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ACT III. - William Shakespeare, Pericles Prince of Tyre 
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
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Enter, from one side,PericlesandSimonides,with Attendants; a Messenger meets them, kneels, and givesPericlesa letter:Periclesshows it toSimonides;the Lords kneel toPericles.Then enterThaisawith child, andLychorida: Simonidesshows his daughter the letter; she rejoices: she andPericlestake leave of her father, and all depart.
Thou God of this great vast, rebuke these surges,
Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou, that hast
Upon the winds command, bind them in brass,
Having call’d them from the deep. O! still
Thy deafening, dreadful thunders; gently quench
Thy nimble, sulphurous flashes. O! how Lychorida,
How does my queen? Thou stormest venomously;
Wilt thou spit all thyself? The seaman’s whistle
Is as a whisper in the ears of death,
Unheard. Lychorida! Lucina, O!
Divinest patroness, and midwife gentle
To those that cry by night, convey thy deity
Aboard our dancing boat; make swift the pangs
Of my queen’s travails!
EnterLychorida,with an Infant.
Here is a thing too young for such a place,
Who, if it had conceit, would die, as I
Am like to do: take in your arms this piece
Of your dead queen.
How, how, Lychorida!
Patience, good sir; do not assist the storm.
Here’s all that is left living of your queen,
A little daughter: for the sake of it,
Be manly, and take comfort.
O you gods!
Why do you make us love your goodly gifts,
And snatch them straight away? We here below,
Recall not what we give, and therein may
Use honour with you.
Patience, good sir,
Even for this charge.
Now, mild may be thy life!
For a more blust’rous birth had never babe:
Quiet and gentle thy conditions!
For thou art the rudeliest welcome to this world
That e’er was prince’s child. Happy what follows!
Thou hast as chiding a nativity
As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make,
To herald thee from the womb; even at the first
Thy loss is more than can thy portage quit,
With all thou canst find here. Now, the good gods
Throw their best eyes upon ’t!
Enter two Sailors.
What courage, sir? God save you!
Courage enough. I do not fear the flaw;
It hath done to me the worst. Yet for the love
Of this poor infant, this fresh-new sea-farer,
I would it would be quiet.
Slack the bolins there! thou wilt not, wilt thou? Blow, and split thyself.
But sea-room, an the brine and cloudy billow kiss the moon, I care not.
Sir, you queen must overboard: the sea works high, the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead.
That’s your superstition.
Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it hath been still observed, and we are strong in custom. Therefore briefly yield her, for she must overboard straight.
As you think meet. Most wretched queen!
Here she lies, sir.
A terrible child-bed hast thou had, my dear;
No light, no fire: the unfriendly elements
Forgot thee utterly; nor have I time
To give thee hallow’d to thy grave, but straight
Must cast thee, scarcely coffin’d, in the ooze;
Where, for a monument upon thy bones,
And aye-remaining lamps, the belching whale
And humming water must o’erwhelm thy corpse,
Lying with simple shells! O Lychorida!
Bid Nestor bring me spices, ink and paper,
My casket and my jewels; and bid Nicander
Bring me the satin coffer: lay the babe
Upon the pillow. Hie thee, whiles I say
A priestly farewell to her: suddenly, woman.
Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulk’d and bitumed ready.
I thank thee. Mariner, say what coast is this?
We are near Tarsus.
Thither, gentle mariner,
Alter thy course for Tyre. When canst thou reach it?
By break of day, if the wind cease.
O! make for Tarsus.
There will I visit Cleon, for the babe
Cannot hold out to Tyrus; there I’ll leave it
At careful nursing. Go thy ways, good mariner;
I’ll bring the body presently.
Ephesus. A Room inCerimon’sHouse.
EnterCerimon,a Servant, and some Persons who have been shipwracked.
Doth my lord call?
Get fire and meat for these poor men;
’T has been a turbulent and stormy night.
I have been in many; but such a night as this
Till now I ne’er endur’d.
Your master will be dead ere you return;
There’s nothing can be minister’d to nature
That can recover him. [ToPhilemon.] Give this to the ’pothecary,
And tell me how it works.
[Exeunt all exceptCerimon.
Enter two Gentlemen.
Good morrow, sir.
Good morrow to your lordship.
Why do you stir so early?
Our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea,
Shook as the earth’ did quake;
The very principals did seem to rend,
And all to topple. Pure surprise and fear
Made me to quit the house.
That is the cause we trouble you so early;
’Tis not our husbandry.
O! you say well.
But I much marvel that your lordship, having
Rich tire about you, should at these early hours
Shake off the golden slumber of repose.
’Tis most strange,
Nature should be so conversant with pain,
Being thereto not compell’d.
I hold it ever,
Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
Than nobleness and riches; careless heirs
May the two latter darken and expend,
But immortality attends the former,
Making a man a god. ’Tis known I ever
Have studied physic, through which secret art,
By turning o’er authorities, I have—
Together with my practice—made familiar
To me and to my aid the blest infusions
That dwell in vegetives, in metals, stones;
And can speak of the disturbances
That nature works, and of her cures; which doth give me
A more content in course of true delight
Than to be thirsty after tottering honour,
Or tie my treasure up in silken bags,
To please the fool and death.
Your honour has through Ephesus pour’d forth
Your charity, and hundreds call themselves
Your creatures, who by you have been restor’d:
And not your knowledge, your personal pain, but even
Your purse, still open, hath built Lord Cerimon
Such strong renown as time shall ne’er decay.
Enter two Servants, with a chest.
So; lift there.
What is that?
Sir, even now
Did the sea toss upon our shore this chest:
’Tis of some wrack.
Set it down; let’s look upon ’t.
’Tis like a coffin, sir.
Whate’er it be,
’Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight;
If the sea’s stomach be o’ercharg’d with gold,
’Tis a good constraint of fortune it belches upon us.
’Tis so, my lord.
How close ’tis caulk’d and bitumed!
Did the sea cast it up?
I never saw so huge a billow, sir,
As toss’d it upon shore.
Come, wrench it open.
Soft! it smells most sweetly in my sense.
A delicate odour.
As ever hit my nostril. So, up with it.
O you most potent gods! what’s here? a corse!
Shrouded in cloth of state; balm’d and entreasur’d
With full bags of spices! A passport too!
Apollo, perfect me i’ the characters!
If thou liv’st, Pericles, thou hast a heart
That even cracks for woe! This chanc’d to-night.
Most likely, sir.
Nay, certainly to-night;
For look, how fresh she looks. They were too rough
That threw her in the sea. Make fire within;
Fetch hither all the boxes in my closet.
[Exit Second Servant.
Death may usurp on nature many hours,
And yet the fire of life kindle again
The overpress’d spirits. I heard
Of an Egyptian, that had nine hours lien dead,
Who was by good appliances recovered.
Re-enter Servant, with boxes, napkins, and fire.
Well said, well said; the fire and cloths.
The rough and woeful music that we have,
Cause it to sound, beseech you.
The viol once more;—how thou stirr’st, thou block!
The music there! I pray you, give her air.
This queen will live; nature awakes, a warmth
Breathes out of her; she hath not been entranc’d
Above five hours. See! how she ’gins to blow
Into life’s flower again.
Through you increase our wonder and set up
Your fame for ever.
She is alive! behold,
Her eyelids, cases to those heavenly jewels
Which Pericles hath lost,
Begin to part their fringes of bright gold;
The diamonds of a most praised water
Do appear, to make the world twice rich. Live,
And make us weep to hear your fate, fair creature,
Rare as you seem to be!
O dear Diana!
Where am I? Where’s my lord? What world is this?
Is not this strange?
Hush, gentle neighbours!
Lend me your hands; to the next chamber bear her.
Get linen; now this matter must be look’d to,
For her relapse is mortal, Come, come;
And Æsculapius guide us!
Tarsus. A Room inCleon’sHouse.
EnterPericles, Cleon, Dionyza,andLychorida,withMarinain her arms.
Most honour’d Cleon, I must needs be gone;
My twelve months are expir’d, and Tyrus stands
In a litigious peace. You and your lady
Take from my heart all thankfulness; the gods
Make up the rest upon you!
Your shafts of fortune, though they hurt you mortally,
Yet glance full wanderingly on us.
O your sweet queen!
That the strict fates had pleas’d you had brought her hither,
To have bless’d mine eyes with her!
We cannot but obey
The powers above us. Could I rage and roar
As doth the sea she lies in, yet the end
Must be as ’tis. My gentle babe Marina—whom,
For she was born at sea, I have nam’d so—here
I charge your charity withal, and leave her
The infant of your care, beseeching you
To give her princely training, that she may be
Manner’d as she is born.
Fear not, my lord, but think
Your Grace, that fed my country with your corn—
For which the people’s prayers still fall upon you—
Must in your child be thought on. If neglection
Should therein make me vile, the common body,
By you reliev’d, would force me to my duty;
But if to that my nature need a spur,
The gods revenge it upon me and mine,
To the end of generation!
I believe you;
Your honour and your goodness teach me to ’t,
Without your vows. Till she be married, madam,
By bright Diana, whom we honour, all
Unscissar’d shall this hair of mine remain,
Though I show ill in ’t. So I take my leave.
Good madam, make me blessed in your care
In bringing up my child.
I have one myself,
Who shall not be more dear to my respect
Than yours, my lord.
Madam, my thanks and prayers.
We’ll bring your Grace e’en to the edge o’ the shore;
Then give you up to the mask’d Neptune and
The gentlest winds of heaven.
I will embrace
Your offer. Come, dearest madam. O! no tears,
Lychorida, no tears:
Look to your little mistress, on whose grace
You may depend hereafter. Come, my lord.
Ephesus. A Room inCerimon’sHouse.
Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels,
Lay with you in your coffer; which are now
At your command. Know you the character?
It is my lord’s.
That I was shipp’d at sea, I well remember,
Even on my eaning time; but whether there
Deliver’d, by the holy gods,
I cannot rightly say. But since King Pericles,
My wedded lord, I ne’er shall see again,
A vestal livery will I take me to,
And never more have joy.
Madam, if this you purpose as you speak,
Diana’s temple is not distant far,
Where you may abide till your date expire.
Moreover, if you please, a niece of mine
Shall there attend you.
My recompense is thanks, that’s all;
Yet my good will is great, though the gift small.