Pentapolis. A room in the palace.
(King Simonides; Knights; Pericles; Thaisa)
Simonides informs the various knights that Thaisa has vowed not to marry for a year, and they take their leave. In fact, Thaisa has said that she will only marry Pericles. Simonides is not displeased by this, but wishes to test Pericles a little first. He plays the outraged father Pericles, accusing him of bewitching his daughter, but Pericles denies it to his face. Simonides admires the prince’s courage. Thaisa enters and swears that Pericles never solicited her; Simonides plays the angry father to her as well, but suddenly admits to them that he will let them marry. Both are of course delighted. (98 lines)
Enter the King Simonides, reading of a letter, at one door; the Knights meet him.
Good morrow to the good Simonides.
Knights, from my daughter this I let you know,
That for this twelvemonth she’ll not undertake
A married life.
Her reason to herself is only known,
Which from her by no means can I get.
May we not get access to her, my lord?
Faith, by no means, she hath so strictly tied
Her to her chamber, that ’tis impossible.
One twelve moons more she’ll wear Diana’s livery;
This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vowed,
And on her virgin honor will not break it.
Loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.
They are well dispatch’d; now to my daughter’s letter.
She tells me here, she’ll wed the stranger knight,
Or never more to view nor day nor light.
’Tis well, mistress, your choice agrees with mine;
I like that well. Nay, how absolute she’s in’t,
Not minding whether I dislike or no!
Well, I do commend her choice,
And will no longer have it be delayed.
Soft, here he comes, I must dissemble it.
All fortune to the good Simonides!
To you as much! Sir, I am beholding to you
For your sweet music this last night. I do
Protest my ears were never better fed
With such delightful pleasing harmony.
It is your Grace’s pleasure to commend,
Not my desert.
Sir, you are music’s master.
The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.
Let me ask you one thing:
What do you think of my daughter, sir?
A most virtuous princess.
And she is fair too, is she not?
As a fair day in summer; wondrous fair.
Sir, my daughter thinks very well of you,
Ay, so well, that you must be her master,
And she will be your scholar; therefore look to it.
I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.
She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.
A letter that she loves the knight of Tyre!
’Tis the King’s subtilty to have my life.—
O, seek not to entrap me, gracious lord,
A stranger and distressed gentleman,
That never aim’d so high to love your daughter,
But bent all offices to honor her.
Thou hast bewitch’d my daughter, and thou art
By the gods, I have not.
Never did thought of mine levy offense;
Nor never did my actions yet commence
A deed might gain her love or your displeasure.
Traitor, thou liest.
Even in his throat—unless it be the King—
That calls me traitor, I return the lie.
Now by the gods, I do applaud his courage.
My actions are as noble as my thoughts,
That never relish’d of a base descent.
I came unto your court for honor’s cause,
And not to be a rebel to her state;
And he that otherwise accounts of me,
This sword shall prove he’s honor’s enemy.
Here comes my daughter, she can witness it.
Then as you are as virtuous as fair,
Resolve your angry father if my tongue
Did e’er solicit, or my hand subscribe
To any syllable that made love to you.
Why, sir, say if you had, who takes offense
At that would make me glad?
Yea, mistress, are you so peremptory?
I am glad on’t with all my heart.—
I’ll tame you; I’ll bring you in subjection.
Will you, not having my consent,
Bestow your love and your affections
Upon a stranger?
who, for aught I know,
May be (nor can I think the contrary)
As great in blood as I myself.—
Therefore hear you, mistress, either frame
Your will to mine—and you, sir, hear you—
Either be rul’d by me, or I’ll make you—
Man and wife.
Nay come, your hands and lips must seal it too;
And being join’d, I’ll thus your hopes destroy,
And for further grief—God give you joy!
What, are you both pleased?
Yes, if you love me, sir.
Even as my life my blood that fosters it.
What, are you both agreed?
Yes, if’t please your Majesty.
It pleaseth me so well that I will see you wed,
And then with what haste you can, get you to bed.