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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Pericles Scenes


Scene 2

Ephesus. A room in Cerimon’s house.

(Lord Cerimon; Ephesan Servant; Man; Philemon; First Gentleman of Ephesus; Second Gentleman of Ephesus; Cerimon’s First Servant; Cerimon’s Second Servant; Thaisa)


The rich, generous doctor Cerimon offers help to some people who have suffered from the storm. Two of his servants bring in a chest that washed up on the shore that they think Cerimon would be interested in. Opening it, they find Thaisa’s body, treasure, and a scroll requesting that she be given burial fitting the daughter of a king. Cerimon is convinced she is only in a coma and sets about curing her. Finally she wakes. Cerimon has her taken indoors, worried that she may still fall ill. ( line)

Enter Lord Cerimon with an Ephesan Servant and another Man, both storm-beaten.

CER.

Philemon, ho!

Enter Philemon.

PHIL.

Doth my lord call?

CER.

Get fire and meat for these poor men.

Exit Philemon.

’T ’as been a turbulent and stormy night.

EPH. SERV.

I have been in many; but such a night as this

Till now I ne’er endured.

CER.

Your master will be dead ere you return,

There’s nothing can be minist’red to nature

That can recover him.

To the other Man.

Give this to the pothecary,

And tell me how it works.

Exeunt Ephesan Servant and other Man.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1. GENT. EPH.

Good morrow.

2. GENT. EPH.

Good morrow to your lordship.

CER.

Gentlemen,

Why do you stir so early?

1. GENT. EPH.

Sir,

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.

2. GENT. EPH.

That is the cause we trouble you so early,

’Tis not our husbandry.

CER.

O, you say well.

1. GENT. EPH.

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 compelled.

CER.

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 dwells 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 honor,

Or tie my pleasure up in silken bags,

To please the fool and death.

2. GENT. EPH.

Your honor has through Ephesus pour’d forth

Your charity, and hundreds call themselves

Your creatures, who by you have been restored;

And not your knowledge, your personal pain, but even

Your purse, still open, hath built Lord Cerimon

Such strong renown as time shall never—

Enter two or three of Cerimon’s Servants with a chest.

1. CER. SERV.

So, lift there.

CER.

What’s that?

1. CER. SERV.

Sir, even now

Did the sea toss up upon our shore this chest.

’Tis of some wrack.

CER.

Set’t down, let’s look upon’t.

2. GENT. EPH.

’Tis like a coffin, sir.

CER.

What e’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.

2. GENT. EPH.

’Tis so, my lord.

CER.

How close ’tis caulk’d and bitum’d!

Did the sea cast it up?

1. CER. SERV.

I never saw so huge a billow, sir,

As toss’d it upon shore.

CER.

Wrench it open.

Soft! It smells most sweetly in my sense.

2. GENT. EPH.

A delicate odor.

CER.

As ever hit my nostril. So, up with it.

O you most potent gods! What’s here? A corse?

2. GENT. EPH.

Most strange.

CER.

Shrouded in cloth of state, balm’d and entreasur’d

With full bags of spices! A passport too!

Apollo, perfect me in the characters!

Reads from a scroll.

“Here I give to understand,

If e’er this coffin drives a-land,

I, King Pericles, have lost

This queen, worth all our mundane cost.

Who finds her, give her burying,

She was the daughter of a king.

Besides this treasure for a fee,

The gods requite his charity!”

If thou livest, Pericles, thou hast a heart

That ever cracks for woe! This chanc’d tonight.

2. GENT. EPH.

Most likely, sir.

CER.

Nay, certainly tonight,

For look how fresh she looks! They were too rough

That threw her in the sea. Make a fire within.

Fetch hither all my boxes in my closet.

Exit a Servant.

Death may usurp on nature many hours,

And yet the fire of life kindle again

The o’erpress’d spirits. I heard of an Egyptian

That had nine hours lien dead,

Who was by good appliance recovered.

Enter one 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 vial once more. How thou stir’st, thou block!

The music there! I pray you give her air.

Gentlemen, 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!

1. GENT. EPH.

The heavens,

Through you, increase our wonder, and sets up

Your fame forever.

CER.

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 doth appear,

To make the world twice rich. Live, and make

Us weep to hear your fate, fair creature,

Rare as you seem to be.

She moves.

THAI.

O dear Diana,

Where am I? Where’s my lord? What world is this?

2. GENT. EPH.

Is not this strange?

1. GENT. EPH.

Most rare.

CER.

Hush, my gentle neighbors!

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 Aesculapius guide us!

They carry her away. Exeunt omnes.

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