Gower Imagine Pericles arrived at Tyre,
Welcomed and settled to his own desire.
His woeful queen we leave at Ephesus,
Unto Diana there a votaress.
Now to Marina bend your mind,
Whom our fast-growing scene must find
At Tarsus, and by Cleon train’d
In music, letters; who hath gain’d
Of education all the grace,
Which makes her both the heart and place
Of general wonder. But, alack,
That monster envy, oft the wrack
Of earned praise, Marina’s life
Seeks to take off by treason’s knife.
And in this kind hath our Cleon
One daughter, and a wench full grown,
Even ripe for marriage-rite; this maid
Hight Philoten: and it is said
For certain in our story, she
Would ever with Marina be:
Be’t when she weaved the sleided silk
With fingers long, small, white as milk;
Or when she would with sharp needle wound
The cambric, which she made more sound
By hurting it; or when to the lute
She sung, and made the night-bird mute,
That still records with moan; or when
She would with rich and constant pen
Vail to her mistress Dian; still
This Philoten contends in skill
With absolute Marina: so
With the dove of Paphos might the crow
Vie feathers white. Marina gets
All praises, which are paid as debts,
And not as given. This so darks
In Philoten all graceful marks,
That Cleon’s wife, with envy rare,
A present murderer does prepare
For good Marina, that her daughter
Might stand peerless by this slaughter.
The sooner her vile thoughts to stead,
Lychorida, our nurse, is dead:
And cursed Dionyza hath
The pregnant instrument of wrath
Prest for this blow. The unborn event
I do commend to your content:
Only I carry winged time
Post on the lame feet of my rhyme;
Which never could I so convey,
Unless your thoughts went on my way.
Dionyza does appear,
With Leonine, a murderer.
Enter Dionyza and Leonine
Dionyza Thy oath remember; thou hast sworn to do’t:
’Tis but a blow, which never shall be known.
Thou canst not do a thing in the world so soon,
To yield thee so much profit. Let not conscience,
Which is but cold, inflaming love i’ thy bosom,
Inflame too nicely; nor let pity, which
Even women have cast off, melt thee, but be
A soldier to thy purpose.
Leonine I will do’t; but yet she is a goodly creature.
Dionyza The fitter, then, the gods should have her. Here she comes weeping for her only mistress’ death. Thou art resolved?
Leonine I am resolved.
Enter Marina, with a basket of flowers
Marina No, I will rob Tellus of her weed,
To strew thy green with flowers: the yellows, blues,
The purple violets, and marigolds,
Shall as a carpet hang upon thy grave,
While summer-days do last. Ay me! poor maid,
Born in a tempest, when my mother died,
This world to me is like a lasting storm,
Whirring me from my friends.
Dionyza How now, Marina! why do you keep alone?
How chance my daughter is not with you? Do not
Consume your blood with sorrowing: you have
A nurse of me. Lord, how your favour’s changed
With this unprofitable woe!
Come, give me your flowers, ere the sea mar it.
Walk with Leonine; the air is quick there,
And it pierces and sharpens the stomach. Come,
Leonine, take her by the arm, walk with her.
Marina No, I pray you;
I’ll not bereave you of your servant.
Dionyza Come, come;
I love the king your father, and yourself,
With more than foreign heart. We every day
Expect him here: when he shall come and find
Our paragon to all reports thus blasted,
He will repent the breadth of his great voyage;
Blame both my lord and me, that we have taken
No care to your best courses. Go, I pray you,
Walk, and be cheerful once again; reserve
That excellent complexion, which did steal
The eyes of young and old. Care not for me
I can go home alone.
Marina Well, I will go;
But yet I have no desire to it.
Dionyza Come, come, I know ’tis good for you.
Walk half an hour, Leonine, at the least:
Remember what I have said.
Leonine I warrant you, madam.
Dionyza I’ll leave you, my sweet lady, for a while:
Pray, walk softly, do not heat your blood:
What! I must have a care of you.
Marina My thanks, sweet madam.
Is this wind westerly that blows?
Marina When I was born, the wind was north.
Leonine Was’t so?
Marina My father, as nurse said, did never fear,
But cried ‘Good seaman!’ to the sailors, galling
His kingly hands, haling ropes;
And, clasping to the mast, endured a sea
That almost burst the deck.
Leonine When was this?
Marina When I was born:
Never was waves nor wind more violent;
And from the ladder-tackle washes off
A canvas-climber. ‘Ha!’ says one, ‘wilt out?’
And with a dropping industry they skip
From stem to stern: the boatswain whistles, and
The master calls, and trebles their confusion.
Leonine Come, say your prayers.
Marina What mean you?
Leonine If you require a little space for prayer,
I grant it: pray; but be not tedious,
For the gods are quick of ear, and I am sworn
To do my work with haste.
Marina Why will you kill me?
Leonine To satisfy my lady.
Marina Why would she have me kill’d?
Now, as I can remember, by my troth,
I never did her hurt in all my life:
I never spake bad word, nor did ill turn
To any living creature: believe me, la,
I never kill’d a mouse, nor hurt a fly:
I trod upon a worm against my will,
But I wept for it. How have I offended,
Wherein my death might yield her any profit,
Or my life imply her any danger?
Leonine My commission
Is not to reason of the deed, but do it.
Marina You will not do’t for all the world, I hope.
You are well favour’d, and your looks foreshow
You have a gentle heart. I saw you lately,
When you caught hurt in parting two that fought:
Good sooth, it show’d well in you: do so now:
Your lady seeks my life; come you between,
And save poor me, the weaker.
Leonine I am sworn,
And will dispatch.
He seizes her
First Pirate Hold, villain!
Leonine runs away
Second Pirate A prize! a prize!
Third Pirate Half-part, mates, half-part.
Come, let’s have her aboard suddenly.
Exeunt Pirates with Marina
Leonine These roguing thieves serve the great pirate Valdes;
And they have seized Marina. Let her go:
There’s no hope she will return. I’ll swear she’s dead,
And thrown into the sea. But I’ll see further:
Perhaps they will but please themselves upon her,
Not carry her aboard. If she remain,
Whom they have ravish’d must by me be slain.
Enter Pandar, Bawd, and Boult
Pandar Search the market narrowly; Mytilene is full of gallants. We lost too much money this mart by being too wenchless.
Bawd We were never so much out of creatures. We have but poor three, and they can do no more than they can do; and they with continual action are even as good as rotten.
Pandar Therefore let’s have fresh ones, whate’er we pay for them. If there be not a conscience to be used in every trade, we shall never prosper.
Bawd Thou sayest true: ’tis not our bringing up of poor bastards — as, I think, I have brought up some eleven —
Boult Ay, to eleven; and brought them down again. But shall I search the market?
Bawd What else, man? The stuff we have, a strong wind will blow it to pieces, they are so pitifully sodden.
Pandar Thou sayest true; they’re too unwholesome, o’ conscience. The poor Transylvanian is dead, that lay with the little baggage.
Boult Ay, she quickly pooped him; she made him roast-meat for worms. But I’ll go search the market.
Pandar Three or four thousand chequins were as pretty a proportion to live quietly, and so give over.
Bawd Why to give over, I pray you? is it a shame to get when we are old?
Pandar O, our credit comes not in like the commodity, nor the commodity wages not with the danger: therefore, if in our youths we could pick up some pretty estate, ’twere not amiss to keep our door hatched. Besides, the sore terms we stand upon with the gods will be strong with us for giving over.
Bawd Come, other sorts offend as well as we.
Pandar As well as we! ay, and better too; we offend worse. Neither is our profession any trade; it’s no calling. But here comes Boult.
Re-enter Boult, with the Pirates and Marina
Boult [To Marina] Come your ways. My masters, you say she’s a virgin?
First Pirate O, sir, we doubt it not.
Boult Master, I have gone through for this piece, you see: if you like her, so; if not, I have lost my earnest.
Bawd Boult, has she any qualities?
Boult She has a good face, speaks well, and has excellent good clothes: there’s no further necessity of qualities can make her be refused.
Bawd What’s her price, Boult?
Boult I cannot be bated one doit of a thousand pieces.
Pandar Well, follow me, my masters, you shall have your money presently. Wife, take her in; instruct her what she has to do, that she may not be raw in her entertainment.
Exeunt Pandar and Pirates
Bawd Boult, take you the marks of her, the colour of her hair, complexion, height, age, with warrant of her virginity; and cry ‘He that will give most shall have her first.’ Such a maidenhead were no cheap thing, if men were as they have been. Get this done as I command you.
Boult Performance shall follow.
Marina Alack that Leonine was so slack, so slow!
He should have struck, not spoke; or that these pirates,
Not enough barbarous, had not o’erboard thrown me
For to seek my mother!
Bawd Why lament you, pretty one?
Marina That I am pretty.
Bawd Come, the gods have done their part in you.
Marina I accuse them not.
Bawd You are light into my hands, where you are like to live.
Marina The more my fault
To scape his hands where I was like to die.
Bawd Ay, and you shall live in pleasure.
Bawd Yes, indeed shall you, and taste gentlemen of all fashions: you shall fare well; you shall have the difference of all complexions. What! do you stop your ears?
Marina Are you a woman?
Bawd What would you have me be, an I be not a woman?
Marina An honest woman, or not a woman.
Bawd Marry, whip thee, gosling: I think I shall have something to do with you. Come, you’re a young foolish sapling, and must be bowed as I would have you.
Marina The gods defend me!
Bawd If it please the gods to defend you by men, then men must comfort you, men must feed you, men must stir you up. Boult’s returned.
Now, sir, hast thou cried her through the market?
Boult I have cried her almost to the number of her hairs;
I have drawn her picture with my voice.
Bawd And I prithee tell me, how dost thou find the inclination of the people, especially of the younger sort?
Boult ’Faith, they listened to me as they would have hearkened to their father’s testament. There was a Spaniard’s mouth so watered, that he went to bed to her very description.
Bawd We shall have him here to-morrow with his best ruff on.
Boult To-night, to-night. But, mistress, do you know the
French knight that cowers i’ the hams?
Bawd Who, Monsieur Veroles?
Boult Ay, he: he offered to cut a caper at the proclamation; but he made a groan at it, and swore he would see her to-morrow.
Bawd Well, well; as for him, he brought his disease hither: here he does but repair it. I know he will come in our shadow, to scatter his crowns in the sun.
Boult Well, if we had of every nation a traveller, we should lodge them with this sign.
Bawd [To Marina] Pray you, come hither awhile. You have fortunes coming upon you. Mark me: you must seem to do that fearfully which you commit willingly, despise profit where you have most gain. To weep that you live as ye do makes pity in your lovers: seldom but that pity begets you a good opinion, and that opinion a mere profit.
Marina I understand you not.
Boult O, take her home, mistress, take her home: these blushes of hers must be quenched with some present practise.
Bawd Thou sayest true, i’ faith, so they must; for your bride goes to that with shame which is her way to go with warrant.
Boult ’Faith, some do, and some do not. But, mistress, if
I have bargained for the joint —
Bawd Thou mayst cut a morsel off the spit.
Boult I may so.
Bawd Who should deny it? Come, young one, I like the manner of your garments well.
Boult Ay, by my faith, they shall not be changed yet.
Bawd Boult, spend thou that in the town: report what a sojourner we have; you’ll lose nothing by custom. When nature flamed this piece, she meant thee a good turn; therefore say what a paragon she is, and thou hast the harvest out of thine own report.
Boult I warrant you, mistress, thunder shall not so awake the beds of eels as my giving out her beauty stir up the lewdly-inclined. I’ll bring home some to-night.
Bawd Come your ways; follow me.
Marina If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,
Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.
Diana, aid my purpose!
Bawd What have we to do with Diana? Pray you, will you go with us?
Enter Cleon and Dionyza
Dionyza Why, are you foolish? Can it be undone?
Cleon O Dionyza, such a piece of slaughter
The sun and moon ne’er look’d upon!
Dionyza I think
You’ll turn a child again.
Cleon Were I chief lord of all this spacious world,
I’ld give it to undo the deed. O lady,
Much less in blood than virtue, yet a princess
To equal any single crown o’ the earth
I’ the justice of compare! O villain Leonine!
Whom thou hast poison’d too:
If thou hadst drunk to him, ’t had been a kindness
Becoming well thy fact: what canst thou say
When noble Pericles shall demand his child?
Dionyza That she is dead. Nurses are not the fates,
To foster it, nor ever to preserve.
She died at night; I’ll say so. Who can cross it?
Unless you play the pious innocent,
And for an honest attribute cry out
‘she died by foul play.’
Cleon O, go to. Well, well,
Of all the faults beneath the heavens, the gods
Do like this worst.
Dionyza Be one of those that think
The petty wrens of Tarsus will fly hence,
And open this to Pericles. I do shame
To think of what a noble strain you are,
And of how coward a spirit.
Cleon To such proceeding
Who ever but his approbation added,
Though not his prime consent, he did not flow
From honourable sources.
Dionyza Be it so, then:
Yet none does know, but you, how she came dead,
Nor none can know, Leonine being gone.
She did disdain my child, and stood between
Her and her fortunes: none would look on her,
But cast their gazes on Marina’s face;
Whilst ours was blurted at and held a malkin
Not worth the time of day. It pierced me through;
And though you call my course unnatural,
You not your child well loving, yet I find
It greets me as an enterprise of kindness
Perform’d to your sole daughter.
Cleon Heavens forgive it!
Dionyza And as for Pericles,
What should he say? We wept after her hearse,
And yet we mourn: her monument
Is almost finish’d, and her epitaphs
In glittering golden characters express
A general praise to her, and care in us
At whose expense ’tis done.
Cleon Thou art like the harpy,
Which, to betray, dost, with thine angel’s face,
Seize with thine eagle’s talons.
Dionyza You are like one that superstitiously
Doth swear to the gods that winter kills the flies:
But yet I know you’ll do as I advise.
Enter Gower, before the monument of Marina at Tarsus
Gower Thus time we waste, and longest leagues make short;
Sail seas in cockles, have an wish but for’t;
Making, to take your imagination,
From bourn to bourn, region to region.
By you being pardon’d, we commit no crime
To use one language in each several clime
Where our scenes seem to live. I do beseech you
To learn of me, who stand i’ the gaps to teach you,
The stages of our story. Pericles
Is now again thwarting the wayward seas,
Attended on by many a lord and knight.
To see his daughter, all his life’s delight.
Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late
Advanced in time to great and high estate,
Is left to govern. Bear you it in mind,
Old Helicanus goes along behind.
Well-sailing ships and bounteous winds have brought
This king to Tarsus — think his pilot thought;
So with his steerage shall your thoughts grow on —
To fetch his daughter home, who first is gone.
Like motes and shadows see them move awhile;
Your ears unto your eyes I’ll reconcile.
Enter Pericles, at one door, with all his train; Cleon and Dionyza, at the other. Cleon shows Pericles the tomb; whereat Pericles makes lamentation, puts on sackcloth, and in a mighty passion departs. Then exeunt Cleon and Dionyza
See how belief may suffer by foul show!
This borrow’d passion stands for true old woe;
And Pericles, in sorrow all devour’d,
With sighs shot through, and biggest tears o’ershower’d,
Leaves Tarsus and again embarks. He swears
Never to wash his face, nor cut his hairs:
He puts on sackcloth, and to sea. He bears
A tempest, which his mortal vessel tears,
And yet he rides it out. Now please you wit.
The epitaph is for Marina writ
By wicked Dionyza.
Reads the inscription on Marina’s monument
‘The fairest, sweet’st, and best lies here,
Who wither’d in her spring of year.
She was of Tyrus the king’s daughter,
On whom foul death hath made this slaughter;
Marina was she call’d; and at her birth,
Thetis, being proud, swallow’d some part o’ the earth:
Therefore the earth, fearing to be o’erflow’d,
Hath Thetis’ birth-child on the heavens bestow’d:
Wherefore she does, and swears she’ll never stint,
Make raging battery upon shores of flint.’
No visor does become black villany
So well as soft and tender flattery.
Let Pericles believe his daughter’s dead,
And bear his courses to be ordered
By Lady Fortune; while our scene must play
His daughter’s woe and heavy well-a-day
In her unholy service. Patience, then,
And think you now are all in Mytilene.
Enter, from the brothel, two Gentlemen
First Gentleman Did you ever hear the like?
Second Gentleman No, nor never shall do in such a place as this, she being once gone.
First Gentleman But to have divinity preached there! did you ever dream of such a thing?
Second Gentleman No, no. Come, I am for no more bawdy-houses: shall’s go hear the vestals sing?
First Gentleman I’ll do any thing now that is virtuous; but I am out of the road of rutting for ever.
Enter Pandar, Bawd, and Boult
Pandar Well, I had rather than twice the worth of her she had ne’er come here.
Bawd Fie, fie upon her! she’s able to freeze the god Priapus, and undo a whole generation. We must either get her ravished, or be rid of her. When she should do for clients her fitment, and do me the kindness of our profession, she has me her quirks, her reasons, her master reasons, her prayers, her knees; that she would make a puritan of the devil, if he should cheapen a kiss of her.
Boult ’Faith, I must ravish her, or she’ll disfurnish us of all our cavaliers, and make our swearers priests.
Pandar Now, the pox upon her green-sickness for me!
Bawd ’Faith, there’s no way to be rid on’t but by the way to the pox. Here comes the Lord Lysimachus disguised.
Boult We should have both lord and lown, if the peevish baggage would but give way to customers.
Lysimachus How now! How a dozen of virginities?
Bawd Now, the gods to-bless your honour!
Boult I am glad to see your honour in good health.
Lysimachus You may so; ’tis the better for you that your resorters stand upon sound legs. How now! wholesome iniquity have you that a man may deal withal, and defy the surgeon?
Bawd We have here one, sir, if she would — but there never came her like in Mytilene.
Lysimachus If she’ld do the deed of darkness, thou wouldst say.
Bawd Your honour knows what ’tis to say well enough.
Lysimachus Well, call forth, call forth.
Boult For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shall see a rose; and she were a rose indeed, if she had but —
Lysimachus What, prithee?
Boult O, sir, I can be modest.
Lysimachus That dignifies the renown of a bawd, no less than it gives a good report to a number to be chaste.
Bawd Here comes that which grows to the stalk; never plucked yet, I can assure you.
Re-enter Boult with Marina
Is she not a fair creature?
Lysimachus ’Faith, she would serve after a long voyage at sea.
Well, there’s for you: leave us.
Bawd I beseech your honour, give me leave: a word, and
I’ll have done presently.
Lysimachus I beseech you, do.
Bawd [To Marina] First, I would have you note, this is an honourable man.
Marina I desire to find him so, that I may worthily note him.
Bawd Next, he’s the governor of this country, and a man whom I am bound to.
Marina If he govern the country, you are bound to him indeed; but how honourable he is in that, I know not.
Bawd Pray you, without any more virginal fencing, will you use him kindly? He will line your apron with gold.
Marina What he will do graciously, I will thankfully receive.
Lysimachus Ha’ you done?
Bawd My lord, she’s not paced yet: you must take some pains to work her to your manage. Come, we will leave his honour and her together. Go thy ways.
Exeunt Bawd, Pandar, and Boult
Lysimachus Now, pretty one, how long have you been at this trade?
Marina What trade, sir?
Lysimachus Why, I cannot name’t but I shall offend.
Marina I cannot be offended with my trade. Please you to name it.
Lysimachus How long have you been of this profession?
Marina E’er since I can remember.
Lysimachus Did you go to ’t so young? Were you a gamester at five or at seven?
Marina Earlier too, sir, if now I be one.
Lysimachus Why, the house you dwell in proclaims you to be a creature of sale.
Marina Do you know this house to be a place of such resort, and will come into ’t? I hear say you are of honourable parts, and are the governor of this place.
Lysimachus Why, hath your principal made known unto you who I am?
Marina Who is my principal?
Lysimachus Why, your herb-woman; she that sets seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. O, you have heard something of my power, and so stand aloof for more serious wooing. But I protest to thee, pretty one, my authority shall not see thee, or else look friendly upon thee. Come, bring me to some private place: come, come.
Marina If you were born to honour, show it now;
If put upon you, make the judgment good
That thought you worthy of it.
Lysimachus How’s this? how’s this? Some more; be sage.
Marina For me,
That am a maid, though most ungentle fortune
Have placed me in this sty, where, since I came,
Diseases have been sold dearer than physic,
O, that the gods
Would set me free from this unhallow’d place,
Though they did change me to the meanest bird
That flies i’ the purer air!
Lysimachus I did not think
Thou couldst have spoke so well; ne’er dream’d thou couldst.
Had I brought hither a corrupted mind,
Thy speech had alter’d it. Hold, here’s gold for thee:
Persever in that clear way thou goest,
And the gods strengthen thee!
Marina The good gods preserve you!
Lysimachus For me, be you thoughten
That I came with no ill intent; for to me
The very doors and windows savour vilely.
Fare thee well. Thou art a piece of virtue, and
I doubt not but thy training hath been noble.
Hold, here’s more gold for thee.
A curse upon him, die he like a thief,
That robs thee of thy goodness! If thou dost
Hear from me, it shall be for thy good.
Boult I beseech your honour, one piece for me.
Lysimachus Avaunt, thou damned door-keeper!
Your house, but for this virgin that doth prop it,
Would sink and overwhelm you. Away!
Boult How’s this? We must take another course with you. If your peevish chastity, which is not worth a breakfast in the cheapest country under the cope, shall undo a whole household, let me be gelded like a spaniel. Come your ways.
Marina Whither would you have me?
Boult I must have your maidenhead taken off, or the common hangman shall execute it. Come your ways. We’ll have no more gentlemen driven away. Come your ways, I say.
Bawd How now! what’s the matter?
Boult Worse and worse, mistress; she has here spoken holy words to the Lord Lysimachus.
Bawd O abominable!
Boult She makes our profession as it were to stink afore the face of the gods.
Bawd Marry, hang her up for ever!
Boult The nobleman would have dealt with her like a nobleman, and she sent him away as cold as a snowball; saying his prayers too.
Bawd Boult, take her away; use her at thy pleasure: crack the glass of her virginity, and make the rest malleable.
Boult An if she were a thornier piece of ground than she is, she shall be ploughed.
Marina Hark, hark, you gods!
Bawd She conjures: away with her! Would she had never come within my doors! Marry, hang you! She’s born to undo us. Will you not go the way of women-kind? Marry, come up, my dish of chastity with rosemary and bays!
Boult Come, mistress; come your ways with me.
Marina Whither wilt thou have me?
Boult To take from you the jewel you hold so dear.
Marina Prithee, tell me one thing first.
Boult Come now, your one thing.
Marina What canst thou wish thine enemy to be?
Boult Why, I could wish him to be my master, or rather, my mistress.
Marina Neither of these are so bad as thou art,
Since they do better thee in their command.
Thou hold’st a place, for which the pained’st fiend
Of hell would not in reputation change:
Thou art the damned doorkeeper to every
Coistrel that comes inquiring for his Tib;
To the choleric fisting of every rogue
Thy ear is liable; thy food is such
As hath been belch’d on by infected lungs.
Boult What would you have me do? go to the wars, would you? where a man may serve seven years for the loss of a leg, and have not money enough in the end to buy him a wooden one?
Marina Do any thing but this thou doest. Empty
Old receptacles, or common shores, of filth;
Serve by indenture to the common hangman:
Any of these ways are yet better than this;
For what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak,
Would own a name too dear. O, that the gods
Would safely deliver me from this place!
Here, here’s gold for thee.
If that thy master would gain by thee,
Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance,
With other virtues, which I’ll keep from boast:
And I will undertake all these to teach.
I doubt not but this populous city will
Yield many scholars.
Boult But can you teach all this you speak of?
Marina Prove that I cannot, take me home again,
And prostitute me to the basest groom
That doth frequent your house.
Boult Well, I will see what I can do for thee: if I can place thee, I will.
Marina But amongst honest women.
Boult ’Faith, my acquaintance lies little amongst them. But since my master and mistress have bought you, there’s no going but by their consent: therefore I will make them acquainted with your purpose, and I doubt not but I shall find them tractable enough. Come, I’ll do for thee what I can; come your ways.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59