The Two Noble Kinsmen


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter Arcite, with meat, wine, and files


ARCITE

I should be near the place. Ho, cousin Palamon!

Enter Palamon


PALAMON

Arcite?


ARCITE

                         The same. I have brought you food and files;

Come forth and fear not, here's no Theseus.


PALAMON

Nor none so honest, Arcite.


ARCITE

                         That's no matter;

We'll argue that hereafter. Come, take courage;

You shall not die thus beastly. Here, sir, drink,
beastly (adv.) like an animal, in a beastly manner

I know you are faint; then I'll talk further with you.


PALAMON

Arcite, thou mightst now poison me.


ARCITE

                         I might;

But I must fear you first. Sit down, and good now,

No more of these vain parleys; let us not,
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count
parle, parley (n.) 2 argument, altercation, exchange

Having our ancient reputation with us,
ancient, aunchient (adj.) 2 former, earlier, past

Make talk for fools and cowards. To your health!

He drinks


PALAMON

Do.


ARCITE

                         Pray sit down then, and let me entreat you,

By all the honesty and honour in you,

No mention of this woman, 'twill disturb us.

We shall have time enough.
pledge (v.) drink a toast to, drink to


PALAMON

                         Well, sir, I'll pledge you.

He drinks


ARCITE

Drink a good hearty draught, it breeds good blood, man.

Do not you feel it thaw you?


PALAMON

                         Stay, I'll tell you

After a draught or two more.


ARCITE

                         Spare it not;

The Duke has more, coz. Eat now.


PALAMON

                         Yes.

He eats


ARCITE

                                                         I am glad

You have so good a stomach.
stomach (n.) 1 appetite, desire [for food]


PALAMON

                         I am gladder

I have so good meat to't.
mad (adj.) 4 strange, bizarre, weird


ARCITE

                         Is't not mad lodging,

Here in the wild woods, cousin?


PALAMON

                         Yes, for them

That have wild consciences.
wild (adj.) 1 erratic, irregular, unruly


ARCITE

                         How tastes your victuals?

Your hunger needs no sauce, I see.


PALAMON

                         Not much;

But if it did, yours is too tart, sweet cousin.

What is this?
lusty (adj.) 4 tasty, flavourful, well-flavoured


ARCITE

                         Venison.


PALAMON

                                                         'Tis a lusty meat;

Give me more wine. Here, Arcite, to the wenches
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

We have known in our days! The lord steward's daughter –

Do you remember her?


ARCITE

                         After you, coz.


PALAMON

She loved a black-haired man.


ARCITE

                         She did so; well, sir?


PALAMON

And I have heard some call him Arcite, and –


ARCITE

Out with't, faith.


PALAMON

                         She met him in an arbour.

What did she there, coz? Play o'th' virginals?
virginals (n.) small keyboard instrument


ARCITE

Something she did, sir.


PALAMON

                         Made her groan a month for't –

Or two, or three, or ten.


ARCITE

                         The marshal's sister

Had her share too, as I remember, cousin,

Else there be tales abroad; you'll pledge her?
pledge (v.) drink a toast to, drink to
tale (n.) 3 false rumour, story, tittle-tattle


PALAMON

                         Yes.


ARCITE

A pretty brown wench 'tis. There was a time
brown (adj.) 2 brunette, brown-haired

When young men went a-hunting – and a wood,

And a broad beech – and thereby hangs a tale –

Heigh ho!


PALAMON

                         For Emily, upon my life! Fool,

Away with this strained mirth; I say again,
strained (adj.) 1 forced, artificial, feigned

That sigh was breathed for Emily. Base cousin,
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count

Darest thou break first?
break (v.) 6 break one's promise, not keep one's word
wide (adj.) 3 wide of the mark, mistaken


ARCITE

                         You are wide.


PALAMON

                                                         By heaven and earth,

There's nothing in thee honest.


ARCITE

                         Then I'll leave you;

You are a beast now.


PALAMON

                         As thou makest me, traitor.


ARCITE

There's all things needful; files, and shirts, and perfumes.

I'll come again some two hours hence, and bring

That that shall quiet all.


PALAMON

                         A sword and armour!


ARCITE

Fear me not. You are now too foul; farewell.
fear (v.) 3 doubt, mistrust
foul (adj.) 4 dirty, miry, muddy

Get off your trinkets; you shall want naught.
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count


PALAMON

                         Sirrah –


ARCITE

I'll hear no more.

Exit
keep touch (v.) keep [one's] promise, prove reliable


PALAMON

                         If he keep touch, he dies for't.

Exit

 
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