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Scene 2

Pentapolis. A public way, or platform leading to the lists. A pavilion by the side of it for the reception of the King, Princess, Lords, etc.

(Simonides; First Lord of Pentapolis; Second Lord of Pentapolis; Third Lord of Pentapolis; Princess Thaisa; First Knight; Pages; Second Knight; Third Knight; Fourth Knight; Fifth Knight; Prince Pericles)

The knights parade in front of King Simonides and his daughter Thaisa, who consider the emblems on their shields. The only one they cannot identify is Pericles, who enters without a page and in his less-than-shining armor. Some lords laugh at him, but Simonides chides them and reminds them not to judge by appearances. The joust begins offstage, and people are heard cheering for Pericles. (60 lines)

Enter Simonides, with attendance, Lords, and Thaisa.


Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?


They are, my liege,

And stay your coming to present themselves.


Return them, we are ready; and our daughter here,

In honor of whose birth these triumphs are,

Sits here like beauty’s child, whom nature gat

For men to see, and seeing wonder at.

Exit a Lord. Returns.


It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express

My commendations great, whose merit’s less.


It’s fit it should be so, for princes are

A model which heaven makes like to itself.

As jewels lose their glory if neglected,

So princes their renowns if not respected.

’Tis now your honor, daughter, to entertain

The labor of each knight in his device.


Which, to preserve mine honor, I’ll perform.

The First Knight passes by and his Page presents his shield to the Princess.


Who is the first that doth prefer himself?


A knight of Sparta, my renowned father,

And the device he bears upon his shield

Is a black Ethiope reaching at the sun;

The word: “Lux tua vita mihi.”


He loves you well that holds his life of you.

The Second Knight passes by.

Who is the second that presents himself?


A prince of Macedon, my royal father,

And the device he bears upon his shield

Is an armed knight that’s conquered by a lady;

The motto thus, in Spanish: “Piu per dolcera que per forsa.”

Third Knight passes by.


And with the third?


The third, of Antioch;

And his device, a wreath of chivalry;

The word: “Me pompae provexit apex.”

Fourth Knight passes by.


What is the fourth?


A burning torch that’s turned upside down;

The word: “Qui me alit, me extinguit.”


Which shows that beauty hath his power and will,

Which can as well inflame as it can kill.

Fifth Knight passes by.


The fift, an hand environed with clouds,

Holding out gold that’s by the touchstone tried;

The motto thus: “Sic spectanda fides.”

Sixth Knight, Pericles, as he passes by, himself presents his device to the Princess.


And what’s

The sixth and last, the which the knight himself

With such a graceful courtesy delivered?


He seems to be a stranger; but his present is

A withered branch, that’s only green at top;

The motto: “In hac spe vivo.”


A pretty moral:

From the dejected state wherein he is,

He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish.


He had need mean better than his outward show

Can any way speak in his just commend;

For by his rusty outside he appears

To have practic’d more the whipstock than the lance.


He well may be a stranger, for he comes

To an honor’d triumph strangely furnished.


And on set purpose let his armor rust

Until this day, to scour it in the dust.


Opinion’s but a fool, that makes us scan

The outward habit by the inward man.

But stay, the knights are coming, we will withdraw

Into the gallery.


Great shouts within, and all cry. “The mean knight!”


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