Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT IV. - Pericles Prince of Tyre
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ACT IV. - 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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Tarsus. An open Place near the Sea-shore.
Thy oath remember; thou hast sworn to do ’t:
’Tis but a blow, which never shall be known.
Thou canst not do a thing i’ the world so soon,
To yield thee so much profit. Let not conscience,
Which is but cold, inflaming love i’ thy bosom,
Inflame too nicely; nor let pity, which
Even women have cast off, melt thee, but he
A soldier to thy purpose.
I’ll do ’t; but yet she is a goodly creature.
The fitter, then, the gods should have her. Here
She comes weeping for her only mistress’ death.
Thou art resolv’d?
I am resolv’d.
EnterMarina,with a basket of flowers.
No, I will rob Tellus of her weed,
To strew thy green with flowers; the yellows, blues,
The purple violets, and marigolds,
Shall as a carpet hang upon thy grave,
While summer days do last. Ay me! poor maid,
Born in a tempest, when my mother died,
This world to me is like a lasting storm,
Whirring me from my friends.
How now, Marina! why do you keep alone?
How chance my daughter is not with you? Do not
Consume your blood with sorrowing; you have
A nurse of me. Lord! how your favour’s chang’d
With this unprofitable woe. Come,
Give me your flowers, ere the sea mar it.
Walk with Leonine; the air is quick there,
And it pierces and sharpens the stomach. Come,
Leonine, take her by the arm, walk with her.
No, I pray you;
I’ll not bereave you of your servant.
I love the king your father, and yourself,
With more than foreign heart. We every day
Expect him here; when he shall come and find
Our paragon to all reports thus blasted,
He will repent the breadth of his great voyage;
Blame both my lord and me, that we have taken
No care to your best courses. Go, I pray you;
Walk, and be cheerful once again; reserve
That excellent complexion, which did steal
The eyes of young and old. Care not for me;
I can go home alone.
Well, I will go;
But yet I have no desire to it.
Come, come, I know ’tis good for you.
Walk half an hour, Leonine, at least.
Remember what I have said.
I warrant you, madam.
I’ll leave you, my sweet lady, for a while;
Pray you walk softly, do not heat your blood:
What! I must have care of you.
My thanks, sweet madam.
Is this wind westerly that blows?
When I was born, the wind was north.
Was ’t so?
My father, as nurse said, did never fear,
But cried ‘Good seamen!’ to the sailors, galling
His kingly hands haling ropes;
And, clasping to the mast, endur’d a sea
That almost burst the deck.
When was this?
When I was born:
Never were waves nor wind more violent;
And from the ladder-tackle washes off
A canvas-climber. ‘Ha!’ says one, ‘wilt out?’
And with a dropping industry they skip
From stem to stern; the boatswain whistles, and
The master calls, and trebles their confusion.
Come; say your prayers.
What mean you?
If you require a little space for prayer,
I grant it. Pray; but be not tedious,
For the gods are quick of ear, and I am sworn
To do my work with haste.
Why will you kill me?
To satisfy my lady.
Why would she have me kill’d?
Now, as I can remember, by my troth,
I never did her hurt in all my life.
I never spake bad word, nor did ill turn
To any living creature; believe me, la,
I never kill’d a mouse, nor hurt a fly;
I trod upon a worm against my will,
But I wept for it. How have I offended,
Wherein my death might yield her any profit,
Or my life imply her any danger?
Is not to reason of the deed, but do ’t.
You will not do ’t for all the world, I hope.
You are well favour’d, and your looks foreshow
You have a gentle heart. I saw you lately,
When you caught hurt in parting two that fought;
Good sooth, it show’d well in you; do so now;
Your lady seeks my life; come you between,
And save poor me, the weaker.
I am sworn,
And will dispatch.
Enter Pirates, whilstMarinais struggling.
A prize! a prize!
Half-part, mates, half-part.
Come, let’s have her aboard suddenly.
[Exeunt Pirates withMarina.
These roguing thieves serve the great pirate Valdes;
And they have seiz’d Marina. Let her go;
There’s no hope she’ll return. I’ll swear she’s dead,
And thrown into the sea. But I’ll see further;
Perhaps they will but please themselves upon her,
Not carry her aboard. If she remain,
Whom they have ravish’d must by me be slain.
Mitylene. A Room in a Brothel.
Enter Pandar, Bawd, andBoult.
Search the market narrowly; Mitylene is full of gallants; we lost too much money this mart by being too wenchless.
We were never so much out of creatures. We have but poor three, and they can do no more than they can do; and they with continual action are even as good as rotten.
Therefore, let’s have fresh ones, whate’er we pay for them. If there be not a conscience to be used in every trade, we shall never prosper.
Thou sayst true; ’tis not the bringing up of poor bastards, as, I think, I have brought up some eleven—
Ay, to eleven; and brought them down again. But shall I search the market?
What else, man? The stuff we have a strong wind will blow it to pieces, they are so pitifully sodden.
Thou sayst true; they’re too unwholesome, o’ conscience. The poor Transylvanian is dead, that lay with the little baggage.
Ay, she quickly pooped him; she made him roast-meat for worms. But I’ll go search the market.
Three or four thousand chequins were as pretty a proportion to live quietly, and so give over.
Why to give over, I pray you? is it a shame to get when we are old?
O! our credit comes not in like the commodity, nor the commodity wages not with the danger; therefore, if in our youths we could pick up some pretty estate, ’twere not amiss to keep our door hatched. Besides, the sore terms we stand upon with the gods will be strong with us for giving over.
Come, other sorts offend as well as we.
As well as we! ay, and better too; we offend worse. Neither is our profession any trade; it’s no calling. But here comes Boult.
Re-enterBoult,with the Pirates andMarina.
Come your ways. My masters, you say she’s a virgin?
O! sir, we doubt it not.
Master, I have gone through for this piece, you see: if you like her, so; if not, I have lost my earnest.
Boult, has she any qualities?
She has a good face, speaks well, and has excellent good clothes; there’s no further necessity of qualities can make her be refused.
What’s her price, Boult?
I cannot be bated one doit of a thousand pieces.
Well, follow me, my masters, you shall have your money presently. Wife, take her in; instruct her what she has to do, that she may not be raw in her entertainment.
[Exeunt Pandar and Pirates.
Boult, take you the marks of her, the colour of her hair, complexion, height, age, with warrant of her virginity; and cry, ‘He that will give most, shall have her first.’ Such a maiden-head were no cheap thing, if men were as they have been. Get this done as I command you.
Performance shall follow.
Alack! that Leonine was so slack, so slow.
He should have struck, not spoke; or that these pirates—
Not enough barbarous—had not o’erboard thrown me
For to seek my mother!
Why lament you, pretty one?
That I am pretty.
Come, the gods have done their part in you.
I accuse them not.
You are lit into my hands, where you are like to live.
The more my fault
To ’scape his hands where I was like to die.
Ay, and you shall live in pleasure.
Yes, indeed, shall you, and taste gentlemen of all fashions. You shall fare well; you shall have the difference of all complexions. What! do you stop your ears?
Are you a woman?
What would you have me be, an I be not a woman?
An honest woman, or not a woman.
Marry, whip thee, gosling; I think I shall have something to do with you. Come, you are a young foolish sapling, and must be bowed as I would have you.
The gods defend me!
If it please the gods to defend you by men, then men must comfort you, men must feed you, men must stir you up. Boult’s returned.
Now, sir, hast thou cried her through the market?
I have cried her almost to the number of her hairs; I have drawn her picture with my voice.
And I prithee, tell me, how dost thou find the inclination of the people, especially of the younger sort?
Faith, they listened to me, as they would have hearkened to their father’s testament. There was a Spaniard’s mouth so watered, that he went to bed to her very description.
We shall have him here to-morrow with his best ruff on.
To-night, to-night. But, mistress, do you know the French knight that cowers i’ the hams?
Who? Monsieur Veroles?
Ay; he offered to cut a caper at the proclamation; but he made a groan at it, and swore he would see her to-morrow.
Well, well; as for him, he brought his disease hither: here he does but repair it. I know he will come in our shadow, to scatter his crowns in the sun.
Well, if we had of every nation a traveller, we should lodge them with this sign.
[ToMarina.] Pray you, come hither awhile. You have fortunes coming upon you. Mark me: you must seem to do that fearfully, which you commit willingly; to despise profit where you have most gain. To weep that you live as ye do makes pity in your lovers; seldom but that pity begets you a good opinion, and that opinion a mere profit.
I understand you not.
O! take her home, mistress, take her home; these blushes of hers must be quenched with some present practice.
Thou sayst true, i’ faith, so they must; for your bride goes to that with shame which is her way to go with warrant.
Faith, some do, and some do not. But, mistress, if I have bargained for the joint,—
Thou mayst cut a morsel off the spit.
I may so?
Who should deny it? Come, young one, I like the manner of your garments well.
Ay, by my faith, they shall not be changed yet.
Boult, spend thou that in the town; report what a sojourner we have; you’ll lose nothing by custom. When nature framed this piece, she meant thee a good turn; therefore say what a paragon she is, and thou hast the harvest out of thine own report.
I warrant you, mistress, thunder shall not so awake the beds of eels as my giving out her beauty stir up the lewdly-inclined. I’ll bring home some to-night.
Come your ways; follow me.
If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,
Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.
Diana, aid my purpose!
What have we to do with Diana?
Pray you, will you go with us?
Tarsus. A Room inCleon’sHouse.
Why, are you foolish? Can it be undone?
O Dionyza! such a piece of slaughter
The sun and moon ne’er look’d upon.
You’ll turn a child again.
Were I chief lord of all this spacious world,
I’d give it to undo the deed. O lady!
Much less in blood than virtue, yet a princess
To equal any single crown o’ the earth
I’ the justice of compare. O villain Leonine!
Whom thou hast poison’d too;
If thou hadst drunk to him ’t had been a kindness
Becoming well thy fact; what canst thou say
When noble Pericles shall demand his child?
That she is dead. Nurses are not the fates,
To foster it, nor ever to preserve.
She died at night; I’ll say so. Who can cross it?
Unless you play the pious innocent,
And for an honest attribute cry out
‘She died by foul play.’
O! go to. Well, well,
Of all the faults beneath the heavens, the gods
Do like this worst.
Be one of those that think
The pretty wrens of Tarsus will fly hence,
And open this to Pericles. I do shame
To think of what a noble strain you are,
And of how coward a spirit.
To such proceeding
Who ever but his approbation added,
Though not his prime consent, he did not flow
From honourable sources.
Be it so, then;
Yet none does know but you how she came dead,
Nor none can know, Leonine being gone.
She did distain my child, and stood between
Her and her fortunes; none would look on her,
But cast their gazes on Marina’s face,
Whilst ours was blurted at and held a malkin
Not worth the time of day. It pierc’d me thorough;
And though you call my course unnatural,
You not your child well loving, yet I find
It greets me as an enterprise of kindness
Perform’d to your sole daughter.
Heavens forgive it!
And as for Pericles,
What should he say? We wept after her hearse,
And even yet we mourn; her monument
Is almost finish’d, and her epitaphs
In glittering golden characters express
A general praise to her, and care in us
At whose expense ’tis done.
Thou art like the harpy,
Which, to betray, dost with thine angel’s face,
Seize with thine eagle’s talons.
You are like one that superstitiously
Doth swear to the gods that winter kills the flies;
But yet I know you’ll do as I advise.
Before the Monument ofMarinaat Tarsus.
Thus time we waste, and longest leagues make short;
Sail seas in cockles, have an wish but for ’t;
Making—to take your imagination—
From bourn to bourn, region to region.
By you being pardon’d, we commit no crime
To use one language in each several clime
Where our scenes seem to live. I do beseech you
To learn of me, who stand i’ the gaps to teach you,
The stages of our story. Pericles
Is now again thwarting the wayward seas,
Attended on by many a lord and knight,
To see his daughter, all his life’s delight.
Old Helicanus goes along. Behind
Is left to govern it, you bear in mind,
Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late
Advanc’d in time to great and high estate.
Well-sailing ships and bounteous winds have brought
This king to Tarsus, think his pilot thought,
So with his steerage shall your thoughts grow on,
To fetch his daughter home, who first is gone.
Like motes and shadows see them move awhile;
Your ears unto your eyes I’ll reconcile.
Enter at one doorPericles,with his Train;CleonandDionyzaat the other.CleonshowsPericlesthe tomb ofMarina;whereatPericlesmakes lamentation, puts on sackcloth, and in a mighty passion departs. ExeuntCleonandDionyza.
See how belief may suffer by foul show!
This borrow’d passion stands for true old woe;
And Pericles, in sorrow all devour’d,
With sighs shot through, and biggest tears o’ershower’d,
Leaves Tarsus and again embarks. He swears
Never to wash his face, nor cut his hairs;
He puts on sackcloth, and to sea. He bears
A tempest, which his mortal vessel tears,
And yet he rides it out. Now please you wit
The epitaph is for Marina writ
By wicked Dionyza.
[Reads inscription onMarina’smonument.
No visor does become black villany
So well as soft and tender flattery.
Let Pericles believe his daughter’s dead,
And bear his courses to be ordered
By Lady Fortune; while our scene must play
His daughter’s woe and heavy well-a-day
In her unholy service. Patience then,
And think you now are all in Mitylen.
Mitylene. A Street before the Brothel.
Enter, from the brothel, two Gentlemen.
Did you ever hear the like?
No, nor never shall do in such a place as this, she being once gone.
But to have divinity preached there! did you ever dream of such a thing?
No, no. Come, I am for no more bawdy-houses. Shall’s go hear the vestals sing?
I’ll do any thing now that is virtuous; but I am out of the road of rutting for ever.
The Same. A Room in the Brothel.
Enter Pandar, Bawd, andBoult.
Well, I had rather than twice the worth of her she had ne’er come here.
Fie, fie upon her! she is able to freeze the god Priapus, and undo a whole generation; we must either get her ravished, or be rid of her. When she should do for clients her fitment, and do me the kindness of our profession, she has me her quirks, her reasons, her master-reasons, her prayers, her knees; that she would make a puritan of the devil if he should cheapen a kiss of her.
Faith, I must ravish her, or she’ll disfurnish us of all our cavaliers, and make all our swearers priests.
Now, the pox upon her green-sickness for me!
Faith, there’s no way to be rid on ’t but by the way to the pox. Here comes the Lord Lysimachus, disguised.
We should have both lord and lown if the peevish baggage would but give way to customers.
How now! How a dozen of virginities?
Now, the gods to-bless your honour!
I am glad to see your honour in good health.
You may so; ’tis the better for you that your resorters stand upon sound legs. How now! wholesome iniquity, have you that a man may deal withal, and defy the surgeon?
We have here one, sir, if she would—but there never came her like in Mitylene.
If she’d do the deed of darkness, thou wouldst say.
Your honour knows what ’tis to say well enough.
Well; call forth, call forth.
For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shall see a rose; and she were a rose indeed if she had but—
O! sir, I can be modest.
That dignifies the renown of a bawd no less than it gives a good report to a number to be chaste.
Here comes that which grows to the stalk; never plucked yet, I can assure you.—
Is she not a fair creature?
Faith, she would serve after a long voyage at sea. Well, there’s for you; leave us.
I beseech your honour, give me leave; a word, and I’ll have done presently.
I beseech you do.
[ToMarina.] First, I would have you note, this is an honourable man.
I desire to find him so, that I may worthily note him.
Next, he’s the governor of this country, and a man whom I am bound to.
If he govern the country, you are bound to him indeed; but how honourable he is in that I know not.
Pray you, without any more virginal fencing, will you use him kindly? He will line your apron with gold.
What he will do graciously, I will thankfully receive.
Ha’ you done?
My lord, she’s not paced yet; you must take some pains to work her to your manage. Come, we will leave his honour and her together.
Go thy ways. [Exeunt Bawd, Pandar, andBoult.] Now, pretty one, how long have you been at this trade?
What trade, sir?
Why, I cannot name ’t but I shall offend.
I cannot be offended with my trade. Please you to name it.
How long have you been of this profession?
E’er since I can remember.
Did you go to ’t so young? Were you a gamester at five or at seven?
Earlier too, sir, if now I be one.
Why, the house you dwell in proclaims you to be a creature of sale.
Do you know this house to be a place of such resort, and will come into ’t? I hear say you are of honourable parts, and are the governor of this place.
Why, hath your principal made known unto you who I am?
Who is my principal?
Why, your herb-woman; she that sets seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. O! you have heard something of my power, and so stand aloof for more serious wooing. But I protest to thee, pretty one, my authority shall not see thee, or else look friendly upon thee. Come, bring me to some private place; come, come.
If you were born to honour, show it now;
If put upon you, make the judgment good
That thought you worthy of it.
How’s this? how’s this? Some more; be sage.
That am a maid, though most ungentle fortune
Hath plac’d me in this sty, where, since I came,
Diseases have been sold dearer than physic,
O! that the gods
Would set me free from this unhallow’d place,
Though they did change me to the meanest bird
That flies i’ the purer air!
I did not think
Thou couldst have spoke so well; ne’er dream’d thou couldst.
Had I brought hither a corrupted mind,
Thy speech had alter’d it. Hold, here’s gold for thee;
Persever in that clear way thou goest,
And the gods strengthen thee!
The good gods preserve you!
For me, be you thoughten
That I came with no ill intent, for to me
The very doors and windows savour vilely.
Farewell. Thou art a piece of virtue, and
I doubt not but thy training hath been noble.
Hold, here’s more gold for thee.
A curse upon him, die he like a thief,
That robs thee of thy goodness! If thou dost
Hear from me, it shall be for thy good.
I beseech your honour, one piece for me.
Avaunt! thou damned door-keeper. Your house,
But for this virgin that doth prop it, would
Sink and overwhelm you. Away!
How’s this? We must take another course with you. If your peevish chastity, which is not worth a breakfast in the cheapest country under the cope, shall undo a whole household, let me be gelded like a spaniel. Come your ways.
Whither would you have me?
I must have your maidenhead taken off, or the common hangman shall execute it. Come your ways. We’ll have no more gentlemen driven away. Come your ways, I say.
How now! what’s the matter?
Worse and worse, mistress; she has here spoken holy words to the Lord Lysimachus.
She makes our profession as it were to stink afore the face of the gods.
Marry, hang her up for ever!
The nobleman would have dealt with her like a nobleman, and she sent him away as cold as a snowball; saying his prayers too.
Boult, take her away; use her at thy pleasure; crack the glass of her virginity, and make the rest malleable.
An if she were a thornier piece of ground than she is, she shall be ploughed.
Hark, hark, you gods!
She conjures; away with her! Would she had never come within my doors! Marry, hang you! She’s born to undo us. Will you not go the way of women-kind? Marry, come up, my dish of chastity with rosemary and bays!
Come, mistress; come your ways with me.
Whither wilt thou have me?
To take from you the jewel you hold so dear.
Prithee, tell me one thing first.
Come now, your one thing.
What canst thou wish thine enemy to be?
Why, I could wish him to be my master, or rather, my mistress.
Neither of these are so bad as thou art,
Since they do better thee in their command.
Thou hold’st a place, for which the pained’st fiend
Of hell would not in reputation change;
Thou art the damned door-keeper to every
Coystril that comes inquiring for his Tib,
To the choleric fisting of every rogue
Thy ear is liable, thy food is such
As hath been belch’d on by infected lungs.
What would you have me do? go to the wars, would you? where a man may serve seven years for the loss of a leg, and have not money enough in the end to buy him a wooden one?
Do any thing but this thou doest. Empty.
Old receptacles, or common sewers, of filth;
Serve by indenture to the common hangman:
Any of these ways are yet better than this;
For what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak,
Would own a name too dear. O! that the gods
Would safely deliver me from this place.
Here, here’s gold for thee.
If that thy master would gain by me,
Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance,
With other virtues, which I’ll keep from boast;
And I will undertake all these to teach.
I doubt not but this populous city will
Yield many scholars.
But can you teach all this you speak of?
Prove that I cannot, take me home again,
And prostitute me to the basest groom
That doth frequent your house.
Well, I will see what I can do for thee; if I can place thee, I will.
But, amongst honest women.
Faith, my acquaintance lies little amongst them. But since my master and mistress have bought you, there’s no going but by their consent; therefore I will make them acquainted with your purpose, and I doubt not but I shall find them tractable enough. Come; I’ll do for thee what I can; come your ways.