William Shakespeare: Pericles, Act V, Scene I
Enter two Sailors, one belonging to the Tyrian vessel, the other to the barge; to them Helicanus
To the Sailor of Mytilene
Where is lord Helicanus? He can resolve you. O, here he is. Sir, there's a barge put off from Mytilene, And in it is Lysimachus the governor, Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?
Enter two or three Gentlemen
Gentlemen, there's some of worth would come aboard; I pray ye, greet them fairly.
The Gentlemen and the two Sailors descend, and go on board the barge
Enter, from thence, Lysimachus and Lords; with the Gentlemen and the two Sailors
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.
Sir, 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.
'Twould be too tedious to repeat; But the main grief springs from the loss Of a beloved daughter and a wife.
This was a goodly person, Till the disaster that, one mortal night, Drove him to this.
'Tis well bethought. She questionless with her sweet harmony And other chosen attractions, would allure, And make a battery through his deafen'd parts, Which now are midway stopp'd: She is all happy as the fairest of all, And, with her fellow maids is now upon The leafy shelter that abuts against The island's side.
Whispers a Lord, who goes off in the barge of Lysimachus
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.
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.
Re-enter, from the barge, Lord, with Marina, and a young Lady
She's such a one, that, were I well assured Came of a gentle kind and noble stock, I'ld 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.
Sir, I will use My utmost skill in his recovery, Provided That none but I and my companion maid Be suffer'd to come near him.
I am a maid, My lord, that ne'er before invited eyes, But have been gazed on like a comet: she speaks, My lord, that, may be, hath endured 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.
I will desist; But there is something glows upon my cheek, And whispers in mine ear, 'Go not till he speak.'
I do think so. Pray you, turn your eyes upon me. You are like something that—What country-woman? Here of these shores?
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-voiced; her eyes as jewel-like And cased 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?
Where were you bred? And how achieved you these endowments, which You make more rich to owe?
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 will believe thee, And make my senses credit thy relation To points that seem impossible; for thou look'st Like one I loved indeed. What were thy friends? Didst thou not say, when I did push thee back— Which was when I perceived thee—that thou camest From good descending?
Report thy parentage. I think thou said'st Thou hadst been toss'd from wrong to injury, And that thou thought'st thy griefs might equal mine, If both were open'd.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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 rescued me; Brought me to Mytilene. 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.
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?
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 beget'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.
I am Pericles of Tyre: but tell me now My drown'd queen's name, as in the rest you said Thou hast been godlike perfect, The heir of kingdoms and another like To Pericles thy father.
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.
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?
Sir, 'tis the governor of Mytilene, Who, hearing of your melancholy state, Did come to see you.
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?
Most heavenly music! It nips me unto listening, and thick slumber Hangs upon mine eyes: let me rest.
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
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. Or perform my bidding, or thou livest in woe; Do it, and happy; by my silver bow! Awake, and tell thy dream.
Re-enter Helicanus, Lysimachus, and Marina
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.
Shall we refresh us, sir, upon your shore, And give you gold for such provision As our intents will need?
You shall prevail, Were it to woo my daughter; for it seems You have been noble towards her.