Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Pericles, Prince of Tyre
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
 
Act II. Scene II.
 
The Same.  A public Way.  Platform leading to the Lists.  A Pavilion near it, for the reception of the KING, Princess, Ladies, Lords, &c.
 
Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, and Attendants.
  Sim.  Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?
  First Lord.  They are, my liege;
And stay your coming to present themselves.        5
  Sim.  Return them, we are ready; and our daughter,
In honour of whose birth these triumphs are,
Sits here, like beauty’s child, whom nature gat
For men to see, and seeing wonder at.  [Exit a Lord.
  Thai.  It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express        10
My commendations great, whose merit’s less.
  Sim.  ’Tis fit it should be so; for princes are
A model, which heaven makes like to itself:
As jewels lose their glory if neglected,
So princes their renowns if not respected.        15
’Tis now your honour, daughter, to explain
The labour of each knight in his device.
  Thai.  Which, to preserve mine honour, I’ll perform.
 
Enter a Knight; he passes over the stage, and his Squire presents his shield to the Princess.
  Sim.  Who is the first that doth prefer himself?        20
  Thai.  A knight of Sparta, my renowned father;
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is a black Ethiop reaching at the sun;
The word, Lux tua vita mihi.
  Sim.  He loves you well that holds his life of you.  [The Second Knight passes over.        25
Who is the second that presents himself?
  Thai.  A prince of Macedon, my royal father;
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is an arm’d knight that’s conquer’d by a lady;
The motto thus, in Spanish, Piu por dulzura que por fuerza.  [The Third Knight passes over.        30
  Sim.  And what’s the third?
  Thai.        The third of Antioch;
And his device, a wreath of chivalry;
The word, Me pompœ provexit apex.  [The Fourth Knight passes over.
  Sim.  What is the fourth?        35
  Thai.  A burning torch that’s turned upside down;
The word, Quod me alit me extinguit.
  Sim.  Which shows that beauty hath his power and will,
Which can as well inflame as it can kill.  [The Fifth Knight passes over.
  Thai.  The fifth, a hand environed with clouds,        40
Holding out gold that’s by the touchstone tried;
The motto thus, Sic spectanda fides.  [The Sixth Knight, PERICLES, passes over.
  Sim.  And what ’s
The sixth and last, the which the knight himself
With such a graceful courtesy deliver’d?        45
  Thai.  He seems to be a stranger; but his present is
A wither’d branch, that’s only green at top;
The motto, In hac spe vivo.
  Sim.  A pretty moral;
From the dejected state wherein he is,        50
He hopes by you his fortune yet may flourish.
  First Lord.  He had need mean better than his outward show
Can any way speak in his just commend;
For, by his rusty outside he appears
To have practis’d more the whipstock than the lance.        55
  Sec. Lord.  He well may be a stranger, for he comes
To an honour’d triumph strangely furnished.
  Third Lord.  And on set purpose let his armour rust
Until this day, to scour it in the dust.
  Sim.  Opinion’s but a fool, that makes us scan        60
The outward habit by the inward man.
But stay, the knights are coming; we’ll withdraw
Into the gallery.  [Exeunt.  Great shouts, and all cry, ‘The mean knight!’
 
 
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