Tarsus. Before the tomb of Marina.
(Gower; Pericles; Cleon; Dionyza)
Gower explains that Pericles has come to Tarsus to see his daughter, only to discover that she is dead and buried. This latest blow leaves him reeling, and he vows never to shave or cut his hair again, and dresses in penitential robes before taking to sea again. Dionyza has written a hypocritical epitaph for Marina’s tomb. (51 lines)
Enter Gower before the monument of Marina at Tharsus.
Thus time we waste, and long leagues make short;
Sail seas in cockles, have and wish but for’t,
Making, to take our imagination,
From bourn to bourn, region to region.
By you being pardoned, we commit no crime
To use one language in each several clime
Where our scenes seems to live. I do beseech you
To learn of me, who stand i’ th’ 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 live’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 Tharsus—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 a while,
Your ears unto your eyes I’ll reconcile.
Enter Pericles at one door with all his Train; Cleon and Dionyza at the other. Cleon shows Pericles the tomb; whereat Pericles makes lamentation, puts on sackcloth, and in a mighty passion departs. Then exeunt Cleon and Dionyza.
See how belief may suffer by foul show!
This borrowed passion stands for true old woe;
And Pericles, in sorrow all devour’d,
With sighs shot through and biggest tears o’ershow’r’d,
Leaves Tharsus 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 the inscription on Marina’s monument.
“The fairest, sweetest, and best lies here,
Who withered in her spring of year.
She was of Tyrus the King’s daughter,
On whom foul death hath made this slaughter.
Marina was she call’d, and at her birth,
Thetis, being proud, swallowed some part a’ th’ earth.
Therefore the earth, fearing to be o’erflowed,
Hath Thetis’ birth-child on the heavens bestowed;
Wherefore she does, and swears she’ll never stint,
Make raging battery upon shores of flint.”
No visor does become black villainy
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 Mytilene.