Fletcher & Shakespeare's
THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN
Modern Spelling. Transcribed by BF. copyright © 2002
Words discussed in the glossary are underlined.
Run-ons (closing open ends) are indicated by ~~~
Scene IV. 1
Enter the Jailer and his Friend.
JAILER: Hear you no more? Was nothing said of me
Concerning the escape of Palamon?
Good sir, remember.
FRIEND: ~~~ Nothing that I heard,
For I came home before the business
Was fully ended. Yet I might perceive,
Ere I departed, a great likelihood
Of both their pardons: for Hippolyta
And fair-eyed Emily upon their knees
Begged with such handsome pity that the Duke,
Methought, stood staggering whether he should follow ... [IV.1.10]
His rash oath or the sweet compassion
Of those two ladies; and to second them
That truly noble prince, Pirithous --
Half his own heart -- set in too, that I hope
All shall be well. Neither heard I one question
Of your name or his scape. [Enter the Second Friend.]
JAILER: ~~~ Pray heaven it hold so.
2 FRIEND: Be of good comfort, man. I bring you news,
JAILER: ~~~ They are welcome.
2 FRIEND: ~~~ ~~~ Palamon has cleared you,
And got your pardon, and discovered how
And by whose means he scaped -- which was your daughter's, ... [IV.1.20]
Whose pardon is procured too; and the prisoner,
Not to be held ungrateful to her goodness,
Has given a sum of money to her marriage --
A large one, I'll assure you.
JAILER: ~~~ Ye are a good man,
And ever bring good news.
1 FRIEND: ~~~ How was it ended?
2 FRIEND: Why, as it should be: they that ne'er begged,
But they prevailed, had their suits fairly granted --
The prisoners have their lives.
1 FRIEND: ~~~ I knew't would be so.
2 FRIEND: But there be new conditions which you'll hear of
At better time.
JAILER: ~~~ I hope they are good.
2 FRIEND: ~~~ ~~~ They are honorable -- ... [IV.1.30]
How good they'll prove I know not. [Enter the Wooer.]
1 FRIEND: ~~~ 'Twill be known.
WOOER: Alas, sir, where's your daughter?
JAILER: ~~~ Why do you ask?
WOOER: O, sir, when did you see her?
2 FRIEND: ~~~ How he looks!
JAILER: This morning.
WOOER: ~~~ Was she well? Was she in health?
Sir, when did she sleep?
1 FRIEND: ~~~ These are strange questions.
JAILER: I do not think she was very well: for now
You make me mind her, but this very day
I asked her questions and she answered me
So far from what she was, so childishly,
So sillily, as if she were a fool, ... [IV.1.40]
An innocent -- and I was very angry.
But what of her, sir?
WOOER: ~~~ Nothing but my pity --
But you must know it, and as good by me
As by another that less loves her --
JAILER: Well, sir?
1 FRIEND: ~~~ Not right?
WOOER: ~~~ ~~~ No, sir, not well.
2 FRIEND: ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ Not well?
WOOER: 'Tis too true -- she is mad.
1 FRIEND: ~~~ It cannot be.
WOOER: Believe, you'll find it so.
JAILER: ~~~ I half suspected
What you told me -- the gods comfort her!
Either this was her love to Palamon,
Or fear of my miscarrying on his scape, ... [IV.1.50]
WOOER: ~~~ 'Tis likely.
JAILER: ~~~ ~~~ But why all this haste, sir?
WOOER: I'll tell you quickly. As I late was angling
In the great lake that lies behind the palace,
As patiently I was attending sport,
I heard a voice -- a shrill one -- and attentive
I gave my ear, when I might well perceive
'Twas one that sung, and by the smallness of it
A boy or woman. I then left my angle
To his own skill, came hear, but yet perceived not ... [IV.1.60]
Who made the sound, the rushes and the reeds
Had so encompassed it. I laid me down
And listened to the words she sung, for then,
Through a small glade cut by the fishermen,
I saw it was your daughter.
JAILER: ~~~ Pray go on, sir.
WOOER: She sung much, but no sense; only I heard her
Repeat this often -- 'Palamon is gone,
Is gone to th' wood to gather mulberries;
I'll find him out tomorrow.'
1 FRIEND: ~~~ Pretty soul!
WOOER: 'His shackles will betray him -- he'll be taken, ... [IV.1.70]
And what shall I do then? I'll bring a bevy,
A hundred black-eyed maids that love as I do,
With chaplets on their heads of daffodillies,
With cherry lips and cheeks of damask roses,
And all we'll dance an antic fore the Duke
And beg his pardon.' Then she talked of you, sir --
That you must lose your head tomorrow morning,
And she must gather flowers to bury you,
And see the house made handsome. Then she sung
Nothing but 'willow, willow, willow', and between... [IV.1.80]
Ever was 'Palamon, fair Palamon',
And 'Palamon was a tall young man'. The place
Was knee-deep where she sat; her careless tresses
A wreath of bull-rush rounded; about her stuck
Thousand freshwater flowers of several colors --
That she appeared, methought, like the fair nymph
That feeds the lake with waters, or as Iris
Newly dropped down from heaven. Rings she made
Of rushes that grew by, and to 'em spoke
The prettiest posies -- 'Thus our true love's tied', ... [IV.1.90]
'This you may lose, not me', and many a one.
And then she wept, and sung again, and sighed --
And with the same breath smiled and kissed her hand.
2 FRIEND: Alas, what pity it is!
WOOER: ~~~ I made in to her;
She saw me and straight sought the flood -- I saved her,
And set her safe to land, when presently
She slipped away and to the city made,
With such a cry and swiftness that, believe me,
She left me far behind her. Three or four
I saw from far off cross her -- one of 'em ... [IV.1.100]
I knew to be your brother, where she stayed
And fell, scarce to be got away. I left them with her,
[Enter the Jailer's Brother, the Jailer's Daughter, and others.]
And hither came to tell you -- here they are.
DAUGHTER: [sings.] 'May you never more enjoy the light ...' --
Is not this a fine song?
BROTHER: ~~~ O, a very fine one.
DAUGHTER: I can sing twenty more.
BROTHER: ~~~ I think you can.
DAUGHTER: Yes, truly can I -- I can sing 'The Broom'
And 'Bonny Robin' -- are not you a tailor?
DAUGHTER: ~~~ Where's my wedding gown?
BROTHER: ~~~ ~~~ I'll bring it tomorrow.
DAUGHTER: Do, very rarely -- I must be abroad else, ... [IV.1.110]
To call the maids and pay the minstrels,
For I must lose my maidenhead by cock light,
'Twill never thrive else. [Sings.] 'O fair, O sweet . . .'
BROTHER: [to the Jailer.] You must e'en take it patiently.
JAILER: ~~~ ÔTis true.
DAUGHTER: Good ev'n, good men. Pray, did you ever hear
Of one young Palamon?
JAILER: ~~~ Yes, wench, we know him.
DAUGHTER: Is't not a fine young gentleman?
JAILER: ~~~ 'Tis, love.
BROTHER: By no mean cross her, she is then distempered
Far worse than now she shows.
1 FRIEND: [to the Jailer's Daughter.] ~~~ Yes, he's a fine man.
DAUGHTER: O, is he so? You have a sister.
1 FRIEND: ~~~ Yes. ... [IV.1.120]
DAUGHTER: But she shall never have him, tell her so,
For a trick that I know. You'd best look to her,
For if she see him once, she's gone -- she's done
And undone in an hour. All the young maids
Of our town are in love with him, but I laugh at 'em
And let 'em all alone. Is't not a wise course?
1 FRIEND: ~~~ Yes.
DAUGHTER: There is at least two hundred now with child by him,
There must be four; yet I keep close for all this,
Close as a cockle; and all these must be boys --
He has the trick on't -- and at ten years old ... [IV.1.130]
They must be all gelt for musicians
And sing the wars of Theseus.
2 FRIEND: ~~~ This is strange.
[JAILER'S BROTHER ] As ever you heard, but say nothing.
1 FRIEND: ~~~ No.
DAUGHTER: They come from all parts of the dukedom to him.
I'll warrant ye, he had not so few last night
As twenty to dispatch. He'll tickle't up
In two hours, if his hand be in.
JAILER: ~~~ She's lost.
Past all cure.
BROTHER: ~~~ Heaven forbid, man!
DAUGHTER: [to the Jailer.] Come hither -- you are a wise man.
1 FRIEND: ~~~ Does she know him?
2 FRIEND: No -- would she did.
DAUGHTER: ~~~ You are master of a ship? ... [IV.1.140]
DAUGHTER: ~~~ Where's your compass?
JAILER: ~~~ ~~~ Here.
DAUGHTER: ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ Set it to th' north.
And now direct your course to th' wood where Palamon
Lies longing for me. For the tackling,
Let me alone. Come, weigh, my hearts, cheerly all.
Uff, uff, uff! 'Tis up. The wind's fair. Top the bowline.
Out with the mainsail. Where's your whistle, master?
BROTHER: Let's get her in.
JAILER: Up to the top, boy!
BROTHER: ~~~ Where's the pilot?
1 FRIEND: ~~~ ~~~ Here.
DAUGHTER: What kenn'st thou?
2 FRIEND: ~~~ A fair wood.
DAUGHTER: ~~~ ~~~ Bear for it, master.
[Sings] 'When Cynthia with her borrowed light' . . . [Exeunt.]
Scene IV. 2
Enter Emilia, with two pictures.
EMILIA: Yet I may bind these wounds up that must open
And bleed to death for my sake else -- I'll choose,
And end their strife. Two such young handsome men
Shall never fall for me; their weeping mothers
Following the dead cold ashes of their sons,
Shall; never curse my cruelty. Good heaven,
What a sweet face has Arcite! If wise nature,
With all her best endowments, all those beauties
She sows into the births of noble bodies,
Were here a mortal woman and had in her ... [IV.2.10]
The coy denials of young maids, yet doubtless
She would run mad for this man. What an eye,
Of what fiery sparkle and quick sweetness
Has this young prince! Here love itself sits smiling!
Just such another wanton Ganymede
Set Jove afire once, and enforced the god
Snatch up the goodly boy and set him by him,
A shining constellation. What a brow,
Of what spacious majesty, he carries!
Arched like the great-eyed Juno's, but far sweeter, ... [IV.2.20]
Smoother than Pelops' shoulder! Fame and honor,
Methinks, from hence, as from a promontory
Pointed in heaven, should clap their wings and sing
To all the under world the loves and fights
Of gods, and such men near 'em. Palamon
Is but his foil; to him a mere dull shadow;
He's swart and meager, of an eye as heavy
As if he had lost his mother; a still temper,
No stirring in him, no alacrity,
Of all this sprightly sharpness, not a smile. ... [IV.2.30]
Yet these that we count errors may become him:
Narcissus was a sad boy, but a heavenly.
O, who can find the bent of woman's fancy?
I am a fool, my reason is lost in me,
I have no choice, and I have lied so lewdly
That women ought to beat me. On my knees
I ask thy pardon, Palamon, thou art alone
And only beautiful, and these the eyes,
These the bright lamps of beauty, that command
And threaten love -- and what young maid dare cross 'em? ... [IV.2.40]
What a bold gravity, and yet inviting,
Has this brown manly face? O, love this only
From this hour is complexion. Lie there, Arcite,
Thou art a changeling to him, a mere gypsy,
And this the noble body. I am sotted,
Utterly lost -- my virgin's faith has fled me.
For if my brother, but even now, had asked me
Whether I loved, I had run made for Arcite;
Now if my sister, more for Palamon.
Stand both together. Now come ask me, brother -- ... [IV.2.50]
Alas, I know not; ask me now, sweet sister --
I may go look. What a mere child is fancy,
That having two fair gauds of equal sweetness,
Cannot distinguish, but must cry for both!
[Enter a Gentleman.] How now, sir?
GENTLEMAN: ~~~ From the noble Duke your brother,
Madam I bring you news. The knights are come.
EMILIA: To end the quarrel?
GENTLEMAN: ~~~ Yes.
EMILIA: ~~~ ~~~ Would I might end first!
What sins have I committed, chaste Diana,
That my unspotted youth must now be soiled
With blood of princes, and my chastity ... [IV.2.60]
Be made the altar where the lives of lovers --
Two greater and two better never yet
Made mothers joy -- must be the sacrifice
To my unhappy beauty?
[Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, and attendants.]
THESEUS: ~~~ Bring 'em in
Quickly, by any means, I long to see 'em. [Exit one or more.]
[to Emilia.] Your two contending lovers are returned,
And with them their fair knights. Now, my fair sister,
You must love one of them.
EMILIA: ~~~ I had rather both,
So neither for my sake should fall untimely. [Enter a Messenger.]
THESEUS: Who saw 'em?
PIRITHOUS: ~~~ I a while.
GENTLEMAN: ~~~ ~~~ And I. ... [IV.2.70]
THESEUS: [to the Messenger] From whence come you, sir?
MESSENGER: ~~~ From the knights.
THESEUS: ~~~ ~~~ Pray speak.
You that have seen them, what they are.
MESSENGER: ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ I will, sir.
And truly what I think. Six braver spirits
Than these they have brought, if we judge by the outside,
I never saw nor read of. He that stands
In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming,
Should be a stout man; by his face, a prince,
His very looks so say him: his complexion,
Nearer a brown than black, stern and yet noble,
Which shows him hardy, fearless, proud of dangers. ... [IV.2.80]
The circles of his eyes show fire within him,
And, as a heated lion, so he looks.
His hair hangs long behind him, black and shining,
Like raven's wings. His shoulders, broad and strong;
Armed long and round; and on his thigh a sword
Hung by a curious baldric, when he frowns
To seal his well with. Better, o' my conscience,
Was never soldier's friend.
THESEUS: Thou hast well described him.
PIRITHOUS: Yet a great deal short, ... [IV.2.90]
Methinks, of him that's first with Palamon.
THESEUS: Pray speak him, friend.
PIRITHOUS: ~~~ I guess he is a prince too,
And, if it may be, greater -- for his show
Has all the ornament of honor in't.
He's somewhat bigger than the knight he spoke of,
But of a face far sweeter. His complexion
Is as a ripe grape, ruddy. He has felt,
Without doubt, what he fights for, and so apter
To make this cause his own. In's face appears
All the fair hopes of what he undertakes, ... [IV.2.100]
And when he's angry, then a settled valor,
Not tainted with extremes, runs through his body
And guides his arm to brave things. Fear he cannot --
He shows no such soft temper. His head's yellow,
Hard-haired and curled, thick twined: like ivy tods,
Not to undo with thunder. In his face
The livery of the warlike maid appears,
Pure red and white -- for yet no beard has blessed him --
And in his rolling eyes sits victory, ... [IV.2.110]
As if she ever meant to court his valor.
His nose stands high, a character of honor;
His red lips, after fights, are fit for ladies.
EMILIA: Must these men die too?
PIRITHOUS: ~~~ When he speaks, his tongue
Sounds like a trumpet. All his lineaments
Are as a man would wish 'em -- strong and clean.
He wears a well-steeled axe, the staff of gold.
His age, some five-and-twenty.
MESSENGER: ~~~ There's another -- ... [IV.2.120]
A little man, but of a tough soul, seeming
As great as any. Fairer promises
In such a body yet I never looked on.
PIRITHOUS: O, he that's freckle-faced?
MESSENGER: ~~~ The same, my lord.
Are they not sweet ones?
PIRITHOUS: ~~~ Yes, they are well.
MESSENGER: ~~~ ~~~ Methinks,
Being so few and well disposed, they show
Great and fine art in nature. He's white-haired --
Not wanton white, but such a manly color
Next to an auburn, tough and nimble set,
Which shows an active soul. His arms are brawny,
Lined with strong sinews -- to the shoulder piece
Gently they swell, like women new-conceived,
Which speaks him prone to labor, never fainting ... [IV.2.130]
Under the weight of arms; stout-hearted, still,
But when he stirs, a tiger. He's grey-eyed,
Which yields compassion where he conquers; sharp
To spy advantages, and where he finds 'em,
He's swift to make 'em his. He does no wrongs,
Nor takes none. He's round-faced, and when he smiles
He shows a lover; when he frowns, a soldier.
About his head he wears the winner's oak,
And in it stuck the favor of his lady.
His age, some six-and-thirty. In his hand ... [IV.2.140]
He bears a charging staff embossed with silver.
THESEUS: Are they all thus?
PIRITHOUS: ~~~ They are all the sons of honor.
THESEUS: Now as I have a soul, I long to see Ôem.
[to Hippolyta.] ~~~ Lady, you shall see men fight now.
HIPPOLYTA: ~~~ ~~~ I wish it,
But not the cause, my lord. They would show
Bravely about the titles of two kingdoms --
'Tis pity love should be so tyrannous.
[to Emilia.] O my soft-hearted sister, what think you?
Weep not till they weep blood. Wench, it must be.
THESEUS: [to Emilia.] You have steeled 'em with your beauty.
[to Pirithous.] ~~~ Honored friend, ... [IV.2.150]
To you I give the field: pray order it
Fitting the persons that must use it.
PIRITHOUS: ~~~ Yes, sir.
THESEUS: Come, I'll go visit 'em -- I cannot stay,
Their fame has fired me. Till they appear,
Good friend, be royal.
PIRITHOUS: ~~~ There shall want no bravery.
EMILIA: [Aside.] Poor wench, go weep -- for whosoever wins
Loses a noble cousin for thy sins. [Exeunt.]
Scene IV. 3
Enter the Jailer, the Wooer, and the Doctor.
DOCTOR: Her distraction is more at some time of the moon
than at other some, is it not?
JAILER: She is continually in a harmless distemper: sleeps
little; altogether without appetite, save often drinking;
dreaming of another world, and a better; and what
broken piece of matter soe'er she's about, the name
'Palamon' lards it, that she farces every business.
[Enter the Jailer's Daughter.]
withal, fits it to every question. Look where she comes --
you shall perceive her behavior. [They stand apart.]
DAUGHTER: I have forgot it quite -- the burden on't ... [IV.3.10]
was 'Down-a, down-a' and penned by no worse man
than Giraldo, Emilia's schoolmaster. He's as fantastical,
too, as ever he may go upon's legs -- for in the next
world will Dido see Palamon, and then will she be out
of love with Aeneas.
DOCTOR: What stuff's here? Poor soul.
JAILER: E'en thus all day long.
DAUGHTER: Now for this charm that I told you
of -- you must bring a piece of silver on the tip of your
tongue, or no ferry: then, if it be your chance to come ... [IV.3.20]
where the blessed spirits are -- there's a sight now! We
maids that have our livers perished, cracked to pieces
with love, we shall come there and do nothing all day
long but pick flowers with Proserpine. Then will I make
Palamon a nosegay, then let him mark me, then --
DOCTOR: How prettily she's amiss! Note her a little further.
DAUGHTER: Faith, I'll tell you: sometime we go to
barley-break, we of the blessed. Alas, 'tis a sore life
they have i' th' other place -- such burning, frying,
boiling, hissing, howling, chattering, cursing -- O they ... [IV.3.30]
have shrewd measure -- take heed! If one be mad or
hang or drown themselves, thither they go, Jupiter
bless us, and there shall we be put in a cauldron of
lead and usurers' grease, amongst a whole million of
cut-purses, and there boil like a gammon of bacon that
will never be enough.
DOCTOR: How her brain coins!
DAUGHTER: Lords and courtiers that have got
maids with child -- they are in this place. They shall
stand in fire up to the navel and in ice up to th' heart, ... [IV.3.40]
and there th'offending part burns, and the deceiving
part freezes -- in truth a very grievous punishment as
one would think for such a trifle. Believe me, one would
marry a leprous witch to be rid on't, I'll assure you.
DOCTOR: How she continues this fancy! 'Tis not an
engrafted madness, but a most thick and profound
DAUGHTER: To hear there a proud lady and a
proud city wife howl together! I were a beast and I'd
call it good sport. One cries, 'O this smoke!', th'other, ... [IV.3.50]
'This fire!'; one cries, 'O that ever I did it behind the
arras!', and then howls -- th'other curses a suing fellow
and her garden-house.
[Sings] 'I will be true, my stars, my fate . . .' [Exit Daughter.]
JAILER: [to the Doctor.] What think you of her, sir?
DOCTOR: I think she has a perturbed mind, which I cannot
JAILER: Alas, what then?
DOCTOR: Understand you she ever affected any man ere she beheld Palamon? ... [IV.3.60]
JAILER: I was once, sir, in great hope that she had fixed her
liking on this gentleman, my friend.
WOOER: I did think so too, and would account I had a
great penn'orth on't to give half my state that both
she and I, at this present, stood unfeignedly on the
DOCTOR: That intemperate surfeit of her eye hath distempered
the other senses. They may return and settle
again to execute their preordained faculties, but they
are now in a most extravagant vagary. This you must ... [IV.3.70]
do: confine her to a place where the light may rather
seem to steal in than be permitted; take upon you,
young sir her friend, the name of Palamon; say you
come to eat with her and to commune of love. This
will catch her attention, for this her mind beats upon --
other objects that are inserted 'tween her mind and
eye become the pranks and friskins of her madness.
Sing to her such green songs of love as she says
Palamon hath sung in prison; come to her stuck in as
sweet flowers as the season is mistress of, and thereto ... [IV.3.80]
make an addition of some other compounded odors
which are grateful to the sense. All this shall become
Palamon, for Palamon can sing, and Palamon is sweet
and every good thing. Desire to eat with her, carve
her, drink to her, and still among intermingle your
petition of grace and acceptance into her favor. Learn
what maids have been her companions and play-feres,
and let them repair to her, with Palamon in their
mouths, and appear with tokens as if they suggested
for him. It is a falsehood she is in, which is with ... [IV.3.90]
falsehoods to be combated. This may bring her to eat,
to sleep, and reduce what's now out of square in her
into their former law and regiment. I have seen it
approved, how many times I know not, but to make
the number more I have great hope in this. I will
between the passages of this project come in with my
appliance,. Let us put it in execution, and hasten the
success, which doubt not will bring forth comfort. [Exeunt.]
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