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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.
Arc. How do

Arr. Yet, cousin,
Pal. Why, strong enough to laugh at misery, Even from the bottom of these miseries,
And bear the chance of war yet. We are pri- From all that fortune can inflict upon us,

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?



you, sir?




Pal. How, gentle cousin ?

Emi. That was a fair boy certain, but a fool
Arc. Let's think this prison a holy sanctuary, To love himself; were there not maids enough?
To keep us from corruption of worse men. Arc. Pray forward!
We're young, and yet desire the ways of honour; Pal. Yes.
That, liberty and common conversation,

Emi. Or were they all hard-hearted ?
The poison of pure spirits, might, like women, Serv. They could not be to one so fair.
Wooe us to wander from. What worthy bless Emi. Thou wouldst not?

Sero. I think I should not, madam.
Can be, but our imaginations

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!
Crave our acquaintance; I might sicken, cousin, By heav'n, she is a goddess !
Where you should never know it, and so perish Arc. Ha !
Without your noble hand to close mine eyes,

Pal. Do reverence !
Or prayers to the gods : A thousand chances, She is a goddess, Arcite !
Were we from hence, would sever us.

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,
To tell the world, 'tis but a gaudy shadow, She locks her beauties in her bud again,
That old Time, as he passes by, takes with him. And leaves him to base briers.
What had we been, old in the court of Creon, Serv. Yet, good madam,
Where sin is justice, lust and ignorance Sometimes her modesty will blow so far,
The virtues of the great ones? Cousin Arcite, She falls for it: A maid,
Had not the loving gods found this place for us, If she have any honour, would be loth
We had died as they do, ill old men unwept, To take example by her.
And had their epitaphs, the people's curses !

Emi. Thou art wanton.
Shall I say more?

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,
Enter Emilia and her Servant.

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.

love her?


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

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
Pal. But it shall be.

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

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

Arc. 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; I, that took posses Arc. Thou dar'st not, fool; thou canst not ;

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 my

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?

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 !

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

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

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 arnis
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 ?

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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 king.
Yet in the field to strike a battle for her ;

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. 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


to !

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

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 50;



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

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,

This fellow has a vengeance trick o'th' hip;
Mark, how his body's made fort !

(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 ?
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? (Exit. Arc. His youngest, sir.

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,

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 driven to,

Emi. He is so.

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