A short flourish of cornets, and shouts within. Enter
Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, Emilia, Arcite as a
countryman, with a garland, and other countrymen
You have done worthily; I have not seen,
Since Hercules, a man of tougher sinews.
Whate'er you are, you run the best and wrestle
That these times can allow.
I am proud to please you.
What country bred you?
This; but far off, prince.
Are you a gentleman?
My father said so,
And to those gentle uses gave me life.
Are you his heir?
His youngest, sir.
Sure is a happy sire, then. What proves you?
A little of all noble qualities;
I could have kept a hawk, and well have hallowed
To a deep cry of dogs; I dare not praise
My feat in horsemanship, yet they that knew me
Would say it was my best piece; last, and greatest,
I would be thought a soldier.
You are perfect.
Upon my soul, a proper man.
He is so.
How do you like him, lady?
I admire him;
I have not seen so young a man so noble –
If he say true – of his sort.
His mother was a wondrous handsome woman;
His face methinks goes that way.
But his body
And fiery mind illustrate a brave father.
Mark how his virtue, like a hidden sun,
Breaks through his baser garments.
He's well got, sure.
What made you seek this place, sir?
To purchase name, and do my ablest service
To such a well-found wonder as thy worth;
For only in thy court, of all the world,
Dwells fair-eyed honour.
All his words are worthy.
Sir, we are much indebted to your travel,
Nor shall you lose your wish; Pirithous,
Dispose of this fair gentleman.
Whate'er you are you're mine, and I shall give you
To a most noble service, to this lady,
This bright young virgin; pray observe her goodness.
You have honoured her fair birthday with your virtues,
And as your due, you're hers; kiss her fair hand, sir.
Sir, you're a noble giver. (To Emilia) Dearest beauty,
Thus let me seal my vowed faith.
He kisses her hand
When your servant,
Your most unworthy creature, but offends you,
Command him die; he shall.
That were too cruel.
If you deserve well, sir, I shall soon see't.
And somewhat better than your rank I'll use you.
I'll see you furnished, and because you say
You are a horseman, I must needs entreat you
This afternoon to ride; but 'tis a rough one.
I like him better, prince; I shall not then
Freeze in my saddle.
Sweet, you must be ready,
And you, Emilia, and you, friend, and all,
Tomorrow by the sun, to do observance
To flowery May, in Dian's wood. Wait well, sir,
Upon your mistress; Emily, I hope
He shall not go afoot.
That were a shame, sir,
While I have horses. (To Arcite) Take your choice, and what
You want at any time, let me but know it;
If you serve faithfully, I dare assure you
You'll find a loving mistress.
If I do not,
Let me find that my father ever hated,
Disgrace and blows.
Go lead the way; you have won it.
It shall be so; you shall receive all dues
Fit for the honour you have won, 'twere wrong else. –
Sister, beshrew my heart, you have a servant
That, if I were a woman, would be master;
But you are wise.
I hope, too wise for that, sir.