The Two Noble Kinsmen

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Original text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Thesius, Perithous, Hipolita,
attendants.

Thes.
Now let 'em enter, and before the gods
Tender their holy prayers: Let the Temples
Burne bright with sacred fires, and the Altars
In hallowed clouds commend their swelling Incense
To those above us: Let no due be wanting,
They have a noble worke in hand, will honour
The very powers that love 'em.

Per.
Sir they enter.
Florish of Cornets. Enter Palamon and Arcite, and
their Knights.

Thes.
You valiant and strong harted Enemies
You royall German foes, that this day come
To blow that nearenesse out that flames betweene ye;
Lay by your anger for an houre, and dove-like
Before the holy Altars of your helpers
(The all feard gods) bow downe your stubborne bodies,
Your ire is more than mortall; So your helpe be,
And as the gods regard ye, fight with Iustice,
Ile leave you to your prayers, and betwixt ye
I part my wishes.

Per.
Honour crowne the worthiest.
Exit Theseus, and his traine.

Pal.
The glasse is running now that cannot finish
Till one of us expire: Thinke you but thus,
That were there ought in me which strove to show
Mine enemy in this businesse, wer't one eye
Against another: Arme opprest by Arme:
I would destroy th' offender, Coz, I would
Though parcell of my selfe: Then from this gather
How I should tender you.

Arc.
I am in labour
To push your name, your auncient love, our kindred
Out of my memory; and i'th selfe same place
To seate something I would confound: So hoyst we
The sayles, that must these vessells port even where
The heavenly Lymiter pleases.

Pal.
You speake well;
Before I turne, Let me embrace thee Cosen
This I shall never doe agen.

Arc.
One farewell.

Pal.
Why let it be so: Farewell Coz.

Arc.
Farewell Sir;
Exeunt Palamon and his Knights.
Knights, Kinsemen, Lovers, yea my Sacrifices
True worshippers of Mars, whose spirit in you
Expells the seedes of feare, and th' apprehension
Which still is farther off it, Goe with me
Before the god of our profession: There
Require of him the hearts of Lyons, and
The breath of Tigers, yea the fearcenesse too,
Yea the speed also, to goe on, I meane:
Else wish we to be Snayles; you know my prize
Must be drag'd out of blood, force and great feate
Must put my Garland on, where she stickes
The Queene of Flowers: our intercession then
Must be to him that makes the Campe, a Cestron
Brymd with the blood of men: give me your aide
And bend your spirits towards him.
They kneele.
Thou mighty one, that with thy power hast turnd
Greene Nepture into purple.
Comets prewarne, whose havocke in vaste Feild
Vnearthed skulls proclaime, whose breath blowes downe,
The teeming Ceres foyzon, who dost plucke
With hand armenypotent from forth blew clowdes,
The masond Turrets, that both mak'st, and break'st
The stony girthes of Citties: me thy puple,
Yongest follower of thy Drom, instruct this day
With military skill, that to thy lawde
I may advance my Streamer, and by thee,
Be stil'd the Lord o'th day, give me great Mars
Some token of thy pleasure.
Here they fall on their faces as formerly, and there is
heard clanging of Armor, with a short Thunder as the
burst of a Battaile, whereupon they all rise and bow to
the Altar.
O Great Corrector of enormous times,
Shaker of ore-rank States, thou grand decider
Of dustie, and old tytles, that healst with blood
The earth when it is sicke, and curst the world
O'th pluresie of people; I doe take
Thy signes auspiciously, and in thy name
To my designe; march boldly, let us goe.
Exeunt.
Enter Palamon and his Knights, with the former
observance.

Pal.
Our stars must glister with new fire, or be
To daie extinct; our argument is love,
Which if the goddesse of it grant, she gives
Victory too, then blend your spirits with mine,
You, whose free noblenesse doe make my cause
Your personall hazard; to the goddesse Venus
Commend we our proceeding, and implore
Her power unto our partie.
Here they kneele as formerly.
Haile Soveraigne Queene of secrets, who hast power
To call the feircest Tyrant from his rage;
And weepe unto a Girle; that ha'st the might
Even with an ey-glance, to choke Marsis Drom
And turne th'allarme to whispers, that canst make
A Criple florish with his Crutch, and cure him
Before Apollo; that may'st force the King
To be his subjects vassaile, and induce
Stale gravitie to daunce, the pould Bachelour
Whose youth like wanton Boyes through Bonfyres
Have skipt thy flame, at seaventy, thou canst catch
And make him to the scorne of his hoarse throate
Abuse yong laies of love; what godlike power
Hast thou not power upon? To Phabus thou
Add'st flames, hotter then his the heavenly fyres
Did scortch his mortall Son, thine him; the huntresse
All moyst and cold, some say began to throw
Her Bow away, and sigh: take to thy grace
Me thy vowd Souldier, who doe beare thy yoke
As t'wer a wreath of Roses, yet is heavier
Then Lead it selfe, stings more than Nettles;
I have never beene foule mouthd against thy law,
Nev'r reveald secret, for I knew none; would not
Had I kend all that were; I never practised
Vpon mans wife, nor would the Libells reade
Of liberall wits: I never at great feastes
Sought to betray a Beautie, but have blush'd
At simpring Sirs that did: I have beene harsh
To large Confessors, and have hotly ask'd them
If they had Mothers, I had one, a woman,
And women t'wer they wrong'd. I knew a man
Of eightie winters, this I told them, who
A Lasse of foureteene brided, twas thy power
To put life into dust, the aged Crampe
Had screw'd his square foote round,
The Gout had knit his fingers into knots,
Torturing Convulsions from his globie eyes,
Had almost drawne their spheeres, that what was life
In him seem'd torture: this Anatomie
Had by his yong faire pheare a Boy, and I
Beleev'd it was his, for she swore it was,
And who would not beleeve her? briefe I am
To those that prate and have done; no Companion
To those that boast and have not; a defyer
To those that would and cannot; a Rejoycer,
Yea him I doe not love, that tells close offices
The fowlest way, nor names concealements in
The boldest language, such a one I am,
And vow that lover never yet made sigh
Truer then I. O then most soft sweet goddesse
Give me the victory of this question, which
Is true loves merit, and blesse me with a signe
Of thy great pleasure.
Here Musicke is heard, Doves are seene to flutter, they
fall againe upon their faces, then on their knees.
Pal. O thou that from eleven, to ninetie raign'st
In mortall bosomes, whose chase is this world
And we in heards thy game; I give thee thankes
For this faire Token, which being layd unto
Mine innocent true heart, armes in assurance
My body to this businesse: Let us rise
And bow before the goddesse:
They bow.
Time comes on.
Exeunt.
Still Musicke of Records. Enter Emilia in white, her
haire about her shoulders, a wheaten wreath: One
in white holding up her traine, her haire stucke with
flowers: One before her carrying a silver Hynde, in
whic his conveyd Incense and sweet odours, which
being set upon the Altar her maides standing
a loofe, she sets fire to it, then they curtsey and kneele.

Emilia.
O sacred, shadowie, cold and constant Queene,
Abandoner of Revells, mute contemplative,
Sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure
As windefand Snow, who to thy femall knights
Alow'st no more blood than will make a blush,
Which is their orders robe. I heere thy Priest
Am humbled fore thine Altar, O vouchsafe
With that thy rare greene eye, which never yet
Beheld thing maculate, looke on thy virgin,
And sacred silver Mistris, lend thine eare
(Which nev'r heard scurrill terme, into whose port
Ne're entred wanton sound,) to my petition
Seasond with holy feare; This is my last
Of vestall office, I am bride habited,
But mayden harted, a husband I have pointed,
But doe not know him out of two, I should
Choose one, and pray for his successe, but I
Am guiltlesse of election of mine eyes,
Were I to loose one, they are equall precious,
I could doombe neither, that which perish'd should
Goe too't unsentenc'd: Therefore most modest Queene,
He of the two Pretenders, that best loves me
And has the truest title in't, Let him
Take off my wheaten Gerland, or else grant
The fyle and qualitie I hold, I may
Continue in thy Band.
Here the Hynde vanishes under the Altar: and in the
place ascends a Rose Tree, having one Rose upon it.
See what our Generall of Ebbs and Flowes
Out from the bowells of her holy Altar
With sacred act advances: But one Rose,
If well inspird, this Battaile shal confound
Both these brave Knights, and I a virgin flowre
Must grow alone unpluck'd.
Here is heard a sodaine twang of Instruments, and the
Rose fals from the Tree.
The flowre is falne, the Tree descends: O Mistris
Thou here dischargest me, I shall be gather'd,
I thinke so, but I know not thine owne will;
Vnclaspe thy Misterie: I hope she's pleas'd,
Her Signes were gratious.
They curtsey and Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Doctor, Iaylor and Wooer, in habite of Palamon.

Doct.
Has this advice I told you, done any good upon her?

Wooer.
O very much; The maids that hept her company
Have halfe perswaded her that I am Palamon;
within this / Halfe houre she came smiling to me,
and asked me what I / Would eate, and when I would kisse her:
I told her / Presently, and kist her twice.

Doct.
Twas well done; twentie times had bin far better,
For there the cure lies mainely.

Wooer.
Then she told me
She would watch with me to night, for well she knew
What houre my fit would take me.

Doct.
Let her doe so,
And when your fit comes, fit her home, / And presently.

Wooer.
She would have me sing.

Doctor.
You did so?

Wooer.
No.

Doct.
Twas very ill done then,
You should observe her ev'ry way.

Wooer.
Alas
I have no voice Sir, to confirme her that way.

Doctor.
That's all one, if yee make a noyse,
If she intreate againe, doe any thing,
Lye with her if she aske you.

Iaylor.
Hoa there Doctor.

Doctor.
Yes in the waie of cure.

Iaylor
But first by your leave
I'th way of honestie.

Doctor.
That's but a nicenesse,
Nev'r cast your child away for honestie;
Cure her first this way, then if shee will be honest,
She has the path before her.

Iaylor.
Thanke yee Doctor.

Doctor.
Pray bring her in / And let's see how shee is.

Iaylor.
I will, and tell her / Her Palamon staies for her:
But Doctor, / Me thinkes you are i'th wrong still.
Exit Iaylor.

Doct.
Goe, goe:
you Fathers are fine Fooles: her honesty?
And we should give her physicke till we finde that:

Wooer.
Why, doe you thinke she is not honest Sir?

Doctor.
How old is she?

Wooer.
She's eighteene.

Doctor.
She may be,
But that's all one, tis nothing to our purpose,
What ere her Father saies, if you perceave
Her moode inclining that way that I spoke of
Videlicet, the way of flesh, you have me.

Wooer.
Yet very well Sir.

Doctor.
Please her appetite
And doe it home, it cures her ipso facto,
The mellencholly humour that infects her.

Wooer.
I am of your minde Doctor.
Enter Iaylor, Daughter, Maide.

Doctor.
You'l finde it so; she comes, pray honour her.

Iaylor.
Come, your Love Palamon staies for you childe,
And has done this long houre, to visite you.

Daughter.
I thanke him for his gentle patience,
He's a kind Gentleman, and I am much bound to him,
Did you nev'r see the horse he gave me?

Iaylor.
Yes.

Daugh.
How doe you like him?

Iaylor.
He's a very faire one.

Daugh.
You never saw him dance?

Iaylor.
No.

Daugh.
I have often.
He daunces very finely, very comely,
And for a Iigge, come cut and long taile to him,
He turnes ye like a Top.

Iaylor.
That's fine indeede.

Daugh.
Hee'l dance the Morris twenty mile an houre,
And that will founder the best hobby-horse
(If I have any skill) in all the parish,
And gallops to the turne of Light a'love,
What thinke you of this horse?

Iaylor.
Having these vertues
I thinke he might be broght to play at Tennis.

Daugh.
Alas that's nothing.

Iaylor.
Can he write and reade too.

Daugh.
A very faire hand, and casts himselfe th' accounts
Of all his hay and provender: That Hostler
Must rise betime that cozens him; you know
The Chestnut Mare the Duke has?

Iaylor.
Very well.

Daugh.
She is horribly in love with him, poore beast,
But he is like his master coy and scornefull.

Iaylor.
What dowry has she?

Daugh.
Some two hundred Bottles,
And twenty strike of Oates, but hee'l ne're have her;
He lispes in's neighing able to entice
A Millars Mare, Hee'l be the death of her.

Doctor.
What stuffe she utters?

Iaylor.
Make curtsie, here your love comes.

Wooer.
Pretty soule
How doe ye? that's a fine maide, ther's a curtsie.

Daugh.
Yours to command ith way of honestie;
How far is't now to'th end o'th world my Masters?

Doctor.
Why a daies Iorney wench.

Daugh.
Will you goe with me?

Wooer.
What shall we doe there wench?

Daugh.
Why play at stoole ball,
What is there else to doe?

Wooer.
I am content
If we shall keepe our wedding there:

Daugh.
Tis true
For there I will assure you, we shall finde
Some blind Priest for the purpose, that will venture
To marry us, for here they are nice, and foolish;
Besides my father must be hang'd to morrow
And that would be a blot i'th businesse
Are not you Palamon?

Wooer.
Doe not you know me?

Daugh.
Yes, but you care not for me; I have nothing
But this pore petticoate, and too corse Smockes.

Wooer.
That's all one, I will have you.

Daugh.
Will you surely?

Wooer.
Yes by this faire hand will I.

Daugh.
Wee'l to bed then.

Wooer.
Ev'n when you will.

Daugh.
O Sir, you would faine be nibling.

Wooer.
Why doe you rub my kisse off?

Daugh.
Tis a sweet one,
And will perfume me finely against the wedding.
Is not this your Cosen Arcite?

Doctor.
Yes sweetheart,
And I am glad my Cosen Palamon
Has made so faire a choice.

Daugh.
Doe you thinke hee'l have me?

Doctor.
Yes without doubt.

Daugh.
Doe you thinke so too?

Iaylor.
Yes.

Daugh.
We shall have many children: Lord, how y'ar growne,
My Palamon I hope will grow too finely
Now he's at liberty: Alas poore Chicken
He was kept downe with hard meate, and ill lodging
But ile kisse him up againe.
Enter a Messenger.

Mess.
What doe you here, you'l loose the noblest sight
That ev'r was seene.

Iaylor.
Are they i'th Field?

Mess.
They are
You beare a charge there too.

Iaylor.
Ile away straight
I must ev'n leave you here.

Doctor.
Nay wee'l goe with you,
I will not loose the Fight.

Iaylor.
How did you like her?

Doctor.
Ile warrant you within these 3. or 4 daies
Ile make her right againe. You must not from her
But still preserve her in this way.

Wooer.
I will.

Doc.
Lets get her in.

Wooer.
Come sweete wee'l goe to dinner
And then weele play at Cardes.

Daugh.
And shall we kisse too?

Wooer.
A hundred times

Daugh.
And twenty.

Wooer.
I and twenty.

Daugh.
And then wee'l sleepe together.

Doc.
Take her offer.

Wooer.
Yes marry will we.

Daugh.
But you shall not hurt me.

Wooer.
I will not sweete.

Daugh.
If you doe (Love) ile cry.
Florish Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene III
Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Emilia, Perithous:
and some Attendants, T. Tucke: Curtis.

Emil.
Ile no step further.

Per.
Will you loose this sight?

Emil.
I had rather see a wren hawke at a fly
Then this decision ev'ry; blow that falls
Threats a brave life, each stroake laments
The place whereon it fals, and sounds more like
A Bell, then blade: I will stay here,
It is enough my hearing shall be punishd,
With what shall happen, gainst the which there is
No deaffing, but to heare; not taint mine eye
With dread sights, it may shun.

Pir.
Sir, my good Lord
Your Sister will no further.

Thes.
Oh she must.
She shall see deeds of honour in their kinde,
Which sometime show well pencild. Nature now
Shall make, and act the Story, the beleife
Both seald with eye, and eare; you must be present,
You are the victours meede, the price, and garlond
To crowne the Questions title.

Emil.
Pardon me,
If I were there, I'ld winke

Thes.
You must be there;
This Tryall is as t'wer i'th night, and you
The onely star to shine.

Emil.
I am extinct,
There is but envy in that light, which showes
The one the other: darkenes which ever was
The dam of horrour, who do's stand accurst
Of many mortall Millions, may even now
By casting her blacke mantle over both
That neither could finde other, get her selfe
Some part of a good name, and many a murther
Set off wherto she's guilty.

Hip.
You must goe.

Emil,
In faith I will not.

Thes.
Why the knights must kindle
Their valour at your eye: know of this war
You are the Treasure, and must needes be by
To give the Service pay.

Emil,
Sir pardon me,
The tytle of a kingdome may be tride
Out of it selfe.

Thes.
Well, well then, at your pleasure,
Those that remaine with you, could wish their office
To any of their Enemies.

Hip.
Farewell Sister,
I am like to know your husband fore your selfe
By some small start of time, he whom the gods
Doe of the two know best, I pray them he
Be made your Lot.
Exeunt Theseus, Hipolita, Perithous, &c.

Emil.
Arcite is gently visagd; yet his eye
Is like an Engyn bent, or a sharpe weapon
In a soft sheath; mercy, and manly courage
Are bedfellowes in his visage: Palamon
Has a most menacing aspect, his brow
Is grav'd, and seemes to bury what it frownes on,
Yet sometime tis not so, but alters to
The quallity of his thoughts; long time his eye
Will dwell upon his object. Mellencholly
Becomes him nobly; So do's Arcites mirth,
But Palamons sadnes is a kinde of mirth,
So mingled, as if mirth did make him sad,
And sadnes, merry; those darker humours that
Sticke misbecomingly on others, on them
Live in faire dwelling.
Cornets. Trompets sound as to a charge.
Harke how yon spurs to spirit doe incite
The Princes to their proofe, Arcite may win me,
And yet may Palamon wound Arcite to
The spoyling of his figure. O what pitty
Enough for such a chance; if I were by
I might doe hurt, for they would glance their eies
Toward my Seat, and in that motion might
Omit a ward, or forfeit an offence
Which crav'd that very time: it is much better
I am not there, oh better never borne
Then minister to such harme,
(Cornets. a great cry and noice within crying a
Palamon.) Enter Servant.
what is the chance?

Ser.
The Crie's a Palamon.

Emil.
Then he has won: Twas ever likely,
He lookd all grace and successe, and he is
Doubtlesse the prim'st of men: I pre' thee run
And tell me how it goes.
Showt, and Cornets: Crying a Palamon.

Ser.
Still Palamon.

Emil.
Run and enquire,


poore Servant thou hast lost,
Vpon my right side still I wore thy picture,
Palamons on the leff, why so, I know not,
I had no end in't; else chance would have it so.
On the sinister side, the heart lyes; Palamon
Had the best boding chance:
Another cry, and showt within, and Cornets.
This burst of clamour
Is sure th' end o'th Combat.
Enter Servant.

Ser.
They saide that Palamon had Arcites body
Within an inch o'th Pyramid, that the cry
Was generall a Palamon: But anon,
Th' Assistants made a brave redemption, and
The two bold Tytlers, at this instant are
Hand to hand at it.

Emil.
Were they metamorphisd
Both into one; oh why? there were no woman
Worth so composd a Man: their single share,
Their noblenes peculier to them, gives
The prejudice of disparity values shortnes
To any Lady breathing---
Cornets. Cry within, Arcite, Arcite.
More exulting?
Palamon still?

Ser.
Nay, now the sound is Arcite.

Emil.
I pre' thee lay attention to the Cry.
Set both thine eares to'th busines.
Cornets. a great showt and cry, Arcite, victory.

Ser.
The cry is
Arcite, and victory, harke Arcite, victory,
The Combats consummation is proclaim'd
By the wind Instruments.

Emil.
Halfe sights saw
That Arcite was no babe: god's lyd, his richnes
And costlines of spirit look't through him, it could
No more be hid in him, then fire in flax,
Then humble banckes can goe to law with waters,
That drift windes, force to raging: I did thinke
Good Palamon would miscarry, yet I knew not
Why I did thinke so; Our reasons are not prophets
When oft our fancies are:
Cornets.
They are comming off:
Alas poore Palamon.
Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Pirithous, Arcite as victor,
and attendants, &c.

Thes.
Lo, where our Sister is in expectation,
Yet quaking, and unsetled: Fairest Emily,
The gods by their divine arbitrament
Have given you this Knight, he is a good one
As ever strooke at head: Give me your hands;
Receive you her, you him, be plighted with
A love that growes, as you decay;

Arcite.
Emily,
To buy you, I have lost what's deerest to me,
Save what is bought, and yet I purchase cheapely,
As I doe rate your value.

Thes.
O loved Sister,
He speakes now of as brave a Knight as ere
Did spur a noble Steed: Surely the gods
Would have him die a Batchelour, least his race
Should shew i'th world too godlike: His behaviour
So charmd me, that me thought Alcides was
To him a sow of lead: if I could praise
Each part of him to'th all; I have spoke, your Arcite
Did not loose by't; For he that was thus good
Encountred yet his Better, I have heard
Two emulous Philomels, beate the eare o'th night
With their contentious throates, now one the higher,
Anon the other, then againe the first,
And by and by out breasted, that the sence
Could not be judge betweene 'em: So it far'd
Good space betweene these kinesmen; till heavens did
Make hardly one the winner: weare the Girlond
With joy that you have won: For the subdude,
Give them our present Iustice, since I know
Their lives but pinch 'em; Let it here be done:
The Sceane's not for our seeing, goe we hence,
Right joyfull, with some sorrow. Arme your prize,
I know you will not loose her:
Florish
Hipolita
I see one eye of yours conceives a teare
The which it will deliver..

Emil.
Is this wynning?
Oh all you heavenly powers where is you mercy?
But that your wils have saide it must be so,
And charge me live to comfort this unfriended,
This miserable Prince, that cuts away
A life more worthy from him, then all women;
I should, and would die too.

Hip.
Infinite pitty
That fowre such eies should be so fixd on one
That two must needes be blinde fort.

Thes.
So it is.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Palamon and his Knightes pyniond; Iaylor,
Executioner &c. Gard.
Ther's many a man alive, that hath out liv'd
The love o'th people, yea i'th selfesame state
Stands many a Father with his childe; some comfort
We have by so considering: we expire
And not without mens pitty. To live still,
Have their good wishes, we prevent
The loathsome misery of age, beguile
The Gowt and Rheume, that in lag howres attend
For grey approachers; we come towards the gods
Yong, and unwapper'd not, halting under Crymes
Many and stale: that sure shall please the gods
Sooner than such, to give us Nectar with 'em,
For we are more cleare Spirits. My deare kinsemen.
Whose lives (for this poore comfort) are laid downe,
You have sould 'em too too cheape.

1. K.
What ending could be
Of more content? ore us the victors have
Fortune, whose title is as momentary,
As to us death is certaine: A graine of honour
They not ore'-weigh us.

2. K.
Let us bid farewell;
And with our patience, anger tottring Fortune,
Who at her certain'st reeles.

3. K.
Come? who begins?

Pal.
Ev'n he that led you to this Banket, shall
Taste to you all: ah ha my Friend, my Friend,
Your gentle daughter gave me freedome once;
You'l see't done now for ever: pray how do'es she?
I heard she was not well; her kind of ill
gave me some sorrow.

Iaylor.
Sir she's well restor'd,
And to be marryed shortly.

Pal.
By my short life
I am most glad on't; Tis the latest thing
I shall be glad of, pre'thee tell her so:
Commend me to her, and to peece her portion
Tender her this.

1. K.
Nay lets be offerers all.

2. K.
Is it a maide?

Pal.
Verily I thinke so,
A right good creature, more to me deserving
Then I can quight or speake of.

All K.
Commend us to her.
They give their purses.

Iaylor.
The gods requight you all, / And make her thankefull.

Pal.
Adiew; and let my life be now as short,
As my leave taking.

1. K.
Leade couragiour Cosin.

1. 2. K.
Wee'l follow cheerefully.
Lies on the Blocke. A great noise within crying,
run, save hold: Enter in hast a Messenger.

Mess.
Hold, Hold, O hold, hold, hold.
Enter Pirithous in haste.

Pir.
Hold hoa: It is a cursed hast you made
If you have done so quickly: noble Palamon,
The gods will shew their glory in a life.
That thou art yet to leade.

Pal.
Can that be, / When
Venus I have said is false? How doe things fare?

Pir.
Arise great Sir, and give the tydings eare
That are most early sweet, and bitter.

Pal.
What
Hath wakt us from our dreame?

Pir.
List then: your Cosen
Mounted upon a Steed that Emily
Did first bestow on him, a blacke one, owing
Not a hayre worth of white, which some will say
Weakens his price, and many will not buy
His goodnesse with this note: Which superstition
Heere findes allowance: On this horse is Arcite
Trotting the stones of Athens, which the Calkins
Did rather tell, then trample; for the horse
Would make his length a mile, if't pleas'd his Rider
To put pride in him: as he thus went counting
The flinty pavement, dancing as t'wer to'th Musicke
His owne hoofes made; (for as they say from iron
Came Musickes origen) what envious Flint,
Cold as old Saturne, and like him possest
With fire malevolent, darted a Sparke
Or what feirce sulphur else, to this end made,
I comment not; the hot horse, hot as fire
Tooke Toy at this, and fell to what disorder
His power could give his will, bounds, comes on end,
Forgets schoole dooing, being therein traind,
And of kind mannadge, pig-like he whines
At the sharpe Rowell, which he freats at rather
Then any jot obaies; seekes all foule meanes
Of boystrous and rough Iadrie, to dis-seate
His Lord, that kept it bravely: when nought serv'd,
When neither Curb would cracke, girth breake nor diffring plunges
Dis-roote his Rider whence he grew, but that
He kept him tweene his legges, on his hind hoofes
on end he stands
That Arcites leggs being higher then his head
Seem'd with strange art to hang: His victors wreath
Even then fell off his head: and presently
Backeward the Iade comes ore, and his full poyze
Becomes the Riders loade: yet is he living,
But such a vessell tis, that floates but for
The surge that next approaches: he much desires
To have some speech with you: Loe he appeares.
Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Emilia, Arcite,
in a chaire.

Pal.
O miserable end of our alliance
The gods are mightie Arcite, if thy heart,
Thy worthie, manly heart be yet unbroken:
Give me thy last words, I am Palamon,
One that yet loves thee dying.

Arc.
Take Emilia
And with her, all the worlds joy: Reach thy hand,
Farewell: I have told my last houre; I was false,
Yet never treacherous: Forgive me Cosen:
One kisse from faire Emilia:
Tis done:
Take her: I die.

Pal.
Thy brave soule seeke Elizium.

Emil.
Ile close thine eyes Prince; blessed soules be with thee,
Thou art a right good man, and while I live,
This day I give to teares.

Pal.
And I to honour.

Thes.
In this place first you fought: ev'n very here
I sundred you, acknowledge to the gods
Our thankes that you are living:
His part is playd, and though it were too short
He did it well: your day is lengthned, and,
The blissefull dew of heaven do's arowze you.
The powerfull Venus, well hath grac'd her Altar,
And given you your love: Our Master Mars
Hast vouch'd his Oracle, and to Arcite gave
The grace of the Contention: So the Deities
Have shewd due justice: Beare this hence.

Pal.
O Cosen,
That we should things desire, which doe cost us
The losse of our desire; That nought could buy
Deare love, but losse of deare love.

Thes.
Never Fortune
Did play a subtler Game: The conquerd triumphes,
The victor has the Losse: yet in the passage,
The gods have beene most equall: Palamon,
Your kinseman hath confest the right o'th Lady
Did lye in you, for you first saw her, and
Even then proclaimd your fancie: He restord her
As your stolne Iewell, and desir'd your spirit
To send him hence forgiven; The gods my justice
Take from my hand, and they themselves become
The Executioners: Leade your Lady off;
And call your Lovers from the stage of death,
Whom I adopt my Frinds. A day or two
Let us looke sadly, and give grace unto
The Funerall of Arcite, in whose end
The visages of Bridegroomes weele put on
And smile with Palamon; for whom an houre,
But one houre since, I was as dearely sorry,
As glad of Arcite: and am now as glad,
As for him sorry. O you heavenly Charmers,
What things you make of us? For what we lacke
We laugh, for what we have, are sorry still,
Are children in some kind. Let us be thankefull
For that which is, and with you leave dispute
That are above our question: Let's goe off,
And beare us like the time.
Florish. Exeunt.
Modern text
Act V, Scene I
Flourish. Enter Theseus, Pirithous, Hippolyta, and
attendants

THESEUS
Now let 'em enter, and before the gods
Tender their holy prayers; let the temples
Burn bright with sacred fires, and the altars
In hallowed clouds commend their swelling incense
To those above us. Let no due be wanting;
They have a noble work in hand, will honour
The very powers that love 'em.

PIRITHOUS
Sir, they enter.
Flourish of cornets. Enter Palamon and Arcite and
their knights

THESEUS
You valiant and strong-hearted enemies,
You royal german foes, that this day come
To blow that nearness out that flames between ye,
Lay by your anger for an hour, and dove-like
Before the holy altars of your helpers,
The all-feared gods, bow down your stubborn bodies.
Your ire is more than mortal; so your help be,
And as the gods regard ye, fight with justice.
I'll leave you to your prayers, and betwixt ye
I part my wishes.

PIRITHOUS
Honour crown the worthiest!
Exeunt Theseus, Pirithous, Hippolyta, and attendants

PALAMON
The glass is running now that cannot finish
Till one of us expire. Think you but thus,
That were there aught in me which strove to show
Mine enemy in this business, were't one eye
Against another, arm oppressed by arm,
I would destroy th' offender, coz; I would,
Though parcel of myself. Then from this gather
How I should tender you.

ARCITE
I am in labour
To push your name, your ancient love, our kindred,
Out of my memory, and i'th' self-same place
To seat something I would confound. So hoist we
The sails, that must these vessels port even where
The heavenly limiter pleases.

PALAMON
You speak well.
Before I turn, let me embrace thee, cousin;
They embrace
This I shall never do again.

ARCITE
One farewell.

PALAMON
Why, let it be so; farewell, coz.

ARCITE
Farewell, sir.
Exeunt Palamon and his knights
Knights, kinsmen, lovers – yea, my sacrifices! –
True worshippers of Mars, whose spirit in you
Expels the seeds of fear, and th' apprehension
Which still is farther off it, go with me
Before the god of our profession; there
Require of him the hearts of lions and
The breath of tigers, yea, the fierceness too,
Yea, the speed also – to go on, I mean;
Else wish we to be snails. You know my prize
Must be dragged out of blood; force and great feat
Must put my garland on me, where she sticks,
The queen of flowers. Our intercession, then,
Must be to him that makes the camp a cistern
Brimmed with the blood of men; give me your aid,
And bend your spirits towards him.
They prostrate themselves, then kneel before the altar
of Mars
Thou mighty one, that with thy power hast turned
Green Neptune into purple, whose approach
Comets prewarn, whose havoc in vast field
Unearthed skulls proclaim, whose breath blows down
The teeming Ceres' foison, who dost pluck
With hand armipotent from forth blue clouds
The masoned turrets, that both makest and breakest
The stony girths of cities; me thy pupil,
Youngest follower of thy drum, instruct this day
With military skill, that to thy laud
I may advance my streamer, and by thee
Be styled the lord o'th' day; give me, great Mars,
Some token of thy pleasure.
Here they fall on their faces as formerly, and there is
heard clanging of armour, with a short thunder as the
burst of a battle, whereupon they all rise and bow to
the altar
O great corrector of enormous times,
Shaker of o'er-rank states, thou grand decider
Of dusty and old titles, that healest with blood
The earth when it is sick, and curest the world
O'th' plurisy of people; I do take
Thy signs auspiciously, and in thy name
To my design march boldly. Let us go.
Exeunt Arcite and his knights
Enter Palamon and his knights, with the former
observance

PALAMON
Our stars must glister with new fire, or be
Today extinct; our argument is love,
Which if the goddess of it grant, she gives
Victory too. Then blend your spirits with mine,
You whose free nobleness do make my cause
Your personal hazard; to the goddess Venus
Commend we our proceeding, and implore
Her power unto our party.
Here they prostrate themselves, then kneel as formerly
to the altar of Venus
Hail, sovereign queen of secrets, who hast power
To call the fiercest tyrant from his rage
And weep unto a girl; that hast the might
Even with an eye-glance to choke Mars's drum
And turn th' alarm to whispers; that canst make
A cripple flourish with his crutch, and cure him
Before Apollo; that mayst force the king
To be his subject's vassal, and induce
Stale gravity to dance; the polled bachelor,
Whose youth, like wanton boys through bonfires,
Have skipped thy flame, at seventy thou canst catch,
And make him, to the scorn of his hoarse throat,
Abuse young lays of love. What godlike power
Hast thou not power upon? To Phoebus thou
Addest flames hotter than his; the heavenly fires
Did scorch his mortal son, thine him; the huntress
All moist and cold, some say began to throw
Her bow away and sigh. Take to thy grace
Me thy vowed soldier, who do bear thy yoke
As 'twere a wreath of roses, yet is heavier
Than lead itself, stings more than nettles.
I have never been foul-mouthed against thy law,
Ne'er revealed secret, for I knew none; would not,
Had I kenned all that were; I never practised
Upon man's wife, nor would the libels read
Of liberal wits; I never at great feasts
Sought to betray a beauty, but have blushed
At simpering sirs that did; I have been harsh
To large confessors, and have hotly asked them
If they had mothers – I had one, a woman,
And women 'twere they wronged. I knew a man
Of eighty winters – this I told them – who
A lass of fourteen brided. 'Twas thy power
To put life into dust; the aged cramp
Had screwed his square foot round,
The gout had knit his fingers into knots,
Torturing convulsions from his globy eyes
Had almost drawn their spheres, that what was life
In him seemed torture. This anatomy
Had by his young fair fere a boy, and I
Believed it was his, for she swore it was,
And who would not believe her? Brief, I am
To those that prate and have done, no companion;
To those that boast and have not, a defier;
To those that would and cannot, a rejoicer.
Yea, him I do not love that tells close offices
The foulest way, nor names concealments in
The boldest language; such a one I am,
And vow that lover never yet made sigh
Truer than I. O then, most soft sweet goddess,
Give me the victory of this question, which
Is true love's merit, and bless me with a sign
Of thy great pleasure.
Here music is heard and doves are seen to flutter. They
fall again upon their faces, then on their knees
O thou that from eleven to ninety reignest
In mortal bosoms, whose chase is this world
And we in herds thy game, I give thee thanks
For this fair token, which, being laid unto
Mine innocent true heart, arms in assurance
My body to this business. Let us rise
And bow before the goddess.
They bow
Time comes on.
Exeunt Palamon and his knights
Still music of records. Enter Emilia in white, her
hair about her shoulders, with a wheaten wreath; one
in white holding up her train, her hair stuck with
flowers; one before her carrying a silver hind, in
which is conveyed incense and sweet odours; which
being set upon the altar of Diana, her maids standing
aloof, she sets fire to it. Then they curtsy and kneel

EMILIA
O sacred, shadowy, cold, and constant queen,
Abandoner of revels, mute contemplative,
Sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure
As wind-fanned snow, who to thy female knights
Allowest no more blood than will make a blush,
Which is their order's robe; I here, thy priest,
Am humbled 'fore thine altar. O, vouchsafe
With that thy rare green eye, which never yet
Beheld thing maculate, look on thy virgin;
And, sacred silver mistress, lend thine ear –
Which ne'er heard scurril term, into whose port
Ne'er entered wanton sound – to my petition
Seasoned with holy fear. This is my last
Of vestal office; I am bride-habited,
But maiden-hearted; a husband I have 'pointed,
But do not know him. Out of two I should
Choose one, and pray for his success, but I
Am guiltless of election. Of mine eyes
Were I to lose one, they are equal precious,
I could doom neither; that which perished should
Go to't unsentenced. Therefore, most modest queen,
He of the two pretenders that best loves me
And has the truest title in't, let him
Take off my wheaten garland, or else grant
The file and quality I hold I may
Continue in thy band.
Here the hind vanishes under the altar, and in the
place ascends a rose tree, having one rose upon it
See what our general of ebbs and flows
Out from the bowels of her holy altar
With sacred act advances: but one rose!
If well inspired, this battle shall confound
Both these brave knights, and I a virgin flower
Must grow alone, unplucked.
Here is heard a sudden twang of instruments, and the
rose falls from the tree
The flower is fallen, the tree descends! O mistress,
Thou here dischargest me; I shall be gathered;
I think so, but I know not thine own will;
Unclasp thy mystery. – I hope she's pleased;
Her signs were gracious.
They curtsy and exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Doctor, Gaoler, and Wooer in habit of Palamon

DOCTOR
Has this advice I told you done any good upon her?

WOOER
O, very much. The maids that kept her company
Have half persuaded her that I am Palamon;
Within this half hour she came smiling to me,
And asked me what I would eat, and when I would kiss her.
I told her, presently, and kissed her twice.

DOCTOR
'Twas well done; twenty times had been far better,
For there the cure lies mainly.

WOOER
Then she told me
She would watch with me tonight, for well she knew
What hour my fit would take me.

DOCTOR
Let her do so,
And when your fit comes, fit her home, and presently.

WOOER
She would have me sing.

DOCTOR
You did so?

WOOER
No.

DOCTOR
'Twas very ill done, then;
You should observe her every way.

WOOER
Alas,
I have no voice, sir, to confirm her that way.

DOCTOR
That's all one, if ye make a noise.
If she entreat again, do anything;
Lie with her if she ask you.

GAOLER
Ho there, doctor!

DOCTOR
Yes, in the way of cure.

GAOLER
But first, by your leave,
I'th' way of honesty.

DOCTOR
That's but a niceness.
Ne'er cast your child away for honesty;
Cure her first this way, then if she will be honest,
She has the path before her.

GAOLER
Thank ye, doctor.

DOCTOR
Pray bring her in and let's see how she is.

GAOLER
I will, and tell her her Palamon stays for her.
But, doctor, methinks you are i'th' wrong still.
Exit

DOCTOR
Go, go.
You fathers are fine fools! Her honesty?
An we should give her physic till we find that –

WOOER
Why, do you think she is not honest, sir?

DOCTOR
How old is she?

WOOER
She's eighteen.

DOCTOR
She may be –
But that's all one, 'tis nothing to our purpose.
Whate'er her father says, if you perceive
Her mood inclining that way that I spoke of,
Videlicet, the way of flesh – you have me?

WOOER
Yet very well, sir.

DOCTOR
Please her appetite,
And do it home; it cures her ipso facto
The melancholy humour that infects her.

WOOER
I am of your mind, doctor.
Enter Gaoler, Gaoler's Daughter, and her maid

DOCTOR
You'll find it so. She comes; pray humour her.

GAOLER
Come, your love Palamon stays for you, child,
And has done this long hour, to visit you.

DAUGHTER
I thank him for his gentle patience;
He's a kind gentleman, and I am much bound to him.
Did you ne'er see the horse he gave me?

GAOLER
Yes.

DAUGHTER
How do you like him?

GAOLER
He's a very fair one.

DAUGHTER
You never saw him dance?

GAOLER
No.

DAUGHTER
I have often.
He dances very finely, very comely,
And for a jig, come cut and long tail to him,
He turns ye like a top.

GAOLER
That's fine indeed.

DAUGHTER
He'll dance the morris twenty mile an hour,
And that will founder the best hobby-horse,
If I have any skill, in all the parish;
And gallops to the tune of ‘ Light o' Love.’
What think you of this horse?

GAOLER
Having these virtues,
I think he might be brought to play at tennis.

DAUGHTER
Alas, that's nothing.

GAOLER
Can he write and read too?

DAUGHTER
A very fair hand, and casts himself th' accounts
Of all his hay and provender; that ostler
Must rise betime that cozens him. You know
The chestnut mare the Duke has?

GAOLER
Very well.

DAUGHTER
She is horribly in love with him, poor beast,
But he is like his master, coy and scornful.

GAOLER
What dowry has she?

DAUGHTER
Some two hundred bottles,
And twenty strike of oats; but he'll ne'er have her.
He lisps in's neighing able to entice
A miller's mare. He'll be the death of her.

DOCTOR
What stuff she utters!

GAOLER
Make curtsy, here your love comes.

WOOER
(comes forward)
Pretty soul,
How do ye? That's a fine maid; there's a curtsy!

DAUGHTER
Yours to command i'th' way of honesty.
How far is't now to th' end o'th' world, my masters?

DOCTOR
Why, a day's journey, wench.

DAUGHTER
(to Wooer)
Will you go with me?

WOOER
What shall we do there, wench?

DAUGHTER
Why, play at stool-ball.
What is there else to do?

WOOER
I am content,
If we shall keep our wedding there.

DAUGHTER
'Tis true;
For there, I will assure you, we shall find
Some blind priest for the purpose, that will venture
To marry us, for here they are nice and foolish.
Besides, my father must be hanged tomorrow,
And that would be a blot i'th' business.
Are not you Palamon?

WOOER
Do not you know me?

DAUGHTER
Yes, but you care not for me; I have nothing
But this poor petticoat and too coarse smocks.

WOOER
That's all one; I will have you.

DAUGHTER
Will you surely?

WOOER
Yes, by this fair hand will I.

DAUGHTER
We'll to bed then.

WOOER
E'en when you will.
He kisses her

DAUGHTER
O sir, you would fain be nibbling.

WOOER
Why do you rub my kiss off?

DAUGHTER
'Tis a sweet one,
And will perfume me finely against the wedding.
Is not this your cousin Arcite?

DOCTOR
Yes, sweetheart,
And I am glad my cousin Palamon
Has made so fair a choice.

DAUGHTER
Do you think he'll have me?

DOCTOR
Yes, without doubt.

DAUGHTER
Do you think so too?

GAOLER
Yes.

DAUGHTER
We shall have many children. – Lord, how you're grown!
My Palamon I hope will grow too, finely,
Now he's at liberty. Alas, poor chicken,
He was kept down with hard meat and ill lodging;
But I'll kiss him up again.
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
What do you here? You'll lose the noblest sight
That e'er was seen.

GAOLER
Are they i'th' field?

MESSENGER
They are.
You bear a charge there too.

GAOLER
I'll away straight.
I must e'en leave you here.

DOCTOR
Nay, we'll go with you.
I will not lose the fight.

GAOLER
How did you like her?

DOCTOR
I'll warrant you, within these three or four days
I'll make her right again. (To Wooer) You must not from her,
But still preserve her in this way.

WOOER
I will.

DOCTOR
Let's get her in.

WOOER
Come, sweet, we'll go to dinner,
And then we'll play at cards.

DAUGHTER
And shall we kiss too?

WOOER
A hundred times.

DAUGHTER
– And twenty.

WOOER
Ay, and twenty.

DAUGHTER
And then we'll sleep together.

DOCTOR
Take her offer.

WOOER
Yes, marry, will we.

DAUGHTER
But you shall not hurt me.

WOOER
I will not, sweet.

DAUGHTER
If you do, love, I'll cry.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene III
Flourish. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Emilia, Pirithous,
and some attendants

EMILIA
I'll no step further.

PIRITHOUS
Will you lose this sight?

EMILIA
I had rather see a wren hawk at a fly
Than this decision. Every blow that falls
Threats a brave life; each stroke laments
The place whereon it falls, and sounds more like
A bell than blade. I will stay here.
It is enough my hearing shall be punished
With what shall happen, 'gainst the which there is
No deafing, but to hear; not taint mine eye
With dread sights it may shun.

PIRITHOUS
Sir, my good lord,
Your sister will no further.

THESEUS
O, she must;
She shall see deeds of honour in their kind
Which sometime show well pencilled. Nature now
Shall make and act the story, the belief
Both sealed with eye and ear. (To Emilia) You must be present;
You are the victor's meed, the prize and garland
To crown the question's title.

EMILIA
Pardon me;
If I were there, I'd wink.

THESEUS
You must be there;
This trial is as 'twere i'th' night, and you
The only star to shine.

EMILIA
I am extinct.
There is but envy in that light which shows
The one the other; darkness, which ever was
The dam of horror, who does stand accursed
Of many mortal millions, may even now,
By casting her black mantle over both,
That neither could find other, get herself
Some part of a good name, and many a murder
Set off whereto she's guilty.

HIPPOLYTA
You must go.

EMILIA
In faith, I will not.

THESEUS
Why, the knights must kindle
Their valour at your eye; know of this war
You are the treasure, and must needs be by
To give the service pay.

EMILIA
Sir, pardon me;
The title of a kingdom may be tried
Out of itself.

THESEUS
Well, well, then, at your pleasure.
Those that remain with you could wish their office
To any of their enemies.

HIPPOLYTA
Farewell, sister;
I am like to know your husband 'fore yourself
By some small start of time. He whom the gods
Do of the two know best, I pray them he
Be made your lot.
All go out except Emilia and her attendants

EMILIA
Arcite is gently visaged, yet his eye
Is like an engine bent or a sharp weapon
In a soft sheath; mercy and manly courage
Are bedfellows in his visage. Palamon
Has a most menacing aspect; his brow
Is graved, and seems to bury what it frowns on.
Yet sometime 'tis not so, but alters to
The quality of his thoughts; long time his eye
Will dwell upon his object. Melancholy
Becomes him nobly; so does Arcite's mirth,
But Palamon's sadness is a kind of mirth,
So mingled as if mirth did make him sad,
And sadness merry. Those darker humours that
Stick misbecomingly on others, on him
Live in fair dwelling.
Cornets. Trumpets sound as to a charge
Hark how yon spurs to spirit do incite
The princes to their proof! Arcite may win me,
And yet may Palamon wound Arcite to
The spoiling of his figure. O, what pity
Enough for such a chance? If I were by,
I might do hurt, for they would glance their eyes
Toward my seat, and in that motion might
Omit a ward or forfeit an offence
Which craved that very time. It is much better
I am not there – O, better never born,
Than minister to such harm!
Cornets. A great cry and noise within, crying ‘A
Palamon!' Enter a Servant
What is the chance?

SERVANT
The cry's ‘ A Palamon!’

EMILIA
Then he has won. 'Twas ever likely;
He looked all grace and success, and he is
Doubtless the primest of men. I prithee run
And tell me how it goes.
Shout and cornets, crying ‘A Palamon!'

SERVANT
Still Palamon.

EMILIA
Run and inquire.
Exit Servant
Poor servant, thou hast lost!
Upon my right side still I wore thy picture,
Palamon's on the left – why so, I know not,
I had no end in't; else chance would have it so.
On the sinister side the heart lies; Palamon
Had the best-boding chance.
Another cry, and shout within, and cornets
This burst of clamour
Is sure th' end o'th' combat.
Enter Servant

SERVANT
They said that Palamon had Arcite's body
Within an inch o'th' pyramid, that the cry
Was general ‘ A Palamon!’ But anon
Th' assistants made a brave redemption, and
The two bold titlers at this instant are
Hand to hand at it.

EMILIA
Were they metamorphosed
Both into one! O, why, there were no woman
Worth so composed a man; their single share,
Their nobleness peculiar to them, gives
The prejudice of disparity, value's shortness,
To any lady breathing –
Cornets. Cry within ‘ Arcite, Arcite!’
More exulting?
‘ Palamon’ still?

SERVANT
Nay, now the sound is ‘ Arcite.’

EMILIA
I prithee lay attention to the cry;
Set both thine ears to th' business.
Cornets. A great shout and cry ‘ Arcite, victory!’

SERVANT
The cry is
‘ Arcite’ and ‘ Victory!’ Hark, ‘ Arcite, victory!’
The combat's consummation is proclaimed
By the wind instruments.

EMILIA
Half-sights saw
That Arcite was no babe – God's lid, his richness
And costliness of spirit looked through him; it could
No more be hid in him than fire in flax,
Than humble banks can go to law with waters
That drift winds force to raging. I did think
Good Palamon would miscarry, yet I knew not
Why I did think so; our reasons are not prophets
When oft our fancies are.
Cornets
They are coming off.
Alas, poor Palamon!
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, Arcite as victor,
and attendants

THESEUS
Lo, where our sister is in expectation,
Yet quaking and unsettled! – Fairest Emily,
The gods by their divine arbitrament
Have given you this knight; he is a good one
As ever struck at head. Give me your hands.
Receive you her, you him; be plighted with
A love that grows as you decay.

ARCITE
Emilia,
To buy you I have lost what's dearest to me
Save what is bought, and yet I purchase cheaply,
As I do rate your value.

THESEUS
O loved sister,
He speaks now of as brave a knight as e'er
Did spur a noble steed; surely, the gods
Would have him die a bachelor, lest his race
Should show i'th' world too godlike! His behaviour
So charmed me that methought Alcides was
To him a sow of lead. If I could praise
Each part of him to th' all I have spoke, your Arcite
Did not lose by't; for he that was thus good
Encountered yet his better. I have heard
Two emulous Philomels beat the ear o'th' night
With their contentious throats, now one the higher,
Anon the other, then again the first,
And by and by outbreasted, that the sense
Could not be judge between 'em; so it fared
Good space between these kinsmen, till heavens did
Make hardly one the winner. – Wear the garland
With joy that you have won. – For the subdued,
Give them our present justice, since I know
Their lives but pinch 'em; let it here be done.
The scene's not for our seeing; go we hence,
Right joyful, with some sorrow. (To Arcite) Arm your prize;
I know you will not lose her.
Arcite takes Emilia's arm in his. Flourish
Hippolyta,
I see one eye of yours conceives a tear,
The which it will deliver.

EMILIA
Is this winning?
O all you heavenly powers, where is your mercy?
But that your wills have said it must be so,
And charge me live to comfort this unfriended,
This miserable prince, that cuts away
A life more worthy from him than all women,
I should, and would, die too.

HIPPOLYTA
Infinite pity
That four such eyes should be so fixed on one
That two must needs be blind for't.

THESEUS
So it is.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Palamon and his knights pinioned, with Gaoler,
executioner, and a guard of soldiers

PALAMON
There's many a man alive that hath outlived
The love o'th' people; yea, i'th' selfsame state
Stands many a father with his child; some comfort
We have by so considering. We expire,
And not without men's pity; to live still,
Have their good wishes. We prevent
The loathsome misery of age, beguile
The gout and rheum, that in lag hours attend
For grey approachers; we come towards the gods
Young and unwappered, not halting under crimes
Many and stale; that sure shall please the gods
Sooner than such, to give us nectar with 'em,
For we are more clear spirits. My dear kinsmen,
Whose lives for this poor comfort are laid down,
You have sold 'em too too cheap.

FIRST KNIGHT
What ending could be
Of more content? O'er us the victors have
Fortune, whose title is as momentary
As to us death is certain; a grain of honour
They not o'erweigh us.

SECOND KNIGHT
Let us bid farewell,
And with our patience anger tottering fortune,
Who at her certain'st reels.

THIRD KNIGHT
Come, who begins?

PALAMON
E'en he that led you to this banquet shall
Taste to you all. (To Gaoler) Aha, my friend, my friend,
Your gentle daughter gave me freedom once;
You'll see't done now for ever. Pray, how does she?
I heard she was not well; her kind of ill
Gave me some sorrow.

GAOLER
Sir, she's well restored,
And to be married shortly.

PALAMON
By my short life,
I am most glad on't; 'tis the latest thing
I shall be glad of. Prithee tell her so;
Commend me to her, and to piece her portion
Tender her this.
He gives Gaoler his purse

FIRST KNIGHT
Nay, let's be offerers all.

SECOND KNIGHT
Is it a maid?

PALAMON
Verily I think so;
A right good creature, more to me deserving
Than I can quite or speak of.

ALL THREE KNIGHTS
Commend us to her.
They give their purses

GAOLER
The gods requite you all, and make her thankful.

PALAMON
Adieu; and let my life be now as short
As my leave-taking.

FIRST KNIGHT
Lead, courageous cousin.

SECOND KNIGHT
We'll follow cheerfully.
Palamon lies on the block. A great noise within, crying
‘ Run! Save! Hold!’ Enter in haste a Messenger

MESSENGER
Hold, hold, O hold, hold, hold!
Enter Pirithous in haste

PIRITHOUS
Hold, ho! It is a cursed haste you made
If you have done so quickly. Noble Palamon,
The gods will show their glory in a life
That thou art yet to lead.

PALAMON
Can that be, when
Venus I have said is false? How do things fare?

PIRITHOUS
Arise, great sir, and give the tidings ear
That are most early sweet and bitter.

PALAMON
What
Hath waked us from our dream?

PIRITHOUS
List then. Your cousin,
Mounted upon a steed that Emily
Did first bestow on him, a black one, owing
Not a hair-worth of white, which some will say
Weakens his price, and many will not buy
His goodness with this note – which superstition
Here finds allowance – on this horse is Arcite
Trotting the stones of Athens, which the calkins
Did rather tell than trample, for the horse
Would make his length a mile, if't pleased his rider
To put pride in him. As he thus went counting
The flinty pavement, dancing as 'twere to th' music
His own hooves made – for, as they say, from iron
Came music's origin – what envious flint,
Cold as old Saturn and like him possessed
With fire malevolent, darted a spark,
Or what fierce sulphur else, to this end made,
I comment not; the hot horse, hot as fire,
Took toy at this, and fell to what disorder
His power could give his will – bounds, comes on end,
Forgets school-doing, being therein trained
And of kind manage; pig-like he whines
At the sharp rowel, which he frets at rather
Than any jot obeys; seeks all foul means
Of boisterous and rough jadery to disseat
His lord, that kept it bravely. When naught served,
When neither curb would crack, girth break, nor differing plunges
Disroot his rider whence he grew, but that
He kept him 'tween his legs, on his hind hooves
On end he stands,
That Arcite's legs, being higher than his head,
Seemed with strange art to hang; his victor's wreath
Even then fell off his head; and presently
Backward the jade comes o'er, and his full poise
Becomes the rider's load. Yet is he living;
But such a vessel 'tis that floats but for
The surge that next approaches. He much desires
To have some speech with you. Lo, he appears.
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Emilia, and Arcite carried
in a chair

PALAMON
O miserable end of our alliance!
The gods are mighty. Arcite, if thy heart,
Thy worthy, manly heart, be yet unbroken,
Give me thy last words. I am Palamon,
One that yet loves thee dying.

ARCITE
Take Emilia,
And with her all the world's joy; reach thy hand.
Farewell; I have told my last hour. I was false,
Yet never treacherous; forgive me, cousin.
One kiss from fair Emilia –
She kisses him
'Tis done.
Take her; I die.
He dies

PALAMON
Thy brave soul seek Elysium!

EMILIA
I'll close thine eyes, prince; blessed souls be with thee!
Thou art a right good man, and while I live
This day I give to tears.

PALAMON
And I to honour.

THESEUS
In this place first you fought; e'en very here
I sundered you. Acknowledge to the gods
Your thanks that you are living.
His part is played, and though it were too short
He did it well; your day is lengthened, and
The blissful dew of heaven does arrouse you.
The powerful Venus well hath graced her altar,
And given you your love; our master Mars
Hath vouched his oracle, and to Arcite gave
The grace of the contention; so the deities
Have showed due justice. Bear this hence.

PALAMON
O cousin,
That we should things desire which do cost us
The loss of our desire! That naught could buy
Dear love but loss of dear love!

THESEUS
Never fortune
Did play a subtler game: the conquered triumphs,
The victor has the loss; yet in the passage
The gods have been most equal. Palamon,
Your kinsman hath confessed the right o'th' lady
Did lie in you, for you first saw her, and
Even then proclaimed your fancy; he restored her
As your stolen jewel, and desired your spirit
To send him hence forgiven. The gods my justice
Take from my hand, and they themselves become
The executioners. Lead your lady off;
And call your lovers from the stage of death,
Whom I adopt my friends. A day or two
Let us look sadly, and give grace unto
The funeral of Arcite, in whose end
The visages of bridegrooms we'll put on
And smile with Palamon; for whom an hour,
But one hour since, I was as dearly sorry
As glad of Arcite, and am now as glad
As for him sorry. O you heavenly charmers,
What things you make of us! For what we lack
We laugh; for what we have are sorry; still
Are children in some kind. Let us be thankful
For that which is, and with you leave dispute
That are above our question. Let's go off,
And bear us like the time.
Flourish. Exeunt.
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL