
- And for his sake I wish the having of it;
- And that you’d guide me to your sovereign’s court,
- Where with it I may appear a gentleman;
- And if that ever my low fortunes better,
- I’ll pay your bounties; till then, rest your debtor.
- Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady?
- I’ll show the virtue I have borne in arms.
- Why, d’ ye take it, and the gods give thee good an’t!
Second Fisherman135 - 138
- Ay, but hark you, my friend, ’twas we that made up this
- garment through the rough seams of the waters. There are
- certain condolements, certain vails. I hope, sir, if you
- thrive, you’ll remember from whence you had them.
Pericles139 - 147
- Believe’t, I will.
- By your furtherance I am cloth’d in steel,
- And, spite of all the rapture of the sea,
- This jewel holds his building on my arm.
- Unto thy value I will mount myself
- Upon a courser, whose delightful steps
- Shall make the gazer joy to see him tread.
- Only, my friend, I yet am unprovided
- Of a pair of bases.
Second Fisherman148 - 149
- We’ll sure provide. Thou shalt have my best gown to make
- thee a pair; and I’ll bring thee to the court myself.
Pericles150 - 151
- Then honor be but a goal to my will,
- This day I’ll rise, or else add ill to ill.