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

Act IV. Scene I.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Tarsus.An open Place near the Sea-shore.


Dion.Thy oath remember; thou hast sworn to do ’t:

’Tis but a blow, which never shall be known.

Thou canst not do a thing i’ the world so soon,

To yield thee so much profit. Let not conscience,

Which is but cold, inflaming love i’ thy bosom,

Inflame too nicely; nor let pity, which

Even women have cast off, melt thee, but be

A soldier to thy purpose.

Leon.I’ll do ’t; but yet she is a goodly creature.

Dion.The fitter, then, the gods should have her. Here

She comes weeping for her only mistress’ death.

Thou art resolv’d?

LeonI am resolv’d.

Enter MARINA, with a basket of flowers.

Mar.No, I will rob Tellus of her weed,

To strew thy green with flowers; the yellows, blues,

The purple violets, and marigolds,

Shall as a carpet hang upon thy grave,

While summer days do last. Ay me! poor maid,

Born in a tempest, when my mother died,

This world to me is like a lasting storm,

Whirring me from my friends.

DionHow now, Marina! why do you keep alone?

How chance my daughter is not with you? Do not

Consume your blood with sorrowing; you have

A nurse of me. Lord! how your favour’s chang’d

With this unprofitable woe. Come,

Give me your flowers, ere the sea mar it.

Walk with Leonine; the air is quick there,

And it pierces and sharpens the stomach. Come,

Leonine, take her by the arm, walk with her.

Mar.No, I pray you;

I’ll not bereave you of your servant.

Dion.Come, come;

I love the king your father, and yourself,

With more than foreign heart. We every day

Expect him here; when he shall come and find

Our paragon to all reports thus blasted,

He will repent the breadth of his great voyage;

Blame both my lord and me, that we have taken

No care to your best courses. Go, I pray you;

Walk, and be cheerful once again; reserve

That excellent complexion, which did steal

The eyes of young and old. Care not for me;

I can go home alone.

Mar.Well, I will go;

But yet I have no desire to it.

Dion.Come, come, I know ’tis good for you.

Walk half an hour, Leonine, at least.

Remember what I have said.

Leon.I warrant you, madam.

Dion.I’ll leave you, my sweet lady, for a while;

Pray you walk softly, do not heat your blood:

What! I must have care of you.

Mar.My thanks, sweet madam.[Exit DIONYZA.

Is this wind westerly that blows?


Mar.When I was born, the wind was north.

Leon.Was ’t so?

Mar.My father, as nurse said, did never fear,

But cried ‘Good seamen!’ to the sailors, galling

His kingly hands haling ropes;

And, clasping to the mast, endur’d a sea

That almost burst the deck.

Leon.When was this?

Mar.When I was born:

Never were waves nor wind more violent;

And from the ladder-tackle washes off

A canvas-climber. ‘Ha!’ says one, ‘wilt out?’

And with a dropping industry they skip

From stem to stern; the boatswain whistles, and

The master calls, and trebles their confusion.

Leon.Come; say your prayers.

Mar.What mean you?

Leon.If you require a little space for prayer,

I grant it. Pray; but be not tedious,

For the gods are quick of ear, and I am sworn

To do my work with haste.

Mar.Why will you kill me?

Leon.To satisfy my lady.

Mar.Why would she have me kill’d?

Now, as I can remember, by my troth,

I never did her hurt in all my life.

I never spake bad word, nor did ill turn

To any living creature; believe me, la,

I never kill’d a mouse, nor hurt a fly;

I trod upon a worm against my will,

But I wept for it. How have I offended,

Wherein my death might yield her any profit,

Or my life imply her any danger?

Leon.My commission

Is not to reason of the deed, but do ’t.

Mar.You will not do ’t for all the world, I hope.

You are well favour’d, and your looks foreshow

You have a gentle heart. I saw you lately,

When you caught hurt in parting two that fought;

Good sooth, it show’d well in you; do so now;

Your lady seeks my life; come you between,

And save poor me, the weaker.

Leon.I am sworn,

And will dispatch.

Enter Pirates, whilst MARINA is struggling.

First Pirate.Hold, villain![LEONINE runs away.

Sec. Pirate.A prize! a prize!

Third Pirate.Half-part, mates, half-part.

Come, let’s have her aboard suddenly.[Exeunt Pirates with MARINA.

Re-enter LEONINE.

Leon.These roguing thieves serve the great pirate Valdes;

And they have seiz’d Marina. Let her go;

There’s no hope she’ll return. I’ll swear she’s dead,

And thrown into the sea. But I’ll see further;

Perhaps they will but please themselves upon her,

Not carry her aboard. If she remain,

Whom they have ravish’d must by me be slain.[Exit.