SCENE I. Pentapolis. An open place by the sea-side.

[Enter Pericles, wet.]

PERICLES.
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.]

FIRST FISHERMAN.
What, ho, Pilch!

SECOND FISHERMAN.
Ha, come and bring away the nets!

FIRST FISHERMAN.
What, Patch-breech, I say!

THIRD FISHERMAN.
What say you, master?

FIRST FISHERMAN.
Look how thou stirrest now! come away, or I'll fetch thee with a
wanion.

THIRD FISHERMAN.
'Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were cast away
before us even now.

FIRST FISHERMAN.
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.

THIRD FISHERMAN.
Nay, master, said not I as much when I saw the porpus how he
bounced and tumbled? they say they're 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.

FIRST FISHERMAN.
Why, as men do a-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 o' the land, who never leave gaping till they they've
swallowed the whole parish, church, steeple, bells, and all.

PERICLES. [Aside.]
A pretty moral.

THIRD FISHERMAN.
But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have been that day
in the belfry.

SECOND FISHERMAN.
Why, man?

THIRD FISHERMAN.
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
my mind, --

PERICLES. [Aside.]
Simonides!

THIRD FISHERMAN.
We would purge the land of these drones, that rob the bee of her
honey.

PERICLES. [Aside.]
How from the finny subjec of the sea
These fishers tell the infirmities of men;
And from their watery empire recollect
All that may men approve or men detect!
Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen.

SECOND FISHERMAN.
Honest! good fellow, what's that; If it be a day fits you, search
out of the calendar, and nobody look after it.

PERICLES.
May see the sea hath cast upon your coast.

SECOND FISHERMAN.
What a drunken knave was the sea to cast thee in our way!

PERICLES.
A man whom both the waters and the wind,
In that vast tennis-court, have made the ball
For them to play upon, entreats you pity him;
He asks of you, that never used to beg.

FIRST FISHERMAN.
No, friend, cannot you beg? Here's them in our country of Greece
gets more with begging than we can do with working.

SECOND FISHERMAN.
Canst thou catch any fishes, then?

PERICLES.
I never practised it.

Pericles Prince of Tyre Page 11

William Shakespeare Plays

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