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

Act II. Prologue.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

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 Tarsus, 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?


Enter, from one side, PERICLES, talking with CLEON; all their Train with them.Enter, at another door, a Gentleman, with a letter to PERICLES; who shows the letter to CLEON; then gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him.Exeunt PERICLES, CLEON, &c., severally.

Good Helicane hath stay’d at home,

Not to eat honey like a drone

From others’ labours; for though he strive

To killen bad, keep good alive,

And to fulfil his prince’ desire,

Sends word of all that haps in Tyre:

How Thaliard came full bent with sin

And had intent to murder him;

And that in Tarsus 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

Make 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 tost.

All perishen of man, of pelf,

Ne aught escapen 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 longs the text.[Exit.