Page images
PDF
EPUB

thee

my

Arc. I cannot tell what you have done; I have, Pal. I must be, Beshrew mine eyes fort! Now I feel my 'Till thou art worthy, Arcite; it concerns me! sbackles.

And, in this madness, if I hazard thee, Pal. You love her, then ?

And take thy life, I deal but truly. Arc, Who would not ?

Arc. Fy, sir ! Pal. And desire her?

You play the child extremely: I will love her, Arc. Before my liberty.

I must, I ought to do so, and I dare; Pal. I saw her first.

And all this justly. Arc. That's nothing.

Pal. Oh, that now, that now inter Pal. But it shall be.

Thy false self, and thy friend, had but this for. Arc. I saw her too.

tune, Pal. Yes; but you must not love her. To be one hour at liberty, and grasp

Are. I will not, as you do; to worship her, Our good swords in our hands, I'd quickly teach As she is heav'nly, and a blessed goddess : I love her as a woman, to enjoy her;

What 'twere to filch affection from another ! So both may love.

Thou'rt baser in it than a cutpurse! Pal. You shall not love at all.

Put but thy head out of this window more, Arc. Not love at all? who shall deny me? And, as I have a soul, I'll nail thy life to't! Pal. I, that first saw her; 1, that took posses Arc. Thou dar'st not, fool; thou canst not ; sion

thou art feeble ! First with mine eye of all those beauties in her Put my head out? I'll throw my body out, Revealed to mankind ! If thou lov'st her, And leap the garden, when I see her next, Or entertain'st a hope to blast my wishes,

Enter Jailor. Thou art a traitor, Arcite, and a fellow False as thy title to her: Friendship, blood, And pitch between her arms, to anger thee. And all the ties between us, I disclaim,

Pal. No more! the keeper's coming : I shall If thou once think upon her!

live Arc. Yes, I love her;

To knock thy brains out with shackles. And if the lives of all my name lay on it,

Arc, Do! I must do so; I love her with my soul.

Jailor. By your leave, gentlemen! If that will lose you, farewell, Palamon!

Pal. Now, honest keeper? I say again, I love; and, in loving her, maintain Jailor. Lord Arcite, you must presently to th' I am as worthy and as free a lover,

duke : And have as just a title to her beauty,

The cause I know not yet. As any Palamon, or any living,

Arc. I'm ready, keeper. That is a man's son.

Jailor. Prince Palamon, I must awhile bereave Pal. Have I called thee friend?

you Arc. Yes, and have found me so. Why are Of your fair cousin's company. you moved thus ?

(Erit with ARCITE. Let me deal coldly with you : am not I

Pal. And me too, Part of your blood, part of your soul? You've Ev’n when you please, of life !-Why is he sent told me

for That I was Palamon, and you were Arcite. It may be, he shall marry her; he's goodly, Pal. Yes.

And like enough the duke hath taken notice Arc. Am not I liable to those affections, Both of his blood and body. But his falsehood! Those joys, griefs, angers, fears, my friend shall Why should a friend be treacherous ? If that suffer?

Get him a wife so noble, and so fair, Pal. You may be.

Let honest men ne'er love again. Once more Arc. Why, then, would you deal so cunningly, I would but see this fair one. Blessed garden, So strangely, so unlike a Noble Kinsman, And fruit, and flowers more blessed, that still To love alone? Speak truly; do you

think me

blossom Unworthy of her sight?

As her bright eyes shine on ye ! 'Would I were, Pal. No; but unjust,

For all the fortune of my life hereafter, If thou pursue that sight.

Yon little tree, yon blooming apricot! Arc. Because another

How I would spread, and fling my wanton arms First sees the enemy, shall I stand still,

In at her window! I would bring her fruit And let mine honour down, and never charge ? Fit for the gods to feed on; youth and pleasure, Pal. Yes, if he be but one.

Still as she tasted, should be doubled on her; Arc. But say that one

And, if she be not heavenly, I would make her Had rather combat me?

So near the gods in nature, they should fear her ; Pal. Let that one say so,

Enter Jailor.
And use thy freedom! else, if thou pursuest her,
Be as that cursed man that hates his country,

And then I'm sure she'd love me. How now, A branded villain !

keeper! Arc. You are mad.

Where's Arcite ?

Jailor. Banished. Prince Perithous

And let in life into thee; thou shalt feed Obtained his liberty; but never more,

Upon the sweetness of a noble beauty, Upon his oath and life, must he set foot That nature ne'er exceeded, nor ne'er shall : Upon this kingdom.

Good gods, what happiness has Palamon!
Pal. He's a blessed man !

Twenty to one, he'll come to speak to her ;
He shall see Thebes again, and call to arms And, if she be as gentle as she's fair,
The bold young men, that, when he bids 'em I know she's his; he has a tongue will tame
charge,

Tempests, and make the wild rocks wanton. Fall on like fire: Arcite shall have a fortune,

Come what can come, If he dare make himself a worthy lover,

The worst is death ; I will not leave the kingYet in the field to strike a battle for her ;

dom :
And if he lose her then, he's a cold coward : I know my own is but a heap of ruins,
How bravely may he bear himself to win her, And no redress there; if I go, he has her.
If he be noble Arcite, thousand ways !

I am resolved: Another shape shall make me, Were I at liberty, I would do things

Or end my fortunes; either way, I'm happy: Of such a virtuous greatness, that this lady, I'll see her, and be near her, or no more. This blushing virgin, should take manhood to her,

Enter four Country People ; one with a garland And seek to ravish me.

before them. Jailor. My lord, for you

i Coun. My masters, I'll be there, that's cer. I have this charge too.

tain. Pal. To discharge my life?

2 Coun. And I'll be there. Jailor. No; but from this place to remove 3 Coun. And I. your lordship;

4 Coun. Why, then, have with ye, boys ! 'tis The windows are too open.

but a chiding; Pal. Devils take 'em,

Let the plough play to-day! I'll tickle't out That are so envious to me! Prithee kill me ! Of the jades tails to-morrow! Jailor. And hang for't afterward ?

1 Coun. I am sure Pal. By this good light,

To have my wife as jealous as a turkey: Had I a sword, Pa kill thee!

But that's all one; I'll go through, let her mumJailor. Why, my lord ?

ble. Pal. Thou bring'st such pelting scurvy news 2 Coun. Clap her aboard to-morrow night, and continually,

stow her, Thou art not worthy life! I will not go.

And all's made up again. Jailor. Indeed you must, my lord.

3 Coun. Ay! do but put Pal. May I see the garden?

A fescue in her fist, and you shall see her Jailor. No.

Take a new lesson out, and be a good wench. Pal. Then I'm resolved I will not go. Do we all hold, against the maying? Jailor. I must

4 Coun. Hold ? what Constrain you, then; and, for you're dangerous, Should ail us ! I'll clap more irons on you.

3 Coun. Arcus will be there. Pal. Do, good keeper!

2 Coun. And Sennois, I'll shake 'em so, you shall not sleep;

And Rycas; and three better lads ne'er danced I'll make you a new morris ! Must I go? Under green tree; and ye know what wenches. Jailor. There is no remedy.

Ha ! Pal. Farewell, kind window!

But will the dainty domine, the schoolmaster, May rude wind never hurt thee! Oh, my lady, Keep touch, do you think? for he does all, ye If ever thou hast felt what sorrow was,

know. Dream how I suffer! Come, now bury me. 3 Coun. He'll eat a hornbook, ere he fail : Go

(Ereunt.

to !

The matter is too far driven between
SCENE III.

Him and the tanner's daughter, to let slip now;

And she must see the duke, and she must dance Enter ARCITE.

too. Arc. Banished the kingdom ? 'Tis a benefit, 4 Coun. Shall we be lusty? A mercy, I must thank 'em for; but banished 2 Coun. All the boys in Athens The free enjoying of that face I die for, Blow wind i'th' breech on us! and here I'll be, Oh, 'twas a studied punishment, a death And there I'll be, for our town, and here again, Beyond imagination! Such a vengeance,

And there again! Ha, boys, heigh for the weaThat, were i old and wicked, all my sins Could never pluck upon me. Palamon,

1 Coun. This must be done i'th' woods. Thou hast the start now; thou shalt stay and see 4 Coun. Oh, pardon me! Her bright eyes break each morning 'gainst thy 2 Coun. By any means; our thing of learning 'window,

says so;

vers!

ness

Where he himself will edify the duke

When fifteen once has found us ! First, I saw Most parlously in our behalfs: he's excellent

him; i th' woods;

I, seeing, thought he was a goodly man; Bring him to the plains, his learning makes no He has as much to please a woman in him, cry.

(If he please to bestow it so) as ever 3 Coun. We'll see the sports; then every man These eyes yet looked on : Next, I pitied him ; to's tackle !

And so would any young wench, o' my conAnd, sweet companions, let's rehearse by any

science, means,

That ever dreamed, or vowed her maidenhead Before the ladies see us, and do sweetly, To a young handsome man: Then, I loved him, And God knows what may come on't!

Extremely loved him, infinitely loved him! 4 Coun. Content: The sports

And
yet

he had a cousin, fair as he too; Once ended, we'll perform. Away, boys, and But in my heart was Palamon, and there, hold!

Lord, what a coil he keeps ! To hear him Arc. By your leaves, honest friends! Pray you Sing in an evening, what a heaven it is ! whither go you?

And yet his songs are sad ones. Fairer spoken 4 Coun. Whither? why, what a question’s Was never gentleman: When I come in that !

To bring him water in a morning, first Arc. Yes, 'tis a question to me that know not. He bows his noble body, then salutes me thus : 3 Coun. To the games, my friend.

* Fair, gentle maid, good morrow! may thy good2 Coun. Where were you bred, you know it not?

• Get thee a happy husband !' Once he kissed Arc. Not far, sir.

me; Are there such games to-day?

I loved my lips the better ten days after: 1 Coun. Yes, marry are there ;

Would he would do so ev'ry day! He grieves And such as you ne'er saw: The duke himself

much, Will be in

person
there.

And me as much to see his misery :
Arc. What pastimes are they?

What should I do to make him know I love him? 2 Coun. Wrastling and running.— 'Tis a pret- For I would fain enjoy him: Say I ventured ty fellow.

To set him free? what says the law then? 3 Coun. Thou wilt not go along?

Thus much for law, or kindred! I will do it, Arc. Not yet, sir.

And this night, or to-morrow: He shall love me! 4 Coun. Well, sir,

[Erit. Take your own time. Come, boys ! 1 Coun. My mind misgives me,

SCENE V.
This fellow has a vengeance trick o'th' hip;
Mark, how his body's made for't !

(A short flourish of cornets, and shouts within.) 2 Coun. I'll be hanged, though,

Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLITA, PERITHOUS, EMIIf he dare venture! hang him, plumb-porridge ! LIA, and ARCITE, with a garland, &c. He wrastle? He roast eggs. Come, let's be gone, Thes. You have done worthily; I have not lads! (Ereunt Countrymen.

seen, Arc. This is an offered opportunity

Since Hercules, a man of tougher sinews : I durst not wish for. Well I could have wrest

Whate'er you are, you run the best, and wrestle, led,

That these times can allow. The best men called it excellent; and run,

Arc. I'm proud to please you. Swifter the wind upon a field of corn,

Thes. What country bred you? (Curling the wealthy ears) ne'er flew. I'll ven

Arc. This; but far off, prince. ture,

Thes. Are you a gentleman ?
And in some poor disguise be there: Who knows

Arc. My father said so;
Whether my brows may not be girt with garlands, And to those gentle uses gave me life.
And happiness prefer me to a place,

Thes. Are you his heir ?
Where I may ever dwell in sight of her? (Erit.

Arc. His youngest, sir.

Thes. Your father

Sure is a happy sire, then. What prove you?
SCENE IV.

Arc. A little of all noble qualities :
Enter Jailor's Daughter.

I could have kept a hawk, and well have hallooed

To a deep cry of dogs; I dare not praise Daugh. Why should I love this gentleman? My feat in horsemanship, yet they that knew me 'Tis odds

Would say it was my best piece; last, and greatHe never will affect me: I am base,

est,
My father the mean keeper of his prison, I would be thought a soldier.
And he a prince: To marry him is hopeless, Thes. You are perfect.
To be his whore is witless. Out upon't !

Per. Upon my soul, a proper man!
What pushes are we wenches drivcu to,

Emi. He is so.

:

Per. How do you like him, lady?

Let me find that my father ever hated, wedi' Hip. I admire him:

Disgrace and blows! I have not seen so young a man so noble,

Thes. Go, lead the way; you've won it; (If he say true) of his sort.

It shall be so: You shall receive all dues Emi. Believe,

Fit for the honour you have won; 'twere wrong His mother was a wondrous handsome woman!

else. His face methinks goes that way.

Sister, beshrew my heart, you have a servant, Hip. But his body,

That, if I were a woman, would be master; And fiery mind, illustrate a brave father.

But you are wise.

[Flourish.
Per. Mark how his virtue, like a hidden sun, Emi./I hope too wise for that, sir, (Ereuni.
Breaks through his baser garments.
Hip. He's well got, sure.

SCENE VI.
Thes. What made you seek this place, sir?
Arc. Noble Theseus,

Enter Jailor's Daughter.
To purchase name, and do my ablest service Daugh. Let all the dukes, and all the devils
To such a well-found wonder as thy worth;

roar, For only in thy court, of all the world,

He is at liberty! I've ventured for him; Dwells fair-eyed Honour.

And out I've brought him to a little wood Per. All his words are worthy.

A mile hence. I have sent him, where a cedar, Thes. Sir, we are much indebted to your travel, Higher than all the rest, spreads like a plane Nor shall you lose your wishes. Perithous, Fast by a brook; and there he shall keep close, Dispose of this fair gentleman.

Till I provide him files and food; for yet Per. Thanks, Theseus !

His iron bracelets are not off. Oh, Love, Whate'er you are, you're mine; and I shall give What a stout-hearted child thou art! My father you

Durst better have endured cold iron than done it. To a most noble service, to this lady,

I love him beyond love, and beyond reason, This bright young virgin : Pray observe her Or wit, or safety! I have made him know it: goodness.

I care not; I am desperate! If the law You've honour'd her fair birth-day with your Find me, and then condemn me for't, some virtues,

wenches, And, as your due, you're hers; kiss her fair Some honest-hearted maids, will sing my dirge, hand, sir.

And tell to memory my death was noble, Arc. Sir, you're a noble giver.—Dearest Dying almost a martyr. That way he takes, beauty,

I purpose, is my way too: Sure he cannot Thus let me seal my vow'd faith! when your Be so unmanly as to leave me here! servant

If he do, maids will not so easily (Your most unworthy creature) but offends you, Trust men again : And yet he has not thank'd Command him die, he shall.

Emi. That were too cruel. develer For what I've done; no, not so much as kiss'd If you deserve well, sir, I shall soon sec't:

me; You're mine; and somewhat better than your And that, methinks, is not so well; nor scarcely rank I'll use you.

Could I persuade him to become a freeman, Per. I'll see you furnish’d: And because you He made such scruples of the wrong he did say

To me and to my father. Yet, I hope, You are a horseman, I must needs entreat you When he considers more, this love of mine This afternoon to ride ; but 'tis a rough one. Will take more root within him ; Let him do

Arc. I like him better, prince; I shall not then What he will with me, so he use me kindly! Freeze in my saddle.

For use me so he shall, or I'll proclaim hivi, Thes. Sweet, you must be ready;

And to his face, no man. I'll presently And you, Emilia; and you, friend; and all; Provide him necessaries, and pack my clothes To-morrow, by the sun, to do observance

up, To flow'ry May, in Dian's wood. Wait well, sir, And where there is a path of ground I'll venUpon your mistress ! Emily, I hope

ture, He shall not go afoot.

So he be with me! by him, like a shadow, Emi. That were a shame, sir,

I'll ever dwell. Within this hour the whoobub While I have horses. Take your choice; and will be all o'er the prison: I am then what

Kissing the man they look for. Fareweli, father! You want at any time, let me but know it; Get many more such prisoners, and such daughiIf you serve faithfully, I dare assure you

ters, You'll find a loving mistress.

And shortly you may keep yourself. Now to Arc. If I do not

him!

[Erit.

me

ACT III.

Pal. Cozener Arcite, give me language such SCENE I.

As thou hast shew'd me feat!

Arc. Not finding, in
Corne in sundry places. Noise and hallooing, The circuit of my breast, any gross stuff
as people a-maying.

To form me like your blazon, holds me to
Enter ARCITE.

This gentleness of answer: 'Tis your passion

That thus mistakes; the which to you being Arc. The duke has lost Hippolita; each took

enemy, A several land. This is a solemn rite

Cannot to me be kind. Honour and honesty They owe bloom'd May, and the Athenians pay it I cherish, and depend on, howsoe'er To th' heart of ceremony.

Oh, queen Emilia,

You skip them in me; and with them, fair coz, Fresher than May, sweeter

I'll maintain my proceedings. Pray be pleased Than her gold buttons on the boughs, or all

To shew in generous terms your griefs, since Th’ enamell’d knacks o'th' mead or garden!

that yea,

Your question's with your equal, who professes We challenge too the bank of any nymph, To clear his own way, with the mind and sword That makes the stream seem flowers ; thou, oh, Of a true gentlemar.. jewel

Pal. That thou durst, Arcite! O'th' wood, o'th' world, hast likewise blest a

Arc. My coz, my coz, you have been well adplace

vertised With thy sole presence.-In thy rumination How much I dare: You've seen me use my That I poor man might eftsoons come between,

sword And chop on some cold thought!—Thrice bless Against th' advice of fear. Sure, of another ed chance,

You would not hear me doubted, but your To drop on such a mistress ! Expectation

silence Most guiltless of't! Tell me, oh, lady Fortune, Should break out, though i' th' sanctuary. (Next after Emily my sovereign) how far

Pal. Sir, I may be proud. She takes strong note of me, I've seen you move in such a place, which well Hath made me near her, and this beauteous morn Might justify your manhood; you were call’d (The prim'st of all the year) presents me with A good knight and a bold: But the whole week's A brace of horses; two such steeds might well

not fair, Be by a pair of kings back’d, in a field

If any day it rain! Their valiant

temper That their crowns' titles tried. Alas, alas, Men lose, when they incline to treachery; Poor cousin Palamon, poor prisoner! thou And then they fight like compell’d bears, would So little dream'st upon my fortune, that

fly Thou think'st thyself the happier thing, to be Were they not tied. So near Emilia; me thou deem'st at Thebes, Arc. Kinsman, you might as well And therein wretched, although free: But if Speak this, and act it in your glass, as to Thou knew'st my mistress breathed on me, and His ear, which now disdains you! that

Pal. Come up to me! I ear'd her language, lived in her eye, oh, coz, Quit me of these cold gyves, give me a sword What passion would enclose thee!

(Though it be rusty), and the charity

Of one meal lend me; come before me then, Enter PALAMON as out of a bush, with his

A good sword in thy hand, and do but say shackles; bends his fist at ARCITE.

That Emily is thine, I will forgive Pal. Traitor kinsman !

The trespass thou hast done me, yea my life, Thou shouldst perceive my passion, if these signs If then thou carry't; and brave souls in shades, Of prisonment were off me, and this hand That have died manly, which will seek of me But owner of a sword. By all oaths in one, Some news from earth, they shall get none but I, and the justice of my love, would make thee

this,
A confess'd traitor! Oh, thou most perfidious That thou art brave and noble.
That ever gently look’d! the void'st of honour Arc. Be content;
That e'er bore gentle token! falsest cousin Again betake you to your

hawthorn-house. That ever blood made kin! call'st thou her with counsel of the night, I will be here thine?

With wholesome viands; these impediments I'll prove it in my shackles, with these hands Will I file off; you shall have garments, and Void of appointment, that thou liest, and art Perfumes to kill the smell o' th prison; after, A very thief in love, a chaffy lord,

When you shall stretch yourself, and say but, Nor worth the name of villain! Had I a sword,

“ Arcite, And these house-clogs away

“ I am in plight !" there shall be at your choice Arc. Dear cousin Palamon

Both sword and armour.

« PreviousContinue »