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Per. Which welcome we'll accept; feast here a. while, Until our stars that frown lend us a smile. [_Exeunt.
HERE have you seen a mighty king
Enter, at one door, Pericles, talking with Cleon; all the Train with them. Enter, at another door, a Gentleman with a letter to Pericles: Pericles shews the letter to Cleon; then gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him. Exeunt severally, Pericles, Cleon, and their Trains.
Good Helicane that stay'd at home,
(Not to eat honey like a drone,
From others' labours; for-thy he strive
To killen had, 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 hid intent, to murder him;
And that in Tharsus 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 writh 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.
Enter Pericles, ioet.
Per. 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. Pericles retires.
1 Fisherman. What, ho, Pilch!
2 Fish. Ho! come, and bring away the nets. 1 Fish. What, Patch-breech, I say!
3 Fish. What say you, master?
1 Fish. Look how thou stirrest now! come away, or I'll fetch thee with a wannion.
3 Fish. 'Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men, that were cast away before us even now.
1 Fish. Alas, poor souls! it griev'cl my heart to hear what pitiful cries they made to us to help them, when, well-a-day, we could scarce help ourselves.
3 Fish. Nay, master, said not I as much, when I saw the porpus, how he bounc'd and tumbl'd? they say, they're half fish, half flesh: a plague on them! they ne'er come, but I look to be wash'd. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.
1 Fish. Why as men do o' 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 the land, who never leave gaping, till they've swallow'd the whole parish, church, steeple, bells and all.
Per. \_Aside.~] A pretty moral.
3 Fish. But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have been that day in the belfry.
2 Fish. Why, man?
3 Fish. Because he should have swallow'd 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 —
Per. \_Aside.~] Simonides?
3 Fish. We would purge the land of these drones, that rob the bee of her honey.
Per. \_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! —
[ Coming forward. Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen.
2 Fish. Honest! good fellow, what's that? if it be a day fits you, search out of the calendar, and nobody look after it.
Per. May see, the sea hath cast upon your coast — 2 Fish. Wrhat a drunken knave was the sea, to
cast thee in our way.
Per. A man whom both the waters and the wind,
In that vast tennis-court, hath made the ball
For them to play upon, entreats you pity him;
He asks of you, that never us'd to beg.
1 Fish. No, friend, cannot you beg? here's them in our country of Greece, gets more with begging, than we can do with working.
2 Fish. Canst thou catch any fishes, then? Per. I never practis'd it.
2 Fish. Nay, then thou wilt starve, sure; foi here's nothing to be got now-a-days, unless thou canst fish for 't.
Per. 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.
1 Fish. Die, quoth'a? Now, gods forbid it! 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.
Per. I thank you, sir.
2 Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you could not beg.
Per. I did but crave.
2 Fish. But crave? Then I'll turn craver too, and so I shall 'scape whipping.
Per. Why, are all your beggars whipp'd, then?
2 Fish. 0, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your beggars were whipp'd, I would wrish no better office than to be beadle. But, master, I'll go draw up the net. [Exeunt two of the Fishermen.
Per. \_Aside.~\ How well this honest mirth becomes their labour!
1 Fish. Hark you, sir; do you know where you are?
Per. Not well.
1 Fish. Why, I'll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and our King, the good Simonides.
Per. The good King Simonides, do you call him?