Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

shows his Daughter the Letter; she rejoices: she and PERICLES take leave of her Father, and depart. Then SIMONIDES, &c. retire.

Gow. By many a dearn and painful perch,
Of Pericles the careful search,
By the four opposing coignes,
Which the world together joins,
Is made, with all due diligence,
That horse, and sail, and high expense,
Can stead the quest. At last from Tyre
(Fame answering the most strong inquire),
To the court of king Simonides

Are letters brought; the tenour these:
Antiochus and his daughter's dead;
The men of Tyrus, on the head
Of Helicanus would set on

The crown of Tyre, but he will none:
The mutiny there he hastes t'appease:
Says to them, if king Pericles

Come not, in twice six moons, home,
He obedient to their doom,

Will take the crown. The sum of this,
Brought hither to Pentapolis,

Y-ravished the regions round,

And every one with claps 'gan sound,
Our heir apparent is a king:

Who dream'd, who thought of such a thing?
Brief, he must hence depart to Tyre:
His queen with child, makes her desire
(Which who shall cross?) along to go
(Omit we all their dole and woe);
Lychorida, her nurse, she takes,
And so to sea. Their vessel shakes
On Neptune's billow; half the flood
Hath their keel cut; but fortune's mood
Varies again: the grizzled north
Disgorges such a tempest forth,
That, as a duck for life that dives,
So up and down the poor ship drives.

[ocr errors]

The lady shrieks, and, well-a-near!
Doth fall in travail with her fear:
And what ensues in this fell storm,
Shall, for itself, itself perform.
I nill relate; action may
Conveniently the rest convey:
Which might not what by me is told.
In your imagination hold

This stage, the ship, upon whose deck
The sea-tost prince appears to speak.

SCENE I.

Enter PERICLES, on a Ship at Sea.

[Exit.

Per. Thou God of this great vast, rebuke these surges, Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou, that hast Upon the winds command, bind them in brass,

Having call'd them from the deep! O still thy deaf'ning,
Thy dreadful thunders; gently quench thy nimble,
Sulphureous flashes!-O how, Lychorida,

How does my queen?-Thou storm, thou! venomously
Wilt thou spit all thyself?-The seaman's whistle
Is as a whisper in the ears of death,
Unheard.-Lychorida!-Lucina, O

Divinest patroness, and midwife, gentle
To those that cry by night, convey thy deity
Aboard our dancing boat; make swift the pangs
Of my queen's travails!-Now, Lychorida-
Enter LYCHORIDA, with an Infant.

Lyc. Here is a thing

Too young for such a place, who if it had
Conceit, would die as I am like to do.

Take in your arms this piece of your dead queen.
Per. How! how, Lychorida!

Lyc. Patience, good sir; do not assist the storm.
Here's all that is left living of your queen,-

A little daughter; for the sake of it,

Be manly, and take comfort.

Per.

O you gods!

Why do you make us love your goodly gifts,

And snatch them straight away? We, here below,
Recall not what we give, and therein may
Vie honour with yourselves.

Lyc.

Even for this charge.

Per.

Patience, good sir,

Now, mild may be thy life!

For a more blust'rous birth had never babe:
Quiet and gentle thy conditions!

For thou'rt the rudeliest welcom❜d to this world,
That e'er was prince's child. Happy what follows!
Thou hast as chiding a nativity,

As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make,
To herald thee from the womb: even at the first,
Thy loss is more than can thy portage quit,

With all thou canst find here. Now the good gods
Throw their best eyes upon it!

Enter two Sailors.

1 Sail. What courage, sir? Per. Courage enough: I do It hath done to me the worst.

God save you.
not fear the flaw;
Yet, for the love

Of this poor infant, this fresh-new sea-farer,
I would, it would be quiet.

1 Sail. Slack the bolins there; thou wilt not, wilt thou? Blow, and split thyself.

2 Sail. But sea-room, an the brine and cloudy billow kiss the moon, I care not.

1 Sail. Sir, your queen must overboard; the sea works high, the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead.

Per. That's your superstition.

1 Sail. Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it still hath been observed; and we are strong in earnest. Therefore briefly yield her; for she must overboard straight. Per. Be it as you think meet.-Most wretched queen! Lyc. Here she lies, sir.

Per. A terrible child-bed hast thou had, my dear;
No light, no fire: the unfriendly elements
Forgot thee utterly; nor have I time

To give thee hallow'd to thy grave, but straight
Must cast thee, scarcely coffin'd, in the ooze;

Where, for å monument upon thy bones,
And aye-remaining lamps, the belching whale,
And humming water must o'erwhelm thy corpse,
Lying with simple shells. Lychorida,

Bid Nestor bring me spices, ink, and paper;
My casket, and my jewels; and bid Nicander
Bring me the satin coffer: lay the babe
Upon the pillow; hie thee, whiles I say
A priestly farewell to her: suddenly, woman.

[Exit Lychorida. 2 Sail. Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulk'd and bitumed ready.

Per. I thank thee. Mariner, say what coast is this? 2 Sail. We are near Tharsus.

Per. Thither, gentle mariner,

Alter thy course for Tyre. When canst thou reach it? 2 Sail. By break of day, if the wind cease. Per. O make for Tharsus.

There will I visit Cleon, for the babe

Cannot, hold out to Tyrus; there I'll leave it
At careful nursing. Go thy ways, good mariner ;
I'll bring the body presently.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. EPHESUS. A Room in CERIMON'S House.

Enter CERIMON, a Servant, and some Persons who have been shipwrecked.

Cer. Philemon, ho!

Enter PHILEMON.

Phil. Doth my lord call?

Cer. Get fire and meat for these poor men; It has been a turbulent and stormy night.

Serv. I have been in many; but such a night as this, Till now, I ne'er endur'd.

Cer. Your master will be dead ere you return; There's nothing can be minister'd to nature,

That can recover him. Give this to the 'pothecary, And tell me how it works. [To Philemon. [Exeunt Philemon, Servant, and those who had been shipwrecked.

1 Gent.

Enter two Gentlemen.

Good morrow, sir.

2 Gent. Good morrow to your lordship.

Cer.

Why do you stir so early?
1 Gent. Sir,

Our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea,
Shook, as the earth did quake;

The very principals did seem to rend,
And all to topple; pure surprise and fear
Made me to quit the house.

Gentlemen,

2 Gent. That is the cause we trouble you so early; 'Tis not our husbandry.

Cer.

O, you say well.

1 Gent. But I much marvel that your lordship, having Rich tire about you, should at these early hours Shake off the golden slumber of repose.

It is most strange,

Nature should be so conversant with pain,
Being thereto not compell'd.

Cer.
I held it ever,
Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
Than nobleness and riches: careless heirs
May the two latter darken and expend;
But immortality attends the former,
Making a man a god. "Tis known, I ever
Have studied physic, through which secret art,
By turning o'er authorities, I have

(Together with my practice), made familiar
To me and to my aid, the blest infusions
That dwell in vegetives, in metals, stones;
And I can speak of the disturbances

That nature works, and of her cures; which gives me
A more content in course of true delight
Than to be thirsty after tottering honour,
Or tie my treasure up in silken bags,

To please the fool and death.

[forth

2 Gent. Your honour has through Ephesus pour'd Your charity, and hundreds call themselves Your creatures, who by you have been restor❜d: And not your knowledge, personal pain, but even

« AnteriorContinua »