SECOND FISHERMAN.
Nay, then thou wilt starve, sure; for here's nothing to be got
now-a-days, unless thou canst fish for 't.

PERICLES.
What I have been I have forgot to know;
But what I am, want teaches me to think on:
A man throng'd up with cold: my veins are chill,
And have no more of life than may suffice
To give my tongue that heat to ask your help;
Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
For that I am a man, pray see me buried.

FIRST FISHERMAN.
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.

PERICLES.
I thank you, sir.

SECOND FISHERMAN.
Hark you, my friend; you said you could not beg.

PERICLES.
I did but crave.

SECOND FISHERMAN.
But crave! Then I'll turn craver too, and so I shall 'scape
whipping.

PERICLES.
Why, are your beggars whipped, then?

SECOND FISHERMAN.
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.

[Exit with Third Fisherman.]

PERICLES. [Aside.]
How well this honest mirth becomes their 1abour!

FIRST FISHERMAN.
Hark you, sir, do you know where ye are?

PERICLES.
Not well.

FIRST FISHERMAN.
Why, I'll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and our king the
good Simonides.

PERICLES.
The good King Simonides, do you call him?

FIRST FISHERMAN.
Ay, sir; and he deserves so to be called for his peaceable reign
and good government.

PERICLES.
He is a happy king, since he gains from his subjects the name of
good government. How far is his court distant from this shore?

FIRST FISHERMAN.
Marry sir, half a day's journey: and I'll tell you, he hath a
fair daughter, and to-morrow is her birth-day; and there are
princes and knights come from all parts of the world to just and
tourney for her love.

PERICLES.
Were my fortunes equal to my desires, I could wish to make one
there.

FIRST FISHERMAN.
O, sir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he
may lawfully deal for -- his wife' soul.

[Re-enter Second and Third Fishermen, drawing up a net.]

SECOND FISHERMAN.
Help, master, help! here's a fish hangs in the net, like a poor
man's right in the law; 'twill hardly come out. Ha! bots on't,
'tis come at last, and 'tis turned to a rusty armour.

PERICLES.
An armour, friends! I pray you, let me see it.
Thanks, fortune, yet, that, after all my crosses,
Thou givest me somewhat to repair myself,
And though it was mine own, part of my heritage,
Which my dead father did bequeath to me,
With this strict charge, even as he left his life.
'Keep it, my Pericles; it hath been a shield
'Twixt me and death;' -- and pointed to this brace; --
For that it saved me, keep it; in like necessity --
The which the gods protect thee from! -- may defend thee.'
It kept where I kept, I so dearly loved it;
Till the rough seas, that spare not any man,
Took it in rage, though calm'd have given't again:
I thank thee for 't: my shipwreck now's no ill,
Since I have here my father's gift in's will.

FIRST FISHERMAN.
What mean you' sir?

Pericles Prince of Tyre Page 12

William Shakespeare Plays

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