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Pericles

Pericles Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter two Sailors, one belonging to the Tyrian vessel, the other to the barge; to them HELICANUS

TYRIAN SAILOR

[To the Sailor of Mytilene] Where is lord Helicanus? he can resolve you. O, here he is. Sir, there's a barge put off from Mytilene, And in it is Lysimachus the governor, Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?

TYRIAN SAILOR

[To the Mytilene Sailor] Where is Lord Helicanus? He can answer your questions. Oh, here he is.

[To HELICANUS]
Sir, there's a boat that just came from Mytilene and Lysimachus, the governor, is in it, asking to come onboard. What should we do?

HELICANUS

That he have his. Call up some gentlemen.

HELICANUS

Bring him aboard. And bring some gentlemen with you.

TYRIAN SAILOR

Ho, gentlemen! my lord calls.

TYRIAN SAILOR

Hey, gentlemen! Helicanus is calling.

Enter two or three Gentlemen

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Doth your lordship call?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Did you call, sir?

HELICANUS

Gentlemen, there's some of worth would come aboard;I pray ye, greet them fairly.

HELICANUS

Gentlemen, there's some powerful people who want to come aboard. Please greet them warmly.

The Gentlemen and the two Sailors descend, and go on board the barge

Enter, from thence, LYSIMACHUS and Lords; with the Gentlemen and the two Sailors

TYRIAN SAILOR

Sir,This is the man that can, in aught you would,Resolve you.

TYRIAN SAILOR

Sir, this is the man who can answer whatever questions you may have.

LYSIMACHUS

Hail, reverend sir! the gods preserve you!

LYSIMACHUS

Greetings, sir! May the gods bless you!

HELICANUS

And you, sir, to outlive the age I am,And die as I would do.

HELICANUS

And you, sir. May you live longer than me and die an old man.

LYSIMACHUS

You wish me well. Being on shore, honouring of Neptune's triumphs, Seeing this goodly vessel ride before us, I made to it, to know of whence you are.

LYSIMACHUS

Thanks. I was on the shore, admiring Neptune's domain, when I saw your impressive ship sail toward us. I came out in my ship to find out where you've come from.

HELICANUS

First, what is your place?

HELICANUS

First, who are you?

LYSIMACHUS

I am the governor of this place you lie before.

LYSIMACHUS

I am the governor of the country you are now in.

HELICANUS

Sir, Our vessel is of Tyre, in it the king; A man who for this three months hath not spoken To any one, nor taken sustenance But to prorogue his grief.

HELICANUS

Sir, our ship has come from Tyre, and the king is onboard. For the past three months he hasn't spoken to anyone and he's refused to eat anything more than what he needs to prolong his grieving.

LYSIMACHUS

Upon what ground is his distemperature?

LYSIMACHUS

How did he get this way?

HELICANUS

'Twould be too tedious to repeat;But the main grief springs from the lossOf a beloved daughter and a wife.

HELICANUS

The story is too long to repeat, but the short version is that he lost his beloved daughter and his wife.

LYSIMACHUS

May we not see him?

LYSIMACHUS

Can we see him?

HELICANUS

You may;But bootless is your sight: he will not speak To any.

HELICANUS

You may, but it won't help. He won't speak to anyone.

LYSIMACHUS

Yet let me obtain my wish.

LYSIMACHUS

Let me see him anyway.

HELICANUS

Behold him.

HELICANUS

Here he is.

PERICLES discovered

HELICANUS

This was a goodly person,Till the disaster that, one mortal night,Drove him to this.

HELICANUS

He was a good man until the disaster that destroyed him in a single night.

LYSIMACHUS

Sir king, all hail! the gods preserve you!Hail, royal sir!

LYSIMACHUS

Greetings, king! May the gods protect you. Greetings, sir!

HELICANUS

It is in vain; he will not speak to you.

HELICANUS

It's no use; he won't speak to you.

FIRST LORD

Sir,We have a maid in Mytilene, I durst wager,Would win some words of him.

FIRST LORD

Sir, there's a girl in Mytilene who could probably make him speak.

LYSIMACHUS

'Tis well bethought. She questionless with her sweet harmony And other chosen attractions, would allure, And make a battery through his deafen'd parts, Which now are midway stopp'd: She is all happy as the fairest of all, And, with her fellow maids is now upon The leafy shelter that abuts against The island's side.

LYSIMACHUS

That's a good idea. Most likely, her beautiful voice and many other attractive qualities will allure him and get through to his deaf ears, though they're stopped up now. She's the most beautiful girl there is. She's with her students now in the building surrounded by trees on the other side of the island.

Whispers a Lord, who goes off in the barge of LYSIMACHUS

HELICANUS

Sure, all's effectless; yet nothing we'll omit That bears recovery's name. But, since your kindness We have stretch'd thus far, let us beseech you That for our gold we may provision have, Wherein we are not destitute for want, But weary for the staleness.

HELICANUS

It's probably useless, but we won't overlook anything that might help. And since we've taken advantage of your kindness so far, can I ask you if we could exchange our gold for food? We have some, but it's gone stale.

LYSIMACHUS

O, sir, a courtesy Which if we should deny, the most just gods For every graff would send a caterpillar, And so afflict our province. Yet once more Let me entreat to know at large the cause Of your king's sorrow.

LYSIMACHUS

Oh, sir, if I were to deny you that service, the most just gods would send a plague of caterpillars, one for every grain we didn't give, to afflict our country. But let me ask again: can I hear the story of how your king came to be so sad?

HELICANUS

Sit, sir, I will recount it to you:But, see, I am prevented.

HELICANUS

Sit, sir, and I'll tell you. But, as you can see, I'll be interrupted...

Re-enter, from the barge, Lord, with MARINA

LYSIMACHUS

O, here isThe lady that I sent for. Welcome, fair one!Is't not a goodly presence?

LYSIMACHUS

Oh, here's the lady that I sent for. Hello, beautiful! Isn't she pretty?

HELICANUS

She's a gallant lady.

HELICANUS

She's a noble lady.

LYSIMACHUS

She's such a one, that, were I well assured Came of a gentle kind and noble stock, I'ld wish no better choice, and think me rarely wed. Fair one, all goodness that consists in bounty Expect even here, where is a kingly patient: If that thy prosperous and artificial feat Can draw him but to answer thee in aught, Thy sacred physic shall receive such pay As thy desires can wish.

LYSIMACHUS

She's so beautiful that, if I could only be assured she came from an aristocratic family and noble blood, I couldn't find a better choice, and would marry her. Beautiful girl, you can expect to be rewarded generously for helping the sick king here. If your artistic talents are successful in getting him to respond to you in anything, we'll pay you anything you want for the healing.

MARINA

Sir, I will use My utmost skill in his recovery, provided That none but I and my companion maid Be suffer'd to come near him.

MARINA

Sir, I'll use all the skills I have to help him, as long as no one but me and my maid are allowed to come near him.

LYSIMACHUS

Come, let us leave her;And the gods make her prosperous!

LYSIMACHUS

Come, let's leave her. May the gods help her!

MARINA sings

LYSIMACHUS

Mark'd he your music?

LYSIMACHUS

Did he listen to your music?

MARINA

No, nor look'd on us.

MARINA

No, and he didn't look at us.

LYSIMACHUS

See, she will speak to him.

LYSIMACHUS

See, she's going to speak to him.

MARINA

Hail, sir! my lord, lend ear.

MARINA

Hello, sir! Sir, will you listen to me?

PERICLES

Hum, ha!

PERICLES

Hmm, ha! [PERICLES hits MARINA]

MARINA

I am a maid, My lord, that ne'er before invited eyes, But have been gazed on like a comet: she speaks, My lord, that, may be, hath endured a grief Might equal yours, if both were justly weigh'd. Though wayward fortune did malign my state, My derivation was from ancestors Who stood equivalent with mighty kings: But time hath rooted out my parentage, And to the world and awkward casualties Bound me in servitude. [Aside] I will desist; But there is something glows upon my cheek, And whispers in mine ear, 'Go not till he speak.'

MARINA

I'm a virgin, sir, and though I've never asked for anyone's attention, I've had a lot of people stare at me (as though I were a shooting star)! I'm speaking to you, sir, because I think I may have experienced grief that, if we compared, might equal yours. Though I've been unlucky to end up where I am now, I'm descended from ancestors who were the equivalent of powerful kings. I've been robbed of my inheritance from my parents, and over the course of time have been forced to serve the world and its uncomfortable institutions.

[To herself] I should stop. But there's something that warms my cheek, a little voice inside me telling me, "Keep going until he says something."

PERICLES

My fortunes—parentage—good parentage—To equal mine!—was it not thus? what say you?

PERICLES

My luck . . . parents . . . good parents . . . like me! Was it really? What did you say?

MARINA

I said, my lord, if you did know my parentage,You would not do me violence.

MARINA

I said, sir, that if you knew who my parents were, you wouldn't hurt me.

PERICLES

I do think so. Pray you, turn your eyes upon me.You are like something that—What country-woman?Here of these shores?

PERICLES

I believe you. Please, look at me. You remind me of someone . . . where are you from? From this country?

MARINA

No, nor of any shores:Yet I was mortally brought forth, and amNo other than I appear.

MARINA

No, I wasn't born in any country. And yet I was born, and am exactly what I seem.

PERICLES

I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping. My dearest wife was like this maid, and such a one My daughter might have been: my queen's square brows; Her stature to an inch; as wand-like straight; As silver-voiced; her eyes as jewel-like And cased as richly; in pace another Juno; Who starves the ears she feeds, and makes them hungry, The more she gives them speech. Where do you live?

PERICLES

I'm so upset; I'm about to start crying. My wife looked just like this girl, and my daughter might have looked like her if she had survived: she has my wife's thick eyebrows, her exact height, her straight posture, her beautiful voice, her sparkling eyes framed in rich eyelashes, with a walk as graceful as Juno's, and a voice that makes people hungry to hear her speak. Where do you live?

MARINA

Where I am but a stranger: from the deckYou may discern the place.

MARINA

I'm just a stranger here: you can see where I live from the deck of this boat.

PERICLES

Where were you bred?And how achieved you these endowments, whichYou make more rich to owe?

PERICLES

Where were you born? And how did you achieve all these accomplishments?

MARINA

If I should tell my history, it would seemLike lies disdain'd in the reporting.

MARINA

If I told you my story, you would think I was lying.

PERICLES

Prithee, speak: Falseness cannot come from thee; for thou look'st Modest as Justice, and thou seem'st a palace For the crown'd Truth to dwell in: I will believe thee, And make my senses credit thy relation To points that seem impossible; for thou look'st Like one I loved indeed. What were thy friends? Didst thou not say, when I did push thee back— Which was when I perceived thee— that thou camest From good descending?

PERICLES

Please, speak. You can't tell a lie; you look like the embodiment of Justice, like the queen of Truth. I will believe you, even if you say things that seem impossible, because you look like someone I used to love. Who was your family? Didn't you say, when I pushed you back, when I first looked at you, that you came from a good family?

MARINA

So indeed I did.

MARINA

Yes, I did.

PERICLES

Report thy parentage. I think thou said'st Thou hadst been toss'd from wrong to injury, And that thou thought'st thy griefs might equal mine, If both were open'd.

PERICLES

Tell me who your parents were. I think you said you'd been wronged and hurt in the past, and that you thought you had suffered as much as I had (if the stories were both told).

MARINA

Some such thingI said, and said no more but what my thoughtsDid warrant me was likely.

MARINA

I said something like that, but I only said what I thought might be true.

PERICLES

Tell thy story; If thine consider'd prove the thousandth part Of my endurance, thou art a man, and I Have suffer'd like a girl: yet thou dost look Like Patience gazing on kings' graves, and smiling Extremity out of act. What were thy friends? How lost thou them? Thy name, my most kind virgin? Recount, I do beseech thee: come, sit by me.

PERICLES

Tell your story; if you've experienced one thousandth of what I have, you're a man and I've suffered like a girl. You look patient in the face of death; you're smiling as if nothing had happened! Who was your family? How did you lose them? What is your name, friendly virgin? Please, tell me, I'm begging you. Come sit by me.

MARINA

My name is Marina.

MARINA

My name is Marina.

PERICLES

O, I am mock'd,And thou by some incensed god sent hitherTo make the world to laugh at me.

PERICLES

This is a joke. Some angry god has sent you here to make the world laugh at me.

MARINA

Patience, good sir,Or here I'll cease.

MARINA

Sir, please listen, or I'll stop here.

PERICLES

Nay, I'll be patient.Thou little know'st how thou dost startle me,To call thyself Marina.

PERICLES

I'll listen. You have no idea how much you've startled me by calling yourself "Marina."

MARINA

The nameWas given me by one that had some power,My father, and a king.

MARINA

The name was given to me by a powerful person: my father, who was a king.

PERICLES

How! a king's daughter?And call'd Marina?

PERICLES

What? You're a king's daughter named Marina?

MARINA

You said you would believe me;But, not to be a troubler of your peace,I will end here.

MARINA

You said you would believe me. I won't bother you anymore; I'll stop there. 

PERICLES

But are you flesh and blood? Have you a working pulse? and are no fairy? Motion! Well; speak on. Where were you born? And wherefore call'd Marina?

PERICLES

Are you flesh and blood? Is your heart beating? You're not a ghost? You're alive! Well, keep talking. Where were you born? And why were you called Marina?

MARINA

Call'd MarinaFor I was born at sea.

MARINA

I was called Marina because I was born at sea.

PERICLES

At sea! what mother?

PERICLES

At sea! Who was your mother?

MARINA

My mother was the daughter of a king; Who died the minute I was born, As my good nurse Lychorida hath oft Deliver'd weeping.

MARINA

My mother was the daughter of a king, and she died as soon as I was born. My nurse, Lychorida, told me the story many times, crying.

PERICLES

O, stop there a little! [Aside] This is the rarest dream that e'er dull sleep Did mock sad fools withal: this cannot be: My daughter's buried. Well: where were you bred? I'll hear you more, to the bottom of your story, And never interrupt you.

PERICLES

Oh, wait a minute!

[To himself] This is the strangest dream that a poor idiot ever had. This can't be true; my daughter is dead.

[To MARINA] Well, where were you born? I'll listen to you again, to the whole story, and won't interrupt you anymore.

MARINA

You scorn: believe me, 'twere best I did give o'er.

MARINA

You're making fun of me. Believe me; it's best if I stop.

PERICLES

I will believe you by the syllableOf what you shall deliver. Yet, give me leave:How came you in these parts? where were you bred?

PERICLES

I'll believe every word you say. But let me ask: how did you get here? Where were you born?

MARINA

The king my father did in Tarsus leave me; Till cruel Cleon, with his wicked wife, Did seek to murder me: and having woo'd A villain to attempt it, who having drawn to do't, A crew of pirates came and rescued me; Brought me to Mytilene. But, good sir, Whither will you have me? Why do you weep? It may be, You think me an impostor: no, good faith; I am the daughter to King Pericles, If good King Pericles be.

MARINA

My father, the king, left me in Tarsus until the king, Cleon, and his evil wife tried to murder me. They had even hired a criminal to do it, but right as he was about to, a group of pirates came and rescued me and brought me to Mytilene.

[PERICLES begins to cry] 
Sir, did I say something wrong? Why are you crying? Maybe you think I'm a fake, but I'm not: I'm good King Pericles's daughter, if good King Pericles is still alive.

PERICLES

Ho, Helicanus!

PERICLES

Hey, Helicanus!

HELICANUS

Calls my lord?

HELICANUS

Did you call, sir?

PERICLES

Thou art a grave and noble counsellor, Most wise in general: tell me, if thou canst, What this maid is, or what is like to be, That thus hath made me weep?

PERICLES

You're a serious, noble advisor, and wise about many different things: tell me, if you can, what this girl is, or is supposed to be, that she's made me cry so much?

HELICANUS

I know not; butHere is the regent, sir, of MytileneSpeaks nobly of her.

HELICANUS

I don't know, but here's the governor of Mytilene, sir, and he speaks highly of her.

LYSIMACHUS

She would never tellHer parentage; being demanded that,She would sit still and weep.

LYSIMACHUS

She would never tell me who her parents were. Whenever I asked, she would sit still and weep.

PERICLES

O Helicanus, strike me, honour'd sir; Give me a gash, put me to present pain; Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me O'erbear the shores of my mortality, And drown me with their sweetness . O, come hither, Thou that beget'st him that did thee beget; Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tarsus, And found at sea again! O Helicanus, Down on thy knees, thank the holy gods as loud As thunder threatens us: this is Marina. What was thy mother's name? tell me but that, For truth can never be confirm'd enough, Though doubts did ever sleep.

PERICLES

Oh, Helicanus, pinch me! Hit me, make me feel some pain, or this great sea of happiness will overwhelm me and kill me!

[To MARINA]
Oh come here; I gave birth to you, but finding you makes me feel like I'm reborn. You were born at sea, buried in Tarsus, and found at sea again! 

[To HELICANUS] Oh, Helicanus, kneel and thank the gods in a voice louder than the storm: this is Marina. 

[To MARINA] What was your mother's name? Tell me that. The truth can never be confirmed enough, even if I have no doubts.

MARINA

First, sir, I pray,What is your title?

MARINA

First, sir, please: who are you?

PERICLES

I am Pericles of Tyre: but tell me now My drown'd queen's name, as in the rest you said Thou hast been godlike perfect, The heir of kingdoms and another like To Pericles thy father.

PERICLES

I am Pericles of Tyre, but tell me my drowned wife's name. Everything you've said has been completely perfect. If you get this right, you're the heir to two kingdoms and to me, your father, Pericles. 

MARINA

Is it no more to be your daughter than To say my mother's name was Thaisa? Thaisa was my mother, who did end The minute I began.

MARINA

Will it prove I'm your daughter if I say my mother's name was Thaisa? Thaisa was my mother, and she died as soon as I was born.

PERICLES

Now, blessing on thee! rise; thou art my child. Give me fresh garments. Mine own, Helicanus; She is not dead at Tarsus, as she should have been, By savage Cleon: she shall tell thee all; When thou shalt kneel, and justify in knowledge She is thy very princess. Who is this?

PERICLES

Now bless you! Get up; you are my child. Bring me fresh clothes. She's my daughter, Helicanus. She's wasn't killed by Cleon back in Tarsus like she should have been. She can tell you everything, but first kneel and acknowledge her as your princess. Who is this?

HELICANUS

Sir, 'tis the governor of Mytilene,Who, hearing of your melancholy state,Did come to see you.

HELICANUS

Sir, it's the governor of Mytilene. He heard how melancholy you were and came to see you.

PERICLES

I embrace you. Give me my robes. I am wild in my beholding. O heavens bless my girl! But, hark, what music? Tell Helicanus, my Marina, tell him O'er, point by point, for yet he seems to doubt, How sure you are my daughter. But, what music?

PERICLES

I'll give you a hug. Give me my clothes. I'm overwhelmed with what I've seen. May the heavens bless my girl! But listen: what's that music? Tell Helicanus, my Marina, tell him the whole thing, point by point, because he still seems unsure—tell him that you're my daughter. But what's that music?

HELICANUS

My lord, I hear none.

HELICANUS

Sir, I can't hear anything.

PERICLES

None!The music of the spheres! List, my Marina.

PERICLES

Nothing? It's the music of the spheres! Listen, my Marina.

LYSIMACHUS

It is not good to cross him; give him way.

LYSIMACHUS

It's not good to contradict him; let him go on.

PERICLES

Rarest sounds! Do ye not hear?

PERICLES

Strange sounds! Can't you hear?

LYSIMACHUS

My lord, I hear.

LYSIMACHUS

Sir, I hear.

Music

PERICLES

Most heavenly music!It nips me unto listening, and thick slumberHangs upon mine eyes: let me rest.

PERICLES

The most heavenly music! I can't stop listening; and it's making me sleepy. Let me rest.

Sleeps

LYSIMACHUS

A pillow for his head: So, leave him all. Well, my companion friends, If this but answer to my just belief, I'll well remember you.

LYSIMACHUS

Get a pillow for his head. Let's all leave him.

Well, friends, if all this is true, I'll never forget you.

Exeunt all but PERICLES

DIANA appears to PERICLES as in a vision

DIANA

My temple stands in Ephesus: hie thee thither, And do upon mine altar sacrifice. There, when my maiden priests are met together, Before the people all, Reveal how thou at sea didst lose thy wife: To mourn thy crosses, with thy daughter's, call And give them repetition to the life. Or perform my bidding, or thou livest in woe; Do it, and happy; by my silver bow! Awake, and tell thy dream.

DIANA

My temple is in Ephesus. Go there and make a sacrifice at my altar. In front of the virgin nuns and people there, reveal the story of how you lost your wife at sea. Weep for your grief, and your daughter's. Bring the stories to life by repeating them. Do what I say, or you'll live a cursed life. If you do it, you'll be happy, I'll make sure of it! Now wake up and tell about your dream.

Disappears

PERICLES

Celestial Dian, goddess argentine,I will obey thee. Helicanus!

PERICLES

Heavenly Diana, silver goddess, I will obey you. Helicanus!

Re-enter HELICANUS, LYSIMACHUS, and MARINA

HELICANUS

Sir?

HELICANUS

Sir?

PERICLES

My purpose was for Tarsus, there to strike The inhospitable Cleon; but I am For other service first: toward Ephesus Turn our blown sails; eftsoons I'll tell thee why. [To LYSIMACHUS] Shall we refresh us, sir, upon your shore, And give you gold for such provision As our intents will need?

PERICLES

I had planned to go to Tarsus and wage war on Cleon, but I have to do something else first. Turn the sails toward Ephesus. I'll tell you why soon.

[To LYSIMACHUS] Can we rest and get provisions, sir, in Mytilene? We can pay you in gold for everything that we need.

LYSIMACHUS

Sir,With all my heart; and, when you come ashore,I have another suit.

LYSIMACHUS

Sir, with all my heart. And when you come on shore, I have another request.

PERICLES

You shall prevail,Were it to woo my daughter; for it seemsYou have been noble towards her.

PERICLES

The answer is "yes" if you're asking to marry my daughter. It seems you've been kind to her.

LYSIMACHUS

Sir, lend me your arm.

LYSIMACHUS

Sir, give me your arm.

PERICLES

Come, my Marina.

PERICLES

Come, my Marina.

Exeunt

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.