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Pericles

Pericles Translation Act 2, Scene 5

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Enter SIMONIDES, reading a letter, at one door: the Knights meet him

FIRST KNIGHT

Good morrow to the good Simonides.

FIRST KNIGHT

Good morning, 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.

SIMONIDES

Gentlemen, I have to tell you that my daughter has decided not to marry for another year. Only she knows why; she won't tell me.

SECOND KNIGHT

May we not get access to her, my lord?

SECOND KNIGHT

Can't we see her, sir?

SIMONIDES

'Faith, by no means; she has 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.

SIMONIDES

Absolutely not; she's locked in her room and it's impossible to get her out. She's sworn to remain a virgin for another year, and swears on her honor she won't go back on her promise.

THIRD KNIGHT

Loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.

THIRD KNIGHT

We're sad to leave, but we'll go now.

Exeunt Knights

SIMONIDES

So, They are well dispatch'd; now to my daughter's letter: She tells me here, she'd 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't, Not minding whether I dislike or no! Well, I do commend her choice; And will no longer have it be delay'd. Soft! here he comes: I must dissemble it.

SIMONIDES

Well, they're gone. Now about my daughter's letter . . . [He looks at a letter] She says here that she wants to marry the stranger knight, or she'll never see the light of day again. That's fine, missy; your choice is the same as mine. I really like that. It's funny how set she is in it; she doesn't care whether or not I dislike it! Well, I'm happy with her choice, but I'll pretend I'm not. Shh! Here he comes! I'll have to pretend it.

Enter PERICLES

PERICLES

All fortune to the good Simonides!

PERICLES

All blessings to you, 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.

SIMONIDES

The same to you, sir! I owe you for that lovely singing last night. I swear I've never heard such a great voice.

PERICLES

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

PERICLES

Thanks for the compliment, but I hardly deserve it.

SIMONIDES

Sir, you are music's master.

SIMONIDES

You're a master of music.

PERICLES

The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.

PERICLES

I'm the worst of all music's students, sir.

SIMONIDES

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

SIMONIDES

Let me ask you a question: what do you think of my daughter, sir?

PERICLES

A most virtuous princess.

PERICLES

She's a virtuous princess.

SIMONIDES

And she is fair too, is she not?

SIMONIDES

And she's pretty, too, right?

PERICLES

As a fair day in summer, wondrous fair.

PERICLES

As beautiful as a summer day; extremely beautiful.

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.

SIMONIDES

Sir, my daughter likes you. She likes you so much that she wants you to be her master, and she'll be your student. What do you think?

PERICLES

I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.

PERICLES

I'm not worthy to be her teacher.

SIMONIDES

She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.

SIMONIDES

She doesn't think so; look at this letter.

PERICLES

[Aside] What's here? A letter, that she loves the knight of Tyre! 'Tis the king's subtlety 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.

PERICLES

[To himself, reading the letter] What does this say? She says in this letter that she loves me! Maybe this is the king's plot to kill me? 

[To SIMONIDES]
Oh, please don't try to trap me, sir. I'm just an unlucky stranger and a gentleman in distress. I never wanted to marry your daughter; I just wanted to do my best to honor her.

SIMONIDES

Thou hast bewitch'd my daughter, and thou artA villain.

SIMONIDES

You've tricked my daughter into loving you, you crook.

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.

PERICLES

I swear I haven't. I never did anything to hurt you. I never wanted to win her over and never wanted to offend you.

SIMONIDES

Traitor, thou liest.

SIMONIDES

Traitor, you lie!

PERICLES

Traitor!

PERICLES

Traitor?

SIMONIDES

Ay, traitor.

SIMONIDES

Yes, traitor.

PERICLES

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

PERICLES

Anyone who calls me a traitor (unless he's a king, of course) is a liar.

SIMONIDES

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

SIMONIDES

[To himself]  Now, by the gods, I have to applaud his bravery.

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.

PERICLES

I've only tried to do the right thing; I haven't thought or done a single wrong thing. I came here to compete in the tournament for honor's sake, not to commit treason. Anyone who says otherwise will have to fight me for honor.

SIMONIDES

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

SIMONIDES

Really? Here comes my daughter; she can prove it.

Enter THAISA

PERICLES

Then, as you are as virtuous as fair, Resolve your angry father, if my tongue Did ere solicit, or my hand subscribe To any syllable that made love to you.

PERICLES

Please, since you're as honest as you are beautiful, tell the truth: tell your angry father that I never said or wrote anything proclaiming my feelings to you.

THAISA

Why, sir, say if you had,Who takes offence at that would make me glad?

THAISA

Well, if you did, I wouldn't be offended; I'd be glad.

SIMONIDES

Yea, mistress, are you so peremptory? [Aside] I am glad on't with all my heart.— I'll tame you; I'll bring you in subjection. Will you, not having my consent, Bestow your love and your affections Upon a stranger? who, for aught I know, May be, nor can I think the contrary, As great in blood as I myself.— Therefore hear you, mistress; either frame Your will to mine,— and you, sir, hear you, Either be ruled by me, or I will make you— Man and wife: Nay, come, your hands and lips must seal it too: And being join'd, I'll thus your hopes destroy; And for a further grief,—God give you joy!— What, are you both pleased?

SIMONIDES

Hey, missy, aren't you getting a little hasty?

[To himself]
I'm happy about this, with all my heart. 

[To PERICLES and THAISA] You'll have to listen to me; I'll make you do what I want. Would you really agree to marry a stranger without my permission? He could be anybody, we don't even know if he's a prince. So, listen, missy: You'll either obey me (and you, too, sir, listen to me) or I'll make you . . . man and wife! Come on, then, hold each other's hands, kiss, and seal the deal! And, now that you're together, I'll disappoint you again, with the further condition . . . God bless you! Are you happy?

THAISA

Yes, if you love me, sir.

THAISA

Of course, if you love me, sir!

PERICLES

Even as my life, or blood that fosters it.

PERICLES

I swear on my life, with all my heart!

SIMONIDES

What, are you both agreed?

SIMONIDES

You both feel the same way?

BOTH

Yes, if it please your majesty.

BOTH

Yes, if you approve.

SIMONIDES

It pleaseth me so well, that I will see you wed;And then with what haste you can get you to bed.

SIMONIDES

I approve so wholeheartedly that I'd like to have the wedding immediately and get you off to bed!

Exeunt

Enter GOWER

GOWER

Now sleep y-slaked hath the rout; No din but snores the house about, Made louder by the o'er-fed breast Of this most pompous marriage-feast. The cat, with eyne of burning coal, Now crouches fore the mouse's hole; And crickets sing at the oven's mouth, E'er the blither for their drouth. Hymen hath brought the bride to bed. Where, by the loss of maidenhead, A babe is moulded. Be attent, And time that is so briefly spent With your fine fancies quaintly eche: What's dumb in show I'll plain with speech.

GOWER

Now it's night and everyone is asleep; the only sound in the house is snoring, all the louder after being overfed at this marriage feast. Cats' eyes shine like burning coals as they hunt for mice, crickets chirp in the empty kitchen, and everything goes on as usual. Meanwhile, Pericles and Thaisa go to their marriage bed, where, by the loss of virginity, a baby is conceived. Pay attention: we'll bridge a lot of action into a short amount of time with the help of your imagination. It'll be silent, but I'll explain it afterward.

DUMB SHOW. Enter, PERICLES and SIMONIDES at one door, with Attendants; a Messenger meets them, kneels, and gives PERICLES a letter: PERICLES shows it SIMONIDES; the Lords kneel to him. Then enter THAISA with child, with LYCHORIDA a nurse. The KING shows her the letter; she rejoices: she and PERICLES take leave of her father, and depart with LYCHORIDA and their Attendants. Then exeunt SIMONIDES and the rest

Pericles
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Bailey sincox
About the Translator: Bailey Sincox

Bailey Sincox is a PhD student in English at Harvard University, where she researches the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her teaching experience includes accessible online courses with edX on Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. She holds a Master's from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's from Duke University.