The Two Noble Kinsmen

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Original text
Act III, Scene I
Cornets in sundry places, Noise and hallowing as
people a Maying. Enter Arcite alone.

Arcite.
The Duke has lost Hypolita; each tooke
A severall land. This is a solemne Right
They owe bloomd May, and the Athenians pay it
To'th heart of Ceremony: O Queene Emilia
Fresher then May, sweeter
Then hir gold Buttons on the bowes, or all
Th'enamelld knackes o'th Meade, or garden, yea
(We challenge too) the bancke of any Nymph
That makes the streame seeme flowers; thou o Iewell
O'th wood, o'th world, hast likewise blest a pace
With thy sole presence, in thy rumination
That I poore man might eftsoones come betweene
And chop on some cold thought, thrice blessed chance
To drop on such a Mistris, expectation
most giltlesse on't: tell me O Lady Fortune
(Next after Emely my Soveraigne) how far
I may be prowd. She takes strong note of me,
Hath made me neere her; and this beuteous Morne
(The prim'st of all the yeare) presents me with
A brace of horses, two such Steeds might well
Be by a paire of Kings backt, in a Field
That their crownes titles tride: Alas, alas
Poore Cosen Palamon, poore prisoner, thou
So little dream'st upon my fortune, that
Thou thinkst thy selfe, the happier thing, to be
So neare Emilia, me thou deem'st at Thebs,
And therein wretched, although free; But if
Thou knew'st my Mistris breathd on me, and that
I ear'd her language, livde in her eye; O Coz
What passion would enclose thee.
Enter Palamon as out of a Bush, with his Shackles:
bends his fist at Arcite.

Palamon.
Traytor kinseman,
Thou shouldst perceive my passion, if these signes
Of prisonment were off me, and this hand
But owner of a Sword: By all othes in one
I, and the iustice of my love would make thee
A confest Traytor, o thou most persidious
That ever gently lookd the voydes of honour.
That eu'r bore gentle Token; falsest Cosen
That ever blood made kin, call'st thou hir thine?
Ile prove it in my Shackles, with these hands,
Void of appointment, that thou ly'st, and art
A very theefe in love, a Chaffy Lord
Nor worth the name of villaine: had I a Sword
And these house clogges away.

Arc.
Deere Cosin Palamon,

Pal.
Cosoner Arcite, give me language, such
As thou hast shewd me feate.

Arc.
Not finding in
The circuit of my breast, any grosse stuffe
To forme me like your blazon, holds me to
This gentlenesse of answer; tis your passion
That thus mistakes, the which to you being enemy,
Cannot to me be kind: honor, and honestie
I cherish, and depend on, howsoev'r
You skip them in me, and with them faire Coz
Ile maintaine my proceedings; pray be pleas'd
To shew in generous termes, your griefes, since that
Your question's with your equall, who professes
To cleare his owne way, with the minde and Sword
Of a true Gentleman.

Pal.
That thou durst Arcite.

Arc.
My Coz, my Coz, you have beene well advertis'd
How much I dare, y'ave seene me use my Sword
Against th' advice of feare: sure of another
You would not heare me doubted, but your silence
Should breake out, though i'th Sanctuary.

Pal.
Sir,
I have seene you move in such a place, which well
Might justifie your manhood, you were calld
A good knight and a bold; But the whole weeke's not faire
If any day it rayne: Their valiant temper
Men loose when they encline to trecherie,
And then they fight like compelld Beares, would fly
Were they not tyde.

Arc.
Kinsman; you might as well
Speake this, and act it in your Glasse, as to
His eare, which now disdaines you.

Pal.
Come up to me,
Quit me of these cold Gyves, give me a Sword
Though it be rustie, and the charity
Of one meale lend me; Come before me then
A good Sword in thy hand, and doe but say
That Emily is thine, I will forgive
The trespasse thou hast done me, yea my life
If then thou carry't, and brave soules in shades
That have dyde manly, which will seeke of me
Some newes from earth, they shall get none but this
That thou art brave, and noble.

Arc.
Be content,
Againe betake you to your hawthorne house,
With counsaile of the night, I will be here
With wholesome viands; these impediments
Will I file off, you shall have garments, and
Perfumes to kill the smell o'th prison, after
When you shall stretch your selfe, and say but Arcite
I am in plight, there shall be at your choyce
Both Sword, and Armour.

Pal.
Oh you heavens, dares any
So noble beare a guilty busines! none
But onely Arcite, therefore none but Arcite
In this kinde is so bold.

Arc.
Sweete Palamon.

Pal.
I doe embrace you, and your offer, for
Your offer doo't I onely, Sir your person
Without hipocrisy I may not wish
More then my Swords edge ont.
Winde hornes of Cornets.

Arc.
You heare the Hornes;
Enter your Musicke least this match between's
Be crost, er met, give me your hand, farewell.
Ile bring you every needfull thing: I pray you
Take comfort and be strong.

Pal.
Pray hold your promise;
And doe the deede with a bent brow, most crtaine
You love me not, be rough with me, and powre
This oile out of your language; by this ayre
I could for each word, give a Cuffe: my stomach
not reconcild by reason,

Arc.
Plainely spoken,
Yet pardon me hard language, when I spur
My horse, I chide him not; content, and anger
In me have but one face.
Winde hornes.
Harke Sir, they call
The scatterd to the Banket; you must guesse
I have an office there.

Pal.
Sir your attendance
Cannot please heaven, and I know your office
Vnjustly is atcheev'd.

Arc.
If a good title,
I am perswaded this question sicke between's,
By bleeding must be cur'd. I am a Suitour,
That to your Sword you will bequeath this plea,
And talke of it no more.

Pal.
But this one word:
You are going now to gaze upon my Mistris,
For note you, mine she is.

Arc,
Nay then.

Pal.
Nay pray you,
You talke of feeding me to breed me strength
You are going now to looke upon a Sun
That strengthens what it lookes on, there
You have a vantage ore me, but enjoy't till
I may enforce my remedy. Farewell.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Iaylors daughter alone.

Daugh.
He has mistooke; the Beake I meant, is gone
After his fancy, Tis now welnigh morning,
No matter, would it were perpetuall night,
And darkenes Lord o'th world, Harke tis a woolfe:
In me hath greife slaine feare, and but for one thing
I care for nothing, and that's Palamon.
I wreake not if the wolves would jaw me, so
He had this File; what if I hallowd for him?
I cannot hallow: if I whoop'd; what then?
If he not answeard, I should call a wolfe,
And doe him but that service. I have heard
Strange howles this live-long night, why may't not be
They have made prey of him? he has no weapons,
He cannot run, the Iengling of his Gives
Might call fell things to listen, who have in them
A sence to know a man unarmd, and can
Smell where resistance is. Ile set it downe
He's torne to peeces, they howld many together
And then they feed on him: So much for that,
Be bold to ring the Bell; how stand I then?
All's char'd when he is gone, No, no I lye,
My Father's to be hang'd for his escape,
My selfe to beg, if I prizd life so much
As to deny my act, but that I would not,
Should I try death by dussons: I am mop't,
Food tooke I none these two daies. / Sipt some water.
I have not closd mine eyes
Save when my lids scowrd off their bine; alas
Dissolue my life, Let not my sence unsettle
Least I should drowne, or stab, or hang my selfe.
O state of Nature, faile together in me,
Since thy best props are warpt: So which way now?
The best way is, the next way to a grave:
Each errant step beside is torment. Loe
The Moone is down, the Cryckets chirpe, the Schreichowle
Calls in the dawne; all offices are done
Save what I faile in: But the point is this
An end, and that is all.
Exit.
Original text
Act III, Scene III
Enter Arcite, with Meate, Wine, and Files.

Arc.
I should be neere the place, hoa. Cosen Palamon.
Enter Palamon.

Pal.
Arcite.

Arc.
The same: I have brought you foode and files,
Come forth and feare not, her'es no Theseus.

Pal.
Not none so honest Arcite.

Arc.
That's no matter,
Wee'l argue that hereafter: Come take courage,
You shall not dye thus beastly, here Sir drinke
I know you are faint, then ile talke further with you.

Pal.
Arcite, thou mightst now poyson me.

Arc.
I might.
But I must feare you first: Sit downe, and good now
No more of these vaine parlies; let us not
Having our ancient reputation with us
Make talke for Fooles, and Cowards, To your health, &c.

Pal.
Doe.

Arc.
Pray sit downe then, and let me entreate you
By all the honesty and honour in you,
No mention of this woman, t'will disturbe us,
We shall have time enough.

Pal.
Well Sir, Ile pledge you.

Arc.
Drinke a good hearty draught, it breeds good blood man.
Doe not you feele it thaw you?

Pal.
Stay, Ile tell you
after a draught or two more.

Arc.
Spare it not,
the Duke has more Cuz: Eate now.

Pal.
Yes.

Arc.
I am glad
you have so good a stomach.

Pal.
I am gladder
I have so good meate too't.

Arc.
Is't not mad lodging,
here in the wild woods Cosen

Pal.
Yes, for then
that have wilde Consciences.

Arc.
How tasts your vittails?
your hunger needs no sawce I see,

Pal.
Not much.
But if it did, yours is too tart: sweete Cosen:
what is this?

Arc.
Venison.

Pal.
Tis a lusty meate:
Giue me more wine; here Arcite to the wenches
We have known in our daies. The Lord Stewards daughter.
Doe you remember her?

Arc.
After you Cuz.

Pal.
She lov'd a black-haird man.

Arc.
She did so; well Sir.

Pal.
And I have heard some call him Arcite. and

Arc.
Out with't faith.

Pal.
She met him in an Arbour:
What did she there Cuz? play o'th virginals?

Arc.
Something she did Sir.

Pal.
Made her groane a moneth for't;
or 2. or 3. or 10.

Arc.
The Marshals Sister,
Had her share too, as I remember Cosen,
Else there be tales abroade, you'l pledge her?

Pal.
Yes.

Arc.
A pretty broune wench t'is-There was a time
When yong men went a hunting, and a wood,
And a broade Beech: and thereby hangs a tale:
heigh ho.

Pal.
For Emily, upon my life; Foole
Away with this straind mirth; I say againe
That sigh was breathd for Emily; base Cosen,
Dar'st thou breake first?

Arc.
you are wide.

Pal.
By heaven and earth,
ther's nothing in thee honest.

Arc,
Then Ile leave you:
you are a Beast now:

Pal.
As thou makst me, Traytour.

Arc.
Ther's all things needfull, files and shirts, and, perfumes:
Ile come againe some two howres hence, and bring
That that shall quiet all,

Pal.
A Sword and Armour.

Arc.
Feare me not; you are now too fowle; farewell.
Get off your Trinkets, you shall want nought;

Pal.
Sir ha:

Arc.
Ile heare no more.
Exit.

Pal.
If he keepe touch, he dies for't.
Exit.
Original text
Act III, Scene IV
Enter Iaylors daughter.

Daugh.
I am very cold, and all the Stars are out too,
The little Stars, and all, that looke like aglets:
The Sun has seene my Folly: Palamon;
Alas no; hees in heaven; where am I now?
Yonder's the sea, and ther's a Ship; how't tumbles
And ther's a Rocke lies watching under water;
Now, now, it beates upon it; now, now, now,
Ther's a leak sprung, a sound one, how they cry?
Vpon her before the winde, you'l loose all els:
Vp with a course or two, and take about Boyes.
Good night, good night, y'ar gone; I am very hungry,
Would I could finde a fine Frog; he would tell me
Newes from all parts o'th world, then would I make
A Carecke of a Cockle shell, and sayle
By east and North East to the King of Pigmes,
For he tels fortunes rarely. Now my Father
Twenty to one is trust up in a trice
To morrow morning, Ile say never a word.
Sing.
For ile cut my greene coat, afoote above my knee,
And ile clip my yellow lockes; an inch below mine eie.
hey, nonny, nonny, nonny,
He's buy me a white Cut, forth for to ride
And ile goe seeke him, throw the world that is so wide
hey nonny, nonny, nonny.
O for a pricke now like a Nightingale,
to put my breast / Against. I shall sleepe like a Top else.
Exit.
Original text
Act III, Scene V
Enter a Schoole master 4. Countrymen: and
Baum. 2. or 3 wenches, with a Taborer.

Sch
Fy, fy,
what tediosity, & disensanity
is here among ye? have my Rudiments
bin labourd so long with ye? milkd unto ye,
and by a figure even the very plumbroth
& marrow of my understanding laid upon ye?
and do you still cry where, and how, & wherfore?
you most course freeze capacities, ye jave Iudgements,
have I saide thus let be, and there let be,
and then let be, and no man understand mee,
proh deum, medius fidius, ye are all dunces:
For why here stand I. Here the Duke comes, there are you
close in the Thicket; the Duke appeares, I meete him
and unto him I utter learned things,
and many figures, he heares, and nods, and hums,
and then cries rare, and I goe forward, at length
I fling my Cap up; marke there; then do you
as once did Meleager, and the Bore
break comly out before him: like true lovers,
cast your selves in a Body decently,
and sweetly, by a figure trace, and turne Boyes.

1.
And sweetly we will doe it Master Gerrold.

2.
Draw up the Company, Where's the Taborour.

3.
Why Timothy.

Tab.
Here my mad boyes, have at ye.

Sch.
But I say where's their women?

4.
Here's Friz and Maudline.

2.
And little Luce with the white legs, and bouncing Barbery.

1.
And freckeled Nel; that never faild her Master.

Sch.
Wher be your Ribands maids? swym with your Bodies
And carry it sweetly, and deliverly
And now and then a fauour, and a friske.

Nel.
Let us alone Sir.

Sch.
Wher's the rest o'th Musicke.

3.
Dispersd as you commanded.

Sch.
Couple then
And see what's wanting; wher's the Bavian?
My friend, carry your taile without offence
Or scandall to the Ladies; and be sure
You tumble with audacity, and manhood,
And when you barke doe it with judgement.

Bau.
Yes Sir.

Sch.
Quo usque taudem. Here is a woman wanting

4.
We may goe whistle: all the fat's i'th fire.

Sch.
We have,
As learned Authours utter, washd a Tile,
We have beene fatuus, and laboured vainely.

2.
This is that scornefull peece, that scurvy hilding
That gave her promise faithfully, she would
be here, Cicely the Sempsters daughter:
The next gloves that I give her shall be dog skin;
Nay and she faile me once, you can tell Arcas
She swore by wine, and bread, she would not breake.

Sch.
An Eele and woman,
A learned Poet sayes: unles by'th taile
And with thy teeth thou hold, will either faile,
In manners this was false position

1.
A fire ill take her; do's she flinch now?

3.
What
Shall we determine Sir?

Sch.
Nothing,
Our busines is become a nullity
Yea, and a woefull, and a pittious nullity.

4.
Now when the credite of our Towne lay on it,
Now to be frampall, now to pisse o'th nettle,
Goe thy waies, ile remember thee, ile fit thee,
Enter Iaylors daughter.

Daughter.
The George alow, came from the South,
from / The coast of Barbary a.
And there he met with brave gallants of war
By one, by two, by three, a
Well haild, well haild, you jolly gallants,
And whither now are you bound a
O let me have your company
till come to the sound a
There was three fooles, fell out about an howlet
Chaire and stooles out.
The one sed it was an owle
The other he sed nay,
The third he sed it was a hawke,
and her bels wer cut away.

3.
Ther's a dainty mad woman Mr.
comes i'th Nick as mad as a march hare:
if wee can get her daunce, wee are made againe:
I warrant her, shee'l doe the rarest gambols.

1.
A mad woman? we are made Boyes.

Sch.
And are you mad good woman?

Daugh.
I would be sorry else,
Give me your hand.

Sch.
Why?

Daugh.
I can tell your fortune.
You are a foole: tell ten, I have pozd him: Buz
Friend you must eate no white bread, if you doe
Your teeth will bleede extreamely, shall we dance ho?
I know you, y'ar a Tinker: Sirha Tinker
Stop no more holes, but what you should.

Sch.
Dij boni.
A Tinker Damzell?

Daug,
Or a Conjurer:
raise me a devill now, and let him play
Quipassa, o'th bels and bones.

Sch,
Goe take her,
aud fluently perswade her to a peace:
Et opus exegi, quod nec Iouis ira, nec ignis.
Strike up, and leade her in.

2,
Come Lasse, lets trip it.

Daugh.
Ile leade.

3.
Doe, doe.

Sch.
Perswasively, and cunningly: away boyes,
Winde Hornes:
I heare the hornes: give me some / Meditation,
and marke your Cue;
Ex. all but Schoolemaster.
Pallas inspire me.
Enter Thes. Pir. Hip. Emil. Arcite:
and traine.

Thes.
This way the Stag tooke.

Sch.
Stay, and edifie.

Thes.
What have we here?

Per.
Some Countrey sport, upon my life Sir.

Per.
Well Sir, goe forward, we will edifie.
Ladies sit downe, wee'l stay it.

Sch.
Thou doughtie Duke all haile: all haile sweet Ladies.

Thes.
This is a cold beginning.

Sch.
If you but favour; our Country pastime made is,
We are a few of those collected here
That ruder Tongues distinguish villager,
And to say veritie, and not to fable;
We are a merry rout, or else a rable
Or company, or by a figure, Choris
That fore thy dignitie will dance a Morris.
And I that am the rectifier of all
By title Pedagogus, that let fall
The Birch upon the breeches of the small ones,
And humble with a Ferula the tall ones,
Doe here present this Machine, or this frame,
And daintie Duke, whose doughtie dismall fame
From Dis to Dedalus, from post to pillar
Is blowne abroad; helpe me thy poore well willer,
And with thy twinckling eyes, looke right and straight
Vpon this mighty Morr---of mickle waight
Is---now comes in, which being glewd together
Makes Morris, and the cause that we came hether.
The body of our sport of no small study
I first appeare, though rude, and raw, and muddy,
To speake before thy noble grace, this tenner:
At whose great feete I offer up my penner.
The next the Lord of May, and Lady bright,
The Chambermaid, and Servingman by night
That seeke out silent hanging: Then mine Host
And his fat Spowse, that welcomes to their cost
The gauled Traveller, and with a beckning
Informes the Tapster to inflame the reckning:
Then the beast eating Clowne, and next the foole,
The Bavian with long tayle, and eke long toole,
Cum multis aliijs that make a dance,
Say I, and all shall presently advance.

Thes.
I, I by any meanes, deere Domine.

Per.
Produce.
Intrate filij, Come forth, and foot it,
Musicke Dance. Knocke for Schoole.
Enter The Dance.
Ladies, if we have beene merry
And have pleasd thee with a derry,
And a derry, and a downe
Say the Schoolemaster's no Clowne:
Duke, if we have pleasd three too
And have done as good Boyes should doe,
Give us but a tree or twaine
For a Maypole, and againe
Ere another yeare run out,
Wee'l make thee laugh and all this rout.

Thes.
Take 20. Domine; how does my sweet heart.

Hip.
Never so pleasd Sir.

Emil.
Twas an excellent dance,
and for a preface / I never heard a better.

Thes.
Schoolemaster, I thanke yon, One see'em all rewarded.

Per.
And heer's something to paint your Pole withall.

Thes.
Now to our sports againe.

Sch.
May the Stag thou huntst stand long,
And thy dogs be swift and strong:
May they kill him without lets,
And the Ladies eate his dowsets:
Winde Hornes.
Come we are all made. Dij Deaeq; omnes,
ye have danc'd rarely wenches.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene VI
Enter Palamon from the Bush.

Pal.
About this houre my Cosen gave his faith
To visit me againe, and with him bring
Two Swords, and two good Armors; if he faile
He's neither man, nor Souldier; when he left me
I did not thinke a weeke could have restord
My lost strength to me, I was growne so low,
And Crest-falne with my wants; I thanke thee Arcite,
Thou art yet a faire Foe; and I feele my selfe
With this refreshing, able once againe
To out dure danger: To delay it longer
Would make the world think when it comes to hearing,
That I lay fatting like a Swine, to fight
And not a Souldier: Therefore this blest morning
Shall be the last; and that Sword he refutes,
If it but hold, I kill him with; tis Iustice:
So love, and Fortune for me:
Enter Arcite with Armors and Swords.
O good morrow.

Arc.
Good morrow noble kinesman,

Pal.
I have put you
To too much paines Sir.

Arc.
That too much faire Cosen,
Is but a debt to honour, and my duty.

Pal.
Would you were so in all Sir; I could wish ye
As kinde a kinsman, as you force me finde
A beneficiall foe, that my embraces
Might thanke ye, not my blowes.

Arc.
I shall thinke either
Well done, a noble recompence.

Pal.
Then I shall quit you.

Arc.
Defy me in these faire termes, and you show
More then a Mistris to me, no more anger
As you love any thing that's honourable;
We were not bred to talke man, when we are arm'd
And both upon our guards, then let our fury
Like meeting of two tides, fly strongly from us,
And then to whom the birthright of this Beauty
Truely pertaines (without obbraidings, scornes,
Dispisings of our persons, and such powtings
Fitter for Girles and Schooleboyes) will be seene
And quickly, yours, or mine: wilt please you arme Sir,
Or if you feele your selfe not fitting yet
And furnishd with your old strength, ile stay Cosen
And ev'ry day discourse you into health,
As I am spard, your person I am friends with,
And I could wish I had not saide I lov'd her
Though I had dide; But loving such a Lady
And justifying my Love, I must not fly from't.

Pal.
Arcite, thou art so brave an enemy
That no man but thy Cosen's fit to kill thee,
I am well, and lusty, choose your Armes.

Arc.
Choose you Sir.

Pal.
Wilt thou exceede in all, or do'st thou doe it
To make me spare thee?

Arc.
If you thinke so Cosen,
You are deceived, for as I am a Soldier.
I will not spare you.

Pal.
That's well said.

Arc.
You'l finde it

Pal.
Then as I am an honest man and love,
With all the justice of affection
Ile pay thee soundly: This ile take.

Arc.
That's mine then,
Ile arme you first.

Pal.
Do: pray thee tell me Cosen,
Where gotst thou this good Armour.

Arc.
Tis the Dukes,
And to say true, I stole it; doe I pinch you?

Pal.
Noe.

Arc.
Is't not too heavie?

Pal.
I have worne a lighter,
But I shall make it serve.

Arc.
Ile buckl't close.

Pal.
By any meanes.

Arc.
You care not for a Grand guard?

Pal.
No, no, wee'l use no horses, I perceave
You would faine be at that Fight.

Arc.
I am indifferent.

Pal.
Faith so am I: good Cosen, thrust the buckle
Through far enough.

Arc.
I warrant you.

Pal.
My Caske now.

Arc.
Will you fight bare-armd?

Pal.
We shall be the nimbler.

Arc.
But use your Gauntlets though; those are o'th least,
Prethee take mine good Cosen.

Pal.
Thanke you Arcite.
How doe I looke, am I falne much away?

Arc.
Faith very little; love has usd you kindly.

Pal.
Ile warrant thee, Ile strike home.

Arc.
Doe, and spare not;
Ile give you cause sweet Cosen.

Pal.
Now to you Sir,

Me thinkes this Armo'rs very like that, Arcite,
Thou wor'st that day the 3. Kings fell, but lighter.

Arc.
That was a very good one, and that day
I well remember, you outdid me Cosen,
I never saw such valour: when you chargd
Vpon the left wing of the Enemie,
I spurd hard to come up, and under me
I had a right good horse.

Pal.
You had indeede
A bright Bay I remember.

Arc.
Yes but all
Was vainely labour'd in me, you outwent me,
Nor could my wishes reach you; yet a little
I did by imitation.

Pal.
More by vertue,
You are modest Cosen.

Arc.
When I saw you charge first,
Me thought I heard a dreadfull clap of Thunder
Breake from the Troope.

Pal.
But still before that flew
The lightning of your valour: Stay a little,
Is not this peece too streight?

Arc.
No, no, tis well.

Pal.
I would have nothing hurt thee but my Sword,
A bruise would be dishonour.

Arc.
Now I am perfect.

Pal.
Stand off then.

Arc.
Take my Sword, I hold it better.

Pal.
I thanke ye: No, keepe it, your life lyes on it,
Here's one, if it but hold, I aske no more,
For all my hopes: My Cause and honour guard me.

Arc.
And me my love:
They bow severall wayes: then advance and stand.
Is there ought else to say?

Pal.
This onely, and no more: Thou art mine Aunts Son.
And that blood we desire to shed is mutuall,
In me, thine, and in thee, mine: My Sword
Is in my hand, and if thou killst me
The gods, and I forgive thee; If there be
A place prepar'd for those that sleepe in honour,
I wish his wearie soule, that falls may win it:
Fight bravely Cosen, give me thy noble hand.

Arc.
Here Palamon: This hand shall never more
Come neare thee with such friendship.

Pal.
I commend thee.

Arc.
If I fall, curse me, and say I was a coward,
For none but such, dare die in these just Tryalls,
Once more farewell my Cosen,

Pal.
Farewell Arcite.
Fight. Hornes within: they stand.

Arc.
Loe Cosen, loe, our Folly has undon us.

Pal.
Why?

Arc.
This is the Duke, a hunting as I told you,
If we be found, we are wretched, O retire
For honours sake, and safely presently
Into your Bush agen; Sir we shall finde
Too many howres to dye in, gentle Cosen:
If you be seene you perish instantly
For breaking prison, and I, if you reveale me,
For my contempt; Then all the world will scorne us,
And say we had a noble difference,
But base disposers of it.

Pal.
No, no, Cosen
I will no more be hidden, nor put off
This great adventure to a second Tryall:
I know your cunning, and I know your cause,
He that faints now, shame take him, put thy selfe
Vpon thy present guard.

Arc.
You are not mad?

Pal.
Or I will make th' advantage of this howre
Mine owne, and what to come shall threaten me,
I feare lesse then my fortune: know weake Cosen
I love Emilia, and in that ile bury
Thee, and all crosses else.

Arc.
Then come, what can come
Thou shalt know Palamon, I dare as well
Die, as discourse, or sleepe: Onely this feares me,
The law will have the honour of our ends.
Have at thy life.

Pal.
Looke to thine owne well Arcite.
Fight againe. Hornes.
Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Emilia, Perithous and traine.

Theseus.
What ignorant and mad malicious Traitors,
Are you? That gainst the tenor of my Lawes
Are making Battaile, thus like Knights appointed,
Without my leave, and Officers of Armes?
By Castor both shall dye.

Pal.
Hold thy word Theseus,
We are certainly both Traitors, both despisers
Of thee, and of thy goodnesse: I am Palamon
That cannot love thee, he that broke thy Prison,
Thinke well, what that deserves; and this is Arcite
A bolder Traytor never trod thy ground
A Falser neu'r seem'd friend: This is the man
Was begd and banish'd, this is he contemnes thee
And what thou dar'st doe; and in this disguise
Against this owne Edict followes thy Sister,
That fortunate bright Star, the faire Emilia
Whose servant, (if there be a right in seeing,
And first bequeathing of the soule to) justly
I am, and which is more, dares thinke her his.
This treacherie like a most trusty Lover,
I call'd him now to answer; if thou bee'st
As thou art spoken, great and vertuous,
The true descider of all injuries,
Say, Fight againe, and thou shalt see me Theseus
Doe such a Iustice, thou thy selfe wilt envie,
Then take my life, Ile wooe thee too't.

Per.
O heaven,
What more then man is this!

Thes.
I have sworne.

Arc.
We seeke not
Thy breath of mercy Theseus, Tis to me
A thing as soone to dye, as thee to say it,
And no more mov'd: where this man calls me Traitor,
Let me say thus much; if in love be Treason,
In service of so excellent a Beutie,
As I love most, and in that faith will perish,
As I have brought my life here to confirme it,
As I have serv'd her truest, worthiest,
As I dare kill this Cosen, that denies it,
So let me be most Traitor, and ye please me:
For scorning thy Edict Duke, aske that Lady
Why she is faire, and why her eyes command me
Stay here to love her; and if she say Traytor,
I am a villaine fit to lye unburied.

Pal.
Thou shalt have pitty of us both, o Theseus,
If unto neither thou shew mercy, stop,
(As thou art just) thy noble eare against us,
As thou art valiant; for thy Cosens soule
Whose 12. strong labours crowne his memory,
Lets die together, at one instant Duke,
Onely a little let him fall before me,
That I may tell my Soule he shall not have her.

Thes.
I grant your wish, for to say true, your Cosen
Has ten times more offended, for I gave him
More mercy then you found, Sir, your offenses
Being no more then his: None here speake for 'em
For ere the Sun set, both shall sleepe for ever.

Hipol.
Alas the pitty, now or never Sister
Speake not to be denide; That face of yours
Will beare the curses else of after ages
For these lost Cosens.

Emil.
In my face deare Sister
I finde no anger to 'em; nor no ruyn,
The misadventure of their owne eyes kill 'em;
Yet that I will be woman, and have pitty,
My knees shall grow to 'th ground but Ile get mercie.
Helpe me deare Sister, in a deede so vertuous,
The powers of all women will be with us,
Most royall Brother.

Hipol.
Sir by our tye of Marriage.

Emil.
By your owne spotlesse honour.

Hip.
By that faith,
That faire hand, and that honest heart you gave me.

Emil.
By that you would have pitty in another,
By your owne vertues infinite.

Hip.
By valour,
By all the chaste nights I have ever pleasd you.

Thes.
These are strange Conjurings.

Per.
Nay then Ile in too:
By all our friendship Sir, by all our dangers,
By all you love most, warres; and this sweet Lady.

Emil.
By that you would have trembled to deny
A blushing Maide.

Hip.
By your owne eyes: By strength
In which you swore I went beyond all women,
Almost all men, and yet I yeelded Theseus.

Per.
To crowne all this; By your most noble soule
Which cannot want due mercie, I beg first.

Hip.
Next heare my prayers.

Emil.
Last let me intreate Sir.

Per.
For mercy.

Hip.
Mercy.

Emil.
Mercy on these Princes.

Thes.
Ye make my faith reele: Say I felt
Compassion to 'em both, how would you place it?

Emil.
Vpon their lives: But with their banishments.

Thes.
You are a right woman, Sister; you have pitty,
But want the vnderstanding where to use it.
If you desire their lives, invent a way
Safer then banishment: Can these two live
And have the agony of love about 'em,
And not kill one another? Every day
The'yld fight about yov; howrely bring your honour
In publique question with their Swords; Be wise then
And here forget 'em; it concernes your credit,
And my oth equally: I have said they die,
Better they fall by 'th law, then one another.
Bow not my honor.

Emil.
O my noble Brother,
That oth was rashly made, and in your anger,
Your reason will not hold it, if such vowes
Stand for expresse will, all the world must perish.
Beside, I have another oth, gainst yours
Of more authority, I am sure more love,
Not made in passion neither, but good heede.

Thes.
What is it Sister?

Per.
Vrge it home brave Lady.

Emil.
That you would nev'r deny me any thing
Fit for my modest suit, and your free granting:
I tye you to your word now, if ye fall in't,
Thinke how you maime your honour;
(For now I am set a begging Sir, I am deafe
To all but your compassion) how their lives
Might breed the ruine of my name; Opinion,
Shall any thing that loves me perish for me?
That were a cruell wisedome, doe men proyne
The straight yong Bowes that blush with thousand Blossoms
Because they may be rotten? O Duke Theseus
The goodly Mothers that have groand for these,
And all the longing Maides that ever lov'd,
If your vow stand, shall curse me and my Beauty,
And in their funerall songs, for these two Cosens
Despise my crueltie, and cry woe worth me,
Till I am nothing but the scorne of women;
For heavens sake save their lives, and banish 'em.

Thes.
On what conditions?

Emil.
Sweare 'em never more
To make me their Contention, or to know me,
To tread upon thy Dukedome, and to be
Where ever they shall travel, ever strangers
to one another.

Pal.
Ile be cut a peeces
Before I take this oth, forget I love her?
O all ye gods dispise me then: Thy Banishment
I not mislike, so we may fairely carry
Our Swords, aud cause along: else never trifle,
But take our lives Duke, I must love and will,
And for that love, must and dare kill this Cosen
On any peece the earth has.

Thes.
Will you Arcite
Take these conditions?

Pal.
H'es a villaine then.

Per.
These are men.

Arcite.
No, never Duke: Tis worse to me than begging
To take my life so basely, though I thinke
I never shall enjoy her, yet ile preserve
The honour of affection, and dye for her,
Make death a Devill.

Thes.
What may be done? for now I feele compassion.

Per.
Let it not fall agen Sir.

Thes.
Say Emilia
If one of them were dead, as one muff, are you
Content to take th' other to your husband?
They cannot both enjoy you; They are Princes
As goodly as your owne eyes, and as noble
As ever fame yet spoke of; looke upon 'em,
And if you can love, end this difference,
I give consent, are you content too Princes?

Both.
With all our soules.

Thes.
He that she refuses
Must dye then.

Both.
Any death thou canst invent Duke.

Pal.
If I fall from that mouth, I fall with favour,
And Lovers yet unborne shall blesse my ashes.

Arc.
If she refuse me, yet my grave will wed me,
And Souldiers sing my Epitaph.

Thes.
Make choice then.

Emil.
I cannot Sir, they are both too excellent
For me, a hayre shall never fall of these men.

Hip.
What will become of 'em?

Thes.
Thus I ordaine it,
And by mine honor, once againe it stands,
Or both shall dye. You shall both to your Countrey,
And each within this moneth accompanied
With three faire Knights, appeare againe in this place,
In which Ile plant a Pyramid; and whether
Before us that are here, can force his Cosen
By fayre and knightly strength to touch the Pillar,
He shall enjoy her: the other loose his head,
And all his friends; Nor shall he grudge to fall,
Nor thinke he dies with interest in this Lady:
Will this content yee?

Pal.
Yes: here Cosen Arcite
I am friends againe, till that howre.

Arc.
I embrace ye.

Thes.
Are you content Sister?

Emil,
Yes, I must Sir,
Els both miscarry.

Thes.
Come shake hands againe then,
And take heede, as you are Gentlemen, this Quarrell
Sleepe till the howre prefixt, and hold your course.

Pal.
We dare not faile thee Theseus.

Thes.
Come, Ile give ye
Now usage like to Princes, and to Friends:
When ye returne, who wins, Ile settle heere,
Who looses, yet Ile weepe upon his Beere.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act III, Scene I
Cornets in sundry places. Noise and hallowing as of
people a-maying. Enter Arcite alone

ARCITE
The Duke has lost Hippolyta; each took
A several laund. This is a solemn rite
They owe bloomed May, and the Athenians pay it
To th' heart of ceremony. O queen Emilia,
Fresher than May, sweeter
Than her gold buttons on the boughs, or all
Th' enamelled knacks o'th' mead or garden – yea,
We challenge too the bank of any nymph
That makes the stream seem flowers – thou, O jewel
O'th' wood, o'th' world, hast likewise blessed a place
With thy sole presence. In thy rumination
That I, poor man, might eftsoons come between
And chop on some cold thought! Thrice blessed chance
To drop on such a mistress, expectation
Most guiltless on't! Tell me, O Lady Fortune,
Next after Emily my sovereign, how far
I may be proud. She takes strong note of me,
Hath made me near her; and this beauteous morn,
The primest of all the year, presents me with
A brace of horses; two such steeds might well
Be by a pair of kings backed, in a field
That their crowns' titles tried. Alas, alas,
Poor cousin Palamon, poor prisoner, thou
So little dreamest upon my fortune that
Thou thinkest thyself the happier thing, to be
So near Emilia; me thou deemest at Thebes,
And therein wretched, although free. But if
Thou knewest my mistress breathed on me, and that
I eared her language, lived in her eye – O coz,
What passion would enclose thee!
Enter Palamon as out of a bush, with his shackles;
he bends his fist at Arcite

PALAMON
Traitor kinsman,
Thou shouldst perceive my passion, if these signs
Of prisonment were off me, and this hand
But owner of a sword. By all oaths in one,
I and the justice of my love would make thee
A confessed traitor, O thou most perfidious
That ever gently looked, the voidest of honour
That e'er bore gentle token, falsest cousin
That ever blood made kin. Callest thou her thine?
I'll prove it in my shackles, with these hands,
Void of appointment, that thou lie'st, and art
A very thief in love, a chaffy lord
Not worth the name of villain. Had I a sword,
And these house-clogs away –

ARCITE
Dear cousin Palamon –

PALAMON
Cozener Arcite, give me language such
As thou hast showed me feat.

ARCITE
Not finding in
The circuit of my breast any gross stuff
To form me like your blazon holds me to
This gentleness of answer: 'tis your passion
That thus mistakes, the which to you being enemy
Cannot to me be kind. Honour and honesty
I cherish and depend on, howsoe'er
You skip them in me, and with them, fair coz,
I'll maintain my proceedings. Pray be pleased
To show in generous terms your griefs, since that
Your question's with your equal, who professes
To clear his own way with the mind and sword
Of a true gentleman.

PALAMON
That thou durst, Arcite!

ARCITE
My coz, my coz, you have been well advertised
How much I dare; you've seen me use my sword
Against th' advice of fear. Sure of another
You would not hear me doubted, but your silence
Should break out, though i'th' sanctuary.

PALAMON
Sir,
I have seen you move in such a place which well
Might justify your manhood; you were called
A good knight and a bold. But the whole week's not fair
If any day it rain; their valiant temper
Men lose when they incline to treachery,
And then they fight like compelled bears, would fly
Were they not tied.

ARCITE
Kinsman, you might as well
Speak this and act it in your glass as to
His ear which now disdains you.

PALAMON
Come up to me,
Quit me of these cold gyves, give me a sword,
Though it be rusty, and the charity
Of one meal lend me. Come before me then,
A good sword in thy hand, and do but say
That Emily is thine, I will forgive
The trespass thou hast done me – yea, my life,
If then thou carry't; and brave souls in shades
That have died manly, which will seek of me
Some news from earth, they shall get none but this,
That thou art brave and noble.

ARCITE
Be content;
Again betake you to your hawthorn house.
With counsel of the night, I will be here
With wholesome viands; these impediments
Will I file off; you shall have garments, and
Perfumes to kill the smell o'th' prison. After,
When you shall stretch yourself, and say but ‘ Arcite,
I am in plight,’ there shall be at your choice
Both sword and armour.

PALAMON
O you heavens, dares any
So noble bear a guilty business? None
But only Arcite; therefore none but Arcite
In this kind is so bold.

ARCITE
Sweet Palamon!

PALAMON
I do embrace you and your offer – for
Your offer do't I only, sir; your person
Without hypocrisy I may not wish
More than my sword's edge on't.
They wind horns off; cornets sounded

ARCITE
You hear the horns;
Enter your muset, lest this match between's
Be crossed ere met. Give me your hand; farewell.
I'll bring you every needful thing; I pray you
Take comfort and be strong.

PALAMON
Pray hold your promise;
And do the deed with a bent brow. Most certain
You love me not; be rough with me, and pour
This oil out of your language; by this air,
I could for each word give a cuff, my stomach
Not reconciled by reason.

ARCITE
Plainly spoken.
Yet pardon me hard language; when I spur
My horse, I chide him not; content and anger
In me have but one face.
They wind horns
Hark, sir, they call
The scattered to the banquet; you must guess
I have an office there.

PALAMON
Sir, your attendance
Cannot please heaven, and I know your office
Unjustly is achieved.

ARCITE
I've a good title.
I am persuaded this question, sick between's,
By bleeding must be cured. I am a suitor
That to your sword you will bequeath this plea,
And talk of it no more.

PALAMON
But this one word.
You are going now to gaze upon my mistress –
For note you, mine she is –

ARCITE
Nay, then –

PALAMON
Nay, pray you.
You talk of feeding me to breed me strength;
You are going now to look upon a sun
That strengthens what it looks on; there you have
A vantage o'er me, but enjoy it till
I may enforce my remedy. Farewell.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Gaoler's Daughter alone

DAUGHTER
He has mistook the brake I meant, is gone
After his fancy. 'Tis now wellnigh morning.
No matter; would it were perpetual night,
And darkness lord o'th' world. Hark; 'tis a wolf!
In me hath grief slain fear, and but for one thing
I care for nothing, and that's Palamon.
I reck not if the wolves would jaw me, so
He had this file; what if I hallowed for him?
I cannot hallow; if I whooped, what then?
If he not answered, I should call a wolf,
And do him but that service. I have heard
Strange howls this livelong night; why may't not be
They have made prey of him? He has no weapons;
He cannot run; the jingling of his gyves
Might call fell things to listen, who have in them
A sense to know a man unarmed, and can
Smell where resistance is. I'll set it down
He's torn to pieces; they howled many together,
And then they fed on him; so much for that.
Be bold to ring the bell. How stand I then?
All's chared when he is gone. No, no, I lie;
My father's to be hanged for his escape,
Myself to beg, if I prized life so much
As to deny my act; but that I would not,
Should I try death by dozens. I am moped;
Food took I none these two days; sipped some water.
I have not closed mine eyes,
Save when my lids scoured off their brine. Alas,
Dissolve, my life; let not my sense unsettle,
Lest I should drown, or stab, or hang myself.
O state of nature, fail together in me,
Since thy best props are warped! So, which way now?
The best way is the next way to a grave;
Each errant step beside is torment. Lo,
The moon is down, the crickets chirp, the screech owl
Calls in the dawn. All offices are done,
Save what I fail in; but the point is this,
An end, and that is all.
Exit
Modern text
Act III, Scene III
Enter Arcite, with meat, wine, and files

ARCITE
I should be near the place. Ho, cousin Palamon!
Enter Palamon

PALAMON
Arcite?

ARCITE
The same. I have brought you food and files;
Come forth and fear not, here's no Theseus.

PALAMON
Nor none so honest, Arcite.

ARCITE
That's no matter;
We'll argue that hereafter. Come, take courage;
You shall not die thus beastly. Here, sir, drink,
I know you are faint; then I'll talk further with you.

PALAMON
Arcite, thou mightst now poison me.

ARCITE
I might;
But I must fear you first. Sit down, and good now,
No more of these vain parleys; let us not,
Having our ancient reputation with us,
Make talk for fools and cowards. To your health!
He drinks

PALAMON
Do.

ARCITE
Pray sit down then, and let me entreat you,
By all the honesty and honour in you,
No mention of this woman, 'twill disturb us.
We shall have time enough.

PALAMON
Well, sir, I'll pledge you.
He drinks

ARCITE
Drink a good hearty draught, it breeds good blood, man.
Do not you feel it thaw you?

PALAMON
Stay, I'll tell you
After a draught or two more.

ARCITE
Spare it not;
The Duke has more, coz. Eat now.

PALAMON
Yes.
He eats

ARCITE
I am glad
You have so good a stomach.

PALAMON
I am gladder
I have so good meat to't.

ARCITE
Is't not mad lodging,
Here in the wild woods, cousin?

PALAMON
Yes, for them
That have wild consciences.

ARCITE
How tastes your victuals?
Your hunger needs no sauce, I see.

PALAMON
Not much;
But if it did, yours is too tart, sweet cousin.
What is this?

ARCITE
Venison.

PALAMON
'Tis a lusty meat;
Give me more wine. Here, Arcite, to the wenches
We have known in our days! The lord steward's daughter –
Do you remember her?

ARCITE
After you, coz.

PALAMON
She loved a black-haired man.

ARCITE
She did so; well, sir?

PALAMON
And I have heard some call him Arcite, and –

ARCITE
Out with't, faith.

PALAMON
She met him in an arbour.
What did she there, coz? Play o'th' virginals?

ARCITE
Something she did, sir.

PALAMON
Made her groan a month for't –
Or two, or three, or ten.

ARCITE
The marshal's sister
Had her share too, as I remember, cousin,
Else there be tales abroad; you'll pledge her?

PALAMON
Yes.

ARCITE
A pretty brown wench 'tis. There was a time
When young men went a-hunting – and a wood,
And a broad beech – and thereby hangs a tale –
Heigh ho!

PALAMON
For Emily, upon my life! Fool,
Away with this strained mirth; I say again,
That sigh was breathed for Emily. Base cousin,
Darest thou break first?

ARCITE
You are wide.

PALAMON
By heaven and earth,
There's nothing in thee honest.

ARCITE
Then I'll leave you;
You are a beast now.

PALAMON
As thou makest me, traitor.

ARCITE
There's all things needful; files, and shirts, and perfumes.
I'll come again some two hours hence, and bring
That that shall quiet all.

PALAMON
A sword and armour!

ARCITE
Fear me not. You are now too foul; farewell.
Get off your trinkets; you shall want naught.

PALAMON
Sirrah –

ARCITE
I'll hear no more.
Exit

PALAMON
If he keep touch, he dies for't.
Exit
Modern text
Act III, Scene IV
Enter Gaoler's Daughter

DAUGHTER
I am very cold, and all the stars are out too,
The little stars and all, that look like aglets.
The sun has seen my folly. Palamon!
Alas no; he's in heaven. Where am I now?
Yonder's the sea, and there's a ship; how't tumbles!
And there's a rock lies watching under water;
Now, now, it beats upon it; now, now, now,
There's a leak sprung, a sound one; how they cry!
Spoon her before the wind, you'll lose all else;
Up with a course or two, and tack about, boys.
Good night, good night, you're gone. I am very hungry.
Would I could find a fine frog; he would tell me
News from all parts o'th' world; then would I make
A carrack of a cockleshell, and sail
By east and north-east to the King of Pygmies,
For he tells fortunes rarely. Now my father,
Twenty to one, is trussed up in a trice
Tomorrow morning; I'll say never a word.
(She sings)
For I'll cut my green coat, a foot above my knee,
And I'll clip my yellow locks, an inch below mine ee;
Hey, nonny, nonny, nonny.
He s' buy me a white cut, forth for to ride,
And I'll go seek him, through the world that is so wide;
Hey nonny, nonny, nonny.
O for a prick now, like a nightingale,
To put my breast against; I shall sleep like a top else.
Exit
Modern text
Act III, Scene V
Enter a Schoolmaster, six Countrymen, one dressed as
a bavian, and five wenches, with a Taborer

SCHOOLMASTER
Fie, fie,
What tediosity and disinsanity
Is here among ye! Have my rudiments
Been laboured so long with ye, milked unto ye,
And, by a figure, even the very plum-broth
And marrow of my understanding laid upon ye?
And do you still cry ‘ Where?’ and ‘ How?’ and ‘ Wherefore?’
You most coarse frieze capacities, ye jean judgements,
Have I said ‘ Thus let be,’ and ‘ There let be,’
And ‘ Then let be,’ and no man understand me?
Proh deum, medius fidius, ye are all dunces!
Forwhy, here stand I; here the Duke comes; there are you
Close in the thicket. The Duke appears; I meet him,
And unto him I utter learned things,
And many figures; he hears, and nods, and hums,
And then cries ‘ Rare!’, and I go forward; at length
I fling my cap up – mark there! – then do you,
As once did Meleager and the boar,
Break comely out before him; like true lovers,
Cast yourselves in a body decently,
And sweetly, by a figure, trace and turn, boys.

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
And sweetly we will do it, Master Gerrold.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
Draw up the company. Where's the taborer?

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
Why, Timothy!

TABORER
Here, my mad boys; have at ye!

SCHOOLMASTER
But, I say, where's their women?

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
Here's Friz and Maudline.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
And little Luce with the white legs, and bouncing Barbary.

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
And freckled Nell, that never failed her master.

SCHOOLMASTER
Where be your ribands, maids? Swim with your bodies,
And carry it sweetly and deliverly,
And now and then a favour and a frisk.

NELL
Let us alone, sir.

SCHOOLMASTER
Where's the rest o'th' music?

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
Dispersed as you commanded.

SCHOOLMASTER
Couple then,
And see what's wanting. Where's the bavian?
My friend, carry your tail without offence
Or scandal to the ladies; and be sure
You tumble with audacity and manhood,
And when you bark do it with judgement.

BAVIAN
Yes, sir.

SCHOOLMASTER
Quousque tandem? Here is a woman wanting!

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
We may go whistle; all the fat's i'th' fire.

SCHOOLMASTER
We have,
As learned authors utter, washed a tile;
We have been fatuus, and laboured vainly.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
This is that scornful piece, that scurvy hilding,
That gave her promise faithfully she would
Be here – Cicely, the sempster's daughter;
The next gloves that I give her shall be dogskin!
Nay, an she fail me once – you can tell, Arcas,
She swore by wine and bread she would not break.

SCHOOLMASTER
An eel and woman,
A learned poet says, unless by th' tail
And with thy teeth thou hold, will either fail.
In manners this was false position.

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
A fire-ill take her; does she flinch now?

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
What
Shall we determine, sir?

SCHOOLMASTER
Nothing;
Our business is become a nullity,
Yea, and a woeful and a piteous nullity.

FOURTH COUNTRYMAN
Now, when the credit of our town lay on it,
Now to be frampold, now to piss o'th' nettle!
Go thy ways, I'll remember thee; I'll fit thee.
Enter Gaoler's Daughter

DAUGHTER
(sings)
The George Alow came from the south,
From the coast of Barbary-a;
And there he met with brave gallants of war,
By one, by two, by three-a.
Well hailed, well hailed, you jolly gallants,
And whither now are you bound-a?
O, let me have your company
Till I come to the sound-a.
There was three fools fell out about an owlet;
(she sings)
The one said it was an owl,
The other he said nay;
The third he said it was a hawk,
And her bells were cut away.

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
There's a dainty madwoman, master,
Comes i'th' nick, as mad as a March hare.
If we can get her dance, we are made again;
I warrant her, she'll do the rarest gambols.

FIRST COUNTRYMAN
A madwoman? We are made, boys!

SCHOOLMASTER
And are you mad, good woman?

DAUGHTER
I would be sorry else.
Give me your hand.

SCHOOLMASTER
Why?

DAUGHTER
I can tell your fortune.
You are a fool. Tell ten; I have posed him. Buzz!
Friend, you must eat no white bread; if you do,
Your teeth will bleed extremely. Shall we dance, ho?
I know you, you're a tinker; sirrah tinker,
Stop no more holes but what you should.

SCHOOLMASTER
Dii boni,
A tinker, damsel?

DAUGHTER
Or a conjurer;
Raise me a devil now, and let him play
Chi passa o' th' bells and bones.

SCHOOLMASTER
Go take her,
And fluently persuade her to a peace.
Et opus exegi, quod nec Iovis ira nec ignis
Strike up, and lead her in.

SECOND COUNTRYMAN
Come, lass, lets trip it.

DAUGHTER
I'll lead.

THIRD COUNTRYMAN
Do, do.

SCHOOLMASTER
Persuasively and cunningly! Away, boys.
Horns sound within
I hear the horns; give me some meditation,
And mark your cue.
Exeunt all but Schoolmaster
Pallas inspire me!
Enter Theseus, Pirithous, Hippolyta, Emilia, Arcite,
and train

THESEUS
This way the stag took.

SCHOOLMASTER
Stay, and edify!

THESEUS
What have we here?

PIRITHOUS
Some country sport, upon my life, sir.

THESEUS
Well, sir, go forward, we will edify.
Ladies, sit down; we'll stay it.
A chair and stools are brought out; the ladies sit

SCHOOLMASTER
Thou doughty Duke, all hail; all hail, sweet ladies!

THESEUS
This is a cold beginning.

SCHOOLMASTER
If you but favour, our country pastime made is.
We are a few of those collected here
That ruder tongues distinguish villager;
And to say verity, and not to fable,
We are a merry rout, or else a rabble,
Or company, or, by a figure, chorus,
That 'fore thy dignity will dance a morris.
And I that am the rectifier of all,
By title pedagogus, that let fall
The birch upon the breeches of the small ones,
And humble with a ferula the tall ones,
Do here present this machine, or this frame;
And, dainty Duke, whose doughty dismal fame
From Dis to Daedalus, from post to pillar,
Is blown abroad, help me, thy poor well-willer,
And with thy twinkling eyes look right and straight
Upon this mighty ‘ Morr,’ of mickle weight;
‘ Is ’ now comes in, which being glued together
Makes ‘ Morris,’ and the cause that we came hither,
The body of our sport, of no small study.
I first appear, though rude, and raw, and muddy,
To speak before thy noble grace this tenor,
At whose great feet I offer up my penner;
The next, the Lord of May and Lady bright;
The chambermaid and servingman, by night
That seek out silent hanging; then mine host
And his fat spouse, that welcomes to their cost
The galled traveller, and with a beckoning
Informs the tapster to inflame the reckoning;
Then the beest-eating clown, and next the fool,
The bavian, with long tail and eke long tool,
Cum multis aliis that make a dance;
Say ‘ ay,’ and all shall presently advance.

THESEUS
Ay, ay, by any means, dear dominie.

PIRITHOUS
Produce!

SCHOOLMASTER
Intrate, filii! Come forth and foot it.
Schoolmaster knocks; enter the dancers. Music is
played; they dance
Ladies, if we have been merry,
And have pleased ye with a derry,
And a derry, and a down,
Say the schoolmaster's no clown;
Duke, if we have pleased thee too,
And have done as good boys should do,
Give us but a tree or twain
For a maypole, and again,
Ere another year run out,
We'll make thee laugh, and all this rout.

THESEUS
Take twenty, dominie. (To Hippolyta) How does my sweetheart?

HIPPOLYTA
Never so pleased, sir.

EMILIA
'Twas an excellent dance,
And for a preface I never heard a better.

THESEUS
Schoolmaster, I thank you. – One see 'em all rewarded.

PIRITHOUS
And here's something to paint your pole withal.

THESEUS
Now to our sports again.

SCHOOLMASTER
May the stag thou huntest stand long,
And thy dogs be swift and strong;
May they kill him without lets,
And the ladies eat his dowsets.
Horns sound. Exeunt Theseus, Pirithous,
Hippolyta, Emilia, Arcite, and train
Come, we are all made. Dii deaeque omnes,
Ye have danced rarely, wenches.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene VI
Enter Palamon from the bush

PALAMON
About this hour my cousin gave his faith
To visit me again, and with him bring
Two swords and two good armours; if he fail,
He's neither man nor soldier. When he left me,
I did not think a week could have restored
My lost strength to me, I was grown so low
And crestfallen with my wants. I thank thee, Arcite,
Thou art yet a fair foe; and I feel myself,
With this refreshing, able once again
To outdure danger. To delay it longer
Would make the world think, when it comes to hearing,
That I lay fatting like a swine to fight,
And not a soldier. Therefore this blest morning
Shall be the last; and that sword he refuses,
If it but hold, I kill him with; 'tis justice.
So, love and fortune for me!
Enter Arcite with armours and swords
O, good morrow.

ARCITE
Good morrow, noble kinsman.

PALAMON
I have put you
To too much pains, sir.

ARCITE
That too much, fair cousin,
Is but a debt to honour, and my duty.

PALAMON
Would you were so in all, sir; I could wish ye
As kind a kinsman as you force me find
A beneficial foe, that my embraces
Might thank ye, not my blows.

ARCITE
I shall think either,
Well done, a noble recompense.

PALAMON
Then I shall quit you.

ARCITE
Defy me in these fair terms, and you show
More than a mistress to me; no more anger,
As you love anything that's honourable!
We were not bred to talk, man; when we are armed,
And both upon our guards, then let our fury,
Like meeting of two tides, fly strongly from us,
And then to whom the birthright of this beauty
Truly pertains – without upbraidings, scorns,
Despisings of our persons, and such poutings
Fitter for girls and schoolboys – will be seen,
And quickly, yours or mine. Wilt please you arm, sir?
Or if you feel yourself not fitting yet
And furnished with your old strength, I'll stay, cousin,
And every day discourse you into health,
As I am spared. Your person I am friends with,
And I could wish I had not said I loved her,
Though I had died; but loving such a lady,
And justifying my love, I must not fly from't.

PALAMON
Arcite, thou art so brave an enemy
That no man but thy cousin's fit to kill thee.
I am well and lusty. Choose your arms.

ARCITE
Choose you, sir.

PALAMON
Wilt thou exceed in all, or dost thou do't
To make me spare thee?

ARCITE
If you think so, cousin,
You are deceived, for as I am a soldier
I will not spare you.

PALAMON
That's well said.

ARCITE
You'll find it.

PALAMON
Then as I am an honest man and love,
With all the justice of affection
I'll pay thee soundly. This I'll take.
He chooses his armour

ARCITE
That's mine then.
I'll arm you first.

PALAMON
Do. Pray thee tell me, cousin,
Where gottest thou this good armour?

ARCITE
'Tis the Duke's,
And to say true, I stole it. Do I pinch you?

PALAMON
No.

ARCITE
Is't not too heavy?

PALAMON
I have worn a lighter,
But I shall make it serve.

ARCITE
I'll buckle't close.

PALAMON
By any means.

ARCITE
You care not for a grand guard?

PALAMON
No, no, we'll use no horses. I perceive
You would fain be at that fight.

ARCITE
I am indifferent.

PALAMON
Faith, so am I. Good cousin, thrust the buckle
Through far enough.

ARCITE
I warrant you.

PALAMON
My casque now.

ARCITE
Will you fight bare-armed?

PALAMON
We shall be the nimbler.

ARCITE
But use your gauntlets, though. Those are o'th' least;
Prithee take mine, good cousin.

PALAMON
Thank you, Arcite.
How do I look? Am I fallen much away?

ARCITE
Faith, very little; love has used you kindly.

PALAMON
I'll warrant thee I'll strike home.

ARCITE
Do, and spare not;
I'll give you cause, sweet cousin.

PALAMON
Now to you, sir.
He arms Arcite
Methinks this armour's very like that, Arcite,
Thou worest that day the three kings fell, but lighter.

ARCITE
That was a very good one, and that day,
I well remember, you outdid me, cousin.
I never saw such valour; when you charged
Upon the left wing of the enemy,
I spurred hard to come up, and under me
I had a right good horse.

PALAMON
You had indeed;
A bright bay, I remember.

ARCITE
Yes, but all
Was vainly laboured in me; you outwent me,
Nor could my wishes reach you; yet a little
I did by imitation.

PALAMON
More by virtue;
You are modest, cousin.

ARCITE
When I saw you charge first,
Methought I heard a dreadful clap of thunder
Break from the troop.

PALAMON
But still before that flew
The lightning of your valour. Stay a little;
Is not this piece too strait?

ARCITE
No, no, 'tis well.

PALAMON
I would have nothing hurt thee but my sword;
A bruise would be dishonour.

ARCITE
Now I am perfect.

PALAMON
Stand off then.

ARCITE
Take my sword; I hold it better.

PALAMON
I thank ye. No, keep it, your life lies on it.
Here's one; if it but hold, I ask no more,
For all my hopes. My cause and honour guard me!

ARCITE
And me my love!
They bow several ways, then advance and stand
Is there aught else to say?

PALAMON
This only, and no more. Thou art mine aunt's son,
And that blood we desire to shed is mutual,
In me, thine, and in thee, mine; my sword
Is in my hand, and if thou killest me
The gods and I forgive thee. If there be
A place prepared for those that sleep in honour,
I wish his weary soul that falls may win it.
Fight bravely, cousin; give me thy noble hand.

ARCITE
Here, Palamon. This hand shall never more
Come near thee with such friendship.

PALAMON
I commend thee.

ARCITE
If I fall, curse me, and say I was a coward,
For none but such dare die in these just trials.
One more farewell, my cousin.

PALAMON
Farewell, Arcite.
They fight. Then horns sound within; they stand

ARCITE
Lo, cousin, lo, our folly has undone us!

PALAMON
Why?

ARCITE
This is the Duke, a-hunting as I told you;
If we be found, we are wretched. O, retire
For honour's sake, and safety, presently
Into your bush again, sir; we shall find
Too many hours to die in. Gentle cousin,
If you be seen you perish instantly
For breaking prison, and I, if you reveal me,
For my contempt; then all the world will scorn us,
And say we had a noble difference,
But base disposers of it.

PALAMON
No, no, cousin,
I will no more be hidden, nor put off
This great adventure to a second trial.
I know your cunning, and I know your cause;
He that faints now, shame take him! Put thyself
Upon thy present guard.

ARCITE
You are not mad?

PALAMON
Or I will make th' advantage of this hour
Mine own, and what to come shall threaten me
I fear less than my fortune. Know, weak cousin,
I love Emilia, and in that I'll bury
Thee, and all crosses else.

ARCITE
Then come what can come,
Thou shalt know, Palamon, I dare as well
Die as discourse or sleep; only this fears me,
The law will have the honour of our ends.
Have at thy life!

PALAMON
Look to thine own well, Arcite.
They fight again. Horns sound within; enter Theseus,
Hippolyta, Emilia, Pirithous, and train

THESEUS
What ignorant and mad malicious traitors
Are you, that 'gainst the tenor of my laws
Are making battle, thus like knights appointed,
Without my leave and officers of arms?
By Castor, both shall die.

PALAMON
Hold thy word, Theseus;
We are certainly both traitors, both despisers
Of thee, and of thy goodness. I am Palamon
That cannot love thee, he that broke thy prison –
Think well what that deserves – and this is Arcite;
A bolder traitor never trod thy ground,
A falser ne'er seemed friend; this is the man
Was begged and banished, this is he contemns thee
And what thou darest do, and in this disguise,
Against thine own edict follows thy sister,
That fortunate bright star, the fair Emilia –
Whose servant, if there be a right in seeing,
And first bequeathing of the soul to, justly
I am – and which is more, dares think her his.
This treachery, like a most trusty lover,
I called him now to answer; if thou be'st
As thou art spoken, great and virtuous,
The true decider of all injuries,
Say ‘ Fight again,’ and thou shalt see me, Theseus,
Do such a justice thou thyself wilt envy.
Then take my life; I'll woo thee to't.

PIRITHOUS
O heaven,
What more than man is this!

THESEUS
I have sworn.

ARCITE
We seek not
Thy breath of mercy, Theseus; 'tis to me
A thing as soon to die as thee to say it,
And no more moved. Where this man calls me traitor,
Let me say thus much: if in love be treason,
In service of so excellent a beauty,
As I love most, and in that faith will perish,
As I have brought my life here to confirm it,
As I have served her truest, worthiest,
As I dare kill this cousin that denies it,
So let me be most traitor, and ye please me.
For scorning thy edict, Duke, ask that lady
Why she is fair, and why her eyes command me
Stay here to love her; and if she say ‘ traitor,’
I am a villain fit to lie unburied.

PALAMON
Thou shalt have pity of us both, O Theseus,
If unto neither thou show mercy. Stop,
As thou art just, thy noble ear against us;
As thou art valiant, for thy cousin's soul,
Whose twelve strong labours crown his memory,
Let's die together, at one instant, Duke;
Only a little let him fall before me,
That I may tell my soul he shall not have her.

THESEUS
I grant your wish, for to say true your cousin
Has ten times more offended, for I gave him
More mercy than you found, sir, your offences
Being no more than his. None here speak for 'em;
For ere the sun set, both shall sleep for ever.

HIPPOLYTA
Alas the pity! Now or never, sister,
Speak not to be denied; that face of yours
Will bear the curses else of after ages
For these lost cousins.

EMILIA
In my face, dear sister,
I find no anger to 'em, nor no ruin;
The misadventure of their own eyes kill 'em.
Yet that I will be woman and have pity,
My knees shall grow to th' ground but I'll get mercy.
Help me, dear sister; in a deed so virtuous,
The powers of all women will be with us.
(The ladies kneel)
Most royal brother –

HIPPOLYTA
Sir, by our tie of marriage –

EMILIA
By your own spotless honour –

HIPPOLYTA
By that faith,
That fair hand, and that honest heart you gave me –

EMILIA
By that you would have pity in another,
By your own virtues infinite –

HIPPOLYTA
By valour,
By all the chaste nights I have ever pleased you –

THESEUS
These are strange conjurings.

PIRITHOUS
Nay, then I'll in too;
By all our friendship, sir, by all our dangers,
By all you love most, wars and this sweet lady –

EMILIA
By that you would have trembled to deny
A blushing maid –

HIPPOLYTA
By your own eyes; by strength
In which you swore I went beyond all women,
Almost all men, and yet I yielded, Theseus –

PIRITHOUS
To crown all this; by your most noble soul,
Which cannot want due mercy, I beg first –

HIPPOLYTA
Next hear my prayers –

EMILIA
Last let me entreat, sir –

PIRITHOUS
For mercy.

HIPPOLYTA
Mercy.

EMILIA
Mercy on these princes!

THESEUS
Ye make my faith reel. Say I felt
Compassion to 'em both, how would you place it?

EMILIA
Upon their lives – but with their banishments.

THESEUS
You are a right woman, sister; you have pity,
But want the understanding where to use it.
If you desire their lives, invent a way
Safer than banishment; can these two live,
And have the agony of love about 'em,
And not kill one another? Every day
They'd fight about you, hourly bring your honour
In public question with their swords. Be wise then,
And here forget 'em; it concerns your credit
And my oath equally; I have said they die.
Better they fall by th' law than one another.
Bow not my honour.

EMILIA
O, my noble brother,
That oath was rashly made, and in your anger;
Your reason will not hold it. If such vows
Stand for express will, all the world must perish.
Beside, I have another oath 'gainst yours,
Of more authority, I am sure more love;
Not made in passion neither, but good heed.

THESEUS
What is it, sister?

PIRITHOUS
Urge it home, brave lady.

EMILIA
That you would ne'er deny me anything
Fit for my modest suit, and your free granting.
I tie you to your word now; if ye fall in't,
Think how you maim your honour –
For now I am set a-begging, sir, I am deaf
To all but your compassion – how their lives
Might breed the ruin of my name, opinion.
Shall anything that loves me perish for me?
That were a cruel wisdom; do men prune
The straight young boughs that blush with thousand blossoms
Because they may be rotten? O Duke Theseus,
The goodly mothers that have groaned for these,
And all the longing maids that ever loved 'em,
If your vow stand, shall curse me and my beauty,
And in their funeral songs for these two cousins
Despise my cruelty, and cry woe worth me,
Till I am nothing but the scorn of women;
For heaven's sake, save their lives and banish 'em.

THESEUS
On what conditions?

EMILIA
Swear 'em never more
To make me their contention, or to know me,
To tread upon thy dukedom, and to be,
Wherever they shall travel, ever strangers
To one another.

PALAMON
I'll be cut a-pieces
Before I take this oath! Forget I love her?
O all ye gods, despise me then. Thy banishment
I not mislike, so we may fairly carry
Our swords and cause along; else never trifle,
But take our lives, Duke. I must love and will,
And for that love must and dare kill this cousin
On any piece the earth has.

THESEUS
Will you, Arcite,
Take these conditions?

PALAMON
He's a villain, then.

PIRITHOUS
These are men!

ARCITE
No, never, Duke; 'tis worse to me than begging
To take my life so basely. Though I think
I never shall enjoy her, yet I'll preserve
The honour of affection and die for her,
Make death a devil.

THESEUS
What may be done? For now I feel compassion.
The ladies rise

PIRITHOUS
Let it not fall again, sir.

THESEUS
Say, Emilia,
If one of them were dead, as one must, are you
Content to take the other to your husband?
They cannot both enjoy you. They are princes
As goodly as your own eyes, and as noble
As ever fame yet spoke of; look upon 'em,
And if you can love, end this difference.
I give consent; are you content too, princes?

PALAMON and ARCITE
With all our souls.

THESEUS
He that she refuses
Must die then.

PALAMON and ARCITE
Any death thou canst invent, Duke.

PALAMON
If I fall from that mouth, I fall with favour,
And lovers yet unborn shall bless my ashes.

ARCITE
If she refuse me, yet my grave will wed me,
And soldiers sing my epitaph.

THESEUS
Make choice then.

EMILIA
I cannot, sir, they are both too excellent;
For me, a hair shall never fall of these men.

HIPPOLYTA
What will become of 'em?

THESEUS
Thus I ordain it,
And by mine honour once again, it stands,
Or both shall die: you shall both to your country,
And each within this month, accompanied
With three fair knights, appear again in this place,
In which I'll plant a pyramid; and whether,
Before us that are here, can force his cousin
By fair and knightly strength to touch the pillar,
He shall enjoy her; the other lose his head,
And all his friends; nor shall he grudge to fall,
Nor think he dies with interest in this lady.
Will this content ye?

PALAMON
Yes! – Here, cousin Arcite,
I am friends again, till that hour.

ARCITE
I embrace ye.

THESEUS
Are you content, sister?

EMILIA
Yes, I must, sir,
Else both miscarry.

THESEUS
Come, shake hands again then,
And take heed, as you are gentlemen, this quarrel
Sleep till the hour prefixed, and hold your course.

PALAMON
We dare not fail thee, Theseus.

THESEUS
Come, I'll give ye
Now usage like to princes and to friends.
When ye return, who wins, I'll settle here;
Who loses, yet I'll weep upon his bier.
Exeunt
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