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Pericles

Pericles Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter CERIMON, with a Servant, and some Persons who have been shipwrecked

CERIMON

Philemon, ho!

CERIMON

Hey, Philemon!

Enter PHILEMON

PHILEMON

Doth my lord call?

PHILEMON

Did you call me, sir?

CERIMON

Get fire and meat for these poor men:'T has been a turbulent and stormy night.

CERIMON

Start a fire and get some food for these poor men. It's been a rough and stormy night.

SERVANT

I have been in many; but such a night as this,Till now, I ne'er endured.

SERVANT

I've been in many storms, but, until now, I've never seen a night as bad as this.

CERIMON

Your master will be dead ere you return;There's nothing can be minister'd to natureThat can recover him. [TO PHILEMON] Give this to the 'pothecary,And tell me how it works.

CERIMON

Your master will be dead before you get back; there's no way on earth to help him now.

[To PHILEMON]
Give this to the doctor, and tell me how it works.

Exeunt all but CERIMON

Enter two Gentlemen

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Good morrow.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Good morning.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Good morrow to your lordship.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Good morning, sir.

CERIMON

Gentlemen,Why do you stir so early?

CERIMON

Gentleman, what are you doing up so early?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Sir, Our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea, Shook as the earth did quake; The very principals did seem to rend, And all-to topple: pure surprise and fear Made me to quit the house.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Sir, our house, which overlooks the sea, shook in the earthquake. It seemed like the foundation itself was breaking and that the whole building would split in two! It scared us enough that we left quickly.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

That is the cause we trouble you so early;'Tis not our husbandry.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

That's why we're bothering you so early—it's not our fault.

CERIMON

O, you say well.

CERIMON

Fair enough.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

But I much marvel that your lordship, having Rich tire about you, should at these early hours Shake off the golden slumber of repose. 'Tis most strange, Nature should be so conversant with pain, Being thereto not compell'd.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

But I'm surprised that someone as rich and well-provided as you is awake at this hour. It's odd that you'd want to sacrifice sleep when you don't have to.

CERIMON

I hold it ever, Virtue and cunning were endowments greater Than nobleness and riches: careless heirs May the two latter darken and expend; But immortality attends the former. Making a man a god. 'Tis known, I ever Have studied physic, through which secret art, By turning o'er authorities, I have, Together with my practise, made familiar To me and to my aid the blest infusions That dwell in vegetives, in metals, stones; And I can speak of the disturbances That nature works, and of her cures; which doth give me A more content in course of true delight Than to be thirsty after tottering honour, Or tie my treasure up in silken bags, To please the fool and death.

CERIMON

I truly believe that virtue and wisdom are more important to have than status and wealth. Careless children can ruin and waste the latter, but the former last forever, making humans like gods. As everyone knows, I've studied medicine for a long time, the secrets of which I've discovered through reading old experts and through my own experience. I'm now familiar with the powerful potions to be found in plants, metals, and stones. And I can talk about the good and bad that Nature is capable of, all of which I enjoy this a lot more than I would trying to earn money or win other people's approval; that's totally worthless.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Your honour has through Ephesus pour'd forth Your charity, and hundreds call themselves Your creatures, who by you have been restored: And not your knowledge, your personal pain, but even Your purse, still open, hath built Lord Cerimon Such strong renown as time shall ne'er decay.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Sir, you've been generous here in Ephesus. Thousands of people have been cured by you and are loyal to you. Not only your knowledge and your personal effort, but also your charity, Lord Cerimon, have built a reputation that will last forever.

Enter two or three Servants with a chest

FIRST SERVANT

So; lift there.

FIRST SERVANT

Put it up there.

CERIMON

What is that?

CERIMON

What is that?

FIRST SERVANT

Sir, even nowDid the sea toss upon our shore this chest:'Tis of some wreck.

FIRST SERVANT

Sir, this chest washed up on the shore from a shipwreck.

CERIMON

Set 't down, let's look upon't.

CERIMON

Set it down; let's look at it.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

'Tis like a coffin, sir.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

It looks like a coffin, sir.

CERIMON

Whate'er it be, 'Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight: If the sea's stomach be o'ercharged with gold, 'Tis a good constraint of fortune it belches upon us.

CERIMON

Whatever it is, it's very heavy. Open it up quick! If there's too much gold laying on the ocean floor, it's good luck that the sea has thrown it up to us.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

'Tis so, my lord.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Of course, sir.

CERIMON

How close 'tis caulk'd and bitumed!Did the sea cast it up?

CERIMON

It's really sealed up tight! Did it come out of the sea?

FIRST SERVANT

I never saw so huge a billow, sir,As toss'd it upon shore.

FIRST SERVANT

The biggest wave I've ever seen washed it up on the shore.

CERIMON

Wrench it open;Soft! it smells most sweetly in my sense.

CERIMON

Open it! [They succeed in loosening the lid of the chest] Shh! I smell something sweet.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

A delicate odour.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

A delicate odor. 

CERIMON

As ever hit my nostril. So, up with it.O you most potent gods! what's here? a corse!

CERIMON

The most delicate I've ever smelled. Lift up the lid! Oh, you powerful gods! What's in here?

[He looks in]
A body!

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Most strange!

FIRST GENTLEMAN

How strange!

CERIMON

Shrouded in cloth of state; balm'd and entreasured With full bags of spices! A passport too! Apollo, perfect me in the characters! [Reading from a scroll] 'Here I give to understand, If e'er this coffin drive a-land, I, King Pericles, have lost This queen, worth all our mundane cost. Who finds her, give her burying; She was the daughter of a king: Besides this treasure for a fee, The gods requite his charity!' If thou livest, Pericles, thou hast a heart That even cracks for woe! This chanced tonight.

CERIMON

Wearing royal clothes, scented with perfumes and spices! With a passport, too! Apollo, help me read what this says. 

[He picks up a scroll and reads from it]  
"To whoever's reading this, if this coffin ever comes to land: I, King Pericles, have lost my beloved wife. If you've found her, please give her a proper burial. She was the daughter of the king. Take this gold as payment for your service. May the gods bless you!"

[To the absent Pericles] Pericles, if you're alive, I feel sorry for you. She must have died tonight.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Most likely, sir.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Most likely, sir.

CERIMON

Nay, certainly to-night; For look how fresh she looks! They were too rough That threw her in the sea. Make a fire within: Fetch hither all my boxes in my closet.

CERIMON

No, definitely tonight, look how fresh she looks! They shouldn't have thrown her in the sea. Build a fire inside, and bring all the boxes from my closet.

Exit a Servant

CERIMON

Death may usurp on nature many hours, And yet the fire of life kindle again The o'erpress'd spirits. I heard of an Egyptian That had nine hours lien dead, Who was by good appliance recovered.

CERIMON

It may look like someone is dead for hours, but then they revive and come back to life. I heard of an Egyptian who was dead for nine hours and then, with some help, recovered.

Re-enter a Servant, with boxes, napkins, and fire

CERIMON

Well said, well said; the fire and cloths. The rough and woeful music that we have, Cause it to sound, beseech you. The viol once more: how thou stirr'st, thou block! The music there!— I pray you, give her air. Gentlemen. This queen will live: nature awakes; a warmth Breathes out of her: she hath not been entranced Above five hours: see how she gins to blow Into life's flower again!

CERIMON

[To the servants] Perfect, perfect. Give me the fire and the clothes. Play some sad music, please! Play that violin, you lazy man! Music, please, give her some music.

[The servants begin to play while Cerimon uses various medicines and potions on THAISA]


[To the GENTLEMEN] Gentlemen. The queen will live. Look, she's waking up! She's warm! She's been asleep for about five hours, but look how she comes back to life!

FIRST GENTLEMAN

The heavens,Through you, increase our wonder and set upYour fame forever.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

The gods, through you, amaze us. You've secured your fame forever.

CERIMON

She is alive; behold, Her eyelids, cases to those heavenly jewels Which Pericles hath lost, Begin to part their fringes of bright gold; The diamonds of a most praised water Do appear, to make the world twice rich. Live, And make us weep to hear your fate, fair creature, Rare as you seem to be.

CERIMON

She's alive! Look, her eyelids, which cover the beautiful eyes which Pericles has lost, are just beginning to separate their eyelashes. Now her sparkling eyes are appearing—and what a treasure they are.

[To THAISA] Live, and bring tears to our eyes with your sad story, beautiful lady. We can tell how special you are.

She moves

THAISA

O dear Diana,Where am I? Where's my lord? What world is this?

THAISA

Oh, Diana, where am I? Where's my husband? What is this place?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Is not this strange?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Isn't this strange?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Most rare.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Very odd.

CERIMON

Hush, my gentle neighbours! Lend me your hands; to the next chamber bear her. Get linen: now this matter must be look'd to, For her relapse is mortal. Come, come; And AEsculapius guide us!

CERIMON

Quiet, gentlemen! Please, pick her up and take her into the next room. Get some sheets; we need to hurry, since a relapse could kill her. Come, come, and Aesculapius help us!

Exeunt, carrying her away

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.