William Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Pericles, Prince of Tyre > Act II. Scene IV.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Study Guides
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Macbeth
Merchant of Venice
Othello
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Trivia
Authorship
Bard Facts
Bibliography
Biography
FAQ
Films
Globe Theatre
Pictures
Quiz
Timeline

Act II. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—Tyre. A Room in the Governor's
House.

Enter HELICANUS and ESCANES.

Hel. No, Escanes, know this of me,
Antiochus from incest liv'd not free;
For which, the most high gods not minding
longer
To withhold the vengeance that they had in
store,
Due to this heinous capital offence,
Even in the height and pride of all his glory,
When he was seated in a chariot
Of an inestimable value, and his daughter with
him,
A fire from heaven came and shrivell'd up
Their bodies, even to loathing; for they so
stunk,
That all those eyes ador'd them ere their fall
Scorn now their hand should give them burial.
Esca. 'Twas very strange.
Hel. And yet but just; for though
This king were great, his greatness was no guard
To bar heaven's shaft, but sin had his reward.
Esca. 'Tis very true.

Enter two or three Lords.
First Lord. See, not a man in private con-
ference
Or council has respect with him but he.
Sec. Lord. It shall no longer grieve without
reproof.
Third Lord. And curs'd be he that will not
second it.
First Lord. Follow me then. Lord Helicane,
a word.
Hel. With me? and welcome. Happy day,
my lords.
First Lord. Know that our griefs are risen
to the top,
And now at length they overflow their banks.
Hel. Your griefs! for what? wrong not the
prince you love.
First Lord. Wrong not yourself then, noble
Helicane;
But if the prince do live, let us salute him,
Or know what ground's made happy by his
breath.
If in the world he live, we'll seek him out;
If in his grave he rest, we'll find him there;
And be resolved he lives to govern us,
Or dead, give's cause to mourn his funeral,
And leaves us to our free election.
Sec. Lord. Whose death's indeed the strongest
in our censure:
And knowing this kingdom is without a head,
Like goodly buildings left without a roof
Soon fall to ruin, your noble self,
That best know'st how to rule and how to reign,
We thus submit unto, our sovereign.
All. Live, noble Helicane!
Hel. For honour's cause forbear your suf-
frages:
If that you love Prince Pericles, forbear.
Take I your wish, I leap into the seas,
Where's hourly trouble for a minute's ease.
A twelvemonth longer, let me entreat you
To forbear the absence of your king;
If in which time expir'd he not return,
I shall with aged patience bear your yoke.
But if I cannot win you to this love,
Go search like nobles, like noble subjects,
And in your search spend your adventurous
worth;
Whom if you find, and win unto return,
You shall like diamonds sit about his crown.
First Lord. To wisdom he's a fool that will
not yield;
And since Lord Helicane enjoineth us,
We with our travels will endeavour it.
Hel. Then you love us, we you, and we'll
clasp hands:
When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands.
[Exeunt.
< PREVIOUS
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards