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Pericles
Act 4, scene 6

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The nautical tale of a wandering prince, Pericles is narrated by John Gower, a poet from the English past. Gower explains that…

Act 1, 1 chorus

Gower sets the stage for Pericles’ entrance at Antioch by telling of the incest between Antiochus and his daughter, whom…

Act 1, scene 1

Pericles risks his life to win the hand of Antiochus’s daughter, but, in meeting the challenge, he learns of the…

Act 1, scene 2

Back in his kingdom of Tyre, Pericles, fearing the power of Antiochus, sets sail once again.

Act 1, scene 3

Thaliard arrives in Tyre to find Pericles gone.

Act 1, scene 4

In Tarsus, King Cleon, Queen Dionyza, and the citizens of the country, dying of hunger, are saved by Pericles and…

Act 2, 2 chorus

Gower tells of Pericles’ departure from Tarsus and of the storm that destroys his ships and men and tosses him…

Act 2, scene 1

Fishermen in Pentapolis provide the shipwrecked Pericles with clothing and then pull his armor from the sea. They agree to…

Act 2, scene 2

At the court, Pericles and other knights present their shields to Princess Thaisa, and Pericles wins the tournament.

Act 2, scene 3

Simonides and Thaisa separately express their admiration for “the stranger knight.”

Act 2, scene 4

In Tyre, Helicanus recounts the awful deaths of Antiochus and his daughter. He then agrees to accept the crown twelve…

Act 2, scene 5

King Simonides, learning that Thaisa loves Pericles, pretends to be angry, but then reveals his pleasure at their mutual love.

Act 3, 3 chorus

Gower picks up the story on the night after Pericles and Thaisa’s wedding and carries it forward through Thaisa’s becoming…

Act 3, scene 1

In the storm, Thaisa dies in giving birth and her body is cast into the sea. To save the baby,…

Act 3, scene 2

The body of Thaisa washes ashore in Ephesus, where she is revived by a physician named Lord Cerimon.

Act 3, scene 3

Pericles leaves the infant, Marina, in the care of Cleon and Dionyza and sails for Tyre.

Act 3, scene 4

In Ephesus, Thaisa decides to become a votaress at the temple of Diana.

Act 4, 4 chorus

Gower carries the story forward fourteen years, focusing on the young Marina. Her beauty and talents arouse murderous hatred in…

Act 4, scene 1

Dionyza’s hired murderer, Leonine, is prevented from murdering Marina by pirates, who carry her away to their ship.

Act 4, scene 2

Marina is sold by the pirates to a brothel in Mytilene.

Act 4, scene 3

Dionyza, after Leonine has (falsely) reported Marina’s death, now justifies her actions to a horrified Cleon.

Act 4, scene 4

Gower tells of Pericles’ arrival in Tarsus, his learning of Marina’s death, and his vow of perpetual mourning.

Act 4, scene 5

In Mytilene, Marina preserves her virginity through eloquent pleas to her potential customers. We see the effect on two such…

Act 4, scene 6

Lysimachus, the governor of Mytilene, arrives at the brothel and is so moved (or shamed) by Marina’s eloquence that he…

Act 5, 5 chorus

Gower describes Marina’s success in Mytilene and tells of Pericles’ ship landing on Mytilene’s shores.

Act 5, scene 1

Lysimachus visits Pericles’ ship and sends for Marina, whose music he thinks will revive the grief-stricken king. When Marina tells…

Act 5, scene 2

Gower tells of the celebrations for Pericles in Mytilene and of the betrothal of Marina and Lysimachus.

Act 5, scene 3

At Diana’s temple in Ephesus, Thaisa recognizes Pericles as her husband and is reunited with him and with her daughter.

Act 5, epilogue

Gower reflects on the now-completed story and tells the fate of Cleon and Dionyza.

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Scene 6
Enter Bawd, Pander, and Bolt.

PANDER Well, I had rather than twice the worth of her
 she had ne’er come here.
BAWD Fie, fie upon her! She’s able to freeze the god
 Priapus and undo a whole generation. We must
5 either get her ravished or be rid of her. When she
 should do for clients her fitment and do me the
 kindness of our profession, she has me her quirks,
 her reasons, her master reasons, her prayers, her
 knees, that she would make a puritan of the devil if
10 he should cheapen a kiss of her.
BOLT Faith, I must ravish her, or she’ll disfurnish us of
 all our cavalleria, and make our swearers priests.
PANDER Now the pox upon her greensickness for me!
BAWD Faith, there’s no way to be rid on ’t but by the
15 way to the pox.

Enter Lysimachus.

 Here comes the Lord Lysimachus disguised.

145
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 6

BOLT We should have both lord and lown, if the peevish
 baggage would but give way to customers.
LYSIMACHUS, removing his disguise How now! How a
20 dozen of virginities?
BAWD Now the gods to-bless your Honor!
BOLT I am glad to see your Honor in good health.
LYSIMACHUS You may so. ’Tis the better for you that
 your resorters stand upon sound legs. How now?
25 Wholesome iniquity have you that a man may deal
 withal and defy the surgeon?
BAWD We have here one, sir, if she would—but there
 never came her like in Mytilene.
LYSIMACHUS If she’d do the deeds of darkness, thou
30 wouldst say?
BAWD Your Honor knows what ’tis to say, well enough.
LYSIMACHUS Well, call forth, call forth.Pander exits.
BOLT For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shall
 see a rose; and she were a rose indeed, if she had
35 but—
LYSIMACHUS What, prithee?
BOLT O, sir, I can be modest.
LYSIMACHUS That dignifies the renown of a bawd no
 less than it gives a good report to a number to be
40 chaste.

Enter Pander with Marina.

BAWD Here comes that which grows to the stalk, never
 plucked yet, I can assure you. Is she not a fair
 creature?
LYSIMACHUS Faith, she would serve after a long voyage
45 at sea. Well, there’s for you.He gives money.
 Leave us.
BAWD I beseech your Honor, give me leave a word, and
 I’ll have done presently.
LYSIMACHUS I beseech you, do.He moves aside.
BAWD, to Marina 50First, I would have you note this is
 an honorable man.

147
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 6

MARINA I desire to find him so, that I may worthily
 note him.
BAWD Next, he’s the governor of this country and a
55 man whom I am bound to.
MARINA If he govern the country, you are bound to him
 indeed, but how honorable he is in that I know
 not.
BAWD Pray you, without any more virginal fencing,
60 will you use him kindly? He will line your apron
 with gold.
MARINA What he will do graciously, I will thankfully
 receive.
LYSIMACHUS, coming forward Ha’ you done?
BAWD 65My lord, she’s not paced yet. You must take some
 pains to work her to your manage.—Come, we will
 leave his Honor and her together. Go thy ways.
Bawd, Pander, and Bolt exit.
LYSIMACHUS Now, pretty one, how long have you been
 at this trade?
MARINA 70What trade, sir?
LYSIMACHUS Why, I cannot name ’t but I shall offend.
MARINA I cannot be offended with my trade. Please
 you to name it.
LYSIMACHUS How long have you been of this profession?
MARINA 75E’er since I can remember.
LYSIMACHUS Did you go to ’t so young? Were you a
 gamester at five or at seven?
MARINA Earlier too, sir, if now I be one.
LYSIMACHUS Why, the house you dwell in proclaims
80 you to be a creature of sale.
MARINA Do you know this house to be a place of such
 resort, and will come into ’t? I hear say you’re of
 honorable parts and are the governor of this place.
LYSIMACHUS Why, hath your principal made known
85 unto you who I am?
MARINA Who is my principal?

149
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 6

LYSIMACHUS Why, your herbwoman, she that sets
 seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. O, you have
 heard something of my power, and so stand aloof
90 for more serious wooing. But I protest to thee,
 pretty one, my authority shall not see thee, or else
 look friendly upon thee. Come, bring me to some
 private place. Come, come.
MARINA 
 If you were born to honor, show it now;
95 If put upon you, make the judgment good
 That thought you worthy of it.
LYSIMACHUS 
 How’s this? How’s this? Some more. Be sage.
MARINA  For me
 That am a maid, though most ungentle Fortune
100 Have placed me in this sty, where, since I came,
 Diseases have been sold dearer than physic—
 That the gods
 Would set me free from this unhallowed place,
 Though they did change me to the meanest bird
105 That flies i’ the purer air!
LYSIMACHUS  I did not think
 Thou couldst have spoke so well, ne’er dreamt thou
 couldst.
 Had I brought hither a corrupted mind,
110 Thy speech had altered it. Hold, here’s gold for thee.
 Persevere in that clear way thou goest
 And the gods strengthen thee!He gives her money.
MARINA The good gods preserve you.
LYSIMACHUS For me, be you thoughten
115 That I came with no ill intent, for to me
 The very doors and windows savor vilely.
 Fare thee well. Thou art a piece of virtue,
 And I doubt not but thy training hath been noble.
 Hold, here’s more gold for thee.He gives her money.
120 A curse upon him, die he like a thief,

151
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 6

 That robs thee of thy goodness! If thou dost
 Hear from me, it shall be for thy good.
He begins to exit.
BOLT, at the door I beseech your Honor, one piece
 for me.
LYSIMACHUS 125Avaunt, thou damnèd doorkeeper!
 Your house, but for this virgin that doth prop it,
 Would sink and overwhelm you. Away!He exits.
BOLT How’s this? We must take another course with
 you! If your peevish chastity, which is not worth a
130 breakfast in the cheapest country under the cope,
 shall undo a whole household, let me be gelded
 like a spaniel. Come your ways.
MARINA Whither would you have me?
BOLT I must have your maidenhead taken off, or the
135 common hangman shall execute it. Come your
 way. We’ll have no more gentlemen driven away.
 Come your ways, I say.

Enter Bawd and Pander.

BAWD How now, what’s the matter?
BOLT Worse and worse, mistress. She has here spoken
140 holy words to the Lord Lysimachus!
BAWD O, abominable!
BOLT He makes our profession as it were to stink afore
 the face of the gods.
BAWD Marry, hang her up forever.
BOLT 145The nobleman would have dealt with her like a
 nobleman, and she sent him away as cold as a
 snowball, saying his prayers too.
BAWD Bolt, take her away, use her at thy pleasure,
 crack the glass of her virginity, and make the rest
150 malleable.
BOLT An if she were a thornier piece of ground than
 she is, she shall be plowed.
MARINA Hark, hark, you gods!

153
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 6

BAWD She conjures. Away with her! Would she had
155 never come within my doors.—Marry, hang you!—
 She’s born to undo us.—Will you not go the way of
 womenkind? Marry come up, my dish of chastity
 with rosemary and bays!Bawd and Pander exit.
BOLT Come, mistress, come your way with me.
MARINA 160Whither wilt thou have me?
BOLT To take from you the jewel you hold so dear.
MARINA Prithee, tell me one thing first.
BOLT Come, now, your one thing.
MARINA 
 What canst thou wish thine enemy to be?
BOLT 165Why, I could wish him to be my master, or
 rather, my mistress.
MARINA 
 Neither of these are so bad as thou art,
 Since they do better thee in their command.
 Thou hold’st a place for which the pained’st fiend
170 Of hell would not in reputation change.
 Thou art the damnèd doorkeeper to every
 Coistrel that comes enquiring for his Tib.
 To the choleric fisting of every rogue
 Thy ear is liable. Thy food is such
175 As hath been belched on by infected lungs.
BOLT What would you have me do? Go to the wars,
 would you, where a man may serve seven years for
 the loss of a leg, and have not money enough in the
 end to buy him a wooden one?
MARINA 
180 Do anything but this thou dost. Empty
 Old receptacles, or common shores, of filth;
 Serve by indenture to the common hangman.
 Any of these ways are yet better than this.
 For what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak,
185 Would own a name too dear. That the gods
 Would safely deliver me from this place!

155
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 6

 Here, here’s gold for thee.She gives him money.
 If that thy master would gain by me,
 Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance,
190 With other virtues which I’ll keep from boast,
 And will undertake all these to teach.
 I doubt not but this populous city
 Will yield many scholars.
BOLT But can you teach all this you speak of?
MARINA 
195 Prove that I cannot, take me home again
 And prostitute me to the basest groom
 That doth frequent your house.
BOLT Well, I will see what I can do for thee. If I can
 place thee, I will.
MARINA 200But amongst honest women.
BOLT Faith, my acquaintance lies little amongst them.
 But since my master and mistress hath bought
 you, there’s no going but by their consent. Therefore
 I will make them acquainted with your
205 purpose, and I doubt not but I shall find them
 tractable enough. Come, I’ll do for thee what I can.
 Come your ways.
They exit.