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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act II. Scene V.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Pentapolis.A Room in the Palace.

Enter SIMONIDES, reading a letter; the Knights meet him.

First Knight.Good morrow to the good Simonides.

Sim.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 yet from her by no means can I get.

Sec. Knight.May we not get access to her, my lord?

Sim.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 vow’d,

And on her virgin honour will not break it.

Third Knight.Though loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.[Exeunt Knights.


They’re 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: 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 delay’d.

Soft! here he comes: I must dissemble it.


Per.All fortune to the good Simonides!

Sim.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

Per.It is your Grace’s pleasure to commend,

Not my desert.

Sim.Sir, you are music’s master.

Per.The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.

Sim.Let me ask you one thing.

What do you think of my daughter, sir?

Per.A most virtuous princess.

Sim.And she is fair too, is she not?

Per.As a fair day in summer; wondrous fair.

Sim.My daughter, sir, thinks very well of you;

Ay, so well, that you must be her master,

And she will be your scholar: therefore look to it.

Per.I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.

Sim.She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.

Per.[Aside.]What’s here?

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 honour her.

Sim.Thou hast bewitch’d my daughter, and thou art

A villain.

Per.By the gods, I have not:

Never did thought of mine levy offence;

Nor never did my actions yet commence

A deed might gain her love or your displeasure.

Sim.Traitor, thou liest.


Sim.Ay, traitor.

Per.Even in his throat, unless it be the king,

That calls me traitor, I return the lie.

Sim.[Aside.]Now, by the gods, I do applaud his courage.

Per.My actions are as noble as my thoughts,

That never relish’d of a base descent.

I came unto your court for honour’s cause,

And not to be a rebel to her state;

And he that otherwise accounts of me,

This sword shall prove he’s honour’s enemy.


Here comes my daughter, she can witness it.


Per.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.

Thai.Why, sir, say if you had,

Who takes offence at that would make me glad?

Sim.Yea, mistress, are you so peremptory?

[Aside.]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?[Aside.]who, for aught I know,

May be, nor can I think the contrary,

As great in blood as I myself.—

[Aloud.]Therefore, hear you, mistress; either frame

Your will to mine; and you, sir, hear you,

Either be rul’d by me, or I will 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 a further grief,—God give you joy!

What! are you both pleas’d?

Thai.Yes, if you love me, sir.

Per.Even as my life, or blood that fosters it.

Sim.What! are you both agreed?

Thai. & Per.Yes, if ’t please your majesty.

Sim.It pleaseth me so well, that I will see you wed;

Then with what haste you can get you to bed.[Exeunt.