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Act V, Scene 1

Actus Quintus

Scaena 1. (Before the Temples of Mars, Venus, and Diana.)

[Enter Thesius, Perithous, Hipolita, attendants.]

THESEUS.

Now let'em enter, and before the gods
Tender their holy prayers: Let the Temples
Burne 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 worke in hand, will honour
The very powers that love 'em.

[Enter Palamon and Arcite, and their Knights.]

PERITHOUS.

Sir, they enter.

THESEUS.

You valiant and strong harted Enemies,
You royall German foes, that this day come
To blow that furnesse out that flames betweene ye:
Lay by your anger for an houre, and dove-like,
Before the holy Altars of your helpers,
(The all feard gods) bow downe your stubborne bodies.
Your ire is more than mortall; So your helpe be,
And as the gods regard ye, fight with Iustice;
Ile leave you to your prayers, and betwixt ye
I part my wishes.

PERITHOUS.

Honour crowne the worthiest. [Exit Theseus, and his traine.]

PALAMON.

The glasse is running now that cannot finish
Till one of us expire: Thinke you but thus,
That were there ought in me which strove to show
Mine enemy in this businesse, wer't one eye
Against another, Arme opprest by Arme,
I would destroy th'offender, Coz, I would,
Though parcell of my selfe: Then from this gather
How I should tender you.

ARCITE.

I am in labour
To push your name, your auncient love, our kindred
Out of my memory; and i'th selfe same place
To seate something I would confound: So hoyst we
The sayles, that must these vessells port even where
The heavenly Lymiter pleases.

PALAMON.

You speake well;
Before I turne, Let me embrace thee, Cosen:
This I shall never doe agen.

ARCITE.

One farewell.

PALAMON.

Why, let it be so: Farewell, Coz. [Exeunt Palamon and his
Knights.]

ARCITE.

Farewell, Sir.--
Knights, Kinsemen, Lovers, yea, my Sacrifices,
True worshippers of Mars, whose spirit in you
Expells the seedes of feare, 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 Lyons, and
The breath of Tigers, yea, the fearcenesse too,
Yea, the speed also,--to goe on, I meane,
Else wish we to be Snayles: you know my prize
Must be drag'd out of blood; force and great feate
Must put my Garland on, where she stickes
The Queene of Flowers: our intercession then
Must be to him that makes the Campe a Cestron
Brymd with the blood of men: give me your aide
And bend your spirits towards him. [They kneele.]
Thou mighty one, that with thy power hast turnd
Greene Neptune into purple, (whose Approach)
Comets prewarne, whose havocke in vaste Feild
Vnearthed skulls proclaime, whose breath blowes downe,
The teeming Ceres foyzon, who doth plucke
With hand armypotent from forth blew clowdes
The masond Turrets, that both mak'st and break'st
The stony girthes of Citties: me thy puple,
Yongest follower of thy Drom, instruct this day
With military skill, that to thy lawde
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
Battaile,
whereupon they all rise and bow to the Altar.]

O Great Corrector of enormous times,
Shaker of ore-rank States, thou grand decider
Of dustie and old tytles, that healst with blood
The earth when it is sicke, and curst the world
O'th pluresie of people; I doe take
Thy signes auspiciously, and in thy name
To my designe march boldly. Let us goe. [Exeunt.]

[Enter Palamon and his Knights, with the former observance.]

PALAMON.

Our stars must glister with new fire, or be
To daie extinct; our argument is love,
Which if the goddesse of it grant, she gives
Victory too: then blend your spirits with mine,
You, whose free noblenesse doe make my cause
Your personall hazard; to the goddesse Venus
Commend we our proceeding, and implore
Her power unto our partie. [Here they kneele as formerly.]
Haile, Soveraigne Queene of secrets, who hast power
To call the...

(The entire section is 5,258 words.)