Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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Sc. 92.3

Editor’s Note[Flourish.] Enter King Simonides, Thaisa, [ladies, and attendants at one door; Editor’s Noteand at another door] a Marshal [conducting] Pericles and the other Knights from tilting
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king simonides Knights,

2To say you're welcome were superfluous.

Editor’s Note3To place upon the volume of your deeds

4As in a title page your worth in arms

5Were more than you expect, or more than's fit,

6Since every worth in show commends itself.

Editor’s Note7Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast.

8You are princes and my guests.

thaisa [to Pericles] But you, my knight and guest;

9To whom this wreath of victory I give,

10And crown you king of this day's happiness.

[She crowns Pericles with a victory wreath]

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


king simonides Call it by what you will, the day is yours,

13And here I hope is none that envies it.

Editor’s Note14In framing artists art hath thus decreed:

15To make some good, but others to exceed.

Editor’s Note16And you are her laboured scholar. [To Thaisa] Come, queen o'th' feast—

17For, daughter, so you are—here take your place;

[To Marshal]

Editor’s Note18Marshal, the rest as they deserve their grace.


knights We are honoured much by good Simonides.


king simonides Your presence glads our days. Honour we love,

21For who hates honour hates the gods above.

pg 2683Editor’s Note22

marshal [to Pericles] Sir, yonder is your place.

pericles Some other is more fit.


first knight Contend not, sir, for we are gentlemen

24Have neither in our hearts nor outward eyes

25Envied the great, nor shall the low despise.


pericles You are right courteous knights.

king simonides Sit, sir, sit.

[King, Simonides Thaisa, and the Knights, including Pericles, sit to feast] [Aside]

27By Jove I wonder, that is king of thoughts,

Editor’s Note28These cates distaste me, he but thought upon.

Editor’s Note29

thaisa [aside] By Juno, that is queen of marriage,

Editor’s Note30All viands that I eat do seem unsavoury,

Editor’s Note31Wishing him my meat. [To King Simonides] Sure he's a gallant gentleman.


king simonides He's but a country gentleman.

33He's done no more than other knights have done;

Editor’s Note34He's broke a staff or so; so let it pass.

Editor’s Note35

thaisa [aside] To me he seems like diamond to glass.


pericles [aside] Yon king's to me like to my father's picture,

37Which tells me in that glory once he was—

Editor’s Note38Had princes sit like stars about his throne,

Editor’s Note39And he the sun for them to reverence.

40None that beheld him but like lesser lights

Editor’s Note41Did vail their crowns to his supremacy;

Editor’s Note42Where now his son's a glow-worm in the night,

43The which hath fire in darkness, none in light;

44Whereby I see that time's the king of men,

45He's both their parent and he is their grave,

46And gives them what he will, not what they crave.

Editor’s Note47

king simonides What, are you merry, knights?


the other knights Who can be other in this royal presence?


king simonides Here with a cup that's stored unto the brim,

50As you who love fill to your mistress' lips,

Editor’s Note51We drink this health to you.

the other knights We thank your grace.


king simonides Yet pause awhile. Yon knight doth sit too melancholy,

53As if the entertainment in our court

Editor’s Note54Had not a show might countervail his worth.

55Note it not you, Thaisa?

Editor’s Note56

thaisa What is't to me, my father?


king simonides O, attend, my daughter.

58Princes in this should live like gods above,

59Who freely give to everyone that come to honour them;

Editor’s Note60And princes not doing so are like to gnats

61Which make a sound but, killed, are wondered at.

pg 268462Therefore to make his entertain more sweet,

Editor’s Note63Here, say we drink this standing bowl of wine to him.


thaisa Alas, my father, it befits not me

Editor’s Note65Unto a stranger knight to be so bold.

Editor’s Note66He may my proffer take for an offence,

67Since men take women's gifts for impudence.

Editor’s Note68

king simonides How? Do as I bid you, or you'll move me else.


thaisa [aside] Now, by the gods, he could not please me better.

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king simonides And further, tell him we desire to know of him

71Of whence he is, his name and parentage.


thaisa [to Pericles] The King my father, sir, has drunk to you.


pericles I thank him.

Editor’s Note74

thaisa Wishing it so much blood unto your life.


pericles I thank both him and you, and pledge him freely.

[Pericles pledges King Simonides]

thaisa And further he desires to know of you

77Of whence you are, your name and parentage.


pericles A gentleman of Tyre, my name Pericles,

79My education being in arts and arms,

80Who, looking for adventures in the world,

Editor’s Note81Was by the rough seas reft of ships and men,

82And after shipwreck driven upon this shore.

[Thaisa returns to King Simonides]

thaisa He thanks your grace, names himself Pericles,

84A gentleman of Tyre,

85Who, only by misfortune of the seas,

86Bereft of ships and men, cast on this shore.


king simonides Now by the gods, I pity his misfortune,

88And will awake him from his melancholy.—

89Come, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles,

Editor’s Note90And waste the time which looks for other revels.

Editor’s Note91Even your armours, as you are addressed,

92Will well become a soldier's dance.

93I will not have excuse with saying this:

94'Loud music is too harsh for ladies' heads',

95Since they love men in arms as well as beds.

Editor’s Note[The Knights, other than Pericles, and ladies] dance

96So, this was well asked, 'twas so well performed.

[To Pericles]

Editor’s Note97Come, sir, here's a lady that wants breathing too.

98And I have heard the knights of Tyre

Editor’s Note99Are excellent in making ladies trip,

100And that their measures are as excellent.


pericles In those that practise them they are, my lord.


king simonides O, that's as much as you would be denied

103Of your fair courtesy.

Editor’s NoteThey dance

Unclasp, unclasp.

pg 2685104Thanks, gentlemen, to all. All have done well,

[To Pericles]

Editor’s Note105But you the best.—Pages and lights, to conduct

Editor’s Note Link 106These knights unto their several lodgings.—Yours, sir,

107We have given order to be next our own.


pericles I am at your grace's pleasure.


king simonides Princes, it is too late to talk of love,

Editor’s Note110And that's the mark I know you level at.

111Therefore each one betake him to his rest;

Editor’s Note112Tomorrow all for speeding do their best.

[Exeunt severally]

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
9.0 ladies probably required as dancing partners for the knights later in the scene
Editor’s Note
9.0.2 tilting armed jousting
Editor’s Note
9.3 your deeds Some if not all of the knights may seem injured and weary, perhaps moving slowly and painfully at this entrance.
Editor’s Note
9.7 becomes befits
Editor’s Note
9.14 framing creating, shaping
Editor’s Note
9.16 laboured scholar dutiful student
Editor’s Note
9.18 Marshal, … grace (King Simonides directs the Marshal to seat the guests according to their merit.)
Editor’s Note
9.22 yonder … place judging by Pericles' reaction, he must be given a prominent position at the table, perhaps on the other side of King Simonides from Thaisa.
Editor’s Note
9.28 cates delicacies
Editor’s Note
9.29 Juno (Roman queen of the gods)
Editor’s Note
9.30 viands food
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9.31 meat (a general term for food, and not just animal flesh; Thaisa's aside may convey connotations of sexual desire, i.e. punning on 'meat'/'mate')
Editor’s Note
9.34 broke a staff splintered a lance
Editor’s Note
9.35 To … glass King Simonides may or may not seem aware of Thaisa's attraction to Pericles—she may seem besotted with him.
Editor’s Note
9.38 Had when he had
Editor’s Note
9.39 he he was like. The princes are imagined as stars orbiting the sun reverentially.
Editor’s Note
9.41 vail remove a headcover (as a gesture of respect)
Editor’s Note
9.42 glow-worm i.e. a comparatively feeble light
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9.47 What … knights King Simonides may seem put out by Pericles' silence and behaviour; or he may only slowly become aware of this.
Editor’s Note
9.51 health as a toast
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9.54 countervail equal
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9.56 What … father perhaps struggling to feign disinterest
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9.60–1 princes not … wondered at i.e. princes who are not hospitable are like gnats—noisy when alive, insignificant when dead
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9.63 standing bowl wide, stemmed goblet
Editor’s Note
9.65 entertain entertainment
Editor’s Note
9.66 proffer offering; proposal
Editor’s Note
9.68 move anger
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9.74 blood (wine was popularly believed to replenish blood supply)
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9.81 reft bereft; robbed
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9.90 revels merrymaking
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9.91 addressed dressed
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9.95.1 The Knights … dance The style and duration of the dance is an option in performance. Pericles' inactivity may seem conspicuous.
Editor’s Note
9.97 wants breathing needs exercise
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9.99 trip dance (with additional meaning of 'fall sexually')
Editor’s Note
9.103.1 They dance Presumably Pericles and Thaisa join the other knights rather than dance alone
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9.105 lights (Simonides calls for servants bearing torches.)
Editor’s Note
9.105 lights In early modern theatre, the use of (unlit) torches was a shorthand way of indicating evening or night-time.
Editor’s Note
9.106 several separate, individual
Editor’s Note
9.110 the mark …. level at the target at which you aim
Editor’s Note
9.112 speeding success
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