Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)


Scæna 7.
Enter Palamon from the Bush.
Pal. About this houre my Cosen gave his faith
1770To 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,
1775And 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,
1780That I lay fatting like a Swine, to fight
And not a Souldier: Therefore this blest morning
Shall be the last; and that Sword he refutes,
If it but hold, I kill him with; tis Iustice:
So love, and Fortune for me: O good morrow.
1785
Enter Arcite with Armors and Swords.
Arc. Good morrow noble kinesman,
Pal. I have put you
To too much paines Sir.
Arc. That too much faire Cosen,
1790Is but a debt to honour, and my duty.
Pal. 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.
1795Arc. I shall thinke either
Well done, a noble recompence.
Pal. Then I shall quit you.
Arc. Defy me in these faire termes, and you show
More then a Mistris to me, no more anger
1800As 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
1805Truely 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
1810And 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
1815And 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 am well, and lusty, choose your Armes.
Arc. Choose you Sir.
1820Pal. Wilt thou exceede in all, or do'st thou doe it
To make me spare thee?
Arc. If you thinke so Cosen,
You are deceived, for as I am a Soldier.
I will not spare you.
1825Pal. That's well said.
Arc. You'l finde it.
Pal. Then as I am an honest man and love,
With all the justice of affection
Ile pay thee soundly: This ile take.
1830Arc. That's mine then,
Ile arme you first.
Pal. Do: pray thee tell me Cosen,
Where gotst thou this good Armour.
Arc. Tis the Dukes,
1835And to say true, I stole it; doe I pinch you?
Pal. Noe.
Arc. Is't not too heavie?
Pal. I have worne a lighter,
But I shall make it serve.
1840Arc. Ile buckl't close.
Pal. By any meanes.
Arc. You care not for a Grand guard?
Pal. No, no, wee'l use no horses, I perceave
You would faine be at that Fight.
1845Arc. I am indifferent.
Pal. Faith so am I: good Cosen, thrust the buckle
Through far enough.
Arc. I warrant you.
Pal. My Caske now.
1850Arc. Will you fight bare-armd?
Pal. We shall be the nimbler.
Arc. But use your Gauntlets though; those are o'th least,
Prethee take mine good Cosen.
Pal. Thanke you Arcite.
1855How doe I looke, am I falne much away?
Arc. Faith very little; love has usd you kindly.
Pal. Ile warrant thee, Ile strike home.
Arc. Doe, and spare not;
Ile give you cause sweet Cosen.
1860Pal. Now to you Sir,
Me thinkes this Armo'rs 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 outdid me Cosen,
1865I 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.
Pal. You had indeede
1870A bright Bay I remember.
Arc. 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.
1875Pal. More by vertue,
You are modest Cosen.
Arc. When I saw you charge first,
Me thought I heard a dreadfull clap of Thunder
Breake from the Troope.
1880Pal. But still before that flew
The lightning of your valour: Stay a little,
Is not this peece too streight?
Arc. No, no, tis well.
Pal. I would have nothing hurt thee but my Sword,
1885A bruise would be dishonour.
Arc. Now I am perfect.
Pal. Stand off then.
Arc. Take my Sword, I hold it better.
Pal. I thanke ye: No, keepe it, your life lyes on it,
1890Here's one, if it but hold, I aske no more,
For all my hopes: My Cause and honour guard me.
Arc. And me my love:* Is there ought else to say?
They bow se-
verall wayes:
then advance
and stand.
Pal. This onely, and no more: Thou art mine Aunts Son.
And that blood we desire to shed is mutuall,
1895In 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:
1900Fight bravely Cosen, give me thy noble hand.
Arc. Here Palamon: This hand shall never more
Come neare thee with such friendship.
Pal. I commend thee.
Arc. If I fall, curse me, and say I was a coward,
1905For none but such, dare die in these just Tryalls,
Once more farewell my Cosen,
Pal. Farewell Arcite.
Fight.
Hornes within: they stand.
Arc. Loe Cosen, loe, our Folly has undon us.
1910Pal. Why?
Arc. This is the Duke, a hunting as I told you,
If we be found, we are wretched, O retire
For honours sake, and safely presently
Into your Bush agen; Sir we shall finde
1915Too 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,
1920But 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,
1925He that faints now, shame take him, put thy selfe
Vpon thy present guard.
Arc. You are not mad?
Pal. Or I will make th' advantage of this howre
Mine owne, and what to come shall threaten me,
1930I feare lesse then my fortune: know weake Cosen
I love Emilia, and in that ile bury
Thee, and all crosses else.
Arc. Then come, what can come
Thou shalt know Palamon, I dare as well
1935Die, as discourse, or sleepe: Onely this feares me,
The law will have the honour of our ends.
Have at thy life.
Pal. Looke to thine owne well Arcite.
Fight againe. Hornes.
1940
Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Emilia, Perithous and traine.
Theseus. 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?
1945By Castor both shall dye.
Pal. 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,
1950Thinke 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
1955Against this 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.
1960This 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
1965Doe such a Iustice, thou thy selfe wilt envie,
Then take my life, Ile wooe thee too't.
Per. O heaven,
What more then man is this!
Thes. I have sworne.
1970Arc. 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,
1975In 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,
1980So 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.
1985Pal. 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,
1990Lets 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.
Thes. I grant your wish, for to say true, your Cosen
Has ten times more offended, for I gave him
1995More 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.
Hipol. Alas the pitty, now or never Sister
Speake not to be denide; That face of yours
2000Will beare the curses else of after ages
For these lost Cosens.
Emil. In my face deare Sister
I finde no anger to 'em; nor no ruyn,
The misadventure of their owne eyes kill 'em;
2005Yet 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.
2010Hipol. Sir by our tye of Marriage.
Emil. By your owne spotlesse honour.
Hip. By that faith,
That faire hand, and that honest heart you gave me.
Emil. By that you would have pitty in another,
2015By your owne vertues infinite.
Hip. By valour,
By all the chaste nights I have ever pleasd you.
Thes. These are strange Conjurings.
Per. Nay then Ile in too: By all our friendship Sir, by all
2020By all you love most, warres; and this sweet Lady.
Emil. By that you would have trembled to deny
A blushing Maide.
Hip. By your owne eyes: By strength
In which you swore I went beyond all women,
2025Almost all men, and yet I yeelded Theseus.
Per. To crowne all this; By your most noble soule
Which cannot want due mercie, I beg first.
Hip. Next heare my prayers.
Emil. Last let me intreate Sir.
2030Per. For mercy.
Hip. Mercy.
Emil. Mercy on these Princes.
Thes. Ye make my faith reele: Say I felt
Compassion to 'em both, how would you place it?
2035Emil. Vpon their lives: But with their banishments.
Thes. 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
2040And have the agony of love about 'em,
And not kill one another? Every day
The'yld fight about yov; howrely bring your honour
In publique question with their Swords; Be wise then
And here forget 'em; it concernes your credit,
2045And my oth equally: I have said they die,
Better they fall by 'th law, then one another.
Bow not my honor.
Emil. O my noble Brother,
That oth was rashly made, and in your anger,
2050Your 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.
2055Thes. What is it Sister?
Per. Vrge it home brave Lady.
Emil. 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,
2060Thinke 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?
2065That 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,
2070If 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.
2075Thes. On what conditions?
Emil. 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.
2080Pal. 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, aud cause along: else never trifle,
2085But 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?
2090Pal. H'es a villaine then.
Per. These are men.
Arcite. 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
2095The honour of affection, and dye for her,
Make death a Devill.
Thes. What may be done? for now I feele compassion.
Per. Let it not fall agen Sir.
Thes. Say Emilia
2100If one of them were dead, as one muss, 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,
2105And if you can love, end this difference,
I give consent, are you content too Princes?
Both. With all our soules.
Thes. He that she refuses
Must dye then.
2110Both. Any death thou canst invent Duke.
Pal. If I fall from that mouth, I fall with favour,
And Lovers yet unborne shall blesse my ashes.
Arc. If she refuse me, yet my grave will wed me,
And Souldiers sing my Epitaph.
2115Thes. Make choice then.
Emil. I cannot Sir, they are both too excellent
For me, a hayre shall never fall of these men.
Hip. What will become of 'em?
Thes. Thus I ordaine it,
2120And 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
2125Before 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:
2130Will this content yee?
Pal. Yes: here Cosen Arcite
I am friends againe, till that howre.
Arc. I embrace ye.
Thes. Are you content Sister?
2135Emil, Yes, I must Sir,
Els both miscarry.
Thes. Come shake hands againe then,
And take heede, as you are Gentlemen, this Quarrell
Sleepe till the howre prefixt, and hold your course.
2140Pal. We dare not faile thee Theseus.
Thes. 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.