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The Two Noble Kinsmen - Act 2, scene 5
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Navigate this workThe Two Noble Kinsmen - Act 2, scene 5
Act 2, scene 5
Arcite, having won the competition disguised as a poor gentleman, is made an attendant upon Emilia. He and the other courtiers are told to be ready to celebrate May Day on the following morning.This short flourish of cornets and shouts within.
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;
p. 931222 40 For only in thy court, of all the world,
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,
p. 951252 70 Tomorrow by the sun, to do observance
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.