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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 strange inquire)
To the Court of King Simonides
Are letters brought, —- the tenour these : —
Antiochus and his daughter dead:
The men of Tyrus on the head
Of Helicanus would set on
The crown of Tyre, but he will none:
The mutiny he there hastes t' oppress;
Says to 'em, if King Pericles
Come not home in twice six moons,
He, obedient to their dooms,
Will take the crown. The sum of this,
Brought hither to Pentapolis,
Yravished 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 grizzly north
Disgorges such a tempest forth
That, as a duck for life that dives,
So up and down the poor ship drives.
The lady shrieks, and weli-a-near,
Does 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 Pericles appears to speak. [Exit.
A Ship at Sea.
Enter Pericees. 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 deafening, dreadful thunders; gently quench Thy nimble, sulphurous flashes ! -— O, how, Lychorida, How does my Queen ?— Thou storm, 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 travail!—Now, Lychorida
Enter Lychorida with an Infant.
Lychorida. 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
Per. How, how, Lychorida!
Lye. 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,
Lye. Patience, good sir,
Even for this charge.
Per. Now, mild may be thy life!
For a more blust'rous birth had never babe:
Enter two Sailors.
1 Sailor. W7hat courage, sir? God save you.
Per. Courage enough. I do not fear the flaw; It hath done to me the worst: yet, for the love Of this poor infant, this fresh new sea-farer, I would it would be quiet.
1 Sail. Slack the bowlins 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 clear'd of the dead.
Per. That's your superstition.
1 Sail. Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it hath been still observ'd, and we are strong in custom. Therefore briefly yield her, for she must overboard straight.
Per. As you think meet. —• Most wretched Queen!
Lye. 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 a monument upon thy bones, And aye-remaining lamps, the belching whale And humming water must o'erwhelm thy corpse, Lying with simple shells. ■— O 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.
2 Sail. Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulk'd and bitum'd 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.
Ephesus. A Room in Cebimon's House.
Enter Cerimon, a Servant, and some shipwrecked
Philemon. 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 the rest.
Enter two Gentlemen.
1 Gentleman. Good morrow.
2 Gent. Good morrow to your lordship.
Why do you stir so early?
1 Gent. Sir,