Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Pericles, Prince of Tyre > Act II, scene I

Jump to: the first appearance of birth-day;_and_there_are_princes_and_knights_come

	[Enter PERICLES, wet]

PERICLES: Yet cease your ire, you angry stars of heaven!
	Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, earthly man
	Is but a substance that must yield to you;
	And I, as fits my nature, do obey you:
	Alas, the sea hath cast me on the rocks,
	Wash'd me from shore to shore, and left me breath
	Nothing to think on but ensuing death:
	Let it suffice the greatness of your powers
	To have bereft a prince of all his fortunes;
	And having thrown him from your watery grave,
	Here to have death in peace is all he'll crave.

	[Enter three FISHERMEN]

First Fisherman: What, ho, Pilch!

Second Fisherman: Ha, come and bring away the nets!

First Fisherman: What, Patch-breech, I say!

Third Fisherman: What say you, master?

First Fisherman: Look how thou stirrest now! come away, or I'll
	fetch thee with a wanion.

Third Fisherman: Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that
	were cast away before us even now.

First Fisherman: Alas, poor souls, it grieved my heart to hear what
	pitiful cries they made to us to help them, when,
	well-a-day, we could scarce help ourselves.

Third Fisherman: Nay, master, said not I as much when I saw the
	porpus how he bounced and tumbled? they say
	they're half fish, half flesh: a plague on them,
	they ne'er come but I look to be washed. Master, I
	marvel how the fishes live in the sea.

First Fisherman: Why, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the
	little ones: I can compare our rich misers to
	nothing so fitly as to a whale; a' plays and
	tumbles, driving the poor fry before him, and at
	last devours them all at a mouthful: such whales
	have I heard on o' the land, who never leave gaping
	till they've swallowed the whole parish, church,
	steeple, bells, and all.

PERICLES: [Aside]  A pretty moral.

Third Fisherman: But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have
	been that day in the belfry.

Second Fisherman: Why, man?

Third Fisherman: Because he should have swallowed me too: and when I
	had been in his belly, I would have kept such a
	jangling of the bells, that he should never have
	left, till he cast bells, steeple, church, and
	parish up again. But if the good King Simonides
	were of my mind,--

PERICLES: [Aside]  Simonides!

Third Fisherman: We would purge the land of these drones, that rob
	the bee of her honey.

PERICLES: [Aside]  How from the finny subject of the sea
	These fishers tell the infirmities of men;
	And from their watery empire recollect
	All that may men approve or men detect!
	Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen.

Second Fisherman: Honest! good fellow, what's that? If it be a day
	fits you, search out of the calendar, and nobody
	look after it.

PERICLES: May see the sea hath cast upon your coast.

Second Fisherman: What a drunken knave was the sea to cast thee in our

PERICLES: A man whom both the waters and the wind,
	In that vast tennis-court, have made the ball
	For them to play upon, entreats you pity him:
	He asks of you, that never used to beg.

First Fisherman: No, friend, cannot you beg? Here's them in our
	country Greece gets more with begging than we can do
	with working.

Second Fisherman: Canst thou catch any fishes, then?

PERICLES: I never practised it.

Second Fisherman: Nay, then thou wilt starve, sure; for here's nothing
	to be got now-a-days, unless thou canst fish for't.

PERICLES: What I have been I have forgot to know;
	But what I am, want teaches me to think on:
	A man throng'd up with cold: my veins are chill,
	And have no more of life than may suffice
	To give my tongue that heat to ask your help;
	Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
	For that I am a man, pray see me buried.

First Fisherman: Die quoth-a? Now gods forbid! I have a gown here;
	come, put it on; keep thee warm. Now, afore me, a
	handsome fellow! Come, thou shalt go home, and
	we'll have flesh for holidays, fish for
	fasting-days, and moreo'er puddings and flap-jacks,
	and thou shalt be welcome.

PERICLES: I thank you, sir.

Second Fisherman: Hark you, my friend; you said you could not beg.

PERICLES: I did but crave.

Second Fisherman: But crave! Then I'll turn craver too, and so I
	shall 'scape whipping.

PERICLES: Why, are all your beggars whipped, then?

Second Fisherman: O, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your
	beggars were whipped, I would wish no better office
	than to be beadle. But, master, I'll go draw up the

	[Exit with Third Fisherman]

PERICLES: [Aside]  How well this honest mirth becomes their labour!

First Fisherman: Hark you, sir, do you know where ye are?

PERICLES: Not well.

First Fisherman: Why, I'll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and
	our king the good Simonides.

PERICLES: The good King Simonides, do you call him.

First Fisherman: Ay, sir; and he deserves so to be called for his
	peaceable reign and good government.

PERICLES: He is a happy king, since he gains from his subjects
	the name of good by his government. How far is his
	court distant from this shore?

First Fisherman: Marry, sir, half a day's journey: and I'll tell
	you, he hath a fair daughter, and to-morrow is her
	birth-day; and there are princes and knights come
	from all parts of the world to just and tourney for her love.

PERICLES: Were my fortunes equal to my desires, I could wish
	to make one there.

First Fisherman: O, sir, things must be as they may; and what a man
	cannot get, he may lawfully deal for--his wife's soul.

	[Re-enter Second and Third Fishermen, drawing up a net]

Second Fisherman: Help, master, help! here's a fish hangs in the net,
	like a poor man's right in the law; 'twill hardly
	come out. Ha! bots on't, 'tis come at last, and
	'tis turned to a rusty armour.

PERICLES: An armour, friends! I pray you, let me see it.
	Thanks, fortune, yet, that, after all my crosses,
	Thou givest me somewhat to repair myself;
	And though it was mine own, part of my heritage,
	Which my dead father did bequeath to me.
	With this strict charge, even as he left his life,
	'Keep it, my Pericles; it hath been a shield
	Twixt me and death;'--and pointed to this brace;--
	'For that it saved me, keep it; in like necessity--
	The which the gods protect thee from!--may
	defend thee.'
	It kept where I kept, I so dearly loved it;
	Till the rough seas, that spare not any man,
	Took it in rage, though calm'd have given't again:
	I thank thee for't: my shipwreck now's no ill,
	Since I have here my father's gift in's will.

First Fisherman: What mean you, sir?

PERICLES: To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of worth,
	For it was sometime target to a king;
	I know it by this mark. He loved me dearly,
	And for his sake I wish the having of it;
	And that you'ld guide me to your sovereign's court,
	Where with it I may appear a gentleman;
	And if that ever my low fortune's better,
	I'll pay your bounties; till then rest your debtor.

First Fisherman: Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady?

PERICLES: I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.

First Fisherman: Why, do 'e take it, and the gods give thee good on't!

Second Fisherman: Ay, but hark you, my friend; 'twas we that made up
	this garment through the rough seams of the waters:
	there are certain condolements, certain vails. I
	hope, sir, if you thrive, you'll remember from
	whence you had it.

PERICLES: Believe 't, I will.
	By your furtherance I am clothed in steel;
	And, spite of all the rapture of the sea,
	This jewel holds his building on my arm:
	Unto thy value I will mount myself
	Upon a courser, whose delightful steps
	Shall make the gazer joy to see him tread.
	Only, my friend, I yet am unprovided
	Of a pair of bases.

Second Fisherman: We'll sure provide: thou shalt have my best gown to
	make thee a pair; and I'll bring thee to the court myself.

PERICLES: Then honour be but a goal to my will,
	This day I'll rise, or else add ill to ill.



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