The Two Noble Kinsmen
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Navigate this workThe Two Noble Kinsmen
The Two Noble Kinsmen, derived from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, begins as Athens defeats Thebes in war. Arcite and Palamon, Theban knights and devoted cousins, are imprisoned in Athens. From their cell, they see Emilia, the sister-in-law of Theseus, Duke of Athens. Both fall in love with her, becoming bitter rivals.
Arcite is released but, for love of Emilia, stays in Athens at the risk of his life. The jailer’s daughter, who loves Palamon, helps him escape, but goes mad with anxiety. Her original wooer cures her by courting her while pretending to be Palamon.
Arcite encounters Palamon and challenges him to formal combat for Emilia. Theseus discovers them before they duel. He first sentences both to death, but then establishes a contest in which each will participate with Theban comrades. The loser and his knights will die. The winner will wed Emilia.
Arcite prays to Mars for victory; Palamon, to Venus for Emilia’s love. Both prayers are answered. Arcite wins, but dies after a riding accident. Palamon, spared from execution, marries Emilia.
0001 New plays and maidenheads are near akin:
0002 Much followed both, for both much money giv’n,
0003 If they stand sound and well. And a good play,
0004 Whose modest scenes blush on his marriage day
0005 5 And shake to lose his honor, is like her
0006 That after holy tie and first night’s stir
0007 Yet still is modesty, and still retains
0008 More of the maid, to sight, than husband’s pains.
0009 We pray our play may be so, for I am sure
0010 10 It has a noble breeder and a pure,
0011 A learnèd, and a poet never went
0012 More famous yet ’twixt Po and silver Trent.
0013 Chaucer, of all admired, the story gives;
0014 There, constant to eternity, it lives.
0015 15 If we let fall the nobleness of this,
0016 And the first sound this child hear be a hiss,
0017 How will it shake the bones of that good man
0018 And make him cry from underground “O, fan
0019 From me the witless chaff of such a writer
0020 20 That blasts my bays and my famed works makes
0022 Than Robin Hood!” This is the fear we bring;
0023 For, to say truth, it were an endless thing
0024 And too ambitious, to aspire to him,
0025 25 Weak as we are, and, almost breathless, swim
0026 In this deep water. Do but you hold out
0027 Your helping hands, and we shall ⌜tack⌝ about
0028 And something do to save us. You shall hear
0029 Scenes, though below his art, may yet appear
0030 30 Worth two hours’ travel. To his bones sweet sleep;
0032 A little dull time from us, we perceive
0033 Our losses fall so thick we must needs leave.
Flourish. ⌜He exits.⌝
a white robe before, singing and strewing flowers.
After Hymen, a Nymph encompassed in her tresses,
bearing a wheaten garland; then Theseus between
two other Nymphs with wheaten chaplets on their
heads. Then Hippolyta, the bride, led by ⌜Pirithous,⌝
and another holding a garland over her head, her
tresses likewise hanging. After her, Emilia, holding
up her train. ⌜Then Artesius and Attendants.⌝
0034 Roses, their sharp spines being gone,
0035 Not royal in their smells alone,
0036 But in their hue;
0037 Maiden pinks, of odor faint,
0038 5 Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
0039 And sweet thyme true;
0040 Primrose, firstborn child of Ver,
0041 Merry springtime’s harbinger,
0042 With her bells dim;
0043 10 Oxlips in their cradles growing,
0044 Marigolds on deathbeds blowing,
0045 Lark’s-heels trim;
0046 All dear Nature’s children ⌜sweet
0047 Lie⌝ ’fore bride and bridegroom’s feet,
0049 Not an angel of the air,
0050 Bird melodious or bird fair,
0051 Is absent hence.
0052 The crow, the sland’rous cuckoo, nor
0053 20 The boding raven, nor ⌜chough hoar,⌝
0054 Nor chatt’ring pie,
0055 May on our bridehouse perch or sing,
0056 Or with them any discord bring,
0057 But from it fly.
Enter three Queens in black, with veils stained, with
imperial crowns. The first Queen falls down at the foot
of Theseus; the second falls down at the foot of
Hippolyta; the third before Emilia.
FIRST QUEEN, ⌜to Theseus⌝
0058 25 For pity’s sake and true gentility’s,
0059 Hear and respect me.
SECOND QUEEN, ⌜to Hippolyta⌝ 0060 For your mother’s sake,
0061 And as you wish your womb may thrive with fair
0063 30 Hear and respect me.
THIRD QUEEN, ⌜to Emilia⌝
0064 Now for the love of him whom Jove hath marked
0065 The honor of your bed, and for the sake
0066 Of clear virginity, be advocate
0067 For us and our distresses. This good deed
0068 35 Shall raze you out o’ th’ book of trespasses
0069 All you are set down there.
THESEUS, ⌜to First Queen⌝
0070 Sad lady, rise.
HIPPOLYTA, ⌜to Second Queen⌝ 0071 Stand up.
EMILIA, ⌜to Third Queen⌝ 0072 No knees to me.
0073 40 What woman I may stead that is distressed
0074 Does bind me to her.
0075 What’s your request? Deliver you for all.
0076 We are three queens whose sovereigns fell before
0077 The wrath of cruel Creon; who endured
0078 45 The beaks of ravens, talons of the kites,
0079 And pecks of crows in the foul fields of Thebes.
0080 He will not suffer us to burn their bones,
0081 To urn their ashes, nor to take th’ offense
0082 Of mortal loathsomeness from the blest eye
0083 50 Of holy Phoebus, but infects the winds
0084 With stench of our slain lords. O, pity, duke!
0085 Thou purger of the Earth, draw thy feared sword
0086 That does good turns to th’ world; give us the bones
0087 Of our dead kings, that we may chapel them;
0088 55 And of thy boundless goodness take some note
0089 That for our crownèd heads we have no roof
0090 Save this, which is the lion’s and the bear’s,
0091 And vault to everything.
THESEUS 0092 Pray you, kneel not.
0093 60 I was transported with your speech and suffered
0094 Your knees to wrong themselves. I have heard the
0096 Of your dead lords, which gives me such lamenting
0097 As wakes my vengeance and revenge for ’em.
0098 65 King Capaneus was your lord. The day
0099 That he should marry you, at such a season
0100 As now it is with me, I met your groom
0101 By Mars’s altar. You were that time fair—
0102 Not Juno’s mantle fairer than your tresses,
0103 70 Nor in more bounty spread her. Your wheaten
0105 Was then nor threshed nor blasted. Fortune at you
0106 Dimpled her cheek with smiles. Hercules, our
0108 75 Then weaker than your eyes, laid by his club;
0110 And swore his sinews thawed. O grief and time,
0111 Fearful consumers, you will all devour!
FIRST QUEEN 0112 O, I hope some god,
0113 80 Some god hath put his mercy in your manhood,
0114 Whereto he’ll infuse power, and press you forth
0115 Our undertaker.
THESEUS 0116 O, no knees, none, widow!
0117 Unto the helmeted Bellona use them
0118 85 And pray for me, your soldier.⌜The First Queen rises.⌝
0119 Troubled I am.Turns away.
SECOND QUEEN 0120 Honored Hippolyta,
0121 Most dreaded Amazonian, that hast slain
0122 The scythe-tusked boar; that with thy arm, as strong
0123 90 As it is white, wast near to make the male
0124 To thy sex captive, but that this thy lord,
0125 Born to uphold creation in that honor
0126 First nature styled it in, shrunk thee into
0127 The bound thou wast o’erflowing, at once subduing
0128 95 Thy force and thy affection; soldieress
0129 That equally canst poise sternness with pity,
0130 Whom now I know hast much more power on him
0131 Than ever he had on thee, who ow’st his strength
0132 And his love too, who is a servant for
0133 100 The tenor of ⌜thy⌝ speech, dear glass of ladies,
0134 Bid him that we, whom flaming war doth scorch,
0135 Under the shadow of his sword may cool us;
0136 Require him he advance it o’er our heads;
0137 Speak ’t in a woman’s key, like such a woman
0138 105 As any of us three; weep ere you fail.
0139 Lend us a knee;
0140 But touch the ground for us no longer time
0141 Than a dove’s motion when the head’s plucked off.
0142 Tell him if he i’ th’ blood-sized field lay swoll’n,
0143 110 Showing the sun his teeth, grinning at the moon,
0144 What you would do.
0146 I had as lief trace this good action with you
0147 As that whereto I am going, and never yet
0148 115 Went I so willing way. My lord is taken
0149 Heart-deep with your distress; let him consider.
0150 I’ll speak anon.⌜Second Queen rises.⌝
THIRD QUEEN 0151 O, my petition was
0152 Set down in ice, which by hot grief uncandied
0153 120 Melts into drops; so sorrow, wanting form,
0154 Is pressed with deeper matter.
EMILIA 0155 Pray stand up.
0156 Your grief is written in your cheek.
THIRD QUEEN 0157 O, woe!
0158 125 You cannot read it there.⌜She rises.⌝
0159 There through my tears,
0160 Like wrinkled pebbles in a ⌜glassy⌝ stream,
0161 You may behold ’em. Lady, lady, alack!
0162 He that will all the treasure know o’ th’ Earth
0163 130 Must know the center too; he that will fish
0164 For my least minnow, let him lead his line
0165 To catch one at my heart. O, pardon me!
0166 Extremity, that sharpens sundry wits,
0167 Makes me a fool.
EMILIA 0168 135 Pray you say nothing, pray you.
0169 Who cannot feel nor see the rain, being in ’t,
0170 Knows neither wet nor dry. If that you were
0171 The groundpiece of some painter, I would buy you
0172 T’ instruct me ’gainst a capital grief—indeed,
0173 140 Such heart-pierced demonstration. But, alas,
0174 Being a natural sister of our sex,
0175 Your sorrow beats so ardently upon me
0176 That it shall make a counter-reflect ’gainst
0177 My brother’s heart and warm it to some pity,
0178 145 Though it were made of stone. Pray have good
0180 Forward to th’ temple. Leave not out a jot
0181 O’ th’ sacred ceremony.
FIRST QUEEN 0182 O, this celebration
0183 150 Will ⌜longer⌝ last and be more costly than
0184 Your suppliants’ war. Remember that your fame
0185 Knolls in the ear o’ th’ world; what you do quickly
0186 Is not done rashly; your first thought is more
0187 Than others’ labored meditance, your premeditating
0188 155 More than their actions. But, O Jove, your actions,
0189 Soon as they ⌜move,⌝ as ospreys do the fish,
0190 Subdue before they touch. Think, dear duke, think
0191 What beds our slain kings have!
SECOND QUEEN 0192 What griefs our beds,
0193 160 That our dear lords have none!
THIRD QUEEN 0194 None fit for th’ dead.
0195 Those that with cords, knives, drams, precipitance,
0196 Weary of this world’s light, have to themselves
0197 Been death’s most horrid agents, human grace
0198 165 Affords them dust and shadow.
FIRST QUEEN 0199 But our lords
0200 Lie blist’ring ’fore the visitating sun,
0201 And were good kings when living.
0202 It is true, and I will give you comfort
0203 170 To give your dead lords graves;
0204 The which to do must make some work with Creon.
0205 And that work presents itself to th’ doing.
0206 Now ’twill take form; the heats are gone tomorrow.
0207 Then, bootless toil must recompense itself
0208 175 With its own sweat. Now he’s secure,
0209 Not dreams we stand before your puissance,
0210 Rinsing our holy begging in our eyes
0211 To make petition clear.
0213 180 Drunk with his victory.
THIRD QUEEN 0214 And his army full
0215 Of bread and sloth.
THESEUS 0216 Artesius, that best knowest
0217 How to draw out, fit to this enterprise,
0218 185 The prim’st for this proceeding, and the number
0219 To carry such a business: forth and levy
0220 Our worthiest instruments, whilst we dispatch
0221 This grand act of our life, this daring deed
0222 Of fate in wedlock.
FIRST QUEEN, ⌜to Second and Third Queens⌝
0223 190 Dowagers, take hands.
0224 Let us be widows to our woes. Delay
0225 Commends us to a famishing hope.
ALL ⌜THE QUEENS⌝ 0226 Farewell.
0227 We come unseasonably; but when could grief
0228 195 Cull forth, as unpanged judgment can, fitt’st time
0229 For best solicitation?
THESEUS 0230 Why, good ladies,
0231 This is a service whereto I am going
0232 Greater than any was; it more imports me
0233 200 Than all the actions that I have foregone,
0234 Or futurely can cope.
FIRST QUEEN 0235 The more proclaiming
0236 Our suit shall be neglected when her arms,
0237 Able to lock Jove from a synod, shall
0238 205 By warranting moonlight corselet thee. O, when
0239 Her twinning cherries shall their sweetness fall
0240 Upon thy tasteful lips, what wilt thou think
0241 Of rotten kings or blubbered queens? What care
0242 For what thou feel’st not, what thou feel’st being
0243 210 able
0244 To make Mars spurn his drum? O, if thou couch
0245 But one night with her, every hour in ’t will
0247 Thou shalt remember nothing more than what
0248 215 That banquet bids thee to.
HIPPOLYTA, ⌜to Theseus⌝ 0249 Though much unlike
0250 You should be so transported, as much sorry
0251 I should be such a suitor, yet I think
0252 Did I not, by th’ abstaining of my joy—
0253 220 Which breeds a deeper longing—cure their surfeit
0254 That craves a present med’cine, I should pluck
0255 All ladies’ scandal on me.⌜She kneels.⌝
0256 Therefore, sir,
0257 As I shall here make trial of my prayers,
0258 225 Either presuming them to have some force,
0259 Or sentencing for aye their vigor dumb,
0260 Prorogue this business we are going about, and
0262 Your shield afore your heart—about that neck
0263 230 Which is my fee, and which I freely lend
0264 To do these poor queens service.
ALL QUEENS, ⌜to Emilia⌝ 0265 O, help now!
0266 Our cause cries for your knee.
EMILIA, ⌜to Theseus, kneeling⌝ 0267 If you grant not
0268 235 My sister her petition in that force,
0269 With that celerity and nature which
0270 She makes it in, from henceforth I’ll not dare
0271 To ask you anything, nor be so hardy
0272 Ever to take a husband.
THESEUS 0273 240 Pray stand up.
⌜Hippolyta and Emilia rise.⌝
0274 I am entreating of myself to do
0275 That which you kneel to have me.—Pirithous,
0276 Lead on the bride; get you and pray the gods
0277 For success and return; omit not anything
0278 245 In the pretended celebration.—Queens,
0279 Follow your soldier. ⌜To Artesius.⌝ As before, hence
0282 The forces you can raise, where we shall find
0283 250 The moiety of a number for a business
0284 More bigger looked.⌜Artesius exits.⌝
⌜To Hippolyta.⌝ 0285 Since that our theme is haste,
0286 I stamp this kiss upon thy currant lip;
0287 Sweet, keep it as my token.—Set you forward,
0288 255 For I will see you gone.
⌜The wedding procession begins to⌝ exit
towards the temple.
0289 Farewell, my beauteous sister.—Pirithous,
0290 Keep the feast full; bate not an hour on ’t.
PIRITHOUS 0291 Sir,
0292 I’ll follow you at heels. The feast’s solemnity
0293 260 Shall want till your return.
THESEUS 0294 Cousin, I charge you,
0295 Budge not from Athens. We shall be returning
0296 Ere you can end this feast, of which I pray you
0297 Make no abatement.—Once more, farewell all.
⌜All but Theseus and the Queens exit.⌝
0298 265 Thus dost thou still make good the tongue o’ th’
0300 And earn’st a deity equal with Mars.
THIRD QUEEN 0301 If not above him, for
0302 Thou, being but mortal, makest affections bend
0303 270 To godlike honors; they themselves, some say,
0304 Groan under such a mast’ry.
THESEUS 0305 As we are men,
0306 Thus should we do; being sensually subdued,
0307 We lose our human title. Good cheer, ladies.
0308 275 Now turn we towards your comforts.
Flourish. They exit.
0309 Dear Palamon, dearer in love than blood
0310 And our prime cousin, yet unhardened in
0311 The crimes of nature, let us leave the city
0312 Thebes, and the temptings in ’t, before we further
0313 5 Sully our gloss of youth,
0314 And here to keep in abstinence we shame
0315 As in incontinence; for not to swim
0316 I’ th’ aid o’ th’ current were almost to sink,
0317 At least to frustrate striving; and to follow
0318 10 The common stream, ’twould bring us to an eddy
0319 Where we should turn or drown; if labor through,
0320 Our gain but life and weakness.
PALAMON 0321 Your advice
0322 Is cried up with example. What strange ruins,
0323 15 Since first we went to school, may we perceive
0324 Walking in Thebes! Scars and bare weeds
0325 The gain o’ th’ martialist, who did propound
0326 To his bold ends honor and golden ingots,
0327 Which though he won, he had not, and now flirted
0328 20 By peace for whom he fought. Who then shall offer
0329 To Mars’s so-scorned altar? I do bleed
0330 When such I meet, and wish great Juno would
0331 Resume her ancient fit of jealousy
0332 To get the soldier work, that peace might purge
0333 25 For her repletion, and retain anew
0334 Her charitable heart, now hard and harsher
0335 Than strife or war could be.
ARCITE 0336 Are you not out?
0337 Meet you no ruin but the soldier in
0338 30 The cranks and turns of Thebes? You did begin
0339 As if you met decays of many kinds.
0341 But th’ unconsidered soldier?
PALAMON 0342 Yes, I pity
0343 35 Decays where’er I find them, but such most
0344 That, sweating in an honorable toil,
0345 Are paid with ice to cool ’em.
ARCITE 0346 ’Tis not this
0347 I did begin to speak of. This is virtue
0348 40 Of no respect in Thebes. I spake of Thebes—
0349 How dangerous, if we will keep our honors,
0350 It is for our residing, where every evil
0351 Hath a good color; where every seeming good’s
0352 A certain evil; where not to be e’en jump
0353 45 As they are here were to be strangers, and,
0354 Such things to be, mere monsters.
PALAMON 0355 ’Tis in our power—
0356 Unless we fear that apes can tutor ’s—to
0357 Be masters of our manners. What need I
0358 50 Affect another’s gait, which is not catching
0359 Where there is faith? Or to be fond upon
0360 Another’s way of speech, when by mine own
0361 I may be reasonably conceived—saved too,
0362 Speaking it truly? Why am I bound
0363 55 By any generous bond to follow him
0364 Follows his tailor, haply so long until
0365 The followed make pursuit? Or let me know
0366 Why mine own barber is unblessed, with him
0367 My poor chin too, for ’tis not scissored just
0368 60 To such a favorite’s glass? What canon is there
0369 That does command my rapier from my hip
0370 To dangle ’t in my hand, or to go tiptoe
0371 Before the street be foul? Either I am
0372 The forehorse in the team, or I am none
0373 65 That draw i’ th’ sequent trace. These poor slight
0376 Almost to th’ heart’s—
ARCITE 0377 Our Uncle Creon.
PALAMON 0378 70 He.
0379 A most unbounded tyrant, whose successes
0380 Makes heaven unfeared and villainy assured
0381 Beyond its power there’s nothing; almost puts
0382 Faith in a fever, and deifies alone
0383 75 Voluble chance; who only attributes
0384 The faculties of other instruments
0385 To his own nerves and act; commands men service,
0386 And what they win in ’t, boot and glory; one
0387 That fears not to do harm; good, dares not. Let
0388 80 The blood of mine that’s sib to him be sucked
0389 From me with leeches; let them break and fall
0390 Off me with that corruption.
ARCITE 0391 Clear-spirited cousin,
0392 Let’s leave his court, that we may nothing share
0393 85 Of his loud infamy; for our milk
0394 Will relish of the pasture, and we must
0395 Be vile or disobedient, not his kinsmen
0396 In blood unless in quality.
PALAMON 0397 Nothing truer.
0398 90 I think the echoes of his shames have deafed
0399 The ears of heav’nly justice. Widows’ cries
0400 Descend again into their throats and have not
0401 Due audience of the gods.
0403 95 The King calls for you; yet be leaden-footed
0404 Till his great rage be off him. Phoebus, when
0405 He broke his whipstock and exclaimed against
0406 The horses of the sun, but whispered to
0407 The loudness of his fury.
0409 But what’s the matter?
0410 Theseus, who where he threats appalls, hath sent
0411 Deadly defiance to him and pronounces
0412 Ruin to Thebes, who is at hand to seal
0413 105 The promise of his wrath.
ARCITE 0414 Let him approach.
0415 But that we fear the gods in him, he brings not
0416 A jot of terror to us. Yet what man
0417 Thirds his own worth—the case is each of ours—
0418 110 When that his action’s dregged with mind assured
0419 ’Tis bad he goes about?
PALAMON 0420 Leave that unreasoned.
0421 Our services stand now for Thebes, not Creon.
0422 Yet to be neutral to him were dishonor,
0423 115 Rebellious to oppose. Therefore we must
0424 With him stand to the mercy of our fate,
0425 Who hath bounded our last minute.
ARCITE 0426 So we must.
0427 ⌜To Valerius.⌝ Is ’t said this war’s afoot? Or, it shall
0428 120 be,
0429 On fail of some condition?
VALERIUS 0430 ’Tis in motion;
0431 The intelligence of state came in the instant
0432 With the defier.
PALAMON 0433 125 Let’s to the King, who, were he
0434 A quarter carrier of that honor which
0435 His enemy come in, the blood we venture
0436 Should be as for our health, which were not spent,
0437 Rather laid out for purchase. But alas,
0438 130 Our hands advanced before our hearts, what will
0439 The fall o’ th’ stroke do damage?
ARCITE 0440 Let th’ event,
0441 That never-erring arbitrator, tell us
0443 135 The becking of our chance.
0444 No further.
HIPPOLYTA 0445 Sir, farewell. Repeat my wishes
0446 To our great lord, of whose success I dare not
0447 Make any timorous question; yet I wish him
0448 5 Excess and overflow of power, an ’t might be,
0449 To dure ill-dealing fortune. Speed to him.
0450 Store never hurts good governors.
PIRITHOUS 0451 Though I know
0452 His ocean needs not my poor drops, yet they
0453 10 Must yield their tribute there.—My precious maid,
0454 Those best affections that the heavens infuse
0455 In their best-tempered pieces keep enthroned
0456 In your dear heart!
EMILIA 0457 Thanks, sir. Remember me
0458 15 To our all-royal brother, for whose speed
0459 The great Bellona I’ll solicit; and
0460 Since in our terrene state petitions are not
0461 Without gifts understood, I’ll offer to her
0462 What I shall be advised she likes. Our hearts
0463 20 Are in his army, in his tent.
HIPPOLYTA 0464 In ’s bosom.
0465 We have been soldiers, and we cannot weep
0466 When our friends don their helms or put to sea,
0467 Or tell of babes broached on the lance, or women
0468 25 That have sod their infants in—and after ate them—
0469 The brine they wept at killing ’em. Then if
0471 Should hold you here forever.
PIRITHOUS 0472 Peace be to you
0473 30 As I pursue this war, which shall be then
0474 Beyond further requiring.Pirithous exits.
EMILIA 0475 How his longing
0476 Follows his friend! Since his depart, his sports,
0477 Though craving seriousness and skill, passed slightly
0478 35 His careless execution, where nor gain
0479 Made him regard, or loss consider, but
0480 Playing ⌜one⌝ business in his hand, another
0481 Directing in his head, his mind nurse equal
0482 To these so diff’ring twins. Have you observed him
0483 40 Since our great lord departed?
HIPPOLYTA 0484 With much labor,
0485 And I did love him for ’t. They two have cabined
0486 In many as dangerous as poor a corner,
0487 Peril and want contending; they have skiffed
0488 45 Torrents whose roaring tyranny and power
0489 I’ th’ least of these was dreadful, and they have
0490 Fought out together where Death’s self was lodged.
0491 Yet fate hath brought them off. Their knot of love,
0492 Tied, weaved, entangled, with so true, so long,
0493 50 And with a finger of so deep a cunning,
0494 May be outworn, never undone. I think
0495 Theseus cannot be umpire to himself,
0496 Cleaving his conscience into twain and doing
0497 Each side like justice, which he loves best.
EMILIA 0498 55 Doubtless
0499 There is a best, and reason has no manners
0500 To say it is not you. I was acquainted
0501 Once with a time when I enjoyed a playfellow;
0502 You were at wars when she the grave enriched,
0503 60 Who made too proud the bed; took leave o’ th’ moon,
0504 Which then looked pale at parting, when our count
0505 Was each eleven.
EMILIA 0507 Yes.
0508 65 You talk of Pirithous’ and Theseus’ love.
0509 Theirs has more ground, is more maturely seasoned,
0510 More buckled with strong judgment, and their needs
0511 The one of th’ other may be said to water
0512 Their intertangled roots of love. But I,
0513 70 And she I sigh and spoke of, were things innocent,
0514 Loved for we did, and like the elements
0515 That know not what nor why, yet do effect
0516 Rare issues by their operance, our souls
0517 Did so to one another. What she liked
0518 75 Was then of me approved, what not, condemned,
0519 No more arraignment. The flower that I would pluck
0520 And put between my breasts—O, then but beginning
0521 To swell about the blossom—she would long
0522 Till she had such another, and commit it
0523 80 To the like innocent cradle, where, Phoenix-like,
0524 They died in perfume. On my head no toy
0525 But was her pattern; her affections—pretty,
0526 Though haply ⌜hers⌝ careless were—I followed
0527 For my most serious decking. Had mine ear
0528 85 Stol’n some new air, or at adventure hummed one
0529 From musical coinage, why, it was a note
0530 Whereon her spirits would sojourn—rather, dwell
0532 And sing it in her slumbers. This rehearsal—
0533 90 Which fury-innocent wots well comes in
0534 Like old importment’s bastard—has this end,
0535 That the true love ’tween maid and maid may be
0536 More than in sex individual.
HIPPOLYTA 0537 You’re out of breath,
0538 95 And this high-speeded pace is but to say
0539 That you shall never—like the maid Flavina—
0540 Love any that’s called man.
EMILIA 0541 I am sure I shall not.
0543 100 I must no more believe thee in this point—
0544 Though in ’t I know thou dost believe thyself—
0545 Than I will trust a sickly appetite,
0546 That loathes even as it longs. But sure, my sister,
0547 If I were ripe for your persuasion, you
0548 105 Have said enough to shake me from the arm
0549 Of the all-noble Theseus, for whose fortunes
0550 I will now in and kneel, with great assurance
0551 That we, more than his Pirithous, possess
0552 The high throne in his heart.
EMILIA 0553 110 I am not
0554 Against your faith, yet I continue mine.
Flourish. Then enter, ⌜through one door,⌝ Theseus,
victor, ⌜accompanied by Lords and Soldiers.
Entering through another door,⌝ the three Queens
meet him, and fall on their faces before him.
0555 To thee no star be dark!
SECOND QUEEN 0556 Both heaven and Earth
0557 Friend thee forever.
THIRD QUEEN 0558 All the good that may
0559 5 Be wished upon thy head, I cry “Amen” to ’t!
0560 Th’ impartial gods, who from the mounted heavens
0561 View us their mortal herd, behold who err
0562 And, in their time, chastise. Go and find out
0563 The bones of your dead lords and honor them
0564 10 With treble ceremony; rather than a gap
0565 Should be in their dear rites, we would supply ’t;
0567 You in your dignities and even each thing
0568 Our haste does leave imperfect. So, adieu,
0569 15 And heaven’s good eyes look on you.Queens exit.
⌜Enter a Herald and Soldiers bearing Palamon
and Arcite on biers.⌝
0570 What are those?
0571 Men of great quality, as may be judged
0572 By their appointment. Some of Thebes have told ’s
0573 They are sisters’ children, nephews to the King.
0574 20 By th’ helm of Mars, I saw them in the war,
0575 Like to a pair of lions, smeared with prey,
0576 Make lanes in troops aghast. I fixed my note
0577 Constantly on them, for they were a mark
0578 Worth a god’s view. What prisoner was ’t that told me
0579 25 When I enquired their names?
HERALD 0580 ⌜Wi’⌝ leave, they’re called
0581 Arcite and Palamon.
THESEUS 0582 ’Tis right; those, those.
0583 They are not dead?
0584 30 Nor in a state of life. Had they been taken
0585 When their last hurts were given, ’twas possible
0586 They might have been recovered. Yet they breathe
0587 And have the name of men.
THESEUS 0588 Then like men use ’em.
0589 35 The very lees of such, millions of rates,
0590 Exceed the wine of others. All our surgeons
0591 Convent in their behoof; our richest balms,
0592 Rather than niggard, waste. Their lives concern us
0593 Much more than Thebes is worth. Rather than have
0594 40 ’em
0596 Sound and at liberty, I would ’em dead.
0597 But forty-thousandfold we had rather have ’em
0598 Prisoners to us than Death. Bear ’em speedily
0599 45 From our kind air, to them unkind, and minister
0600 What man to man may do—for our sake, more,
0601 Since I have known frights, fury, friends’ behests,
0602 Love’s provocations, zeal, a mistress’ task,
0603 Desire of liberty, a fever, madness,
0604 50 Hath set a mark which nature could not reach to
0605 Without some imposition, sickness in will
0606 ⌜O’er-wrestling⌝ strength in reason. For our love
0607 And great Apollo’s mercy, all our best
0608 Their best skill tender.—Lead into the city,
0609 55 Where, having bound things scattered, we will post
0610 To Athens ⌜’fore⌝ our army.
Flourish. They exit.
knights, in a funeral solemnity, &c.
0611 Urns and odors bring away;
0612 Vapors, sighs, darken the day;
0613 Our dole more deadly looks than dying;
0614 Balms and gums and heavy cheers,
0615 5 Sacred vials filled with tears,
0616 And clamors through the wild air flying.
0617 Come, all sad and solemn shows
0618 That are quick-eyed Pleasure’s foes;
0619 We convent naught else but woes.
0620 10 We convent naught else but woes.
0621 This funeral path brings to your household’s grave.
0622 Joy seize on you again; peace sleep with him.
SECOND QUEEN, ⌜to First Queen⌝
0623 And this to yours.
FIRST QUEEN, ⌜to Third Queen⌝ 0624 Yours this way. Heavens
0625 15 lend
0626 A thousand differing ways to one sure end.
0627 This world’s a city full of straying streets,
0628 And death’s the market-place where each one meets.
They exit severally.
JAILER 0629 I may depart with little while I live; something I
0630 may cast to you, not much. Alas, the prison I keep,
0631 though it be for great ones, yet they seldom come;
0632 before one salmon you shall take a number of minnows.
0633 5 I am given out to be better lined than it can
0634 appear to me report is a true speaker. I would I
0635 were really that I am delivered to be. Marry, what
0636 I have, be it what it will, I will assure upon my
0637 daughter at the day of my death.
WOOER 0638 10Sir, I demand no more than your own offer,
0639 and I will estate your daughter in what I have
JAILER 0641 Well, we will talk more of this when the solemnity
0642 is past. But have you a full promise of her?
0643 15 When that shall be seen, I tender my consent.
Enter ⌜the Jailer’s⌝ Daughter, ⌜carrying rushes.⌝
WOOER 0644 I have sir. Here she comes.
JAILER, ⌜to Daughter⌝ 0645 Your friend and I have chanced
0646 to name you here, upon the old business. But no
0647 more of that now; so soon as the court hurry is
0648 20 over, we will have an end of it. I’ th’ meantime,
0650 they are princes.
DAUGHTER 0651 These strewings are for their chamber. ’Tis
0652 pity they are in prison, and ’twere pity they should
0653 25 be out. I do think they have patience to make any
0654 adversity ashamed. The prison itself is proud of
0655 ’em, and they have all the world in their chamber.
JAILER 0656 They are famed to be a pair of absolute men.
DAUGHTER 0657 By my troth, I think fame but stammers
0658 30 ’em. They stand a grise above the reach of report.
JAILER 0659 I heard them reported in the battle to be the
0660 only doers.
DAUGHTER 0661 Nay, most likely, for they are noble suff’rers.
0662 I marvel how they would have looked had they
0663 35 been victors, that with such a constant nobility enforce
0664 a freedom out of bondage, making misery
0665 their mirth and affliction a toy to jest at.
JAILER 0666 Do they so?
DAUGHTER 0667 It seems to me they have no more sense
0668 40 of their captivity than I of ruling Athens. They eat
0669 well, look merrily, discourse of many things, but
0670 nothing of their own restraint and disasters. Yet
0671 sometimes a divided sigh, martyred as ’twere i’ th’
0672 deliverance, will break from one of them—when
0673 45 the other presently gives it so sweet a rebuke that
0674 I could wish myself a sigh to be so chid, or at least
0675 a sigher to be comforted.
WOOER 0676 I never saw ’em.
JAILER 0677 The Duke himself came privately in the night,
0678 50 and so did they.
Enter Palamon and Arcite, ⌜in shackles,⌝ above.
0679 What the reason of it is, I know not. Look, yonder
0680 they are; that’s Arcite looks out.
DAUGHTER 0681 No, sir, no, that’s Palamon. Arcite is the
0683 55 him.
JAILER 0684 Go to, leave your pointing; they would not
0685 make us their object. Out of their sight.
DAUGHTER 0686 It is a holiday to look on them. Lord, the
0687 diff’rence of men!
⌜Jailer, Daughter, and Wooer⌝ exit.
0688 How do you, noble cousin?
ARCITE 0689 How do you, sir?
0690 Why, strong enough to laugh at misery
0691 And bear the chance of war; yet we are prisoners
0692 5 I fear forever, cousin.
ARCITE 0693 I believe it,
0694 And to that destiny have patiently
0695 Laid up my hour to come.
PALAMON 0696 O, cousin Arcite,
0697 10 Where is Thebes now? Where is our noble country?
0698 Where are our friends and kindreds? Never more
0699 Must we behold those comforts, never see
0700 The hardy youths strive for the games of honor,
0701 Hung with the painted favors of their ladies,
0702 15 Like tall ships under sail; then start amongst ’em
0703 And as an east wind leave ’em all behind us,
0704 Like lazy clouds, whilst Palamon and Arcite,
0705 Even in the wagging of a wanton leg,
0706 Outstripped the people’s praises, won the garlands
0707 20 Ere they have time to wish ’em ours. O, never
0708 Shall we two exercise, like twins of honor,
0709 Our arms again, and feel our fiery horses
0711 Better the red-eyed god of war ne’er ⌜wore⌝—
0712 25 Ravished our sides, like age must run to rust
0713 And deck the temples of those gods that hate us;
0714 These hands shall never draw ’em out like lightning
0715 To blast whole armies more.
ARCITE 0716 No, Palamon,
0717 30 Those hopes are prisoners with us. Here we are
0718 And here the graces of our youths must wither
0719 Like a too-timely spring. Here age must find us
0720 And—which is heaviest, Palamon—unmarried.
0721 The sweet embraces of a loving wife,
0722 35 Loaden with kisses, armed with thousand Cupids,
0723 Shall never clasp our necks; no issue know us—
0724 No figures of ourselves shall we e’er see,
0725 To glad our age, and like young eagles teach ’em
0726 Boldly to gaze against bright arms and say
0727 40 “Remember what your fathers were, and conquer!”
0728 The fair-eyed maids shall weep our banishments
0729 And in their songs curse ever-blinded Fortune
0730 Till she for shame see what a wrong she has done
0731 To youth and nature. This is all our world.
0732 45 We shall know nothing here but one another,
0733 Hear nothing but the clock that tells our woes.
0734 The vine shall grow, but we shall never see it;
0735 Summer shall come, and with her all delights,
0736 But dead-cold winter must inhabit here still.
0737 50 ’Tis too true, Arcite. To our Theban hounds
0738 That shook the agèd forest with their echoes
0739 No more now must we halloo; no more shake
0740 Our pointed javelins whilst the angry swine
0741 Flies like a Parthian quiver from our rages,
0742 55 Struck with our well-steeled darts. All valiant uses,
0743 The food and nourishment of noble minds,
0744 In us two here shall perish; we shall die,
0746 Children of grief and ignorance.
ARCITE 0747 60 Yet, cousin,
0748 Even from the bottom of these miseries,
0749 From all that fortune can inflict upon us,
0750 I see two comforts rising, two mere blessings,
0751 If the gods please: to hold here a brave patience,
0752 65 And the enjoying of our griefs together.
0753 Whilst Palamon is with me, let me perish
0754 If I think this our prison!
PALAMON 0755 Certainly
0756 ’Tis a main goodness, cousin, that our fortunes
0757 70 Were twined together. ’Tis most true, two souls
0758 Put in two noble bodies, let ’em suffer
0759 The gall of hazard, so they grow together,
0760 Will never sink; they must not, say they could.
0761 A willing man dies sleeping and all’s done.
0762 75 Shall we make worthy uses of this place
0763 That all men hate so much?
PALAMON 0764 How, gentle cousin?
0765 Let’s think this prison holy sanctuary
0766 To keep us from corruption of worse men.
0767 80 We are young and yet desire the ways of honor
0768 That liberty and common conversation,
0769 The poison of pure spirits, might like women
0770 Woo us to wander from. What worthy blessing
0771 Can be but our imaginations
0772 85 May make it ours? And here being thus together,
0773 We are an endless mine to one another;
0774 We are one another’s wife, ever begetting
0775 New births of love; we are father, friends,
0777 90 We are, in one another, families;
0778 I am your heir, and you are mine. This place
0780 Dare take this from us; here with a little patience
0781 We shall live long and loving. No surfeits seek us;
0782 95 The hand of war hurts none here, nor the seas
0783 Swallow their youth. Were we at liberty,
0784 A wife might part us lawfully, or business;
0785 Quarrels consume us; envy of ill men
0786 Crave our acquaintance. I might sicken, cousin,
0787 100 Where you should never know it, and so perish
0788 Without your noble hand to close mine eyes,
0789 Or prayers to the gods. A thousand chances,
0790 Were we from hence, would sever us.
PALAMON 0791 You have made
0792 105 me—
0793 I thank you, cousin Arcite—almost wanton
0794 With my captivity. What a misery
0795 It is to live abroad and everywhere!
0796 ’Tis like a beast, methinks. I find the court here,
0797 110 I am sure, a more content; and all those pleasures
0798 That woo the wills of men to vanity
0799 I see through now, and am sufficient
0800 To tell the world ’tis but a gaudy shadow
0801 That old Time as he passes by takes with him.
0802 115 What had we been, old in the court of Creon,
0803 Where sin is justice, lust and ignorance
0804 The virtues of the great ones? Cousin Arcite,
0805 Had not the loving gods found this place for us,
0806 We had died as they do, ill old men, unwept,
0807 120 And had their epitaphs, the people’s curses.
0808 Shall I say more?
ARCITE 0809 I would hear you still.
PALAMON 0810 You shall.
0811 Is there record of any two that loved
0812 125 Better than we do, Arcite?
ARCITE 0813 Sure there cannot.
0814 I do not think it possible our friendship
0815 Should ever leave us.
ARCITE 0816 Till our deaths it cannot.
Enter Emilia and her Woman, ⌜below.⌝
0817 130 And after death our spirits shall be led
0818 To those that love eternally.⌜Palamon catches sight
0819 Speak on, sir.
⌜EMILIA, to her Woman⌝
0820 This garden has a world of pleasures in ’t.
0821 What flower is this?
WOMAN 0822 135 ’Tis called narcissus, madam.
0823 That was a fair boy certain, but a fool
0824 To love himself. Were there not maids enough?
ARCITE, ⌜to Palamon, who is stunned by the sight of Emilia⌝
0825 Pray, forward.
PALAMON 0826 Yes.
EMILIA, ⌜to Woman⌝ 0827 140 Or were they all hard-hearted?
0828 They could not be to one so fair.
EMILIA 0829 Thou wouldst not.
0830 I think I should not, madam.
EMILIA 0831 That’s a good wench.
0832 145 But take heed to your kindness, though.
WOMAN 0833 Why,
0835 Men are mad things.
ARCITE, ⌜to Palamon⌝ 0836 Will you go forward,
0837 150 cousin?
EMILIA, ⌜to Woman⌝
0838 Canst not thou work such flowers in silk, wench?
WOMAN 0839 Yes.
0840 I’ll have a gown full of ’em, and of these.
0841 This is pretty color. Will ’t not do
0842 155 Rarely upon a skirt, wench?
WOMAN 0843 Dainty, madam.
ARCITE, ⌜to Palamon⌝
0844 Cousin, cousin! How do you, sir? Why, Palamon!
0845 Never till now I was in prison, Arcite.
0846 Why, what’s the matter, man?
PALAMON 0847 160 Behold, and wonder!
0848 By heaven, she is a goddess.
ARCITE, ⌜seeing Emilia⌝ 0849 Ha!
PALAMON 0850 Do reverence.
0851 She is a goddess, Arcite.
EMILIA, ⌜to Woman⌝ 0852 165 Of all flowers
0853 Methinks a rose is best.
WOMAN 0854 Why, gentle madam?
0855 It is the very emblem of a maid.
0856 For when the west wind courts her gently,
0857 170 How modestly she blows and paints the sun
0858 With her chaste blushes! When the north comes
0859 near her,
0860 Rude and impatient, then, like chastity,
0861 She locks her beauties in her bud again,
0862 175 And leaves him to base briers.
WOMAN 0863 Yet, good madam,
0864 Sometimes her modesty will blow so far
0865 She falls for ’t. A maid,
0866 If she have any honor, would be loath
0867 180 To take example by her.
EMILIA 0868 Thou art wanton!
ARCITE, ⌜to Palamon⌝
0869 She is wondrous fair.
EMILIA, ⌜to Woman⌝
0871 The sun grows high. Let’s walk in. Keep these
0872 185 flowers.
0873 We’ll see how near art can come near their colors.
0874 I am wondrous merry-hearted. I could laugh now.
0875 I could lie down, I am sure.
EMILIA 0876 And take one with you?
0877 190 That’s as we bargain, madam.
EMILIA 0878 Well, agree then.
Emilia and Woman exit.
0879 What think you of this beauty?
ARCITE 0880 ’Tis a rare one.
0881 Is ’t but a rare one?
ARCITE 0882 195 Yes, a matchless beauty.
0883 Might not a man well lose himself and love her?
0884 I cannot tell what you have done; I have,
0885 Beshrew mine eyes for ’t! Now I feel my shackles.
0886 You love her, then?
ARCITE 0887 200 Who would not?
PALAMON 0888 And desire her?
0889 Before my liberty.
PALAMON 0890 I saw her first.
0891 That’s nothing.
PALAMON 0892 205 But it shall be.
ARCITE 0893 I saw her, too.
PALAMON 0894 Yes, but you must not love her.
0895 I will not, as you do, to worship her
0896 As she is heavenly and a blessèd goddess.
0897 210 I love her as a woman, to enjoy her.
0898 So both may love.
PALAMON 0899 You shall not love at all.
ARCITE 0900 Not love at all! Who shall deny me?
0901 I, that first saw her; I that took possession
0902 215 First with mine eye of all those beauties
0903 In her revealed to mankind. If thou lov’st her,
0904 Or entertain’st a hope to blast my wishes,
0905 Thou art a traitor, Arcite, and a fellow
0906 False as thy title to her. Friendship, blood,
0907 220 And all the ties between us I disclaim
0908 If thou once think upon her.
ARCITE 0909 Yes, I love her,
0910 And, if the lives of all my name lay on it,
0911 I must do so. I love her with my soul.
0912 225 If that will lose you, farewell, Palamon.
0913 I say again, I love, and in loving her maintain
0914 I am as worthy and as free a lover
0915 And have as just a title to her beauty
0916 As any Palamon or any living
0917 230 That is a man’s son.
PALAMON 0918 Have I called thee friend?
0919 Yes, and have found me so. Why are you moved
0921 Let me deal coldly with you: am not I
0922 235 Part of ⌜your⌝ blood, part of your soul? You have
0923 told me
0924 That I was Palamon and you were Arcite.
0927 240 Those joys, griefs, angers, fears, my friend shall
0929 You may be.
ARCITE 0930 Why then would you deal so cunningly,
0931 So strangely, so unlike a noble kinsman,
0932 245 To love alone? Speak truly, do you think me
0933 Unworthy of her sight?
PALAMON 0934 No, but unjust
0935 If thou pursue that sight.
ARCITE 0936 Because another
0937 250 First sees the enemy, shall I stand still
0938 And let mine honor down, and never charge?
0939 Yes, if he be but one.
ARCITE 0940 But say that one
0941 Had rather combat me?
PALAMON 0942 255 Let that one say so,
0943 And use thy freedom. Else, if thou pursuest her,
0944 Be as that cursèd man that hates his country,
0945 A branded villain.
ARCITE 0946 You are mad.
PALAMON 0947 260 I must be.
0948 Till thou art worthy, Arcite, it concerns me.
0949 And in this madness if I hazard thee
0950 And take thy life, I deal but truly.
ARCITE 0951 Fie, sir!
0952 265 You play the child extremely. I will love her;
0953 I must, I ought to do so, and I dare,
0954 And all this justly.
PALAMON 0955 O, that now, that now,
0956 Thy false self and thy friend had but this fortune
0957 270 To be one hour at liberty, and grasp
0958 Our good swords in our hands, I would quickly
0959 teach thee
0961 Thou art baser in it than a cutpurse.
0962 275 Put but thy head out of this window more
0963 And, as I have a soul, I’ll nail thy life to ’t.
0964 Thou dar’st not, fool; thou canst not; thou art feeble.
0965 Put my head out? I’ll throw my body out
0966 And leap the garden when I see her next,
0967 280 And pitch between her arms to anger thee.
Enter ⌜Jailer, above.⌝
0968 No more; the keeper’s coming. I shall live
0969 To knock thy brains out with my shackles.
ARCITE 0970 Do!
0971 By your leave, gentlemen.
PALAMON 0972 285 Now, honest keeper?
0973 Lord Arcite, you must presently to th’ Duke;
0974 The cause I know not yet.
ARCITE 0975 I am ready, keeper.
0976 Prince Palamon, I must awhile bereave you
0977 290 Of your fair cousin’s company.
Arcite and Jailer exit.
PALAMON 0978 And me too,
0979 Even when you please, of life.—Why is he sent for?
0980 It may be he shall marry her; he’s goodly,
0981 And like enough the Duke hath taken notice
0982 295 Both of his blood and body. But his falsehood!
0983 Why should a friend be treacherous? If that
0984 Get him a wife so noble and so fair,
0985 Let honest men ne’er love again. Once more
0986 I would but see this fair one. Blessèd garden
0989 As her bright eyes shine on you, would I were,
0990 For all the fortune of my life hereafter,
0991 Yon little tree, yon blooming apricock!
0992 305 How I would spread and fling my wanton arms
0993 In at her window; I would bring her fruit
0994 Fit for the gods to feed on; youth and pleasure
0995 Still as she tasted should be doubled on her;
0996 And, if she be not heavenly, I would make her
0997 310 So near the gods in nature, they should fear her.
Enter ⌜Jailer, above.⌝
0998 And then I am sure she would love me.—How now,
1000 Where’s Arcite?
JAILER 1001 Banished. Prince Pirithous
1002 315 Obtained his liberty, but never more
1003 Upon his oath and life must he set foot
1004 Upon this kingdom.
PALAMON 1005 He’s a blessèd man.
1006 He shall see Thebes again, and call to arms
1007 320 The bold young men that, when he bids ’em charge,
1008 Fall on like fire. Arcite shall have a fortune,
1009 If he dare make himself a worthy lover,
1010 Yet in the field to strike a battle for her,
1011 And, if he lose her then, he’s a cold coward.
1012 325 How bravely may he bear himself to win her
1013 If he be noble Arcite—thousand ways!
1014 Were I at liberty, I would do things
1015 Of such a virtuous greatness that this lady,
1016 This blushing virgin, should take manhood to her
1017 330 And seek to ravish me.
JAILER 1018 My lord, for you
1019 I have this charge to—
PALAMON 1020 To discharge my life?
1021 No, but from this place to remove your Lordship;
1022 335 The windows are too open.
PALAMON 1023 Devils take ’em
1024 That are so envious to me! Prithee, kill me.
1025 And hang for ’t afterward!
PALAMON 1026 By this good light,
1027 340 Had I a sword I would kill thee.
JAILER 1028 Why, my lord?
1029 Thou bringst such pelting, scurvy news continually,
1030 Thou art not worthy life. I will not go.
1031 Indeed ⌜you⌝ must, my lord.
PALAMON 1032 345 May I see the garden?
PALAMON 1034 Then I am resolved, I will not go.
1035 I must constrain you then; and, for you are
1037 350 I’ll clap more irons on you.
PALAMON 1038 Do, good keeper.
1039 I’ll shake ’em so, you shall not sleep;
1040 I’ll make you a new morris. Must I go?
1041 There is no remedy.
PALAMON 1042 355 Farewell, kind window.
1043 May rude wind never hurt thee. O, my lady,
1044 If ever thou hast felt what sorrow was,
1045 Dream how I suffer.—Come; now bury me.
Palamon and Jailer exit.
1046 Banished the kingdom? ’Tis a benefit,
1047 A mercy I must thank ’em for; but banished
1048 The free enjoying of that face I die for,
1049 O, ’twas a studied punishment, a death
1050 5 Beyond imagination—such a vengeance
1051 That, were I old and wicked, all my sins
1052 Could never pluck upon me. Palamon,
1053 Thou hast the start now; thou shalt stay and see
1054 Her bright eyes break each morning ’gainst thy
1055 10 window
1056 And let in life into thee; thou shalt feed
1057 Upon the sweetness of a noble beauty
1058 That nature ne’er exceeded nor ne’er shall.
1059 Good gods, what happiness has Palamon!
1060 15 Twenty to one he’ll come to speak to her,
1061 And if she be as gentle as she’s fair,
1062 I know she’s his. He has a tongue will tame
1063 Tempests and make the wild rocks wanton.
1064 Come what can come,
1065 20 The worst is death. I will not leave the kingdom.
1066 I know mine own is but a heap of ruins,
1067 And no redress there. If I go, he has her.
1068 I am resolved another shape shall make me
1069 Or end my fortunes. Either way I am happy.
1070 25 I’ll see her and be near her, or no more.
Enter four Country people, and one with
a garland before them.
⌜Arcite steps aside.⌝
FIRST COUNTRYMAN 1071 My masters, I’ll be there, that’s
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1073 And I’ll be there.
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1075 30Why, then, have with you, boys.
1076 ’Tis but a chiding. Let the plough play today; I’ll
1077 tickle ’t out of the jades’ tails tomorrow.
FIRST COUNTRYMAN 1078 I am sure to have my wife as jealous
1079 as a turkey, but that’s all one. I’ll go through;
1080 35 let her mumble.
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1081 Clap her aboard tomorrow night
1082 and stow her, and all’s made up again.
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1083 Ay, do but put a fescue in her fist
1084 and you shall see her take a new lesson out and be
1085 40 a good wench. Do we all hold against the Maying?
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1086 Hold? What should ail us?
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1087 Arcas will be there.
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1088 And Sennois and Rycas; and
1089 three better lads ne’er danced under green tree.
1090 45 And ⌜you⌝ know what wenches, ha! But will the
1091 dainty domine, the Schoolmaster, keep touch, do
1092 you think? For he does all, you know.
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1093 He’ll eat a hornbook ere he fail.
1094 Go to, the matter’s too far driven between him and
1095 50 the tanner’s daughter to let slip now; and she must
1096 see the Duke, and she must dance too.
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1097 Shall we be lusty?
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1098 All the boys in Athens blow wind
1099 i’ th’ breech on ’s. And here I’ll be and there I’ll be,
1100 55 for our town, and here again, and there again. Ha,
1101 boys, hey for the weavers!
FIRST COUNTRYMAN 1102 This must be done i’ th’ woods.
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1103 O pardon me.
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1104 By any means; our thing of learning
1105 60 ⌜says⌝ so—where he himself will edify the Duke
1106 most parlously in our behalfs. He’s excellent i’ th’
1107 woods; bring him to th’ plains, his learning makes
1108 no cry.
1110 65 man to ’s tackle. And, sweet companions, let’s rehearse,
1111 by any means, before the ladies see us, and
1112 do sweetly, and God knows what may come on ’t.
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1113 Content. The sports once ended,
1114 we’ll perform. Away, boys, and hold.
⌜Arcite comes forward.⌝
ARCITE 1115 70By your leaves, honest friends: pray you,
1116 whither go you?
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1117 Whither?
1118 Why, what a question’s that?
ARCITE 1119 Yes, ’tis a question
1120 75 To me that know not.
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1121 To the games, my friend.
1122 Where were you bred, you know it not?
ARCITE 1123 Not far, sir.
1124 Are there such games today?
FIRST COUNTRYMAN 1125 80 Yes, marry, are there,
1126 And such as you never saw. The Duke himself
1127 Will be in person there.
ARCITE 1128 What pastimes are they?
1129 Wrestling and running.—’Tis a pretty fellow.
1130 85 Thou wilt not go along?
ARCITE 1131 Not yet, sir.
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1132 Well, sir,
1133 Take your own time.—Come, boys.
FIRST COUNTRYMAN, ⌜aside to the others⌝ 1134 My mind misgives
1135 90 me. This fellow has a vengeance trick o’ th’
1136 hip. Mark how his body’s made for ’t.
SECOND COUNTRYMAN, ⌜aside to the others⌝ 1137 I’ll be
1138 hanged, though, if he dare venture. Hang him,
1139 plum porridge! He wrestle? He roast eggs! Come,
1140 95 let’s be gone, lads.The four exit.
1141 This is an offered opportunity
1142 I durst not wish for. Well I could have wrestled—
1143 The best men called it excellent—and run
1144 Swifter than wind upon a field of corn,
1145 100 Curling the wealthy ears, never flew. I’ll venture,
1146 And in some poor disguise be there. Who knows
1147 Whether my brows may not be girt with garlands,
1148 And happiness prefer me to a place
1149 Where I may ever dwell in sight of her?
1150 Why should I love this gentleman? ’Tis odds
1151 He never will affect me. I am base,
1152 My father the mean keeper of his prison,
1153 And he a prince. To marry him is hopeless;
1154 5 To be his whore is witless. Out upon ’t!
1155 What pushes are we wenches driven to
1156 When fifteen once has found us! First, I saw him;
1157 I, seeing, thought he was a goodly man;
1158 He has as much to please a woman in him,
1159 10 If he please to bestow it so, as ever
1160 These eyes yet looked on. Next, I pitied him,
1161 And so would any young wench, o’ my conscience,
1162 That ever dreamed, or vowed her maidenhead
1163 To a young handsome man. Then I loved him,
1164 15 Extremely loved him, infinitely loved him!
1165 And yet he had a cousin, fair as he too.
1166 But in my heart was Palamon, and there,
1167 Lord, what a coil he keeps! To hear him
1168 Sing in an evening, what a heaven it is!
1170 Was never gentleman. When I come in
1171 To bring him water in a morning, first
1172 He bows his noble body, then salutes me thus:
1173 “Fair, gentle maid, good morrow. May thy goodness
1174 25 Get thee a happy husband.” Once he kissed me;
1175 I loved my lips the better ten days after.
1176 Would he would do so ev’ry day! He grieves much—
1177 And me as much to see his misery.
1178 What should I do to make him know I love him?
1179 30 For I would fain enjoy him. Say I ventured
1180 To set him free? What says the law then?
1181 Thus much for law or kindred! I will do it,
1182 And this night, or tomorrow, he shall love me.
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, Emilia, Arcite
⌜in disguise,⌝ with a garland, ⌜Attendants, and others.⌝
THESEUS, ⌜to Arcite⌝
1183 You have done worthily. I have not seen,
1184 Since Hercules, a man of tougher sinews.
1185 Whate’er you are, you run the best and wrestle
1186 That these times can allow.
ARCITE 1187 5 I am proud to please you.
1188 What country bred you?
ARCITE 1189 This; but far off, prince.
1190 Are you a gentleman?
ARCITE 1191 My father said so,
1192 10 And to those gentle uses gave me life.
1193 Are you his heir?
ARCITE 1194 His youngest, sir.
THESEUS 1195 Your father,
1196 Sure, is a happy sire, then. What proves you?
1197 15 A little of all noble qualities.
1198 I could have kept a hawk and well have hallowed
1199 To a deep cry of dogs. I dare not praise
1200 My feat in horsemanship, yet they that knew me
1201 Would say it was my best piece. Last, and greatest,
1202 20 I would be thought a soldier.
THESEUS 1203 You are perfect.
1204 Upon my soul, a proper man.
EMILIA 1205 He is so.
PIRITHOUS, ⌜to Hippolyta⌝
1206 How do you like him, lady?
HIPPOLYTA 1207 25 I admire him.
1208 I have not seen so young a man so noble,
1209 If he say true, of his sort.
EMILIA 1210 Believe,
1211 His mother was a wondrous handsome woman;
1212 30 His face, methinks, goes that way.
HIPPOLYTA 1213 But his body
1214 And fiery mind illustrate a brave father.
1215 Mark how his virtue, like a hidden sun,
1216 Breaks through his baser garments.
HIPPOLYTA 1217 35 He’s well got, sure.
THESEUS, ⌜to Arcite⌝
1218 What made you seek this place, sir?
ARCITE 1219 Noble Theseus,
1220 To purchase name and do my ablest service
1221 To such a well-found wonder as thy worth;
1223 Dwells fair-eyed Honor.
PIRITHOUS 1224 All his words are worthy.
1225 Sir, we are much indebted to your travel,
1226 Nor shall you lose your wish.—Pirithous,
1227 45 Dispose of this fair gentleman.
PIRITHOUS 1228 Thanks, Theseus.—
1229 Whate’er you are, you’re mine, and I shall give you
1230 To a most noble service: to this lady,
1231 This bright young virgin.
⌜He brings Arcite to Emilia.⌝
1232 50 Pray observe her goodness;
1233 You have honored her fair birthday with your
1235 And, as your due, you’re hers. Kiss her fair hand, sir.
1236 Sir, you’re a noble giver.—Dearest beauty,
1237 55 Thus let me seal my vowed faith.
⌜He kisses her hand.⌝
1238 When your servant,
1239 Your most unworthy creature, but offends you,
1240 Command him die, he shall.
EMILIA 1241 That were too cruel.
1242 60 If you deserve well, sir, I shall soon see ’t.
1243 You’re mine, and somewhat better than your rank
1244 I’ll use you.
PIRITHOUS, ⌜to Arcite⌝
1245 I’ll see you furnished, and because you say
1246 You are a horseman, I must needs entreat you
1247 65 This afternoon to ride—but ’tis a rough one.
1248 I like him better, prince; I shall not then
1249 Freeze in my saddle.
THESEUS, ⌜to Hippolyta⌝ 1250 Sweet, you must be ready,—
1251 And you, Emilia,—and you, friend,—and all,
1253 To flowery May in Dian’s wood.—Wait well, sir,
1254 Upon your mistress.—Emily, I hope
1255 He shall not go afoot.
EMILIA 1256 That were a shame, sir,
1257 75 While I have horses.—Take your choice, and what
1258 You want at any time, let me but know it.
1259 If you serve faithfully, I dare assure you
1260 You’ll find a loving mistress.
ARCITE 1261 If I do not,
1262 80 Let me find that my father ever hated,
1263 Disgrace and blows.
THESEUS 1264 Go lead the way; you have won it.
1265 It shall be so; you shall receive all dues
1266 Fit for the honor you have won. ’Twere wrong else.—
1267 85 Sister, beshrew my heart, you have a servant
1268 That, if I were a woman, would be master;
1269 But you are wise.
EMILIA 1270 I hope too wise for that, sir.
Flourish. They all exit.
1271 Let all the dukes and all the devils roar!
1272 He is at liberty. I have ventured for him,
1273 And out I have brought him; to a little wood
1274 A mile hence I have sent him, where a cedar
1275 5 Higher than all the rest spreads like a plane
1276 Fast by a brook, and there he shall keep close
1277 Till I provide him files and food, for yet
1278 His iron bracelets are not off. O Love,
1279 What a stout-hearted child thou art! My father
1280 10 Durst better have endured cold iron than done it.
1282 Or wit or safety. I have made him know it;
1283 I care not, I am desperate. If the law
1284 Find me and then condemn me for ’t, some wenches,
1285 15 Some honest-hearted maids, will sing my dirge
1286 And tell to memory my death was noble,
1287 Dying almost a martyr. That way he takes
1288 I purpose is my way too. Sure he cannot
1289 Be so unmanly as to leave me here.
1290 20 If he do, maids will not so easily
1291 Trust men again. And yet he has not thanked me
1292 For what I have done; no, not so much as kissed me,
1293 And that, methinks, is not so well; nor scarcely
1294 Could I persuade him to become a free man,
1295 25 He made such scruples of the wrong he did
1296 To me and to my father. Yet I hope,
1297 When he considers more, this love of mine
1298 Will take more root within him. Let him do
1299 What he will with me, so he use me kindly;
1300 30 For use me so he shall, or I’ll proclaim him,
1301 And to his face, no man. I’ll presently
1302 Provide him necessaries and pack my clothes up,
1303 And where there is a path of ground I’ll venture,
1304 So he be with me. By him like a shadow
1305 35 I’ll ever dwell. Within this hour the hubbub
1306 Will be all o’er the prison. I am then
1307 Kissing the man they look for. Farewell, father!
1308 Get many more such prisoners and such daughters,
1309 And shortly you may keep yourself. Now to him.
as people a-Maying. Enter Arcite alone.
1310 The Duke has lost Hippolyta; each took
1311 A several laund. This is a solemn rite
1312 They owe bloomed May, and the Athenians pay it
1313 To th’ heart of ceremony. O Queen Emilia,
1314 5 Fresher than May, sweeter
1315 Than her gold buttons on the boughs, or all
1316 Th’ enameled knacks o’ th’ mead or garden—yea,
1317 We challenge too the bank of any nymph
1318 That makes the stream seem flowers; thou, O jewel
1319 10 O’ th’ wood, o’ th’ world, hast likewise blessed a pace
1320 With thy sole presence. In thy rumination
1321 That I, poor man, might eftsoons come between
1322 And chop on some cold thought! Thrice blessèd
1324 15 To drop on such a mistress, expectation
1325 Most guiltless on ’t. Tell me, O Lady Fortune,
1326 Next after Emily my sovereign, how far
1327 I may be proud. She takes strong note of me,
1328 Hath made me near her; and this beauteous morn,
1329 20 The prim’st of all the year, presents me with
1330 A brace of horses; two such steeds might well
1332 That their crowns’ titles tried. Alas, alas,
1333 Poor cousin Palamon, poor prisoner, thou
1334 25 So little dream’st upon my fortune that
1335 Thou think’st thyself the happier thing, to be
1336 So near Emilia; me thou deem’st at Thebes,
1337 And therein wretched, although free. But if
1338 Thou knew’st my mistress breathed on me, and that
1339 30 I eared her language, lived in her eye—O coz,
1340 What passion would enclose thee!
Enter Palamon as out of a bush, with his shackles;
⌜he⌝ bends his fist at Arcite.
PALAMON 1341 Traitor kinsman,
1342 Thou shouldst perceive my passion if these signs
1343 Of prisonment were off me, and this hand
1344 35 But owner of a sword. By all oaths in one,
1345 I and the justice of my love would make thee
1346 A confessed traitor, O thou most perfidious
1347 That ever gently looked, the ⌜void’st⌝ of honor
1348 That e’er bore gentle token, falsest cousin
1349 40 That ever blood made kin! Call’st thou her thine?
1350 I’ll prove it in my shackles, with these hands,
1351 Void of appointment, that thou liest, and art
1352 A very thief in love, a chaffy lord,
1353 Nor worth the name of villain. Had I a sword,
1354 45 And these house clogs away—
ARCITE 1355 Dear cousin Palamon—
1356 Cozener Arcite, give me language such
1357 As thou hast showed me feat.
ARCITE 1358 Not finding in
1359 50 The circuit of my breast any gross stuff
1360 To form me like your blazon holds me to
1361 This gentleness of answer: ’tis your passion
1362 That thus mistakes, the which, to you being enemy,
1364 55 I cherish and depend on, howsoe’er
1365 You skip them in me, and with them, fair coz,
1366 I’ll maintain my proceedings. Pray be pleased
1367 To show in generous terms your griefs, since that
1368 Your question’s with your equal, who professes
1369 60 To clear his own way with the mind and sword
1370 Of a true gentleman.
PALAMON 1371 That thou durst, Arcite!
1372 My coz, my coz, you have been well advertised
1373 How much I dare; you’ve seen me use my sword
1374 65 Against th’ advice of fear. Sure, of another
1375 You would not hear me doubted, but your silence
1376 Should break out, though i’ th’ sanctuary.
PALAMON 1377 Sir,
1378 I have seen you move in such a place which well
1379 70 Might justify your manhood; you were called
1380 A good knight and a bold. But the whole week’s not
1382 If any day it rain; their valiant temper
1383 Men lose when they incline to treachery,
1384 75 And then they fight like compelled bears—would fly
1385 Were they not tied.
ARCITE 1386 Kinsman, you might as well
1387 Speak this and act it in your glass as to
1388 His ear which now disdains you.
PALAMON 1389 80 Come up to me;
1390 Quit me of these cold gyves, give me a sword
1391 Though it be rusty, and the charity
1392 Of one meal lend me. Come before me then,
1393 A good sword in thy hand, and do but say
1394 85 That Emily is thine, I will forgive
1395 The trespass thou hast done me—yea, my life,
1396 If then thou carry ’t; and brave souls in shades
1397 That have died manly, which will seek of me
1399 90 That thou art brave and noble.
ARCITE 1400 Be content.
1401 Again betake you to your hawthorn house.
1402 With counsel of the night I will be here
1403 With wholesome viands. These impediments
1404 95 Will I file off. You shall have garments and
1405 Perfumes to kill the smell o’ th’ prison. After,
1406 When you shall stretch yourself and say but “Arcite,
1407 I am in plight,” there shall be at your choice
1408 Both sword and armor.
PALAMON 1409 100 O you heavens, dares any
1410 So noble bear a guilty business? None
1411 But only Arcite. Therefore none but Arcite
1412 In this kind is so bold.
ARCITE 1413 Sweet Palamon.
1414 105 I do embrace you and your offer; for
1415 Your offer do ’t I only. Sir, your person
1416 Without hypocrisy I may not wish
1417 More than my sword’s edge on ’t.
Wind horns off; ⌜sound⌝ cornets.
ARCITE 1418 You hear the horns.
1419 110 Enter your ⌜muset,⌝ lest this match between ’s
1420 Be crossed ere met. Give me your hand; farewell.
1421 I’ll bring you every needful thing. I pray you,
1422 Take comfort and be strong.
PALAMON 1423 Pray hold your promise,
1424 115 And do the deed with a bent brow. Most certain
1425 You love me not; be rough with me, and pour
1426 This oil out of your language. By this air,
1427 I could for each word give a cuff, my stomach
1428 Not reconciled by reason.
ARCITE 1429 120 Plainly spoken,
1430 Yet pardon me hard language. When I spur
1431 My horse, I chide him not; content and anger
1433 Hark, sir, they call
1434 125 The scattered to the banquet; you must guess
1435 I have an office there.
PALAMON 1436 Sir, your attendance
1437 Cannot please heaven, and I know your office
1438 Unjustly is achieved.
ARCITE 1439 130 ⌜’Tis⌝ a good title.
1440 I am persuaded this question, sick between ’s,
1441 By bleeding must be cured. I am a suitor
1442 That to your sword you will bequeath this plea,
1443 And talk of it no more.
PALAMON 1444 135 But this one word:
1445 You are going now to gaze upon my mistress,
1446 For note you, mine she is—
ARCITE 1447 Nay then,—
PALAMON 1448 Nay, pray you,
1449 140 You talk of feeding me to breed me strength.
1450 You are going now to look upon a sun
1451 That strengthens what it looks on; there
1452 You have a vantage o’er me, but enjoy ’t till
1453 I may enforce my remedy. Farewell.
1454 He has mistook the ⌜brake⌝ I meant, is gone
1455 After his fancy. ’Tis now well-nigh morning.
1456 No matter; would it were perpetual night,
1457 And darkness lord o’ th’ world. Hark, ’tis a wolf!
1458 5 In me hath grief slain fear, and but for one thing,
1459 I care for nothing, and that’s Palamon.
1460 I reck not if the wolves would jaw me, so
1462 I cannot hallow. If I whooped, what then?
1463 10 If he not answered, I should call a wolf,
1464 And do him but that service. I have heard
1465 Strange howls this livelong night; why may ’t not be
1466 They have made prey of him? He has no weapons;
1467 He cannot run; the jingling of his gyves
1468 15 Might call fell things to listen, who have in them
1469 A sense to know a man unarmed and can
1470 Smell where resistance is. I’ll set it down
1471 He’s torn to pieces; they howled many together,
1472 And then they ⌜fed⌝ on him; so much for that.
1473 20 Be bold to ring the bell. How stand I then?
1474 All’s chared when he is gone. No, no, I lie.
1475 My father’s to be hanged for his escape;
1476 Myself to beg, if I prized life so much
1477 As to deny my act, but that I would not,
1478 25 Should I try death by dozens. I am moped;
1479 Food took I none these two days;
1480 Sipped some water. I have not closed mine eyes
1481 Save when my lids scoured off their brine. Alas,
1482 Dissolve, my life! Let not my sense unsettle,
1483 30 Lest I should drown, or stab, or hang myself.
1484 O state of nature, fail together in me,
1485 Since thy best props are warped! So, which way now?
1486 The best way is the next way to a grave;
1487 Each errant step beside is torment. Lo,
1488 35 The moon is down, the crickets chirp, the screech
1490 Calls in the dawn. All offices are done
1491 Save what I fail in. But the point is this—
1492 An end, and that is all.
1493 I should be near the place.—Ho! Cousin Palamon!
ARCITE 1495 The same. I have brought you food and files.
1496 Come forth and fear not; here’s no Theseus.
1497 5 Nor none so honest, Arcite.
ARCITE 1498 That’s no matter.
1499 We’ll argue that hereafter. Come, take courage;
1500 You shall not die thus beastly. Here, sir, drink—
1501 I know you are faint—then I’ll talk further with you.
1502 10 Arcite, thou mightst now poison me.
ARCITE 1503 I might;
1504 But I must fear you first. Sit down and, good now,
1505 No more of these vain parleys. Let us not,
1506 Having our ancient reputation with us,
1507 15 Make talk for fools and cowards. To your health.
PALAMON 1508 Do!
1509 Pray sit down, then, and let me entreat you,
1510 By all the honesty and honor in you,
1511 No mention of this woman; ’twill disturb us.
1512 20 We shall have time enough.
PALAMON 1513 Well, sir, I’ll pledge you.
1514 Drink a good hearty draught; it breeds good blood,
1516 Do not you feel it thaw you?
PALAMON 1517 25 Stay, I’ll tell you
1518 After a draught or two more.
ARCITE 1519 Spare it not.
1520 The Duke has more, coz. Eat now.
PALAMON 1521 Yes.⌜He eats.⌝
ARCITE 1522 30 I am glad
1523 You have so good a stomach.
PALAMON 1524 I am gladder
1525 I have so good meat to ’t.
ARCITE 1526 Is ’t not mad lodging
1527 35 Here in the wild woods, cousin?
PALAMON 1528 Yes, for ⌜them⌝
1529 That have wild consciences.
ARCITE 1530 How tastes your
1532 40 Your hunger needs no sauce, I see.
PALAMON 1533 Not much.
1534 But if it did, yours is too tart, sweet cousin.
1535 What is this?
ARCITE 1536 Venison.
PALAMON 1537 45 ’Tis a lusty meat.
1538 Give me more wine. Here, Arcite, to the wenches
1539 We have known in our days!
⌜He raises his cup in a toast.⌝
1540 The Lord Steward’s
1542 50 Do you remember her?
ARCITE 1543 After you, coz.
1544 She loved a black-haired man.
ARCITE 1545 She did so; well, sir?
1546 And I have heard some call him Arcite, and—
1547 55 Out with ’t, faith.
PALAMON 1548 She met him in an arbor.
1549 What did she there, coz? Play o’ th’ virginals?
1550 Something she did, sir.
PALAMON 1551 Made her groan a month
1552 60 for ’t—
1553 Or two, or three, or ten.
ARCITE 1554 The Marshal’s sister
1555 Had her share, too, as I remember, cousin,
1556 Else there be tales abroad. You’ll pledge her?
PALAMON 1557 65 Yes.
⌜He lifts his cup and then drinks.⌝
1558 A pretty brown wench ’tis. There was a time
1559 When young men went a-hunting, and a wood,
1560 And a broad beech—and thereby hangs a tale.
1561 Heigh ho!
PALAMON 1562 70 For Emily, upon my life! Fool,
1563 Away with this strained mirth. I say again
1564 That sigh was breathed for Emily. Base cousin,
1565 Dar’st thou break first?
ARCITE 1566 You are wide.
PALAMON 1567 75 By heaven and
1569 There’s nothing in thee honest.
ARCITE 1570 Then I’ll leave you.
1571 You are a beast now.
PALAMON 1572 80 As thou mak’st me, traitor.
1573 There’s all things needful: files and shirts and
1576 That that shall quiet all.
PALAMON 1577 85 A sword and armor.
1578 Fear me not. You are now too foul. Farewell.
1579 Get off your trinkets; you shall want naught.
PALAMON 1580 Sirrah—
1581 I’ll hear no more.
PALAMON 1582 90 If he keep touch, he dies for ’t.
1583 I am very cold, and all the stars are out too,
1584 The little stars and all, that look like aglets.
1585 The sun has seen my folly.—Palamon!
1586 Alas, no; he’s in heaven. Where am I now?
1587 5 Yonder’s the sea, and there’s a ship. How ’t tumbles!
1588 And there’s a rock lies watching under water.
1589 Now, now, it beats upon it; now, now, now,
1590 There’s a leak sprung, a sound one! How they cry!
1591 ⌜Open⌝ her before the wind; you’ll lose all else.
1592 10 Up with a course or two, and ⌜tack⌝ about, boys!
1593 Good night, good night; you’re gone. I am very
1595 Would I could find a fine frog; he would tell me
1596 News from all parts o’ th’ world; then would I make
1597 15 A carrack of a cockleshell, and sail
1598 By east and northeast to the king of pygmies,
1599 For he tells fortunes rarely. Now my father,
1601 Tomorrow morning. I’ll say never a word.
1602 20 For I’ll cut my green coat a foot above my knee,
1603 And I’ll clip my yellow locks an inch below mine
1605 Hey nonny, nonny, nonny.
1606 He’s buy me a white cut, forth for to ride,
1607 25 And I’ll go seek him through the world that is so
1609 Hey nonny, nonny, nonny.
1610 O, for a prick now, like a nightingale,
1611 To put my breast against. I shall sleep like a top else.
⌜one dressed as a Bavian.⌝
SCHOOLMASTER 1612 Fie, fie, what tediosity and disinsanity
1613 is here among you! Have my rudiments been labored
1614 so long with you, milked unto you, and, by a
1615 figure, even the very plum broth and marrow of
1616 5 my understanding laid upon you, and do you still
1617 cry “Where?” and “How?” and “Wherefore?” You
1618 most coarse-frieze capacities, you ⌜jean⌝ judgments,
1619 have I said “Thus let be” and “There let be”
1620 and “Then let be” and no man understand me? Proh
1621 10 deum, medius fidius, you are all dunces! Forwhy,
1622 here stand I; here the Duke comes; there are you,
1623 close in the thicket; the Duke appears; I meet him
1624 and unto him I utter learnèd things and many figures;
1625 he hears, and nods, and hums, and then cries
1626 15 “Rare!” and I go forward. At length I fling my cap
1627 up—mark there! Then do you as once did Meleager
1629 like true lovers, cast yourselves in a body decently,
1630 and sweetly, by a figure, trace and turn, boys.
FIRST COUNTRYMAN 1631 20And sweetly we will do it, Master
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1633 Draw up the company. Where’s
1634 the taborer?
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1635 Why, Timothy!
⌜Enter the⌝ Taborer.
TABORER 1636 25Here, my mad boys. Have at you!
SCHOOLMASTER 1637 But I say, where’s their women?
Enter ⌜five⌝ Wenches.
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1638 Here’s Fritz and Maudlin.
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1639 And little Luce with the white
1640 legs, and bouncing Barbary.
FIRST COUNTRYMAN 1641 30And freckled Nell, that never failed
1642 her master.
SCHOOLMASTER 1643 Where be your ribbons, maids? Swim
1644 with your bodies, and carry it sweetly and deliverly,
1645 and now and then a favor and a frisk.
NELL 1646 35Let us alone, sir.
SCHOOLMASTER 1647 Where’s the rest o’ th’ music?
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1648 Dispersed, as you commanded.
SCHOOLMASTER 1649 Couple, then, and see what’s wanting.
1650 Where’s the Bavian?—My friend, carry your tail
1651 40 without offense or scandal to the ladies; and be
1652 sure you tumble with audacity and manhood, and
1653 when you bark, do it with judgment.
BAVIAN 1654 Yes, sir.
SCHOOLMASTER 1655 Quo usque tandem? Here is a woman
1656 45 wanting.
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1657 We may go whistle; all the fat’s i’
1658 th’ fire.
SCHOOLMASTER 1659 We have, as learnèd authors utter,
1661 50 vainly.
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1662 This is that scornful piece, that
1663 scurvy hilding that gave her promise faithfully she
1664 would be here—Cicely, the sempster’s daughter.
1665 The next gloves that I give her shall be dogskin;
1666 55 nay, an she fail me once—you can tell, Arcas, she
1667 swore by wine and bread she would not break.
SCHOOLMASTER 1668 An eel and woman, a learnèd poet
1669 says, unless by th’ tail and with thy teeth thou hold,
1670 will either fail. In manners, this was false
1671 60 position.
FIRST COUNTRYMAN 1672 A fire ill take her! Does she flinch
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1674 What shall we determine, sir?
SCHOOLMASTER 1675 Nothing. Our business is become a
1676 65 nullity, yea, and a woeful and a piteous nullity.
FOURTH COUNTRYMAN 1677 Now, when the credit of our town
1678 lay on it, now to be frampold, now to piss o’ th’
1679 nettle! Go thy ways; I’ll remember thee. I’ll fit
Enter Jailer’s Daughter.
1681 70 The George Alow came from the south,
1682 From the coast of Barbary-a,
1683 And there he met with brave gallants of war,
1684 By one, by two, by three-a.
1685 “Well hailed, well hailed, you jolly gallants,
1686 75 And whither now are you bound-a?
1687 O, let me have your company
1688 Till ⌜I⌝ come to the sound-a.”
1689 There was three fools, fell out about an owlet—
⌜Sings⌝ 1690 The one ⌜he⌝ said it was an owl,
1691 80 The other he said nay,
1693 And her bells were cut away.
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1694 There’s a dainty madwoman, master,
1695 comes i’ th’ nick, as mad as a March hare. If we
1696 85 can get her dance, we are made again. I warrant
1697 her, she’ll do the rarest gambols.
FIRST COUNTRYMAN 1698 A madwoman? We are made, boys.
SCHOOLMASTER, ⌜to Jailer’s Daughter⌝ 1699 And are you mad,
1700 good woman?
DAUGHTER 1701 90I would be sorry else. Give me your hand.
SCHOOLMASTER 1702 Why?
DAUGHTER 1703 I can tell your fortune. ⌜She looks at his
hand.⌝ 1704 You are a fool. Tell ten.—I have posed him.
1705 Buzz!—Friend, you must eat no white bread; if
1706 95 you do, your teeth will bleed extremely. Shall we
1707 dance, ho? I know you, you’re a tinker. Sirrah tinker,
1708 stop no more holes but what you should.
SCHOOLMASTER 1709 Dii boni! A tinker, damsel?
DAUGHTER 1710 Or a conjurer. Raise me a devil now, and let
1711 100 him play ⌜Chi⌝ passa o’ th’ bells and bones.
SCHOOLMASTER 1712 Go, take her, and fluently persuade her
1713 to a peace. Et opus exegi, quod nec Iovis ira, nec
1714 ignis. Strike up, and lead her in.
SECOND COUNTRYMAN 1715 Come, lass, let’s trip it.
DAUGHTER 1716 105I’ll lead.
THIRD COUNTRYMAN 1717 Do, do!
SCHOOLMASTER 1718 Persuasively, and cunningly.
1719 Away, boys! I hear the horns. Give me some
1720 meditation, and mark your cue.
All but Schoolmaster exit.
1721 110 Pallas, inspire me!
Enter Theseus, Pirithous, Hippolyta, Emilia, and train.
THESEUS 1722 This way the stag took.
SCHOOLMASTER 1723 Stay, and edify!
PIRITHOUS 1725 Some country sport, upon my life, sir.
⌜THESEUS, to Schoolmaster⌝ 1726 115Well, sir, go forward. We
1727 will “edify.”Chairs and stools ⌜brought⌝ out.
1728 Ladies, sit down. We’ll stay it.
⌜Theseus, Hippolyta, and Emilia sit.⌝
1729 Thou doughty duke, all hail!—All hail, sweet ladies!
THESEUS, ⌜aside⌝ 1730 This is a cold beginning.
1731 120 If you but favor, our country pastime made is.
1732 We are a few of those collected here
1733 That ruder tongues distinguish “villager.”
1734 And to say verity, and not to fable,
1735 We are a merry rout, or else a rabble,
1736 125 Or company, or by a figure, chorus,
1737 That ’fore thy dignity will dance a morris.
1738 And I that am the rectifier of all,
1739 By title pedagogus, that let fall
1740 The birch upon the breeches of the small ones,
1741 130 And humble with a ferula the tall ones,
1742 Do here present this machine, or this frame.
1743 And, dainty duke, whose doughty dismal fame
1744 From Dis to Daedalus, from post to pillar,
1745 Is blown abroad, help me, thy poor well-willer,
1746 135 And with thy twinkling eyes look right and straight
1747 Upon this mighty “Morr,” of mickle weight—
1748 “Is” now comes in, which being glued together
1749 Makes “Morris,” and the cause that we came hither.
1750 The body of our sport, of no small study,
1751 140 I first appear, though rude, and raw, and muddy,
1752 To speak before thy noble grace this tenner,
1753 At whose great feet I offer up my penner.
1754 The next, the Lord of May and Lady bright,
1755 The Chambermaid and Servingman by night
1756 145 That seek out silent hanging; then mine Host
1758 The gallèd traveler, and with a beck’ning
1759 Informs the tapster to inflame the reck’ning;
1760 Then the beest-eating Clown; and next the Fool,
1761 150 The Bavian with long tail and eke long tool,
1762 Cum multis aliis that make a dance;
1763 Say “ay,” and all shall presently advance.
1764 Ay, ay, by any means, dear Domine.
PIRITHOUS 1765 Produce!
1766 155 Intrate, filii. Come forth and foot it.
Music. ⌜Enter the Countrymen, Countrywomen, and
Jailer’s Daughter; they perform a morris⌝ dance.
1767 Ladies, if we have been merry
1768 And have pleased ⌜ye⌝ with a derry,
1769 And a derry and a down,
1770 Say the Schoolmaster’s no clown.—
1771 160 Duke, if we have pleased ⌜thee⌝ too
1772 And have done as good boys should do,
1773 Give us but a tree or twain
1774 For a Maypole, and again,
1775 Ere another year run out,
1776 165 We’ll make thee laugh, and all this rout.
1777 Take twenty, Domine.—How does my sweetheart?
1778 Never so pleased, sir.
EMILIA 1779 ’Twas an excellent dance,
1780 And, for a preface, I never heard a better.
1781 170 Schoolmaster, I thank you.—One see ’em all
1782 rewarded.⌜An Attendant gives money.⌝
1783 And here’s something to paint your pole withal.
⌜He gives money.⌝
THESEUS 1784 Now to our sports again.
1785 May the stag thou hunt’st stand long,
1786 175 And thy dogs be swift and strong;
1787 May they kill him without lets,
1788 And the ladies eat his dowsets.
Wind horns ⌜within. Theseus, Hippolyta,
Emilia, Pirithous, and Train exit.⌝
1789 Come, we are all made. Dii deaeque omnes,
1790 You have danced rarely, wenches.
1791 About this hour my cousin gave his faith
1792 To visit me again, and with him bring
1793 Two swords and two good armors. If he fail,
1794 He’s neither man nor soldier. When he left me,
1795 5 I did not think a week could have restored
1796 My lost strength to me, I was grown so low
1797 And crestfall’n with my wants. I thank thee, Arcite,
1798 Thou art yet a fair foe, and I feel myself,
1799 With this refreshing, able once again
1800 10 To outdure danger. To delay it longer
1801 Would make the world think, when it comes to
1803 That I lay fatting like a swine to fight
1804 And not a soldier. Therefore, this blest morning
1805 15 Shall be the last; and that sword he refuses,
1807 So, love and fortune for me!
Enter Arcite with armors and swords.
1808 O, good morrow.
1809 Good morrow, noble kinsman.
PALAMON 1810 20 I have put you
1811 To too much pains, sir.
ARCITE 1812 That too much, fair cousin,
1813 Is but a debt to honor and my duty.
1814 Would you were so in all, sir; I could wish you
1815 25 As kind a kinsman as you force me find
1816 A beneficial foe, that my embraces
1817 Might thank you, not my blows.
ARCITE 1818 I shall think either,
1819 Well done, a noble recompense.
PALAMON 1820 30 Then I shall quit you.
1821 Defy me in these fair terms, and you show
1822 More than a mistress to me. No more anger,
1823 As you love anything that’s honorable!
1824 We were not bred to talk, man; when we are armed
1825 35 And both upon our guards, then let our fury,
1826 Like meeting of two tides, fly strongly from us,
1827 And then to whom the birthright of this beauty
1828 Truly pertains—without upbraidings, scorns,
1829 Despisings of our persons, and such poutings,
1830 40 Fitter for girls and schoolboys—will be seen,
1831 And quickly, yours or mine. Will ’t please you arm,
1833 Or if you feel yourself not fitting yet
1834 And furnished with your old strength, I’ll stay,
1835 45 cousin,
1836 And ev’ry day discourse you into health,
1838 And I could wish I had not said I loved her,
1839 Though I had died. But loving such a lady,
1840 50 And justifying my love, I must not fly from ’t.
1841 Arcite, thou art so brave an enemy
1842 That no man but thy cousin’s fit to kill thee.
1843 I am well and lusty. Choose your arms.
ARCITE 1844 Choose you, sir.
1845 55 Wilt thou exceed in all, or dost thou do it
1846 To make me spare thee?
ARCITE 1847 If you think so, cousin,
1848 You are deceived, for as I am a soldier,
1849 I will not spare you.
PALAMON 1850 60 That’s well said.
ARCITE 1851 You’ll find it.
1852 Then, as I am an honest man and love
1853 With all the justice of affection,
1854 I’ll pay thee soundly.⌜He chooses armor.⌝
1855 65 This I’ll take.
ARCITE ⌜taking the other⌝ 1856 That’s mine, then.
1857 I’ll arm you first.
PALAMON 1858 Do.⌜Arcite begins arming him.⌝
1859 Pray thee tell me, cousin,
1860 70 Where got’st thou this good armor?
ARCITE 1861 ’Tis the Duke’s,
1862 And to say true, I stole it. Do I pinch you?
PALAMON 1863 No.
1864 Is ’t not too heavy?
PALAMON 1865 75 I have worn a lighter,
1866 But I shall make it serve.
ARCITE 1867 I’ll buckle ’t close.
1868 By any means.
ARCITE 1869 You care not for a grand guard?
1870 80 No, no, we’ll use no horses. I perceive
1871 You would fain be at that fight.
ARCITE 1872 I am indifferent.
1873 Faith, so am I. Good cousin, thrust the buckle
1874 Through far enough.
ARCITE 1875 85 I warrant you.
PALAMON 1876 My casque now.
1877 Will you fight bare-armed?
PALAMON 1878 We shall be the nimbler.
1879 But use your gauntlets though. Those are o’ th’ least.
1880 90 Prithee take mine, good cousin.
PALAMON 1881 Thank you, Arcite.
1882 How do I look? Am I fall’n much away?
1883 Faith, very little; love has used you kindly.
1884 I’ll warrant thee, I’ll strike home.
ARCITE 1885 95 Do, and spare not.
1886 I’ll give you cause, sweet cousin.
PALAMON 1887 Now to you, sir.
⌜He begins to arm Arcite.⌝
1888 Methinks this armor’s very like that, Arcite,
1889 Thou wor’st that day the three kings fell, but lighter.
1890 100 That was a very good one, and that day,
1891 I well remember, you outdid me, cousin.
1892 I never saw such valor. When you charged
1893 Upon the left wing of the enemy,
1895 105 I had a right good horse.
PALAMON 1896 You had, indeed;
1897 A bright bay, I remember.
ARCITE 1898 Yes, but all
1899 Was vainly labored in me; you outwent me,
1900 110 Nor could my wishes reach you; yet a little
1901 I did by imitation.
PALAMON 1902 More by virtue;
1903 You are modest, cousin.
ARCITE 1904 When I saw you charge first,
1905 115 Methought I heard a dreadful clap of thunder
1906 Break from the troop.
PALAMON 1907 But still before that flew
1908 The lightning of your valor. Stay a little;
1909 Is not this piece too strait?
ARCITE 1910 120 No, no, ’tis well.
1911 I would have nothing hurt thee but my sword.
1912 A bruise would be dishonor.
ARCITE 1913 Now I am perfect.
1914 Stand off, then.
ARCITE 1915 125 Take my sword; I hold it better.
1916 I thank you, no; keep it; your life lies on it.
1917 Here’s one; if it but hold, I ask no more
1918 For all my hopes. My cause and honor guard me!
1919 And me my love!
They bow several ways, then advance and stand.
1920 130 Is there aught else to say?
1921 This only, and no more: thou art mine aunt’s son.
1922 And that blood we desire to shed is mutual—
1923 In me thine, and in thee mine. My sword
1925 135 The gods and I forgive thee. If there be
1926 A place prepared for those that sleep in honor,
1927 I wish his weary soul that falls may win it.
1928 Fight bravely, cousin. Give me thy noble hand.
ARCITE, ⌜as they shake hands⌝
1929 Here, Palamon. This hand shall never more
1930 140 Come near thee with such friendship.
PALAMON 1931 I commend thee.
1932 If I fall, curse me, and say I was a coward,
1933 For none but such dare die in these just trials.
1934 Once more farewell, my cousin.
PALAMON 1935 145 Farewell, Arcite.
Horns within. They stand.
1936 Lo, cousin, lo, our folly has undone us!
PALAMON 1937 Why?
1938 This is the Duke, a-hunting, as I told you.
1939 If we be found, we are wretched. O, retire,
1940 150 For honor’s sake, and safely, presently
1941 Into your bush again. Sir, we shall find
1942 Too many hours to die in. Gentle cousin,
1943 If you be seen, you perish instantly
1944 For breaking prison, and I, if you reveal me,
1945 155 For my contempt. Then all the world will scorn us,
1946 And say we had a noble difference,
1947 But base disposers of it.
PALAMON 1948 No, no, cousin,
1949 I will no more be hidden, nor put off
1950 160 This great adventure to a second trial.
1951 I know your cunning, and I know your cause.
1952 He that faints now, shame take him! Put thyself
1953 Upon thy present guard—
1955 165 Or I will make th’ advantage of this hour
1956 Mine own, and what to come shall threaten me
1957 I fear less than my fortune. Know, weak cousin,
1958 I love Emilia, and in that I’ll bury
1959 Thee and all crosses else.
ARCITE 1960 170 Then come what can come,
1961 Thou shalt know, Palamon, I dare as well
1962 Die as discourse or sleep. Only this fears me:
1963 The law will have the honor of our ends.
1964 Have at thy life!
PALAMON 1965 175 Look to thine own well, Arcite.
Horns. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Emilia,
Pirithous and train.
1966 What ignorant and mad malicious traitors
1967 Are you, that ’gainst the tenor of my laws
1968 Are making battle, thus like knights appointed,
1969 Without my leave and officers of arms?
1970 180 By Castor, both shall die.
PALAMON 1971 Hold thy word, Theseus.
1972 We are certainly both traitors, both despisers
1973 Of thee and of thy goodness. I am Palamon,
1974 That cannot love thee, he that broke thy prison.
1975 185 Think well what that deserves. And this is Arcite.
1976 A bolder traitor never trod thy ground,
1977 A falser ne’er seemed friend. This is the man
1978 Was begged and banished; this is he contemns thee
1979 And what thou dar’st do; and in this disguise,
1980 190 Against ⌜thine⌝ own edict, follows thy sister,
1981 That fortunate bright star, the fair Emilia,
1982 Whose servant—if there be a right in seeing
1983 And first bequeathing of the soul to—justly
1985 195 This treachery, like a most trusty lover,
1986 I called him now to answer. If thou be’st
1987 As thou art spoken, great and virtuous,
1988 The true decider of all injuries,
1989 Say “Fight again,” and thou shalt see me, Theseus,
1990 200 Do such a justice thou thyself wilt envy.
1991 Then take my life; I’ll woo thee to ’t.
PIRITHOUS 1992 O heaven,
1993 What more than man is this!
THESEUS 1994 I have sworn.
ARCITE 1995 205 We seek not
1996 Thy breath of mercy, Theseus. ’Tis to me
1997 A thing as soon to die as thee to say it,
1998 And no more moved. Where this man calls me
2000 210 Let me say thus much: if in love be treason,
2001 In service of so excellent a beauty,
2002 As I love most, and in that faith will perish,
2003 As I have brought my life here to confirm it,
2004 As I have served her truest, worthiest,
2005 215 As I dare kill this cousin that denies it,
2006 So let me be most traitor, and you please me.
2007 For scorning thy edict, duke, ask that lady
2008 Why she is fair, and why her eyes command me
2009 Stay here to love her; and if she say “traitor,”
2010 220 I am a villain fit to lie unburied.
2011 Thou shalt have pity of us both, O Theseus,
2012 If unto neither thou show mercy. Stop,
2013 As thou art just, thy noble ear against us;
2014 As thou art valiant, for thy cousin’s soul,
2015 225 Whose twelve strong labors crown his memory,
2016 Let’s die together at one instant, duke;
2017 Only a little let him fall before me,
2018 That I may tell my soul he shall not have her.
2019 I grant your wish, for to say true, your cousin
2020 230 Has ten times more offended, for I gave him
2021 More mercy than you found, sir, your offenses
2022 Being no more than his.—None here speak for ’em,
2023 For ere the sun set both shall sleep forever.
2024 Alas, the pity! Now or never, sister,
2025 235 Speak not to be denied. That face of yours
2026 Will bear the curses else of after ages
2027 For these lost cousins.
EMILIA 2028 In my face, dear sister,
2029 I find no anger to ’em, nor no ruin.
2030 240 The misadventure of their own eyes kill ’em.
2031 Yet that I will be woman and have pity,
2032 My knees shall grow to th’ ground but I’ll get mercy.
2033 Help me, dear sister; in a deed so virtuous,
2034 The powers of all women will be with us.
2035 245 Most royal brother—
HIPPOLYTA 2036 Sir, by our tie of marriage—
2037 By your own spotless honor—
HIPPOLYTA 2038 By that faith,
2039 That fair hand, and that honest heart you gave me—
2040 250 By that you would have pity in another;
2041 By your own virtues infinite—
HIPPOLYTA 2042 By valor;
2043 By all the chaste nights I have ever pleased you—
2044 These are strange conjurings.
PIRITHOUS 2045 255 Nay, then, I’ll in too.
2047 By all you love most, wars and this sweet lady—
2048 By that you would have trembled to deny
2049 A blushing maid—
HIPPOLYTA 2050 260 By your own eyes; by strength,
2051 In which you swore I went beyond all women,
2052 Almost all men, and yet I yielded, Theseus—
2053 To crown all this: by your most noble soul,
2054 Which cannot want due mercy, I beg first—
2055 265 Next hear my prayers—
EMILIA 2056 Last let me entreat, sir—
2057 For mercy.
HIPPOLYTA 2058 Mercy.
EMILIA 2059 Mercy on these princes.
2060 270 You make my faith reel. (⌜To Emilia.⌝) Say I felt
2061 Compassion to ’em both, how would you place it?
⌜They rise from their knees.⌝
2062 Upon their lives, but with their banishments.
2063 You are a right woman, sister: you have pity,
2064 But want the understanding where to use it.
2065 275 If you desire their lives, invent a way
2066 Safer than banishment. Can these two live,
2067 And have the agony of love about ’em,
2068 And not kill one another? Every day
2069 They’d fight about you, hourly bring your honor
2070 280 In public question with their swords. Be wise, then,
2071 And here forget ’em; it concerns your credit
2072 And my oath equally. I have said they die.
2074 Bow not my honor.
EMILIA 2075 285 O, my noble brother,
2076 That oath was rashly made, and in your anger;
2077 Your reason will not hold it. If such vows
2078 Stand for express will, all the world must perish.
2079 Besides, I have another oath ’gainst yours,
2080 290 Of more authority, I am sure more love,
2081 Not made in passion neither, but good heed.
2082 What is it, sister?
PIRITHOUS 2083 Urge it home, brave lady.
2084 That you would ne’er deny me anything
2085 295 Fit for my modest suit and your free granting.
2086 I tie you to your word now; if you ⌜fail⌝ in ’t,
2087 Think how you maim your honor—
2088 For now I am set a-begging, sir, I am deaf
2089 To all but your compassion—how their lives
2090 300 Might breed the ruin of my name. Opinion!
2091 Shall anything that loves me perish for me?
2092 That were a cruel wisdom. Do men prune
2093 The straight young boughs that blush with thousand
2095 305 Because they may be rotten? O, Duke Theseus,
2096 The goodly mothers that have groaned for these,
2097 And all the longing maids that ever loved,
2098 If your vow stand, shall curse me and my beauty,
2099 And in their funeral songs for these two cousins
2100 310 Despise my cruelty, and cry woe worth me,
2101 Till I am nothing but the scorn of women.
2102 For heaven’s sake, save their lives, and banish ’em.
2103 On what conditions?
EMILIA 2104 Swear ’em never more
2105 315 To make me their contention, or to know me,
2107 Wherever they shall travel, ever strangers
2108 To one another.
PALAMON 2109 I’ll be cut a-pieces
2110 320 Before I take this oath! Forget I love her?
2111 O, all you gods, despise me then! Thy banishment
2112 I not mislike, so we may fairly carry
2113 Our swords and cause along; else never trifle,
2114 But take our lives, duke. I must love, and will,
2115 325 And for that love must and dare kill this cousin
2116 On any piece the Earth has.
THESEUS 2117 Will you, Arcite,
2118 Take these conditions?
PALAMON 2119 He’s a villain, then.
PIRITHOUS 2120 330These are men!
2121 No, never, duke. ’Tis worse to me than begging
2122 To take my life so basely; though I think
2123 I never shall enjoy her, yet I’ll preserve
2124 The honor of affection, and die for her,
2125 335 Make death a devil!
2126 What may be done? For now I feel compassion.
2127 Let it not fall again, sir.
THESEUS 2128 Say, Emilia,
2129 If one of them were dead, as one must, are you
2130 340 Content to take th’ other to your husband?
2131 They cannot both enjoy you. They are princes
2132 As goodly as your own eyes, and as noble
2133 As ever fame yet spoke of. Look upon ’em,
2134 And, if you can love, end this difference.
2135 345 I give consent.—Are you content too, princes?
2136 With all our souls.
THESEUS 2137 He that she refuses
2138 Must die then.
2140 350 If I fall from that mouth, I fall with favor,
2141 And lovers yet unborn shall bless my ashes.
2142 If she refuse me, yet my grave will wed me,
2143 And soldiers sing my epitaph.
THESEUS, ⌜to Emilia⌝ 2144 Make choice, then.
2145 355 I cannot, sir; they are both too excellent.
2146 For me, a hair shall never fall of these men.
2147 What will become of ’em?
THESEUS 2148 Thus I ordain it—
2149 And, by mine honor, once again, it stands,
2150 360 Or both shall die: you shall both to your country,
2151 And each within this month, accompanied
2152 With three fair knights, appear again in this place,
2153 In which I’ll plant a pyramid; and whether,
2154 Before us that are here, can force his cousin
2155 365 By fair and knightly strength to touch the pillar,
2156 He shall enjoy her; the other lose his head,
2157 And all his friends; nor shall he grudge to fall,
2158 Nor think he dies with interest in this lady.
2159 Will this content you?
PALAMON 2160 370 Yes.—Here, Cousin Arcite,
2161 I am friends again till that hour.⌜He offers his hand.⌝
ARCITE 2162 I embrace you.
⌜They shake hands.⌝
2163 Are you content, sister?
EMILIA 2164 Yes, I must, sir,
2165 375 Else both miscarry.
THESEUS, ⌜to Palamon and Arcite⌝
2166 Come, shake hands again, then,
2168 Sleep till the hour prefixed, and hold your course.
2169 We dare not fail thee, Theseus.
⌜They shake hands again.⌝
THESEUS 2170 380 Come, I’ll give you
2171 Now usage like to princes and to friends.
2172 When you return, who wins I’ll settle here;
2173 Who loses, yet I’ll weep upon his bier.
2174 ⌜Heard⌝ you no more? Was nothing said of me
2175 Concerning the escape of Palamon?
2176 Good sir, remember!
FIRST FRIEND 2177 Nothing that I heard,
2178 5 For I came home before the business
2179 Was fully ended. Yet I might perceive,
2180 Ere I departed, a great likelihood
2181 Of both their pardons; for Hippolyta
2182 And fair-eyed Emily, upon their knees,
2183 10 Begged with such handsome pity that the Duke,
2184 Methought, stood staggering whether he should
2186 His rash oath or the sweet compassion
2187 Of those two ladies. And, to second them,
2188 15 That truly noble prince, Pirithous—
2189 Half his own heart—set in too, that I hope
2190 All shall be well. Neither heard I one question
2191 Of your name or his ’scape.
JAILER 2192 Pray heaven it hold so.
Enter Second Friend.
2193 20 Be of good comfort, man; I bring you news,
2194 Good news.
JAILER 2195 They are welcome.
SECOND FRIEND 2196 Palamon has cleared
2198 25 And got your pardon, and discovered how
2199 And by whose means he escaped, which was your
2201 Whose pardon is procured too; and the prisoner,
2202 Not to be held ungrateful to her goodness,
2203 30 Has given a sum of money to her marriage—
2204 A large one, I’ll assure you.
JAILER 2205 You are a good man
2206 And ever bring good news.
FIRST FRIEND 2207 How was it ended?
2208 35 Why, as it should be: they that ne’er begged
2209 But they prevailed had their suits fairly granted;
2210 The prisoners have their lives.
FIRST FRIEND 2211 I knew ’twould be so.
2212 But there be new conditions, which you’ll hear of
2213 40 At better time.
JAILER 2214 I hope they are good.
SECOND FRIEND 2215 They are
2217 How good they’ll prove I know not.
FIRST FRIEND 2218 45 ’Twill be known.
2219 Alas, sir, where’s your daughter?
JAILER 2220 Why do you ask?
2221 O, sir, when did you see her?
2223 50 This morning.
WOOER 2224 Was she well? Was she in health?
2225 Sir, when did she sleep?
FIRST FRIEND, ⌜aside⌝ 2226 These are strange questions.
2227 I do not think she was very well—for now
2228 55 You make me mind her; but this very day
2229 I asked her questions, and she answered me
2230 So far from what she was, so childishly,
2231 So sillily, as if she were a fool,
2232 An innocent, and I was very angry.
2233 60 But what of her, sir?
WOOER 2234 Nothing but my pity;
2235 But you must know it, and as good by me
2236 As by another that less loves her.
JAILER 2237 Well, sir?
2238 65 No, sir, not well.
FIRST FRIEND 2239 Not right?
SECOND FRIEND 2240 Not well?
2241 ’Tis too true; she is mad.
FIRST FRIEND 2242 It cannot be.
2243 70 Believe you’ll find it so.
JAILER 2244 I half suspected
2245 What you told me. The gods comfort her!
2246 Either this was her love to Palamon,
2247 Or fear of my miscarrying on his ’scape,
2248 75 Or both.
WOOER 2249 ’Tis likely.
JAILER 2250 But why all this haste, sir?
2251 I’ll tell you quickly. As I late was angling
2253 80 From the far shore—thick set with reeds and
2255 As patiently I was attending sport,
2256 I heard a voice, a shrill one; and, attentive,
2257 I gave my ear, when I might well perceive
2258 85 ’Twas one that sung, and by the smallness of it
2259 A boy or woman. I then left my angle
2260 To his own skill, came near, but yet perceived not
2261 Who made the sound, the rushes and the reeds
2262 Had so encompassed it. I laid me down
2263 90 And listened to the words she ⌜sung,⌝ for then,
2264 Through a small glade cut by the fishermen,
2265 I saw it was your daughter.
JAILER 2266 Pray go on, sir.
2267 She sung much, but no sense; only I heard her
2268 95 Repeat this often: “Palamon is gone,
2269 Is gone to th’ wood to gather mulberries;
2270 I’ll find him out tomorrow.”
FIRST FRIEND 2271 Pretty soul!
2272 “His shackles will betray him; he’ll be taken,
2273 100 And what shall I do then? I’ll bring a bevy,
2274 A hundred black-eyed maids that love as I do,
2275 With chaplets on their heads of daffadillies,
2276 With cherry lips and cheeks of damask roses,
2277 And all we’ll dance an antic ’fore the Duke,
2278 105 And beg his pardon.” Then she talked of you, sir—
2279 That you must lose your head tomorrow morning,
2280 And she must gather flowers to bury you,
2281 And see the house made handsome. Then she sung
2282 Nothing but “Willow, willow, willow,” and between
2283 110 Ever was “Palamon, fair Palamon,”
2284 And “Palamon was a tall young man.” The place
2285 Was knee-deep where she sat; her careless tresses,
2287 Thousand freshwater flowers of several colors,
2288 115 That methought she appeared like the fair nymph
2289 That feeds the lake with waters, or as Iris
2290 Newly dropped down from heaven. Rings she made
2291 Of rushes that grew by, and to ’em spoke
2292 The prettiest posies: “Thus our true love’s tied,”
2293 120 “This you may lose, not me,” and many a one;
2294 And then she wept, and sung again, and sighed,
2295 And with the same breath smiled and kissed her
2297 Alas, what pity it is!
WOOER 2298 125 I made in to her.
2299 She saw me, and straight sought the flood. I saved
2301 And set her safe to land, when presently
2302 She slipped away, and to the city made
2303 130 With such a cry and swiftness that, believe me,
2304 She left me far behind her. Three or four
2305 I saw from far off cross her—one of ’em
2306 I knew to be your brother—where she stayed
2307 And fell, scarce to be got away. I left them with her
2308 135 And hither came to tell you.
Enter ⌜Jailer’s⌝ Brother, ⌜Jailer’s⌝ Daughter, and others.
2309 Here they are.
2310 May you never more enjoy the light, etc.
2311 Is not this a fine song?
BROTHER 2312 O, a very fine one.
DAUGHTER 2313 140I can sing twenty more.
BROTHER 2314 I think you can.
DAUGHTER 2315 Yes, truly can I. I can sing “The Broom”
2316 and “Bonny Robin.” Are not you a tailor?
BROTHER 2317 Yes.
BROTHER 2319 I’ll bring it tomorrow.
DAUGHTER 2320 Do, very rarely, I must be abroad else to
2321 call the maids and pay the minstrels, for I must
2322 lose my maidenhead by cocklight. ’Twill never
2323 150 thrive else.
Sings. 2324 O fair, O sweet, etc.
BROTHER, ⌜to Jailer⌝ 2325 You must e’en take it patiently.
JAILER 2326 ’Tis true.
DAUGHTER 2327 Good e’en, good men. Pray, did you ever
2328 155 hear of one young Palamon?
JAILER 2329 Yes, wench, we know him.
DAUGHTER 2330 Is ’t not a fine young gentleman?
JAILER 2331 ’Tis, love.
BROTHER, ⌜aside to others⌝ 2332 By no mean cross her; she
2333 160 is then distempered ⌜far⌝ worse than now she
FIRST FRIEND, ⌜to Daughter⌝ 2335 Yes, he’s a fine man.
DAUGHTER 2336 O , is he so? You have a sister.
FIRST FRIEND 2337 Yes.
DAUGHTER 2338 165But she shall never have him—tell her so—
2339 for a trick that I know; you’d best look to her, for
2340 if she see him once, she’s gone, she’s done and
2341 undone in an hour. All the young maids of our
2342 town are in love with him, but I laugh at ’em and
2343 170 let ’em all alone. Is ’t not a wise course?
FIRST FRIEND 2344 Yes.
DAUGHTER 2345 There is at least two hundred now with
2346 child by him—there must be four; yet I keep close
2347 for all this, close as a cockle; and all these must be
2348 175 boys—he has the trick on ’t—and at ten years old
2349 they must be all gelt for musicians and sing the
2350 wars of Theseus.
SECOND FRIEND 2351 This is strange.
DAUGHTER 2352 As ever you heard, but say nothing.
FIRST FRIEND 2353 180No.
2355 to him; I’ll warrant you, he had not so few last
2356 night as twenty to dispatch. He’ll tickle ’t up in two
2357 hours, if his hand be in.
JAILER, ⌜aside⌝ 2358 185She’s lost past all cure.
BROTHER 2359 Heaven forbid, man!
DAUGHTER, ⌜to Jailer⌝ 2360 Come hither; you are a wise
FIRST FRIEND, ⌜aside⌝ 2362 Does she know him?
⌜SECOND⌝ FRIEND 2363 190No; would she did.
DAUGHTER 2364 You are master of a ship?
JAILER 2365 Yes.
DAUGHTER 2366 Where’s your compass?
JAILER 2367 Here.
DAUGHTER 2368 195Set it to th’ north. And now direct your
2369 course to th’ wood, where Palamon lies longing for
2370 me. For the tackling, let me alone.—Come, weigh,
2371 my hearts, cheerly.
ALL, ⌜as if sailing a ship⌝ 2372 Owgh, owgh, owgh!—’Tis up!
2373 200 The wind’s fair!—Top the bowline!—Out with the
2374 main sail! Where’s your whistle, master?
BROTHER 2375 Let’s get her in!
JAILER 2376 Up to the top, boy!
BROTHER 2377 Where’s the pilot?
FIRST FRIEND 2378 205Here.
DAUGHTER 2379 What kenn’st thou?
SECOND FRIEND 2380 A fair wood.
DAUGHTER 2381 Bear for it, master. ⌜Tack⌝ about!
2382 When Cynthia with her borrowed light, etc.
2383 Yet I may bind those wounds up that must open
2384 And bleed to death for my sake else. I’ll choose,
2385 And end their strife. Two such young handsome men
2386 Shall never fall for me; their weeping mothers,
2387 5 Following the dead cold ashes of their sons,
2388 Shall never curse my cruelty.
⌜Looks at one of the pictures.⌝
2389 Good heaven,
2390 What a sweet face has Arcite! If wise Nature,
2391 With all her best endowments, all those beauties
2392 10 She sows into the births of noble bodies,
2393 Were here a mortal woman, and had in her
2394 The coy denials of young maids, yet doubtless
2395 She would run mad for this man. What an eye,
2396 Of what a fiery sparkle and quick sweetness,
2397 15 Has this young prince! Here Love himself sits
2399 Just such another wanton Ganymede
2400 Set ⌜Jove⌝ afire with, and enforced the god
2401 Snatch up the goodly boy and set him by him,
2402 20 A shining constellation. What a brow,
2403 Of what a spacious majesty, he carries,
2404 Arched like the great-eyed Juno’s but far sweeter,
2405 Smoother than Pelops’ shoulder! Fame and Honor,
2406 Methinks, from hence as from a promontory
2407 25 Pointed in heaven, should clap their wings and sing
2408 To all the under world the loves and fights
2409 Of gods and such men near ’em.
⌜Looks at the other picture.⌝
2411 Is but his foil, to him a mere dull shadow;
2412 30 He’s swart and meager, of an eye as heavy
2414 No stirring in him, no alacrity;
2415 Of all this sprightly sharpness not a smile.
2416 Yet these that we count errors may become him;
2417 35 Narcissus was a sad boy but a heavenly.
2418 O, who can find the bent of woman’s fancy?
2419 I am a fool; my reason is lost in me;
2420 I have no choice, and I have lied so lewdly
2421 That women ought to beat me. On my knees
2422 40 I ask thy pardon: Palamon, thou art alone
2423 And only beautiful, and these the eyes,
2424 These the bright lamps of beauty, that command
2425 And threaten love, and what young maid dare cross
2427 45 What a bold gravity, and yet inviting,
2428 Has this brown manly face! O Love, this only
2429 From this hour is complexion. Lie there, Arcite.
⌜She puts aside his picture.⌝
2430 Thou art a changeling to him, a mere gypsy,
2431 And this the noble body. I am sotted,
2432 50 Utterly lost. My virgin’s faith has fled me.
2433 For if my brother but even now had asked me
2434 Whether I loved, I had run mad for Arcite.
2435 Now, if my sister, more for Palamon.
2436 Stand both together. Now, come ask me, brother.
2437 55 Alas, I know not! Ask me now, sweet sister.
2438 I may go look! What a mere child is Fancy,
2439 That, having two fair gauds of equal sweetness,
2440 Cannot distinguish, but must cry for both.
Enter ⌜a⌝ Gentleman.
2441 How now, sir?
GENTLEMAN 2442 60 From the noble duke, your brother,
2443 Madam, I bring you news: the knights are come.
2444 To end the quarrel?
EMILIA 2446 Would I might end first!
2447 65 What sins have I committed, chaste Diana,
2448 That my unspotted youth must now be soiled
2449 With blood of princes, and my chastity
2450 Be made the altar where the lives of lovers—
2451 Two greater and two better never yet
2452 70 Made mothers joy—must be the sacrifice
2453 To my unhappy beauty?
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous and Attendants.
THESEUS, ⌜to Attendant⌝ 2454 Bring ’em in
2455 Quickly, by any means; I long to see ’em.
2456 ⌜To Emilia.⌝ Your two contending lovers are
2457 75 returned,
2458 And with them their fair knights. Now, my fair
2460 You must love one of them.
EMILIA 2461 I had rather both,
2462 80 So neither for my sake should fall untimely.
2463 Who saw ’em?
PIRITHOUS 2464 I awhile.
GENTLEMAN 2465 And I.
Enter ⌜a⌝ Messenger.
2466 From whence come you, sir?
MESSENGER 2467 85 From the knights.
THESEUS 2468 Pray
2470 You that have seen them, what they are.
MESSENGER 2471 I will, sir,
2472 90 And truly what I think. Six braver spirits
2473 Than these they have brought, if we judge by the
2476 In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming,
2477 95 Should be a stout man, by his face a prince—
2478 His very looks so say him; his complexion
2479 Nearer a brown than black—stern and yet noble—
2480 Which shows him hardy, fearless, proud of dangers;
2481 The circles of his eyes show ⌜fire⌝ within him,
2482 100 And as a heated lion, so he looks.
2483 His hair hangs long behind him, black and shining
2484 Like ravens’ wings; his shoulders broad and strong,
2485 Armed long and round; and on his thigh a sword
2486 Hung by a curious baldric, when he frowns
2487 105 To seal his will with. Better, o’ my conscience,
2488 Was never soldier’s friend.
2489 Thou hast well described him.
PIRITHOUS 2490 Yet a great
2491 deal short,
2492 110 Methinks, of him that’s first with Palamon.
2493 Pray speak him, friend.
PIRITHOUS 2494 I guess he is a prince too,
2495 And, if it may be, greater; for his show
2496 Has all the ornament of honor in ’t:
2497 115 He’s somewhat bigger than the knight he spoke of,
2498 But of a face far sweeter; his complexion
2499 Is, as a ripe grape, ruddy. He has felt
2500 Without doubt what he fights for, and so apter
2501 To make this cause his own. In ’s face appears
2502 120 All the fair hopes of what he undertakes,
2503 And when he’s angry, then a settled valor,
2504 Not tainted with extremes, runs through his body
2505 And guides his arm to brave things. Fear he cannot;
2506 He shows no such soft temper. His head’s yellow,
2507 125 Hard-haired and curled, thick-twined like ivy ⌜tods,⌝
2508 Not to undo with thunder. In his face
2509 The livery of the warlike maid appears,
2511 And in his rolling eyes sits Victory,
2512 130 As if she ever meant to ⌜crown⌝ his valor.
2513 His nose stands high, a character of honor;
2514 His red lips, after fights, are fit for ladies.
2515 Must these men die too?
PIRITHOUS 2516 When he speaks, his tongue
2517 135 Sounds like a trumpet. All his lineaments
2518 Are as a man would wish ’em, strong and clean.
2519 He wears a well-steeled axe, the staff of gold;
2520 His age some five-and-twenty.
MESSENGER 2521 There’s another—
2522 140 A little man, but of a tough soul, seeming
2523 As great as any; fairer promises
2524 In such a body yet I never looked on.
2525 O, he that’s freckle-faced?
MESSENGER 2526 The same, my lord.
2527 145 Are they not sweet ones?
PIRITHOUS 2528 Yes, they are well.
MESSENGER 2529 Methinks,
2530 Being so few, and well disposed, they show
2531 Great and fine art in nature. He’s white-haired—
2532 150 Not wanton white, but such a manly color
2533 Next to an auburn; tough and nimble-set,
2534 Which shows an active soul. His arms are brawny,
2535 Lined with strong sinews—to the shoulder-piece
2536 Gently they swell, like women new-conceived,
2537 155 Which speaks him prone to labor, never fainting
2538 Under the weight of arms; stout-hearted still,
2539 But when he stirs, a tiger. He’s grey-eyed,
2540 Which yields compassion where he conquers; sharp
2541 To spy advantages, and where he finds ’em,
2542 160 He’s swift to make ’em his. He does no wrongs,
2545 He shows a lover; when he frowns, a soldier.
2546 About his head he wears the winner’s oak,
2547 165 And in it stuck the favor of his lady.
2548 His age some six-and-thirty. In his hand
2549 He bears a charging-staff embossed with silver.
2550 Are they all thus?
PIRITHOUS 2551 They are all the sons of honor.
2552 170 Now, as I have a soul, I long to see ’em.—
2553 Lady, you shall see men fight now.
HIPPOLYTA 2554 I wish it,
2555 But not the cause, my lord. They would show
2556 Bravely about the titles of two kingdoms;
2557 175 ’Tis pity love should be so tyrannous.—
2558 O, my soft-hearted sister, what think you?
2559 Weep not till they weep blood. Wench, it must be.
THESEUS, ⌜to Emilia⌝
2560 You have steeled ’em with your beauty. (⌜To
Pirithous.⌝) 2561 Honored friend,
2562 180 To you I give the field; pray order it
2563 Fitting the persons that must use it.
PIRITHOUS 2564 Yes, sir.
2565 Come, I’ll go visit ’em. I cannot stay—
2566 Their fame has fired me so—till they appear.
2567 185 Good friend, be royal.
PIRITHOUS 2568 There shall want no bravery.
⌜All but Emilia⌝ exit.
2569 Poor wench, go weep, for whosoever wins
2570 Loses a noble cousin for thy sins.
DOCTOR 2571 Her distraction is more at some time of the
2572 moon than at other some, is it not?
JAILER 2573 She is continually in a harmless distemper,
2574 sleeps little, altogether without appetite, save often
2575 5 drinking, dreaming of another world, and a better;
2576 and what broken piece of matter soe’er she’s about,
2577 the name Palamon lards it, that she farces ev’ry
2578 business withal, fits it to every question.
Enter ⌜Jailer’s⌝ Daughter.
2579 Look where she comes; you shall perceive her
2580 10 behavior.⌜They stand aside.⌝
DAUGHTER 2581 I have forgot it quite. The burden on ’t was
2582 “down-a down-a,” and penned by no worse man
2583 than Geraldo, Emilia’s schoolmaster. He’s as fantastical,
2584 too, as ever he may go upon ’s legs, for in
2585 15 the next world will Dido see Palamon, and then
2586 will she be out of love with Aeneas.
DOCTOR, ⌜aside to Jailer and Wooer⌝ 2587 What stuff’s here?
2588 Poor soul.
JAILER 2589 E’en thus all day long.
DAUGHTER 2590 20Now for this charm that I told you of, you
2591 must bring a piece of silver on the tip of your
2592 tongue, or no ferry; then if it be your chance to
2593 come where the blessed spirits ⌜are,⌝ there’s a
2594 sight now! We maids that have our livers perished,
2595 25 cracked to pieces with love, we shall come there,
2596 and do nothing all day long but pick flowers with
2597 Proserpine. Then will I make Palamon a nosegay;
2598 then let him mark me then.
DOCTOR 2599 How prettily she’s amiss! Note her a little
2600 30 further.
DAUGHTER 2601 Faith, I’ll tell you, sometime we go to
2603 they have i’ th’ other place—such burning, frying,
2604 boiling, hissing, howling, chatt’ring, cursing—O,
2605 35 they have shrewd measure, take heed! If one be
2606 mad, or hang or drown themselves, thither they
2607 go, Jupiter bless us, and there shall we be put in
2608 a cauldron of lead and usurers’ grease, amongst a
2609 whole million of cutpurses, and there boil like a
2610 40 gammon of bacon that will never be enough.
DOCTOR 2611 How her brains coins!
DAUGHTER 2612 Lords and courtiers that have got maids
2613 with child, they are in this place. They shall stand
2614 in fire up to the navel and in ice up to th’ heart, and
2615 45 there th’ offending part burns and the deceiving
2616 part freezes: in troth, a very grievous punishment,
2617 as one would think, for such a trifle. Believe me,
2618 one would marry a leprous witch to be rid on ’t, I’ll
2619 assure you.
DOCTOR 2620 50How she continues this fancy! ’Tis not an engraffed
2621 madness, but a most thick and profound
DAUGHTER 2623 To hear there a proud lady and a proud city
2624 wife howl together—I were a beast an I’d call it
2625 55 good sport. One cries “O this smoke!” ⌜th’ other,⌝
2626 “This fire!”; one cries, “O, that ever I did it behind
2627 the arras!” and then howls; th’ other curses a suing
2628 fellow and her garden house.
2629 I will be true, my stars, my fate, etc.
JAILER 2630 60What think you of her, sir?
DOCTOR 2631 I think she has a perturbed mind, which I
2632 cannot minister to.
JAILER 2633 Alas, what then?
DOCTOR 2634 Understand you she ever affected any man
2635 65 ere she beheld Palamon?
2637 liking on this gentleman, my friend.
WOOER 2638 I did think so, too, and would account I had a
2639 great penn’orth on ’t to give half my state that both
2640 70 she and I, at this present, stood unfeignedly on the
2641 same terms.
DOCTOR 2642 That intemp’rate surfeit of her eye hath distempered
2643 the other senses. They may return and
2644 settle again to execute their preordained faculties,
2645 75 but they are now in a most extravagant vagary.
2646 This you must do: confine her to a place where
2647 the light may rather seem to steal in than be
2648 permitted.—Take upon you, young sir, her friend,
2649 the name of Palamon; say you come to eat with
2650 80 her, and to commune of love. This will catch her
2651 attention, for this her mind beats upon; other
2652 objects that are inserted ’tween her mind and eye
2653 become the pranks and friskins of her madness.
2654 Sing to her such green songs of love as she says
2655 85 Palamon hath sung in prison. Come to her stuck
2656 in as sweet flowers as the season is mistress of,
2657 and thereto make an addition of some other compounded
2658 odors which are grateful to the sense.
2659 All this shall become Palamon, for Palamon can
2660 90 sing, and Palamon is sweet and ev’ry good thing.
2661 Desire to eat with her, ⌜carve⌝ her, drink to her, and
2662 still among intermingle your petition of grace and
2663 acceptance into her favor. Learn what maids have
2664 been her companions and playferes, and let them
2665 95 repair to her with Palamon in their mouths, and
2666 appear with tokens, as if they suggested for him.—
2667 It is a falsehood she is in, which is with falsehoods
2668 to be combated. This may bring her to eat,
2669 to sleep, and reduce what’s now out of square in
2670 100 her into their former law and regiment. I have seen
2671 it approved, how many times I know not, but to
2673 I will between the passages of this project come
2674 in with my appliance. Let us put it in execution
2675 105 and hasten the success, which doubt not will bring
2676 forth comfort.
⌜and⌝ Attendants. ⌜Three altars set up onstage.⌝
2677 Now let ’em enter and before the gods
2678 Tender their holy prayers. Let the temples
2679 Burn bright with sacred fires, and the altars
2680 In hallowed clouds commend their swelling incense
2681 5 To those above us. Let no due be wanting.
2682 They have a noble work in hand will honor
2683 The very powers that love ’em.
PIRITHOUS 2684 Sir, they enter.
Flourish of cornets. Enter Palamon and Arcite
and their Knights.
2685 You valiant and strong-hearted enemies,
2686 10 You royal german foes, that this day come
2687 To blow that nearness out that flames between you,
2688 Lay by your anger for an hour and, dove-like,
2689 Before the holy altars of your helpers,
2690 The all-feared gods, bow down your stubborn
2691 15 bodies.
2692 Your ire is more than mortal; so your help be.
2693 And as the gods regard you, fight with justice.
2695 I part my wishes.
PIRITHOUS 2696 20 Honor crown the worthiest!
Theseus and his train exit.
2697 The glass is running now that cannot finish
2698 Till one of us expire. Think you but thus,
2699 That were there aught in me which strove to show
2700 Mine enemy in this business, were ’t one eye
2701 25 Against another, arm oppressed by arm,
2702 I would destroy th’ offender, coz—I would
2703 Though parcel of myself. Then from this gather
2704 How I should tender you.
ARCITE 2705 I am in labor
2706 30 To push your name, your ancient love, our kindred
2707 Out of my memory, and i’ th’ selfsame place
2708 To seat something I would confound. So hoist we
2709 The sails that must these vessels port even where
2710 The heavenly Limiter pleases.
PALAMON 2711 35 You speak well.
2712 Before I turn, let me embrace thee, cousin.
2713 This I shall never do again.
ARCITE 2714 One farewell.
2715 Why, let it be so. Farewell, coz.
ARCITE 2716 40 Farewell, sir.
Palamon and his Knights exit.
2717 Knights, kinsmen, lovers, yea, my sacrifices,
2718 True worshippers of Mars, whose spirit in you
2719 Expels the seeds of fear and th’ apprehension
2720 Which still is ⌜father of⌝ it, go with me
2721 45 Before the god of our profession. There
2722 Require of him the hearts of lions and
2723 The breath of tigers, yea, the fierceness too,
2724 Yea, the speed also—to go on, I mean;
2726 50 Must be dragged out of blood; force and great feat
2727 Must put my garland on, where she sticks,
2728 The queen of flowers. Our intercession, then,
2729 Must be to him that makes the camp a cistern
2730 Brimmed with the blood of men. Give me your aid,
2731 55 And bend your spirits towards him.
They ⌜go to Mars’s altar, fall on
their faces before it, and then⌝ kneel.
2732 Thou mighty one, that with thy power hast turned
2733 Green Neptune into purple, ⌜whose approach⌝
2734 Comets prewarn, whose havoc in vast field
2735 Unearthèd skulls proclaim, whose breath blows
2736 60 down
2737 The teeming Ceres’ foison, who dost pluck
2738 With hand armipotent from forth blue clouds
2739 The masoned turrets, that both mak’st and break’st
2740 The stony girths of cities; me thy pupil,
2741 65 Youngest follower of thy drum, instruct this day
2742 With military skill, that to thy laud
2743 I may advance my streamer, and by thee
2744 Be styled the lord o’ th’ day. Give me, great Mars,
2745 Some token of thy pleasure.
Here they fall on their faces as formerly, and
there is heard clanging of armor, with a short
thunder, as the burst of a battle, whereupon
they all rise and bow to the altar.
2746 70 O, great corrector of enormous times,
2747 Shaker of o’er-rank states, thou grand decider
2748 Of dusty and old titles, that heal’st with blood
2749 The Earth when it is sick, and ⌜cur’st⌝ the world
2750 O’ th’ pleurisy of people, I do take
2751 75 Thy signs auspiciously, and in thy name
2752 To my design march boldly.—Let us go.They exit.
with the former observance.
2753 Our stars must glister with new fire, or be
2754 Today extinct. Our argument is love,
2755 Which, if the goddess of it grant, she gives
2756 80 Victory too. Then blend your spirits with mine,
2757 You whose free nobleness do make my cause
2758 Your personal hazard. To the goddess Venus
2759 Commend we our proceeding, and implore
2760 Her power unto our party.
Here they ⌜go to Venus’s altar, fall on
their faces before it, and then⌝ kneel.
2761 85 Hail, sovereign queen of secrets, who hast power
2762 To call the fiercest tyrant from his rage
2763 And weep unto a girl; that hast the might
2764 Even with an eye-glance to choke Mars’s drum
2765 And turn th’ alarm to whispers; that canst make
2766 90 A cripple flourish with his crutch, and cure him
2767 Before Apollo; that mayst force the king
2768 To be his subject’s vassal, and induce
2769 Stale gravity to dance. The polled bachelor,
2770 Whose youth, like wanton boys through bonfires,
2771 95 Have skipped thy flame, at seventy thou canst catch,
2772 And make him, to the scorn of his hoarse throat,
2773 Abuse young lays of love. What godlike power
2774 Hast thou not power upon? To Phoebus thou
2775 Add’st flames hotter than his; the heavenly fires
2776 100 Did scorch his mortal son, thine him. The huntress,
2777 All moist and cold, some say, began to throw
2778 Her bow away and sigh. Take to thy grace
2779 Me, thy vowed soldier, who do bear thy yoke
2780 As ’twere a wreath of roses, yet is heavier
2781 105 Than lead itself, stings more than nettles.
2782 I have never been foul-mouthed against thy law,
2784 Had I kenned all that were. I never practiced
2785 Upon man’s wife, nor would the libels read
2786 110 Of liberal wits. I never at great feasts
2787 Sought to betray a beauty, but have blushed
2788 At simp’ring sirs that did. I have been harsh
2789 To large confessors, and have hotly asked them
2790 If they had mothers—I had one, a woman,
2791 115 And women ’twere they wronged. I knew a man
2792 Of eighty winters—this I told them—who
2793 A lass of fourteen brided; ’twas thy power
2794 To put life into dust. The agèd cramp
2795 Had screwed his square foot round;
2796 120 The gout had knit his fingers into knots;
2797 Torturing convulsions from his globy eyes
2798 Had almost drawn their spheres, that what was life
2799 In him seemed torture. This anatomy
2800 Had by his young fair fere a boy, and I
2801 125 Believed it was his, for she swore it was,
2802 And who would not believe her? Brief, I am
2803 To those that prate and have done, no companion;
2804 To those that boast and have not, a defier;
2805 To those that would and cannot, a rejoicer.
2806 130 Yea, him I do not love that tells close offices
2807 The foulest way, nor names concealments in
2808 The boldest language. Such a one I am,
2809 And vow that lover never yet made sigh
2810 Truer than I. O, then, most soft sweet goddess,
2811 135 Give me the victory of this question, which
2812 Is true love’s merit, and bless me with a sign
2813 Of thy great pleasure.
Here music is heard; doves are
seen to flutter. They fall again upon
their faces, then on their knees.
2814 O thou that from eleven to ninety reign’st
2815 In mortal bosoms, whose chase is this world
2817 For this fair token, which being laid unto
2818 Mine innocent true heart, arms in assurance
2819 My body to this business.—Let us rise
2820 And bow before the goddess.They ⌜rise and⌝ bow.
2821 145 Time comes on.
Still music of ⌜recorders.⌝ Enter Emilia in white, her
hair about her shoulders, ⌜wearing⌝ a wheaten wreath;
one in white holding up her train, her hair stuck with
flowers; one before her carrying a silver hind, in which
is conveyed incense and sweet odors, which being
set upon the altar ⌜of Diana,⌝ her maids standing
aloof, she sets fire to it. Then they curtsy and kneel.
2822 O sacred, shadowy, cold, and constant queen,
2823 Abandoner of revels, mute contemplative,
2824 Sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure
2825 As wind-fanned snow, who to thy female knights
2826 150 Allow’st no more blood than will make a blush,
2827 Which is their order’s robe, I here, thy priest,
2828 Am humbled ’fore thine altar. O, vouchsafe
2829 With that thy rare green eye, which never yet
2830 Beheld thing maculate, look on thy virgin,
2831 155 And, sacred silver mistress, lend thine ear—
2832 Which ne’er heard scurrile term, into whose port
2833 Ne’er entered wanton sound—to my petition,
2834 Seasoned with holy fear. This is my last
2835 Of vestal office. I am bride-habited
2836 160 But maiden-hearted. A husband I have ’pointed,
2837 But do not know him. Out of two I should
2838 Choose one, and pray for his success, but I
2839 Am guiltless of election. Of mine eyes,
2840 Were I to lose one—they are equal precious—
2841 165 I could doom neither; that which perished should
2843 He of the two pretenders that best loves me
2844 And has the truest title in ’t, let him
2845 Take off my wheaten garland, or else grant
2846 170 The file and quality I hold I may
2847 Continue in thy band.
Here the hind vanishes under the
altar, and in the place ascends a rose
tree, having one rose upon it.
2848 See what our general of ebbs and flows
2849 Out from the bowels of her holy altar
2850 With sacred act advances: but one rose.
2851 175 If well inspired, this battle shall confound
2852 Both these brave knights, and I, a virgin flower,
2853 Must grow alone unplucked.
Here is heard a sudden twang of instruments,
and the rose falls from the tree.
2854 The flower is fall’n, the tree descends. O mistress,
2855 Thou here dischargest me. I shall be gathered;
2856 180 I think so, but I know not thine own will.
2857 Unclasp thy mystery!—I hope she’s pleased;
2858 Her signs were gracious.
They curtsy and exit.
⌜the⌝ habit of Palamon.
2859 Has this advice I told you done any good upon her?
2860 O, very much. The maids that kept her company
2861 Have half-persuaded her that I am Palamon;
2862 Within this half-hour she came smiling to me,
2864 kiss her.
2865 I told her “Presently,” and kissed her twice.
2866 ’Twas well done; twenty times had been far better,
2867 For there the cure lies mainly.
WOOER 2868 10 Then she told me
2869 She would watch with me tonight, for well she knew
2870 What hour my fit would take me.
DOCTOR 2871 Let her do so,
2872 And when your fit comes, fit her home,
2873 15 And presently.
WOOER 2874 She would have me sing.
2875 You did so?
WOOER 2876 No.
DOCTOR 2877 ’Twas very ill done, then.
2878 20 You should observe her ev’ry way.
WOOER 2879 Alas,
2880 I have no voice, sir, to confirm her that way.
2881 That’s all one, if you make a noise.
2882 If she entreat again, do anything.
2883 25 Lie with her, if she ask you.
JAILER 2884 Ho there, doctor!
2885 Yes, in the way of cure.
JAILER 2886 But first, by your leave,
2887 I’ th’ way of honesty.
DOCTOR 2888 30 That’s but a niceness.
2889 Ne’er cast your child away for honesty.
2890 Cure her first this way; then if she will be honest,
2891 She has the path before her.
2892 Thank you, doctor.
2894 And let’s see how she is.
JAILER 2895 I will, and tell her
2896 Her Palamon stays for her. But, doctor,
2897 Methinks you are i’ th’ wrong still.Jailer exits.
DOCTOR 2898 40 Go, go.
2899 You fathers are fine fools. Her honesty?
2900 And we should give her physic till we find that!
2901 Why, do you think she is not honest, sir?
2902 How old is she?
WOOER 2903 45 She’s eighteen.
DOCTOR 2904 She may be.
2905 But that’s all one; ’tis nothing to our purpose.
2906 Whate’er her father says, if you perceive
2907 Her mood inclining that way that I spoke of,
2908 50 Videlicet, the way of flesh—you have me?
2909 ⌜Yes,⌝ very well, sir.
DOCTOR 2910 Please her appetite,
2911 And do it home; it cures her, ipso facto,
2912 The melancholy humor that infects her.
2913 55 I am of your mind, doctor.
DOCTOR 2914 You’ll find it so.
Enter Jailer, Daughter, ⌜and⌝ Maid.
2915 She comes; pray ⌜humor⌝ her.
⌜Wooer and Doctor stand aside.⌝
JAILER, ⌜to Daughter⌝
2916 Come, your love Palamon stays for you, child,
2917 And has done this long hour, to visit you.
2918 60 I thank him for his gentle patience.
2921 Did you ne’er see the horse he gave me?
JAILER 2922 Yes.
2923 65 How do you like him?
JAILER 2924 He’s a very fair one.
2925 You never saw him dance?
JAILER 2926 No.
DAUGHTER 2927 I have, often.
2928 70 He dances very finely, very comely,
2929 And for a jig, come cut and long tail to him,
2930 He turns you like a top.
JAILER 2931 That’s fine indeed.
2932 He’ll dance the morris twenty mile an hour,
2933 75 And that will founder the best hobbyhorse,
2934 If I have any skill, in all the parish,
2935 And gallops to the ⌜tune⌝ of “Light o’ love.”
2936 What think you of this horse?
JAILER 2937 Having these virtues,
2938 80 I think he might be brought to play at tennis.
2939 Alas, that’s nothing.
JAILER 2940 Can he write and read too?
2941 A very fair hand, and casts himself th’ accounts
2942 Of all his hay and provender. That hostler
2943 85 Must rise betime that cozens him. You know
2944 The chestnut mare the Duke has?
JAILER 2945 Very well.
2946 She is horribly in love with him, poor beast,
2947 But he is like his master, coy and scornful.
2948 90 What dowry has she?
DAUGHTER 2949 Some two hundred bottles,
2950 And twenty strike of oats, but he’ll ne’er have her.
2951 He lisps in ’s neighing able to entice
2952 A miller’s mare. He’ll be the death of her.
DOCTOR, ⌜aside⌝ 2953 95What stuff she utters!
⌜Wooer and Doctor come forward.⌝
2954 Make curtsy; here your love comes.
WOOER 2955 Pretty soul,
2956 How do you?⌜Daughter curtsies.⌝
2957 That’s a fine maid; there’s a curtsy!
2958 100 Yours to command i’ th’ way of honesty.—
2959 How far is ’t now to th’ end o’ th’ world, my masters?
2960 Why, a day’s journey, wench.
DAUGHTER, ⌜to Wooer⌝ 2961 Will you go with me?
2962 What shall we do there, wench?
DAUGHTER 2963 105 Why, play at
2965 What is there else to do?
WOOER 2966 I am content,
2967 If we shall keep our wedding there.
DAUGHTER 2968 110 ’Tis true,
2969 For there, I will assure you, we shall find
2970 Some blind priest for the purpose, that will venture
2971 To marry us; for here they are nice and foolish.
2972 Besides, my father must be hanged tomorrow,
2973 115 And that would be a blot i’ th’ business.
2974 Are not you Palamon?
WOOER 2975 Do not you know me?
2976 Yes, but you care not for me; I have nothing
2977 But this poor petticoat and two coarse smocks.
2978 120 That’s all one; I will have you.
DAUGHTER 2979 Will you surely?
WOOER, ⌜taking her hand⌝
2980 Yes, by this fair hand, will I.
DAUGHTER 2981 We’ll to bed then.
2982 E’en when you will.⌜He kisses her.⌝
DAUGHTER, ⌜wiping her face⌝ 2983 125 O , sir, you would fain
2984 be nibbling.
2985 Why do you rub my kiss off?
DAUGHTER 2986 ’Tis a sweet one,
2987 And will perfume me finely against the wedding.
2988 130 Is not this your cousin Arcite?⌜She indicates Doctor.⌝
DOCTOR 2989 Yes, sweetheart,
2990 And I am glad my cousin Palamon
2991 Has made so fair a choice.
DAUGHTER 2992 Do you think he’ll have me?
2993 135 Yes, without doubt.
DAUGHTER, ⌜to Jailer⌝ 2994 Do you think so too?
JAILER 2995 Yes.
2996 We shall have many children. (⌜To Doctor.⌝) Lord,
2997 how you’re grown!
2998 140 My Palamon, I hope, will grow too, finely,
2999 Now he’s at liberty. Alas, poor chicken,
3000 He was kept down with hard meat and ill lodging,
3001 But I’ll kiss him up again.
Enter a Messenger.
3002 What do you here? You’ll lose the noblest sight
3003 145 That e’er was seen.
JAILER 3004 Are they i’ th’ field?
MESSENGER 3005 They are.
3006 You bear a charge there too.
JAILER 3007 I’ll away straight.—
3008 150 I must e’en leave you here.
DOCTOR 3009 Nay, we’ll go with you.
3010 I will not lose the ⌜sight.⌝
JAILER, ⌜aside to Doctor⌝ 3011 How did you like her?
3012 I’ll warrant you, within these three or four days
3013 155 I’ll make her right again.⌜Jailer and Messenger exit.⌝
(⌜To Wooer.⌝) 3014 You must not from her,
3015 But still preserve her in this way.
WOOER 3016 I will.
3017 Let’s get her in.
WOOER 3018 160 Come, sweet, we’ll go to dinner
3019 And then we’ll play at cards.
DAUGHTER 3020 And shall we kiss too?
3021 A hundred times.
DAUGHTER 3022 And twenty.
WOOER 3023 165 Ay, and twenty.
3024 And then we’ll sleep together.
DOCTOR, ⌜to Wooer⌝ 3025 Take her offer.
3026 Yes, marry, will we.
DAUGHTER 3027 But you shall not hurt me.
3028 170 I will not, sweet.
DAUGHTER 3029 If you do, love, I’ll cry.
Emilia, Pirithous, and some Attendants.
3030 I’ll no step further.
PIRITHOUS 3031 Will you lose this sight?
3032 I had rather see a wren hawk at a fly
3033 Than this decision; ev’ry blow that falls
3034 5 Threats a brave life; each stroke laments
3035 The place whereon it falls, and sounds more like
3036 A bell than blade. I will stay here.
3037 It is enough my hearing shall be punished
3038 With what shall happen, ’gainst the which there is
3039 10 No deafing but to hear; not taint mine eye
3040 With dread sights it may shun.
PIRITHOUS, ⌜to Theseus⌝ 3041 Sir, my good lord,
3042 Your sister will no further.
THESEUS 3043 O, she must.
3044 15 She shall see deeds of honor in their kind,
3045 Which sometime show well, penciled. Nature now
3046 Shall make and act the story, the belief
3047 Both sealed with eye and ear.—You must be present;
3048 You are the victor’s meed, the price and garland
3049 20 To crown the question’s title.
EMILIA 3050 Pardon me.
3051 If I were there, I’d wink.
THESEUS 3052 You must be there;
3053 This trial is as ’twere i’ th’ night, and you
3054 25 The only star to shine.
EMILIA 3055 I am extinct;
3056 There is but envy in that light which shows
3057 The one the other. Darkness, which ever was
3058 The dam of horror, who does stand accursed
3059 30 Of many mortal millions, may even now,
3061 That neither could find other, get herself
3062 Some part of a good name, and many a murder
3063 Set off whereto she’s guilty.
HIPPOLYTA 3064 35 You must go.
3065 In faith, I will not.
THESEUS 3066 Why, the knights must kindle
3067 Their valor at your eye. Know, of this war
3068 You are the treasure, and must needs be by
3069 40 To give the service pay.
EMILIA 3070 Sir, pardon me.
3071 The title of a kingdom may be tried
3072 Out of itself.
THESEUS 3073 Well, well, then; at your pleasure.
3074 45 Those that remain with you could wish their office
3075 To any of their enemies.
HIPPOLYTA 3076 Farewell, sister.
3077 I am like to know your husband ’fore yourself
3078 By some small start of time. He whom the gods
3079 50 Do of the two know best, I pray them he
3080 Be made your lot.
Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, ⌜and others,⌝
exit. ⌜Emilia remains, comparing again
the pictures of Arcite and Palamon.⌝
3081 Arcite is gently visaged, yet his eye
3082 Is like an engine bent, or a sharp weapon
3083 In a soft sheath; mercy and manly courage
3084 55 Are bedfellows in his visage. Palamon
3085 Has a most menacing aspect; his brow
3086 Is graved, and seems to bury what it frowns on;
3087 Yet sometimes ’tis not so, but alters to
3088 The quality of his thoughts. Long time his eye
3089 60 Will dwell upon his object. Melancholy
3090 Becomes him nobly; so does Arcite’s mirth;
3092 So mingled, as if mirth did make him sad
3093 And sadness merry. Those darker humors that
3094 65 Stick misbecomingly on others, on them
3095 Live in fair dwelling.
Cornets. Trumpets sound as to a charge.
3096 Hark how yon spurs to spirit do incite
3097 The princes to their proof! Arcite may win me,
3098 And yet may Palamon wound Arcite to
3099 70 The spoiling of his figure. O, what pity
3100 Enough for such a chance? If I were by,
3101 I might do hurt, for they would glance their eyes
3102 Towards my seat, and in that motion might
3103 Omit a ward or forfeit an offense
3104 75 Which craved that very time.
Cornets. A great cry and noise
within crying “À Palamon!”
3105 It is much better
3106 I am not there. O, better never born
3107 Than minister to such harm!
3108 What is the chance?
SERVANT 3109 80The cry’s “À Palamon.”
EMILIA 3110 Then he has won. ’Twas ever likely.
3111 He looked all grace and success, and he is
3112 Doubtless the prim’st of men. I prithee run
3113 And tell me how it goes.
Shout and cornets, crying “À Palamon!”
SERVANT 3114 85 Still “Palamon.”
3115 Run and inquire.⌜Servant exits.⌝
⌜Addressing Arcite’s picture.⌝ 3116 Poor servant, thou hast
3118 Upon my right side still I wore thy picture,
3119 90 Palamon’s on the left—why so, I know not.
3121 On the sinister side the heart lies; Palamon
3122 Had the best-boding chance.
Another cry, and shout within, and cornets.
3123 This burst of clamor
3124 95 Is sure th’ end o’ th’ combat.
3125 They said that Palamon had Arcite’s body
3126 Within an inch o’ th’ pyramid, that the cry
3127 Was general “À Palamon.” But anon,
3128 Th’ assistants made a brave redemption, and
3129 100 The two bold titlers at this instant are
3130 Hand to hand at it.
EMILIA 3131 Were they metamorphosed
3132 Both into one—O, why, there were no woman
3133 Worth so composed a man! Their single share,
3134 105 Their nobleness peculiar to them, gives
3135 The prejudice of disparity, value’s shortness,
3136 To any lady breathing.
Cornets. Cry within, “Arcite, Arcite.”
3137 More exulting?
3138 “Palamon” still?
SERVANT 3139 110 Nay, now the sound is “Arcite.”
3140 I prithee lay attention to the cry;
3141 Set both thine ears to th’ business.
Cornets. A great shout, and cry “Arcite, victory!”
SERVANT 3142 The cry is “Arcite”
3143 And “Victory! Hark, Arcite, victory!”
3144 115 The combat’s consummation is proclaimed
3145 By the wind instruments.
EMILIA 3146 Half-sights saw
3147 That Arcite was no babe. God’s lid, his richness
3148 And costliness of spirit looked through him; it could
3150 Than humble banks can go to law with waters
3151 That drift-winds force to raging. I did think
3152 Good Palamon would miscarry, yet I knew not
3153 Why I did think so. Our reasons are not prophets
3154 125 When oft our fancies are. They are coming off.
3155 Alas, poor Palamon!
Cornets. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous,
Arcite as victor, and Attendants ⌜and others.⌝
3156 Lo, where our sister is in expectation,
3157 Yet quaking and unsettled.—Fairest Emily,
3158 The gods by their divine arbitrament
3159 130 Have given you this knight; he is a good one
3160 As ever struck at head.—Give me your hands.
3161 Receive you her, you him. Be plighted with
3162 A love that grows as you decay.
ARCITE 3163 Emily,
3164 135 To buy you I have lost what’s dearest to me
3165 Save what is bought, and yet I purchase cheaply,
3166 As I do rate your value.
THESEUS 3167 O loved sister,
3168 He speaks now of as brave a knight as e’er
3169 140 Did spur a noble steed. Surely the gods
3170 Would have him die a bachelor, lest his race
3171 Should show i’ th’ world too godlike. His behavior
3172 So charmed me that methought Alcides was
3173 To him a sow of lead. If I could praise
3174 145 Each part of him to th’ all I have spoke, your Arcite
3175 Did not lose by ’t, for he that was thus good
3176 Encountered yet his better. I have heard
3177 Two emulous Philomels beat the ear o’ th’ night
3178 With their contentious throats, now one the higher,
3179 150 Anon the other, then again the first,
3180 And by-and-by out-breasted, that the sense
3182 Good space between these kinsmen, till heavens did
3183 Make hardly one the winner.—Wear the garland
3184 155 With joy that you have won.—For the subdued,
3185 Give them our present justice, since I know
3186 Their lives but pinch ’em. Let it here be done.
3187 The scene’s not for our seeing. Go we hence
3188 Right joyful, with