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 ~~~
An altar prepared. Flourish. Enter Theseus, Pirithous,
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.
[Flourish of cornets.] They have a noble work in hand, will honor
The very powers that love 'em.
[Enter Palamon with his three Knights, at one door, and Arcite with his three Knights, at the other door.]
PIRITHOUS: ~~~ Sir, they enter.
THESEUS: You valiant and strong-hearted enemies,
You royal german foes that this day come
To blow that nearness out that flames between ye, ... [V.1.10]
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: ~~~ Honor crown the worthiest.
[Exit Theseus and his train.]
PALAMON:[to Arcite.] 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 ... [V.1.20]
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 labor
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, ... [V.1.30]
Before I turn, let me embrace thee, cousin --
This I shall never do again.
ARCITE: ~~~ One farewell.
PALAMON: Why, let it be so -- farewell, coz.
ARCITE: ~~~ Farewell, sir. [Exeunt Palamon and his three Knights.]
Knights, kinsmen, lovers -- yea, my sacrifices,
True worshipers of Mars, whose spirit in you
Expels the seeds of fear and th'apprehension
Which still is father of 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, ... [V.1.40]
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 kneel before the altar, fall on their faces, then on their knees again.]
[Praying to Mars] ~~~ Thou mighty one,
That with thy power hast turned green Neptune into purple;
Whose havoc in vast field comets prewarn, ... [V.1.50]
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 mak'st and break'st
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. ... [V.1.60]
[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 e'er-rank states, thou grand decider
Of dusty and old titles, that heal'st with blood
The earth when it is sick, and cur'st the world
O'th' pleurisy of people, I do take
Thy signs auspiciously, and in thy name,
To my design, march boldly. [to his Knights.] Let us go.
Scene V. 2
Enter Palamon and his Knights with the former observance.
PALAMON: [to his Knights.] 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 kneel before the altar, fall on their faces, then on their knees again.]
[Praying to Venus.] Hail, sovereign queen of secrets, who hast power
To call the fiercest tyrant from his rage ... [V.2.10]
And weep unto a girl; that hast the might
Even with an eye-glance, to choke Mars's drum
And turn th'alarum 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 ... [V.2.20]
Abuse young lays of love. What godlike power
Hast thou not power upon? To Phoebus thou
Add'st 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 grave
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; ... [V.2.30]
Ne'er revealed secret, for I knew none; would not,
Had I kenned all that were. I never practiced
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 simp'ring 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 ... [V.2.40]
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 ... [V.2.50]
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 ... [V.2.60]
Of thy great pleasure.
[Here music is heard, doves are seen to flutter.
They fall again upon their faces, then on their knees.]
O thou that from eleven to ninety reign'st
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. [to his Knights.] Let us rise
And bow before the goddess. [They rise and bow.]
~ ~ ~ Time comes on. [Exeunt.]
Scene V. 3
Still music of recorders. 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 odors, which being set upon the altar, her maids standing apart, she sets fire to it. Then they curtsy and kneel.
EMILIA: [Praying to Diana.] 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
Allow'st 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 -- ... [V.3.10]
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 ... [V.3.20]
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.][to her women.]
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 ... [V.3.30]
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 fall'n, the tree descends. [to Diana] O mistress,
Thou here dischargest me -- I shall be gathered.
I think so, but I know not thine own will.
Unclasp thy mystery. [to her women.] I hope she's pleased;
Her signs were gracious. [They curtsy and exeunt.]
Scene V. 4
Enter the Doctor, the Jailer, and the Wooer in the 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 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, ... [V.4.10]
And when your fit comes, fit her home,
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.
JAILER: ~~~ Ho there, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Yes, in the way of cure.
JAILER: ~~~ But first, by your leave, ... [V.4.20]
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.
JAILER: ~~~ Thank ye, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Pray bring her in and let's see how she is.
WOOER: I will, and tell her her Palamon stays for her.
But, Doctor, methinks you are i' th' wrong still. [Exit Jailer.]
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? ... [V.4.30]
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: Yes, very well, sir.
DOCTOR: ~~~ Please her appetite,
And do it home -- it cures her, ipso facto,
The melancholy humor that infects her.
WOOER: I am of your mind, Doctor.
[Enter the Jailer and his Daughter, mad.]
DOCTOR: You'll find it so -- she comes; pray humor her. ... [V.4.40]
[The Doctor and the Wooer stand apart.]
JAILER: [to Daughter.] 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?
JAILER: ~~~ Yes.
DAUGHTER: How do you like him?
JAILER: ~~~ He's a very fair one.
DAUGHTER: You never saw him dance?
JAILER: ~~~ 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.
JAILER: ~~~ That's fine, indeed. [V.4.50]
DAUGHTER: He'll dance the morris twenty mile an hour,
And that will founder the best hobbyhorse,
If I have any skill, in all the parish --
And gallops to the tune of 'Light o' love'.
What think you of this horse?
JAILER: ~~~ Having these virtues
I think he might be brought to play at tennis.
DAUGHTER: Alas, that's nothing.
JAILER: ~~~ 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 ... [V.4.60]
The chestnut mare the Duke has?
JAILER: ~~~ Very well.
DAUGHTER: She is horribly in love with him, poor beast,
But he is like his master -- coy and scornful.
JAILER: 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!
JAILER: Make curtsy -- here your love comes.
WOOER: [coming forward.] Pretty soul, ... [V.4.70]
How do ye? [She curtsies.] 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. ... [V.4.80]
Besides, my father must be hanged tomorrow,
And that would be a blot i' th' business.
Are you not Palamon?
WOOER: ~~~ Do not you know me?
DAUGHTER: Yes, but you care not for me. I have nothing
But this poor petticoat and two 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: [Rubbing off the kiss]
~~~ 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. ... [V.4.90]
[Indicating the Doctor] Is this not 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: [to the Jailer.] ~~~ Do you think so too?
JAILER: ~~~ ~~~ Yes.
DAUGHTER: We shall have many children. [to the Doctor.]
~~~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 ... [V.4.100]
That e'er was seen.
JAILER: ~~~ Are they i' th' field?
MESSENGER: ~~~ ~~~ They are --
You bear a charge there too.
JAILER: ~~~ I'll away straight.
[to the others.] I must e'en leave you here.
DOCTOR: ~~~ Nay, we'll go with you --
I will not lose the sight.
JAILER: ~~~ How did you like her?
DOCTOR: I'll warrant you, within these three or four days
I'll make her right again.
[Exit the Jailer with the Messenger.]
[to the Wooer.] ~~~ You must not from her,
But still preserve her in this way.
WOOER: ~~~ I will.
DOCTOR: Let's get her in.
WOOER: [to the Jailer's Daughter.] ~~~ 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. ... [V.4.110]
DAUGHTER: And then we'll sleep together.
DOCTOR: [to the Wooer.] ~~~ Take her offer.
WOOER: [to the Jailer's Daughter] 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.]
Scene V. 5
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 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 dealing, but to hear; not taint mine eye
With dread sights it may shun.
PIRITHOUS: [to Theseus.] ~~~ Sir, my good lord, ... [V.5.10]
Your sister will no further.
THESEUS: ~~~ O, she must.
She shall see deeds of honor in their kind,
Which sometime show well penciled. 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 price 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. [V.5.20]
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 missions, 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 valor at your eye. Know, of this war ... [V.5.30]
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. ... [V.5.40]
[Exeunt all but Emilia. Emilia takes out two pictures, one from
her right side, and one from her left.]
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. ... [V.5.50]
But Palamon's sadness is a kind of mirth,
So mingled as if mirth did make him sad
And sadness merry. Those darker humors that
Stock misbecomingly on others, on them
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 ... [V.5.60]
I might do hurt, for they would glance their eyes
Toward my seat, and in that motion might
Omit a ward or forfeit an offense
Which craved that very time. It is much better
[Cornets. A great cry and noise within, crying, 'A Palamon'.]
I am not there. O better never born,
Than minister to such harm. [Enter 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 prim'st of men. I prithee run ... [V.5.70]
And tell me how it goes.
SERVANT: ~~~ Still 'Palamon'.
EMILIA: Run and enquire. [Exit Servant.]
[She speaks to the picture in her right hand.]
~~~ 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.
[Another cry and shout within and cornets.]
On the sinister side the heart lies -- Palamon
Had the best-boding chance. This burst of clamor
Is sure the end o'th' combat. [Enter Servant.]
SERVANT: They said that Palamon had Arcite's body
Within an inch o'th' pyramid -- that the cry ... [V.5.80]
Was general 'A Palamon'. But anon
Th'assistants made a brave redemption, and
The two bold tilters 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?
SERVANT: ~~~ Nay, now the sound is 'Arcite'. ... [V.5.90]
EMILIA: I prithee, lay attention to the cry.
[Cornets. A great shout and cry, 'Arcite, victory!']
Set both thine ears to th' business.
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 ... [V.5.100]
Good Palamon would miscarry, yet I knew not
Why I did think so. Our reasons are not prophets
When oft our fancies are. They are coming off --
Alas, poor Palamon.
[She puts away the pictures. Cornets. 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. [to Arcite and Emilia.] Give me your hands.
[to Arcite.] Receive you her, [to Emilia.]
~~~ you him: [to both.] be plighted with ... [V.5.110]
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: [to Emilia.] ~~~ 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 behavior
So charmed me that, methought, Alcides was
To him a sow of lead. If I could praise ... [V.5.120]
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 out-breasted, 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. [to Arcite.] Wear the garland ... [V.5.130]
With joy that you have won. -- For the subdued,
Give them our present justice, since I know
Their lives but pinch 'em. Let it be here 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. Hippolyta,
I see one eye of yours conceives a tear,
The which it will deliver. [Flourish.]
EMILIA: ~~~ Is this winning?
O all you heavenly powers, where is your mercy?
But that your wills have said it must be so, ... [V.5.140]
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.]
Scene V. 6
Enter, guarded, Palamon and his three Knights pinioned;
enter with them the Jailer and an executioner with block and axe.
PALAMON: There's many a man alive that hath outlived
The love o'th' people; yea, i' th' self-same 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
The grey approachers; we come towards the gods
Young and unwappered, not halting under crimes ... [V.6.10]
Many and stale -- that sure shall please the gods
Sooner than such, to give us nectar with 'em,
For we are more clear spirits. May dear kinsmen,
Whose lives for this poor comfort are laid down,
You have sold 'em too too cheap.
1 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 honor
They not o'erweigh us.
2 KNIGHT: ~~~ Let us bid farewell,
And with our patience anger tott'ring fortune, ... [V.6.20]
Who at her certain'st reels.
2 KNIGHT: ~~~ Come, who begins?
PALAMON: E'en he that led you to this banquet shall
Taste to you all. [to the Jailer] 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.
JAILER: ~~~ Sir, she's well restored
And is 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; ... [V.6.30]
Commend me to her, and to piece her portion
Tender her this. [He gives his purse.]
1 KNIGHT: ~~~ Nay, let's be offerers all.
2 KNIGHT: Is it a maid?
PALAMON: ~~~ Verily, I think so --
A right good creature more to me deserving
Than I can quit or speak of.
ALL 3 KNIGHTS ~~~ Commend us to her.
[They give their purses.]
JAILER: The gods requite you all, and make her thankful.
PALAMON: Adieu, and let my life be now as short
As my leave-taking. [He lies on the block.]
1 KNIGHT: ~~~ Lead, courageous cousin.
2 and 3 KNIGHTS We'll follow cheerfully.
[A great noise within: crying, 'Run! Save! Hold!'
Enter in haste a Messenger.]
MESSENGER: Hold! Hold! O, hold! Hold! Hold! ... [V.6.40]
[Enter Pirithous in haste.]
PIRITHOUS: Hold, ho! It is a cursed haste you made
If you had 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 rarely 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 [V.6.50]
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 ... [V.6.60]
Came music's origin -- what envious flint,
Cold as old Saturn and like him possessed
With fire malevolent, darted a spark,
Or what fierce sulfur 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 ... [V.6.70]
Than any jot obeys; seeks all foul means
Of boist'rous and rough jad'ry to disseat
His lord, that kept it bravely. When naught served,
When neither curb would crack, girth break, nor diff'ring 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 ... [V.6.80]
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 in a chair borne by attendants.]
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, ... [V.6.90]
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 -- [They kiss.] 'tis done.
Take her; I die. [He dies.]
PALAMON: ~~~ Thy brave soul seek Elysium.
EMILIA: [to Arcite's body.]
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 honor.
THESEUS: In this place first you fought, e'en very here
I sundered you. Acknowledge to the gods ... [V.6.100]
Our 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 arouse 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.
[Exeunt attendants with Arcite's body.]
PALAMON: ~~~ O cousin,
That we should things desire which do cost us ... [V.6.110]
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
Do lie in you, for you first saw her and
Even then proclaimed your fancy. He restored her
As your stol'n jewel, and desired your spirit
To send him hence, forgiven. The gods my justice ... [V.6.120]
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 ... [V.6.130]
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.]
EPILOGUE: I would now ask ye how ye like the play,
But, as it is with schoolboys, cannot say.
I am cruel fearful. Pray yet stay awhile,
And let me look upon ye. No man smile?
Then it goes hard, I see. He that has
Loved a young handsome wench, then, show his face --
'Tis strange if none be here -- and, if he will,
Against his conscience let him hiss and kill
Our market. 'Tis in vain, I see, to stay ye.
Have at the worst can come, then! Now, what say ye? ... [Ep.10]
And yet mistake me not -- I am not bold --
We have no such cause. If the tale we have told --
For 'tis no other -- any way content ye,
For to that honest purpose it was meant ye,
We have our end; and ye shall have ere long
I dare say, many a better to prolong
Your old loves to us. We and all our might
Rest at your service. Gentlemen, good night. [Flourish. Exit.]
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