Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)


Scæna 3.
Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Emilia, Perithous: and
some Attendants, T. Tucke: Curtis.
Emil. Ile no step further.
Per. Will you loose this sight?
3000Emil. I had rather see a wren hawke at a fly
Then this decision ev'ry; blow that falls
Threats a brave life, each stroake laments
The place whereon it fals, and sounds more like
A Bell, then blade: I will stay here,
3005It is enough my hearing shall be punishd,
With what shall happen, gainst the which there is
No deaffing, but to heare; not taint mine eye
With dread sights, it may shun.
Pir. Sir, my good Lord
3010Your Sister will no further.
Thes. Oh she must.
She shall see deeds of honour in their kinde,
Which sometime show well pencild. Nature now
Shall make, and act the Story, the beleife
3015Both seald with eye, and eare; you must be present,
You are the victours meede, the price, and garlond
To crowne the Questions title.
Emil. Pardon me,
If I were there, I'ld winke
3020Thes. You must be there;
This Tryall is as t'wer i'th night, and you
The onely star to shine.
Emil. I am extinct,
There is but envy in that light, which showes
3025The one the other: darkenes which ever was
The dam of horrour, who do's stand accurst
Of many mortall Millions, may even now
By casting her blacke mantle over both
That neither could finde other, get her selfe
3030Some part of a good name, and many a murther
Set off wherto she's guilty.
Hip. You must goe.
Emil, In faith I will not.
Thes. Why the knights must kindle
3035Their valour at your eye: know of this war
You are the Treasure, and must needes be by
To give the Service pay.
Emil, Sir pardon me,
The tytle of a kingdome may be tride
3040Out of it selfe.
Thes. Well, well then, at your pleasure,
Those that remaine with you, could wish their office
To any of their Enemies.
Hip. Farewell Sister,
3045I am like to know your husband fore your selfe
By some small start of time, he whom the gods
Doe of the two know best, I pray them he
Be made your Lot.
Exeunt Theseus, Hipolita, Perithous, &c.
3050Emil. Arcite is gently visagd; yet his eye
Is like an Engyn bent, or a sharpe weapon
In a soft sheath; mercy, and manly courage
Are bedfellowes in his visage: Palamon
Has a most menacing aspect, his brow
3055Is grav'd, and seemes to bury what it frownes on,
Yet sometime tis not so, but alters to
The quallity of his thoughts; long time his eye
Will dwell upon his object. Mellencholly
Becomes him nobly; So do's Arcites mirth,
3060But Palamons sadnes is a kinde of mirth,
So mingled, as if mirth did make him sad,
And sadnes, merry; those darker humours that
Sticke misbecomingly on others, on them
Live in faire dwelling.
3065
Cornets. Trompets sound as to a charge.
Harke how yon spurs to spirit doe incite
The Princes to their proofe, Arcite may win me,
And yet may Palamon wound Arcite to
The spoyling of his figure. O what pitty
3070Enough for such a chance; if I were by
I might doe hurt, for they would glance their eies
Toward my Seat, and in that motion might
Omit a ward, or forfeit an offence
Which crav'd that very time: it is much better
3075
(Cornets. a great cry and noice within crying a Palamon.)
I am not there, oh better never borne
Then minister to such harme, what is the chance?
Enter Servant.
Ser. The Crie's a Palamon.
3080Emil. Then he has won: Twas ever likely,
He lookd all grace and successe, and he is
Doubtlesse the prim'st of men: I pre' thee run
And tell me how it goes.
Showt, and Cornets: Crying a Palamon.
3085Ser. Still Palamon.
Emil. Run and enquire, poore Servant thou hast lost,
Vpon my right side still I wore thy picture,
Palamons on the leff, why so, I know not,
I had no end in't; else chance would have it so.
3090
Another cry, and showt within, and Cornets.
On the sinister side, the heart lyes; Palamon
Had the best boding chance: This burst of clamour
Is sure th' end o'th Combat.
Enter Servant.
Ser. They saide that Palamon had Arcites body
3095Within an inch o'th Pyramid, that the cry
Was generall a Palamon: But anon,
Th' Assistants made a brave redemption, and
The two bold Tytlers, at this instant are
Hand to hand at it.
3100Emil. Were they metamorphisd
Both into one; oh why? there were no woman
Worth so composd a Man: their single share,
Their noblenes peculier to them, gives
The prejudice of disparity values shortnes
3105
Cornets. Cry within, Arcite, Arcite.
To any Lady breathing---More exulting?
Palamon still?
Ser. Nay, now the sound is Arcite.
Emil. I pre' thee lay attention to the Cry.
3110
Cornets. a great showt and cry, Arcite, victory.
Set both thine eares to'th busines.
Ser. The cry is
Arcite, and victory, harke Arcite, victory,
The Combats consummation is proclaim'd
3115By the wind Instruments.
Emil. Halfe sights saw
That Arcite was no babe: god's lyd, his richnes
And costlines of spirit look't through him, it could
No more be hid in him, then fire in flax,
3120Then humble banckes can goe to law with waters,
That drift windes, force to raging: I did thinke
Good Palamon would miscarry, yet I knew not
Why I did thinke so; Our reasons are not prophets
When oft our fancies are: They are comming off:
3125Alas poore Palamon.
Cornets.
Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Pirithous, Arcite as victor, and
attendants, &c.
Thes. Lo, where our Sister is in expectation,
Yet quaking, and unsetled: Fairest Emily,
3130The gods by their divine arbitrament
Have given you this Knight, he is a good one
As ever strooke at head: Give me your hands;
Receive you her, you him, be plighted with
A love that growes, as you decay;
3135Arcite. Emily,
To buy you, I have lost what's deerest to me,
Save what is bought, and yet I purchase cheapely,
As I doe rate your value.
Thes. O loved Sister,
3140He speakes now of as brave a Knight as ere
Did spur a noble Steed: Surely the gods
Would have him die a Batchelour, least his race
Should shew i'th world too godlike: His behaviour
So charmd me, that me thought Alcides was
3145To him a sow of lead: if I could praise
Each part of him to'th all; I have spoke, your Arcite
Did not loose by't; For he that was thus good
Encountred yet his Better, I have heard
Two emulous Philomels, beate the eare o'th night
3150With their contentious throates, now one the higher,
Anon the other, then againe the first,
And by and by out breasted, that the sence
Could not be judge betweene 'em: So it far'd
Good space betweene these kinesmen; till heavens did
3155Make hardly one the winner: weare the Girlond
With joy that you have won: For the subdude,
Give them our present Iustice, since I know
Their lives but pinch 'em; Let it here be done:
The Sceane's not for our seeing, goe we hence,
3160Right joyfull, with some sorrow. Arme your prize,
I know you will not loose her: Hipolita
I see one eye of yours conceives a teare
The which it will deliver.
Florish.
Emil. Is this wynning?
3165Oh all you heavenly powers where is you mercy?
But that your wils have saide it must be so,
And charge me live to comfort this unfriended,
This miserable Prince, that cuts away
A life more worthy from him, then all women;
3170I should, and would die too.
Hip. Infinite pitty
That fowre such eies should be so fixd on one
That two must needes be blinde fort.
Thes. So it is.
Exeunt.