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Scene 1

On board Pericles’s ship, off Mytilene.

(Pericles; Helicanus; Sailor of Tyre; Sailor of Mytilene; Gentlemen; First Gentleman of Tyre; Lysimachus; Lords; Marina; Marina’s Lady; Diana)

Lysimachus arrives at Pericles’s ship and asks Helicanus who they are. Helicanus explains, informing the governor that Pericles, sunk in grief, has not spoken to anyone in three months. Lysimachus tries speaking to him, but gets no response. One of the lords of Mytilene suggests seeing if Marina could shake him out of his torpor, and she is sent for. Marina arrives just as Helicanus is about to tell the governor the whole story of Pericles’s troubles. He admires the girl, and Lysimachus admits that if only he knew she was well-born, he’d marry her. Marina sings to Pericles with no effect, but begins to get a reaction out of him when she speaks. He speaks roughly and incoherently at first, but he is moved by her resemblance to Thaisa and they speak further. Marina tells her story, and as more and more details match, Pericles comes to realize that she is his daughter. They are both overjoyed, Pericles coming back to his senses. He hears music, though, that no-one else does, and lies back to sleep. The others leave him. Diana appears in a vision to him and tells him to go worship her at her shrine in Ephesus, and make a public disclosure of all that has happened to him. Awakening, he tells Helicanus of their new destination, and asks Lysimachus if they can feast o shore and restore their supplies. Lysimachus agrees, and mentions that he has a suit to Pericles. The King guesses that the governor is going to ask for Marina’s hand. (297 lines)

On board Pericles’ ship, off Mytilene. A close pavilion on deck, with a curtain before it; Pericles within it, reclined on a couch.

Enter Helicanus; to him two Sailors, one of Tyre, the other of Mytilene.


To the Sailor of Mytilene.

Where is Lord Helicanus? He can resolve you.

O, here he is.—

Sir, there is a barge put off from Mytilene,

And in it is Lysimachus the governor,

Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?


That he have his. Call up some gentlemen.


Ho, gentlemen! My lord calls.

Enter two or three Gentlemen.


Doth your lordship call?


Gentlemen, there is some of worth would come aboard;

I pray greet him fairly.

Exeunt Gentlemen, Sailor of Tyre and Sailor of Mytilene.

Enter Lysimachus and Lords with the Gentlemen and the Tyrian Sailor.



This is the man that can, in aught you would,

Resolve you.


Hail, reverent sir! The gods preserve you!


And you, to outlive the age I am,

And die as I would do.


You wish me well.

Being on shore, honoring of Neptune’s triumphs,

Seeing this goodly vessel ride before us,

I made to it to know of whence you are.


First, what is your place?


I am the governor of this place you lie before.



Our vessel is of Tyre, in it the King,

A man who for this three months hath not spoken

To any one, nor taken sustenance

But to prorogue his grief.


Upon what ground is his distemperature?


’Twould be too tedious to repeat,

But the main grief springs from the loss

Of a beloved daughter and a wife.


May we not see him?


You may,

But bootless is your sight; he will not speak

To any.


Yet let me obtain my wish.


Behold him.

Pericles discovered.

This was a goodly person,

Till the disaster that, one mortal night,

Drove him to this.


Sir King, all hail! The gods preserve you! Hail, royal sir!


It is in vain, he will not speak to you.



We have a maid in Mytilene, I durst wager,

Would win some words of him.


’Tis well bethought.

She questionless with her sweet harmony,

And other chosen attractions, would allure

And make a batt’ry through his deafen’d parts,

Which now are midway stopp’d.

She is all happy as the fairest of all,

And with her fellow maids, is now upon

The leavy shelter that abuts against

The island’s side.

Gives an order to a Lord, who goes out.


Sure all effectless; yet nothing we’ll omit

That bears recovery’s name. But since your kindness

We have stretch’d thus far, let us beseech you

That for our gold we may provision have,

Wherein we are not destitute for want,

But weary for the staleness.


O sir, a courtesy

Which if we should deny, the most just God

For every graff would send a caterpillar,

And so inflict our province. Yet once more

Let me entreat to know at large the cause

Of your king’s sorrow.


Sit, sir, I will recount it to you,

But see, I am prevented.

Enter Lord with Marina and a young Lady.


O, here’s

The lady that I sent for. Welcome, fair one!

—Is’t not a goodly presence?


She’s a gallant lady.


She’s such a one that were I well assur’d

Came of a gentle kind and noble stock,

I’d wish no better choice, and think me rarely to wed.

Fair one, all goodness that consists in beauty,

Expect even here, where is a kingly patient,

If that thy prosperous and artificial feat

Can draw him but to answer thee in aught,

Thy sacred physic shall receive such pay

As thy desires can wish.


Sir, I will use

My utmost skill in his recovery, provided

That none but I and my companion maid

Be suffered to come near him.


Come, let us leave her,

And the gods make her prosperous!

They withdraw. Marina sings the song.



Mark’d he your music?


No, nor look’d on us.


See, she will speak to him.


Hail, sir! My lord, lend ear.


Hum, ha!

Pushing her roughly back.


I am a maid,

My lord, that ne’er before invited eyes,

But have been gaz’d on like a comet. She speaks,

My lord, that, may be, hath endur’d a grief

Might equal yours, if both were justly weigh’d.

Though wayward fortune did malign my state,

My derivation was from ancestors

Who stood equivalent with mighty kings,

But time hath rooted out my parentage,

And to the world and awkward casualties

Bound me in servitude.


I will desist,

But there is something glows upon my cheek,

And whispers in mine ear, “Go not till he speak.”


My fortunes—parentage—good parentage—

To equal mine—was it not thus? What say you?


I said, my lord, if you did know my parentage,

You would not do me violence.


I do think so. Pray you turn your eyes upon me.

You’re like something that—What country-woman?

Here of these shores?


No, nor of any shores,

Yet I was mortally brought forth, and am

No other than I appear.


I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping.

My dearest wife was like this maid, and such a one

My daughter might have been. My queen’s square brows,

Her stature to an inch, as wand-like straight,

As silver-voic’d, her eyes as jewel-like

And cas’d as richly, in pace another Juno;

Who starves the ears she feeds, and makes them hungry,

The more she gives them speech. Where do you live?


Where I am but a stranger. From the deck

You may discern the place.


Where were you bred?

And how achiev’d you these endowments which

You make more rich to owe?


If I should tell my history, it would seem

Like lies disdain’d in the reporting.


Prithee speak.

Falseness cannot come from thee, for thou lookest

Modest as Justice, and thou seemest a palace

For the crown’d Truth to dwell in. I will believe thee,

And make my senses credit thy relation

To points that seem impossible, for thou lookest

Like one I lov’d indeed. What were thy friends?

Didst thou not say, when I did push thee back—

Which was when I perceiv’d thee—that thou cam’st

From good descending?


So indeed I did.


Report thy parentage. I think thou saidst

Thou hadst been toss’d from wrong to injury,

And that thou thoughts’ thy griefs might equal mine,

If both were opened.


Some such thing

I said, and said no more but what my thoughts

Did warrant me was likely.


Tell thy story;

If thine, considered, prove the thousand part

Of my endurance, thou art a man, and I

Have suffered like a girl. Yet thou dost look

Like Patience gazing on kings’ graves, and smiling

Extremity out of act. What were thy friends?

How lost thou them? Thy name, my most kind virgin?

Recount, I do beseech thee. Come sit by me.


My name is Marina.


O, I am mock’d,

And thou by some incensed god sent hither

To make the world to laugh at me.


Patience, good sir!

Or here I’ll cease.


Nay, I’ll be patient.

Thou little know’st how thou dost startle me

To call thyself Marina.


The name

Was given me by one that had some power,

My father, and a king.


How, a king’s daughter?

And call’d Marina?


You said you would believe me,

But not to be a troubler of your peace,

I will end here.


But are you flesh and blood?

Have you a working pulse, and are no fairy?

Motion? Well, speak on. Where were you born?

And wherefore call’d Marina?


Call’d Marina

For I was born at sea.


At sea! What mother?


My mother was the daughter of a king,

Who died the minute I was born,

As my good nurse Lychorida hath oft

Delivered weeping.


O, stop there a little!


This is the rarest dream that e’er dull’d sleep

Did mock sad fools withal. This cannot be

My daughter—buried!—Well, where were you bred?

I’ll hear you more, to th’ bottom of your story,

And never interrupt you.


You scorn. Believe me, ’twere best I did give o’er.


I will believe you by the syllable

Of what you shall deliver. Yet give me leave:

How came you in these parts? Where were you bred?


The King my father did in Tharsus leave me,

Till cruel Cleon, with his wicked wife,

Did seek to murder me; and having wooed

A villain to attempt it, who having drawn to do’t,

A crew of pirates came and rescued me;

Brought me to Mytilene. But, good sir,

Whither will you have me? Why do you weep? It may be

You think me an imposture. No, good faith;

I am the daughter to King Pericles,

If good King Pericles be.


Ho, Helicanus!


Calls my lord?


Thou art a grave and noble counsellor,

Most wise in general, tell me if thou canst,

What this maid is, or what is like to be,

That thus hath made me weep.


I know not, but

Here’s the regent, sir, of Mytilene

Speaks nobly of her.


She never would tell

Her parentage; being demanded that,

She would sit still and weep.


O Helicanus, strike me, honored sir,

Give me a gash, put me to present pain,

Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me

O’erbear the shores of my mortality,

And drown me with their sweetness. O, come hither,

Thou that beget’st him that did thee beget;

Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tharsus,

And found at sea again! O Helicanus,

Down on thy knees, thank the holy gods as loud

As thunder threatens us. This is Marina.

What was thy mother’s name? Tell me but that,

For truth can never be confirm’d enough,

Though doubts did ever sleep.


First, sir, I pray,

What is your title?


I am Pericles of Tyre; but tell me now

My drown’d queen’s name, as in the rest you said

Thou hast been godlike perfit,

The heir of kingdoms, and another life

To Pericles thy father.


Is it no more to be your daughter than

To say my mother’s name was Thaisa?

Thaisa was my mother, who did end

The minute I began.


Now blessing on thee! Rise, th’ art my child.

Give me fresh garments. Mine own Helicanus,

She is not dead at Tharsus as she should have been

By savage Cleon. She shall tell thee all,

When thou shalt kneel, and justify in knowledge

She is thy very princess. Who is this?


Sir, ’tis the governor of Mytilene,

Who, hearing of your melancholy state,

Did come to see you.


I embrace you.

Give me my robes. I am wild in my beholding.

O heavens bless my girl! But hark, what music?

Tell Helicanus, my Marina, tell him

O’er, point by point, for yet he seems to dote,

How sure you are my daughter. But what music?


My lord, I hear none.



The music of the spheres! List, my Marina.


It is not good to cross him, give him way.


Rarest sounds! Do ye not hear?


Music, my lord? I hear.


Most heavenly music!

It nips me unto list’ning, and thick slumber

Hangs upon mine eyes. Let me rest.



A pillow for his head.

So leave him all. Well, my companion friends,

If this but answer to my just belief,

I’ll well remember you.

Exeunt all but Pericles.

Diana appears to Pericles as in a vision.


My temple stands in Ephesus, hie thee thither,

And do upon mine altar sacrifice.

There, when my maiden priests are met together

Before the people all,

Reveal how thou at sea didst lose thy wife.

To mourn thy crosses, with thy daughter’s, call

And give them repetition to the life.

Or perform my bidding, or thou livest in woe;

Do’t, and happy, by my silver bow!

Awake, and tell thy dream.



Celestial Dian, goddess argentine,

I will obey thee. Helicanus!

Enter Helicanus, Lysimachus, and Marina.




My purpose was for Tharsus, there to strike

The inhospitable Cleon, but I am

For other service first. Toward Ephesus

Turn our blown sails; eftsoons I’ll tell thee why.

To Lysimachus.

Shall we refresh us, sir, upon your shore,

And give you gold for such provision

As our intents will need?



With all my heart, and, when you come ashore,

I have another suit.


You shall prevail,

Were it to woo my daughter, for it seems

You have been noble towards her.


Sir, lend me your arm.


Come, my Marina.



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