The Two Noble Kinsmen

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Original text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Iailor, and Wooer.

Iailor.
I may depart with little, while I live, some thing
I / May cast to you, not much: Alas the Prison I / Keepe,
though it be for great ones, yet they seldome / Come;
Before one Salmon, you shall take a number / Of Minnowes:
I am given out to be better lyn'd / Then it can appeare, to
me report is a true / Speaker: I would I were really, that
I am / Deliverd to be: Marry, what I have (be it what
it will) I will assure upon my daughter at / The day of my
death.

Wooer.
Sir I demaund no more then your owne offer, / And
I will estate your Daughter in what I / Have promised,

Iailor.
Wel, we will talke more of this, when the solemnity
Is past; But have you a full promise of her? When
that shall be seene, I tender my consent.
Enter Daughter.

Wooer.
I have Sir; here shee comes.

Iailor.
Your Friend and I have chanced to name / You
here, upon the old busines: But no more of that. / Now,
so soone as the Court hurry is over, we will / Have an end
of it: I'th meane time looke tenderly / To the two Prisoners.
I can tell you they are princes.

Daug.
These strewings are for their Chamber; tis
pitty they / Are in prison, and twer pitty they should be
out: I / Doe thinke they have patience to make any adversity
Asham'd; the prison it selfe is proud of 'em; and / They
have all the world in their Chamber.

Iailor.
They are fam'd to be a paire of absolute men.

Daugh.
By my troth, I think Fame but stammers 'em,
they / Stand a greise above the reach of report.

Iai.
I heard them reported in the Battaile, to be the
only doers.

Daugh.
Nay most likely, for they are noble suffrers;
I / Mervaile how they would have lookd had they beene
Victors, that with such a constant Nobility, enforce / A
freedome out of Bondage, making misery their / Mirth, and
affliction, a toy to jest at.

Iailor.
Doe they so?

Daug.
It seemes to me they have no more sence of
their / Captivity, then I of ruling Athens: they eate / Well,
looke merrily, discourse of many things, / But nothing of
their owne restraint, and disasters: Yet sometime a
devided sigh, martyrd as twer / I'th deliverance, will
breake from one of them. / When the other presently gives
it so sweete a rebuke, / That I could wish my selfe a Sigh to
be so chid, / Or at least a Sigher to be comforted.

Wooer.
I never saw'em.

Iailor.
The Duke himselfe came privately in the night,
And so did they, what the reason of it is, I / Know not:
Enter Palamon, and Arcite, above.
Looke yonder they are; that's Arcite lookes out.

Daugh.
No Sir, no, that's Palamon: Arcite is the
Lower of the twaine; you may perceive a part / Of him.

Iai.
Goe too, leave your pointing; they would not
Make us their object; out of their sight.

Daugh.
It is a holliday to looke on them: Lord, the
Diffrence of men.
Exeunt, Scaena 2. Enter Palamon, and Arcite in prison.

Pal.
How doe you Noble Cosen?

Arcite.
How doe you Sir?

Pal.
Why strong inough to laugh at misery,
And beare the chance of warre yet, we are prisoners
I feare for ever Cosen.

Arcite.
I beleeve it,
And to that destiny have patiently
Laide up my houre to come.

Pal.
Oh Cosen Arcite,
Where is Thebs now? where is our noble Country?
Where are our friends, and kindreds? never more
Must we behold those comforts, never see
The hardy youthes strive for the Games of honour
(Hung with the painted favours of their Ladies)
Like tall Ships under saile: then start among'st 'em
And as an Eastwind leave 'em all behinde us,
Like lazy Clowdes, whilst Palamon and Arcite,
Even in the wagging of a wanton leg
Out-stript the peoples praises, won the Garlands,
Ere they have time to wish 'em ours. O never
Shall we two exercise, like Twyns of honour,
Our Armes againe, and feele our fyry horses
Like proud Seas under us, our good Swords, now
(Better the red-eyd god of war nev'r were)
Bravishd our sides, like age must run to rust,
And decke the Temples of those gods that hate us,
These hands shall never draw'em out like lightning
To blast whole Armies more.

Arcite.
No Palamon,
Those hopes are Prisoners with us, here we are
And here the graces of our youthes must wither
Like a too-timely Spring; here age must finde us,
And which is heaviest (Palamon) unmarried,
The sweete embraces of a loving wife
Loden with kisses, armd with thousand Cupids
Shall never claspe our neckes, no issue know us,
No figures of our selves shall we ev'r see,
To glad our age, and like young Eagles teach'em
Boldly to gaze against bright armes, and say
Remember what your fathers were, and conquer.
The faire-eyd Maides, shall weepe our Banishments,
And in their Songs, curse ever-blinded fortune
Till shee for shame see what a wrong she has done
To youth and nature; This is all our world;
We shall know nothing here but one another,
Heare nothing but the Clocke that tels our woes.
The Vine shall grow, but we shall never see it:
Sommer shall come, and with her all delights;
But dead-cold winter must inhabite here still.

Pal.
Tis too true Arcite. To our Theban houndes,
That shooke the aged Forrest with their ecchoes,
No more now must we halloa, no more shake
Our pointed Iavelyns, whilst the angry Swine
Flyes like a parthian quiver from our rages,
Strucke with our well-steeld Darts: All valiant uses,
(The foode, and nourishment of noble mindes,)
In us two here shall perish; we shall die
(which is the curse of honour) lastly,
Children of greife, and Ignorance.

Arc.
Yet Cosen,
Even from the bottom of these miseries
From all that fortune can inflict upon us,
I see two comforts rysing, two meere blessings,
If the gods please, to hold here a brave patience,
And the enjoying of our greefes together.
Whilst Palamon is with me, let me perish
If I thinke this our prison.

Pala.
Certeinly,
Tis a maine goodnes Cosen, that our fortunes
Were twyn'd together; tis most true, two soules
Put in two noble Bodies, let'em suffer
The gaule of hazard, so they grow together,
Will never sincke, they must not, say they could,
A willing man dies sleeping, and all's done.

Arc.
Shall we make worthy uses of this place
That all men hate so much?

Pal.
How gentle Cosen?

Arc.
Let's thinke this prison, holy sanctuary,
To keepe us from corruption of worse men,
We are young and yet desire the waies of honour,
That liberty and common Conversation
The poyson of pure spirits; might like women
Wooe us to wander from. What worthy blessing
Can be but our Imaginations
May make it ours? And heere being thus together,
We are an endles mine to one another;
We are one anothers wife, ever begetting
New birthes of love; we are father, friends, acquaintance,
We are in one another, Families,
I am your heire, and you are mine: This place
Is our Inheritance: no hard Oppressour
Dare take this from us; here with a little patience
We shall live long, and loving: No surfeits seeke us:
The hand of war hurts none here, nor the Seas
Swallow their youth: were we at liberty,
A wife might part us lawfully, or busines,
Quarrels consume us, Envy of ill men
Crave our acquaintance, I might sicken Cosen,
Where you should never know it, and so perish
Without your noble hand to close mine eies,
Or praiers to the gods; a thousand chaunces
Were we from hence, would seaver us.

Pal.
You have made me
(I thanke you Cosen Arcite) almost wanton
With my Captivity: what a misery
It is to live abroade? and every where:
Tis like a Beast me thinkes: I finde the Court here,
I am sure a more content, and all those pleasures
That wooe the wils of men to vanity,
I see through now, and am sufficient
To tell the world, tis but a gaudy shaddow,
That old Time, as he passes by takes with him,
What had we bin old in the Court of Creon,
Where sin is Iustice, lust, and ignorance,
The vertues of the great ones: Cosen Arcite,
Had not the loving gods found this place for us
We had died as they doe, ill old men, unwept,
And had their Epitaphes, the peoples Curses,
Shall I say more?

Arc.
I would heare you still.

Pal.
Ye shall.
Is there record of any two that lov'd
Better then we doe Arcite?

Arc.
Sure there cannot.

Pal.
I doe not thinke it possible our friendship
Should ever leave us.

Arc.
Till our deathes it cannot
Enter Emilia and her woman.
And after death our spirits shall be led
To those that love eternally.
Speake on Sir.

Emil.
This garden has a world of pleasures in't.
What Flowre is this?

Wom.
Tis calld Narcissus Madam.

Emil.
That was a faire Boy certaine, but a foole,
To love himselfe, were there not maides enough?

Arc.
Pray forward.

Pal.
Yes.

Emil.
Or were they all hard hearted?

Wom.
They could not be to one so faire.

Emil.
Thou wouldst not.

Wom.
I thinke I should not, Madam.

Emil.
That's a good wench:
But take heede to your kindnes though.

Wom.
Why Madam?

Emil.
Men are mad things.

Arcite.
Will ye goe forward Cosen?

Emil.
Canst not thou work: such flowers in silke wench?

Wom.
Yes.

Emil.
Ile have a gowne full of 'em and of these,
This is a pretty colour, wilt not doe
Rarely upon a Skirt wench?

Wom.
Deinty Madam.

Arc.
Gosen, Cosen, how doe you Sir? Why Palamon?

Pal.
Never till now I was in prison Arcite.

Arc.
Why whats the matter Man?

Pal.
Behold, and wonder.
By heaven shee is a Goddesse.

Arcite.
Ha.

Pal.
Doe reverence.
She is a Goddesse Arcite.

Emil.
Of all Flowres.
Me thinkes a Rose is best.

Wom.
Why gentle Madam?

Emil.
It is the very Embleme of a Maide.
For when the west wind courts her gently
How modestly she blowes, and paints the Sun,
With her chaste blushes? When the North comes neere her,
Rude and impatient, then, like Chastity
Shee lockes her beauties in her bud againe,
And leaves him to base briers.

Wom.
Yet good Madam,
Sometimes her modesty will blow so far
She fals for't: a Mayde
If shee have any honour, would be loth
To take example by her.

Emil.
Thou art wanton.

Arc.
She is wondrous faire.

Pal.
She is all the beauty extant.

Emil.
The Sun grows high, lets walk in, keep these flowers,
Weele see how neere Art can come neere their colours;
I am wondrous merry hearted, I could laugh now.

Wom.
I could lie downe I am sure.

Emil.
And take one with you?

Wom.
That's as we bargaine Madam,

Emil.
Well, agree then.
Exeunt Emilia and woman.

Pal.
What thinke you of this beauty?

Arc.
Tis a rare one.

Pal.
Is't but a rare one?

Arc.
Yes a matchles beauty.

Pal.
Might not a man well lose himselfe and love her?

Arc.
I cannot tell what you have done, I have,
Beshrew mine eyes for't, now I feele my Shackles.

Pal.
You love her then?

Arc.
Who would not?

Pal.
And desire her?

Arc.
Before my liberty.

Pal.
I saw her first.

Arc.
That's nothing

Pal.
But it shall be.

Arc.
I saw her too.

Pal.
Yes, but you must not love her.

Arc.
I will not as you doe; to worship her;
As she is heavenly, and a blessed Goddes;
(I love her as a woman, to enjoy her)
So both may love.

Pal.
You shall not love at all.

Arc.
Not love at all. Who shall deny me?

Pal.
I that first saw her; I that tooke possession
First with mine eye of all those beauties
In her reveald to mankinde: if thou lou'st her.
Or entertain'st a hope to blast my wishes,
Thou art a Traytour Arcite and a fellow
False as thy Title to her: friendship, blood
And all the tyes betweene us I disclaime
If thou once thinke upon her.

Arc,
Yes I love her,
And if the lives of all my name lay on it,
I must doe so, I love her with my soule,
If that will lose ye, farewell Palamon,
I say againe,
I love, and in loving her maintaine
I am as worthy, and as free a lover
And have as just a title to her beauty
As any Palamon or any living
That is a mans Sonne.

Pal.
Have I cald thee friend?

Arc.
Yes, and have found me so; why are you mov'd thus?
Let me deale coldly with you, am not I
Part of you blood, part of your soule? you have told me
That I was Palamon, and you were Arcite.

Pal.
Yes.

Arc.
Am not I liable to those affections,
Those joyes, greifes, angers, feares, my friend shall suffer?

Pal.
Ye may be.

Arc.
Why then would you deale so cunningly,
So strangely, so vnlike a noble kinesman
To love alone? speake truely, doe you thinke me
Vnworthy of her sight?

Pal.
No, but unjust,
If thou pursue that sight.

Arc.
Because an other
First sees the Enemy, shall I stand still
And let mine honour downe, and never charge?

Pal.
Yes, if he be but one.

Arc.
But say that one
Had rather combat me?

Pal.
Let that one say so,
And use thy freedome: els if thou pursuest her,
Be as that cursed man that hates his Country,
A branded villaine.

Arc.
You are mad.

Pal.
I must be.
Till thou art worthy, Arcite, it concernes me,
And in this madnes, if I hazard thee
And take thy life, I deale but truely.

Arc.
Fie Sir.
You play the Childe extreamely: I will love her,
I must, I ought to doe so, and I dare,
And all this justly.

Pal.
O that now, that now
Thy false-selfe and thy friend, had but this fortune
To be one howre at liberty, and graspe
Our good Swords in our hands, I would quickly teach thee
What tw'er to filch affection from another:
Thou art baser in it then a Cutpurse;
Put but thy head out of this window more,
And as I have a soule, Ile naile thy life too't.

Arc.
Thou dar'st not foole, thou canst not, thou art feeble.
Put my head out? Ile throw my Body out,
And leape the garden, when I see her next
And pitch between her armes to anger thee.
Enter Keeper.

Pal.
No more; the keeper's comming; I shall live
To knocke thy braines out with my Shackles.

Arc.
Doe.

Keeper.
By your leave Gentlemen.

Pala.
Now honest keeper?

Keeper.
Lord Arcite, you must presently to'th Duke;
The cause I know not yet.

Arc.
I am ready keeper.

Keeper,
Prince Palamon, I must awhile bereave you
Of your faire Cosens Company.
Exeunt Arcite, and Keeper.

Pal.
And me too,
Even when you please of life; why is he sent for?
It may be he shall marry her, he's goodly,
And like enough the Duke hath taken notice
Both of his blood and body: But his falsehood,
Why should a friend be treacherous? If that
Get him a wife so noble, and so faire;
Let honest men ne're love againe. Once more
I would but see this faire One: Blessed Garden,
And fruite, and flowers more blessed that still blossom
As her bright eies shine on ye. would I were
For all the fortune of my life hereafter
Yon little Tree, yon blooming Apricocke;
How I would spread, and fling my wanton armes
In at her window; I would bring her fruite
Fit for the Gods to feed on: youth and pleasure
Still as she tasted should be doubled on her,
And if she be not heavenly I would make her
So neere the Gods in nature, they should feare her.
And then I am sure she would love me:
Enter Keeper.
how now keeper
Wher's Arcite,

Keeper,
Banishd: Prince Pirithous
Obtained his liberty; but never more
Vpon his oth and life must he set foote
Vpon this Kingdome.

Pal.
Hees a blessed man,
He shall see Thebs againe, and call to Armes
The bold yong men, that when he bids 'em charge,
Fall on like fire: Arcite shall have a Fortune,
If he dare make himselfe a worthy Lover,
Yet in the Feild to strike a battle for her;
And if he lose her then, he's a cold Coward;
How bravely may he beare himselfe to win her
If he be noble Arcite; thousand waies.
Were I at liberty, I would doe things
Of such a vertuous greatnes, that this Lady,
This blushing virgine should take manhood to her
And seeke to ravish me.

Keeper,
My Lord for you
I have this charge too.

Pal.
To discharge my life.

Keep.
No, but from this place to remoove your Lordship,
The windowes are too open.

Pal.
Devils take 'em
That are so envious to me; pre'thee kill me.

Keep.
And hang for't afterward.

Pal.
By this good light
Had I a sword I would kill thee.

Keep,
Why my Lord?

Pal.
Thou bringst such pelting scuruy news continually
Thou art not worthy life; I will not goe.

Keep.
Indeede yon must my Lord.

Pal.
May I see the garden?

Keep.
Noe.

Pal.
Then I am resolud, I will not goe.

Keep.
I must constraine you then: and for you are dangerous
Ile clap more yrons on you.

Pal.
Doe good keeper.
Ile shake 'em so, ye shall not sleepe,
Ile make ye a new Morrisse, must I goe?

Keep.
There is no remedy.

Pal.
Farewell kinde window.
May rude winde never hurt thee. O my Lady
If ever thou hast felt what sorrow was,
Dreame how I suffer. Come; now bury me.
Exeunt Palamon, and Keeper
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Arcite.

Arcite.
Banishd the kingdome? tis a benefit,
A mercy I must thanke 'em for, but banishd
The free enjoying of that face I die for,
Oh twas a studdied punishment, a death
Beyond Imagination: Such a vengeance
That were I old and wicked, all my sins
Could never plucke upon me. Palamon;
Thou ha'st the Start now, thou shalt stay and see
Her bright eyes breake each morning gainst thy window,
And let in life into thee; thou shalt feede
Vpon the sweetenes of a noble beauty,
That nature nev'r exceeded, nor nev'r shall:
Good gods? what happines has Palamon?
Twenty to one, hee'le come to speake to her,
And if she be as gentle, as she's faire,
I know she's his, he has a Tongue will tame
Tempests, and make the wild Rockes wanton. Come what can come,
The worst is death; I will not leave the Kingdome,
I know mine owne, is but a heape of ruins,
And no redresse there, if I goe, he has her.
I am resolu'd an other shape shall make me,
Or end my fortunes. Either way, I am happy:
Ile see her, and be neere her, or no more.
Enter 4. Country people, & one with a Garlon
before them.

1,
My Masters, ile be there that's certaine.

2.
And Ile be there.

3.
And I.

4.
Why then have with ye Boyes; Tis but a chiding,
Let the plough play to day, ile tick'lt out
Of the Iades tailes to morrow.

1.
I am sure
To have my wife as jealous as a Turkey:
But that's all one, ile goe through, let her mumble.

2.
Clap her aboard to morrow night, and stoa her,
And all's made up againe.

3.
I, doe but put
a feskue in her fist, and you shall see her
Take a new lesson out, and be a good wench.
Doe we all hold, against the Maying?

4.
Hold?
what should aile us?

3.
Arcas will be there.

2.
And Sennois.
And Rycas, and 3. better lads nev'r dancd
under green Tree, / And yet know what wenches: ha?
But will the dainty Domine, the Schoolemaster
keep touch / Doe you thinke: for he do's all ye know.

3.
Hee'l eate a hornebooke ere he faile: goe too,
the matter's too farre driven betweene him,
and the Tanners daughter, to let slip now,
and she must see the Duke, and she must daunce too.

4.
Shall we be lusty.

2.
All the Boyes in Athens
blow wind i'th breech on's,
and heere ile be
and there ile be, for our Towne, and here againe,
and there againe: ha, Boyes, heigh for the weavers.

1.
This must be done i'th woods.

4.
O pardon me.

2.
By any meanes our thing of learning sees so:
where he himselfe will edifie the Duke
most parlously in our behalfes: hees excellent i'th woods,
bring him to'th plaines, his learning makes no cry.

3.
Weele see the sports, then every man to's Tackle:
and / Sweete Companions lets rehearse by any meanes,
before / The Ladies see us, and doe sweetly,
and God knows what / May come on't.

4.
Content; the sports once ended, wee'l performe.
Away / Boyes and hold.

Arc.
By your leaves honest friends:
pray you whither goe you.

4.
Whither?
why, what a question's that?

Arc.
Yes, tis a question,
to me that know not.

3.
To the Games my Friend.

2.
Where were you bred you know it not?

Arc.
Not farre Sir,
Are there such Games to day?

1.
Yes marry are there:
And such as you neuer saw; The Duke himselfe
Will be in person there.

Arc.
What pastimes are they?

2,
Wrastling, and Running; Tis a pretty Fellow.

3.
Thou wilt not goe along.

Arc.
Not yet Sir.

4.
Well Sir
Take your owne time, come Boyes

1.
My minde misgives me
This fellow has a veng'ance tricke o'th hip,
Marke how his Bodi's made for't

2.
Ile be hangd though
If he dare venture, hang him plumb porredge.
He wrastle? he rost eggs. Come lets be gon Lads.
Exeunt 4.

Arc.
This is an offerd oportunity
I durst not wish for. Well, I could have wrestled,
The best men calld it excellent, and run
Swifter, then winde upon a feild of Corne
(Curling the wealthy eares) never flew: Ile venture,
And in some poore disguize be there, who knowes
Whether my browes may not be girt with garlands?
And happines preferre me to a place,
Where I may ever dwell in sight of her.
Exit Arcite,
Original text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Iailors Daughter alone.

Daugh.
Why should I love this Gentleman? Tis odds
He never will affect me; I am base,
My Father the meane Keeper of his Prison,
And he a prince; To marry him is hopelesse;
To be his whore, is witles; Out upon't;
What pushes are we wenches driven to
When fifteene once has found us? First I saw him,
I (seeing) thought he was a goodly man;
He has as much to please a woman in him,
(If he please to bestow it so) as ever
These eyes yet lookt on; Next, I pittied him,
And so would any young wench o' my Conscience
That ever dream'd, or vow'd her Maydenhead
To a yong hansom Man; Then I lov'd him,
(Extreamely lov'd him) infinitely lov'd him;
And yet he had a Cosen, faire as he too.
But in my heart was Palamon, and there
Lord, what a coyle he keepes? To heare him
Sing in an evening, what a heaven it is?
And yet his Songs are sad-ones; Fairer spoken,
Was never Gentleman. When I come in
To bring him water in a morning, first
He bowes his noble body, then salutes me, thus:
Faire, gentle Mayde, good morrow, may thy goodnes,
Get thee a happy husband; Once he kist me,
I lov'd my lips the better ten daies after,
Would he would doe so ev'ry day; He greives much,
And me as much to see his misery.
What should I doe, to make him know I love him,
For I would faine enjoy him? Say I ventur'd
To set him free? what saies the law then? Thus much
For Law, or kindred: I will doe it,
And this night, or to morrow he shall love me.
Exit.
Original text
Act II, Scene IV
This short florish of Cornets and Showtes within. Enter
Theseus, Hipolita, Pirithous, Emilia: Arcite
with a Garland, &c.

Thes.
You have done worthily; I have not seene
Since Hercules, a man of tougher synewes;
What ere you are, you run the best, and wrastle,
That these times can allow.

Arcite.
I am proud to please you.

Thes.
What Countrie bred you?

Arcite.
This; but far off, Prince.

Thes.
Are you a Gentleman?

Arcite.
My father said so;
And to those gentle uses gave me life.

Thes.
Are you his heire?

Arcite.
His yongest Sir.

Thes.
Your Father
Sure is a happy Sire then: what prooves you?

Arcite.
A little of all noble Quallities:
I could have kept a Hawke, and well have holloa'd
To a deepe crie of Dogges; I dare not praise
My feat in horsemanship: yet they that knew me
Would say it was my best peece: last, and greatest,
I would be thought a Souldier.

Thes.
You are perfect.

Pirith.
Vpon my soule, a proper man.

Emilia.
He is so.

Per.
How doe you like him Ladie?

Hip.
I admire him,
I have not seene so yong a man, so noble
(If he say true,) of his sort.

Emil.
Beleeve,
His mother was a wondrous handsome woman,
His face me thinkes, goes that way.

Hyp.
But his Body
And firie minde, illustrate a brave Father.

Per.
Marke how his vertue, like a hidden Sun
Breakes through his baser garments.

Hyp.
Hee's well got sure.

Thes.
What made you seeke this place Sir?

Arc.
Noble Theseus.
To purchase name, and doe my ablest service
To such a well-found wonder, as thy worth,
Fo onely in thy Court, of all the world
dwells faire-eyd honor.

Per.
All his words are worthy.

Thes.
Sir, we are much endebted to your travell,
Nor shall you loose your wish: Perithous
Dispose of this faire Gentleman.

Perith.
Thankes Theseus.
What ere you are y'ar mine, and I shall give you
To a most noble service, to this Lady,
This bright yong Virgin; pray observe her goodnesse;
You have honourd hir faire birth-day, with your vertues,
And as your due y'ar hirs: kisse her faire hand Sir.

Arc.
Sir, y'ar a noble Giver: dearest Bewtie,
Thus let me seale my vowd faith:
when your Servant
(Your most unworthie Creature) but offends you,
Command him die, he shall.

Emil.
That were too cruell.
If you deserve well Sir; I shall soone see't:
Y'ar mine,
aud somewhat better than your rancke Ile use you.

Per.
Ile see you furnish'd, and because you say
You are a horseman, I must needs intreat you
This after noone to ride, but tis a rough one.

Arc.
I like him better (Prince) I shall not then
Freeze in my Saddle.

Thes.
Sweet, you must be readie,
And you Emilia, and you (Friend) and all
To morrow by the Sun, to doe observance
To flowry May, in Dians wood: waite well Sir
Vpon your Mistris: Emely, I hope
He shall not goe a foote.

Emil.
That were a shame Sir,
While I have horses: take your choice, and what
You want at any time, let me but know it;
If you serve faithfully, I dare assure you
You'l finde a loving Mistris.

Arc.
If I doe not,
Let me finde that my Father ever hated,
Disgrace, and blowes.

Thes.
Go leade the way; you have won it:
It shall be so; you shall receave all dues
Fit for the honour you have won; Twer wrong else,
Sister, beshrew my heart, you have a Servant,
That if I were a woman, would be Master,
But you are wise.

Emil.
I hope too wise for that Sir.
Florish. Exeunt omnes.
Original text
Act II, Scene V
Enter Iaylors Daughter alone.

Daughter.
Let all the Dukes, and all the divells rore,
He is at liberty: I have venturd for him,
And out I have brought him to a little wood
A mile hence, I have sent him, where a Cedar
Higher than all the rest, spreads like a plane
Fast by a Brooke, and there he shall keepe close,
Till I provide him Fyles, and foode, for yet
His yron bracelets are not off. O Love
What a stout hearted child thou art! My Father
Durst better have indur'd cold yron, than done it:
I love him, beyond love, and beyond reason,
Or wit, or safetie: I have made him know it
I care not, I am desperate, If the law
Finde me, and then condemne me for't; some wenches,
Some honest harted Maides, will sing my Dirge.
And tell to memory, my death was noble,
Dying almost a Martyr: That way he takes,
I purpose is my way too: Sure he cannot
Be so unmanly, as to leave me here,
If he doe, Maides will not so easily
Trust men againe: And yet he has not thank'd me
For what I have done: no not so much as kist me,
And that (me thinkes) is not so well; nor scarcely
Could I perswade him to become a Freeman,
He made such scruples of the wrong he did
To me, and to my Father. Yet I hope
When he considers more, this love of mine
Will take more root within him: Let him doe
What he will with me, so he use me kindly,
For use me so he shall, or ile proclaime him
And to his face, no-man: Ile presently
Provide him necessaries, and packe my cloathes up.
And where there is a path of ground Ile venture
So hee be with me; By him, like a shadow
Ile ever dwell; within this houre the whoobub
Will be all ore the prison: I am then
Kissing the man they looke for: farewell Father;
Get many more such prisoners, and such daughters,
And shortly you may keepe your selfe. Now to him:
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Gaoler and Wooer

GAOLER
I may depart with little while I live; something
I may cast to you, not much. Alas, the prison I keep,
though it be for great ones, yet they seldom come;
before one salmon, you shall take a number of minnows.
I am given out to be better lined than it can appear to
me report is a true speaker. I would I were really that
I am delivered to be. Marry, what I have, be it what
it will, I will assure upon my daughter at the day of my
death.

WOOER
Sir, I demand no more than your own offer, and
I will estate your daughter in what I have promised.

GAOLER
Well, we will talk more of this when the solemnity
is past. But have you a full promise of her? When
that shall be seen, I tender my consent.
Enter Gaoler's Daughter with rushes

WOOER
I have, sir. Here she comes.

GAOLER
Your friend and I have chanced to name you
here, upon the old business; but no more of that now.
So soon as the court hurry is over we will have an end
of it. I'th' meantime look tenderly to the two prisoners;
I can tell you they are princes.

DAUGHTER
These strewings are for their chamber. 'Tis
pity they are in prison, and 'twere pity they should be
out. I do think they have patience to make any adversity
ashamed; the prison itself is proud of 'em, and they
have all the world in their chamber.

GAOLER
They are famed to be a pair of absolute men.

DAUGHTER
By my troth, I think fame but stammers 'em;
they stand a grece above the reach of report.

GAOLER
I heard them reported in the battle to be the
only doers.

DAUGHTER
Nay, most likely, for they are noble sufferers.
I marvel how they would have looked had they been
victors, that with such a constant nobility enforce a
freedom out of bondage, making misery their mirth and
affliction a toy to jest at.

GAOLER
Do they so?

DAUGHTER
It seems to me they have no more sense of
their captivity than I of ruling Athens; they eat well,
look merrily, discourse of many things, but nothing of
their own restraint and disasters. Yet sometime a
divided sigh, martyred as 'twere i'th' deliverance, will
break from one of them; when the other presently gives
it so sweet a rebuke that I could wish myself a sigh to
be so chid, or at least a sigher to be comforted.

WOOER
I never saw 'em.

GAOLER
The Duke himself came privately in the night,
and so did they; what the reason of it is I know not.
Enter Palamon and Arcite above
Look, yonder they are; that's Arcite looks out.

DAUGHTER
No, sir, no, that's Palamon! Arcite is the
lower of the twain; you may perceive a part of him.

GAOLER
Go to, leave your pointing. They would not
make us their object. Out of their sight!

DAUGHTER
It is a holiday to look on them. Lord, the
difference of men!
Exeunt Gaoler, Daughter, and Wooer

PALAMON
How do you, noble cousin?

ARCITE
How do you, sir?

PALAMON
Why, strong enough to laugh at misery,
And bear the chance of war; yet we are prisoners
I fear for ever, cousin.

ARCITE
I believe it,
And to that destiny have patiently
Laid up my hour to come.

PALAMON
O cousin Arcite,
Where is Thebes now? Where is our noble country?
Where are our friends and kindreds? Never more
Must we behold those comforts, never see
The hardy youths strive for the games of honour,
Hung with the painted favours of their ladies,
Like tall ships under sail; then start amongst 'em
And as an east wind leave 'em all behind us,
Like lazy clouds, whilst Palamon and Arcite,
Even in the wagging of a wanton leg,
Outstripped the people's praises, won the garlands,
Ere they have time to wish 'em ours. O, never
Shall we two exercise, like twins of honour,
Our arms again, and feel our fiery horses
Like proud seas under us! Our good swords now –
Better the red-eyed god of war ne'er wore –
Ravished our sides, like age must run to rust,
And deck the temples of those gods that hate us;
These hands shall never draw 'em out like lightning
To blast whole armies more.

ARCITE
No, Palamon,
Those hopes are prisoners with us; here we are,
And here the graces of our youths must wither
Like a too timely spring; here age must find us,
And – which is heaviest, Palamon – unmarried.
The sweet embraces of a loving wife,
Loaden with kisses, armed with thousand cupids,
Shall never clasp our necks; no issue know us;
No figures of ourselves shall we e'er see
To glad our age, and like young eagles teach 'em
Boldly to gaze against bright arms, and say
‘ Remember what your fathers were, and conquer!’
The fair-eyed maids shall weep our banishments,
And in their songs curse ever-blinded fortune,
Till she for shame see what a wrong she has done
To youth and nature. This is all our world;
We shall know nothing here but one another,
Hear nothing but the clock that tells our woes.
The vine shall grow, but we shall never see it;
Summer shall come, and with her all delights,
But dead-cold winter must inhabit here still.

PALAMON
'Tis too true, Arcite. To our Theban hounds,
That shook the aged forest with their echoes,
No more now must we hallow, no more shake
Our pointed javelins, whilst the angry swine
Flies like a Parthian quiver from our rages,
Struck with our well-steeled darts. All valiant uses,
The food and nourishment of noble minds,
In us two here shall perish; we shall die –
Which is the curse of honour – lastly,
Children of grief and ignorance.

ARCITE
Yet, cousin,
Even from the bottom of these miseries,
From all that fortune can inflict upon us,
I see two comforts rising, two mere blessings,
If the gods please; to hold here a brave patience,
And the enjoying of our griefs together.
Whilst Palamon is with me, let me perish
If I think this our prison.

PALAMON
Certainly,
'Tis a main goodness, cousin, that our fortunes
Were twinned together. 'Tis most true, two souls
Put in two noble bodies, let 'em suffer
The gall of hazard, so they grow together,
Will never sink, they must not; say they could,
A willing man dies sleeping and all's done.

ARCITE
Shall we make worthy uses of this place
That all men hate so much?

PALAMON
How, gentle cousin?

ARCITE
Let's think this prison holy sanctuary,
To keep us from corruption of worse men.
We are young and yet desire the ways of honour,
That liberty and common conversation,
The poison of pure spirits, might like women
Woo us to wander from. What worthy blessing
Can be but our imaginations
May make it ours? And here being thus together,
We are an endless mine to one another;
We are one another's wife, ever begetting
New births of love; we are father, friends, acquaintance;
We are, in one another, families.
I am your heir, and you are mine; this place
Is our inheritance; no hard oppressor
Dare take this from us; here with a little patience
We shall live long and loving. No surfeits seek us;
The hand of war hurts none here, nor the seas
Swallow their youth. Were we at liberty,
A wife might part us lawfully, or business;
Quarrels consume us; envy of ill men
Crave our acquaintance. I might sicken, cousin,
Where you should never know it, and so perish
Without your noble hand to close mine eyes,
Or prayers to the gods; a thousand chances,
Were we from hence, would sever us.

PALAMON
You have made me –
I thank you, cousin Arcite – almost wanton
With my captivity. What a misery
It is to live abroad, and everywhere!
'Tis like a beast, methinks. I find the court here;
I am sure, a more content; and all those pleasures
That woo the wills of men to vanity
I see through now, and am sufficient
To tell the world 'tis but a gaudy shadow
That old Time as he passes by takes with him.
What had we been, old in the court of Creon,
Where sin is justice, lust and ignorance
The virtues of the great ones? Cousin Arcite,
Had not the loving gods found this place for us,
We had died as they do, ill old men, unwept,
And had their epitaphs, the people's curses.
Shall I say more?

ARCITE
I would hear you still.

PALAMON
Ye shall.
Is there record of any two that loved
Better than we do, Arcite?

ARCITE
Sure there cannot.

PALAMON
I do not think it possible our friendship
Should ever leave us.

ARCITE
Till our deaths it cannot;
(Enter Emilia and her Woman below)
And after death our spirits shall be led
To those that love eternally.
(Palamon sees Emilia)
Speak on, sir.

EMILIA
This garden has a world of pleasures in't.
What flower is this?

WOMAN
'Tis called narcissus, madam.

EMILIA
That was a fair boy, certain, but a fool
To love himself; were there not maids enough?

ARCITE
(to Palamon)
Pray, forward.

PALAMON
Yes.

EMILIA
(to Woman)
Or were they all hard-hearted?

WOMAN
They could not be to one so fair.

EMILIA
Thou wouldst not.

WOMAN
I think I should not, madam.

EMILIA
That's a good wench;
But take heed to your kindness, though.

WOMAN
Why, madam?

EMILIA
Men are mad things.

ARCITE
Will ye go forward, cousin?

EMILIA
Canst not thou work such flowers in silk, wench?

WOMAN
Yes.

EMILIA
I'll have a gown full of 'em and of these.
This is a pretty colour; will't not do
Rarely upon a skirt, wench?

WOMAN
Dainty, madam.

ARCITE
Cousin, cousin, how do you, sir? Why, Palamon!

PALAMON
Never till now I was in prison, Arcite.

ARCITE
Why, what's the matter, man?

PALAMON
Behold, and wonder.
By heaven, she is a goddess.

ARCITE
Ha!

PALAMON
Do reverence;
She is a goddess, Arcite.

EMILIA
Of all flowers
Methinks a rose is best.

WOMAN
Why, gentle madam?

EMILIA
It is the very emblem of a maid;
For when the west wind courts her gently,
How modestly she blows, and paints the sun
With her chaste blushes! When the north comes near her,
Rude and impatient, then, like chastity,
She locks her beauties in her bud again,
And leaves him to base briars.

WOMAN
Yet, good madam,
Sometimes her modesty will blow so far
She falls for't; a maid,
If she have any honour, would be loath
To take example by her.

EMILIA
Thou art wanton.

ARCITE
She is wondrous fair.

PALAMON
She is all the beauty extant.

EMILIA
The sun grows high, let's walk in. Keep these flowers;
We'll see how near art can come near their colours.
I am wondrous merry-hearted, I could laugh now.

WOMAN
I could lie down, I am sure.

EMILIA
And take one with you?

WOMAN
That's as we bargain, madam.

EMILIA
Well, agree then.
Exeunt Emilia and Woman

PALAMON
What think you of this beauty?

ARCITE
'Tis a rare one.

PALAMON
Is't but a rare one?

ARCITE
Yes, a matchless beauty.

PALAMON
Might not a man well lose himself and love her?

ARCITE
I cannot tell what you have done; I have,
Beshrew mine eyes for't! Now I feel my shackles.

PALAMON
You love her, then?

ARCITE
Who would not?

PALAMON
And desire her?

ARCITE
Before my liberty.

PALAMON
I saw her first.

ARCITE
That's nothing.

PALAMON
But it shall be.

ARCITE
I saw her too.

PALAMON
Yes, but you must not love her.

ARCITE
I will not, as you do, to worship her
As she is heavenly and a blessed goddess.
I love her as a woman, to enjoy her;
So both may love.

PALAMON
You shall not love at all.

ARCITE
Not love at all? Who shall deny me?

PALAMON
I that first saw her; I that took possession
First with mine eye of all those beauties
In her revealed to mankind. If thou lovest her,
Or entertainest a hope to blast my wishes,
Thou art a traitor, Arcite, and a fellow
False as thy title to her. Friendship, blood,
And all the ties between us I disclaim,
If thou once think upon her.

ARCITE
Yes, I love her,
And if the lives of all my name lay on it,
I must do so; I love her with my soul.
If that will lose ye, farewell, Palamon!
I say again
I love her, and in loving her maintain
I am as worthy and as free a lover,
And have as just a title to her beauty,
As any Palamon or any living
That is a man's son.

PALAMON
Have I called thee friend?

ARCITE
Yes, and have found me so; why are you moved thus?
Let me deal coldly with you. Am not I
Part of your blood, part of your soul? You have told me
That I was Palamon and you were Arcite.

PALAMON
Yes.

ARCITE
Am not I liable to those affections,
Those joys, griefs, angers, fears, my friend shall suffer?

PALAMON
Ye may be.

ARCITE
Why then would you deal so cunningly,
So strangely, so unlike a noble kinsman,
To love alone? Speak truly, do you think me
Unworthy of her sight?

PALAMON
No, but unjust,
If thou pursue that sight.

ARCITE
Because another
First sees the enemy, shall I stand still
And let mine honour down, and never charge?

PALAMON
Yes, if he be but one.

ARCITE
But say that one
Had rather combat me?

PALAMON
Let that one say so,
And use thy freedom; else if thou pursuest her,
Be as that cursed man that hates his country,
A branded villain.

ARCITE
You are mad.

PALAMON
I must be,
Till thou art worthy, Arcite; it concerns me,
And in this madness if I hazard thee
And take thy life, I deal but truly.

ARCITE
Fie, sir,
You play the child extremely. I will love her;
I must, I ought to do so, and I dare,
And all this justly.

PALAMON
O that now, that now
Thy false self and thy friend had but this fortune
To be one hour at liberty, and grasp
Our good swords in our hands; I would quickly teach thee
What 'twere to filch affection from another!
Thou art baser in it than a cutpurse.
Put but thy head out of this window more,
And as I have a soul, I'll nail thy life to't.

ARCITE
Thou darest not, fool, thou canst not, thou art feeble.
Put my head out? I'll throw my body out,
And leap the garden, when I see her next,
And pitch between her arms to anger thee.
Enter Gaoler above

PALAMON
No more; the keeper's coming. I shall live
To knock thy brains out with my shackles.

ARCITE
Do.

GAOLER
By your leave, gentlemen.

PALAMON
Now, honest keeper?

GAOLER
Lord Arcite, you must presently to th' Duke.
The cause I know not yet.

ARCITE
I am ready, keeper.

GAOLER
Prince Palamon, I must awhile bereave you
Of your fair cousin's company.
Exeunt Arcite and Gaoler

PALAMON
And me too,
Even when you please, of life. Why is he sent for?
It may be he shall marry her; he's goodly,
And like enough the Duke hath taken notice
Both of his blood and body. But his falsehood!
Why should a friend be treacherous? If that
Get him a wife so noble and so fair,
Let honest men ne'er love again. Once more
I would but see this fair one; blessed garden,
And fruit, and flowers more blessed that still blossom
As her bright eyes shine on ye! Would I were
For all the fortune of my life hereafter
Yon little tree, yon blooming apricot;
How I would spread, and fling my wanton arms
In at her window! I would bring her fruit
Fit for the gods to feed on; youth and pleasure
Still as she tasted should be doubled on her,
And if she be not heavenly, I would make her
So near the gods in nature, they should fear her;
And then I am sure she would love me.
Enter Gaoler
How now, keeper?
Where's Arcite?

GAOLER
Banished. Prince Pirithous
Obtained his liberty; but never more,
Upon his oath and life, must he set foot
Upon this kingdom.

PALAMON
He's a blessed man!
He shall see Thebes again, and call to arms
The bold young men, that when he bids 'em charge
Fall on like fire. Arcite shall have a fortune,
If he dare make himself a worthy lover,
Yet in the field to strike a battle for her;
And if he lose her then, he's a cold coward.
How bravely may he bear himself to win her
If he be noble Arcite; thousand ways!
Were I at liberty, I would do things
Of such a virtuous greatness that this lady,
This blushing virgin, should take manhood to her,
And seek to ravish me!

GAOLER
My lord, for you
I have this charge too –

PALAMON
To discharge my life?

GAOLER
No, but from this place to remove your lordship;
The windows are too open.

PALAMON
Devils take 'em
That are so envious to me! Prithee kill me.

GAOLER
And hang for't afterward?

PALAMON
By this good light,
Had I a sword I would kill thee.

GAOLER
Why, my lord?

PALAMON
Thou bringest such pelting scurvy news continually
Thou art not worthy life. I will not go.

GAOLER
Indeed you must, my lord.

PALAMON
May I see the garden?

GAOLER
No.

PALAMON
Then I am resolved, I will not go.

GAOLER
I must constrain you then; and for you are dangerous,
I'll clap more irons on you.

PALAMON
Do, good keeper.
I'll shake 'em so, ye shall not sleep;
I'll make ye a new morris. Must I go?

GAOLER
There is no remedy.

PALAMON
Farewell, kind window;
May rude wind never hurt thee. O my lady,
If ever thou hast felt what sorrow was,
Dream how I suffer. – Come, now bury me.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Arcite

ARCITE
Banished the kingdom? 'Tis a benefit,
A mercy I must thank 'em for; but banished
The free enjoying of that face I die for,
O, 'twas a studied punishment, a death
Beyond imagination; such a vengeance
That, were I old and wicked, all my sins
Could never pluck upon me. Palamon,
Thou hast the start now; thou shalt stay and see
Her bright eyes break each morning 'gainst thy window
And let in life into thee; thou shalt feed
Upon the sweetness of a noble beauty
That Nature ne'er exceeded, nor ne'er shall.
Good gods, what happiness has Palamon!
Twenty to one, he'll come to speak to her,
And if she be as gentle as she's fair,
I know she's his; he has a tongue will tame
Tempests, and make the wild rocks wanton. Come what can come,
The worst is death; I will not leave the kingdom.
I know mine own is but a heap of ruins,
And no redress there. If I go, he has her.
I am resolved another shape shall make me,
Or end my fortunes. Either way, I am happy;
I'll see her and be near her, or no more.
Enter four Country-people and one with a garland
before them

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
My masters, I'll be there, that's certain.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
And I'll be there.

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
And I.

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
Why, then, have with ye, boys; 'tis but a chiding.
Let the plough play today; I'll tickle't out
Of the jades' tails tomorrow.

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
I am sure
To have my wife as jealous as a turkey;
But that's all one, I'll go through, let her mumble.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
Clap her aboard tomorrow night and stow her,
And all's made up again.

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
Ay, do but put
A fescue in her fist, and you shall see her
Take a new lesson out, and be a good wench.
Do we all hold against the maying?

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
Hold?
What should ail us?

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
Arcas will be there.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
And Sennois
And Rycas, and three better lads ne'er danced
Under green tree; and ye know what wenches, ha!
But will the dainty dominie, the schoolmaster,
Keep touch, do you think? For he does all, ye know.

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
He'll eat a hornbook ere he fail. Go to,
The matter's too far driven between him
And the tanner's daughter to let slip now;
And she must see the Duke, and she must dance too.

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
Shall we be lusty?

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
All the boys in Athens
Blow wind i'th' breech on's!
(He dances)
And here I'll be
And there I'll be, for our town, and here again
And there again! Ha, boys, hey for the weavers!

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
This must be done i'th' woods.

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
O, pardon me.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
By any means, our thing of learning says so;
Where he himself will edify the Duke
Most parlously in our behalfs. He's excellent i'th' woods;
Bring him to th' plains, his learning makes no cry.

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
We'll see the sports, then every man to's tackle;
And, sweet companions, let's rehearse by any means
Before the ladies see us, and do sweetly,
And God knows what may come on't.

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
Content; the sports once ended, we'll perform.
Away, boys, and hold!

ARCITE
By your leaves, honest friends;
Pray you, whither go you?

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
Whither?
Why, what a question's that!

ARCITE
Yes, 'tis a question
To me that know not.

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
To the games, my friend.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
Where were you bred you know it not?

ARCITE
Not far, sir.
Are there such games today?

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
Yes, marry are there,
And such as you never saw. The Duke himself
Will be in person there.

ARCITE
What pastimes are they?

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
Wrestling and running. (Aside) 'Tis a pretty fellow.

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
Thou wilt not go along?

ARCITE
Not yet, sir.

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
Well, sir,
Take your own time. – Come, boys.

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
My mind misgives me.
This fellow has a vengeance trick o'th' hip;
Mark how his body's made for't.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
I'll be hanged, though,
If he dare venture; hang him, plum porridge!
He wrestle? He roast eggs! Come, let's be gone, lads.
Exeunt four Countrymen and garland-bearer

ARCITE
This is an offered opportunity
I durst not wish for. Well I could have wrestled,
The best men called it excellent; and run
Swifter than wind upon a field of corn,
Curling the wealthy ears, never flew. I'll venture,
And in some poor disguise be there; who knows
Whether my brows may not be girt with garlands,
And happiness prefer me to a place
Where I may ever dwell in sight of her?
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Gaoler's Daughter alone

DAUGHTER
Why should I love this gentleman? 'Tis odds
He never will affect me; I am base,
My father the mean keeper of his prison,
And he a prince. To marry him is hopeless;
To be his whore is witless. Out upon't!
What pushes are we wenches driven to
When fifteen once has found us! First I saw him;
I, seeing, thought he was a goodly man;
He has as much to please a woman in him –
If he please to bestow it so – as ever
These eyes yet looked on. Next, I pitied him,
And so would any young wench, o' my conscience,
That ever dreamed, or vowed her maidenhead
To a young handsome man. Then I loved him,
Extremely loved him, infinitely loved him;
And yet he had a cousin, fair as he too;
But in my heart was Palamon, and there,
Lord, what a coil he keeps! To hear him
Sing in an evening, what a heaven it is!
And yet his songs are sad ones. Fairer spoken
Was never gentleman; when I come in
To bring him water in a morning, first
He bows his noble body, then salutes me, thus:
‘ Fair, gentle maid, good morrow; may thy goodness
Get thee a happy husband.’ Once he kissed me;
I loved my lips the better ten days after –
Would he would do so every day! He grieves much,
And me as much to see his misery.
What should I do to make him know I love him?
For I would fain enjoy him. Say I ventured
To set him free? What says the law then? Thus much
For law or kindred! I will do it;
And this night, or tomorrow, he shall love me.
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene IV
A short flourish of cornets, and shouts within. Enter
Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, Emilia, Arcite as a
countryman, with a garland, and other countrymen
and attendants

THESEUS
(to Arcite)
You have done worthily; I have not seen,
Since Hercules, a man of tougher sinews.
Whate'er you are, you run the best and wrestle
That these times can allow.

ARCITE
I am proud to please you.

THESEUS
What country bred you?

ARCITE
This; but far off, prince.

THESEUS
Are you a gentleman?

ARCITE
My father said so,
And to those gentle uses gave me life.

THESEUS
Are you his heir?

ARCITE
His youngest, sir.

THESEUS
Your father
Sure is a happy sire, then. What proves you?

ARCITE
A little of all noble qualities;
I could have kept a hawk, and well have hallowed
To a deep cry of dogs; I dare not praise
My feat in horsemanship, yet they that knew me
Would say it was my best piece; last, and greatest,
I would be thought a soldier.

THESEUS
You are perfect.

PIRITHOUS
Upon my soul, a proper man.

EMILIA
He is so.

PIRITHOUS
How do you like him, lady?

HIPPOLYTA
I admire him;
I have not seen so young a man so noble –
If he say true – of his sort.

EMILIA
Believe
His mother was a wondrous handsome woman;
His face methinks goes that way.

HIPPOLYTA
But his body
And fiery mind illustrate a brave father.

PIRITHOUS
Mark how his virtue, like a hidden sun,
Breaks through his baser garments.

HIPPOLYTA
He's well got, sure.

THESEUS
What made you seek this place, sir?

ARCITE
Noble Theseus,
To purchase name, and do my ablest service
To such a well-found wonder as thy worth;
For only in thy court, of all the world,
Dwells fair-eyed honour.

PIRITHOUS
All his words are worthy.

THESEUS
Sir, we are much indebted to your travel,
Nor shall you lose your wish; Pirithous,
Dispose of this fair gentleman.

PIRITHOUS
Thanks, Theseus.
(To Arcite)
Whate'er you are you're mine, and I shall give you
To a most noble service, to this lady,
This bright young virgin; pray observe her goodness.
You have honoured her fair birthday with your virtues,
And as your due, you're hers; kiss her fair hand, sir.

ARCITE
Sir, you're a noble giver. (To Emilia) Dearest beauty,
Thus let me seal my vowed faith.
He kisses her hand
When your servant,
Your most unworthy creature, but offends you,
Command him die; he shall.

EMILIA
That were too cruel.
If you deserve well, sir, I shall soon see't.
You're mine;
And somewhat better than your rank I'll use you.

PIRITHOUS
I'll see you furnished, and because you say
You are a horseman, I must needs entreat you
This afternoon to ride; but 'tis a rough one.

ARCITE
I like him better, prince; I shall not then
Freeze in my saddle.

THESEUS
(to Hippolyta)
Sweet, you must be ready,
And you, Emilia, and you, friend, and all,
Tomorrow by the sun, to do observance
To flowery May, in Dian's wood. Wait well, sir,
Upon your mistress; Emily, I hope
He shall not go afoot.

EMILIA
That were a shame, sir,
While I have horses. (To Arcite) Take your choice, and what
You want at any time, let me but know it;
If you serve faithfully, I dare assure you
You'll find a loving mistress.

ARCITE
If I do not,
Let me find that my father ever hated,
Disgrace and blows.

THESEUS
Go lead the way; you have won it.
It shall be so; you shall receive all dues
Fit for the honour you have won, 'twere wrong else. –
Sister, beshrew my heart, you have a servant
That, if I were a woman, would be master;
But you are wise.

EMILIA
I hope, too wise for that, sir.
Flourish. Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene V
Enter Gaoler's Daughter alone

DAUGHTER
Let all the dukes and all the devils roar;
He is at liberty. I have ventured for him,
And out I have brought him. To a little wood
A mile hence I have sent him, where a cedar
Higher than all the rest spreads like a plane,
Fast by a brook, and there he shall keep close,
Till I provide him files and food, for yet
His iron bracelets are not off. O love,
What a stout-hearted child thou art! My father
Durst better have endured cold iron than done it.
I love him beyond love, and beyond reason,
Or wit, or safety; I have made him know it.
I care not, I am desperate. If the law
Find me, and then condemn me for't, some wenches,
Some honest-hearted maids, will sing my dirge,
And tell to memory my death was noble,
Dying almost a martyr. That way he takes
I purpose is my way too; sure he cannot
Be so unmanly as to leave me here?
If he do, maids will not so easily
Trust men again. And yet he has not thanked me
For what I have done, no, not so much as kissed me,
And that, methinks, is not so well; nor scarcely
Could I persuade him to become a free man,
He made such scruples of the wrong he did
To me and to my father. Yet I hope,
When he considers more, this love of mine
Will take more root within him. Let him do
What he will with me, so he use me kindly;
For use me so he shall, or I'll proclaim him,
And to his face, no man. I'll presently
Provide him necessaries, and pack my clothes up,
And where there is a path of ground I'll venture,
So he be with me; by him, like a shadow,
I'll ever dwell. Within this hour the hubbub
Will be all o'er the prison; I am then
Kissing the man they look for. Farewell, father;
Get many more such prisoners, and such daughters,
And shortly you may keep yourself. Now to him.
Exit
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