SCENE V. Pentapolis. A room in the palace.

Enter Simonides, reading a letter at one door: the Knights meet
him.]

FIRST KNIGHT.]
Good morrow to the good Simonides.

SIMONIDES.
Knights, from my daughter this I let you know,
That for this twelvemonth she'll not undertake
A married life.
Her reason to herself is only known,
Which yet from her by no means can I get.

SECOND KNIGHT.
May we not get access to her, my lord?

SIMONIDES.
'Faith, by no means; she hath so strictly tied
Her to her chamber, that 'tis impossible.
One twelve moons more she'll wear Diana's livery;
This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vow'd,
And on her virgin honour will not break it.

THIRD KNIGHT.
Loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.

[Exeunt Knights.]

SIMONIDES.
So,
They are well dispatch'd; now to my daughter's letter:
She tells me here, she'll wed the stranger knight.
Or never more to view nor day nor light.
'Tis well, mistress; your choice agrees with mine;
I like that well: nay, how absolute she's in it,
Not minding whether I dislike or no!
Well, I do commend her choice;
And will no longer have it delay'd.
Soft! here he comes: I must dissemble it.

[Enter Pericles.]

PERICLES.
All fortune to the good Simonides!

SIMONIDES.
To you as much, sir! I am beholding to you
For your sweet music this last night: I do
Protest my ears were never better fed
With such delightful pleasing harmony.

PERICLES.
It is your grace's pleasure to commend;
Not my desert.

SIMONIDES.
Sir, you are music's master.

PERICLES.
The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.

SIMONIDES.
Let me ask you one thing:
What do you think of my daughter, sir?

PERICLES.
A most virtuous princess.

SIMONIDES.
And she is fair too, is she not?

PERICLES.
As a fair day in summer, wondrous fair.

SIMONIDES.
Sir, my daughter thinks very well of you;
Ay, so well, that you must be her master,
And she will be your scholar: therefore look to it.

PERICLES.
I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.

SIMONIDES.
She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.

PERICLES. [Aside.]
A letter, that she loves the knight of Tyre!
'Tis the king's subtilty to have my life.
O, seek not to entrap me, gracious lord,
A stranger and distressed gentleman,
That never aim'd so high to love your daughter,
But bent all offices to honour her.

SIMONIDES.
Thou hast bewitch'd my daughter, and thou art
A villain.

PERICLES.
By the gods, I have not:
Never did thought of mine levy offence;
Nor never did my actions yet commence
A deed might gain her love or your displeasure.

SIMONIDES.
Traitor, thou liest.

PERICLES.
Traitor!

SIMONIDES.
Ay, traitor;

PERICLES.
Even in his throat -- unless it be the king --
That calls me traitor, I return the lie.

SIMONIDES. [Aside.]
Now, by the gods, I do applaud his courage.

PERICLES.
My actions are as noble as my thoughts,
That never relish'd of a base descent.
I came unto your court for honour's cause,
And not to be a rebel to her state;
And he that otherwise accounts of me,
This sword shall prove he's honour's enemy.

SIMONIDES.
No?
Here comes my daughter, she can witness it.

[Enter Thaisa.]

Pericles Prince of Tyre Page 18

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