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

Act V. Scene I.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

On board PERICLES’ Ship, off Mitylene.A Pavilion on deck, with a curtain before it; PERICLES within it, reclined on a couch.A barge lying beside the Tyrian vessel.

Enter two Sailors, one belonging to the Tyrian vessel, the other to the barge; to them HELICANUS.

Tyr. Sail.[To the Sailor of Mitylene.]Where’s the Lord Helicanus? he can resolve you.

O! here he is.—

Sir, there’s a barge put off from Mitylene,

And in it is Lysimachus, the governor,

Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?

Hel.That he have his. Call up some gentlemen.

Tyr. Sail.Ho, gentlemen! my lord calls.

Enter two or three Gentlemen.

First Gent.Doth your lordship call?

Hel.Gentlemen, there’s some of worth would come aboard;

I pray ye, greet them fairly.[Gentlemen and Sailors descend, and go on board the barge.

Enter from thence, LYSIMACHUS and Lords; the Gentlemen and the two Sailors.

Tyr. Sail.Sir,

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

Resolve you.

Lys.Hail, reverend sir! The gods preserve you!

Hel.And you, sir, to outlive the age I am,

And die as I would do.

Lys.You wish me well.

Being on shore, honouring of Neptune’s triumphs,

Seeing this goodly vessel ride before us,

I made to it to know of whence you are.

Hel.First, what is your place?

Lys.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.

Lys.Upon what ground is his distemperature?

Hel.’Twould be too tedious to repeat;

But the main grief springs from the loss

Of a beloved daughter and a wife.

Lys.May we not see him?

Hel.You may;

But bootless is your sight: he will not speak

To any.

Lys.Yet let me obtain my wish.

Hel.Behold him.[PERICLES discovered.]This was a goodly person,

Till the disaster that, one mortal night,

Drove him to this.

Lys.Sir king, all hail! the gods preserve you!

Hail, royal sir!

Hel.It is in vain; he will not speak to you.

First Lord.Sir,

We have a maid in Mitylene, I durst wager,

Would win some words of him.

Lys.’Tis well bethought.

She questionless with her sweet harmony

And other chosen attractions, would allure,

And make a battery through his deafen’d ports

Which now are midway stopp’d:

She is all happy as the fair’st of all,

And with her fellow maids is now upon

The leafy shelter that abuts against

The island’s side.[Whispers first Lord, who puts off in the barge of LYSIMACHUS.

Hel.Sure, all’s 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.

Lys.O! sir, a courtesy,

Which if we should deny, the most just gods

For every graff would send a caterpillar,

And so afflict our province. Yet once more

Let me entreat to know at large the cause

Of your king’s sorrow.

Hel.Sit, sir, I will recount it to you;

But see, I am prevented.

Re-enter, from the barge, Lord, with MARINA, and a young Lady.

Lys.O! here is

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

Is ’t not a goodly presence?

Hel.She’s a gallant lady.

Lys.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 wed.

Fair one, all goodness that consists in bounty

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.

Mar.Sir, I will use

My utmost skill in his recovery,


That none but I and my companion maid

Be suffer’d to come near him.

Lys.Come, let us leave her;

And the gods make her prosperous![MARINA sings.

Lys.Mark’d he your music?

Mar.No, nor look’d on us.

Lys.See, she will speak to him.

Mar.Hail, sir! my lord, lend ear.

Per.Hum! ha!

Mar.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.—[Aside.]I will desist;

But there is something glows upon my cheek,

And whispers in mine ear, ‘Go not till he speak.’

Per.My fortunes—parentage—good parentage—

To equal mine!—was it not thus? what say you?

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

You would not do me violence.

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

You are like something that—What country-woman?

Here of these shores?

Mar.No, nor of any shores;

Yet I was mortally brought forth, and am

No other than I appear.

Per.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?

Mar.Where I am but a stranger; from the deck

You may discern the place.

Per.Where were you bred?

And how achiev’d you these endowments, which

You make more rich to owe?

Mar.Should I tell my history, it would seem

Like lies, disdain’d in the reporting.

Per.Prithee, speak;

Falseness cannot come from thee, for thou look’st

Modest as justice, and thou seem’st a palace

For the crown’d truth to dwell in. I 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?

Mar.So indeed I did.

Per.Report thy parentage. I think thou saidst

Thou hadst been toss’d from wrong to injury,

And that thou thought’st thy griefs might equal mine,

If both were open’d.

Mar.Some such thing

I said, and said no more but what my thoughts

Did warrant me was likely.

Per.Tell thy story;

If thine consider’d prove the thousandth part

Of my endurance, thou art a man, and I

Have suffer’d 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.

Mar.My name is Marina.

Per.O! I am mock’d,

And thou by some incensed god sent hither

To make the world to laugh at me.

Mar.Patience, good sir,

Or here I’ll cease.

Per.Nay, I’ll be patient.

Thou little know’st how thou dost startle me,

To call thyself Marina.

Mar.The name

Was given me by one that had some power;

My father, and a king.

Per.How! a king’s daughter?

And call’d Marina?

Mar.You said you would believe me;

But, not to be a troubler of your peace,

I will end here.

Per.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?

Mar.Call’d Marina

For I was born at sea.

Per.At sea! what mother?

Mar.My mother was the daughter of a king;

Who died the minute I was born,

As my good nurse Lychorida hath oft

Deliver’d weeping.

Per.O! stop there a little.

This is the rarest dream that e’er dull sleep

Did mock sad fools withal; this cannot be.

My daughter’s buried. Well; where were you bred?

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

And never interrupt you.

Mar.You’ll scorn to believe me; ’twere best I did give o’er.

Per.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?

Mar.The king my father did in Tarsus leave me,

Till cruel Cleon, with his wicked wife,

Did seek to murder me; and having woo’d

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

A crew of pirates came and rescu’d me;

Brought me to Mitylene. But, good sir,

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

You think me an impostor; no, good faith;

I am the daughter to King Pericles,

If good King Pericles be.

Per.Ho, Helicanus!

Hel.Calls my lord?

Per.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?

Hel.I know not; but

Here is the regent, sir, of Mitylene,

Speaks nobly of her.

Lys.She never would tell

Her parentage; being demanded that,

She would sit still and weep.

Per.O Helicanus! strike me, honour’d 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 begett’st him that did thee beget;

Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tarsus,

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.

Mar.First, sir, I pray,

What is your title?

Per.I am Pericles of Tyre: but tell me now

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

Thou hast been god-like perfect;

Thou’rt heir of kingdoms, and another life

To Pericles thy father.

Mar.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.

Per.Now, blessing on thee! rise; thou art my child,

Give me fresh garments. Mine own, Helicanus;

She is not dead at Tarsus, 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?

Hel.Sir, ’tis the governor of Mitylene,

Who, hearing of your melancholy state,

Did come to see you.

Per.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 doubt,

How sure you are my daughter. But, what music?

Hel.My lord, I hear none.


The music of the spheres! List, my Marina.

Lys.It is not good to cross him; give him way.

Per.Rarest sounds! Do ye not hear?

Lys.My lord, I hear.[Music.

Per.Most heavenly music:

It nips me unto list’ning, and thick slumber

Hangs upon mine eyes; let me rest.[Sleeps.

Lys.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.

Dia.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.

Perform my bidding, or thou liv’st in woe;

Do it, and happy; by my silver bow!

Awake, and tell thy dream![Disappears.

Per.Celestial Dian, goddess argentine,

I will obey thee! Helicanus!



Per.My purpose was for Tarsus, 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.

Per.You shall prevail,

Were it to woo my daughter; for it seems

You have been noble towards her.

Lys.Sir, lend me your arm.

Per.Come, my Marina.[Exeunt.