Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Pericles, Prince of Tyre
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
 
Act II. Prologue.
 
Enter GOWER.
Here have you seen a mighty king
His child, I wis, to incest bring;
A better prince and benign lord,
That will prove awful both in deed and word.        5
Be quiet, then, as men should be,
Till he hath pass’d necessity.
I’ll show you those in troubles reign,
Losing a mite, a mountain gain.
The good in conversation,        10
To whom I give my benison,
Is still at Tarsus, where each man
Thinks all is writ he speken can;
And, to remember what he does,
Build his statue to make him glorious:        15
But tidings to the contrary
Are brought your eyes; what need speak I?
 
DUMB SHOW.
Enter, from one side, PERICLES, talking with CLEON; all their Train with them.  Enter, at another door, a Gentleman, with a letter to PERICLES; who shows the letter to CLEON; then gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him.  Exeunt PERICLES, CLEON, &c., severally.
Good Helicane hath stay’d at home,        20
Not to eat honey like a drone
From others’ labours; for though he strive
To killen bad, keep good alive,
And to fulfil his prince’ desire,
Sends word of all that haps in Tyre:        25
How Thaliard came full bent with sin
And had intent to murder him;
And that in Tarsus was not best
Longer for him to make his rest.
He, doing so, put forth to seas,        30
Where when men been, there’s seldom ease;
For now the wind begins to blow;
Thunder above and deeps below
Make such unquiet, that the ship
Should house him safe is wrack’d and split;        35
And he, good prince, having all lost,
By waves from coast to coast is tost.
All perishen of man, of pelf,
Ne aught escapen but himself;
Till Fortune, tir’d with doing bad,        40
Threw him ashore, to give him glad;
And here he comes. What shall be next,
Pardon old Gower, this longs the text.  [Exit.
 
 
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