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Till when, (the which, I hope, shall ne'er be seen) Your grace
is welcome to our town and us. Per. Which welcome we'll accept; feast here a
while, Until our stars, that frown, lend us a smile.
Gow. 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 shows the letter to Cleon; then gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him. Exeunt Pericles, Cleon, &c. severally.
Gow. Good Helicane hath staid at home,
SCENE I.- Pentapolis. An open place by the
Enter PERICLES, wet. Per. Yet cease your ire, ye angry stars of heaven! Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, earthly man
Is but a substance that must yield to you;
Enter three Fishermen.
i 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.
i Fish. Alas, poor souls, it grieved 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 porpus,
how he bounced and tumbled ? they say, they are half fish, half flesh: a plague on them, they ne'er come, but I look to be washed. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea. i Fish. Why, as men do a-land ; the great ones
1; 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 thein all at a mouthful. Such whales have I heard on a'the land, who never leave gaping, till they've swallowed the whole parish, church, steeple, bells, and all.
Pen. A pretty moral.
3 Fish. But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have been that day in the belfry.
2 Fish. Wby, mau ?
3 Fish. Because he should have swallowed 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
3 Fish. We would purge the land of these drones, that rob the bee of her honey.
Per. How from the fivny subject of the sea
2 Fish. Honest! good fellow, what's that? if it be a day fits you, scratch it out of the calendar, and no body will look after it.
Per. Nay, see, the sea hath cast upon your coast
2 Fish. What 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.
i 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
fishes then? Per. I never practis’d it.
2 Fish. Nay, then, thou wilt starve sure; for here's nothing to be got now-a-days, unless thou can'st 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 shrunk up with cold: my veins are chill,
1 Fish. Die, quoth-a? Now gods forbid! 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 whipped then ?
2 Fish. O, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your beggars were whipped, I would wish no better office, than to be beadle. But, master, I'll go
draw up the net.
[Exeunt two of the Fishermen. Per. How well this honest mirth becomes their
labour! 1 Fish. Hark you, sir! do you know where you are?
Per. Not well.
i 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?
i Fish. Ay, sir; and he deserves to be so called, for his peaceable reign, and good government.
Per. He is a happy king, since from bis subjects He gains the name of good, by his government. How far is his court distant from this shore?
1 Fish. Marry, sir, half a day's journey; and I'll tell you, he hath fair daughter, and to-morrow is