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Pericles Scenes

Scene 3

Pentapolis. A hall of state and a banquet.

(King Simonides; Thaisa; Marshal; Lords; Ladies; Attendants; Knights)

Pericles is crowned victor of the tournament, and he and the other knights sit down to feast with Simonides and Thaisa. Thaisa is quite taken with Pericles, though her father warns her that he is clearly of humble birth. Pericles, meanwhile, finds that Simonides reminds him of his father. Simonides sends Thaisa to find out who Pericles is, and takes pity on him when he hears that he has been shipwrecked. There is dancing, then Simonides announces that the evening is over, and that they will discuss who should marry Thaisa another day. (123 lines)

A banquet prepared.

Enter the King Simonides, Thaisa, Marshal, Lords, Ladies, Attendants, and Knights, from tilting.



To say you’re welcome were superfluous.

To place upon the volume of your deeds,

As in a title-page, your worth in arms,

Were more than you expect, or more than’s fit,

Since every worth in show commends itself.

Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast.

You are princes and my guests.


But you, my knight and guest,

To whom this wreath of victory I give,

And crown you king of this day’s happiness.


’Tis more by fortune, lady, than my merit.


Call it by what you will, the day is your,

And here, I hope, is none that envies it.

In framing an artist, art hath thus decreed,

To make some good, but others to exceed,

And you are her labor’d scholar. Come, queen a’ th’ feast—

For, daughter, so you are—here take your place.

To the Marshal.

Marshal, the rest, as they deserve their grace.


We are honor’d much by good Simonides.


Your presence glads our days. Honor we love,

For who hates honor hates the gods above.


Sir, yonder is your place.


Some other is more fit.


Contend not, sir, for we are gentlemen

Have neither in our hearts nor outward eyes

Envied the great, nor shall the low despise.


You are right courteous knights.


Sit, sir, sit.


By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,

These cates resist me, he not thought upon.



By Juno, that is queen of marriage,

All viands that I eat do seem unsavory,

Wishing him my meat.

To Simonides.

Sure he’s a gallant gentleman.


To Thaisa.

He’s but a country gentleman:

H’as done no more than other knights have done,

H’as broken a staff or so; so let it pass.



To me he seems like diamond to glass.



Yon king’s to me like to my father’s picture,

Which tells me in that glory once he was;

Had princes sit like stars about his throne,

And he the sun for them to reverence;

None that beheld him but, like lesser lights,

Did vail their crowns to his supremacy;

Where now his son’s like a glow-worm in the night,

The which hath fire in darkness, none in light:

Whereby I see that Time’s the king of men,

He’s both their parent, and he is their grave,

And gives them what he will, not what they crave.


What, are you merry, knights?


Who can be other in this royal presence?


Here, with a cup that’s stor’d unto the brim—

As do you love, fill to your mistress’ lips—

We drink this health to you.


We thank your Grace.


Yet pause awhile,

Yon knight doth sit too melancholy,

As if the entertainment in our court

Had not a show might countervail his worth.

Note it not you, Thaisa?


What is’t

To me, my father?


O, attend, my daughter:

Princes in this should live like gods above,

Who freely give to every one that come

To honor them;

And princes not doing so are like to gnats,

Which make a sound, but kill’d are wond’red at.

Therefore to make his entrance more sweet,

Here, say we drink this standing-bowl of wine to him.


Alas, my father, it befits not me

Unto a stranger knight to be so bold.

He may my proffer take for an offense,

Since men take women’s gifts for impudence.



Do as I bid you, or you’ll move me else.



Now by the gods, he could not please me better.


And furthermore tell him, we desire to know of him

Of whence he is, his name, and parentage.


The King my father, sir, has drunk to you—


I thank him.


Wishing it so much blood unto your life.


I thank both him and you, and pledge him freely.


And further, he desires to know of you

Of whence you are, your name, and parentage.


A gentleman of Tyre, my name, Pericles,

My education been in arts and arms;

Who, looking for adventures in the world,

Was by the rough seas reft of ships and men,

And after shipwrack driven upon this shore.


He thanks your Grace; names himself Pericles,

A gentleman of Tyre,

Who only by misfortune of the seas

Bereft of ships and men, cast on this shore.


Now by the gods, I pity his misfortune,

And will awake him from his melancholy.

Come, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles,

And waste the time, which looks for other revels.

Even in your armors, as you are address’d,

Will well become a soldier’s dance.

I will not have excuse with saying this,

Loud music is too harsh for ladies’ heads,

Since they love men in arms as well as beds.

They dance.

So, this was well ask’d, ’twas so well perform’d.

Come, sir, here’s a lady that wants breathing too,

And I have heard you knights of Tyre

Are excellent in making ladies trip,

And that their measures are as excellent.


In those that practice them they are, my lord.


O, that’s as much as you would be denied

Of your fair courtesy.

They Knights and Ladies dance.

Unclasp, unclasp:

Thanks, gentlemen, to all, all have done well;

To Pericles.

But you the best.—Pages and lights, to conduct

These knights unto their several lodgings!

To Pericles.

Yours, sir,

We have given order be next our own.


I am at your Grace’s pleasure.


Princes, it is too late to talk of love,

And that’s the mark I know you level at.

Therefore each one betake him to his rest;

Tomorrow all for speeding do their best.



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