The Two Noble Kinsmen eText - Act IV

Act IV

Act IV, Scene 1

Actus Quartus.

Scaena 1. (Athens. A room in the prison.)

[Enter Iailor and his friend.]

IAILOR.

Heare you no more? was nothing saide of me
Concerning the escape of Palamon?
Good Sir, remember.

1. FRIEND.

Nothing that I heard,
For I came home before the busines
Was fully ended: Yet I might perceive,
Ere I departed, a great likelihood
Of both their pardons: For Hipolita,
And faire-eyd Emilie, upon their knees
Begd with such hansom pitty, that the Duke
Me thought stood staggering, whether he should follow
His rash oth, or the sweet compassion
Of those two Ladies; and to second them,
That truely noble Prince Perithous,
Halfe his owne heart, set in too, that I hope
All shall be well: Neither heard I one question
Of your name or his scape.

[Enter 2. Friend.]

IAILOR.

Pray heaven it hold so.

2. FRIEND.

Be of good comfort, man; I bring you newes,
Good newes.

IAILOR.

They are welcome,

2. FRIEND.

Palamon has cleerd you,
And got your pardon, and discoverd how
And by whose meanes he escapt, which was your Daughters,
Whose pardon is procurd too; and the Prisoner,
Not to be held ungratefull to her goodnes,
Has given a summe of money to her Marriage,
A large one, ile assure you.

IAILOR.

Ye are a good man
And ever bring good newes.

1. FRIEND.

How was it ended?

2. FRIEND.

Why, as it should be; they that nev'r begd
But they prevaild, had their suites fairely granted,
The prisoners have their lives.

1. FRIEND.

I knew t'would be so.

2. FRIEND.

But there be new conditions, which you'l heare of
At better time.

IAILOR.

I hope they are good.

2. FRIEND.

They are honourable,
How good they'l prove, I know not.

[Enter Wooer.]

1. FRIEND.

T'will be knowne.

WOOER.

Alas, Sir, wher's your Daughter?

IAILOR.

Why doe you aske?

WOOER.

O, Sir, when did you see her?

2. FRIEND.

How he lookes?

IAILOR.

This morning.

WOOER.

Was she well? was she in health, Sir?
When did she sleepe?

1. FRIEND.

These are strange Questions.

IAILOR.

I doe not thinke she was very well, for now
You make me minde her, but this very day
I ask'd her questions, and she answered me
So farre from what she was, so childishly,
So sillily, as if she were a foole,
An Inocent, and I was very angry.
But what of her, Sir?

WOOER.

Nothing but my pitty;
But you must know it, and as good by me
As by an other that lesse loves her--

IAILOR.

Well, Sir.

1. FRIEND.

Not right?

2. FRIEND.

Not well?

WOOER.

No, Sir, not well.
Tis too true, she is mad.

1. FRIEND.

It cannot be.

WOOER.

Beleeve, you'l finde it so.

IAILOR.

I halfe suspected
What you (have) told me: the gods comfort her:
Either this was her love to Palamon,
Or feare of my miscarrying on his scape,
Or both.

WOOER.

Tis likely.

IAILOR.

But why all this haste, Sir?

WOOER.

Ile tell you quickly. As I late was angling
In the great Lake that lies behind the Pallace,
From the far shore, thicke set with reedes and Sedges,
As patiently I was attending sport,
I heard a voyce, a shrill one, and attentive
I gave my eare, when I might well perceive
T'was one that sung, and by the smallnesse of it
A boy or woman. I then left my angle
To his owne skill, came neere, but yet perceivd not
Who made the sound, the rushes and the Reeds
Had so encompast it: I laide me downe
And listned to the words she sung, for then,
Through a small glade cut by the Fisher men,
I saw it was your Daughter.

IAILOR.

Pray, goe on, Sir?

WOOER.

She sung much, but no sence; onely I heard her
Repeat this often: 'Palamon is gone,
Is gone to'th wood to gather Mulberies;
Ile finde him out to morrow.'

1. FRIEND.

Pretty soule.

WOOER.

'His shackles will betray him, hee'l be taken,
And what shall I doe then? Ile bring a beavy,
A hundred blacke eyd Maides, that love as I doe,
With Chaplets on their heads of Daffadillies,
With cherry-lips, and cheekes of Damaske Roses,
And all wee'l daunce an Antique fore the Duke,
And beg his pardon.' Then she talk'd of you, Sir;
That you must loose 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 betweene
Ever was, 'Palamon, faire Palamon,'
And 'Palamon was a tall yong man.' The place
Was knee deepe where she sat; her careles Tresses
A wreathe of bull-rush rounded; about her stucke
Thousand fresh water flowers of severall cullors,
That me thought she appeard like the faire Nimph
That feedes the lake with waters, or as Iris
Newly dropt downe from heaven; Rings she made
Of rushes that grew by, and to 'em spoke
The prettiest posies: 'Thus our true love's tide,'
'This you may loose, not me,' and many a one:
And then she wept, and sung againe, and sigh'd,
And with the same breath smil'd, and kist her hand.

2. FRIEND.

Alas, what pitty it is!

WOOER.

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 Citty made,
With such a cry and swiftnes, that, beleeve me,
Shee left me farre behinde her; three or foure
I saw from farre off crosse 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 hether came to tell you. Here they are.

DAUGHTER. [sings.]

May you never more enjoy the light, &c.

Is not this a fine Song?

BROTHER.

O, a very fine one.

DAUGHTER.

I can sing twenty more.

BROTHER.

I thinke you can.

DAUGHTER.

Yes, truely, can I; I can sing the Broome,
And Bony Robin. Are not you a tailour?

BROTHER.

Yes.

DAUGHTER.

Wher's my wedding Gowne?

BROTHER.

Ile bring it to morrow.

DAUGHTER.

Doe, very rarely; I must be abroad else
To call the Maides, and pay the Minstrels,
For I must loose my Maydenhead by cock-light;
Twill never thrive else.
[Singes.] O faire, oh sweete, &c.

BROTHER.

You must ev'n take it patiently.

IAILOR.

Tis true.

DAUGHTER.

Good ev'n, good men; pray, did you ever heare
Of one yong Palamon?

IAILOR.

Yes, wench, we know him.

DAUGHTER.

Is't not a fine yong Gentleman?

IAILOR.

Tis Love.

BROTHER.

By no meane crosse her; she is then distemperd
Far worse then now she showes.

1. FRIEND.

Yes, he's a fine man.

DAUGHTER.

O, is he so? you have a Sister?

1. FRIEND.

Yes.

DAUGHTER.

But she shall never have him, tell her so,
For a tricke that I know; y'had best looke to her,
For if she see him once, she's gone, she's done,
And undon in an howre. All the young Maydes
Of our Towne are in love with him, but I laugh at 'em
And let 'em all alone; Is't not a wise course?

1. FRIEND.

Yes.

DAUGHTER.

There is at least two hundred now with child by him--
There must be fowre; yet I keepe close for all this,
Close as a Cockle; and all these must be Boyes,
He has the tricke on't, and at ten yeares old
They must be all gelt for Musitians,
And sing the wars of Theseus.

2. FRIEND.

This is strange.

DAUGHTER.

As ever you heard, but say nothing.

1. FRIEND.

No.

DAUGHTER.

They come from all parts of the Dukedome to him;
Ile warrant ye, he had not so few last night
As twenty to dispatch: hee'l tickl't up
In two howres, if his hand be in.

IAILOR.

She's lost
Past all cure.

BROTHER.

Heaven forbid, man.

DAUGHTER.

Come hither, you are a wise man.

1. FRIEND.

Do's she know him?

2. FRIEND.

No, would she did.

DAUGHTER.

You are master of a Ship?

IAILOR.

Yes.

DAUGHTER.

Wher's your Compasse?

IAILOR.

Heere.

DAUGHTER.

Set it too'th North.
And now direct your course to'th wood, wher Palamon
Lyes longing for me; For the Tackling
Let me alone; Come, waygh, my hearts, cheerely!

ALL.

Owgh, owgh, owgh, tis up, the wind's faire,
Top the Bowling, out with the maine saile;
Wher's your Whistle, Master?

BROTHER.

Lets get her in.

IAILOR.

Vp to the top, Boy.

BROTHER.

Wher's the Pilot?

1. FRIEND.

Heere.

DAUGHTER.

What ken'st thou?

2. FRIEND.

A faire wood.

DAUGHTER.

Beare for it, master: take about! [Singes.]
When Cinthia with her borrowed light, &c. [Exeunt.]

Act IV, Scene 2

Scaena 2. (A Room in the Palace.)

[Enter Emilia alone, with 2. Pictures.]

EMILIA.

Yet I may binde those wounds up, that must open
And bleed to death for my sake else; Ile choose,
And end their strife: Two such yong hansom men
Shall never fall for me, their weeping Mothers,
Following the dead cold ashes of their Sonnes,
Shall never curse my cruelty. Good heaven,
What a sweet face has Arcite! if wise nature,
With all her best endowments, all those beuties
She sowes into the birthes of noble bodies,
Were here a mortall woman, and had in her
The coy denialls of yong Maydes, yet doubtles,
She would run mad for this man: what an eye,
Of what a fyry sparkle, and quick sweetnes,
Has this yong Prince! Here Love himselfe sits smyling,
Iust such another wanton Ganimead
Set Jove a fire with, and enforcd 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 eyd Iuno's, but far sweeter,
Smoother then Pelops Shoulder! Fame and honour,
Me thinks, 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 neere 'em. Palamon
Is but his foyle, to him a meere dull shadow:
Hee'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 sharpenes not a smile;
Yet these that we count errours may become him:
Narcissus was a sad Boy, but a heavenly:--
Oh who can finde the bent of womans fancy?
I am a Foole, my reason is lost in me;
I have no choice, and I have ly'd so lewdly
That women ought to beate me. On my knees
I aske thy pardon, Palamon; thou art alone,
And only beutifull, and these the eyes,
These the bright lamps of beauty, that command
And threaten Love, and what yong Mayd dare crosse 'em?
What a bold gravity, and yet inviting,
Has this browne manly face! O Love, this only
From this howre is Complexion: Lye there, Arcite,
Thou art a changling to him, a meere Gipsey,
And this the noble Bodie. I am sotted,
Vtterly 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 aske me, Brother.--
Alas, I know not! Aske me now, sweet Sister;--
I may goe looke. What a meere child is Fancie,
That, having two faire gawdes of equall sweetnesse,
Cannot distinguish, but must crie for both.

[Enter (a) Gent(leman.)]

EMILIA.

How now, Sir?

GENTLEMAN.

From the Noble Duke your Brother,
Madam, I bring you newes: The Knights are come.

EMILIA.

To end the quarrell?

GENTLEMAN.

Yes.

EMILIA.

Would I might end first:
What sinnes have I committed, chast Diana,
That my unspotted youth must now be soyld
With blood of Princes? and my Chastitie
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 Beautie?

[Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Perithous and attendants.]

THESEUS.

Bring 'em in
Quickly, By any meanes; I long to see 'em.--
Your two contending Lovers are return'd,
And with them their faire Knights: Now, my faire Sister,
You must love one of them.

EMILIA.

I had rather both,
So neither for my sake should fall untimely.

[Enter Messenger. (Curtis.)]

THESEUS.

Who saw 'em?

PERITHOUS.

I, a while.

GENTLEMAN.

And I.

THESEUS.

From whence come you, Sir?

MESSENGER.

From the Knights.

THESEUS.

Pray, speake,
You that have seene them, what they are.

MESSENGER.

I will, Sir,
And truly what I thinke: Six braver spirits
Then these 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 lookes so say him) his complexion,
Nearer a browne, than blacke, sterne, and yet noble,
Which shewes him hardy, fearelesse, proud of dangers:
The circles of his eyes show fire within him,
And as a heated Lyon, so he lookes;
His haire hangs long behind him, blacke and shining
Like Ravens wings: his shoulders broad and strong,
Armd long and round, and on his Thigh a Sword
Hung by a curious Bauldricke, when he frownes
To seale his will with: better, o'my conscience
Was never Souldiers friend.

THESEUS.

Thou ha'st well describde him.

PERITHOUS.

Yet a great deale short,
Me thinkes, of him that's first with Palamon.

THESEUS.

Pray, speake him, friend.

PERITHOUS.

I ghesse he is a Prince too,
And, if it may be, greater; for his show
Has all the ornament of honour in't:
Hee's somewhat bigger, then 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 owne: In's face appeares
All the faire hopes of what he undertakes,
And when he's angry, then a setled valour
(Not tainted with extreames) runs through his body,
And guides his arme to brave things: Feare he cannot,
He shewes no such soft temper; his head's yellow,
Hard hayr'd, and curld, thicke twind like Ivy tods,
Not to undoe with thunder; In his face
The liverie of the warlike Maide appeares,
Pure red, and white, for yet no beard has blest him.
And in his rowling eyes sits victory,
As if she ever ment to court his valour:
His Nose stands high, a Character of honour.
His red lips, after fights, are fit for Ladies.

EMILIA.

Must these men die too?

PERITHOUS.

When he speakes, his tongue
Sounds like a Trumpet; All his lyneaments
Are as a man would wish 'em, strong and cleane,
He weares a well-steeld Axe, the staffe of gold;
His age some five and twenty.

MESSENGER.

Ther's another,
A little man, but of a tough soule, seeming
As great as any: fairer promises
In such a Body yet I never look'd on.

PERITHOUS.

O, he that's freckle fac'd?

MESSENGER.

The same, my Lord;
Are they not sweet ones?

PERITHOUS.

Yes, they are well.

MESSENGER.

Me thinkes,
Being so few, and well disposd, they show
Great, and fine art in nature: he's white hair'd,
Not wanton white, but such a manly colour
Next to an aborne; tough, and nimble set,
Which showes an active soule; his armes are brawny,
Linde with strong sinewes: To the shoulder peece
Gently they swell, like women new conceav'd,
Which speakes him prone to labour, never fainting
Vnder the waight of Armes; stout harted, still,
But when he stirs, a Tiger; he's gray eyd,
Which yeelds compassion where he conquers: sharpe
To spy advantages, and where he finds 'em,
He's swift to make 'em his: He do's no wrongs,
Nor takes none; he's round fac'd, and when he smiles
He showes a Lover, when he frownes, a Souldier:
About his head he weares the winners oke,
And in it stucke the favour of his Lady:
His age, some six and thirtie. In his hand
He beares a charging Staffe, embost with silver.

THESEUS.

Are they all thus?

PERITHOUS.

They are all the sonnes of honour.

THESEUS.

Now, as I have a soule, I long to see'em.
Lady, you shall see men fight now.

HIPPOLITA.

I wish it,
But not the cause, my Lord; They would show
Bravely about the Titles of two Kingdomes;
Tis pitty Love should be so tyrannous:
O my soft harted Sister, what thinke you?
Weepe not, till they weepe blood, Wench; it must be.

THESEUS.

You have steel'd 'em with your Beautie.--Honord Friend,
To you I give the Feild; pray, order it
Fitting the persons that must use it.

PERITHOUS.

Yes, Sir.

THESEUS.

Come, Ile goe visit 'em: I cannot stay,
Their fame has fir'd me so; Till they appeare.
Good Friend, be royall.

PERITHOUS.

There shall want no bravery.

EMILIA.

Poore wench, goe weepe, for whosoever wins,
Looses a noble Cosen for thy sins. [Exeunt.]

Act IV, Scene 3

Scaena 3. (A room in the prison.)

[Enter Iailor, Wooer, Doctor.]

DOCTOR.

Her distraction is more at some time of the Moone, then at other
some, is it not?

IAILOR.

She is continually in a harmelesse distemper, sleepes little,
altogether without appetite, save often drinking, dreaming of
another world, and a better; and what broken peece of matter
so'ere she's about, the name Palamon lardes it, that she farces
ev'ry busines withall, fyts it to every question.--

[Enter Daughter.]

Looke where shee comes, you shall perceive her behaviour.

DAUGHTER.

I have forgot it quite; The burden on't, was DOWNE A, DOWNE A,
and pend by no worse man, then Giraldo, Emilias Schoolemaster;
he's as Fantasticall 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 Eneas.

DOCTOR.

What stuff's here? pore soule!

IAILOR.

Ev'n thus all day long.

DAUGHTER.

Now for this Charme, that I told you of: you must bring a peece
of silver on the tip of your tongue, or no ferry: then, if it be
your chance to come where the blessed spirits, as ther's a sight
now--we maids that have our Lyvers perish'd, crakt to peeces with
Love, we shall come there, and doe nothing all day long but picke
flowers with Proserpine; then will I make Palamon a Nosegay; then
let him marke me,--then--

DOCTOR.

How prettily she's amisse? note her a little further.

DAUGHTER.

Faith, ile tell you, sometime we goe to Barly breake, we of the
blessed; alas, tis a sore life they have i'th other place, such
burning, frying, boyling, hissing, howling, chattring, cursing,
oh they have shrowd measure! take heede; if one be mad, or hang
or drowne themselves, thither they goe, Iupiter blesse vs, and
there shall we be put in a Caldron of lead, and Vsurers grease,
amongst a whole million of cutpurses, and there boyle like a
Gamon
of Bacon that will never be enough. [Exit.]

DOCTOR.

How her braine coynes!

DAUGHTER.

Lords and Courtiers, that have got maids with Child, they are in
this place: they shall stand in fire up to the Nav'le, and in yce
up to'th hart, and there th'offending part burnes, and the
deceaving part freezes; in troth, a very greevous punishment, as
one would thinke, for such a Trifle; beleve me, one would marry a
leaprous witch, to be rid on't, Ile assure you.

DOCTOR.

How she continues this fancie! Tis not an engraffed Madnesse,
but a most thicke, and profound mellencholly.

DAUGHTER.

To heare there a proud Lady, and a proud Citty wiffe, howle
together! I were a beast and il'd call it good sport: one cries,
'O this smoake!' another, 'this fire!' One cries, 'O, that ever
I did it behind the arras!' and then howles; th'other curses a
suing fellow and her garden house. [Sings] I will be true, my
stars, my fate, &c. [Exit Daugh.]

IAILOR.

What thinke you of her, Sir?

DOCTOR.

I thinke she has a perturbed minde, which I cannot minister to.

IAILOR.

Alas, what then?

DOCTOR.

Vnderstand you, she ever affected any man, ere she beheld
Palamon?

IAILOR.

I was once, Sir, in great hope she had fixd her liking on this
gentleman, my friend.

WOOER.

I did thinke so too, and would account I had a great pen-worth
on't, to give halfe my state, that both she and I at this present
stood unfainedly on the same tearmes.

DOCTOR.

That intemprat surfeit of her eye hath distemperd the other sences:
they may returne and settle againe to execute their preordaind
faculties, but they are now in a most extravagant vagary. This
you must doe: Confine her to a place, where the light may rather
seeme to steale in, then be permitted; take vpon you (yong Sir,
her friend) the name of Palamon; say you come to eate with her,
and to commune of Love; this will catch her attention, for this
her minde beates upon; other objects that are inserted tweene her
minde and eye become the prankes and friskins of her madnes; Sing
to her such greene songs of Love, as she sayes Palamon hath sung
in prison; Come to her, stucke in as sweet flowers as the season
is mistres of, and thereto make an addition of som other compounded
odours, which are grateful to the sence: all this shall become
Palamon, for Palamon can sing, and Palamon is sweet, and ev'ry
good thing: desire to eate with her, carve her, drinke to her,
and still among, intermingle your petition of grace and acceptance
into her favour: Learne what Maides have beene her companions and
play-pheeres, and let them repaire to her with Palamon in their
mouthes, and appeare with tokens, as if they suggested for him.
It is a falsehood she is in, which is with falsehood to be combated.
This may bring her to eate, to sleepe, and reduce what's now out
of square in her, into their former law, and regiment; I have seene
it approved, how many times I know not, but to make the number more,
I have great hope in this. I will, betweene the passages of this
project, come in with my applyance: Let us put it in execution,
and hasten the successe, which, doubt not, will bring forth
comfort. [Florish. Exeunt.]