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Pericles, Prince of Tyre: Act 2 Scene 3
Scene III The same. A hall of state: a banquet prepared.
- [Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, Attendants, and
- Knights, from tilting]
- To say you're welcome were superfluous.
- To place upon the volume of your deeds,
- As in a title-page, your worth in arms,
- Were more than you expect, or more than's fit,
- Since every worth in show commends itself.
- Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast:
- You are princes and my guests.
- But you, my knight and guest;
- To whom this wreath of victory I give,
- And crown you king of this day's happiness.
- 'Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit.
- Call it by what you will, the day is yours;
- And here, I hope, is none that envies it.
- In framing an artist, art hath thus decreed,
- To make some good, but others to exceed;
- And you are her labour'd scholar. Come, queen o'
- the feast,--
- For, daughter, so you are,--here take your place:
- Marshal the rest, as they deserve their grace.
- We are honour'd much by good Simonides.
- Your presence glads our days: honour we love;
- For who hates honour hates the gods above.
- Sir, yonder is your place.
- Some other is more fit.
- FIRST KNIGHT
- Contend not, sir; for we are gentlemen
- That neither in our hearts nor outward eyes
- Envy the great nor do the low despise.
- You are right courteous knights.
- Sit, sir, sit.
- By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,
- These cates resist me, she but thought upon.
- By Juno, that is queen of marriage,
- All viands that I eat do seem unsavoury.
- Wishing him my meat. Sure, he's a gallant gentleman.
- He's but a country gentleman;
- Has done no more than other knights have done;
- Has broken a staff or so; so let it pass.
- To me he seems like diamond to glass.
- Yon king's to me like to my father's picture,
- Which tells me in that glory once he was;
- Had princes sit, like stars, about his throne,
- And he the sun, for them to reverence;
- None that beheld him, but, like lesser lights,
- Did vail their crowns to his supremacy:
- Where now his son's like a glow-worm in the night,
- The which hath fire in darkness, none in light:
- Whereby I see that Time's the king of men,
- He's both their parent, and he is their grave,
- And gives them what he will, not what they crave.
- What, are you merry, knights?
- Who can be other in this royal presence?
- Here, with a cup that's stored unto the brim,--
- As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips,--
- We drink this health to you.
- We thank your grace.
- Yet pause awhile:
- Yon knight doth sit too melancholy,
- As if the entertainment in our court
- Had not a show might countervail his worth.
- Note it not you, Thaisa?
- What is it
- To me, my father?
- O, attend, my daughter:
- Princes in this should live like gods above,
- Who freely give to every one that comes
- To honour them:
- And princes not doing so are like to gnats,
- Which make a sound, but kill'd are wonder'd at.
- Therefore to make his entrance more sweet,
- Here, say we drink this standing-bowl of wine to him.
- Alas, my father, it befits not me
- Unto a stranger knight to be so bold:
- He may my proffer take for an offence,
- Since men take women's gifts for impudence.
- Do as I bid you, or you'll move me else.
- [Aside] Now, by the gods, he could not please me better.
- And furthermore tell him, we desire to know of him,
- Of whence he is, his name and parentage.
- The king my father, sir, has drunk to you.
- I thank him.
- Wishing it so much blood unto your life.
- I thank both him and you, and pledge him freely.
- And further he desires to know of you,
- Of whence you are, your name and parentage.
- A gentleman of Tyre; my name, Pericles;
- My education been in arts and arms;
- Who, looking for adventures in the world,
- Was by the rough seas reft of ships and men,
- And after shipwreck driven upon this shore.
- He thanks your grace; names himself Pericles,
- A gentleman of Tyre,
- Who only by misfortune of the seas
- Bereft of ships and men, cast on this shore.
- Now, by the gods, I pity his misfortune,
- And will awake him from his melancholy.
- Come, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles,
- And waste the time, which looks for other revels.
- Even in your armours, as you are address'd,
- Will very well become a soldier's dance.
- I will not have excuse, with saying this
- Loud music is too harsh for ladies' heads,
- Since they love men in arms as well as beds.
- [The Knights dance]
- So, this was well ask'd,'twas so well perform'd.
- Come, sir;
- Here is a lady that wants breathing too:
- And I have heard, you knights of Tyre
- Are excellent in making ladies trip;
- And that their measures are as excellent.
- In those that practise them they are, my lord.
- O, that's as much as you would be denied
- Of your fair courtesy.
- [The Knights and Ladies dance]
- Unclasp, unclasp:
- Thanks, gentlemen, to all; all have done well.
- [To PERICLES]
- But you the best. Pages and lights, to conduct
- These knights unto their several lodgings!
- [To PERICLES]
- Yours, sir,
- We have given order to be next our own.
- I am at your grace's pleasure.
- Princes, it is too late to talk of love;
- And that's the mark I know you level at:
- Therefore each one betake him to his rest;
- To-morrow all for speeding do their best.