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Pericles Scenes


(Gower; Pericles; Cleon; First Tyrian Messenger)

Gower tells the audience how Pericles remains at grateful Tarsus, where they build a statue of him; but he then ushers in a dumb show in which Pericles receives a letter. Gower explains that it is a message from Helicanus informing Pericles that Thaliard is after him and advising him to leave Tarsus. Pericles does so, but he is caught in a storm and shipwrecked. (40 lines)

Enter Gower.


Here have you seen a mighty king

His child, I wis, to incest bring;

A better prince and benign lord,

That will prove awful both in deed and word.

Be quiet then, as men should be,

Till he hath pass’d necessity.

I’ll show you those in troubles reign,

Losing a mite, a mountain gain.

The good in conversation,

To whom I give my benison,

Is still at Tharsus, where each man

Thinks all is writ he speken can;

And, to remember what he does,

Build his statue to make him glorious.

But tidings to the contrary

Are brought your eyes; what need speak I?

Dumb Show.

Enter at one door Pericles talking with Cleon; all the Train with them. Enter at another door the First Tyrian Messenger with a letter to Pericles. Pericles shows the letter to Cleon. Pericles gives the Messenger a reward and knights him. Exit Pericles at one door and Cleon at another.

Good Helicane, that stay’d at home,

Not to eat honey like a drone

From others’ labors; for though he strive

To killen bad, keep good alive,

And to fulfill his prince’ desire,

Sends word of all that haps in Tyre:

How Thaliard came full bent with sin

And hid intent to murder him;

And that in Tharsus was not best

Longer for him to make his rest.

He, doing so, put forth to seas,

Where when men been, there’s seldom ease,

For now the wind begins to blow;

Thunder above, and deeps below,

Makes such unquiet, that the ship

Should house him safe is wrack’d and split,

And he, good prince, having all lost,

By waves from coast to coast is toss’d.

All perishen of man, of pelf,

Ne aught escapend but himself;

Till Fortune, tir’d with doing bad,

Threw him ashore, to give him glad.

And here he comes. What shall be next,

Pardon old Gower—this long’s the text.



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