Scaena 1. (A forest near Athens.)
[Cornets in sundry places. Noise and hallowing as people a
[Enter Arcite alone.]
The Duke has lost Hypolita; each tooke
A severall land. This is a solemne Right
They owe bloomd May, and the Athenians pay it
To'th heart of Ceremony. O Queene Emilia,
Fresher then May, sweeter
Then hir gold Buttons on the bowes, or all
Th'enamelld knackes o'th Meade or garden: yea,
We challenge too the bancke of any Nymph
That makes the streame seeme flowers; thou, o Iewell
O'th wood, o'th world, hast likewise blest a place
With thy sole presence: in thy rumination
That I, poore man, might eftsoones come betweene
And chop on some cold thought! thrice blessed chance,
To drop on such a Mistris, expectation
Most giltlesse on't! tell me, O Lady Fortune,
(Next after Emely my Soveraigne) how far
I may be prowd. She takes strong note of me,
Hath made me neere her; and this beuteous Morne
(The prim'st of all the yeare) presents me with
A brace of horses: two such Steeds might well
Be by a paire of Kings backt, in a Field
That their crownes titles tride. Alas, alas,
Poore Cosen Palamon, poore prisoner, thou
So little dream'st upon my fortune, that
Thou thinkst thy selfe the happier thing, to be
So neare Emilia; me thou deem'st at Thebs,
And therein wretched, although free. But if
Thou knew'st my Mistris breathd on me, and that
I ear'd her language, livde in her eye, O Coz,
What passion would enclose thee!
[Enter Palamon as out of a Bush, with his Shackles: bends his
Thou shouldst perceive my passion, if these signes
Of prisonment were off me, and this hand
But owner of a Sword: By all othes in one,
I and the iustice of my love would make thee
A confest Traytor. O thou most perfidious
That ever gently lookd; the voydest of honour,
That eu'r bore gentle Token; falsest Cosen
That ever blood made kin, call'st thou hir thine?
Ile prove it in my Shackles, with these hands,
Void of appointment, that thou ly'st, and art
A very theefe in love, a Chaffy Lord,
Nor worth the name of villaine: had I a Sword
And these house clogges away--
Deere Cosin Palamon--
Cosoner Arcite, give me language such
As thou hast shewd me feate.
Not finding in
The circuit of my breast any grosse stuffe
To forme me like your blazon, holds me to
This gentlenesse 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, faire Coz,
Ile maintaine my proceedings; pray, be pleas'd
To shew in generous termes your griefes, since that
Your question's with your equall, who professes
To cleare his owne way with the minde and Sword
Of a true Gentleman.
That thou durst, Arcite!
My Coz, my Coz, you have beene well advertis'd
How much I dare, y'ave seene me use my Sword
Against th'advice of feare: sure, of another
You would not heare me doubted, but your silence
Should breake out, though i'th Sanctuary.
I have seene you move in such a place, which well
Might justifie your manhood; you were calld
A good knight and a bold; But the whole weeke's not faire,
If any day it rayne: Their valiant temper
Men loose when they encline to trecherie,
And then they fight like coupelld Beares, would fly
Were they not tyde.
Kinsman, you might as well
Speake this and act it in your Glasse, as to
His eare which now disdaines you.
Come up to me,
Quit me of these cold Gyves, give me a Sword,
Though it be rustie, and the charity
Of one meale lend me; Come before me then,
A good Sword in thy hand, and doe but say
That Emily is thine: I will forgive
The trespasse thou hast done me, yea, my life,
If then thou carry't, and brave soules in shades
That have dyde manly, which will seeke of me
Some newes from earth, they shall get none but this,
That thou art brave and noble.
Againe betake you to your hawthorne house;
With counsaile 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 selfe and say but, 'Arcite,
I am in plight,' there shall be at your choyce
Both Sword and Armour.
Oh you heavens, dares any
So noble beare a guilty busines! none
But onely Arcite, therefore none but Arcite
In this kinde is so bold.
I doe embrace you and your offer,--for
Your offer doo't I onely, Sir; your person,
Without hipocrisy I may not wish [Winde hornes of Cornets.]
More then my Swords edge ont.
You heare the Hornes;
Enter your Musite least this match between's
Be crost, er met: give me your hand; farewell.
Ile bring you every needfull thing: I pray you,
Take comfort and be strong.
Pray hold your promise;
And doe the deede with a bent brow: most certaine
You love me not, be rough with me, and powre
This oile out of your language; by this ayre,
I could for each word give a Cuffe, my stomach
Not reconcild by reason.
Yet pardon me hard language: when I spur [Winde hornes.]
My horse, I chide him not; content and anger
In me have but one face. Harke, Sir, they call
The scatterd to the Banket; you must guesse
I have an office there.
Sir, your attendance
Cannot please heaven, and I know your office
Vnjustly is atcheev'd.
If a good title,
I am perswaded this question sicke between's
By bleeding must be cur'd. I am a Suitour,
That to your Sword you will bequeath this plea
And talke of it no more.
But this one word:
You are going now to gaze upon my Mistris,
For note you, mine she is--
Nay, pray you,
You talke of feeding me to breed me strength:
You are going now to looke upon a Sun
That strengthens what it lookes on; there
You have a vantage ore me, but enjoy't till
I may enforce my remedy. Farewell. [Exeunt.]
Scaena 2. (Another Part of the forest.)
[Enter Iaylors daughter alone.]
He has mistooke the Brake I meant, is gone
After his fancy. Tis now welnigh morning;
No matter, would it were perpetuall night,
And darkenes Lord o'th world. Harke, tis a woolfe:
In me hath greife slaine feare, and but for one thing
I care for nothing, and that's Palamon.
I wreake not if the wolves would jaw me, so
He had this File: what if I hallowd for him?
I cannot hallow: if I whoop'd, what then?
If he not answeard, I should call a wolfe,
And doe him but that service. I have heard
Strange howles this live-long night, why may't not be
They have made prey of him? he has no weapons,
He cannot run, the Iengling of his Gives
Might call fell things to listen, who have in them
A sence to know a man unarmd, and can
Smell where resistance is. Ile set it downe
He's torne to peeces; they howld 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 selfe to beg, if I prizd life so much
As to deny my act, but that I would not,
Should I try death by dussons.--I am mop't,
Food tooke I none these two daies,
Sipt some water. I have not closd mine eyes
Save when my lids scowrd off their brine; alas,
Dissolue my life, Let not my sence unsettle,
Least I should drowne, or stab or hang my selfe.
O state of Nature, faile 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 Moone is down, the Cryckets chirpe, the Schreichowle
Calls in the dawne; all offices are done
Save what I faile in: But the point is this,
An end, and that is all. [Exit.]
Scaena 3. (Same as Scene I.)
[Enter Arcite, with Meate, Wine, and Files.]
I should be neere the place: hoa, Cosen Palamon. [Enter
The same: I have brought you foode and files.
Come forth and feare not, here's no Theseus.
Nor none so honest, Arcite.
That's no matter,
Wee'l argue that hereafter: Come, take courage;
You shall not dye thus beastly: here, Sir, drinke;
I know you are faint: then ile talke further with you.
Arcite, thou mightst now poyson me.
But I must feare you first: Sit downe, and, good, now
No more of these vaine parlies; let us not,
Having our ancient reputation with us,
Make talke for Fooles and Cowards. To your health, &c.
Pray, sit downe then; and let me entreate you,
By all the honesty and honour in you,
No mention of this woman: t'will disturbe us;
We shall have time enough.
Well, Sir, Ile pledge you.
Drinke a good hearty draught; it breeds good blood, man.
Doe not you feele it thaw you?
Stay, Ile tell you after a draught or two more.
Spare it not, the Duke has more, Cuz: Eate now.
I am glad you have so good a stomach.
I am gladder I have so good meate too't.
Is't not mad lodging here in the wild woods, Cosen?
Yes, for them that have wilde Consciences.
How tasts your vittails? your hunger needs no sawce, I see.
But if it did, yours is too tart, sweete Cosen: what is this?
Tis a lusty meate:
Giue me more wine; here, Arcite, to the wenches
We have known in our daies. The Lord Stewards daughter,
Doe you remember her?
After you, Cuz.
She lov'd a black-haird man.
She did so; well, Sir.
And I have heard some call him Arcite, and--
Out with't, faith.
She met him in an Arbour:
What did she there, Cuz? play o'th virginals?
Something she did, Sir.
Made her groane a moneth for't, or 2. or 3. or 10.
The Marshals Sister
Had her share too, as I remember, Cosen,
Else there be tales abroade; you'l pledge her?
A pretty broune wench t'is. There was a time
When yong men went a hunting, and a wood,
And a broade Beech: and thereby hangs a tale:--heigh ho!
For Emily, upon my life! Foole,
Away with this straind mirth; I say againe,
That sigh was breathd for Emily; base Cosen,
Dar'st thou breake first?
You are wide.
By heaven and earth, ther's nothing in thee honest.
Then Ile leave you: you are a Beast now.
As thou makst me, Traytour.
Ther's all things needfull, files and shirts, and perfumes:
Ile come againe some two howres hence, and bring
That that shall quiet all,
A Sword and Armour?
Feare me not; you are now too fowle; farewell.
Get off your Trinkets; you shall want nought.
Ile heare no more. [Exit.]
If he keepe touch, he dies for't. [Exit.]
Scaena 4. (Another part of the forest.)
[Enter Iaylors daughter.]
I am very cold, and all the Stars are out too,
The little Stars, and all, that looke like aglets:
The Sun has seene my Folly. Palamon!
Alas no; hees in heaven. Where am I now?
Yonder's the sea, and ther's a Ship; how't tumbles!
And ther's a Rocke lies watching under water;
Now, now, it beates upon it; now, now, now,
Ther's a leak sprung, a sound one, how they cry!
Spoon her before the winde, you'l loose all els:
Vp with a course or two, and take about, Boyes.
Good night, good night, y'ar gone.--I am very hungry.
Would I could finde a fine Frog; he would tell me
Newes from all parts o'th world, then would I make
A Carecke of a Cockle shell, and sayle
By east and North East to the King of Pigmes,
For he tels fortunes rarely. Now my Father,
Twenty to one, is trust up in a trice
To morrow morning; Ile say never a word.
For ile cut my greene coat a foote above my knee,
And ile clip my yellow lockes an inch below mine eie.
hey, nonny, nonny, nonny,
He's buy me a white Cut, forth for to ride
And ile goe seeke him, throw the world that is so wide
hey nonny, nonny, nonny.
O for a pricke now like a Nightingale,
To put my breast against. I shall sleepe like a Top else.
Scaena 5. (Another part of the forest.)
[Enter a Schoole master, 4. Countrymen, and Bavian. 2. or 3.
with a Taborer.]
Fy, fy, what tediosity, & disensanity is here among ye? have
my Rudiments bin labourd so long with ye? milkd 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, & wherfore?
you most course freeze capacities, ye jane Iudgements, have I
thus let be, and there let be, and then let be, and no man
mee? Proh 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 appeares, I meete him and unto him I utter learned
and many figures; he heares, and nods, and hums, and then cries:
rare, and I goe forward; at length I fling my Cap up; marke
then do you, as once did Meleager and the Bore, break comly out
before him: like true lovers, cast your selves in a Body
and sweetly, by a figure trace and turne, Boyes.
And sweetly we will doe it Master Gerrold.
Draw up the Company. Where's the Taborour?
Here, my mad boyes, have at ye.
But I say, where's their women?
Here's Friz and Maudline.
And little Luce with the white legs, and bouncing Barbery.
And freckeled Nel, that never faild her Master.
Wher be your Ribands, maids? swym with your Bodies
And carry it sweetly, and deliverly
And now and then a fauour, and a friske.
Let us alone, Sir.
Wher's the rest o'th Musicke?
Dispersd as you commanded.
And see what's wanting; wher's the Bavian?
My friend, carry your taile without offence
Or scandall to the Ladies; and be sure
You tumble with audacity and manhood;
And when you barke, doe it with judgement.
Quo usque tandem? Here is a woman wanting.
We may goe whistle: all the fat's i'th fire.
As learned Authours utter, washd a Tile,
We have beene FATUUS, and laboured vainely.
This is that scornefull 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 dog skin;
Nay and she faile me once--you can tell, Arcas,
She swore by wine and bread, she would not breake.
An Eele and woman,
A learned Poet sayes, unles by'th taile
And with thy teeth thou hold, will either faile.
In manners this was false position
A fire ill take her; do's she flinch now?
Shall we determine, Sir?
Our busines is become a nullity;
Yea, and a woefull, and a pittious nullity.
Now when the credite of our Towne lay on it,
Now to be frampall, now to pisse o'th nettle!
Goe thy waies; ile remember thee, ile fit thee.
[Enter Iaylors 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 haild, well haild, you jolly gallants,
And whither now are you bound a?
O let me have your company [Chaire and stooles out.]
Till (I) come to the sound a.
There was three fooles, fell out about an howlet:
The one sed it was an owle,
The other he sed nay,
The third he sed it was a hawke,
And her bels wer cut away.
Ther's a dainty mad woman M(aiste)r
Comes i'th Nick, as mad as a march hare:
If wee can get her daunce, wee are made againe:
I warrant her, shee'l doe the rarest gambols.
A mad woman? we are made, Boyes.
And are you mad, good woman?
I would be sorry else;
Give me your hand.
I can tell your fortune.
You are a foole: tell ten. I have pozd him: Buz!
Friend you must eate no whitebread; if you doe,
Your teeth will bleede extreamely. Shall we dance, ho?
I know you, y'ar a Tinker: Sirha Tinker,
Stop no more holes, but what you should.
Dij boni. A Tinker, Damzell?
Or a Conjurer:
Raise me a devill now, and let him play
Quipassa o'th bels and bones.
Goe, take her,
And fluently perswade her to a peace:
Et opus exegi, quod nec Iouis ira, nec ignis.
Strike up, and leade her in.
Come, Lasse, lets trip it.
Ile leade. [Winde Hornes.]
Perswasively, and cunningly: away, boyes, [Ex. all but
I heare the hornes: give me some meditation,
And marke your Cue.--Pallas inspire me.
[Enter Thes. Pir. Hip. Emil. Arcite, and traine.]
This way the Stag tooke.
Stay, and edifie.
What have we here?
Some Countrey sport, upon my life, Sir.
Well, Sir, goe forward, we will edifie.
Ladies, sit downe, wee'l stay it.
Thou, doughtie Duke, all haile: all haile, sweet Ladies.
This is a cold beginning.
If you but favour, 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, Choris,
That fore 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 blowne abroad, helpe me thy poore well willer,
And with thy twinckling eyes looke right and straight
Vpon this mighty MORR--of mickle waight;
IS now comes in, which being glewd together,
Makes MORRIS, and the cause that we came hether.
The body of our sport, of no small study,
I first appeare, though rude, and raw, and muddy,
To speake before thy noble grace this tenner:
At whose great feete I offer up my penner.
The next the Lord of May and Lady bright,
The Chambermaid and Servingman by night
That seeke out silent hanging: Then mine Host
And his fat Spowse, that welcomes to their cost
The gauled Traveller, and with a beckning
Informes the Tapster to inflame the reckning:
Then the beast eating Clowne, and next the foole,
The Bavian, with long tayle and eke long toole,
Cum multis alijs that make a dance:
Say 'I,' and all shall presently advance.
I, I, by any meanes, deere Domine.
Intrate, filij; Come forth, and foot it.--
[Musicke, Dance. Knocke for Schoole.]
[Enter the Dance.]
Ladies, if we have beene merry,
And have pleasd yee with a derry,
And a derry, and a downe,
Say the Schoolemaster's no Clowne:
Duke, if we have pleasd thee too,
And have done as good Boyes should doe,
Give us but a tree or twaine
For a Maypole, and againe,
Ere another yeare run out,
Wee'l make thee laugh and all this rout.
Take 20., Domine; how does my sweet heart?
Never so pleasd, Sir.
Twas an excellent dance, and for a preface
I never heard a better.
Schoolemaster, I thanke you.--One see'em all rewarded.
And heer's something to paint your Pole withall.
Now to our sports againe.
May the Stag thou huntst stand long,
And thy dogs be swift and strong:
May they kill him without lets,
And the Ladies eate his dowsets!
Come, we are all made. [Winde Hornes.]
Dij Deoeq(ue) omnes, ye have danc'd rarely, wenches. [Exeunt.]
Scaena 6. (Same as Scene III.)
[Enter Palamon from the Bush.]
About this houre my Cosen gave his faith
To visit me againe, and with him bring
Two Swords, and two good Armors; if he faile,
He's neither man nor Souldier. When he left me,
I did not thinke a weeke could have restord
My lost strength to me, I was growne so low,
And Crest-falne with my wants: I thanke thee, Arcite,
Thou art yet a faire Foe; and I feele my selfe
With this refreshing, able once againe
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 Souldier: Therefore, this blest morning
Shall be the last; and that Sword he refuses,
If it but hold, I kill him with; tis Iustice:
So love, and Fortune for me!--O, good morrow.
[Enter Arcite with Armors and Swords.]
Good morrow, noble kinesman.
I have put you to too much paines, Sir.
That too much, faire Cosen,
Is but a debt to honour, and my duty.
Would you were so in all, Sir; I could wish ye
As kinde a kinsman, as you force me finde
A beneficiall foe, that my embraces
Might thanke ye, not my blowes.
I shall thinke either, well done,
A noble recompence.
Then I shall quit you.
Defy me in these faire termes, and you show
More then a Mistris to me, no more anger
As you love any thing that's honourable:
We were not bred to talke, 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 pertaines (without obbraidings, scornes,
Dispisings of our persons, and such powtings,
Fitter for Girles and Schooleboyes) will be seene
And quickly, yours, or mine: wilt please you arme, Sir,
Or if you feele your selfe not fitting yet
And furnishd with your old strength, ile stay, Cosen,
And ev'ry day discourse you into health,
As I am spard: your person I am friends with,
And I could wish I had not saide I lov'd her,
Though I had dide; But loving such a Lady
And justifying my Love, I must not fly from't.
Arcite, thou art so brave an enemy,
That no man but thy Cosen's fit to kill thee:
I am well and lusty, choose your Armes.
Choose you, Sir.
Wilt thou exceede in all, or do'st thou doe it
To make me spare thee?
If you thinke so, Cosen,
You are deceived, for as I am a Soldier,
I will not spare you.
That's well said.
You'l finde it.
Then, as I am an honest man and love
With all the justice of affection,
Ile pay thee soundly. This ile take.
That's mine, then;
Ile arme you first.
Do: pray thee, tell me, Cosen,
Where gotst thou this good Armour?
Tis the Dukes,
And to say true, I stole it; doe I pinch you?
Is't not too heavie?
I have worne a lighter,
But I shall make it serve.
Ile buckl't close.
By any meanes.
You care not for a Grand guard?
No, no; wee'l use no horses: I perceave
You would faine be at that Fight.
I am indifferent.
Faith, so am I: good Cosen, thrust the buckle
Through far enough.
I warrant you.
My Caske now.
Will you fight bare-armd?
We shall be the nimbler.
But use your Gauntlets though; those are o'th least,
Prethee take mine, good Cosen.
Thanke you, Arcite.
How doe I looke? am I falne much away?
Faith, very little; love has usd you kindly.
Ile warrant thee, Ile strike home.
Doe, and spare not;
Ile give you cause, sweet Cosen.
Now to you, Sir:
Me thinkes this Armor's very like that, Arcite,
Thou wor'st the day the 3. Kings fell, but lighter.
That was a very good one; and that day,
I well remember, you outdid me, Cosen.
I never saw such valour: when you chargd
Vpon the left wing of the Enemie,
I spurd hard to come up, and under me
I had a right good horse.
You had indeede; a bright Bay, I remember.
Yes, but all
Was vainely labour'd in me; you outwent me,
Nor could my wishes reach you; yet a little
I did by imitation.
More by vertue;
You are modest, Cosen.
When I saw you charge first,
Me thought I heard a dreadfull clap of Thunder
Breake from the Troope.
But still before that flew
The lightning of your valour. Stay a little,
Is not this peece too streight?
No, no, tis well.
I would have nothing hurt thee but my Sword,
A bruise would be dishonour.
Now I am perfect.
Stand off, then.
Take my Sword, I hold it better.
I thanke ye: No, keepe it; your life lyes on it.
Here's one; if it but hold, I aske no more
For all my hopes: My Cause and honour guard me! [They bow
severall wayes: then advance and stand.]
And me my love! Is there ought else to say?
This onely, 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 sleepe in honour,
I wish his wearie soule that falls may win it:
Fight bravely, Cosen; give me thy noble hand.
Here, Palamon: This hand shall never more
Come neare thee with such friendship.
I commend thee.
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.
Farewell, Arcite. [Fight.]
[Hornes within: they stand.]
Loe, Cosen, loe, our Folly has undon us.
This is the Duke, a hunting as I told you.
If we be found, we are wretched. O retire
For honours sake, and safety presently
Into your Bush agen; Sir, we shall finde
Too many howres to dye in: gentle Cosen,
If you be seene you perish instantly
For breaking prison, and I, if you reveale me,
For my contempt. Then all the world will scorne us,
And say we had a noble difference,
But base disposers of it.
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 selfe
Vpon thy present guard--
You are not mad?
Or I will make th'advantage of this howre
Mine owne, and what to come shall threaten me,
I feare lesse then my fortune: know, weake Cosen,
I love Emilia, and in that ile bury
Thee, and all crosses else.
Then, come what can come,
Thou shalt know, Palamon, I dare as well
Die, as discourse, or sleepe: Onely this feares me,
The law will have the honour of our ends.
Have at thy life.
Looke to thine owne well, Arcite. [Fight againe. Hornes.]
[Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Emilia, Perithous and traine.]
What ignorant and mad malicious Traitors,
Are you, That gainst the tenor of my Lawes
Are making Battaile, thus like Knights appointed,
Without my leave, and Officers of Armes?
By Castor, both shall dye.
Hold thy word, Theseus.
We are certainly both Traitors, both despisers
Of thee and of thy goodnesse: I am Palamon,
That cannot love thee, he that broke thy Prison;
Thinke well what that deserves: and this is Arcite,
A bolder Traytor never trod thy ground,
A Falser neu'r seem'd friend: This is the man
Was begd and banish'd; this is he contemnes thee
And what thou dar'st doe, and in this disguise
Against thy owne Edict followes thy Sister,
That fortunate bright Star, the faire Emilia,
Whose servant, (if there be a right in seeing,
And first bequeathing of the soule to) justly
I am, and, which is more, dares thinke her his.
This treacherie, like a most trusty Lover,
I call'd him now to answer; if thou bee'st,
As thou art spoken, great and vertuous,
The true descider of all injuries,
Say, 'Fight againe,' and thou shalt see me, Theseus,
Doe such a Iustice, thou thy selfe wilt envie.
Then take my life; Ile wooe thee too't.
What more then man is this!
I have sworne.
We seeke not
Thy breath of mercy, Theseus. Tis to me
A thing as soone 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 Beutie,
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 faire, and why her eyes command me
Stay here to love her; and if she say 'Traytor,'
I am a villaine fit to lye unburied.
Thou shalt have pitty of us both, o Theseus,
If unto neither thou shew mercy; stop
(As thou art just) thy noble eare against us.
As thou art valiant, for thy Cosens soule
Whose 12. strong labours crowne his memory,
Lets die together, at one instant, Duke,
Onely a little let him fall before me,
That I may tell my Soule he shall not have her.
I grant your wish, for, to say true, your Cosen
Has ten times more offended; for I gave him
More mercy then you found, Sir, your offenses
Being no more then his. None here speake for 'em,
For, ere the Sun set, both shall sleepe for ever.
Alas the pitty! now or never, Sister,
Speake, not to be denide; That face of yours
Will beare the curses else of after ages
For these lost Cosens.
In my face, deare Sister,
I finde no anger to 'em, nor no ruyn;
The misadventure of their owne eyes kill 'em;
Yet that I will be woman, and have pitty,
My knees shall grow to'th ground but Ile get mercie.
Helpe me, deare Sister; in a deede so vertuous
The powers of all women will be with us.
Most royall Brother--
Sir, by our tye of Marriage--
By your owne spotlesse honour--
By that faith,
That faire hand, and that honest heart you gave me.
By that you would have pitty in another,
By your owne vertues infinite.
By all the chaste nights I have ever pleasd you.
These are strange Conjurings.
Nay, then, Ile in too:
By all our friendship, Sir, by all our dangers,
By all you love most: warres and this sweet Lady.
By that you would have trembled to deny,
A blushing Maide.
By your owne eyes: By strength,
In which you swore I went beyond all women,
Almost all men, and yet I yeelded, Theseus.
To crowne all this: By your most noble soule,
Which cannot want due mercie, I beg first.
Next, heare my prayers.
Last, let me intreate, Sir.
Mercy on these Princes.
Ye make my faith reele: Say I felt
Compassion to'em both, how would you place it?
Vpon their lives: But with their banishments.
You are a right woman, Sister; you have pitty,
But want the vnderstanding where to use it.
If you desire their lives, invent a way
Safer then 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; howrely bring your honour
In publique question with their Swords. Be wise, then,
And here forget 'em; it concernes your credit
And my oth equally: I have said they die;
Better they fall by'th law, then one another.
Bow not my honor.
O my noble Brother,
That oth was rashly made, and in your anger,
Your reason will not hold it; if such vowes
Stand for expresse will, all the world must perish.
Beside, I have another oth gainst yours,
Of more authority, I am sure more love,
Not made in passion neither, but good heede.
What is it, Sister?
Vrge it home, brave Lady.
That you would nev'r 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,
Thinke how you maime your honour,
(For now I am set a begging, Sir, I am deafe
To all but your compassion.) How, their lives
Might breed the ruine of my name, Opinion!
Shall any thing that loves me perish for me?
That were a cruell wisedome; doe men proyne
The straight yong Bowes that blush with thousand Blossoms,
Because they may be rotten? O Duke Theseus,
The goodly Mothers that have groand for these,
And all the longing Maides 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 am nothing but the scorne of women;
For heavens sake save their lives, and banish 'em.
On what conditions?
Sweare'em never more
To make me their Contention, or to know me,
To tread upon thy Dukedome; and to be,
Where ever they shall travel, ever strangers
To one another.
Ile be cut a peeces
Before I take this oth: forget I love her?
O all ye gods dispise me, then! Thy Banishment
I not mislike, so we may fairely 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.
Will you, Arcite,
Take these conditions?
He's a villaine, then.
These are men.
No, never, Duke: Tis worse to me than begging
To take my life so basely; though I thinke
I never shall enjoy her, yet ile preserve
The honour of affection, and dye for her,
Make death a Devill.
What may be done? for now I feele compassion.
Let it not fall agen, Sir.
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 owne eyes, and as noble
As ever fame yet spoke of; looke upon 'em,
And if you can love, end this difference.
I give consent; are you content too, Princes?
With all our soules.
He that she refuses
Must dye, then.
Any death thou canst invent, Duke.
If I fall from that mouth, I fall with favour,
And Lovers yet unborne shall blesse my ashes.
If she refuse me, yet my grave will wed me,
And Souldiers sing my Epitaph.
Make choice, then.
I cannot, Sir, they are both too excellent:
For me, a hayre shall never fall of these men.
What will become of 'em?
Thus I ordaine it;
And by mine honor, once againe, it stands,
Or both shall dye:--You shall both to your Countrey,
And each within this moneth, accompanied
With three faire Knights, appeare againe in this place,
In which Ile plant a Pyramid; and whether,
Before us that are here, can force his Cosen
By fayre 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 thinke he dies with interest in this Lady:
Will this content yee?
Yes: here, Cosen Arcite,
I am friends againe, till that howre.
I embrace ye.
Are you content, Sister?
Yes, I must, Sir,
Els both miscarry.
Come, shake hands againe, then;
And take heede, as you are Gentlemen, this Quarrell
Sleepe till the howre prefixt; and hold your course.
We dare not faile thee, Theseus.
Come, Ile give ye
Now usage like to Princes, and to Friends:
When ye returne, who wins, Ile settle heere;
Who looses, yet Ile weepe upon his Beere. [Exeunt.]