SCENE III. The same. A hall of state: a banquet prepared.

[Enter Simonides, Thaisa, Lords, Attendants, and Knights, from
tilting.]

SIMONIDES.
Knights,
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.

THAISA.
But you, my knight and guest;
To whom this wreath of victory I give,
And crown you king of this day's happiness.

PERICLES.
'Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit.

SIMONIDES.
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 of the feast, --
For, daughter, so you are, -- here take your place:
Marshal the rest, as they deserve their grace.

KNIGHTS.
We are honour'd much by good Simonides.

SIMONIDES.
Your presence glads our days; honour we love;
For who hates honour hates the gods above.

MARSHALL.
Sir, yonder is your place.

PERICLES.
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.

PERICLES.
You are right courteous knights.

SIMONIDES.
Sit, sir, sit.

PERICLES.
By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,
These cates resist me, she but thought upon.

THAISA.
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.

SIMONIDES.
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.

THAISA.
To me he seems like diamond to glass.

PERICLES.
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.

SIMONIDES.
What, are you merry, knights?

KNIGHTS.
Who can be other in this royal presence?

SIMONIDES.
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.

KNIGHTS.
We thank your grace.

SIMONIDES.
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?

THAISA.
What is it
To me, my father?

SIMONIDES.
O attend, my daughter:
Princes in this should live like god's 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.

Pericles Prince of Tyre Page 15

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