The Two Noble Kinsmen


Francis Beaumont

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Table of Contents

  • Actus Quintus.
  • Epilogue.
  • The Two Noble Kinsmen.

    The Persons represented in the Play.

    Prologue.

    Florish.

    New Plays and Maiden-heads are near a-kin,

    Much follow’d both; for both much money gi’n,

    If they stand sound, and well: And a good Play

    (Whose modest Scenes blush on his marriage day,

    And shake to loose his honour) is like hir

    That after holy Tie, and first nights stir

    Yet still is Modesty, and still retains

    More of the Maid to sight, than Husbands pains;

    We pray our Play may be so; for I’m sure

    It has a noble breeder, and a pure,

    A Learned, and a Poet never went

    More famous yet ’twixt Po, and silver Trent.

    Chaucer (of all admir’d) the Story gives,

    There constant to eternity it lives:

    If we let fall the Nobleness of this,

    And the first sound this Child hear, be a hiss,

    How will it shake the bones of that good man

    And make him cry from under-ground. Oh fan

    From me the witless chaff of such a writer

    That blasts my Bayes, and my fam’d Works makes lighter

    Than Robin Hood, this is the fear we bring

    For to say Truth, it were an endless thing:

    And too ambitious to aspire to him;

    Weak as we are, and almost breathless swim

    In this deep water. Do but you hold out

    Your helping hands, and we shall tack about,

    And something do to save us: You shall hear

    Scænes, though below his Art, may yet appear

    Worth two hours travel. To his bones sweet sleep:

    Content to you. If this Play do not keep,

    A little dull time from us, we perceive

    Our losses fall so thick, we must needs leave. Florish.

    Actus Primus.

    Scæna Prima.

    Enter Hymen with a Torch burning: a Boy, in a white Robe before, singing, and strewing Flowers: after Hymen, a Nymph, encompassed in her Tresses, bearing a wheaten Garland. Then Theseus between two other Nymphs, with wheaten Chaplets on their heads. Then Hippolita the Bride lead by Theseus, and another holding a Garland over her head (her Tresses likewise hanging.) After her Emilia holding up her Train.

    The SONG. Musick.

    Roses their sharp spines being gone,

    Not royal in their smells alone,

    But in their hew,

    Maiden-Pinks, of odour faint,

    Daizies smell-less, yet most quaint

    And sweet Time true.

    Primrose first born, child of Ver,

    Merry Spring time’s Harbinger,

    With her bels dimm.

    Oxlips in their Cradles growing,

    Marigolds on death-beds blowing,

    Larks-heels trim.

    All dear natures children sweet,

    Lie fore Bride and Bridegrooms feet, [Strew Flowers.

    Blessing their sence.

    Not an Angel of the Air,

    Bird melodious, or Bird fair,

    Is absent hence.

    The Crow, the slanderous Cuckooe, nor

    The boading Raven, nor Clough h[ee]

    Nor chatt’ring Pie,

    May on our Bridehouse pearch or sing,

    Or with them any discord bring

    But from it fly.

    Enter three Queens in Black, with vails stain’d, with Imperial Crowns. The first Queen falls down at the foot of Theseus; The second fals down at the foot of Hippolita. The third before Emilia.

    1 Qu. For pities sake, and true gentilities,

    Hear and respect me.

    2 Qu. For your Mothers sake.

    And as you wish your womb may thrive with fair ones,

    Hear and respect me.

    3 Qu. Now for the love of him whom Jove hath mark’d

    The honor of your Bed, and for the sake

    Of clear Virginity, be Advocate

    For us, and our distresses: This good deed

    Shall raze you out o’th’ Book of Trespasses

    All you are set down there.

    Thes. Sad Lady rise.

    Hip. Stand up.

    Emil. No knees to me.

    What Woman I may steed that is distrest,

    Does bind me to her.

    Thes. What’s your request? Deliver you for all?

    1 Qu. We are three Queens, whose Sovereigns fell before

    The wrath of cruel Creon; who endur’d

    The Beaks of Ravens, Tallents of the Kites,

    And pecks of Crows in the foul field[s] of Thebs.

    He will not suffer us to burn their bones,

    To urne their ashes, nor to take th’ offence

    Of mortal loathsomness from the blest eye

    Of holy Phœbus, but infects the winds

    With stench of our slain Lords. Oh pity Duke,

    Thou purger of the earth, draw thy fear’d Sword

    That does good turns to th’ world; give us the Bones

    Of our dead Kings, that we may Chappel them;

    And of thy boundless goodness take some note

    That for our crowned heads we have no roof;

    Save this which is the Lions and the Bears,

    And vault to every thing.

    Thes. Pray you kneel not,

    I was transported with your Speech, and suffer’d

    Your knees to wrong themselves; I have heard the fortunes

    Of your dead Lords, which gives me such lamenting

    As wakes my vengeance, and revenge for ’em:

    King Capaneus, was your Lord the day

    That he should marry you, at such a season,

    As now it is with me, I met your Groom,

    By Mars’s Altar; you were that time fair;

    Not Juno’s Mantle, fairer than your Tresses,

    Nor in more bounty spread her. Your wheaten wreath

    Was then not thrash’d, nor blasted; Fortune at you

    Dimpled her Cheek with smiles: Hercules our kinsman

    (Then weaker than your eyes) laid by his Club,

    He tumbled down upon his Nenuan hide

    And swore his sinews thaw’d: Oh grief, and time,

    Fearful consumers, you will all devour.

    1 Qu. Oh I hope some God,

    Some God hath put his mercy in your manhood

    Whereto he’ll infuse power, and press you forth

    Our undertaker.

    Thes. Oh no knees, none Widow,

    Unto the Helmeted-Belona use them,

    And pray for me your Soldier.

    Troubl’d I am. [Turns away.

    2 Qu. Honoured Hippolita

    Most dreaded Amazonian, that hast slain

    The Sith-tusk’d-Bore; that with thy Arm as strong

    As it is white, was’t near to make the male

    To thy Sex captive; but that this thy Lord

    Born to uphold Creation, in that honor

    First nature stil’d it in, shrunk thee into

    The bound thou wast o’er-flowing; at once subduing

    Thy force, and thy affection: Soldieress

    That equally canst poize sternness with pity,

    Whom now I know hast [much] more power on him

    Than ever he had on thee, who ow’st his strength,

    And his Love too: who is a Servant for

    The Tenor of the Speech. Dear Glass of Ladies.

    Bid him that we whom flaming war doth scorch,

    Under the shadow of his Sword, may cool us:

    Require him he advance it o’er our heads;

    Speak’t in a womans key: like such a woman

    As any of us three; weep e’r you fail; lend us a knee;

    But touch the ground for us no longer time

    Than a Doves motion, when the head’s pluckt off:

    Tell him if he i’th’ blood-ciz’d field, lay swoln

    Shewing the Sun his Teeth, grinning at the Moon

    What you would do.

    Hip. Poor Lady say no more:

    I had as leif trace this good action with you

    As that whereto I’m going, and never yet

    Went I so willing, way. My Lord is taken

    Heart deep with your distress: Let him consider;

    I’ll speak anon.

    3 Qu. Oh my petition was, [Kneel to Emilia.

    Set down in Ice, which by hot grief uncandied

    Melts into drops, so sorrow wanting form

    Is prest with deeper matter.

    Emil. Pray stand up,

    Your grief is written in your cheek.

    3 Qu. Oh woe,

    You cannot read it there; there through my tears,

    Like wrinkl’d pebbles in a Glass stream

    You may behold ’em (Lady, Lady, alack)

    He that will all the treasure know o’th’ earth

    Must know the Center too; he that will fish

    For my least minnow, let him lead his line

    To catch one at my heart. Oh pardon me;

    Extremity that sharpens sundry wits

    Makes me a fool.

    Emil. Pray you say nothing, pray you,

    Who cannot feel, nor see the rain being in’t,

    Knows neither wet, nor dry, if that you were

    The ground-piece of some Painter, I would buy you

    T’instruct me ‘gainst a capital grief indeed

    Such heart-pierc’d demonstration; but alas

    Being a natural Sister of our Sex

    Your sorrow beats so ardently upon me:

    That it shall make a counter-reflect ‘gainst

    My Brothers heart, and warm it to some pity

    Though it were made of stone: pray have good comfort:

    Thes. Forward to th’ Temple, leave not out a jot

    O’ th’ sacred ceremony.

    1 Qu. Oh this celebration

    Will long last, and be more costly than

    Your Suppliants war: Remember that your Fame

    Knowls in the ear o’th’ world: what you do quickly,

    Is not done rashly; your first thought is more,

    Than others laboured meditance: your premeditating

    More than their actions: But oh Jove, your actions,

    Soon as they move, as Asprays do the fish,

    Subdue before they touch: think, dear Duke think

    What beds our slain Kings have.

    2 Qu. What griefs our beds

    That our dear Lords have none.

    3 Qu. None fit for th’ dead:

    Those that with Cords, Knives, Drams precipitance,

    Weary of this worlds light, have to themselves

    Been deaths most horrid Agents, humane grace

    Affords them dust and shadow.

    1 Qu. But our Lords

    Lie blist’ring ‘fore the visitating Sun,

    And were good Kings, when living.

    Thes. It is true, and I will give you comfort,

    To give your dead Lords graves:

    The which to do must make some work with Creon.

    1 Qu. And that work presents it self to th’ doing:

    Now ’twill take form, the heats are gone to morrow,

    Then bootless toil must recompence it self,

    With its own sweat; Now he’s secure,

    Not dre[a]ms, we stand before your puissance

    Wrinching our holy begging in our eyes

    To make petition clear.

    2 Qu. Now you may take him,

    Drunk with his victory.

    3 Qu. And his Army full

    Of Bread, and sloth.

    Thes. Artesis that best knowest

    How to draw out, fit to this enterprize,

    The prim’st for this proceeding, and the number

    To carry such a business, forth and levy

    Our worthiest Instruments, whilst we dispatch

    This grand act of our life, this daring deed

    Of Fate in wedlock.

    1 Qu. Dowagers, take hands

    Let us be Widows to our woes, delay

    Commends us to a famishing hope.

    All. Farewell.

    2 Qu. We come unseasonably: But when could grief

    Cull forth as unpanged judgement can, fit’st time

    For best solicitation.

    Thes. Why good Ladies,

    This is a service, whereto I am going,

    Greater than any was; it more imports me

    Than all the actions that I have foregone,

    Or futurely can cope.

    1 Qu. The more proclaiming

    Our suit shall be neglected, when her Arms,

    Able to lock Jove from a Synod, shall

    By warranting Moon-light corslet thee, oh when

    Her twining Cherries shall their sweetness fall

    Upon thy tastful Lips, what wilt thou think

    Of rotten Kings, or blubber’d Queens, what care

    For what thou feel’st not? what thou feel’st being able

    To make Mars spurn his Drom. Oh if thou couch

    But one night with her, every hour in’t will

    Take hostage of thee for a hundred, and

    Thou shalt remember nothing more, than what

    That Banquet bids thee too.

    Hip. Though much unlike

    You should be so transported, as much sorry

    I should be such a Suitor; yet I think

    Did I not by th’ abstaining of my joy

    Which breeds a deeper longing, cure their surfeit

    That craves a present med’cine, I should pluck

    All Ladies scandal on me. Therefore Sir

    As I shall here make trial of my Prayers,

    Either presuming them to have some force,

    Or sentencing for ay their vigor dumb,

    Prorogue this business, we are going about, and hang

    Your Shield afore your heart, about that neck

    Which is my Fee, and which I freely lend

    To do these poor Queens service.

    All Queens. Oh help now

    Our Cause cries for your knee.

    Emil. If you grant not

    My Sister her petition in that force,

    With that Celerity, and nature which

    She makes it in: from henceforth I’ll not dare

    To ask you any thing, nor be so hardy

    Ever to take a Husband.

    Thes. Pray stand up.

    I am intreating of my self to do

    That which you kneel to have me; Pyrithous

    Lead on the Bride; get you and pray the gods

    For success, and return; omit not any thing

    In the pretended Celebration; Queens

    Follow your Soldier (as before) hence you

    And at the banks of Anly meet us with

    The forces you can raise, where we shall find

    The moiety of a number, for a business,

    More bigger look’t; since that our Theme is haste

    I stamp this kiss uppon thy currant Lip,

    Sweet keep it as my token; set you forward

    For I will see you gone. [Exeunt towards the Temple.

    Farewel my beauteous Sister; Pyrithous

    Keep the Feast full, bate not an hour on’t.

    Pyri. Sir,

    I’ll follow you at heels; The Feasts solemnity

    Shall want till your return.

    Thes. Cosin I charge you

    Budge not from Athens; we shall be returning

    E’r you can end this Feast; of which I pray you

    Make no abatement; once more farewel all.

    1 Qu. Thus dost thou still make good the tongue o’th’ world.

    [2] Qu. And earnst a Deity equal with Mars.

    3 Qu. If not above him, for

    Thou being but mortal, makest affections bend

    To godlike honors; they themselves some say

    Groan under such a Mast’ry.

    Thes. As we are men

    Thus should we doe, being sensually subdu’d

    We loose our humane Title; good cheer Ladies. Florish.

    Now turn we towards our Comforts. [Exeunt.

    Scæna Secunda.

    Enter Palamon, and Arcite.

    Arcite. Dear Palamon, dearer in Love than Blood

    And our prime Cosin, yet unhard’ned in

    The Crimes of nature; Let us leave the City

    Thebs, and the temptings in’t, before we further

    Sully our gloss of youth,

    And here to keep in abstinence we shame

    As in Incontinence; for not to swim

    I’ th’ aid o’th’ current, were almost to sink,

    At least to frustrate striving, and to follow

    The common stream, ’t would bring us to an Eddy

    Where we should turn or drown; if labour through,

    Our gain but life, and weakness.

    Pal. Your advice

    Is cry’d up with example; what strange ruins

    Since first we went to School, may we perceive

    Walking in Thebs! Skars, and bare weeds

    The gain o’th’ Martialist, who did propound

    To his bold ends, honor, and golden Ingots,

    Which though he won, he had not, and now flurted

    By peace, for whom he fought, who then shall offer

    To Mars’s so scorn’d Altar? I doe bleed

    When such I meet, and wish great Juno would

    Resume her antient fit of jealousie

    To get the Soldier work, that peace might purge

    For her repletion, and retain anew

    Her charitable heart now hard, and harsher

    Than strife, or war could be.

    Arcite. Are you not out?

    Meet you no ruin, but the Soldier in

    The crancks and turns of Thebs? you did begin

    As if you met decaies of many kinds:

    Perceive you none, that do arouse your pity

    But th’ unconsider’d Soldier?

    Pal. Yes, I pity

    Decaies where-e’er I find them, but such most

    That sweating in an honourable toil

    Are paid with Ice to cool ’em.

    Arcite. ’Tis not this

    I did begin to speak of, this is virtue

    Of no respect in Thebs, I spake of Thebs

    How dangerous if we will keep our honors,

    It is for our residing, where every evil

    Hath a good colour; where ev’ry seeming good’s

    A certain evil, where not to be ev’n jump

    As they are, here were to be strangers, and

    Such things to be meer Monsters.

    Pal. ’Tis in our power,

    (Unless we fear that Apes can Tutor’s) to

    Be Masters of our manners: what need I

    Affect anothers gate, which is not catching

    Where there is faith, or to be fond upon

    Anothers way of speech, when by mine own

    I may be reasonably conceiv’d; sav’d too,

    Speaking it truly; why am I bound

    By any generous bond to follow him

    Follows his Taylor, haply so long, until

    The follow’d, make pursuit? or let me know,

    Why mine own Barber is unblest, with him

    My poor Chinn too, for ’tis not Cizard just

    To such a Favorites glass: What Cannon is there

    That does command my Rapier from my hip

    To dangle’t in my hand, or to goe tip toe

    Before the street be foul? either I am

    The fore-horse in the Team, or I am none

    That draw i’ th’ sequent trace: these poor slight sores,

    Need not a Plantain; That which [r]ips my bosome

    Almost to th’ heart’s.

    Arcite. Our Uncle Creon.

    Pal. He,

    A most unbounded Tyrant, whose successes

    Makes Heaven unfear’d, and villany assured

    Beyond its power: there’s nothing, almost puts

    Faith in a Feavor, and deifies alone

    Voluble chance, who only attributes

    The faculties of other Instruments

    To his own Nerves and act; Commands men service,

    And what they win in’t, boot and glory on;

    That fears not to [do] harm; good, dares not; Let

    The bloud of mine that’s sibbe to him, be suckt

    From me with Leeches, let them break and fall

    Off me with that corruption.

    Arc. Clear spirited Cosin

    Let’s leave his Court, that we may nothing share,

    Of his loud infamy: for our milk,

    Will relish of the pasture, and we must

    Be vile, or disobedient, not his kinsmen

    In blood, unless in quality.

    Pal. Nothing truer:

    I think the ecchoes of his shames have deaf’t

    The ears of heav’nly Justice: widdows cries

    Descend again into their throats, and have not

    Due audience of the gods: Valerius.

    Enter Valerius.

    Val. The King calls for you; yet be leaden-footed

    Till his great rage be off him. Phebus when

    He broke his whipstock, and exclaim’d against

    The Horses of the Sun, but whisper’d to

    The loudness of his fury.

    Pal. Small winds shake him,

    But what’s the matter?

    Val. Theseus (who where he threats appals,) hath sent

    Deadly defiance to him, and pronounces

    Ruin to Thebs, who is at hand to seal

    The promise of his wrath.

    Arc. Let him approach:

    But that we fear the gods in him, he brings not

    A jot of terror to us; yet what man

    Thirds his own worth (the case is each of ours)

    When that his actions dregg’d, with mind assur’d

    ’Tis bad he goes about.

    Pal. Leave that unreason’d.

    Our services stand now for Thebs, not Creon,

    Yet to be neutral to him, were dishonor;

    Rebellious to oppose: therefore we must

    With him stand to the mercy of our Fate,

    Who hath bounded our last minute.

    Arc. So we must;

    Ist sed this wars afoot? or it shall be

    On fail of some condition.

    Val. ’Tis in motion

    The intelligence of state came in the instant

    With the defier.

    P[a]l. Let’s to the King, who, were he

    A quarter carrier of that honor, which

    His enemy came in, the bloud we venture

    Should be as for our health, which were not spent,

    Rather laid out for purchase: but alas

    Our hands advanc’d before our hearts, what will

    The fall o’ th’ stroke do damage?

    Arci. Let th’ event,

    That never-erring Arbitrator, tell us

    When we know all our selves, and let us follow

    The becking of our chance. [Exeunt.

    Scena Tertia.

    Enter Perithous, Hippolita, Emilia.

    Pir. No further.

    Hip. Sir farewel; repeat my wishes

    To our great Lord, of whose success I dare not

    Make any timerous question; yet I wish him

    Excess, and overflow of power, and’t might be

    To dure ill-dealing fortune; speed to him,

    Store never hurts good Governors.

    Pir. Though I know

    His Ocean needs not my poor drops, yet they

    Must yield their tribute there: My precious Maid,

    Those best affections that the heavens infuse

    In their best temper’d pieces, keep enthron’d

    In your dear heart.

    Emil. Thanks Sir; remember me

    To our all-Royal Brother, for whose speed

    The great Bellona I’ll solicite; and

    Since in our terrene State, petitions are not

    Without gifts understood: I’ll offer to her

    What I shall be advis’d she likes; our hearts

    Are in his Army, in his Tent.

    Hip. In’s bosom:

    We have been Soldiers, and we cannot weep

    When our Friends do’n their helms, or put to Sea,

    Or tell of Babes broach’d on the Launce, or Women

    That have sod their Infants in (and after eat them)

    The brine, they wept at killing ’em; Then if

    You stay to see of us such Spinsters, we

    Should hold you here for ever.

    Pir. Peace be to you

    As I pursue this war, which shall be then

    Beyond further requiring. [Exit Pir.

    Emil. How his longing

    Follows his friend; since his depart, his sports

    Though craving seriousness, and skill, past slightly

    His careless execution, where nor gain

    Made him regard, or loss consider, but

    Playing o’er business in his hand, another

    Directing in his head, his mind, nurse equal

    To these so diff’ring Twins; have you observ’d him,

    Since our great Lord departed?

    Hip. With much labour:

    And I did love him for’t, they two have Cabin’d

    In many as dangerous, as poor a corner,

    Peril and want contending, they have skift

    Torrents, whose roaring tyranny and power

    I’th’ least of these was dreadful, and they have

    Fought out together, where Death’s-self was lodg’d,

    Yet Fate hath brought them off: their knot of love

    Ti’d, weav’d, intangl’d, with so true, so long,

    And with a finger of so deep a cunning

    May be out-worn, never undone. I think

    Theseus cannot be umpire to himself

    Cleaving his conscience into twain, and doing

    Each side like Justice, which he loves best.

    Emil. Doubtless

    There is a best, and reason has no manners

    To say it is not you: I was acquainted

    Once with a time, when I enjoy’d a Play-fellow;

    You were at wars, when she the grave enrich’d,

    Who made too proud the Bed, took leave o’ th’ Moon

    (Which then lookt pale at parting) when our count

    Was each eleven.

    Hip. ’Twas Flavia.

    [Two Hearses ready with Palamon, and Arcite:
    The three Queens. Theseus, and his Lords ready.

    Emil. Yes,

    You talk of Pirithous and Theseus love;

    Theirs has more ground, is more maturely season’d,

    More buckled with strong judgement, and their needs

    The one of th’ other may be said to water

    Their intertangled roots of love, but I

    And she (I sigh and spoke of) were things innocent,

    Lov’d for we did, and like the Elements

    That know not what, nor why, yet do effect

    Rare issues by their operance; our souls

    Did so to one another; what she lik’d,

    Was then of me approv’d, what not condemn’d

    No more arraignment, the flower that I would pluck

    And put between my breasts, oh (then but beginning

    To swell about the blossom) she would long

    Till she had such another, and commit it

    To the like innocent Cradle, where Phenix-like

    They di’d in perfume: on my head no toy

    But was her pattern, her affections pretty

    Though happily, her careless, were, I followed

    For my most serious decking, had mine ear

    Stol’n some new air, or at adventure humm’d on

    From musical Coynage, why, it was a Note

    Whereon her spirits would sojourn (rather dwell on)

    And sing it in her slumbers; This rehearsal

    (Which fury innocent wots well) comes in

    Like old importments-bastard, has this end;

    That the true love ‘tween Maid, and Maid, may be

    More than in sex individual.

    Hip. Y’are out of breath

    And this high speeded-pace, is but to say

    That you shall never (like the Maid Flavina)

    Love any that’s call’d Man.

    Emil. I’m sure I shall not.

    Hip. Now alack weak Sister,

    I must no more believe thee in this point

    (Though in’t I know thou dost believe thy self)

    Then I will trust a sickly appetite,

    That loaths even as it longs, but sure my Sister

    If I were ripe for your perswasion, you

    Have said enough to shake me from the Arm

    Of the all noble Theseus, for whose fortunes,

    I will now in, and kneel with great assurance,

    That we, more than his Pirathous, possess

    The high Throne in his heart.

    E[m]il. I am not against your faith,

    Yet I continue mine. [Exeunt Cornets.

    Scena Quarta.

    A Battel struck within: then a Retreat: Florish. Then Enter Theseus (victor) the three Queens meet him, and fall on their faces before him.

    1 Qu. To thee no Star be dark.

    2 Qu. Both Heaven and Earth

    Friend thee for ever.

    3 Qu. All the good that may

    Be wish’d upon thy head, I cry Amen to’t.

    Thes. Th’impartial gods, who from the mounted heavens

    View us their mortal Herd, behold who erre,

    And in their time chastise: goe and find out

    The bones of your dead Lords, and honor them

    With treble ceremony, rather than a gap

    Should be in their dear rights, we would supply’t.

    But those we will depute, which shall invest

    You in your dignities, and even each thing

    Our haste does leave imperfect; So adieu

    And heavens good eyes look on you, what are those? [Exeunt Queens.

    Herald. Men of great quality, as may be judg’d

    By their appointment; some of Thebs have told’s

    They are Sisters children, Nephews to the King.

    Thes. By th’ Helme of Mars, I saw them in the War,

    Like to a pair of Lions, smear’d with prey,

    Make lanes in troops agast. I fixt my note

    Constantly on them; for they were a mark

    Worth a god’s view: what prisoner was’t that told me

    When I enquir’d their names?

    Herald. We leave, they’r called

    Arcite and Palamon.

    Thes. ’Tis right, those, those

    They are not dead? [Three Hearses ready.

    Her. Nor in a state of life, had they been taken

    When their last hurts were given, ’twas possible

    They might have been recover’d; Yet they breathe

    And have the name of men.

    Thes. Then like men use ’em

    The very lees of such (millions of rates)

    Exceed the Wine of others, all our Surgeons

    Convent in their behoof, our richest balmes

    Rather than niggard waste, their lives concern us,

    Much more than Thebs is worth, rather than have ’em

    Freed of this plight, and in their morning state

    (Sound and at liberty) I would ’em dead,

    But forty thousand fold, we had rather have ’em

    Prisoners to us, than death; bear ’em speedily

    From our kind air, to them unkind, and minister

    What man to man may do for our sake more,

    Since I have known frights, fury, friends, beheasts,

    Loves, provocations, zeal, a Mistriss taske,

    Desire of liberty, a feavor, madness,

    Hath set a mark which nature could not reach too

    Without some imposition, sickness in Will

    Or wrestling strength in reason, for our Love

    And great Apollos mercy, all our best,

    Their best [skill] tender. Lead into the City,

    Where having bound things scatter’d, we will post. [Florish.

    To Athens for o[u]r Army. [Exeunt. Musick.

    Scena Quinta.

    Enter the Queens, with the Hearses of their Knights, in a Funeral Solemnity, &c.

    Urns and Odours, bring away,

    Vapors, sighs, darken the day;

    Our dole more deadly looks, than dying

    Balmes, and Gumms, and heavy cheers,

    Sacred vi[a]ls fill’d with tears,

    And clamors, through the wild air flying:

    Come all sad and solemn Shows,

    That are quick-ey’d pleasures foes;

    We convent nought else but woes.

    We convent, &c.

    3 Qu. This funeral path, brings to your houshold[s] grave[:]

    Joy seize on you again: peace, sleep with him.

    2 Qu. And this to yours.

    1 Qu. Yours this way: Heavens lend

    A thousand differing ways to one sure end.

    3 Qu. This world’s a City full of straying streets,

    And Death’s the Market-place, where each one meets. [Exeunt severally.

    Actus Secundus.

    Scæna Prima.

    Enter Jaylor and Wooer.

    Jail.

    I may depart with little, while I live, something I

    May cast to you, not much: Alas the Prison I

    Keep, though it be for great ones, yet they seldom

    Come; before one Salmon, you shall take a number

    Of Minnows: I am given out to be better lin’d

    Than it can appear, to me report is a true

    Speaker: I would I were really, that I am

    Deliver’d to be: Marry, what I have (be it what

    It will) I will assure upon my daughter at

    The day of my death.

    Wooer. Sir, I demand no more than your own offer,

    And I will estate your Daughter, in what I

    Have promised.

    Jail. Well, we will talk more of this, when the solemnity

    Is past; But have you a full promise of her?

    Enter Daughter.

    When that shall be seen, I tender my consent.

    Wooer. I have Sir; here she comes.

    Jail. Your friend and I have chanced to name

    You here, upon the old business: but no more of that.

    Now, so soon as the Court-hurry is over, we will

    Have an end of it: I’ th’ mean time look tenderly

    To the two prisoners. I can tell you they are Princes.

    Daugh. These strewings are for their Chamber; ’tis pity they

    Are in prison, and ’twere pity they should be out: I

    Do think they have patience to make any adversity

    Asham’d; the prison it self is proud of ’em; and

    They have all the world in their Chamber.

    Jail. They are fam’d to be a pair of absolute men.

    Daugh. By my troth, I think Fame but stammers ’em, they

    Stand a grief above the reach of report.

    Jail. I heard them reported in the battel, to be the only doers.

    Daugh. Nay, most likely, for they are noble sufferers; I

    Marvel how they would have look’d, had they been

    Victors, that with such a constant Nobility, enforce

    A freedom out of bondage, making misery their

    Mirth, and affliction a toy to jest at.

    Jail. Doe they so?

    Daugh. It seems to me, they have no more sence of their

    Captivity, than I of ruling Athens: they eat

    Well, look merrily, discourse of many things,

    But nothing of their own restraint, and disasters:

    Yet sometime a divided sigh, martyr’d as ’twere

    I’ th’ deliverance, will break from one of them,

    When the other presently gives it so sweet a rebuke,

    That I could wish my self a sigh to be so chid,

    Or at least a sigher to be comforted.

    Wooer. I never saw ’em.

    Jail. The Duke himself came privately in the night.

    Enter Palamon, and Arcite above.

    And so did they, what the reason of it is, I

    Know not: Look, yonder they are; that’s

    Arcite looks out.

    Daugh. No Sir, no, that’s Palamon: Arcite is the

    Lower of the twain; you may perceive a part

    Of him.

    Jail. Go to, leave your pointing; they would not

    Make us their object; out of their sight.

    Daugh. It is a holliday to look on them: Lord, the

    Difference of men. [Exeunt.

    Scæna Secunda.

    Enter Palamon, and Arcite in prison.

    Pal. How do you, Noble Cosin?

    Arcite. How do you, Sir?

    Pal. Why, strong enough to laugh at misery,

    And bear the chance of war yet, we are prisoners

    I fear for ever Cosin.

    Arcite. I believe it,

    And to that destiny have patiently

    Laid up my hour to come.

    Pal. Oh Cosin Arcite,

    Where is Thebs now? where is our noble Countrey?

    Where are our friends, and kindreds? never more

    Must we behold those comforts, never see

    The hardy youths strive for the Games of honor

    (Hung with the painted favours of their Ladies)

    Like tall Ships under Sail: then start amongst ’em

    And as an Eastwind leave ’em all behind us,

    Like lazy Clouds, whilst Palamon and Arcite,

    Even in the wagging of a wanton leg

    Out-stript the peoples praises, won the Garlands,

    E’r they have time to wish ’em ours. Oh never

    Shall we two exercise, like twins of honor,

    Our Arms again, and feel our fiery horses,

    Like proud Seas under us, our good Swords, now

    (Better the red-ey’d god of War nev’r were)

    Bravish’d our sides, like age, must run to rust,

    And deck the Temples of those gods that hate us,

    These hands shall never draw ’em out like light’ning

    To blast whole Armies more.

    Arcite. No Palamon,

    Those hopes are prisoners with us, here we are

    And here the graces of our youths must wither

    Like a too-timely Spring; here age must find us,

    And which is heaviest (Palamon) unmarried,

    The sweet embraces of a loving wife

    Loaden with kisses, arm’d with thousand Cupids

    Shall never claspe our necks, no issue know us,

    No figures of our selves shall we ev’r see,

    To glad our age, and like young Eagles teach ’em

    Boldly to gaze against bright arms, and say

    Remember what your Fathers were, and conquer.

    The fair-ey’d Maids, shall weep our banishments,

    And in their Songs, curse ever-blinded fortune

    Till she for shame see what a wrong she has done

    To youth and nature; This is all our world;

    We shall know nothing here, but one another,

    Hear nothing, but the clock that tels our woes.

    The Vine shall grow, but we shall never see it:

    Summer shall come, and with her all delights;

    But dead-cold winter must inhabit here still.

    Pal. ’Tis too true Arcite. To our Theban hounds,

    That shook the aged Forrest with their ecchoes,

    No more now must we hollo, no more shake

    Our pointed Javelins, whilst the angry Swine

    Flies like a Parthian quiver from our rages,

    Struck with our well-steel’d Darts: All valiant uses,

    (The food and nourishment of noble minds,)

    In us two here shall perish; we shall die

    (Which is the curse of honor) lastly,

    Children of grief, and Ignorance.

    Arc. Yet Cosin,

    Even from the bottom of these miseries

    From all that fortune can inflict upon us,

    I see two comforts rising, two meer blessings,

    If the gods please, to hold here a brave patience,

    And the enjoying of our griefs together.

    Whilst Palamon is with me, let me perish

    If I think this our prison.

    Pala. Certainly,

    ’Tis a main goodness, Cosin, that our fortunes

    Were twin’d together; ’tis most true, two souls

    Put in two noble bodies, let ’em suffer

    The gaul of hazard, so they grow together,

    Will never sink, they must not, say they could,

    A willing man dies sleeping, and all’s done.

    Arc. Shall we make worthy uses of this place

    That all men hate so much?

    Pal. How gentle Cosin?

    Arc. Let’s think this prison, Holy Sanctuary,

    To keep us from corruption of worse men,

    We are young, and yet desire the wayes of honour,

    That liberty and common conversation,

    The poison of pure spirits, might, like women,

    Wooe us to wander from. What worthy blessing

    Can be but our imaginations

    May make it ours? And here being thus together,

    We are an endless mine to one another;

    We are one anothers Wife, ever begetting

    New births of love; we are Father, Friends, Acquaintance,

    We are, in one another, Families,

    I am your Heir, and you are mine: This place

    Is our Inheritance: no hard oppressor

    Dare take this from us; here with a little patience

    We shall live long, and loving: No surfeits seek us:

    The hand of War hurts none here, nor the Seas

    Swallow their youth: were we at liberty,

    A Wife might part us lawfully, or business,

    Quarrels consume us: Envy of ill men

    Crave our acquaintance, I might sicken Cosin,

    Where you should never know it, and so perish

    Without your noble hand to close mine eyes,

    Or prayers to the gods; a thousand chances

    Were we from hence, would sever us.

    Pal. You have made me

    (I thank you Cosin Arcite) almost wanton

    With my Captivity: what a misery

    It is to live abroad! and every where:

    ’Tis like a Beast me thinks: I find the Court here,

    I ‘m sure a more content, and all those pleasures

    That wooe the Wills of men to vanity,

    I see through now; and am sufficient

    To tell the world, ’tis but a gaudy shadow,

    That old Time, as he passes by, takes with him,

    What had we been old in the Court of Creon,

    Where sin is Justice, Lust, and Ignorance,

    The virtues of the great ones: Cosin Arcite

    Had not the loving gods found this place for us

    We had di’d as they doe, ill old men unwept,

    And had their Epitaphs, the peoples Curses,

    Shall I say more?

    Arc. I would hear you still.

    Pal. Ye shall.

    Is there record of any two that lov’d

    Better than we two Arcite?

    Arc. Sure there cannot.

    Pal. I doe not think it possible our friendship

    Should ever leave us.

    Arc. Till our deaths it cannot.

    Enter Emilia and her Woman.

    And after death our spirits shall be led

    To those that love eternally. Speak on Sir.

    This Garden has a world of pleasures in’t.

    Emil. What Flower is this?

    Wom. ’Tis call’d Narcissus, Madam.

    Emil. That was a fair Boy certain, but a fool,

    To love himself, were there not Maids enough?

    Arc. Pray forward.

    Pal. Yes.

    Emil. Or were they all hard-hearted?

    Wom. They could not be to one so fair.

    Emil. Thou wouldst not.

    Wom. I think I should not, Madam.

    Emil. That’s a good wench:

    But take heed to your kindness though.

    Wom. Why Madam?

    Emil. Men are mad things.

    Arcite. Will ye go forward, Cosin?

    Emil. Canst not thou work such Flowers in Silk wench?

    Wom. Yes.

    Emil. I’ll have a Gown full of ’em, and of these,

    This is a pretty colour, wil’t not do

    Rarely upon a skirt wench?

    Wom. Dainty Madam.

    Arc. Cosin, Cosin, how do you, Sir? Why Palamon?

    Pal. Never till now, I was in prison Arcite.

    Arc. Why, what’s the matter man?

    Pal. Behold, and wonder.

    By heaven she is a Goddess.

    Arcite. Ha.

    Pal. Do reverence.

    She is a Goddess Arcite.

    Emil. Of all Flowers,

    Methinks a Rose is best.

    Wom. Why gentle Madam?

    Emil. It is the very Emblem of a Maid.

    For when the West wind courts her gently

    How modestly she blows, and paints the Sun,

    With her chaste blushes! When the North comes near her,

    Rude and impatient, then like Chastity

    She locks her beauties in her bud again,

    And leaves him to base briers.

    Wom. Yet good Madam,

    Sometimes her modesty will blow so far

    She falls for’t: a Maid

    If she have any honor, would be loth

    To take example by her.

    Emil. Thou art wanton.

    Arc. She is wondrous fair.

    Pal. She is all the beauty extant.

    Emil. The Sun grows high, let’s walk in, keep these flowers,

    We’ll see how near Art can come near their colours;

    I’m wondrous merry-hearted, I could laugh now.

    Wom. I could lie down I am sure.

    Emil. And take one with you?

    Wom. That’s as we bargain, Madam.

    Emil. Well, agree then. [Exeunt Emilia and Woman.

    Pal. What think you of this beauty?

    Arc. ’Tis a rare one.

    Pal. Is’t but a rare one?

    Arc. Yes, a matchless beauty.

    Pal. Might not a man well lose himself, and love her?

    Arc. I cannot tell what you have done, I have,

    Beshrew mine eyes for’t, now I feel my Shackles.

    Pal. You love her then?

    Arc. Who would not?

    Pal. And desire her?

    Arc. Before my liberty.

    Pal. I saw her first.

    Arc. That’s nothing.

    Pal. But it shall be.

    Arc. I saw her too.

    Pal. Yes, but you must not love her.

    Arc. I will not as you do; to worship her;

    As she is heavenly, and a blessed goddess;

    (I love her as a woman, to enjoy her)

    So both may love.

    Pal. You shall not love at all.

    Arc. Not love at all;

    Who shall denie me?

    Pal. I that first saw her; I that took possession

    First with mine eye of all those beauties

    In her reveal’d to mankind: if thou lov’st her;

    Or entertain’st a hope to blast my wishes,

    Thou art a Traitor Arcite, and a fellow

    False as thy Title to her: friendship, bloud

    And all the ties between us I disclai[m]

    If thou once think upon her.

    Arc. Yes, I love her,

    And if the lives of all my name lay on it,

    I must do so, I love her with my soul,

    If that will lose ye, farewel Palamon.

    I say again, I love, and in loving her, maintain

    I am as worthy and as free a Lover

    And have as just a title to her beauty

    As any Palamon, or any living

    That is a mans Son.

    Pal. Have I call’d thee friend?

    Arc. Yes, and have found me so; why are you mov’d thus?

    Let me deal coldly with you, am not I

    Part of your blood, part of your soul? you have told me

    That I was Palamon, and you were Arcite.

    Pal. Yes.

    Arc. Am not I liable to those affections,

    Those joyes, griefs, angers, fears, my friend shall suffer?

    Pal. Ye may be.

    Arc. Why then would you deal so cunningly,

    So strangely, so unlike a Noble Kinsman

    To love alone? speak truly, do you think me

    Unworthy of her sight?

    Pal. No, but unjust,

    If thou pursue that [si]ght.

    Arc. Because another

    First sees the Enemy, shall I stand still

    And let mine honor down, and never charge?

    Pal. Yes, if he be but one.

    Arc. But say that one

    Had rather combat me?

    Pal. Let that one say so,

    And use thy freedom: else if thou pursuest her,

    Be as that cursed man that hates his Countrey,

    A branded villain.

    Arc. You are mad.

    Pal. I must be.

    Till thou art worthy, Arcite, it concerns me,

    And in this madness, if I hazard thee

    And take thy life, I deal but truly.

    Arc. Fie Sir.

    You play the child extreamly: 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 fortune

    To be one hour at liberty, and graspe

    Our good swords in our hands, I would quickly teach thee

    What ’twere to filch affection from another:

    Thou art baser in it than a Cutpurse;

    Put but thy head out of this window more,

    And as I have a soul, I’ll nail thy life to’t.

    Arc. Thou dar’st not fool, thou canst not, thou art feeble.

    Put my head out? I’ll throw my Body out,

    And leap the Garden, when I see her next.

    Enter Keeper.

    And pitch between her Arms to anger thee.

    Pal. No more; the Keepers coming; I shall live

    To knock thy brains out with my Shackles.

    Arc. Doe.

    Keep. By your leave, Gentlemen.

    Pala. Now honest Keeper?

    Keep. Lord Arcite, you must presently to th’ Duke;

    The cause I know not yet.

    Arc. I am ready Keeper.

    Keep. Prince Palamon, I must awhile bereave you

    Of your fair Cosins company. [Exeunt Arcite, and Keeper.

    Pal. And me too,

    Even when you please of life; why is he sent for?

    It may be he shall marry her, he’s goodly,

    And like enough the Duke hath taken notice

    Both of his Bloud and Body: but his falshood,

    Why should a friend be treacherous? if that

    Get him a Wife so noble, and so fair;

    Let honest men ne’er love again. Once more

    I would but see this fair one: blessed Garden,

    And Fruit, and Flowers more blessed that still blossom

    As her bright eies shine on ye. Would I were

    For all the fortune of my life hereafter

    Yon little Tree, yon blooming Apricock;

    How I would spread, and fling my wanton arms

    In at her window; I would bring her fruit

    Fit for the gods to feed on: youth and pleasure

    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.

    Enter Keeper.

    And then I’m sure she would love me: how now Keeper,

    Where’s Arcite?

    Keep. Banish’d: Prince Pirithous

    Obtain’d his liberty; but never more

    Upon his oath and life must he set foot

    Upon this Kingdom.

    Pal. He’s a blessed man,

    He shall see Thebes again, and call to Arms

    The bold young men, that when he bids ’em charge,

    Fall on like fire: Arcite shall have a Fortune,

    If he dare make himself a worthy Lover,

    Yet in the Field to strike a battel for her;

    And if he lose her then, he’s a cold Coward;

    How bravely may he bear himself to win her

    If he be noble Arcite; thousand ways.

    Were I at liberty, I would do things

    Of such a virtuous greatness, that this Lady,

    This blushing Virgin should take manhood to her

    And seek to ravish me.

    Keep. My Lord for you

    I have this charge too.

    Pal. To discharge my life.

    Keep. No, but from this place to remove your Lordship,

    The windows are too open.

    Pal. Devils take ’em

    That are so envious to me; prethee kill me.

    Keep. And hang for’t afterward.

    Pal. By this good light

    Had I a sword I would kill thee.

    Keep. Why my Lord?

    Pal. Thou bring’st such pelting scurvy news continually

    Thou art not worthy life; I will not go.

    Keep. Indeed you must my Lord.

    Pal. May I see the Garden?

    Keep. No.

    Pal. Then I am resolv’d, I will not go.

    Keep. I must constrain you then: and, for you are dangerous

    I’ll clap more irons on you.

    Pal. Doe good Keeper.

    I’ll shake ’em so, ye shall not sleep,

    I’ll make ye a new Morri[ss]e, must I goe?

    Keep. There is no remedy.

    Pal. Farewel kind window.

    May rude wind never hurt thee. Oh my Lady,

    If ever thou hast felt what sorrow was,

    Dream how I suffer. Come; now bury me. [Exeunt Palamon and Keeper.

    Scæna Tertia.

    Enter Arcite.

    Arcite. Banish’d the Kingdom? ’tis a benefit,

    A mercy I must thank ’em for, but banish’d

    The free enjoying of that face I die for,

    Oh ’twas a studdied punishment, a death

    Beyond Imagination: Such a vengeance

    That were I old and wicked, all my sins

    Could never pluck upon me, Palamon;

    Thou hast the Start now, thou shalt stay and see

    Her bright eyes break each morning ‘gainst thy window,

    And let in life into thee; Thou shalt feed

    Upon the sweetness of a noble beauty,

    That nature never exceeded, nor never shall:

    Good gods! what happiness has Palamon!

    Twenty to one, he’ll come to speak to her,

    And if she be as gentle, as she’s fair,

    I know she’s his, he has a Tongue will tame

    Tempests, and make the wild Rocks wanton. Come what can come,

    The worst is death; I will not leave the Kingdom,

    I know mine own is but a heap of ruins,

    And no redress there, if I go, he has her,

    I ‘m resolv’d an other shape shall make me,

    Or end my fortunes. Either way, I’ m happy:

    I’ll see her, and be near her, or no more.

    Enter 4. Country people, & one with a garland before them.

    1. My Masters, I’ll be there that’s certain.

    2. And I’ll be there.

    3. And I.

    4. Why then have with ye Boys; ’Tis but [a] chiding,

    Let the plough play to day, I’ll tick[‘lt] out

    Of the jades tails to morrow.

    1. I ‘m sure

    To have my wife as jealous as a Turkey:

    But that’s all one, I’ll goe through, let her mumble.

    2. Clap her aboard to morrow night, and stoa her,

    And all’s made up again.

    3. I, do but put a fesku in her fist, and you shall see her

    Take a new lesson out, and be a good wench.

    Doe we all hold, against the Maying?

    4. Hold? what should ail us?

    3. Arcas, will be there.

    2. And Sennois.

    And Rycas, and 3. Better lads never danc’d under green Tree,

    And yet know what wenches: ha?

    But will the dainty Domine, the Schoolemaster keep touch

    Doe you think: For he do’s all ye know.

    3. He’ll eat a hornbook ere he fail: goe too, the matter’s too far driven between him, and the Tanners daughter, to let slip now, and she must see the Duke, and she must dance too.

    4. Shall we be lusty.

    2. All the Boys in Athens blow wind i’th’ breech on’s, and here I’ll be and there I’ll be, for our Town, and here again, and there again: Ha, Boys, heigh for the weavers.

    1. This must be done i’th woods.

    4. O pardon me.

    2. By any means our thing of learning sees so: Where he himself will edifie the Duke most parlously in our behalfs: He’s excellent i’th’ woods, bring him to’th’ plains, his learning makes no cry.

    3. We’ll see the sports, then every man to’s Tackle: and

    Sweet Companions lets rehearse by any means, before

    The Ladies see us, and doe sweetly, and God knows what

    May come on’t.

    4. Content; the sports once ended, we’ll perform. Away

    Boys and hold.

    Arc. By your leaves honest friends: Pray you w[h]ither goe you.

    4. Whither? Why, what a question’s that!

    Arc. Yes, ’tis a question, to me that know not.

    3. To the Games, my Friend.

    2. Where were you bred you know it not?

    Arc. Not far Sir,

    Are there such Games, to day?

    1. Yes marry are there:

    And such as you never saw; The Duke, himself

    Will be in person there.

    Arc. What pastimes are they?

    2. Wrastling, and Running; ’Tis a pretty Fellow.

    3. Thou wilt not goe along.

    Arc. Not yet Sir.

    4. Well Sir

    Take your own time, come Boys.

    1. My mind misgives me

    This fellow has a veng’ance trick o’th hip,

    Marke how his Bodi’s made for’t.

    2. I’ll be hang’d though

    If he dare venture, hang him plumb-porredge,

    He wrestle? He rost eggs. Come lets be gon Lads. [Exeunt 4.

    Arc. This is an offer’d oportunity

    I durst not wish for. Well, I could have wrestled,

    The best men call’d it excellent, and run

    Swifter, than wind upon a feild of Corn

    (Curling the wealthy ears) never flew: I’ll venture,

    And in some poor disguize be there, who knows

    Whether my brows may not be girt with garlands?

    And happiness prefer me to a place,

    Where I may ever dwell in sight of her. [Exit Arcite.

    Scæena [4].

    Enter Jailors Daughter alone.

    Daugh. Why should I love this Gentleman? ’Tis odds

    He never will affect me; [I am] base,

    My Father the mean Keeper of his Prison,

    And he a Prince; To marry him is hopeless;

    To be his whore, is witles; Out upon’t;

    What pushes are we wenches driven to

    When fifteen once has found us? First I saw him,

    I (seeing) thought he was a goodly man;

    He has as much to please a woman in him,

    (If he please to bestow it so) as ever

    These eyes yet lookt on; Next, I pittied him,

    And so would any young wench o’my Conscience

    That ever dream’d, or vow’d her Maydenhead

    To a young hansom Man; Then I lov’d him,

    (Extremely lov’d him) infinitely lov’d him;

    And yet he had [a] Cosen, fair as he too.

    But in my heart was Palamon, and there

    Lord, what a coyl he keepes! To hear him

    Sing in an evening, what a Heaven it is!

    And yet his Songs are sad-ones; Fairer spoken,

    Was never Gentleman. When I come in

    To bring him water in a morning, first

    He bows his noble body, then salutes me, thus:

    Fair, gentle Mayd, good morrow, may thy goodness,

    Get thee a happy husband; Once he kist me,

    I lov’d my lips the better ten daies after,

    Would he would doe so ev’ry day; He greives much,

    And me as much to see his misery:

    What should I doe, to make him know I love him,

    For I would fain enjoy him? Say I ventur’d

    To set him free? What saies the Law then? Thus much

    For Law, or kindred: I will doe it,

    And this night, or to morrow he shall love me. [Exit.

    [This short florish of Cornets and Showtes within.

    Scæna [5].

    Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Pirithous, Emilia: Arcite with a Garland, &c.

    Thes. You have done worthily; I have not seen

    Since Hercules, a man of tougher sinews;

    What ere you are, you run the best, and wrestle,

    That these times can allow.

    Arcite. I’m proud to please you.

    Thes. What Countrie bred you?

    Arcite. This; But far off, Prince.

    Thes. Are you a Gentleman?

    Arcite. My father said so;

    And to those gentle uses gave me life.

    Thes. Are you his heir?

    Arcite. His youngest Sir.

    Thes. Your Father

    Sure is a happy S[ir]e, then: What proves you?

    Arcite. A little of all noble Qualities:

    I could have kept a Hawk, and well have hollow’d

    To a deep crie of Dogs; I dare not praise

    My feat in horsemanship: yet they that knew me

    Would say it was my best peece: last, and greatest,

    I would be thought a Soldier.

    Thes. You are perfect.

    Pirith. Upon my soul, a proper man.

    Emilia. He is so.

    Per. How doe you like him Ladie?

    Hip. I admire him,

    I have not seen so young a man, so noble

    (If he say true,) of his sort.

    Emil. Believe,

    His mother was a wondrous handsome woman,

    His face me thinks, goes that way.

    Hip. But his Body

    And firie mind, illustrate a brave Father.

    Per. Mark how his virtue, like a hidden Sun,

    Breaks through his baser garments.

    Hip. He’s well got sure.

    Thes. What made you seek this place Sir?

    Arc. Noble Theseus.

    To purchase name, and doe my ablest service

    To such a well-found wonder, as thy worth,

    For only in thy Court, of all the world

    Dwells fair-ey’d honor.

    Per. All his words are worthy.

    Thes. Sir, we are much endebted to your travell,

    Nor shall you loose your wish: Perithous

    Dispose of this faire Gentleman.

    Perith. Thanks Theseus.

    What ere you are y’are mine, and I shall give you

    To a most noble service, to this Lady,

    This bright young Virgin; Pray observe her goodness;

    You have honour’d her fair birth-day, with your virtues,

    And as your due y’are hers: kiss her fair hand Sir.

    Arc. Sir, y’are a noble Giver: dearest Beautie,

    Thus let me seal my vow’d faith: when your Servant

    (Your most unworthie Creature) but offends you,

    Command him die, he shall.

    Emil. That were too cruell.

    If you deserve well Sir; I shall soon see’t:

    Y’are mine, and somewhat better than your ranck I’ll use you.

    Per. I’ll see you furnish’d, and because you say

    You are a horseman, I must needs intreat you

    This after noon to ride, but ’tis a rough one.

    Arc. I like him better (Prince) I shall not then

    Freeze in my Saddle.

    Thes. Sweet, you must be readie,

    And you Emilia, and you (Friend) and all

    To morrow by the Sun, to doe observance

    To flowry May, in Dian’s wood: wait well Sir,

    Upon your Mistris: Emely, I hope

    He shall not goe a foot.

    Emil. That were a shame Sir,

    While I have horses: take your choice, and what

    You want at any time, let me but know it;

    If you serve faithfully, I dare assure you

    You’ll find a loving Mistris.

    Arc. If I doe not,

    Let me find that my Father ever hated,

    Disgrace, and blows.

    Thes. Go lead the way; You have won it:

    It shall be so; You shall receive all dues

    Fit for the honor you have won; ’Twere wrong else.

    Sister, beshrew my heart, you have a Servant,

    That if I were a woman, would be Master,

    But you are wise. [Florish.

    Emil. I hope too wise for that Sir. [Exeunt omnes.

    Scæna 6.

    Enter Jaylors Daughter alone.

    Daughter. Let all the Dukes, and all the divells rore,

    He is at liberty: I have ventur’d for him:

    And out I have brought him to a little wood

    A mile hence, I have sent him, where a Cedar,

    Higher than all the rest, spreads like a plane

    Fast by a Brook, and there he shall keep close,

    Till I provide him Fyles, and food; for yet

    His yron bracelets are not off. O Love

    What a stout hearted child thou art! My Father

    Durst better have indur’d cold iron, than done it:

    I love him beyond love, and beyond reason,

    Or wit, or safetie: I have made him know it

    I care not, I am desperate: If the Law

    Find me, and then condemne me for’t; Some wenches,

    Some honest hearted Maids, will sing my Dirge.

    And tell to memory, my death was noble,

    Dying almost a Martyr: That way he takes,

    I purpose is my way too: Sure he cannot

    Be so unmanly, as to leave me here,

    If he doe, Maids will not so easily

    Trust men again: And yet he has not thank’d me

    For what I have done: no not so much as kist me,

    And that (me thinks) is not so well; Nor scarcely

    Could I persuade him to become a Freeman,

    He made such scruples of the wrong he did

    To me, and to my Father. Yet I hope

    When he considers more, this love of mine

    Will take more root within him: Let him doe

    What he will with me, so he use me kindly,

    For use me so he shall, or I’ll proclaim him,

    And to his face, no man: I’ll presently

    Provide him necessaries, and pack my cloaths up,

    And where there is a path of ground I’ll venture

    So he be with me; By him, like a shadow

    I’ll ever dwell; Within this hour the whoobub

    Will be all o’er the prison: [I am] then

    Kissing the man they look for: Farewell Father,

    Get many more such prisoners, and such daughters,

    And shortly you may keep your self. Now to him:

    [Cornets in sundry places. Noise and hollowing as people a Maying.

    Actus Tertius.

    Scæna Prima.

    Enter Arcite alone.

    Arcite.

    The Duke has lost Hypolita; Each took

    A severall land. This is a solemn Right

    They owe bloom’d May, and the Athenians pay it

    To ‘th’ heart of Ceremony: O Queen Emilia

    Fresher than May, sweeter

    Then her gold Buttons on the bows, or all

    Th’enamell’d knacks o’th’ Mead, or garden, ye[a]

    (We challenge too) the banck of any Nymph

    That makes the stream seem flowers; Thou o Jewell

    O’th wood, o’th world, hast likewise blest a pace

    With thy sole presence, in thy rumination

    That I poor man might eftsoones come betwen

    And chop on some cold thought, thrice blessed chance

    To drop on such a Mistris, expectation

    Most guiltless on’t: tell me O Lady Fortune

    (Next after Emely my Sovereign) how far

    I may be proud. She takes strong note of me,

    Hath made me near her; and this beauteous Morn

    (The prim’st of all the year) presents me with

    A brace of horses, two such Steeds might well

    Be by a pair of Kings backt, in a Field

    That their crowns titles tried: Alas, alas

    Poor Cosen Palamon, poor prisoner, thou

    So little dream’st upon my fortune, that

    Thou thinkst thy self, the happier thing, to be

    So near Emilia, me thou deem’st at Thebs,

    And therein wretched, although free; But if

    Thou knew’st my Mistris breath’d on me, and that

    I ear’d her language, liv’d in her eye; O Coz

    What passion would enclose thee.

    Enter Palamon as out of a Bush, with his Shackles: bends his fist at Arcite.

    Palamon. Traytor kinsman,

    Thou shouldst perceive my passion, if these signs

    Of prisonment were off me, and this hand

    But owner of a Sword: By all oaths in one

    I, and the justice of my love would make thee

    A confest Traytor: O thou most perfidious

    That ever gently look’d the voydes of honor.

    That ev’r bore gentle Token; falsest Cosen

    That ever blood made kin, call’st thou her thine?

    I’ll prove it in my Shackles, with these hands,

    Void of appointment, that thou ly’st, and art

    A very theef in love, a Chaffy Lord

    Nor worth the name of villain: had I a Sword

    And these house cloggs away.

    Arc. Dear Cosin Palamon.

    Pal. Cosoner Arcite, give me language, such

    As thou hast shew’d me feat.

    Arc. Not finding in

    The circuit of my breast, any gross stuff

    To form me like your blazon, holds me to

    This gentleness of answer; ’tis your passion

    That thus mistakes, the which to you being enemy,

    Cannot to me be kind: honor, and honestie

    I cherish, and depend on, how so ev’r

    You skip them in me, and with them fair Coz

    I’ll maintain my proceedings; pray be pleas’d

    To shew in generous terms, your griefs, since that

    Your question’s with your equall, who professes

    To clear his own way, with the mind and Sword

    Of a true Gentleman.

    Pal. That tho[u] durst Arcite.

    Arc. My Coz, my Coz, you have been well advertis’d

    How much I dare, y’ave seen me use my Sword

    Against th’ advice of fear: sure of another

    You would not hear me doubted, but your silence

    Should break out, though i’th’ Sanctuary.

    Pal. Sir,

    I have seen you move in such a place, which well

    Might justifie your manhood, you were call’d

    A good knight and a bold; But the whole week’s not fair

    If any day it rayn: Their valiant temper

    Men loose when they encline to trecherie,

    And then they fight like coupel’d Beeres, would fly

    Were they not ty’d.

    Arc. Kinsman, you might as well

    Speak this, and act it in your Glass, as to

    His ear, which now disdains you.

    Pal. Come up to me,

    Quit me of these cold Gyves, give me a Sword

    Though it be rustie, and the charity

    Of one meal lend me; Come before me then,

    A good Sword in thy hand, and doe but say

    That Emily is thine, I will forgive

    The trespass thou hast done [me, yea] my life

    If then thou carry’t, and brave souls in shades

    That have di’d manly, which will seek of me

    Some news from earth, they shall get none but this,

    That thou art brave, and noble.

    Arc. Be content,

    Again betake you to your hawthorn house,

    With counsel of the night, I will be here

    With wholesome viands; these impediments

    Will I file off, you shall have garments, and

    Perfumes to kill the smell o’th’ prison, after

    When you shall stretch your self, and say but Arcite

    [I am] in plight, there shall be at your choice

    Both Sword, and Armor.

    Pal. Oh you heavens, dare any

    So noble bear a guilty business! none

    But only Arcite, therefore none but Arcite

    In this kind is so bold.

    Arc. Sweet Palamon.

    Pal. I doe embrace you, and your offer, for

    Your offer do’t I only, Sir your person

    Without hypocrisy I may not wish [Wind horns of Cornets.

    More than my Swords edge ont.

    Arc. You hear the Horns;

    Enter your Musick least this match between’s

    Be crost e’r met, give me your hand, farewell.

    I’ll bring you every needfull thing: I pray you

    Take comfort and be strong.

    Pal. Pray hold your promise;

    And doe the deed with a bent brow, most certain

    You love me not, be rough with me, and pour

    This oil o[u]t of your language; by this ayr

    I could for each word, give a Cuff: my stomach

    Not reconcil’d by reason.

    Arc. Plainly spoken,

    Yet pardon me hard language, when I spur [Wind horns.

    My horse, I chide him not; content, and anger

    In me have but one face. Hark Sir, they call

    The scatter’d to the Banket; you must guess

    I have an office there.

    Pal. Sir your attendance

    Cannot please heaven, and I know your office

    Unjustly is atcheiv’d.

    Arc. If a good title,

    I’m persuaded this question sick between’s,

    By bleeding must be cur’d. I’m a Suitor,

    That to your Sword you will bequeath this plea,

    And talk of it no more.

    Pal. But this one word:

    You are going now to gaze upon my Mistris,

    For note you, mine she is.

    Arc. Nay then.

    Pal. Nay pray you,

    You talk of feeding me to breed me strength

    You are going now to look upon a Sun

    That strengthens what it looks on, there

    You have a vantage o’er me, but enjoy’t till

    I may enforce my remedy. Farewell. [Exeunt.

    Scæna Secunda.

    Enter Jaylors daughter alone.

    Daugh. He has mistook; the Beak I meant, is gone

    After his fancy, ’Tis now welnigh morning,

    No matter, would it were perpetuall night,

    And darkness Lord o’th’ world, Hark ’tis a wolf:

    In me hath grief slain fear, and but for one thing

    I care for nothing, and that’s Palamon.

    I wreak not if the wolves would jaw me, so

    He had this Fi[l]e; what if I hollow’d for him?

    I cannot hollow: if I whoop’d; what then?

    If he not answer’d, I should call a wolf,

    And doe him but that service. I have heard

    Strange howls this live-long night, why may’t not be

    They have made prey of him? he has no weapons,

    He cannot run, the Jengling of his Gives

    Might call fell things to listen, who have in them

    A sence to know a man unarm’d, and can

    Smell where resistance is. I’ll set it down

    He’s torn to peeces, they howl’d many together

    And then they fed on him: So much for that,

    Be bold to ring the Bell; How stand I then?

    All’s char’d when he is gone, No, no I lye,

    My Father’s to be hang’d for his escape,

    My self to beg, if I priz’d life so much

    As to deny my act, but that I would not,

    Should I try death by dussons: I am mop’t,

    Food took I non[e] these two daies.

    Sipt some water, I have not clos’d mine eyes

    Save when my lids scowrd off their bine; alas

    Dissolve my life, Let not my sence unsettle

    Least I should drown, or stab or hang my self.

    O state of Nature, fail together in me,

    Since thy best props are warpt: So which way now?

    The best way is, the next way to a grave:

    Each errant step beside is torment. Loe

    The Moon is down, the Cr’ckets chirpe, the Schreich-owl

    Calls in the dawn; all offices are done

    Save what I fail in: But the point is this

    An end, and that is all. [Exit.

    Scæna Tertia.

    Enter Arcite, with Meat, Wine, and Files.

    Arc. I should be near the place, hoa. Cosen Palamon.

    Enter Palamon.

    Pal. Arcite?

    Arc. The same: I have brought you food and files,

    Come forth and fear not, here’s no Theseus.

    Pal. Nor none so honest Arcite.

    Arc. That’s no matter,

    We’ll argue that hereafter: Come take courage,

    You shall not dye thus beastly, here Sir drink:

    I know you’re faint, then I’ll talk further with you.

    Pal. Arcite, thou mightst now poyson me.

    Arc. I might.

    But I must fear you first: Sit down, and good now

    No more of these vain parlies; let us not

    Having our ancient reputation with us

    Make talk for Fools, and Cowards, To your health. &c.

    Pal. Doe.

    Arc. Pray sit dow[n] then, and let me entreat you

    By all the honesty and honor in you,

    No mention of this woman, ’t will disturb us,

    We shall have time enough.

    Pal. Well Sir, I’ll pledge you.

    Arc. Drinke a good hearty draught, it breeds good blood man.

    Doe not you feel it thaw you?

    Pal. Stay, I’ll tell you after a draught or two more.

    Arc. Spare it not, the Duke has more Cuz: Eat now.

    Pal. Yes.

    Arc. [I am] glad you have so good a stomach.

    Pal. [I am] gladder I have so good meat to’t.

    Arc. Is’t not mad lodging here in the wild woods Cosen?

    Pal. Yes, for them that have wild Consciences.

    Arc. How tasts your victuals? your hunger needs no sawce I see.

    Pal. Not much.

    But if it did, yours is too tart: sweet Cosen: what is this?

    Arc. Venison.

    Pal. ’Tis a lusty meat:

    Give me more wine; here Arcite to the wenches

    We have known in our daies. The Lord Stewards daughter.

    Doe you remember her?

    Arc. After you Cuz.

    Pal. She lov’d a black-hair’d man.

    Arc. She did so; well Sir.

    Pal. And I have heard some call him Arcite; an.

    Arc. Out with’t faith.

    Pal. She met him in an Arbor:

    What did she there Cuz? play o’the virginals?

    Arc. Something she did Sir.

    Pal. Made her groan a Month for’t; or 2. or 3. or 10.

    Arc. The Marshals Sister,

    Had her share too, as I remember Cosen,

    Else there be tales abroad, you’ll pledge her?

    Pal. Yes.

    Arc. A pretty brown wench ’tis: There was a time

    When young men went a hunting, and a wood,

    And a broad beech: and thereby hangs a tale: heigh ho.

    Pal. For Emily, upon my life, fool

    A way with this strain’d mirth; I say again

    That sigh was breath’d for Emily; base Cosen,

    Dar’st thou break first?

    Arc. You are wide.

    Pal. By heaven and earth, there’s nothing in thee honest.

    Arc. Then I’ll leave you: you are a Beast now:

    Pal. As thou mak’st me, Traytor.

    Arc. There’s all things needfull, files and shirts, and perfumes.

    I’ll come again some two hours hence, and bring

    That that shall quiet all.

    Pal. A Sword and Armor.

    Arc. Fear me not; you are now too fowl; farewell.

    Get off your Trinkets, you shall want nought.

    Pal. Sir ha:

    Arc. I’ll here no more. [Exit.

    Pal. If he keep touch, he dies for’t. [Exit.

    Scæna Quarta.

    Enter Jaylors daughter.

    Daugh. I am very cold, and all the Stars are out too,

    The little Stars, and all, that look like aglets:

    The Sun has seen my Folly: Palamon;

    Alas no; he’s in heaven; where am I now?

    Yonder’s the sea, and there’s a Ship; how’t tumbles

    And there’s a Rock lies watching under water;

    Now, now, it beats upon it; now, now, now,

    There’s a leak sprung, a sound one, how they cry!

    Upon her before the wind, you’ll loose all els:

    Up with a course or two, and tack about Boys.

    Good night, good night, y’are gone; I’m very hungry,

    Would I could find a fine Frog; he would tell me

    News from all parts o’th’ world, then would I make

    A Careck of a Cockle-shell, and sayll

    By East and North East to the King of Pigmies,

    For he tels fortunes rarely. Now my Father

    Twenty to one is trust up in a trice

    To morrow morning, I’ll say never a word.

    Sing.

    For I’ll cut my green coat, afoot above my knee,

    And I’ll clip my yellow locks; an inch below mine eie.

    hey, nonny, nonny, nonny.

    He’s buy me a whit Cut, forth for to ride

    And I’ll goe seek him, throw the world that is so wide.

    hey nonny, nonny, nonny.

    O for a prick now like a Nightingale, to put my brest

    Against. I shall sleep like a Top else. [Exit.

    Scæna [5].

    Enter a Schoolmaster 4. Countrymen: and Baum. 2. or 3., with a Taborer.

    Sch. Fy, fy, what tediosity, & disensanity is here among ye? have my Rudiments bin labour’d so long with ye? milk’d unto ye, and, by a figure, even the very plumbroth & marrow of my understanding laid upon ye? and do you still cry where, and how, & wherefore? you most course freeze capacities, ye jave Judgements, have I said thus let be, and there let be, and then let be, and no man understand me, prob deum, medius fidius, ye are all dunces: For why here stand I. Here the Duke comes, there are you close in the Thicket; the Duke appears, I meet him, and unto him I utter learned things, and many figures, he hears, and nods, and hums, and then cries rare, and I goe forward, at length I fling my Cap up; mark there; then do you as once did Meleager, and the Bore break comely out before him: like true lovers, cast your selves in a Body decently, and sweetly, by a figure trace, and turn Boys.

    1. And sweetly we will doe it Master Gerrold.

    2. Draw up the Company, Where’s the Taboror?

    3. Why Timothy?

    Tab. Here my mad boys, have at ye.

    Sch. But I say where’s their wom[e]n?

    4. Here’s Friz and Maudline.

    2. And little Luce, with the white legs, and bouncing Barbary.

    1. And freckled Nel; that never fail’d her Master.

    Sch. Where be your Ribands maids? swym with your Bodies

    And carry it sweetly, and deliverly

    And now and then a favor, and a friske.

    Nel. Let us alone Sir.

    Sch. Where’s the rest o’th’ Musick.

    3. Dispers’d as you commanded.

    Sch. Couple then

    And see what’s wanting; where’s the Bavian?

    My friend, carry your tail without offence

    Or scandall to the Ladies; and be sure

    You tumble with audacity, and manhood,

    And when you bark doe it with judgement.

    Bau. Yes Sir.

    Sch. Quo usque tandem? Here is a woman wanting.

    4. We may goe whistle: all the fat’s i’th’ fire.

    Sch. We have,

    As learned Authors utter, wash’d a Tile,

    We have been fatuus, and labour’d vainly.

    2. This is that scornfull peece, that scurvy hilding

    That gave her promise faithfully, she would be here,

    Cicely the Sempsters daughter:

    The next gloves that I give her shall be dogs-skin;

    Nay and she fail me once, you can tell Arcas,

    She swore by wine, and bread, she would not break.

    Sch. An E[e]l and woman,

    A learned Poet sayes: unles by’th’ tail

    And with thy teeth thou hold, will either fail,

    In manners this was false position.

    1. A fire ill take her; do’s she flinch now?

    3. What

    Shall we determine Sir?

    Sch. Nothing,

    Our business is become a nullity

    Yea, and a woefull, and a pittious nullity.

    4. Now when the credit of our Town lay on it,

    Now to be frampall, now to piss o’th’ nettle,

    Goe thy ways, I’ll remember thee, I’ll fit thee.

    Enter Jaylor’s daughter.

    Daughter,

    The George alow, came from the South, from

    The coast of Barbary a.

    And there he met with brave gallants of war

    By one, by two, by three, a.

    Well hail’d, well hail’d, you jolly gallants, [Chair and stools out.

    And whither now are you bound a?

    O let me have your company till come to the sound a.

    There was three fools, fell out about an howlet:

    The one sed it was an owl

    The other he sed nay,

    The third he sed it was a hawk, and her bels were cut away.

    3. There’s a dainty mad woman Mr. comes i’th’ Nick, as

    mad as a march Hare; If we can get her dance, we are made

    again: I warrant her, she’ll do the rarest gambols.

    1. A mad woman? we are made Boys.

    Sch. And are you mad good woman?

    Daugh. I would be sorry else,

    Give me your hand.

    Sch. Why?

    Daugh. I can tell your fortune.

    You are a fool: tell ten, I have poz’d him: Buz

    Friend you must eat no white bread, if you do

    Your teeth will bleed extremely, shall we dance ho?

    I know you, y’are a Tinker: Sir, ha Tinker

    Stop no more holes, but what you should.

    Sch. Dii boni. A Tinker Damzell?

    Daug. Or a Conjurer: raise me a devill now; and let him play.

    Quipassa, o’th’ bels and bones.

    Sch. Go take her, and fluently persuade her to a peace:

    Et opus exegi, quod nec Jovis ira, nec ignis.

    Strike up, and lead her in.

    2. Come Lass, lets trip it.

    Daugh. I’ll lead. [Wind Horns.

    3. Doe, doe.

    Sch. Persuasively, and cunningly: away boys,

    [Ex. all but Schoolemaster.

    I hear the horns: give me some

    Meditation, and mark your Cue;

    Pallas inspire me.

    Enter Thes. Pir. Hip. Emil. Arcite: and train.

    Thes. This way the Stag took.

    Sch. Stay, and edifie.

    Thes. What have we here?

    Per. Some Countrey sport, upon my life Sir.

    Thes. Well Sir, goe forward, we will edifie.

    Ladies sit down, we’ll stay it.

    Sch. Thou doughtie Duke all hail: all hail sweet Ladies.

    Thes. This is a cold beginning.

    Sch. If you but favor; our Country pastime made is,

    We are a few of those collected here

    That ruder Tongues distinguish villager,

    And to say veritie, and not to fable;

    We are a merry rout, or else a rable

    Or company, or by a figure, Chorus

    That for thy dignitie will dance a Morris.

    And I that am the rectifier of all

    By title Pedagogus, that let fall

    The Birch upon the breeches of the small ones,

    And humble with a Ferula the tall ones,

    Doe here present this Machine, or this frame

    And daintie Duke, whose doughtie dismall fame

    From Dis to Dedalus, from post to pillar

    Is blown abroad; help me thy poor well willer,

    And with thy twinckling eyes, look right and straight

    Upon this mighty Morr—of mickle waight

    Is—now comes in, which being glew’d together

    Makes Morris, and the cause that we came hither

    The body of our sport of no small study

    I first appear, though rude, and raw, and muddy,

    To speak before thy noble grace, this tenner:

    At whose great feet I offer up my penner.

    The next the Lord of May, and Lady bright,

    The Chambermaid, and Servingman by night

    That seek out silent hanging: Then mine Host

    And his fat Spouse, that welcomes to their cost

    The gauled Traveller, and with a beck’ning

    Informes the Tapster to inflame the reck’ning:

    Then the beast eating Clown, and next the fool,

    The Bavian, with long tail, and eke long tool

    Cum multis aliis, that make a dance,

    Say I, and all shall presently advance.

    Thes. I, I by any means, dear Domine.

    Per. Produce. [Musick Dance.

    Intrate filii, Come forth, and foot it.

    Knock for Schoolm. Enter The Dance.

    Ladies, if we have been merry

    And have pleas’d thee with a derry,

    And a derry, and a down

    Say the Schoolmaster’s no Clown.

    Duke, if we have pleas’d thee too

    And have done as good Boys should doe

    Give us but a tree or twaine

    For a Maypole, and again

    Ere another year run out

    We’ll make thee laugh and all this rout.

    Thes. Take 20. Domine; how does my sweet heart?

    Hip. Never so pleas’d Sir.

    Emil. ’Twas an excellent dance, and for a preface

    I never heard a better.

    Thes. Schoolmaster, I thank you, One see’em all rewarded.

    Per. And heer’s something to paint your Pole withall.

    Thes. Now to our sports again.

    Sch. May the Stag thou huntst stand long,

    And thy dogs be swift and strong:

    May they kill him without lets,

    And the Ladies eat his dowsets: Come we are all made. [Wind Horns.

    Dii Deæq; Omnes, ye have danc’d rarely wenches. [Exeunt.

    Scæna [6].

    Enter Palamon from the Bush.

    Pal. About this hour my Cosen gave his faith

    To visit me again, and with him bring

    Two Swords, and two good Armors; If he fail

    He’s neither man, nor Soldier; When he left me

    I did not think a week could have restor’d

    My lost strength to me, I was grown so low,

    And Crest-fal’n with my wants: I thank thee Arcite,

    Thou art yet a fair Foe; And I feel my self

    With this refreshing, able once again

    To out-dure danger: To delay it longer

    Would make the world think when it comes to hearing,

    That I lay fatting like a Swine, to fight

    And not a Soldier: Therefore this blest morning

    Shall be the last; And that Sword he refuses,

    If it but hold, I kill him with; ’tis Justice:

    So love, and Fortune for me: O good morrow.

    Enter Arcite with Armors and Swords.

    Arc. Good morrow noble kinsman.

    Pal. I have put you

    To too much pains Sir.

    Arc. That too much fair Cosen,

    Is but a debt to honor, and my duty.

    Pal. Would you were so in all Sir; I could wish ye

    As kind a kinsman, as you force me find

    A beneficiall foe, that my embraces

    Might thank ye, not my blows.

    Arc. I shall think either

    Well done, a noble recompence.

    Pal. Then I shall quit you.

    Arc. Defy me in these fair terms, and you show

    More than a Mistris to me, no more anger

    As you love any thing that’s honorable:

    We were not bred to talk man, when we are arm’d

    And both upon our guards, then let our fury

    Like meeting of two tides, fly strongly from us,

    And then to whom the birthright of this Beauty

    Truely pertains (without obbraidings, scorns,

    Dispisings of our persons, and such powtings

    Fitter for Girles and Schooleboyes) will be seen

    And quickly, yours, or mine: Wilt please you arme Sir?

    Or if you feel your self not fitting yet

    And furnish’d with your old strength, I’ll stay Cosen

    And ev’ry day discourse you into health,

    As I’m spar’d, your person I ‘m friends with

    And I could wish I had not said I lov’d her

    Though I had [dide]; But loving such a Lady

    And justifying my Love, I must not fly from’t.

    Pal. Arcite, thou art so brave an enemy

    That no man but thy Cosen’s fit to kill thee,

    I’m well, and lusty, choose your Armes.

    Arc. Choose you Sir.

    Pal. Wilt thou exceed in all, or do’st thou doe it

    To make me spare thee?

    Arc. If you think so Cosen,

    You are deceiv’d, for as I ‘m a Soldier,

    I will not spare you.

    Pal. That’s well said.

    Arc. You’ll find it.

    Pal. Then as [I am] an honest man and love,

    With all the justice of affection

    I’ll pay thee soundly: This I’ll take.

    Arc. That’s mine then,

    I’ll arme you first.

    Pal. Do: Pray thee tell me Cosen,

    Where gotst thou this good Armor?

    Arc. ’Tis the Dukes,

    And to say true, I stole it, doe I pinch you?

    Pal. No.

    Arc. Is’t not too heavie?

    Pal. I have worn a lighter,

    But I shall make it serve.

    Arc. I’ll buckl’t close.

    Pal. By any means.

    Arc. You care not for a Grand guard?

    Pal. No, no, we’ll use no horses, I perceive

    You would fain be at that Fight.

    Arc. I’m indifferent.

    Pal. Faith so am I: Good Cosen, thrust the buckle

    Through far enough.

    Arc. I warrant you.

    Pal. My Cask now.

    Arc. Will you fight bare-arm’d?

    Pal. We shall be the nimbler.

    Arc. But use your Gantlets though; those are o’th’ least,

    Prethee take mine good Cosen.

    Pal. Thank you Arcite.

    How doe I look, am I falen much away?

    Arc. Faith very little; Love has us’d you kindly.

    Pal. I’ll warrant thee, I’ll strike home.

    Arc. Doe, and spare not;

    I’ll give you cause sweet Cosen.

    Pal. Now to you Sir,

    Me thinks this Armor’s very like that, Arcite,

    Thou wor’st that day the 3. Kings fell, but lighter.

    Arc. That was a very good one, and that day

    I well remember, you out-did me Cosen,

    I never saw such valour: When you charg’d

    Upon the left wing of the Enemie,

    I spur’d hard to come up, and under me

    I had a right good horse.

    Pal. You had indeed

    A bright Bay I remember.

    Arc. Yes but all

    Was vainly labour’d in me, you out-went me,

    Nor could my wishes reach you; Yet a little

    I did by imitation.

    Pal. More by virtue,

    Yo[u] are modest Cosen.

    Arc. When I saw you charge first,

    Me thought I heard a dreadfull clap of Thunder

    Break from the Troop.

    Pal. But still before that flew

    The lightning of your valour: Stay a litt[l]e,

    Is not this peece too streight?

    Arc. No, no, ’tis well.

    Pal. I would have nothing hurt thee but my Sword,

    A bruise would be dishonor.

    Arc. Now I’m perfect.

    Pal. Stand off then.

    Arc. Take my Sword, I hold it better.

    Pal. I thank ye: No, keep it, your life lyes on it,

    Here’s one, if it but hold, I aske no more,

    For all my hopes: My Cause and honor guard me.

    [They bow severall wayes: then advance and stand.

    Arc. And me my love: Is there ought else to say?

    Pal. This only, and no more: Thou art mine Aunts Son.

    And that blood we desire to shed is mutuall.

    In me, thine, and in thee, mine: My Sword

    Is in my hand, and if thou killst me

    The gods, and I forgive thee; If there be

    A place prepar’d for those that sleep in honor,

    I wish his wearie soul, that falls may win it:

    Fight bravely Cosen, give me thy noble hand.

    Arc. Here Palamon: This hand shall never more

    Come near thee with such friendship.

    Pal. I commend thee.

    Arc. If I fall, curse me, and say I was a coward,

    For none but such, dare die in these just Tryalls.

    Once more farewell my Cosen.

    Pal. Farewell Arcite. [Fight. [Horns within: they stand.

    Arc. Loe Cosen, loe, our Folly has undone us.

    Pal. Why?

    Arc. This is the Duke, a hunting as I told you,

    If we be found, we’re wretched, O retire

    For honors sake, and safely presently

    Into your Bush agen; Sir we shall find

    Too many hours to dye in, gentle Cosen:

    If you be seen you perish instantly

    For breaking prison, and I, if you reveal me,

    For my contempt; Then all the world will scorn us,

    And say we had a noble difference,

    But base disposers of it.

    Pal. No, no, Cosen

    I will no more be hidden, nor put off

    This great adventure to a second Tryall

    I know your cunning, and I know your cause,

    He that faints now, shame take him, put thy self

    Upon thy present guard.

    Arc. You are not mad?

    Pal. Or I will make th’advantage of this hour

    Mine own, and what to come shall threaten me,

    I fear less then my fortune: Know weak Cosen

    I love Emilia, and in that I’ll bury

    Thee, and all crosses else.

    Arc. Then come, what can come

    Thou shalt know Palamon, I dare as well

    Die, as discourse, or sleep: Only this fears me,

    The law will have the honor of our ends,

    Have at thy life.

    Pal. Look to thine own well Arcite. [Fight again. Horns.

    Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Emilia, Perithous and train.

    Theseus. What ignorant and mad malicious Traitors,

    Are you? That ‘gainst the tenor of my Laws

    Are making Battail, thus like Knights appointed,

    Without my leave, and Officers of Armes?

    By Castor both shall dye.

    Pal. Hold thy word Theseus,

    We are certainly both Traitors, both despisers

    Of thee, and of thy goodness: I’m Palamon

    That cannot love thee, he that broke thy Prison,

    Think well, what that deserves; And this is Arcite

    A bolder Traytor never trod thy ground,

    A Falser never seem’d friend: This is the man

    Was beg’d and banish’d, this is he contemnes thee

    And what thou dar’st doe; and in this disguise

    Against this own Edict follows thy Sister,

    That fortunate bright Star, the fair Emilia

    Whose servant, (if there be a right in seeing,

    And first bequeathing of the soul to) justly

    [I am], and which is more, dares think her his.

    This treacherie like a most trusty Lover,

    I call’d him now to answer; If thou be’st

    As thou art spoken, great and virtuous,

    The true decider of all injuries,

    Say, Fight again, and thou shalt see me Theseus

    Doe such a Justice, thou thy self wilt envie

    Then take my life, I’ll wooe thee to’t.

    Per. O Heaven,

    What more than man is this!

    Thes. I have sworn.

    Arc. We seek not

    Thy breath of mercy Theseus, ’Tis to me

    A thing as soon to dye, as thee to say it,

    And no more mov’d: where this man calls me Traitor,

    Let me say thus much; If in love be Treason,

    In service of so excellent a Beautie,

    As I love most, and in that faith will perish,

    As I have brought my life here to confirme it,

    As I have serv’d her truest, worthiest,

    As I dare kill this Cosen, that denies it,

    So let me be most Traitor, and ye please me:

    For scorning thy Edict Duke, aske that Lady

    Why she is fair, and why her eyes command me

    Stay here to love her. And if she say Traytor,

    I’m a villain fit to lye unburied.

    Pal. Thou shalt have pity of us both, O Theseus,

    If unto neither thou shew mercy, stop

    (As thou art just) thy noble ear against us,

    As thou art valiant; For thy Cosens soul

    Whose 12. strong labors crown his memory,

    Let’s die together, at one instant, Duke,

    Only a little let him fall before me,

    That I may tell my Soul he shall not have her.

    Thes. I grant your wish, for to say true, your Cosen

    Has ten times more offended, for I gave him

    More mercy than you found, Sir, your offences

    Being no more than his: None here speak for ’em

    For ere the Sun set, both shall sleep for ever.

    Hippol. Alas the pity, now or never Sister

    Speak not to be denied; That face of yours

    Will bear the curses else of after ages

    For these lost Cosens.

    Emil. In my face dear Sister

    I find no anger to’em; Nor no ruin,

    The misadventure of their own eyes kill’em;

    Yet that I will be woman, and have pitty,

    My knees shall grow to’th’ ground but I’ll get mercie.

    Help me dear Sister, in a deed so virtuous,

    The powers of all women will be with us,

    Most royall Brother.

    Hippol. Sir by our tye of Marriage.

    Emil. By your own spotless honor.

    Hip. By that faith,

    That fair hand, and that honest heart you gave me.

    Emil. By that you would have pitty in another,

    By your own virtues infinite.

    Hip. By valor,

    By all the chast nights I have ever pleas’d you.

    Thes. These are strange Conjurings.

    Per. Nay then I’ll in too: By all our friendship Sir, by all our dangers,

    By all you love most, wars; And this sweet Lady.

    Emil. By that you would have trembled to deny

    A blushing Maid.

    Hip. By your own eyes: By strength

    In which you swore I went beyond all women,

    Almost all men, and yet I yielded Theseus.

    Per. To crown all this; By your most noble soul

    Which cannot want due mercie, I beg first.

    Hip. Next hear my prayers.

    Emil. Last let me intreat Sir.

    Per. For mercy.

    Hip. Mercy.

    Emil. Mercy on these Princes.

    Thes. Ye make my faith reel: Say I felt

    Compassion to’em both, how would you place it?

    Emil. Upon their lives: But with their banishments.

    Thes. You are a right woman, Sister; You have pitty,

    But want the understanding where to use it.

    If you desire their lives, invent a way

    Safer than banishment: Can these two live

    And have the agony of love about ’em,

    And not kill one another? Every day

    They’ld fight about you; Hourly bring your honor

    In publique question with their Swords; Be wise then

    And here forget ’em; It concerns your credit,

    And my [oth] equally: I have said they die,

    Better they fall byth’ Law, than one another.

    Bow not my honor.

    Emil. O my noble Brother,

    That [oth] was rashly made, and in yo[u]r anger,

    Your reason will not hold it, if such vows

    Stand for express will, all the world must perish.

    Beside, I have another oath, gainst yours

    Of more authority, I’m sure more love,

    Not made in passion neither, but good heed.

    Thes. What is it Sister?

    Per. Urge it home brave Lady.

    Emil. That you would never deny me any thing

    Fit for my modest suit, and your free granting:

    I tye you to your word now, if ye fall in’t,

    Think how you maim your honor;

    (For now I’m set a begging Sir, I’m deaf

    To all but your compassion) how, their lives

    Might breed the ruin of my name; Opinion,

    Shall any thing that loves me perish for me?

    That were a cruell wisdom, doe men proyn

    The straight young Bows that blush with thousand Blossoms

    Because they may be rotten? O Duke Theseus

    The goodly Mothers that have groan’d for these,

    And all the longing Maids that ever lov’d,

    If your vow stand, shall curse me and my Beauty,

    And in their funerall songs, for these two Cosens

    Despise my crueltie, and cry woe worth me,

    Till I’m nothing but the scorn of women;

    For Heavens sake save their lives, and banish ’em.

    Thes. On what conditions?

    Emil. Swear’em never more

    To make me their Contention, or to know me,

    To tread upon the Dukedome, and to be

    Where ever they shall travel, ever strangers to one another.

    Pal. I’ll be cut a peeces

    Before I take this oath, forget I love her?

    O all ye gods dispise me then: Thy Banishment

    I not mislike, so we may fairly carry

    Our Swords, and cause along: Else never trifle,

    But take our lives Duke, I must love and will,

    And for that love, must and dare kill this Cosen

    On any peece the earth has.

    Thes. Will you Arcite

    Take these conditions?

    Pal. He’s a villain then.

    Per. These are men.

    Arcite. No, never Duke: ’Tis worse to me than begging

    To take my life so basely, though I think

    I never shall enjoy her, yet I’ll preserve

    The honor of affection, and dye for her,

    Make death a Devill.

    Thes. What may be done? For now I feel compassion.

    Per. Let it not fall again Sir.

    Thes. Say Emilia

    If one of them were dead, as one must, are you

    Content to take th’other to your husband?

    They cannot both enjoy you; They are Princes

    As goodly as your own eyes, and as noble

    As ever fame yet spoke of: Look upon’em,

    And if you can love, end this difference,

    I give consent, are you content too, Princes?

    Both. With all our souls.

    Thes. He that she refuses

    Must dye then.

    Both. Any death thou canst invent Duke.

    Pal. If I fall from that mouth, I fall with favor.

    And Lovers yet unborn shall bless my ashes.

    Arc. If she refuse me, yet my grave will wed me,

    And Soldiers sing my Epitaph.

    Thes. Make choice then.

    Emil. I cannot Sir, they are both too excellent

    For me, a hayr shall never fall of these men.

    Hip. What will become of ’em?

    Thes. Thus I ordain it,

    And by mine honor, once again it stands,

    Or both shall dye. You shall both to your Countrey,

    And each within this month accompanied

    With three fair Knights, appear again in this place,

    In which I’ll plant a Pyramid; And whether

    Before us that are here, can force his Cosen

    By fair and knightly strength to touch the Pillar,

    He shall enjoy her: The other loose his head,

    And all his friends: Nor shall he grudge to fall,

    Nor think he dies with interest in this Lady:

    Will this content ye?

    Pal. Yes: Here Cosen Arcite

    I’m friends again, till that hour.

    Arc. I embrace ye.

    Thes. Are you content Sister?

    Emil. Yes, I must Sir,

    [Els] both miscarry.

    Thes. Come shake hands again then,

    And take heed, as you are Gentlemen, this Quarrell

    Sleep till the hour p[re]fixt, and hold your course.

    Pal. We dare not fail thee Theseus.

    T[h]es. Come, I’ll give ye

    Now usage like to Princes, and to Friends:

    When ye return, who wins, I’ll settle here,

    Who loses, yet I’ll weep upon his Beer. [Exeunt.

    Actus Quartus.

    Scæna Prima.

    Enter Jailor and his Friend.

    Jail.

    Hear you no more? was nothing said of me

    Concerning the escape of Palamon?

    Good Sir remember.

    1 Fr. Nothing that I heard,

    For I came home before the business

    Was fully ended: yet I might perceive

    E’r I departed, a great likelyhood

    Of both their pardons: for Hippolita,

    And fair-ey’d Emilia, upon their knees,

    Begg’d with such handsome pitty, that the Duke

    Methought stood staggering whether he should follow

    His rash oath, or the sweet compassion

    Of those two Ladies; and to second them,

    That truly noble Prince Perithous

    Half his own heart, set in too, that I hope

    All shall be well: neither heard I one question

    Of your name, or his scape.

    Enter 2 Friends.

    Jail. Pray Heaven it hold so.

    2 Fr. Be of good comfort man; I bring you news

    Good news.

    Jail. They are welcome.

    2 Fr. Palamon has clear’d you,

    And got your pardon, and discover’d

    How, and by whose means he scap’d, which was your Daughter’s,

    Whose pardon is procured too, and the prisoner

    Not to be held ungrateful to her goodness,

    Has given a sum of money to her Marriage,

    A large one I’ll assure you.

    Jail. Ye are a good man

    And ever bring good news.

    1 Fr. How was it ended?

    2 Fr. Why, as it should be; they that ne’er begg’d

    But they prevail’d, had their suits fairly granted.

    The prisoners have their lives.

    1 Fr. I knew ’twould be so.

    2 Fr. But there be new conditions, which you’ll hear of

    At better time.

    Jail. I hope they are good.

    2 Fr. They are honourable,

    How good they’ll prove, I know not.

    Enter Wooer.

    1 Fr. ’Twill be known.

    Woo. Alas Sir, where’s your Daughter?

    Jail. Why do you ask?

    Woo. Oh Sir, when did you see her?

    2 Fr. How he looks!

    Jail. This morning.

    Woo. Was she well? was she in health Sir? when did she sleep?

    1 Fr. These are strange questions.

    Jail. I do not think she was very well, for now

    You make me mind her, but this very day

    I ask’d her questions, and she answer’d me

    So far from what she was, so childishly,

    So sillily, as if she were a fool,

    An Innocent, and I was very angry.

    But what of her Sir?

    Woo. Nothing but my pity, but you must know it, and as good by me

    As by another that less loves her:

    Jail. Well Sir.

    1 Fr. Not right?

    2 Fr. Not well?—

    [Woo.] No Sir, not well.

    ’Tis too true, she is mad.

    1 Fr. It cannot be.

    Woo. Believe, you’ll find it so.

    Jay. I half suspected

    What you told me: the gods comfort her:

    Either this was her love to Palamon,

    Or fear of my miscarrying on his scape,

    Or both.

    Woo. ’Tis likely.

    Jay. But why all this haste, Sir?

    Woo. I’ll tell you quickly. As I late was angling

    In the great Lake that lies behind the Palace,

    From the far shore, thick set with Reeds and Sedges.

    As patiently I was attending sport,

    I heard a voice, a shrill one, and attentive

    I gave my ear, when I might well perceive

    ’Twas one that sung, and by the smallness of it

    A Boy or Woman. I then left my angle

    To his own skill, came near, but yet perceiv’d not

    Who made the sound; the Rushes, and the Reeds

    Had so encompast it: I laid me down

    And listned to the words she sung, for then

    Through a small glade cut by the Fisher-men,

    I saw it was your Daughter.

    Jail. Pray goe on Sir?

    Woo. She sung much, but no sence; only I heard her

    Repeat this often. Palamon is gone,

    Is gone to th’ wood to gather Mulberries,

    I’ll find him out to morrow.

    1 Fr. Pretty soul.

    Woo. His shackles will betray him, he’ll be taken,

    And what shall I do then? I’ll bring a beavy,

    A hundred black-ey’d Maids that love as I do

    With Chaplets on their heads [of] Daffadillies,

    With cherry lips, and cheeks of Damask Roses,

    And all we’ll dance an Antique ‘fore the Duke,

    And beg his pardon; then she talk’d of you, Sir;

    That you must lose your head to morrow morning

    And she must gather Flowers to bury you,

    And see the house made handsome, then she sung

    Nothing but willow, willow, willow, and between

    Ever was, Palamon, fair Palamon,

    And Palamon, was a tall young man. The place

    Was knee deep where she sate; her careless Tresses,

    A wrea[th] of Bull-rush rounded; about her stuck

    Thousand fresh Water Flowers of several colours.

    That methought she appear’d like the fair Nymph

    That feeds the lake with waters, or as Iris

    Newly dropt down from heaven; Rings she made

    Of Rushes that grew by, and to ’em spoke

    The prettiest posies: thus our true love’s ty’d,

    This you may loose, not me, and many a one:

    And then she wept, and sung again, and sigh’d,

    And with the same breath smil’d, and kist her hand.

    2 Fr. Alas what pity it is?

    Woo. I made in to her,

    She saw me, and straight sought the flood, I sav’d her,

    And set her safe to land: when presently

    She slipt away, and to the City made,

    With such a cry, and swiftness, that believe me

    She left me far behind her; three, or four,

    I saw from far off cross her, one of ’em

    I knew to be your brother, where [she] staid,

    And fell, scarce to be got away: I left them with her.

    Enter Brother, Daughter, and others.

    And hither came to tell you: Here they are.

    Daugh. May you never more enjoy the light, &c.

    Is not this a fine Song?

    Bro. Oh, a very fine one.

    Daugh. I can sing twenty more.

    Bro. I think you can.

    Daugh. Yes truly can I, I can sing the Broom,

    And Bonny Robbin. Are not you a Tailor?

    Bro. Yes.

    Daugh. Where’s my wedding-Gown?

    Bro. I’ll bring it to morrow.

    Daugh. Doe, very rarely, I must be abroad else

    To call the Maids, and pay the Minstrels

    For I must loose my Maiden-head by cock-light

    ’Twill never thrive else.

    Oh fair, oh sweet, &c. [Sings.

    Bro. You must ev’n take it patiently.

    Jay. ’Tis true.

    Daugh. Good ev’n, good men, pray did you ever hear

    Of one young Palamon?

    Jay. Yes wench, we know him.

    Daugh. Is’t not a fine young Gentleman?

    Jay. ’Tis Love.

    Bro. By no mean cross her, she is then distemper’d

    For worse than now she shows.

    1 Fr. Yes, he’s a fine man.

    Daugh. Oh, is he so? you have a Sister.

    1 Fr. Yes.

    Daugh. But she shall never have him, tell her so,

    For a trick that I know, y’had best look to her,

    For if she see him once, she’s gone, she’s done,

    And undone in an hour. All the young Maids

    Of our Town are in love with him, but I laugh at ’em

    And let ’em all alone, is’t not a wise course?

    1 Fr. Yes.

    Daugh. There is at least two hundred now with child by him,

    There must be four; yet I keep close for all this,

    Close as a Cockle; and all these must be boys,

    He has the trick on’t, and at ten years old

    They must be all gelt for Musicians,

    And sing the wars of Theseus.

    2 Fr. This is strange.

    Daugh. As ever [you] heard, but say nothing.

    1 Fr. No.

    Daugh. They come from all parts of the Dukedom to him,

    I’ll warrant ye, he had not so few last night

    As twenty, to dispatch, he’ll tickle’t up

    In two hours, if his hand be in.

    Jay. She’s lost

    Past all cure.

    Bro. Heaven forbid man.

    Daug. Come hither, you are a wise man.

    1 Fr. Does she know him?

    2 Fr. No, would she did.

    Daugh. You are master of a Ship?

    Jay. Yes.

    Daugh. Where’s your Compass?

    Jay. Here.

    Daugh. Set it to th’ North.

    And now direct your course to th’ wood, where Palamon

    Lies longing for me; for the Tackling

    Let me alone; come weigh my hearts, cheerly.

    All. Owgh, owgh, owgh, ’tis up, the wind’s fair, top the

    Bowling; out with the main sail, where’s your

    Whistle Master?

    Bro. Let’s get her in.

    Jay. Up to the top Boy.

    Bro. Where’s the Pilot?

    1 Fr. Here.

    Daugh. What ken’st thou?

    3 Fr. A fair wood.

    Daugh. Bear for it master: tack about: [Sings.

    When Cinthia with her borrowed light, &c. [Exeunt.

    Scæna Secunda.

    Enter Emilia alone, with two Pictures.

    Emil. Yet I may bind those wounds up, that must open

    And bleed to death for my sake else; I’ll choose,

    And end their strife: two such young handsome men

    Shall never fall for me, their weeping Mothers,

    Following the dead cold ashes of their Sons

    Shall never curse my cruelty: Good Heaven;

    What a sweet face has Arcite, if wise nature

    With all her best endowments, all those beauties

    She [sowes] into the births of noble bodies,

    Were here a mortal woman, and had in her

    The coy denials of young Maids, yet doubtless,

    She would run mad for this man: what an eye!

    Of what a fiery sparkle, and quick sweetness:

    Has this young Prince! here Love himself sits smiling,

    Just such another wanton Ganimead,

    Set Love a fire with, and enforc’d the god

    Snatch up the goodly Boy, and set him by him

    A shining constellation: what a brow,

    Of what a spacious Majesty he carries!

    Arch’d like the great ey’d Juno‘s, but far sweeter,

    Smoother than Pelops Shoulder! Fame and Honor

    Methinks from hence, as from a Promontory

    Pointed in heaven, should clap their wings, and sing

    To all the under world, the Loves, and Fights

    Of gods, and such men near ’em. Palamon,

    Is but his foil, to him, a mere dull shadow,

    He’s swarth, and meagre, of an eye as heavy

    As if he had lost his mother; a still temper,

    No stirring in him, no alacrity,

    Of all this sprightly sharpness, not a smile;

    Yet these that we count errors, may become him:

    Narcissus was a sad Boy, but a heavenly:

    Oh who can find the bent of womans fancy?

    I’m a fool, my reason is lost in me,

    I have no choice, and I have ly’d so lewdly

    That Women ought to beat me. On my knees

    I ask thy pardon: Palamon, thou art alone,

    And only beautiful, and these th[e] eyes,

    These the bright lamps of Beauty that command

    And threaten Love, and what young Maid dare cross ’em

    What a bold gravity, and yet inviting

    Has this brown manly face! Oh Love, this only

    From this hour is complexion: lye there Arcite,

    Thou art a changling to him, a mere Gipsie.

    And this the noble Bodie: I am sotted,

    Utterly lost: My Virgins faith has fled me.

    For if my Brother, but even now had ask’d me

    Whether I lov’d, I had run mad for Arcite.

    Now if my Sister; More for Palamon.

    Stand both together: now, come ask me Brother,

    Alas, I know not: ask me now sweet Sister,

    I may go look; what a mere child is Fancie,

    That having two fair gawds of equal sweetness,

    Cannot distinguish, but must cry for both.

    Enter Emil. and Gent.

    Emil. How now Sir?

    Gent. From the Noble Duke your Brother

    Madam, I bring you news: the Knights are come.

    Emil. To end the quarrel?

    Gent. Yes.

    Emil. Would I might end first:

    What sins have I committed, chaste Diana,

    That my unspotted youth must now be soil’d

    With bloud of Princes? and my Chastity

    Be made the Altar, where the Lives of Lovers,

    Two greater, and two better never yet

    Made Mothers joy, must be the sacrifice

    To my unhappy Beauty?

    Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Perithous, and Attendants.

    Thes. Bring ’em in quickly,

    By any means I long to see ’em.

    Your two contending Lovers are return’d,

    And with them their fair Knights: Now my fair Sister,

    You must love one of them.

    Emil. I had rather both,

    So neither for my sake should fall untimely.

    Enter Messenger. Curtis.

    Thes. Who saw ’em?

    Per. I a while.

    Gent. And I.

    Thes. From whence come you, Sir?

    Mess. From the Knights.

    Thes. Pray speak

    You that have seen them, what they are.

    Mess. I will Sir,

    And truly what I think: six braver spirits

    Than those they have brought, (if we judge by the outside)

    I never saw, nor read of: he that stands

    In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming

    Should be a stout man, by his face a Prince,

    (His very looks so say him) his complexion,

    Nearer a brown, than black; stern, and yet noble,

    Which shews him hardy, fearless, proud of dangers:

    The circles of his eyes, shew fair within him,

    And as a heated Lion, so he looks:

    His hair hangs long behind him, black and shining

    Like Ravens wings: his shoulders broad, and strong,

    Arm’d long and round, and on his Thigh a Sword

    Hung by a curious Bauldrick: when he frowns

    To seal his Will with, better o’ my conscience

    Was never Soldiers friend.

    Thes. Thou hast well describ’d him.

    Per. Yet, a great deal short

    Methinks, of him that’s first with Palamon.

    Thes. Pray speak him friend.

    Per. I ghess he is a Prince too,

    And if it may be, greater; for his show

    Has all the ornament of honor in’t:

    He’s somewhat bigger than the Knight he spoke of,

    But of a face far sweeter; his complexion

    Is (as a ripe Grape) ruddy: he has felt

    Without doubt, what he fights for, and so apter

    To make this cause his own: in’s face appears

    All the fair hopes of what he undertakes,

    And when he’s angry, then a setled valour

    (Not tainted with extreams) runs through his body,

    And guides his arm to brave things: Fear he cannot,

    He shews no such soft temper, his head’s yellow,

    Hard hair’d, and curl’d, thick twin’d, like Ivy tops,

    No[t] to undoe with thunder; in his face

    The Livery of the warlike Maid appears,

    Pure red and white, for yet no beard has blest him.

    And in his rowling eyes sits victory,

    As if she ever meant to correct his valour:

    His Nose stands high, a Character of honor,

    His red Lips, after fights, are fit for Ladies.

    Emil. Must these men die too?

    Per. When he speaks, his tongue

    Sounds like a Trumpet; all his lineaments

    Are as a man would wish ’em, strong and clean,

    He wears a well-steel’d Axe, the staffe of Gold,

    His age some five and twenty.

    Mess. There’s another,

    A little man, but of a tough soul, seeming

    As great as any, fairer promises

    In such a Body yet I never look’d on.

    Per. Oh he that’s freckle fac’d?

    Mess. The same my Lord,

    Are they not sweet ones?

    Per. Yes, they are well.

    Mess. Methinks,

    Being so few, and well dispos’d, they shew

    Great, and fine Art in nature, he’s white hair’d,

    Not wanton white, but such a manly colour

    Next to an aborn, tough, and nimble set,

    Which shows an active soul: his arms are brawny

    Lin’d with strong sinews: to the shoulder-piece,

    Gently they swell, like Women new conceiv’d,

    Which speaks him prone to labour, never fainting

    Under the weight of Arms, stout-hearted still,

    But when he stirs, a Tiger; he’s grey ey’d,

    Which yields compassion where he conquers: sharp

    To spie advantages, and where he finds ’em,

    He’s swift to make ’em his: He does no wrongs,

    Nor takes none; he’s round fac’d, and when he smiles

    He shows a Lover, when he frowns, a Soldier:

    About his head he wears the winners oak,

    And in it stuck the favour of his Lady:

    His age, some six and thirty. In his hand

    He bears a Charging Staffe, emboss’d with Silver.

    Thes. Are they all thus?

    Per. They are all the sons of honor.

    Thes. Now as I have a soul, I long to see ’em,

    Lady, you shall see men fight now.

    Hip. I wish it,

    But not the cause my Lord; They would shew

    Bravely about the Titles of two Kingdoms;

    ’Tis pity Love should be so tyrannous:

    Oh my soft-hearted Sister, what think you?

    Weep not, till they weep bloud: Wench it must be.

    Thes. You have steel’d ’em with your Beauty: honor’d friend,

    To you I give the Field; pray order it,

    Fitting the persons that must use it.

    Per. Yes Sir.

    Thes. Come, I’ll go visit ’em: I cannot stay,

    Their fame has fir’d me so; till they appear,

    Good friend be royal.

    Per. There shall want no bravery.

    Emil. Poor wench go weep, for whosoever wins,

    Looses a noble Cosin, for thy sins. [Exeunt.

    Scæna Tertia.

    Enter Jailor, Wooer, Doctor.

    Doct. Her distraction is more at some time of the Moon,

    Than at other some, is it not?

    Jay. She is continually in a harmless distemper, sleeps

    Little, altogether without appetite, save often drinking,

    Dreaming of another world, and a better; and what

    Broken piece of matter so e’er she’s about, the name

    Palamon lards it, that she farces ev’ry business

    Enter Daughter.

    Withal, fits it to every question; Look where

    She comes, you shall perceive her behaviour.

    Daugh. I have forgot it quite; the burden on’t was Down

    A down a: and penn’d by no worse man, than

    Giraldo, Emilias Schoolmaster; he’s as

    Fantastical too, as ever he may goe upon’s legs,

    For in the next world will Dido see Palamon, and

    Then will she be out of love with Æneas.

    Doct. What stuff’s here? poor soul.

    Jay. Ev’n thus all day long.

    Daugh. Now for this Charm, that I told you of, you must

    Bring a piece of silver on the tip of your tongue,

    Or no ferry: then if it be your chance to come where

    The blessed spirits, as there’s a sight now; we Maids

    That have our Livers, perisht, crackt to pieces with

    Love, we shall come there, and do nothing all day long

    But pick Flowers with Proserpine, then will I make

    Palamon a Nosegay, then let him mark me,—then.

    Doct. How prettily she’s amiss! note her a little farther.

    Da[u]. Faith I’ll tell you, sometime we goe to Barly-break,

    We of the blessed; alas, ’tis a sore life they have i’ th’

    Other place, such burning, frying, boiling, hissing,

    Howling, chatt’ring, cursing, oh they have shrowd

    Measure, take heed; if one be mad, or hang, or

    Drown themselves, thither they goe, Jupiter bless

    Us, and there shall we be put in a Cauldron of

    Lead, and Usurers grease, amongst a whole million of

    Cut-purses, and there boil like a Gamon of Bacon

    That will never be enough. [Exit.

    Doct. How her brain coins!

    Daugh. Lords and Courtiers, that have got Maids with child, they are in this place, they shall stand in fire up to the Navel, and in Ice up to th’ heart, and there th’ offending part burns, and the deceiving part freezes; in troth a very grievous punishment, as one would think, for such a Trifle, believe me one would marry a leprous witch, to be rid on’t I’ll assure you.

    Doct. How she continues this fancie! ’Tis not an engraffed madness but a most thick, and profound melancholly.

    Daugh. To hear there a proud Lady, and a proud City wife, howl together: I were a beast, and Il’d call it good sport: one cries, oh this smoak, another this fire; one cries oh that I ever did it behind the Arras, and then howls; th’ other curses a suing fellow and her Garden-house.

    Sings. I will be true, my Stars, my Fate, &c. [Exit Daugh.

    Jay. What think you of her, Sir?

    Doct. I think she has a perturbed mind, which I cannot minister to.

    Jay. Alas, what then?

    Doct. Understand you, she ever affected any man, e’r

    She beheld Palamon?

    Jay. I was once, Sir, in great hope she had fix’d her

    Liking on this Gentleman my friend.

    Woo. I did think so too, and would account I had a great

    Pen’worth on’t, to give half my state, that both

    She and I at this present stood unfainedly on the

    Same terms.

    Doct. That intemperate surfet of her eye, hath distemper’d the

    Other sences, they may return and settle again to

    Execute their preordained faculties, but they are

    Now in a most extravagant vagary. This you

    Must doe, confine her to a place, where the light

    May rather seem to steal in, than be permitted; take

    Upon you (young Sir, her friend) the name of

    Palamon; say you come to eat with her, and to

    Commune of Love; this will catch her attention, for

    This her mind beats upon; other objects that are

    Inserted ‘tween her mind and eye, become the pranks

    And friskins of her madness; sing to her such green

    Songs of Love, as she says Palamon hath sung in

    Prison; Come to her, stuck in as sweet Flowers as the

    Season is mistriss of, and thereto make an addition of

    Some other compounded odors, which are grateful to the

    Sense: all this shall become Palamon, for Palamon can

    Sing, and Palamon is sweet, and ev’ry good thing, desire

    To eat with her, carve her, drink to her, and still

    Among, intermingle your petition of grace and acceptance

    Into her favour: learn what Maids have been her

    Companions, and Play-pheers; and let them repair to

    Her with Palamon in their mouths, and appear with

    Tokens, as if they suggested for him, it is a falshood

    She is in, which is with falshoods to be combated.

    This may bring her to eat, to sleep, and reduce what’s

    Now out of square in her, into their former Law, and

    Regiment; I have seen it approved, how many times

    I know not, but to make the number more, I have

    Great hope in this. I will between the passages of

    This project, come in with my applyance: Let us

    Put it in execution; and hasten the success, which doubt not

    Will bring forth comfort. [Florish. Exeunt.

    Actus Quintus.

    Scæna Prima.

    Enter Thesius, Perithous, Hippolita, Attendants.

    Thes.

    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, [Florish of Cornets.

    They have a noble work in hand, will honor

    The very powers that love ’em.

    Enter Palamon and Arcite, and their Knights.

    Per. Sir, they enter.

    Thes. You valiant and strong-hearted enemies

    You royal German foes, that this day come

    To blow that nearness out, that flames between ye;

    Lay by your anger for an hour, and Dove-like

    Before the holy Altars of your helpers

    (The all-fear’d 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.

    Per. Honor crown the worthiest.

    [Exit Theseus and his train.

    Pal. The glass is running now that cannot finish

    Till one of us expire: think you but thus,

    That were there ought in me which strove to shew

    Mine enemy in this business, were’t one eye

    Against another: Arm opprest by Arm:

    I would destroy th’ offender, Coz. I would

    Though parcel of my self: then from this gather

    How I should tender you.

    Arc. I am in labour

    To push your name, your antient 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 Lymiter pleases.

    Pal. You speak well;

    Before I turn, let me embrace thee Cosin

    This I shall never do agen.

    Arc. One farewel.

    Pal. Why let it be so: Farewel Coz.

    [Exeunt Palamon and his Knights.

    Arc. Farewel Sir;

    Knights, Kinsmen, Lovers, yea my Sacrifices

    True worshipers of Mars, whose spirit in you

    Expells the seeds of fear, and th’ apprehension

    Which still is farther off it, goe with me

    Before the god of our profession: There

    Require of him the hearts of Lions, and

    The breath of Tygers, yea, the fierceness too,

    Yea, the speed also, to go on, I mean

    Else wish we to be snails: you know my prize

    Must be dragg’d out of bloud, force and great fea[te]

    Must put my Garland on, where she sticks

    The Queen of Flowers: our intercession then

    Must be to him that makes the Camp, a Cestron

    Brim’d with the b[l]ood of men: give me your aid

    And bend your spirits towards him. [They kneel.

    Thou mighty one, that with thy power hast turn’d

    Green Neptune into purple.

    Comets prewarn, whose havock in vast Field

    Unearthed skulls proclaim, whose breath blows down,

    The teeming C[e]res foyzon, who dost pluck

    With hand armenipotent from [forth] blew clouds,

    The mason’d 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 stil’d the Lord o’ th’ day, give me great Mars

    Some token of thy Pleasure.

    [Here they fall on their faces as formerly, and there is heard clanging of Armor, with a short Thunder, as the burst of a battel, whereupon they all rise, and bow to the Altar.

    Oh great Corrector of enormous times,

    Shaker of o’er-rank States, thou grand decider

    Of dusty, and old Titles, that heal’st with blood

    The earth when it is sick, and curst the world

    O’ th’ pl[u]resie of people; I do take

    Thy signs auspiciously, and in thy name

    To my design; march boldly, let us goe. [Exeunt.

    Enter Palamon and his Knights, with the former observance.

    Pal. Our stars must glister with new fire, or be

    To day 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 partie. [Here they kneel as formerly.

    Hail Sovereign Queen of secrets, who hast power

    To call the fiercest Tyrant from his rage;

    And weep unto a Girl; that hast the might

    Even with an eye-glance, to choak Marsis Drum

    And turn th’ allarm to whispers, that canst make

    A Cripple florish with his Crutch, and cure him

    Before Apollo; that may’st force the King

    To be his subjects vassal, and induce

    Stale gravity to [daunce], the pould Batchelor

    Whose youth like wanton boys through Bonfires

    Have skipt thy flame, at seventy, thou canst catch

    And make him to the scorn of his hoarse throat

    Abuse young lays of Love; what godlike power

    Hast thou not power upon? To Phœbus 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 grace

    Me thy vow’d Soldier, who do bear thy yoak

    As ’twere a wreath of Roses, yet is heavier

    Than Lead it self, stings more than Nettles;

    I have never been foul-mouth’d against thy Law,

    Ne’er reveal’d secret, for I knew none; would not

    Had I ken’d all that were; I never practis’d

    Upon mans wife, nor would the Libels read

    Of liberal wits: I never at great feasts

    Sought to betray a beauty, but have blush’d

    At simpring Sirs that did: I have been harsh

    To large Confessors, and have hotly ask’d ’em

    If they had Mothers, I had one, a woman,

    And women ’t were they wrong’d. I knew a man

    Of eighty winters, this I told them, who

    A Lass of fourteen brided, ’twas thy power

    To put life into dust, the aged Cramp

    Had screw’d his square foot round,

    The Gout had knit his fingers into knots,

    Torturing Convulsions from his globy eies,

    Had almost drawn their spheres, that what was life

    In him seem’d torture: this Anatomie

    Had by his young fair [pheare] a Boy, and I

    Believ’d it was his, for she swore it was,

    And who would not believe her? brief I am

    To those that prate, and have done, no Companion;

    To those that boast and have not, a defyer;

    To those that would and cannot, a Rejoycer.

    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. Oh then most soft sweet goddess

    Give me the victory of this question, which

    Is true loves merit, and bless me with a sign

    Of thy great pleasure.

    [Here Musick is heard, Doves are seen to flutter, they fall again upon their faces, then on their knees.

    Pal. Oh 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 [They bow.

    My body to this business; Let us rise

    And bow before the goddess: Time comes on. [Exeunt. Still Musick of Records.

    Enter Emilia in white, her hair about her shoulders, a wheaten wreath: One in white, holding up her train, her hair stuck with Flowers: One before her carrying a silver Hynd, in which is conveyed Incense and sweet odors, which being set upon the Altar, her Maids standing aloof, she sets fire to it, then they curt’sy and kneel.

    Emil. Oh sacred, shadowy, cold and constant Queen,

    Abandoner of Revels, mute contemplative,

    Sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure

    As wind-fan’d Snow, who to thy femal Knights

    Allow’st no more blood than will make a blush,

    Which is their Orders Robe. I here thy Priest

    Am humbled for thine Altar, oh vouchsafe

    With that thy rare green eye, which never yet

    Beheld thing maculate, look on thy Virgin,

    And sacred silver Mistriss, lend thine ear

    (Which ne’r heard scurril term, into whose port

    Ne’er entred wanton sound,) to my petition

    Season’d with holy fear; this is my last

    Of vestal office, I’m 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 doome neither, that which perish’d should

    Goe to’t unsentenc’d: 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.

    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 inspir’d, this Battel shall confound

    Both these brave Knights, and I a Virgin Flower

    Must grow alone unpluck’d.

    [Here is heard a sodain twang of Instruments, and the Rose falls from the Tree.

    The Flower is fall’n, the Tree descends: oh Mistriss

    Thou here dischargest me, I shall be gather’d,

    I think so, but I know not thine own Will;

    Unclaspe th[y] Mistery: I hope she’s pleas’d,

    Her Signs were gracious.

    [They curt’sey, and Exeunt.

    Scæna Secunda.

    Enter Doctor, Jaylor, and Woo[e]r, in habit of Palamon.

    Doct. Has this advice I told you, done any good upon her?

    Woo. Oh very much; the Maids that kept her company

    Have half perswaded her that I am Palamon; within this

    Half hour she came smiling to me, and ask’d me what I

    Would eat, and when I would kiss her: I told her,

    Presently, and kist her twice.

    Doct. ’Twas well done; twenty times had been far better,

    For there the cure lies mainly.

    Woo. Then she told me

    She would watch with me to night, for well she knew

    What hour my fit would take me.

    Doct. Let her do so,

    And when your fit comes, fit her home,

    And presently.

    Wooer. She would have me sing.

    Doct. You did so?

    Woo. No.

    Doct. ’Twas very ill done then,

    You should observe her ev’ry way.

    Woo. Alas

    I have no voice Sir, to confirm her that way.

    Doct. That’s all one, if ye make a noise,

    If she intreat again, do any thing,

    Lie with her if she ask you.

    Jail. Hoa there Doctor.

    Doct. Yes, in the way of cure.

    Jail. But first, by your leave

    I’ th’ way of honesty.

    Doct. That’s but a niceness,

    Nev’r cast your child away for honesty;

    Cure her first this way, then if she will be honest,

    She has the path before her.

    Jail. Thank ye Doctor.

    Doct. Pray bring her in

    And let’s see how she is.

    Jail. I will, and tell her

    Her Palamon staies for her: but Doctor,

    Methinks you are i’ th’ wrong still. [Exit Jaylor.

    Doct. Goe, goe: you Fathers are fine fools: her honesty?

    And we should give her physick till we find that:

    Woo. Why, do you think she is not honest, Sir?

    Doct. How old is she?

    Woo. She’s eighteen.

    Doct. She may be,

    But that’s all one, ’tis nothing to our purpose,

    What ev’r her Father saies, if you perceive

    Her Mood inclining that way that I spoke of

    Videlicet, The way of flesh, you have me.

    Woo. Yes very well Sir.

    Doct. Please her appetite

    And do it home, it cures her ipso facto,

    The melancholly humor that infects her.

    Woo. I am of your mind, Doctor.

    Enter Jailor, Daughter, Maid.

    Doct. You’ll find it so; she comes, pray honor her.

    Jail. Come, your Love Palamon stays for you child,

    And has done this long hour, to visit you.

    Daugh. I thank him for his gentle patience,

    He’s a kind Gentleman, and I am much bound to him,

    Did you never see the horse he gave me?

    Jail. Yes.

    Daugh. How do you like him?

    Jail. He’s a very fair one.

    Daugh. You never saw him dance?

    Jail. No.

    Daugh. I have often,

    He dances very finely, very comely,

    And for a Jigg, come cut and long tail to him,

    He turns ye like a Top.

    Jail. That’s fine indeed.

    Daugh. He’ll dance the Morris twenty mile an hour.

    And that will founder the best hobby-horse

    (If I have any skill) in all the parish,

    And gallops to the turn of Light a’love,

    What think you of this horse?

    Jail. Having these virtues

    I think he might be brought to play at Tennis.

    Daugh. Alas that’s nothing.

    Jail. Can he write and read too?

    Daugh. A very fair hand, and casts himself th’ accounts

    Of all his Hay and Provender: that Hostler

    Must rise betime that cozens him; you know

    The Chesnut Mare the Duke has?

    Jail. Very well.

    Daugh. She is horribly in love with him, poor beast,

    But he is like his Master, coy and scornful.

    Jail. What Dowry has she?

    Daugh. 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 Millers Mare,

    He’ll be the death of her.

    Doct. What stuff she utters!

    Jail. Make curt’sie, here your love comes.

    Woo. Pretty soul

    How doe ye? that’s a fine Maid, there’s a curt’sie.

    Daugh. Yours to command i’th’ way of honesty;

    How far is’t now to th’ end o’th’ world my Masters?

    Doct. Why a days journey wench.

    Daugh. Will you go with me?

    Woo. What shall we do there wench?

    Daugh. Why play at Stool-ball.

    What is there else to do?

    Woo. I am content

    If we shall keep our wedding there.

    Daugh. ’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;

    Besides, my Father must be hang’d to morrow

    And that would be a blot i’th’ business.

    Are not you Palamon?

    Woo. Do not you know me?

    Daugh. Yes, but you care not for me; I have nothing

    But this poor Petticoat, and two course Smocks.

    Woo. That’s all one, I will have you.

    Daugh. Will you surely?

    Woo. Yes, by this fair hand will I.

    Daugh. We’ll to bed then.

    Woo. Ev’n when you will.

    Daugh. Oh Sir, you would fain [b]e nibling.

    Woo. Why do you rub my kiss off?

    Daugh. ’Tis a sweet one,

    And will perfume me finely against the wedding.

    Is not this your Cosin Arcite?

    Doct. Yes Sweet heart,

    And I am glad my Cosin Palamon

    Has made so fair a choice.

    Daugh. Do you think he’ll have me?

    Doct. Yes without doubt.

    Daugh. Do you think so too?

    Jail. Yes.

    Daugh. We shall have many children: Lord, how y’are [growne]

    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.

    Mess. What do you here? you’ll lose the noblest sight,

    That e’er was see[ne].

    Jail. Are they i’th’ field?

    Mess. They are

    You bear a charge there too.

    Jail. I’ll away straight

    I must ev’n leave you here.

    Doct. Nay, we’ll goe with you,

    I will not loose the Fight.

    Jail. How did you like her?

    Doct. I’ll warrant you within these three or four days

    I’ll make her right again. You must not from her

    But still preserve her in this way.

    Woo. I will.

    Doct. Let’s get her in.

    Woo. Come Sweet, we’ll go to dinner

    And then we’ll play at Cards.

    Daugh. And shall we kiss too?

    Woo. A hundred times.

    Daugh. And twenty.

    Woo. I, and twenty.

    Daugh. And then we’ll sleep together.

    Doct. Take her offer.

    Woo. Yes marry will we.

    Daugh. But you shall not hurt me.

    Woo. I will not Sweet.

    Daugh. If you do (Love) I’ll cry. [Florish Exeunt.

    Scæna Tertia.

    Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Emilia, Perithous: and some Attendants, T. Tuck: Curtis.

    Emil. I’ll no step further.

    Per. Will you loose this sight?

    Emil. I had rather see a Wren hawk at a Fly

    Than this decision; ev’ry blow that falls

    Threats a brave life, each stroke laments

    The place wheron it falls, and sounds more like

    A Bell, than Blade, I will stay here,

    It is enough, my hearing shall be punish’d,

    With what shall happen, ‘gainst the which there is

    No deafing, but to hear; not taint mine eye

    With dread sights, it may shun.

    Per. Sir, my good Lord

    Your Sister will no further.

    Thes. Oh she must.

    She shall see deeds of Honor in their kind,

    Which sometime shew well pencill’d. Nature now

    Shall make, and act the Story, the belief

    Both seal’d with eye, and ear; you must be present,

    You are the victors meed, the price, and garland

    To crown the Questions Title.

    Emil. Pardon me,

    If I were there, I’d wink.

    Thes. You must be there;

    This trial is as ’twere i’ th’ night, and you

    The only Star to shine.

    Emil. I am extinct,

    There is but envy in that light, which shows

    The one the other: darkness which ever was

    The [dam] of horror; who does stand accurst

    Of many mortal Millions, may even now

    By casting her black mantle over both

    That neither could find other, get her self

    Some part of a good name, and many a murther

    Set off whereto she’s guilty.

    Hip. You must go.

    Emil. In faith I will not.

    Thes. Why the Knights must kindle

    Their valour at your eye: know of this war

    You are the Treasure, and must needs be by

    To give the Service pay.

    Emil. Sir, pardon me,

    The Title of a Kingdom may be try’d

    Out of it self.

    Thes. Well, well then, at your pleasure,

    Those that remain with you, could wish their office

    To any of their enemies.

    Hip. Farewel Sister,

    I am like to know your Husband ‘fore your self

    By some small start of time, he whom the gods

    Doe of the two, know best, I pray them, he

    Be made your Lot.

    [E[xeunt] Theseus, Hippolita, Perithous, &c.

    Emil. Arcite is gently visag’d; 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 grav’d, and seems to bury what it frowns on,

    Yet sometimes ’tis not so, but alters to

    The quality of his thoughts; long time his eye

    Will dwell upon his object. Melancholly

    Becomes him nobly; so does Arcite’s mirth,

    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

    Stick mis-becomingly on others, on them

    Live in fair dwelling. [Cornets. Trumpets sound as to a Charge.

    Hark how yo[n] spurs to spirit doe incite

    The Princes to their proof, Arcite may win me,

    And yet may Palamon wound Arcite, to

    The spoiling of his figure. Oh what pity

    Enough for such a chance; if I were by

    I might do hurt, for they would glance their eies

    Toward my Seat, and in that motion might

    Omit a Ward, or forfeit an offence

    Which crav’d that very time: it is much better

    [Cornets. A great cry, and noise within, crying a Palamon.

    I am not there, oh better never born

    Than minister to such harm, what is the chance?

    Enter Servant.

    Ser. The cry’s a Palamon.

    Emil. Then he has won: ’twas ever likely,

    He look’d all grace and success, and he is

    Doubtless the prim’st of men: I prethee run

    And tell me how it goes. [Shout, and Cornets: crying a Palamon.

    Ser. Still Palamon.

    Emil. Run and enquire, 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 th’ end o’th’ combat.

    Enter Servant.

    Ser. They said that Palamon had Arcites body

    Within an inch o’th’ Pyramid, that the cry

    Was general a Palamon: but anon,

    Th’ Assistants made a brave redemption, and

    The two bold Tytlers, at this instant are

    Hand to hand at it.

    Emil. Were they metamorphos’d

    Both into one; oh why? there were no woman

    Worth so compos’d a man: their single share,

    [Their noblenes peculier to them, gives]

    The prejudice of disparity values shortness [Cornets. Cry within, Arcite, Arcite.

    To any Lady breathing—More exulting?

    Palamon still?

    Ser. Nay, now the sound is Arcite.

    Emil. I prethee lay attention to the Cry. [Cornets. A great shout, and cry, Arcite, victory.

    Set both thine ears to th’ business.

    Ser. The cry is

    Arcite, and victory, hark Arcite, victory,

    The Combats consummation is proclaim’d

    By the wind Instruments.

    Emil. Half sights saw

    That Arcite was no babe, god’s lyd, his richness

    And costliness of spirit lookt 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

    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. [Cornets.

    Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Perithous, Arcite as Victor and Attendants, &c.

    Thes. Lo, where our Sister is in expectation,

    Yet quaking, and unsetled: fairest Emilia,

    The gods by their Divine arbitrament

    Have given you this Knight, he is a good one

    As ever struck at head: Give me your hands;

    Receive you her, you him, be plighted with

    A love that grows, as you decay.

    Arcite. Emily.

    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.

    Thes. Oh 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 batchelor, lest his race

    Should show i’th’ world too godlike: his behaviour

    So charm’d me, that methought Alcides was

    To him a Sow of Lead: if I could praise

    Each part of him to th’ all I have spoke, your Arcite

    Did not lose by’t; for he that was thus good

    Encountred yet his Better, I have heard

    Two emulous Philomels, beat the ear o’th’ night

    With their contentious throats, now on[e] 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 far’d

    Good space between these kinsmen; till heavens did

    Make hardly one the winner: wear the Garland

    With joy that you have won: for the subdu’d,

    Give them our present Justice, since I know

    Their lives but pinch ’em, let it here be done:

    The Scene’s not for our seeing, goe we hence,

    Right joyful, with some sorrow. Arm your prize,

    I know you will not lose her: Hippolita

    I see one eye of yours conceives a tear

    The which it will deliver. [Florish.

    Emil. Is this winning?

    Oh all you heavenly powers, where is your mercy?

    But that your wills have said it must be so,

    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.

    Hip. Infinite pity

    That four such eyes should be so fix’d on one

    That two must needs be blind for’t.

    Thes. So it is. [Exeunt.

    Scena Quarta.

    Enter Palamon and his Knights pinion’d: Jailor Executioner, &c. Gard.

    [Pal.] There’s many a man alive that hath out-liv’d

    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 mens pity. To live still,

    Have their good wishes, we prevent

    The lothsome misery of age, beguile

    The Gout and Rheum, that in lag hours attend

    For grey approachers; we come towards the gods

    Young, and unwapper’d, not halting under Crimes

    Many and stale: that sure shall please the gods

    Sooner than such, to give us Nectar with ’em,

    For we are more clear Spirits. My dear kinsmen.

    Whose lives (for this poor comfort) are laid down,

    You have sold ’em too too cheap.

    1 K. 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’er-weigh us.

    2 K. Let us bid farewel;

    And, with our patience, anger tott’ring Fortune,

    Who at her certain’st reels.

    3 K. Come: who begins?

    Pal. Ev’n he that led you to this Banquet, shall

    Taste to you all: ah ha 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.

    Jail. Sir, she’s well restor’d,

    And to be married shortly.

    Pal. By my short life

    I am most glad on’t; ’tis the latest thing

    I shall be glad of, prethee tell her so:

    Commend me to her, and to piece her portion

    Tender her this.

    1 K. Nay, let’s be offerers all.

    2 K. Is it a maid?

    Pal. Verily I think so,

    A right good creature, more to me deserving

    Than I can quight or speak of.

    All K. Commend us to her. [They give their purses.

    Jail. The gods requite you all,

    And make her thankful.

    Pal. Adieu; and let my life be now as short,

    As my leave taking. [Lies on the Block.

    1 K. Lead courageous Cosin.

    1, 2 K. We’ll follow cheerfully.

    [A great noise within, crying, run, save, hold.

    Enter in haste a Messenger.

    Mess. Hold, hold, oh hold, hold, hold.

    Enter Pirithous in haste.

    Pir.. Hold, hoa: It is a cursed haste you made

    If you have done so quickly: noble Palamon,

    The gods will shew their glory in a life

    That thou art yet to lead.

    Pal. Can that be,

    When Venus I have said is false? How do things fare?

    Pir. Arise great Sir, and give the tidings ear

    That are most early sweet, and bitter.

    Pal. What

    Hath wak’t us from our dream?

    Pir. List then: your Cosin

    Mounted upon a Steed that Emily

    Did first bestow on him, a black one, owing

    Not a hayr worth of white, which some will say

    Weakens his price, and many will not buy

    His goodness with this note: Which superstition

    Hear 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 pleas’d his Rider

    To put pride in him: as he thus went counting

    The flinty pavement, dancing as t’were to’th’ Musick

    His own hoofs made; (For as they say from iron

    Came Musicks origen) what envious Flint,

    Cold as old Saturne, and like him possest

    With fire malevolent, darted a Spark,

    Or what feirce sulphur 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 dooing, being therein train’d,

    And of kind mannage, pig-like he whines

    At the sharp Rowell, which he frets at rather

    Than any jot obeyes; Seeks all foul means

    Of boystrous and rough Jad’rie, to dis-seat

    His Lord, that kept it bravely: When nought serv’d,

    When neither Curb would crack, girth break, nor diff’ring plunges

    Dis-root his Rider whence he grew, but that

    He kept him ‘tween his legs, on his hind hoofs on end he stands

    That Arcites legs being higher than his head

    Seem’d with strange art to hang: His victors wreath

    Even then fell off his head: And presently

    Backward the jade comes o’er, and his full poyze

    Becomes the Riders load: Yet is he living,

    But such a vessell ’tis that floats but for

    The surge that next approaches: He much desires

    To have some speech with you: Loe he appears.

    Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Emilia, Arcite, in a chair.

    Pal. O miserable end of our alliance

    The gods are mightie Arcite, if thy heart,

    Thy worthie, manly heart be yet unbroken:

    Give me thy last words, I’m Palamon,

    One that yet loves thee dying.

    Arc. Take Emilia

    And with her, all the worlds joy: Reach thy hand,

    Farewell: I have told my last hour; I was false,

    Yet never treacherous: Forgive me Cosen:

    One kiss from fair Emilia: ’Tis done:

    Take her: I die.

    Pal. Thy brave soul seek Elizium.

    Emil. 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.

    Pal. And I to honor.

    These. In this place first you fought: Even very here

    I sundred you, acknowledg to the gods

    Our thanks that you are living:

    His part is play’d, and though it were too short

    He did it well: your day is length’ned, and

    The blissfull dew of heaven do’s arowze you:

    The powerfull Venus, well hath grac’d her Altar,

    And given you your love: Our Master Mars,

    Hast vouch’d his Oracle, and to Arcite, gave

    The grace of the Contention: So the Deities

    Have shew’d due justice: Bear this hence.

    Pal. O Cosen,

    That we should things desire, which doe cost us

    The loss of our desire; That nought could buy

    Dear love, but loss of dear love.

    Thes. Never Fortune

    Did play a subtler Game: The conquer’d triumphs,

    The victor has the Loss: yet in the passage,

    The gods have been most equall: Palamon,

    Your kinsman hath confest the right o’th’ Lady

    Did lye in you, for you first saw her, and

    Even then proclaim’d your fancie: He restor’d her

    As your stolen Jewell, and desir’d your spirit

    To send him hence forgiven; The gods my justice

    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 Funerall of Arcite, in whose end

    The visages of Bridegroomes 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,

    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 thankefull

    For that which is, and with you leave dispute

    That are above our question: Let’s goe off,

    And bear us like the time. [Florish. Exeunt.

    Epilogue.

    I would now aske ye how ye like the Play,

    But as it is with School Boys, cannot say,

    I ‘m cruell fearefull: pray yet stay a while,

    And let me look upon ye: No man smile?

    Then it goes hard I see; He that has

    Lov’d a young hansome 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?

    And yet mistake me not: I am not bold

    We have no such cause. If th’ tale we have told

    (For ’tis no other) any way content ye

    (For to that honest purpose it was ment 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.

    [Florish.

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