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Thou shalt know, Palamon, I dare as well · Only a little let him fall before me,
Thes. I grant your wish ; for, to say true, your Have at thy life!
cousin Pul. Look to thine own well, Arcite !
Has ten times more offended, for I gave him [Fight again.
Horns. More mercy than you found, sir, your offences
Being no more than his. None here speak for Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLITA, EMILIA, PERI
'em ! THOUS, and train.
For ere the sun set, both shall sleep for ever. Thes. What ignorant and mad malicious trai Hip. Alas, the pity!--now or never, sister,
Speak, not to be denied: That face of yours Are you, that, 'gainst the tenor of my laws, Will bear the curses else of after-ages, Are making battle, thus like knights appointed, For these lost cousins ! Without my leave, and officers of arms ?
Emi. In my face, dear sister, By Castor, both shall die !
I find no anger to 'em, nor no ruin ; Pal. Hold thy word, Theseus !
The misadventure of their own eyes kills 'em : We're certainly both traitors, both despisers Yet that I will be woman, and have pity, Of thee, and of thy goodness : I am Palamon, My knees shall grow to the ground but I'N get That cannot love thee, he that broke thy prison;
mercy. Think well what that deserves ! and this is Ar- Help me, dear sister! in a deed so virtuous,
The powers of all women will be with us.
Most royal brother
Hip. By that faith,
Hip. By valour, I am ;) and, which is more, dares think her his ! By all the chaste nights I have ever pleas'd youThis treachery, like a most trusty lover,
Thes. These are strange conjurings ! I call'd him now to answer: If thou be'st,
Per. Nay, then I'll in too: As thou art spoken, great and virtuous,
By all our friendship, sir, by all our dangers, The true decider of all injuries,
By all you love most, wars, and this sweet ladySay, ' Fight again !' and thou shalt see me, The Emi. By that you would have trembled to deny, seus,
A blushing maidDo such a justice, thou thyself wilt envy;
Hip. By your own eyes, by strength, Then take my life! I'll wooe thee to't.
In which you swore I went beyond all women, Per. Oh, Heaven,
Almost all men, and yet I yielded, TheseusWhat more than man is this !
Per. To crown all this, by your most noble Thes. I've sworn.
soul, Arc. We seek not
Which cannot want due mercy! I beg first.
Emi. Last, let me entreat, sir !
Thes. You make my faith reel : Say I felt
ments. As I dare kill this cousin, that denies it;
Thes. You're a right woman, sister; you have So let me be most traitor, and you please me.
pity, For scorning thy edict, duke, ask that lady But want the understanding where to use it. Why she is fair, and why her eyes command me If you desire their lives, invent a way Stay here to love her; and if she say traitor, Safer than banishment: Can these two live, I am a villain fit to lie unburied.
And have the agony of love about 'em, Pal. Thou shalt have pity of us both, oh, And not kill one another ? Every day Theseus,
They'll fight about you; hourly bring your honour If unto neither thou shew mercy; stop,
In public question with their swords: Be wise As thou art just, thy noble ear against us;
then, As thou art valiant, for thy cousin's soul, And here forget 'em ! it concerns your credit, Whose twelve strong labours crown his memory, And my oath equally: I have said, they die! Let's die together, at one instant, duke ! Better they fall by the law, than one another.
Bow not my honour.
Make death a devil ! Emi. Oh, my noble brother,
Thes. What may be done for now I feel comThat oath was rashly made, and in your anger ;
passion. Your reason will not hold it: If such vows Per. Let it not fall again, sir ! Stand for express will, all the world must perish. Thes. Say, Emilia, Beside, I have another oath 'gainst yours, If one of them were dead, as one must, are you Of more authority, I'm sure more love; Content to take the other to your husband? Not made in passion neither, but good heed. They cannot both enjoy you ; they are princes Thes. What is it, sister?
As goodly as your own eyes, and as noble Per. Urge it home, brave lady!
As ever Fame yet spoke of; look upon 'em, Emi. That you would ne'er deny me any thing And, if you can love, end this difference ! Fit for my modest suit, and your free granting : I give consent: Are you content too, princes ? I tie you to your word now; if you fail in't, Both. With all our souls. Think how you maim your honour;
Thes. He, that she refuses, (For now I'm set a-begging, sir, I'm deaf Must die then. To all but your compassion !) how their lives Both. Any death thou canst invent, duke. Might breed the ruin of my name, opinion ! Pal. If I fall from that mouth, I fall with faShall any thing that loves me perish for me?
vour, That were a cruel wisdom ! do men prune And lovers yet unborn shall bless my ashes. The straight young boughs that blush with thou Arc. If she refuse me, yet my grave will wed sand blossoms,
Emi. I cannot, sir ; they're both too excellent:
country; Emi. Swear 'em never more
And each within this month, accompanied To make me their contention, or to know me, With three fair knights, appear again in this To tread upon thy dukedom, and to be,
place, Wherever they shall travel, ever strangers In which I'll plant a pyramid: And whether, To one another.
Before us that are here, can force his cousin Pal, I'll be cut a-pieces
By fair and knightly strength to touch the pillar, Before I take this oath ! Forget I love her? He shall enjoy her; the other lose his head, Oh, all ye gods, despise me then! Thy banish- And all his friends: Nor shall he grudge to fall, ment
Nor think he dies with interest in this lady: I not mislike, so we may fairly carry
Will this content ye?
Thes. Are you content, sister?
Emi. Yes : I must, sir; Thes. Will you, Arcite,
Else both miscarry. Take these conditions ?
Thes. Come, shake hands again then; Pal. He's a villain then !
And take heed, as you're gentlemen, this quarrel Per. These are men !
Sleep 'till the hour prefix'd, and hold your course! Arc. No, never, duke; 'tis worse to me than Pal. We dare not fail thee, Theseus. begging,
Thes. Come, I'll give ye To take my life so basely. Though I think Now usage like to princes, and to friends. I never shall enjoy her, yet I'll preserve When ye return, who wins, I'll settle here; The honour of affection, and die for her, Who loses, yet I’H weep upon his bier. (Exeunt.
ACT IV. .
Concerning the escape of Palamon ?
Good sir, remember!
i Friend. Nothing that I heard ;
For I came home before the business Jailor. Hear you no more? Was nothing said Was fully ended : Yet I might perceive, of me
Ere I departed, a great likelihood
Of both their pardons; for Hippolita,
Wooer. No, sir; not well : And fair-ey'd Emily, upon their knees
'Tis too true, she is mad. Begg'd with such handsome pity, that the duke i Friend. It cannot be. Methought stood staggering whether he should Wooer. Believe, you'll find it so. follow
Jailor. I half suspected His rash oath, or the sweet compassion
What you have told me; the gods comfort her!
Or fear of my miscarrying on his 'scape,
Jailor. But why all this haste, sir?
Wooer. I'll tell you quickly. As I late was Enter Second Friend,
angling Jailor. Pray Heav'n, it holel so!
In the great lake that lies behind the palace, 2 Friend. Be of good comfort, man! I bring From the far shore, thick set with reeds and you news,
sedges, Good news.
As patiently I was attending sport, Jailor. They're welcome.
I heard a voice, a shrill one; and attentive 2 Friend. Palamon has clear'd you,
gave my ear; when I might well perceive And got your pardon, and discover'd how 'Twas one that sung, and, by the smallness of it, And by whose means he 'scap'd, which was your A boy or woman. I then left my angle Daughter's,
To his own skill, came near, but yet perceiv'd not Whose pardon is procur’d too; and the prisoner Who made the sound, the rushes and the reeds (Not to be held ungrateful to her goodness) Had so encompass'd it: I laid me down Has given a sum of money to her marriage,
And listen’d to the words she sung; for then, A large one, I'll assure you.
Through a small glade cut by the fishermen, Jailor. You're a good man,
I saw it was your Daughter. And ever bring good news.
Jailor. Pray go on, sir ! i Friend. How was it ended ?
Wooer. She sung much, but no sense; only I 2 Friend. Why, as it should be; they that
heard her never begg'd
Repeat this often : * Palamon is gone, But they prevail'd, had their suits fairly granted. 'Is gone to the wood to gather mulberries; The prisoners have their lives.
" I'll find him out to-morrow.' i friend. I knew 'twould be so.
i Friend. Pretty soul ! 2 Friend. But there be new conditions, which Wooer. “ His shackles will betray him, he'll be you'll hear of
taken; At better time.
• And what shall I do then? I'll bring a beavy, Jailor. I hope they're good.
A hundred black-ey'd maids that love as I do, 2 Friend. They're honourable ;
With chaplets on their heads, of daffadillies, How good they'll prove, I know not.
With cherry lips, and cheeks of damask roses,
" And all we'll dance an antic 'fore the duke, Enter Wooer.
. And beg his pardon.' Then she talk d of you, 1 Friend. "Twill be known.
sir; Wooer. Alas, sir, where's your Daughter? That you must lose your head to-morrow-morning, Jailor. Why do you ask?
And she must gather flowers to bury you, Wooer. Oh, sir, when did you see her? And see the house made handsome: Then she 2 Friend. How he looks!
sung Jailor. This morning.
Nothing but, - Willow, willow, willow;' and beW'over. Was she well ? was she in health, sir? When did she sleep?
Ever was, “ Palamon, fair Palamon!' i Friend. These are strange questions. And · Palamon was a tall young man ! The Jailor. I do not think she was very well; for,
Was knee-deep where she sat; her careless You make me mind' her, but this very day
tresses, I ask'd her questions, and
A wreath of bull-rush rounded ; about her stuck So far from what she was, so childishly,
Thousand fresh-water flowers of several colours; So sillily, as if she were a fool,
That methought she appear'd like the fair nymph An innocent; and I was very angry.
That feeds the lake with waters, or as Iris But what of her, sir?
Newly dropt down from heaven! Rings she made Wooer. Nothing but my pity;
Of rushes that grew by, and to 'em spoke But you must know it, and as good by me The prettiest posies ; ' Thus our true love's tied;' As by another that less loves her.
* This you may loose, not me;' and many a one : Jailor. Well, sir?
And then she wept, and sung again, and sighed, i Friend. Not right?
And with the saine breath smiled, and kist her 9 Friend. Not well?
? Friend. Alas, what pity 'tis !
I'll warrant you, he had not so few last night Wooer. I made in to her;
As twenty to dispatch ; he'll tickle't up
Jailor. She's lost,
Brother. Hear'n forbid, man !
Friend. No; 'would she did !
Daugh. Where's your compass ?
Daugh. Set it to th' north ;
Palamon Is not this a fine song?
Lies longing for me; for the tackling Brother. Oh, a very fine one !
Let me alone : Come, weigh my hearts, cheerly ! Daugh. I can sing twenty more.
All. Owgh, owgh, owgh! 'tis up, the wind is fair, Brother. I think you can.
Top the bowling; out with the main-sail !
Brother. Let's get her in.
Jailor. Up to the top, boy. Daugh. Where's my wedding-gown?
Brother. Where's the pilot? Brother. I'll bring it to-morrow.
1 Friend. Here. Daugh. Do, very early; I must be abroad else,
Daugh. What ken'st thou? To call the maids, and pay the minstrels;
2 Friend. A fair wood. For I must lose my maidenhead by cock-light; Duugh. Bear for it, master; tack about. (Sings. Twill never thrive else. Oh, fair, oh, sweet, &c. (Sings.
When Cinthia with her borrow'd light, &c. Brother. You must ev’n take it patiently.
[Exeunt. Jailor. 'Tis true. Daugh. Good e'en, good men! Pray did you
SCENE II. ever hear Of one young Palamon?
Enter Emilia with two pictures. Jailor. Yes, wench, we know him.
Emi. Yet I may bind those wounds up, that Daugh. Is't not a fine young gentleman ?
must open Juilor. 'Tis love!
And bleed to death for my sake else: I'll chuse, Brother. By no means cross her; she is then And end their strife; two such young bandsome distemper'd
men Far worse than now she shews.
Shall never fall for me: Their weeping mothers, i Friend. Yes, he's a fine man.
Following the dead-cold ashes of their sons, Daugh. Oh, is he so? You have a sister? Shall never curse my cruelty. Good Heaven, i Friend. Yes.
What a sweet face has Arcite! If wise Nature, Daugh. But she shall never have him, tell her With all her best endowments, all those beauties
She sows into the births of noble bodies, For a trick that I know: You had best look to Were here a mortal woman, and had in her her,
The coy denials of young maids, yet doubtless For if she see him once, she's gone; she's done, She would run mad for this man: What an eye! And undone in an hour. All the young maids Of what a fiery sparkle, and quick sweetness, Of our town are in love with him ; but I laugh Has this young prince! here Love himself sits at 'em,
smiling; And let 'em all alone; is't not a wise course? Just such another wanton Ganimede i Friend. Yes.
Set Jove afire with, and enforc'd the god Daugh. There is at least two hundred now Snatch up the goodly boy, and set him by him with child by him,
A shining constellation ! what a brow, There must be four; yet I keep close for all this, of what a spacious majesty, he carries, Close as a cockle; and all these must be boys, Arched like the great-eyed Juno's, but far He has the trick on't; and at ten years old
sweeter, They must be all gelt for musicians,
Smoother than Pelops' shoulder! Fame and And sing the Wars of Theseus.
Honour, 2 Friend. This is strange.
Methinks, from hence, as from a promontory Daugh. As ever you heard; but say nothing. Pointed in Heaven, should clap their wings, and 1 Friend. No.
sing. Daugh. They come from all parts of the To all the under-world, the loves and fights dukedom to him :
Of gods, and such men near 'em. Palamon
Is but his foil; to him, a mere dull shadow; Mess. From the knights.
Thes. Pray speak,
Mess. I will, sir,
outside) Narcissus was a sad boy, but a heavenly.
I never saw, nor read of. He that stands Oh, who can find the bent of woman's fancy? In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming I am a fool, my reason is lost in me!
Should be a stout man, by his face a prince I have no choice, and I have lied so lewdly (His very looks so say him); his complexion That women ought to beat me. On my knees Nearer a brown, than black; stern, and yet I ask thy pardon, Palamon! Thou art alone,
noble, And only beautiful ; and these thy eyes, Which shews him hardy, fearless, proud of danThese the bright lamps of beauty,
gers ; And threaten love, and what young maid dare The circles of his eyes shew far within him, cross 'em?
And as a heated lion, so he looks ; What a bold gravity, and yet inviting,
His hair hangs long behind him, black and shinHas this brown manly face! Oh, Love, this only
ing From this hour is complexion ; lie there, Arcite! Like raven's wings; his shoulders broad, and Thou art a changeling to him, a mere gipsy,
strong; And this the noble body-I am sotted, Arms long and round; and on his thigh a sword Utterly lost ! my virgin's faith has fled me, Hung by a curious baldrick, when he frowns For if my brother but even now had ask'd me To seal his will with ; better, o' my conscience, Whether I lov'd, I had run mad for Arcite; Was never soldier's friend. Now if my sister, more for Palamon.
Thes. Th' hast well described him.
Methinks, of him that's first with Palamon.
he is a prince too, That having two fair gawds of equal sweetness, And, if it may be, greater; for his show Cannot distinguish, but must cry for both ! Has all the ornament of honour in't.
He's somewhat bigger than the knight he spoke Enter a Gentleman.
of, How now, sir?
But of a face far 'sweeter; his complexion Gent. From the noble duke your brother, Is (as a ripe grape) ruddy; he has felt, Madam, I bring you news: The knights are Without doubt, what he fights for, and so apter
To make this cause his own; in's face appears Emi. To end the quarrel ?
All the fair hopes of what he undertakes ; Gent. Yes.
And when he's angry, then a settled valour Emi. 'Would I might end first!
(Not tainted with extremes) runs through his What sins have I committed, chaste Diana,
body, That my unspotted youth must now be soil'd And guides his arm to brave things; fear he With blood of princes ? and my chastity
cannot, Be made the altar, where the lives of lovers He shews no such soft temper; his head's yellow, (Two greater and two better never yet
Hard-hair’d, and curl'd, thick twin'd, like ivy Made mothers' joy) must be the sacrifice
tops, To my unhappy beauty !
Not to undo with thunder; in his face
The livery of the warlike maid appears, Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLITA, PERITHOUS, and Pure red and white, for yet no beard has blest attendants.
him ; Thes. Bring 'em in
And in his rolling eyes sits Victory, Quickly, by any means ! I long to see 'em. As if she ever meant to crown his valour; Your two contending lovers are return'd, His nose stands high, a character of honour, And with them their fair knights : Now, my His red lips, after fights, are fit for ladies. fair sister,
Emi. Must these men die too? You must love one of them.
Per. When he speaks, his tongue Emi. I, had rather both,
Sounds like a trumpet; all his lineaments So neither for my sake should fall untimely. Are as a man would wish 'em, strong and clean; Enter Messenger
He wears a well-steel'd axe, the staff of gold;
His age some five and twenty. Thes. Who saw 'em ?
Aless. There's another, Per. I, a while.
A little man, but of a tough soul, seeming Gent. And I.
As great as any; fairer promises Thes. From whence come you, sir ?
In such a body yet I never look'd on.