Fletcher & Shakespeare's

Modern Spelling. Transcribed by BF. copyright © 2002
Words discussed in the glossary are underlined.
Run-ons (closing open ends) are indicated by ~~~


Scene III. 1
A bush in place. Cornets in sundry places. Noise and hollering as of people a-Maying. Enter Arcite.

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'enameled 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, has likewise blessed a pace ... [III.1.10]
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 prim'st of all the year, presents me with ... [III.1.20]
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 dream'st upon my fortune that
Thou think'st thyself the happier thing to be
So near Emilia. Me thou deem'st at Thebes,
And therein wretched, although free. But if
Thou knew'st my mistress breathed on me, and that
I eared her language, lived in her eye -- O, coz, ... [III.1.30]
hat 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 void'st of honor
That e'er bore gentle token, falsest cousin
That ever blood made kin -- call'st thou her thine?
I'll prove it in my shackles, with these hands, ... [III.1.40]
Void of appointment, that thou liest 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 has 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, [III.1.50]
Cannot to me be kind. Honor 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 ... [III.1.60]
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 ... [III.1.70]
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 ... [III.1.80]
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 armor.

PALAMON: ~~~ O, you heavens, dares any ... [III.1.90]
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 [Wind horns within]
More than my sword's edge on't.

ARCITE: ~~~ You hear the horns --
Enter your musit lest this match between's
Be crossed ere met. Give me your hand, farewell.
I'll bring you every needful thing -- I pray you, ... [III.1.100]
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 [Wind horns within.]
My horse I chide him not. Content and anger
In me have but one face. Hark, sir, they call
The scattered to the banquet. You must guess ... [III.1.110]
I have an office there.

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

ARCITE: ~~~ 'Tis 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 -- [III.1.120]
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 severally, Palamon as into the bush.]

Scene III. 2
Enter the Jailer's Daughter, with a file.

DAUGHTER: He has mistook the brake I meant, is gone
After his fancy. 'Tis now well nigh 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 hollered for him?
I cannot holler. If I whooped, what then?
If he not answered, I should call a wolf [III.2.10]
And do him but that service. I have heard
Strange howls this live-long night -- why may't not be
They have made prey of him? He has no weapons;
He cannot run; the jangling 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? ... [III.2.20]
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. [III.2.30]
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.]

Scene III. 3
Enter Arcite with a bundle containing meat, wine, and files.

ARCITE: I should be near the place. Ho, cousin 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, you 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, ... [III.3.8]
Having our ancient reputation with us,
Make talk for fools and cowards. To your health, sir.

PALAMON: Do. [Arcite drinks.]

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

PALAMON: ~~~ Well, sir, I'll pledge you. [Palamon 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. [Palamon drinks.]

ARCITE: ~~~ Spare it not --
The Duke has more, coz. Eat now.

PALAMON: ~~~ Yes. [Palamon eats.]

ARCITE: ~~~ ~~~ I am glad ... [III.3.20]
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. [Drinking.] The lord steward's daughter.
Do you remember her?

ARCITE: ~~~ After you, coz. ... [III.3.30]

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 arbor --
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. [They drink.]

ARCITE: A pretty brown wench 'tis. There was a time
When young men went a-hunting, and a wood, ... [III.3.40]
And a broad beech, and thereby hangs a tale --

PALAMON: ~~~ For Emily, upon my life! Fool,
Away with this strained mirth. I say again,
That sigh was breathed for Emily. Base cousin,
Dar'st 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 mak'st me, traitor.

ARCITE: [Pointing to the bundle.]
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 armor. ... [III.3.50]

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, as into the bush.]

Scene III. 4
Enter the Jailer's Daughter.

DAUGHTER: I am very cold, and all the stars are out too,
The little stars and all that, 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!
Open her before the wind -- you'll lose all else.
Up with a course or two and tack about, boys. ... [III.4.10]
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 cockle-shell, 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 eye, ... [III.4.20]
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.]

Scene III. 5
Enter Gerald (a schoolmaster), five Countrymen, one of whom is dressed as a Babion [baboon], five Wenches, and Timothy, a taborer. All are attired as morris dancers.

What tediosity and disinsanity
Is here among ye! Have my rudiments
Been labored 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 'how?' and 'wherefore?'
You most coarse frieze capacities, ye jean judgments,
Have I said, 'thus let be', and 'there let be',
And 'then let be', and no man understand me? ... [III.5.10]
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 appears. I meet him,
And unto him I offer 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, ... [III.5.20]
And sweetly, by a figure, trace and turn, boys.

1st COUNTRYMAN: And sweetly we will do it, master Gerald.

2d COUNTRYMAN: Draw up the company. Where's the taborer?

3d Why, Timothy!

TABORER: ~~~ Here, my mad boys, have at ye!

SCHOOLMASTER: But I say, where's these women?

4th COUNTRYMAN: ~~~ Here's Friz and Madeline.

2d COUNTRYMAN: And little Luce with the white legs, and bounding Barbara.

1st COUNTRYMAN: And freckled Nell, that never failed her master.

SCHOOLMASTER: Where be your ribbons, maids? Swim with your bodies
And carry it sweetly and deliverly,
And now and then a favor and a frisk. ... [III.5.30]

NELL: Let us alone, sir.

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

3d COUNTRYMAN: Dispersed as you commanded.

SCHOOLMASTER: ~~~ Couple, then,
And see what's wanting. Where's the babion?
[to the Babion.] My friend, carry your tail without offense
Or scandal to the ladies; and be sure
You tumble with audacity and manhood,
And when you bark, do it with judgment.

BABION ~~~ Yes, sir.

SCHOOLMASTER: Quousque tandem? Here is a woman wanting!

4th COUNTRYMAN: We may go whistle -- all the fat's i' th' fire.

SCHOOLMASTER: We have, ... [III.5.40]
As learned authors utter, washed a tile;
We have been fatuous, and labored vainly.

2d COUNTRYMAN: This is that scornful piece, that scurvy hilding
That gave her promise faithfully she would be here --
Cicely, the seamstress' daughter.
The next gloves that I give her shall be dog-skin.
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 ... [III.5.50]
And with thy teeth thou hold, will either fail --
In manners this was false position.

1st COUNTRYMAN: A fire-ill take her! Does she flinch now?

3d COUNTRYMAN: ~~~ What
Shall we determine, sir?

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

4th 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 the Jailer's Daughter.]

DAUGHTER: [sings]
The George Alow came from the south, ... [III.5.60]
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 --
The one he said it was an owl,
The other he said nay, ... [III.5.70]
The third he said it was a hawk,
And her bells were cut away.

3d 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.

1st COUNTRYMAN: A madwoman? We are made, boys.

SCHOOLMASTER: [to the Jailer's Daughter.] And are you mad, good woman?

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


DAUGHTER: ~~~ ~~~ I can tell your fortune. [She examines his hand.]
You are a fool. Tell ten -- I have posed him. Buzz! ... [III.5.80]
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
Qui passa o'th' bells and bones.

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

2 COUNTRYMAN: ~~~ Come, lass, let's trip it. ... [III.5.90]

DAUGHTER: I'll lead.


SCHOOLMASTER: Persuasively and cunningly --
[Wind horns within.] ~~~ away, boys,
I hear the horns. Give me some meditation,
And mark your cue.
[Exeunt all but Gerald the 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: [to the Schoolmaster.] Well sir, go forward -- we will edify. [III.5.100]
Ladies, sit down -- we'll stay it.
[They sit, Theseus in a chair, the others on stools.]

SCHOOLMASTER: Thou doughty Duke, all hail! All hail, sweet ladies.

THESEUS: This is a cold beginning.

SCHOOLMASTER: If you but favor, 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. ... [III.5.110]
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 'Moor' -- of mickle weight -- ... [III.5.120]
'Ice' now comes in, which, being glued together,
Makes 'morris', and the cause that we come 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 Serving man, by night
That seek out silent hanging; then mine Host
And his fat Spouse, that welcomes, to their cost, ... [III.5.130]
The galled traveler, and with a beck'ning
Informs the tapster to inflame the reck'ning;
Then the beest-eating Clown; and next, the Fool;
The babion with long tail and eke long tool,
Cum multis alits that make a dance --
Say 'aye', and all shall presently advance.

THESEUS: Ay, aye, by any means, dear dominie.

PIRITHOUS: ~~~ Produce.

SCHOOLMASTER: [Knocks for the dance.]
Intrate filii, come forth and foot it.
[He flings up his cap.] Music.
[The Schoolmaster ushers in May Lord, May Lady, Serving man, Chambermaid, A Country Clown, or Shepherd, Country Wench, An Host, Hostess, A He-Babion, She-Babion, A He-fool, The Jailer's Daughter, as She-fool.]
[All these people appareled to the life, the men issuing out of one door and the wenches from the other. They dance a morris.]

Ladies, if we have been merry,
And have pleased ye with a derry, ... [III.5.140]
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, ... [III.5.150]
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.
[He gives them money.]

THESEUS: Now to our sports again.

SCHOOLMASTER: May the stag thou hunt'st stand long,
And thy dogs be swift and strong;
May they kill him without lets,
And the ladies eat his dowsets.
[Exit Theseus and train. Wind horns within.]
Come, we are all made. Dii deaeque omnes,
Ye have danced rarely, wenches. [Exeunt.]

Scene III. 6
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 armors; 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 crest-fall'n with my wants. I thank thee, Arcite,
Thou art yet a fair foe, and I feel myself,
With this refreshing, able once again
To out-dure danger. To delay it longer ... [III.6.10]
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 two armors and two 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 honor, and my duty.

PALAMON: Would you were so in all, sir -- I could wish ye ... [III.6.20]
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 honorable.
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; ... [III.6.30]
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. Will't 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, ... [III.6.40]
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 it
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 ... [III.6.50]
With all the justice of affection,
I'll pay thee soundly. [He chooses one armor.] This I'll take.

ARCITE [indicating the remaining armor.] ~~~ That's mine, then.
I'll arm you first.

PALAMON: ~~~ Do. [Arcite arms Palamon.] Pray thee tell me, cousin,
Where gott'st 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. ... [III.6.60]

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 fall'n 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. [Palamon arms Arcite.]
Methinks this armor's very like that, Arcite, ... [III.6.70]
Thou wor'st 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 valor. 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 labored in me -- you outwent me, ... [III.6.80]
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 valor. 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 dishonor.

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. ... [III.6.90]
Here's one -- if it but hold, I ask no more
For all my hopes. My cause and honor 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 kill'st me,
The gods and I forgive thee. If there be
A place prepared for those that sleep in honor,
I wish his weary soul that falls may win it. [III.6.100]
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.
Once more farewell, my cousin.

PALAMON: ~~~ Farewell, Arcite. [Fight. Horns 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 honor's sake, and safely, presently, ... [III.6.110]
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 -- ... [III.6.120]
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, [III.6.130]
The law will have the honor of our ends.
Have at thy life!

PALAMON: ~~~ Look to thine own well, Arcite!
[They fight again. Horns, Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Emilia, Pirithous,
and train. Theseus separates Palamon and Arcite

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; ... [III.6.140]
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 dar'st 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, ... [III.6.150]
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 ... [III.6.160]
Let me say this 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', ... [III.6.170]
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 labors 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 ... [III.6.180]
Has ten times more offended, for I gave him
More mercy than you found, sir, your offenses
Being no more than his. None here speak for 'em,
For ere the sun set both shall sleep for ever.

HIPPOLYTA: [to Emilia.] 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. ... [III.6.190]
Yet that I will be woman and have pity, [She kneels.]
My kneels 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.
[Hippolyta kneels.] Most royal brother --

HIPPOLYTA: ~~~ Sir, by our tie of marriage --

EMILIA: By your own spotless honor --

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 valor,
By all the chaste nights I have ever pleased you -- ... [III.6.200]

THESEUS: These are strange conjurings.

PIRITHOUS: ~~~ Nay, then, I'll in too.
[He kneels.] 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 -- ... [III.6.210]

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? [They rise.]

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 ... [III.6.220]
They'd fight about you, hourly bring your honor
In public question with their swords. Be wise, then,
And her 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 honor.

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, ... [III.6.230]
Of more authority, I am sure more love --
Not made in passion, neither, but good heed.

THESEUS: What is it, sister?

PIRITHOUS: [to Emilia] ~~~ 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 fail in't,
Think how you maim your honor --
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. ... [III.6.240]
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,
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. ... [III.6.250]
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, ... [III.6.260]
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 honor of affection and die for her,
Make death a devil.

THESEUS: What may be done? For now I feel compassion. ... [III.6.270]

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. [to Palamon and Arcite.] 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. ... [III.6.280]

PALAMON: If I fall from that mouth, I fall with favor,
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: [to Emilia.] ~~~ Make choice, then.

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

HIPPOLYTA: [to Theseus.] What will become of 'em?

THESEUS: ~~~ Thus I ordain it,
And by mine honor once again it stands,
Or both shall die. [to Palamon and Arcite.] You shall both to your country,
And each within this month, accompanied ... [III.6.290]
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: [to Emilia.] Are you content, sister?

EMILIA: ~~~ Yes, I must, sir. ... [III.6.300]
Else both miscarry.

THESEUS: [to Palamon and Arcite.] 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. The bush is removed.]

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