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The Two Noble Kinsmen - Act 2, scene 4
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Navigate this workThe Two Noble Kinsmen - Act 2, scene 4
Act 2, scene 4
The jailer’s daughter, having fallen in love with Palamon, decides to find a way to free him from prison in the hope that he will love her in return.Enter Jailer’s Daughter, alone.
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!
p. 891169 20 And yet his songs are sad ones. Fairer spoken
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.