Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)

Actus Tertius.
Cornets in
sundry places,
Noise and
hallowing as
people a May-
Scæna 1.
Enter Arcite alone.
1310Arcite. 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
1315Then 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 pace
1320With 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
1325(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
1330Be 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
1335So 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 fist at Arcite.
Palamon. Traytor kinseman,
Thou shouldst perceive my passion, if these signes
Of prisonment were off me, and this hand
1345But 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 persidious
That ever gently lookd the voydes of honour.
That eu'r bore gentle Token; falsest Cosen
1350That 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
1355And these house clogges away.
Arc. Deere Cosin Palamon,
Pal. Cosoner Arcite, give me language, such
As thou hast shewd me feate.
Arc. Not finding in
1360The 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
1365I cherish, and depend on, howsoev'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
1370To cleare his owne way, with the minde and Sword
Of a true Gentleman.
Pal. That thou durst Arcite.
Arc. My Coz, my Coz, you have beene well advertis'd
How much I dare, y'ave seene me use my Sword
1375Against th' advice of feare: sure of another
You would not heare me doubted, but your silence
Should breake out, though i'th Sanctuary.
Pal. Sir,
I have seene you move in such a place, which well
1380Might justifie your manhood, you were calld
A good knight and a bold; But the whole weeke's not
If any day it rayne: Their valiant temper
Men loose when they encline to trecherie,
And then they fight like compelld Beares, would fly
1385Were they not tyde.
Arc. Kinsman; you might as well
Speake this, and act it in your Glasse, as to
His eare, which now disdaines you.
Pal. Come up to me,
1390Quit 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
1395The 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.
1400Arc. Be content,
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
1405Perfumes 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.
Pal. Oh you heavens, dares any
1410So noble beare a guilty busines! none
But onely Arcite, therefore none but Arcite
In this kinde is so bold.
Arc. Sweete Palamon.
Pal. I doe embrace you, and your offer, for
1415Your offer doo't I onely, Sir your person
Without hipocrisy I may not wish
Winde hornes of Cornets.
More then my Swords edge ont.
Arc. You heare the Hornes;
1420Enter your Musicke 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.
Pal. Pray hold your promise;
1425And doe the deede with a bent brow, most crtaine
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,
1430Arc. Plainely spoken,
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
1435The scatterd to the Banket; you must guesse
I have an office there.
Pal. Sir your attendance
Cannot please heaven, and I know your office
Vnjustly is atcheev'd.
1440Arc. 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.
1445Pal. 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,
1450You 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.