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the Letter to CLEON ; then gives the Messenger a Reward, and Knights him. Exeunt PERICLES, CLEON, fc. severally.
Gow. Good Helicane hath staid at home,
Pardon old Gower: this long's the text. [Erit. SCENE 1. PentAPOLIS. An open Place by the Sea-side.
Enter PERICLES, wet. Per. Yet cease your ire, ye 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 halh cast me on the rocks, Wash'd me from shore to shore, and left me breath Nothing to think on, but eusuing death : Let it suffice the greatness of your powers, To have bereft a prince of all his fortunes ; And having thrown him from your watry grave, Here to have death in peace, is all he'll crave.
Enter three Fishermen.
1 Fish. - Look how thou stirrest now! come away, or I'll fetch thee with a wannion.
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 are 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.
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 filly 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 a'the land, who never leave gaping, till they've swallow'd the whole parish, church, steeple, bells and all.
Per. A pretty moral.
3 Fish. But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have been that day in the belfry.
2 Fish. Why, man?
3 Fish. Because he should have swallow'd me too : and when I had beeu in bis 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 inind
3 Fish. We would purge the land of these drones, that rob the bee of her honey.
Per. How from the finny subject of the sea
2 l'ish. Honest! good fellow, what's that? if it be a day fits you, scratch it out of the calendar, and nobody will look after it.
Per. Nav, see, the sea bath cast upon your coast
2 Fish. What a drunkeu kpave was the to cast thee in our way!
Per. A man, whom both the waters and the wind,
1 Fish. No, friend, cannot you bey? here's them in our country of Greece, gets more with begging, thau we can do with working.
2 Fish. Canst thou catch any fishes then? Per. I never practis'd it.
2 Fish. Nay, then thou wilt slarve sure; for here's nothiug to be got now.a-days, unless thou canst fish for'l.
Per. What I have been, I have forgot to know;
1 Fish. Die quoth-a? Now gods forbid! 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, fist for fastingdays, and moreo'er puddings and flap-jacks; and thou shalt be welcoine.
Per. I thank you, sir.
2 Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you could not beg:
Per. I did but crave.
2 Fish. But crave? then I'll turn craver too, and so I shall 'scape whipping.
Per. Why, are all your beggars whipp'd then ?
2 Fish, 0, not all, iny friend, not all; for if all your beggars were whipp’d, I would wish no better office, thall to be bendle. But, master, I'll go draw up the ict.
[Exeunt two of the t'isherinen.
Per. How well this honest mirth becomes their labour! 1 Fish. Hark you, sir; do you know where you are? Per. Not well,
1 Fish. Why I'll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and oor king, the good Simonides.
Per. The good king Simonides, do you call him? 1 Fish. Ay, sir; and he deserves to be so call's, for Jois peaceable reign, and good government.
Per. He is a bappy king, since from his subjects He gains the name of good, by his government. How far is his court distant from this shore?
1 Fish. Marry, sir, half a day's journey; and I'll tell you, be bath a fair daughter, and to-morrow is her birthday; and there are princes and knights come from all parts of the world, to just and tourney for her love.
Per. Did but my fortunes equal my desires, I'd wish to make one there.
1 Fish. O, sir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully deal for-his wife's soul.
Re-enter the two Fishermen, drawing up a Net. 2 Fish. Help, master, help; here's a fish bang's 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 armour.
Per. An armour, friends! I pray you, let me see it. Thanks, fortune, yet, that after all my crosses, Thou giv'st me somewhat to repair myself; And, though it was mine own, part of mine 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, Which gods protect thee from! it may defend thee. It kept where I kept, I so dearly lov'd it; Till the rough seas, that spare not any man, Took it in rage, though calm’d, they give't again : I thank thee for't; my shipwreck's now po.ill, Since I have here my father's gift by will,
1 Fish. What mean you, sir?
Per. 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 lov'd 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’t I may appear a gentleman ; And if that ever my low fortunes better, I'll pay your bounties; till then, rest your debtor.
1 Fish. Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady? Per. I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.
1 Fish. Why, do ye take it, and the gods give thee good on't!
2 Fish. 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. 1 bope, sir, if you thrive, you'll remember from whence
Per. Believ't, I will.
2 Fish. We'll sure provide : thou shalt have my best gown to make thee a pair; and I'll bring thee to the court myself.
Per. Then honour be but a goal to my will; This day I'll rise, or else add is to ill.
you had it.
SCENE II. The same. A public Way, or Platform,
leading to the Lists. A Pavilion by the side of it, for the Reception of the King, Princess, Lords, &c. Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, and Attendants. Sim. Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?
1 Lord. They are, my liege ; And stay your coming to present themselves.