Page images

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

Per. Simonides ?

3 Fish. We would purge the land of these drones that rob the bee of her honey.

Per. How from the finny subject 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.

2 Fish. Honest! good fellow, what's that? if it be a day fits you, scratch it out of the calendar, and nobody will look after it.

Per. Nay, see, the sea hath cast upon your coast

2 Fish. What a drunken knave was the sea; to cast thee in our way!

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

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

2 Fish. Canst thou catch any fishes then ? Per. I never practised it.

2 Fish. Nay, then thou wilt starve sure; for here's nothing to be got now-a-days, unless thou canst fish fort.

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

I am a man, pray see me buried.
1 Fish. 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
Hesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days, and moreo’er puddings
and flap-jacks,f and thou shalt be welcome.

Per. I thank you, Sir.
2 Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you could not beg.
Per. I did but crave.

2 Fish. But crave ? Then I'll turn craver too, and so I shall 'scape whipping.

Per. Why, are all your beggars whipp'd then ?

2 Fish. O, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your þeggars were whipp'd, I would wish no better office, than to be beadle. But, master, I'll go draw up the net.

[Exeunt two of the FISHERMEN. Per. How well this honest mirth becomes their labour !


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

* As.

+ Pancakes.

1 Fish. Hark you, Sir! do you know where you are ? Per. Not well. 1 Fish. Why, I'll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and our king, the good Simonides.

Per. The good king Simonides, do you call him ?

1 Fish. Ay, Sir; and he deserves to be so calld, for his peau's. able reign, and good government.

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

1 Fish. Marry, Sir, half a day's journey; and I'll tell you, he hath a fair daughter, and to-morrow is her birthday; and there are princes and knights come from all parts of the world, to just and

tourney for her love.

Per. Did but my fortunes equal my desires, I'd wish to make one there.

1 Fish. O, Sir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully deal for his wife's soul.

Re-enter the Two FISHERMEN, drawing up a net. 2 Fish. 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 turn’d to a rusty armour.

Per. An armour, friends! I pray you, let me see it.
Thanks, Fortune, yet, that after all my crosses,
Thou giv'st me somewhat to repair myself ;
And, though it was mine own, part of mine heritage,
Whích 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,
Which gods protect thee from! it 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 they give't

again :
I thank thee fort; my shipwreck 's now no ill,
Since I have here my father's gift by will.
i Fish. What mean you, Sir?

Per. To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of worth,
For was sometime target to a king;
I know it by this mark. He loved me dearly,
And for his sake, I wish the having of it;
And that you'd guide me to your sovereign's court.
Where with’t I may appear a gentleman;
And if that ever my low fortunes better,
I'll pay your bounties ; till then, rest your debtor.

1 Fish. Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady ?
Per. I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.
1 Fish. Why, do ye take it, and the gods give thee good on’t!
2 Fish. Ay, but hark you, my friend; 'twas we that made up

* Armour for the arm. VOL. V.


[ocr errors][merged small]

this garment through the rough seams of the waters: there are
certain condolements, certain veils. I hope, Sir, if you thrive,
you'll remember from whence you had it.

Per. Believe't I will.
Now, by your furtherance, I am clothed in steel;
And spite of all the rupture of the sea,
This jewel holds his building * on my arm;
Unto thy value will I mount myself
Upon a courser, whose delightful steps
Shall make the gazer joy to see him tread.
Only, my friend, I yet am unprovided
Of a pair of bases.

2 Fish. We'll sure provide: thou shalt have my best gown to make thee a pair; and I'll bring thee to the court myself.

Per. Then honour be but a goal to my will; This day I'll rise, or else add ill to ill.

[Exeunt. SCENE II.-The same. A public Way, or Platform, leading

to the Lists. A Pavilion by the side of it, for the reception of the KING, PRINCESS, LORDS, &c.

Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, LORDS, and Attendants. Sim. Are

the knights ready to begin the triumph ?
1 Lord. They are, my liege ;
And stay your coming to present themselves.

Sim. Return them, I we are ready; and our daughter,
In honour of whose birth these triumphs are,
Sits here, like beauty's child, whom nature gat
For men to see, and seeing, wonder at.

[Exit a LORD.
Thai. It pleaseth you, my father, to express
My commendations great, whose merit's less.

Sim. 'Tis fit it should be so; for princes are
A model, which heaven makes like to itself:
As jewels lose their glory, if neglected,
So princes their renown, if not respected.
'Tis now your honour, daughter, to explain
The labour of each knight, in his device.

Thai. Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll perform.
Enter a Knight; he passes over the Stage, and his Squire pre-

sents his Shield to the Princess.
Sim. Who is the first that doth prefer R himself?

Thai. A knight of Sparta, my renowned father:
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is a black Æthiop, reaching at the sun;
The word, Lux tua vita mihi.
Sim. He loves you well that holds his life of you.

[The second Knight passes. Who is the second, that presents himself ?

Thai. A prince of Macedon, my royal father ;

* Fixing.

+ A sort of petticoat, worn by knights on horseback. * I.e. give them notice.

☆ Offer.

And the device he bears upon his shield
Is an arm'd knight, that's conquer'd by a lady:
The motto tłus, in Spanish, Piu per dulçura, que per fuerça.

[The third Knight passes. Sim. And what's the third ?

Thai. The third, of Antioch;
And his device, a wreath of chivalry :
The word Me pompæ provexit apex. [The fourth Knight passes.

Sim. What is the fourth ?
Thai. A burning torch, that's turn'd upside down;
The word Quod me alit, me extinguit.

Sim. Which shows that beauty hath his power and will,
Which can as well inflame as it can kill.

[The fifth Knight passes. Thai. The fifth, a hand environed with clouds; Holding out gold that's by the touchstone tried : The motto thus, Sic spectanda fides. [The sixth Knight passes.

Sim. And what's the sixth and last, which the knight himself With such a graceful courtesy deliver'd ?

Thai. He seems a stranger; but his present is
A wither'd branch, that's only green at top;
The motto, In hac spe vivo.

Sim. A pretty moral;
From the dejected state wherein he is,
He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish.

1 Lörd. He had need mean better than his outward show
Can any way speak in his just commend :
For, by his rusty outside, he appears
To have practised more the whipstock,* than the lance.

2 Lord. He well may be a stranger, for he comes To an honour'd triumph strangely furnish'd.

3 Lord. And on set purpose let his armour rust Until this day, to scour it in the dust.

Sim. Opinion 's but a fool, that makes us scan
The outward habit by the inward man.
But stay, the knights are coming, we'll withdraw
Into the gallery.

[Exeunt. [Great shouts, and all cry, The mean knight! SCENE III.-The same. A Hall of State. A Banquet

prepared. Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, LORDS, KNIGHTS, and Attendants.

Sim. Knights,
To say you are 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 my guests.

* Carter's whip.

[ocr errors]

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

Per. 'Tis more by fortune, lady, than my merit.

Sim. Call it by what you will, the day is yours;
And here, I hope, is none that envies it.
In framing artists, art hath thus decreed,
To make some good, but others to exceed,
And you're her labour'd scholar. Come, queen o’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.

Sim. Your presence glads our days; honour we love,
For who hates honour, hates the gods above.
Marsh. Sir, yond's your place.
Per. Some other is more fit.
1 Knight. Contend not, Sir; for we are gentlemen,
That neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,
Envy the great, nor do the low despise.

Per. You are right courteous knights.
Sim. Sit, sit, Sir; sit.
Per. By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,
These cates resist me,* sheť not thought upon.

Thai. By Juno, that is queen
Of marriage, all the viands that I eat
Do seem unsavoury, wishing him my meat;
Sure he's a gallant gentleman.

Sim. He's but
A country gentleman;
He has done no more than other knights have done;
Broken a staff, or so; so let it pass.

Thai. To me he seems like diamond to a glass.
Per. 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 crown to his supremacy;
Where now his son 's a glow-worm in the night,
The which hath fire in darkness, none in light;
Whereby I see, that time is the king of men,
For he's their parent, and he is their grave,
And gives them what he will, not what they crave.

Sim. What, are you merry, knights ?
1 Knight. Who can be other in this royal presence ?

Sim. 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.
Sim. Yet pause a while;
Yon knight, methinks, doth sit too melancholy,
* I. e. these delicacies go against my stomach. + 1.e. Thaisa.

« PreviousContinue »