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Juilor. They're famed to be a pair of absolute | And, as an east wind, leave them all behind us
Like lazy clouds, whilst Palamon and Arcite, Daugh. By my troth, I think fame but stam- Ev’n in the wagging of a wanton leg, mers 'em;
Out-stript the people's praises, won the garlands, They stand a grief above the reach of report. Ere they have time to wish 'em ours. Oh, never
Jailor. I heard them reported, in the battle Shall we two exercise, like twins of honour, To be the only doers.
Our arms again, and feel our fiery horses, Daugh. Nay, most likely;
Like proud seas under us! Our good swords now, For they are noble sufferers. I marvel
(Better the red-eyed god of war ne'er wore) How they'd have look’d, had they been victors, Ravish'd our sides, like age, must run to rust, that
And deck the temples of those gods that hate us; With such a constant nobility enforce
These hands shall never draw 'em out like lightA freedom out of bondage, making misery
ning, Their mirth, and affliction a toy to jest at.
To blast whole armies, more. Jailor. Do they so?
Arc. No, Palamon, Daugh. It seems to me,
Those hopes are prisoners with us: Here we are, They've no more sense of their captivity, And here the graces of our youths must wither, Than I of ruling Athens : They eat well, Like a too-timely spring; here age must find us, Look merrily, discourse of many things, And, which is heaviest, Palamon, unmarried; But nothing of their own restraint and disasters. The sweet embraces of a loving wife Yet, some time, a divided sigh, martyr'd Loaden with kisses, arm’d with thousand Cupids, As 'twere in the deliverance, will break Shall never clasp our necks! no issue know us, From one of them; when th other presently No figures of ourselves shall we e'er see, Gives it so sweet a rebuke, that I could wish To glad our age, and like young eagles teach 'em Muself a sigh to be so chid, or at least
Boldly to gaze against bright arms, and say, A sigher to be comforted.
Remember what your fathers were, and conquer ! Wover. I ne'er saw 'em.
The fair-eyed maids shall weep our banishments, Jailor. The duke himself came privately in the And in their songs curse ever-blinded Fortune, night.
Till she for shame see what a wrong sh' has done
To youth and nature: This is all our world; Enter PALAMON and ARCITE above.
We shall know nothing here, but one another; And so did they; what the reason of it is, I Hear nothing, but the clock that tells our woes; Know not.--Look, yonder they are! that is The vine shall grow, but we shall never see it; Arcite looks out.
Summer shall come, and with her all delights, Daugh. No, sir, no; that's Palamon :
But dead-cold winter must inhabit here still ! Arcite's the lower of the twain ; you may
Pal. 'Tis too true, Arcite! To our Theban Perceive a part of him.
hounds, Juilor. Go to, leave your pointing !
That shook the aged forest with their echoes, They'd not make us their object: Out of their No more now must we halloo; no more shake
Our pointed javelins, whilst the angry swine ' Daugh. It is a holiday to look on them. Flies like a Parthian quiver from our rages, Lord, the difference of men! [E.reunt. Struck with our well-steel'd darts! All valiant SCENE II.
(The food and nourishment of noble minds) Enter PALAMON and ARCITE, in Prison.
In us two here shall perish; we shall die,
(Which is the curse of honour !) lazily, Pal. How do you, noble cousin ?
Children of grief and ignorance.
Arr. Yet, cousin,
I see two comforts rising, two mere blessings, I fear for ever, cousin,
If the gods please to hold here; a brave patience, Arc, I believe it;
And the enjoying of our griefs together. And to that destiny have patiently
Whilst Palamon is with me, let me perish Laid up my hour to come.
If I think this our prison ! Pal. Oli, cousin Arcite,
Pal. Certainly, Where is Thebes now? where is our noble coun- 'Tis a main goodness, cousin, that our fortunes try?
Were twinn'd together: 'Tis most true, two souls Where are our friends, and kindreds ? Never Put in two noble bodies, let 'em suffer
The gall of hazard, so they grow together, Must we behold those comforts; never see Will never sink; they must not; say they could, The hardy youths strive for the games of honour, A willing man dies sleeping, and all's done. Hung with the painted favours of their ladies, Arc. Shall we make worthy uses of this place, Like tall ships under sail; then start amongst 'em, | That all men hate so much?
Pal. How, gentle cousin ?
Emi. That was a fair boy certain, but a fool
Emi. Or were they all hard-hearted ?
Sero. I think I should not, madam.
Emi. That's a good wench! May make it ours ? and here being thus toge But take heed to your kindness, though! ther,
Serv. Why, madam? We are an endless mine to one another;
Emi. Men are mad things. We're one another's wife, ever begetting
Arc. Will you go forward, cousin ? New births of love; we're father, friends, ac Emi. Canst not thou work such flowers in quaintance;
silk, Wench? We are, in one another, families;
Serv. Yes. I am your heir, and you are mine ; this place Emi. I'll have a gown full of 'em; and of Is our inheritance; no hard oppressor
these; Dare take this from us : Here, with a little pa- This is a pretty colour: Will’t not do tience,
Rarely upon a skirt, wench? We shall live long, and loving; no surfeits seek Serv. Dainty, madam.
Arc. Cousin! Cousin! How do you, sir ? Why The hand of war hurts none here, nor the seas
Palamon! Swallow their youth; were we at liberty,
Pal. Never 'till now I was in prison, Arcite. A wife might part us lawfully, or business ; Arc. Why, what's the matter, man? Quarrels consume us; envy of ill men
Pal. Behold, and wonder!
Pal. Do reverence !
Emi. Of all flowers, Pal. You have made me
Methinks a rose is best. (I thank you, cousin Arcite,) almost wanton Serv. Why, gentle madam? With my captivity: What a misery
Emi. It is the very emblem of a maid : It is to live abroad, and every where!
For when the west wind courts her gently, 'Tis like a beast, methinks. I find the court here, How modestly she blows, and paints the sun I'm sure a more content; and all those pleasures with her chaste blushes! when the north comes That wooe the wills of men to vanity,
near her, I see through now; and am sufficient
Rude and impatient, then, like chastity,
Emi. Thou art wanton.
Arc. She's wondrous fair! Arc. I would hear you still.
Pal. She's all the beauty extant! Pal. You shall.
Emi. The sun grows high; let's walk in! Keep Is there record of any two that loved
these flowers; Better than we do, Arcite ?
We'll see how near art can come near their coArc. Sure there cannot.
lours. Pal. I do not think it possible our friendship I'm wondrous merry-hearted; I could laugh now. Should ever leave us.
Serv. I could lie down, I'm sure. Are. 'Till our deaths it cannot ;
Emi. And take one with you?
Sero. That's as we bargain, madam,
Emi. Well, agree then. [Exit with Serr. And after death our spirits shall be led
Pal, What think you of this beauty? To those that love eternally. Speak on, sir !
Arc. 'Tis a rare one. Emi. This garden has a world of pleasures Pal. Is't but a rare ore? in't.
Arc. Yes, a matchless beauty. What flower is this?
Pal. Might not a man well lose himself, and Serv. 'Tis called Narcissus, madam.
Arc. I cannot tell what you have done; I have, Pal. I must be,
And, in this madness, if I hazard thee,
And take thy life, I deal but truly.
Arc. Fy, sir!
You play the child extremely: I will love her,
I must, I ought to do so, and I dare;
And all this justly.
Pal. Oh, that now, that now
Thy false self, and thy friend, had but this for-
Arc. I will not, as you do; to worship her, Our good swords in our hands, i'd quickly teach
What 'twere to filch affection from another !
Thou’rt baser in it than a cutpurse !
Put but thy head out of this window more,
thou art feeble !
Pal. No more! the keeper's coming : I shall
live Arc. Yes, I love her;
To knock thy brains out with my
Arc. Do !
Jailor. By your leave, gentlemen!
Pal. Now, honest keeper?
.The cause I know not yet.
Arc. I'm ready, keeper.
Jailor. Prince Palamon, I must awhile bereave
[Erit with ARCITE. Let me deal coldly with you : am not !
Pal. And me too,
And like enough the duke hath taken notice
Get him a wife so noble, and so fair,
Let honest men ne'er love again. Once more
blossom Unworthy of her sight?
As her bright eyes shine on ye ! 'Would I were,
For all the fortune of my life hereafter,
Yon little tree, yon blooming apricot!
How I would spread, and fling my wanton arnis
In at her window! I would bring her fruit
Still as she tasted, should be doubled on her;
And, if she be not heavenly, I would make her
So near the gods in nature, they should fear her;
And then I'm sure she'd love me. How now,
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,
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. Jarlor. My lord, for you
1 Coun. My masters, I'll be there, that's cerI 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; Pah Devils take 'em,
Let the plough play today! I'll tickle’t out That are so envious to me! Prithee kill me! Of the jades' tails to-morrow! Juilor. 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, I'd kill thee!
But that's all one; I'll go through, let her mumJaitor. 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 wènch. Pal. Then I'm resolved I will not go. Do we all hold, against the maying? Juilor. 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
The matter is too far driven between
Him and the tanner's daughter, to let slip now;
And she must see the duke, and she must dance
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,
Where he himself will edify the duke
When fifteen once has found us ! First, I saw
him; Most parlously in our behalfs: he's excellent 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
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,
(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 Arcire, with a garland, &c. He wrastle? He roast eggs. Come, let's be gone, Thes. You have done worthily; I have not lads ! [E.reunt 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 ?
Thes. Are you his heir?
Thes. Your father
Sure is a happy sire, then. What prove you?
· 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 greate He never will affect me: I am base,
Per. Upon my soul, a proper man!
Emi. He is so.