The Two Noble Kinsmen

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Iailor, and his friend.

Iailor.
Heare you no more, was nothing saide of me
Concerning the escape of Palamon?
Good Sir remember.

1. Fr.
Nothing that I heard,
For I came home before the busines
Was fully ended: Yet I might perceive
Ere I departed, a great likelihood
Of both their pardons: For Hipolita,
And faire-eyd Emilie, upon their knees
Begd with such hansom pitty, that the Duke
Me thought stood staggering, whether he should follow
His rash o'th, or the sweet compassion
Of those two Ladies; and to second them,
That truely noble Prince Perithous
Halfe his owne heart, set in too, that I hope
All shall be well: Neither heard I one question
Of your name, or his scape.

Iay.
Pray heaven it hold so.
Enter 2. Friend.

2. Fr:
Be of good comfort man; I bring you newes,
Good newes.

Iay.
They are welcome,

2. Fr.
Palamon has cleerd you,
And got your pardon, and discoverd / How,
and by whose meanes he escapt, which was your Daughters,
Whose pardon is procurd too, and the Prisoner
Not to be held ungratefull to her goodnes,
Has given a summe of money to her Marriage,
A large one ile assure you.

Iay.
Ye are a good man
And ever bring good newes.

1. Fr.
How was it ended?

2. Fr.
Why, as it should be; they that nev'r begd
But they prevaild, had their suites fairely granted,
The prisoners have their lives.

1. Fr.
I knew t'would be so.

2. Fr.
But there be new conditions, which you'l heare of
At better time.

Iay.
I hope they are good.

2. Fr.
They are honourable,
How good they'l prove, I know not.

1. Fr.
T'will be knowne.
Enter Wooer.

Woo.
Alas Sir, wher's your Daughter?

Iay.
Why doe you aske?

Woo.
O Sir when did you see her?

2. Fr.
How he lookes?

Iay.
This morning.

Woo.
Was she well? was she in health? Sir,
when did she sleepe?

1. Fr.
These are strange Questions.

Iay,
I doe not thinke she was very well, for now
You make me minde her, but this very day
I ask'd her questions, and she answered me
So farre from what she was, so childishly.
So sillily, as if she were a foole,
An Inocent, and I was very angry.
But what of her Sir?

Woo.
Nothing but my pitty;
but you must know it, and as good by me
As by an other that lesse loves her:

Iay.
Well Sir.

1. Fr.
Not right?

2. Fr.
Not well?---Wooer, No Sir not well.

Woo.
Tis too true, she is mad.

1. Fr.
It cannot be.

Woo.
Beleeve you'l finde it so.

Iay.
I halfe suspected
What you told me: the gods comfort her:
Either this was her love to Palamon,
Or feare of my miscarrying on his scape,
Or both.

Woo.
Tis likely.

Iay.
But why all this haste Sir?

Woo.
Ile tell you quickly. As I late was angling
In the great Lake that lies behind the Pallace,
From the far shore, thicke set with reedes, and Sedges,
As patiently I was attending sport,
I heard a voyce, a shrill one, and attentive
I gave my eare, when I might well perceive
T'was one that sung, and by the smallnesse of it
A boy or woman. I then left my angle
To his owne skill, came neere, but yet perceivd not
Who made the sound; the rushes, and the Reeds
Had so encompast it: I laide me downe
And listned to the words she song, for then
Through a small glade cut by the Fisher men,
I saw it was your Daughter.

Iay.
Pray goe on Sir?

Woo.
She sung much, but no sence; onely I heard her
Repeat this often. Palamon is gone,
Is gone to 'th wood to gather Mulberies,
Ile finde him out to morrow.

1. Fr.
Pretty soule.

Woo.
His shackles will betray him, hee'l be taken,
And what shall I doe then? Ile bring a beavy,
A hundred blacke eyd Maides, that love as I doe
With Chaplets on their heads of Daffadillies,
With cherry-lips, and cheekes of Damaske Roses,
And all wee'l daunce an Antique fore the Duke,
And beg his pardon; Then she talk'd of you Sir;
That you must loose your head to morrow morning,
And she must gather flowers to bury you,
And see the house made handsome, then she sung
Nothing but Willow, willow, willow, and betweene
Ever was, Palamon, faire Palamon,
And Palamon, was a tall yong man. The place
Was knee deepe where she sat; her careles Tresses,
A wreake of bull-rush rounded; about her stucke
Thousand fresh water flowers of severall cullors.
That me thought she appeard like the faire Nimph
That feedes the lake with waters, or as Iris
Newly dropt downe from heaven; Rings she made
Of rushes that grew by, and to 'em spoke
The prettiest posies: Thus our true love's tide,
This you may loose, not me, and many a one:
And then she wept, and sung againe, and sigh'd,
And with the same breath smil'd, and kist her hand.

2. Fr.
Alas what pitty it is?

Wooer.
I made in to her.
She saw me, and straight sought the flood, I sav'd her,
And set her safe to land: when presently
She slipt away, and to the Citty made,
With such a cry, and swiftnes, that beleeve me
Shee left me farre behinde her; three, or foure,
I saw from farre off crosse her, one of 'em
I knew to be your brother, where she staid,
And fell, scarce to be got away: I left them with her.
And hether came to tell you:
Enter Brother, Daughter, and others.
Here they are.

Daugh.
May you never more enjoy the light, &c.
Is not this a fine Song?

Bro.
O a very fine one.

Daugh.
I can sing twenty more.

Bro.
I thinke you can,

Daugh.
Yes truely can I, I can sing the Broome,
And Bony Robin. Are not you a tailour?

Bro.
Yes,

Daugh.
Wher's my wedding Gowne?

Bro.
Ile bring it to morrow.

Daugh.
Doe, very rarely, I must be abroad else
To call the Maides, and pay the Minstrels
For I must loose my Maydenhead by cocklight
Twill never thrive else.
Singes
O faire, oh sweete, &c..

Bro.
You must ev'n take it patiently.

Iay.
Tis true,

Daugh.
Good'ev'n, good men, pray did you ever heare
Of one yong Palamon?

Iay.
Yes wench we know him.

Daugh.
Is't not a fine yong Gentleman?

Iay.
Tis, Love.

Bro.
By no meane crosse her, she is then distemperd
For worse then now she showes.

1. Fr.
Yes, he's a fine man.

Daugh.
O, is he so? you have a Sister.

1. Fr.
Yes.

Daugh.
But she shall never have him, tell her so,
For a tricke that I know, y'had best looke to her,
For if she see him once, she's gone, she's done,
And undon in an howre. All the young Maydes
Of our Towne are in love with him, but I laugh at 'em
And let 'em all alone, Is't not a wise course?

1. Fr.
Yes.

Daugh.
There is at least two hundred now with child by him,
There must be fowre; yet I keepe close for all this,
Close as a Cockle; and all these must be Boyes,
He has the tricke on't, and at ten yeares old
They must be all gelt for Musitians,
And sing the wars of Theseus.

2. Fr.
This is strange.

Daugh.
As ever you heard, but say nothing.

1. Fr.
No.

Daugh.
They come from all parts of the Dukedome to him,
Ile warrant ye, he had not so few last night
As twenty to dispatch, hee'l tickl't up
In two howres, if his hand be in.

Iay.
She's lost
Past all cure.

Bro.
Heaven forbid man.

Daugh.
Come hither, you are a wise man.

1. Fr.
Do's she know him?

1. Fr.
No, would she did.

Daugh.
You are master of a Ship?

Iay.
Yes.

Daugh.
Wher's your Compasse?

Iay.
Heere.

Daugh.
Set it too'th North.
And now direct your conrse to'th wood, wher Palamon
Lyes longing for me; For the Tackling
Let me alone; Come waygh my hearts, cheerely.

All.
Owgh, owgh, owgh,
tis up, the wind's faire, top the / Bowling,
out with the maine saile, wher's your / Whistle Master?

Bro.
Lets get her in.

Iay.
Vp to the top Boy.

Bro.
Wher's
the Pilot?

1. Fr.
Heere,

Daugh.
What ken'st thou?

2. Fr.
A faire wood.

Daugh.
Beare for it master: take about:
Singes.
When Cinthia with her borrowed light, &c.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Emilia alone, with 2. Pictures.

Emilia.
Yet I may binde those wounds up, that must open
And bleed to death for my sake else; Ile choose,
And end their strife: Two such yong hansom men
Shall never fall for me, their weeping Mothers,
Following the dead cold ashes of their Sonnes
Shall never curse my cruelty: Good heaven,
What a sweet face has Arcite? if wise nature
With all her best endowments, all those beuties
She sowes into the birthes of noble bodies,
Were here a mortall woman, and had in her
The coy denialls of yong Maydes, yet doubtles,
She would run mad for this man: what an eye?
Of what a fyry sparkle, and quick sweetnes,
Has this yong Prince? Here Love himselfe sits smyling,
Iust such another wanton Ganimead,
Set Love a fire with, and enforcd the god
Snatch up the goodly Boy, and set him by him
A shining constellation: What a brow,
Of what a spacious Majesty he carries?
Arch'd like the great eyd Iuno's, but far sweeter,
Smoother then Pelops Shoulder? Fame and honour
Me thinks from hence, as from a Promontory
Pointed in heaven, should clap their wings, and sing
To all the under world, the Loves, and Fights
Of gods, and such men neere 'em. Palamon,
Is but his foyle, to him, a meere dull shadow,
Hee's swarth, and meagre, of an eye as heavy
As if he had lost his mother; a still temper,
No stirring in him, no alacrity,
Of all this sprightly sharpenes, not a smile;
Yet these that we count errours may become him:
Narcissus was a sad Boy, but a heavenly:
Oh who can finde the bent of womans fancy?
I am a Foole, my reason is lost in me,
I have no choice, and I have ly'd so lewdly
That women ought to beate me. On my knees
I aske thy pardon: Palamon, thou art alone,
And only beutifull, and these the eyes,
These the bright lamps of beauty, that command
And threaten Love, and what yong Mayd dare crosse 'em
What a bold gravity, and yet inviting
Has this browne manly face? O Love, this only
From this howre is Complexion: Lye there Arcite,
Thou art a changling to him, a meere Gipsey.
And this the noble Bodie: I am sotted,
Vtterly lost: My Virgins faith has fled me.
For if my brother but even now had ask'd me
Whether I lov'd, I had run mad for Arcite,
Now if my Sister; More for Palamon,
Stand both together: Now, come aske me Brother,
Alas, I know not: aske me now sweet Sister,
I may goe looke; What a meere child is Fancie,
That having two faire gawdes of equall sweetnesse,
Cannot distinguish, but must crie for both.
Enter Emil. and Gent:
Emil. How now Sir?

Gent.
From the Noble Duke your Brother
Madam, I bring you newes: The Knights are come.

Emil.
To end the quarrell?

Gent.
Yes.

Emil.
Would I might end first:
What sinnes have I committed, chast Diana,
That my unspotted youth must now be soyld
With blood of Princes? and my Chastitie
Be made the Altar, where the lives of Lovers,
Two greater, and two better never yet
Made mothers joy, must be the sacrifice
To my unhappy Beautie?
Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Perithous and attendants.

Theseus.
Bring 'em in
quickly, / By any meanes, I long to see 'em.
Your two contending Lovers are return'd,
And with them their faire Knights: Now my faire Sister,
You must love one of them.

Emil.
I had rather both,
So neither for my sake should fall untimely

Thes.
Who saw 'em?

Per.
I a while.

Gent.
And I.
Enter Messengers. Curtis.

Thes.
From whence come you Sir?

Mess.
From the Knights.

Thes.
Pray speake
You that have seene them, what they are.

Mess.
I will Sir,
And truly what I thinke: Six braver spirits
Then these they have brought, (if we judge by the outside)
I never saw, nor read of: He that stands
In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming
Should be a stout man, by his face a Prince,
(His very lookes so say him) his complexion,
Nearer a browne, than blacke; sterne, and yet noble,
Which shewes him hardy, fearelesse, proud of dangers:
The circles of his eyes show faire within him,
And as a heated Lyon, so he lookes;
His haire hangs long behind him, blacke and shining
Like Ravens wings: his shoulders broad, and strong,
Armd long and round, and on his Thigh a Sword
Hung by a curious Bauldricke; when he frownes
To seale his will with, better o' my conscience
Was never Souldiers friend.

Thes.
Thou ha'st well describde him,

Per.
Yet a great deale short
Me thinkes, of him that's first with Palamon.

Thes.
Pray speake him friend.

Per.
I ghesse he is a Prince too,
And if it may be, greater; for his show
Has all the ornament of honour in't:
Hee's somewhat bigger, then the Knight he spoke of,
But of a face far sweeter; His complexion
Is (as a ripe grape) ruddy: he has felt
Without doubt what he fights for, and so apter
To make this cause his owne: In's face appeares
All the faire hopes of what he undertakes,
And when he's angry, then a setled valour
(Not tainted with extreames) runs through his body,
And guides his arme to brave things: Feare he cannot,
He shewes no such soft temper, his head's yellow,
Hard hayr'd, and curld, thicke twind like Ivy tops,
Not to undoe with thunder; In his face
The liverie of the warlike Maide appeares,
Pure red, and white, for yet no beard has blest him.
And in his rowling eyes, sits victory,
As if she ever ment to corect his valour:
His Nose stands high, a Character of honour.
His red lips, after fights, are fit for Ladies.

Emil.
Must these men die too?

Per.
When he speakes, his tongue
Sounds like a Trumpet; All his lyneaments
Are as a man would wish 'em, strong, and cleane,
He weares a well-steeld Axe, the staffe of gold,
His age some five and twenty.

Mess.
Ther's another,
A little man, but of a tough soule, seeming
As great as any: fairer promises
In such a Body, yet I never look'd on.

Per.
O, he that's freckle fac'd?

Mess.
The same my Lord,
Are they not sweet ones?

Per.
Yes they are well.

Mess.
Me thinkes,
Being so few, and well disposd, they show
Great, and fine art in nature, he's white hair'd,
Not wanton white, but such a manly colour
Next to an aborne, tough, and nimble set,
Which showes an active soule; his armes are brawny
Linde with strong sinewes: To the shoulder peece,
Gently they swell, like women new conceav'd,
Which speakes him prone to labour, never fainting
Vnder the waight of Armes; stout harted, still,
But when he stirs, a Tiger; he's gray eyd,
Which yeelds compassion where he conquers: sharpe
To spy advantages, and where he finds 'em,
He's swift to make 'em his: He do's no wrongs,
Nor takes none; he's round fac'd, and when he smiles
He showes a Lover, when he frownes, a Souldier:
About his head he weares the winners oke,
And in it stucke the favour of his Lady:
His age, some six and thirtie. In his hand
He beares a charging Staffe, embost with silver.

Thes.
Are they all thus?

Per.
They are all the sonnes of honour.

Thes.
Now as I have a soule I long to see 'em,
Lady you shall see men fight now.

Hip.
I wish it,
But not the cause my Lord; They would show
Bravely about the Titles of two Kingdomes;
Tis pitty Love should be so tyrannous:
O my soft harted Sister, what thinke you?
Weepe not, till they weepe blood; Wench it must be.

Thes.
You have steel'd 'em with your Beautie: honord Friend,
To you I give the Feild; pray order it,
Fitting the persons that must use it.

Per.
Yes Sir.

Thes.
Come, Ile goe visit 'em: I cannot stay.
Their fame has fir'd me so; Till they appeare,
Good Friend be royall.

Per.
There shall want no bravery.

Emilia.
Poore wench goe weepe, for whosoever wins,
Looses a noble Cosen, for thy sins.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Iailor, Wooer, Doctor.

Doct.
Her distraction is more at some time of the Moone,
Then at other some, is it not?

Iay.
She is continually in a harmelesse distemper,
sleepes / Little, altogether without appetite, save often
drinking, / Dreaming of another world, and a better; and
what / Broken peece of matter so'ere she's about, the name
Palamon lardes it, that she farces ev'ry busines / Withall,
fyts it to every question;
Enter Daughter.
Looke where / Shee comes, you shall perceive her
behaviour.

Daugh.
I have forgot it quite; The burden o'nt, was
downe / A downe a, and pend by no worse man, then
Giraldo, Emilias Schoolemaster; he's as / Fantasticall too,
as ever he may goe upon's legs, / For in the next world will
Dido see Palamon, and Then will she be out of love with
Eneas.

Doct.
What stuff's here? pore soule.

Ioy.
Ev'n thus all day long.

Daugh.
Now for this Charme, that I told you of, you
must / Bring a peece of silver on the tip of your tongue,
Or no ferry: then if it be your chance to come where / The
blessed spirits, as the'rs a sight now; we maids / That
have our Lyvers, perish'd, crakt to peeces with / Love,
we shall come there, and doe nothing all day long / But
picke flowers with Proserpine, then will I make / Palamon
a Nosegay, then let him marke me,---then.

Doct.
How prettily she's amisse? note her a little
further.

Dau.
Faith ile tell you, sometime we goe to
Barly breake, / We of the blessed; alas, tis a sore life they
have i'th / Thother place, such burning, frying, boyling,
hissing, / Howling, chattring, cursing, oh they have
shrowd / Measure, take heede; if one be mad, or hang or
Drowne themselves, thither they goe, Iupiter blesse / Vs,
and there shall we be put in a Caldron of / Lead, and
Vsurers grease, amongst a whole million of / Cutpurses,
and there boyle like a Gamon of Bacon / That will never
be enough. Exit.

Doct.
How her braine coynes?

Daugh.
Lords and Courtiers, that have got maids with
Child, they are in this place, they shall stand in fire up
to the / Nav'le, and in yce up to 'th hart, and there th' offending
part burnes, and the deceaving part freezes; in troth
a very greevous punishment, as one would thinke, for
such a Trifle, beleve me one would marry a leaprous
witch, to be rid on't Ile assure you.

Doct.
How she continues this fancie? Tis not an
engraffed / Madnesse, but a most thicke, and profound
mellencholly.

Daugh.
To heare there a proud Lady, and a proud Citty
wiffe, howle together: I were a beast and il'd call it good
sport: one cries, o this smoake, another this fire;
One cries, o, that ever I did it behind the arras, and
then howles; th' other curses a suing fellow and her
garden house.
Sings.
I will be true, my stars, my fate, &c.
Exit. Daugh.

Iay.
What thinke you of her Sir?

Doct.
I think she has a perturbed minde, which I cannot
minister to.

Iay.
Alas, what then?

Doct.
Vnderstand you, she ever affected any man, ere
She beheld Palamon?

Iay.
I was once Sir, in great hope, she had fixd her
Liking on this gentleman my friend.

Woo.
I did thinke so too, and would account I had a
great / Pen-worth on't, to give halfe my state, that both / She
and I at this present stood unfainedly on the / Same
tearmes.

Do.
That intemprat surfeit of her eye, hath
distemperd the / Other sences, they may returne and settle
againe to / Execute their preordaind faculties, but they
are / Now in a most extravagant vagary. This you / Must
doe, Confine her to a place, where the light / May rather
seeme to steale in, then be permitted; take / Vpon you
(yong Sir her friend) the name of / Palamon, say you
come to eate with her, and to / Commune of Love; this will
catch her attention, for / This her minde beates upon; other
objects that are / Inserted tweene her minde and eye,
become the prankes / And friskins of her madnes; Sing
to her, such greene / Songs of Love, as she sayes Palamon
hath sung in / Prison; Come to her, stucke in as sweet
flowers, as the / Season is mistres of, and thereto make
an addition of / Som other compounded odours, which
are grateful to the / Sence: all this shall become Palamon,
for Palamon can / Sing, and Palamon is sweet, and ev'ry
good thing, desire / To eate with her, crave her, drinke to
her, and still / Among, intermingle your petition of grace
and acceptance / Into her favour: Learne what Maides have
beene her / Companions, and play-pheeres, and let them repaire
to / Her with Palamon in their mouthes, and appeare with
/ Tokens, as if they suggested for him, It is a falsehood
/ She is in, which is with fasehoods to be combated. / This
may bring her to eate, to sleepe, and reduce what's / Now
out of square in her, into their former law, and / Regiment;
I have seene it approved, how many times / I know not,
but to make the number more, I have / Great hope in this.
I will betweene the passages of / This project, come in
with my applyance: Let us / Put it in execution; and
hasten the successe, which doubt not / Will bring forth
comfort.
Florish. Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Gaoler and his Friend

GAOLER
Heard you no more? Was nothing said of me
Concerning the escape of Palamon?
Good sir, remember.

FIRST FRIEND
Nothing that I heard,
For I came home before the business
Was fully ended. Yet I might perceive,
Ere I departed, a great likelihood
Of both their pardons; for Hippolyta
And fair-eyed Emily, upon their knees,
Begged with such handsome pity that the Duke
Methought stood staggering, whether he should follow
His rash oath or the sweet compassion
Of those two ladies; and to second them
That truly noble prince Pirithous,
Half his own heart, set in too, that I hope
All shall be well; neither heard I one question
Of your name, or his 'scape.

GAOLER
Pray heaven it hold so!
Enter Second Friend

SECOND FRIEND
Be of good comfort, man; I bring you news,
Good news.

GAOLER
They are welcome.

SECOND FRIEND
Palamon has cleared you,
And got your pardon, and discovered how
And by whose means he escaped, which was your daughter's,
Whose pardon is procured too; and the prisoner,
Not to be held ungrateful to her goodness,
Has given a sum of money to her marriage,
A large one, I'll assure you.

GAOLER
Ye are a good man
And ever bring good news.

FIRST FRIEND
How was it ended?

SECOND FRIEND
Why, as it should be; they that never begged
But they prevailed had their suits fairly granted;
The prisoners have their lives.

FIRST FRIEND
I knew 'twould be so.

SECOND FRIEND
But there be new conditions, which you'll hear of
At better time.

GAOLER
I hope they are good.

SECOND FRIEND
They are honourable;
How good they'll prove I know not.

FIRST FRIEND
'Twill be known.
Enter Wooer

WOOER
Alas, sir, where's your daughter?

GAOLER
Why do you ask?

WOOER
O sir, when did you see her?

SECOND FRIEND
How he looks!

GAOLER
This morning.

WOOER
Was she well? Was she in health, sir?
When did she sleep?

FIRST FRIEND
These are strange questions.

GAOLER
I do not think she was very well, for now
You make me mind her, but this very day
I asked her questions, and she answered me
So far from what she was, so childishly,
So sillily, as if she were a fool,
An innocent, and I was very angry.
But what of her, sir?

WOOER
Nothing but my pity;
But you must know it, and as good by me
As by another that less loves her –

GAOLER
Well, sir?

FIRST FRIEND
Not right?

SECOND FRIEND
Not well?

WOOER
No, sir, not well.
'Tis too true, she is mad.

FIRST FRIEND
It cannot be.

WOOER
Believe you'll find it so.

GAOLER
I half suspected
What you have told me; the gods comfort her!
Either this was her love to Palamon,
Or fear of my miscarrying on his 'scape,
Or both.

WOOER
'Tis likely.

GAOLER
But why all this haste, sir?

WOOER
I'll tell you quickly. As I late was angling
In the great lake that lies behind the palace,
From the far shore, thick-set with reeds and sedges,
As patiently I was attending sport,
I heard a voice, a shrill one; and attentive
I gave my ear, when I might well perceive
T' was one that sung, and by the smallness of it
A boy or woman. I then left my angle
To his own skill, came near, but yet perceived not
Who made the sound, the rushes and the reeds
Had so encompassed it. I laid me down
And listened to the words she sung, for then,
Through a small glade cut by the fishermen,
I saw it was your daughter.

GAOLER
Pray go on, sir.

WOOER
She sung much, but no sense; only I heard her
Repeat this often: ‘ Palamon is gone,
Is gone to th' wood to gather mulberries;
I'll find him out tomorrow.’

FIRST FRIEND
Pretty soul!

WOOER
‘ His shackles will betray him; he'll be taken,
And what shall I do then? I'll bring a bevy,
A hundred black-eyed maids, that love as I do,
With chaplets on their heads of daffadillies,
With cherry lips, and cheeks of damask roses,
And all we'll dance an antic 'fore the Duke,
And beg his pardon.’ Then she talked of you, sir;
That you must lose your head tomorrow morning,
And she must gather flowers to bury you,
And see the house made handsome. Then she sung
Nothing but ‘ Willow, willow, willow,’ and between
Ever was ‘ Palamon, fair Palamon,’
And ‘ Palamon was a tall young man.’ The place
Was knee-deep where she sat; her careless tresses
A wreath of bulrush rounded; about her stuck
Thousand fresh water flowers of several colours,
That methought she appeared like the fair nymph
That feeds the lake with waters, or as Iris
Newly dropped down from heaven. Rings she made
Of rushes that grew by, and to 'em spoke
The prettiest posies, ‘ Thus our true love's tied,’
‘ This you may lose, not me,’ and many a one.
And then she wept, and sung again, and sighed,
And with the same breath smiled and kissed her hand.

SECOND FRIEND
Alas, what pity it is!

WOOER
I made in to her;
She saw me, and straight sought the flood. I saved her,
And set her safe to land; when presently
She slipped away, and to the city made
With such a cry and swiftness that, believe me,
She left me far behind her. Three or four
I saw from far off cross her – one of 'em
I knew to be your brother – where she stayed,
And fell, scarce to be got away. I left them with her,
And hither came to tell you.
Enter Gaoler's Brother, Gaoler's Daughter, and others
Here they are.

DAUGHTER
(sings)
May you never more enjoy the light, etc.
Is not this a fine song?

BROTHER
O, a very fine one.

DAUGHTER
I can sing twenty more.

BROTHER
I think you can.

DAUGHTER
Yes, truly can I; I can sing ‘ The Broom,’
And ‘ Bonny Robin.’ Are not you a tailor?

BROTHER
Yes.

DAUGHTER
Where's my wedding gown?

BROTHER
I'll bring it tomorrow.

DAUGHTER
Do, very early; I must be abroad else
To call the maids, and pay the minstrels.
For I must lose my maidenhead by cocklight;
'Twill never thrive else.
(She sings)
O fair, O sweet, etc.

BROTHER
You must e'en take it patiently.

GAOLER
'Tis true.

DAUGHTER
Good e'en, good men. Pray did you ever hear
Of one young Palamon?

GAOLER
Yes, wench, we know him.

DAUGHTER
Is't not a fine young gentleman?

GAOLER
'Tis, love.

BROTHER
By no mean cross her; she is then distempered
Far worse than now she shows.

FIRST FRIEND
Yes, he's a fine man.

DAUGHTER
O, is he so? You have a sister.

FIRST FRIEND
Yes.

DAUGHTER
But she shall never have him, tell her so,
For a trick that I know. You'd best look to her;
For if she see him once, she's gone, she's done,
And undone in an hour. All the young maids
Of our town are in love with him, but I laugh at 'em,
And let 'em all alone; is't not a wise course?

FIRST FRIEND
Yes.

DAUGHTER
There is at least two hundred now with child by him –
There must be four; yet I keep close for all this,
Close as a cockle; and all these must be boys –
He has the trick on't – and at ten years old
They must be all gelt for musicians,
And sing the wars of Theseus.

SECOND FRIEND
This is strange.

DAUGHTER
As ever you heard; but say nothing.

FIRST FRIEND
No.

DAUGHTER
They come from all parts of the dukedom to him.
I'll warrant ye, he had not so few last night
As twenty to dispatch; he'll tickle it up
In two hours, if his hand be in.

GAOLER
She's lost
Past all cure.

BROTHER
Heaven forbid, man!

DAUGHTER
(to Gaoler)
Come hither; you are a wise man.

FIRST FRIEND
Does she know him?

SECOND FRIEND
No, would she did.

DAUGHTER
You are master of a ship?

GAOLER
Yes.

DAUGHTER
Where's your compass?

GAOLER
Here.

DAUGHTER
Set it to th' north;
And now direct your course to th' wood, where Palamon
Lies longing for me. For the tackling
Let me alone. Come, weigh, my hearts, cheerily!

ALL THE OTHERS
O, O, O!

DAUGHTER
'Tis up. The wind's fair; top the bowling;
Out with the mainsail! Where's your whistle, master?

BROTHER
Let's get her in.

GAOLER
Up to the top, boy.

BROTHER
Where's
The pilot?

FIRST FRIEND
Here.

DAUGHTER
What kennest thou?

SECOND FRIEND
A fair wood.

DAUGHTER
Bear for it, master; tack about!
(She sings)
When Cynthia with her borrowed light, etc.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Emilia alone, with two pictures

EMILIA
Yet I may bind those wounds up, that must open
And bleed to death for my sake else; I'll choose,
And end their strife. Two such young handsome men
Shall never fall for me; their weeping mothers,
Following the dead cold ashes of their sons,
Shall never curse my cruelty. Good heaven,
What a sweet face has Arcite! If wise Nature
With all her best endowments, all those beauties
She sows into the births of noble bodies,
Were here a mortal woman, and had in her
The coy denials of young maids, yet doubtless
She would run mad for this man. What an eye,
Of what a fiery sparkle and quick sweetness,
Has this young prince! Here love himself sits smiling.
Just such another, wanton Ganymede
Set Jove afire with, and enforced the god
Snatch up the goodly boy, and set him by him,
A shining constellation. What a brow,
Of what a spacious majesty, he carries,
Arched like the great-eyed Juno's, but far sweeter,
Smoother than Pelops' shoulder! Fame and honour,
Methinks, from hence, as from a promontory
Pointed in heaven, should clap their wings, and sing
To all the under world the loves and fights
Of gods and such men near 'em. Palamon
Is but his foil; to him, a mere dull shadow.
He's swarth and meagre, of an eye as heavy
As if he had lost his mother; a still temper,
No stirring in him, no alacrity,
Of all this sprightly sharpness not a smile.
Yet these that we count errors may become him;
Narcissus was a sad boy, but a heavenly.
O, who can find the bent of woman's fancy?
I am a fool; my reason is lost in me,
I have no choice, and I have lied so lewdly
That women ought to beat me. On my knees
I ask thy pardon; Palamon, thou art alone
And only beautiful, and these the eyes,
These the bright lamps of beauty, that command
And threaten love, and what young maid dare cross 'em?
What a bold gravity, and yet inviting,
Has this brown manly face! O love, this only
From this hour is complexion. Lie there, Arcite;
Thou art a changeling to him, a mere gypsy,
And this the noble body. I am sotted,
Utterly lost; my virgin's faith has fled me.
For if my brother but even now had asked me
Whether I loved, I had run mad for Arcite;
Now if my sister, more for Palamon.
Stand both together. Now come ask me, brother –
Alas, I know not! Ask me now, sweet sister;
I may go look. What a mere child is fancy,
That having two fair gauds of equal sweetness,
Cannot distinguish, but must cry for both!
Enter a Gentleman
How now, sir?

GENTLEMAN
From the noble Duke your brother,
Madam, I bring you news; the knights are come.

EMILIA
To end the quarrel?

GENTLEMAN
Yes.

EMILIA
Would I might end first!
What sins have I committed, chaste Diana,
That my unspotted youth must now be soiled
With blood of princes, and my chastity
Be made the altar where the lives of lovers –
Two greater and two better never yet
Made mothers joy – must be the sacrifice
To my unhappy beauty?
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, and attendants

THESEUS
Bring 'em in
Quickly, by any means; I long to see 'em. –
Your two contending lovers are returned,
And with them their fair knights; now, my fair sister,
You must love one of them.

EMILIA
I had rather both,
So neither for my sake should fall untimely.

THESEUS
Who saw 'em?

PIRITHOUS
I awhile.

GENTLEMAN
And I.
Enter a Messenger

THESEUS
From whence come you, sir?

MESSENGER
From the knights.

THESEUS
Pray speak,
You that have seen them, what they are.

MESSENGER
I will, sir,
And truly what I think. Six braver spirits
Than these they have brought – if we judge by the outside –
I never saw, nor read of. He that stands
In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming
Should be a stout man; by his face, a prince.
His very looks so say him; his complexion,
Nearer a brown than black, stern and yet noble,
Which shows him hardy, fearless, proud of dangers;
The circles of his eyes show fire within him,
And as a heated lion, so he looks;
His hair hangs long behind him, black and shining
Like ravens' wings; his shoulders broad and strong,
Armed long and round; and on his thigh a sword
Hung by a curious baldrick, when he frowns
To seal his will with – better, o'my conscience,
Was never soldier's friend.

THESEUS
Thou hast well described him.

PIRITHOUS
Yet a great deal short,
Methinks, of him that's first with Palamon.

THESEUS
Pray speak him, friend.

PIRITHOUS
I guess he is a prince too,
And if it may be, greater; for his show
Has all the ornament of honour in't.
He's somewhat bigger than the knight he spoke of,
But of a face far sweeter; his complexion
Is, as a ripe grape, ruddy; he has felt
Without doubt what he fights for, and so apter
To make this cause his own. In's face appears
All the fair hopes of what he undertakes,
And when he's angry, then a settled valour,
Not tainted with extremes, runs through his body,
And guides his arm to brave things; fear he cannot,
He shows no such soft temper. His head's yellow,
Hard-haired and curled, thick-twined like ivy tods,
Not to undo with thunder; in his face
The livery of the warlike maid appears,
Pure red and white, for yet no beard has blessed him;
And in his rolling eyes sits victory,
As if she ever meant to court his valour.
His nose stands high, a character of honour;
His red lips, after fights, are fit for ladies.

EMILIA
Must these men die too?

PIRITHOUS
When he speaks, his tongue
Sounds like a trumpet; all his lineaments
Are as a man would wish 'em, strong and clean;
He wears a well-steeled axe, the staff of gold;
His age some five-and-twenty.

MESSENGER
There's another,
A little man, but of a tough soul, seeming
As great as any; fairer promises
In such a body yet I never looked on.

PIRITHOUS
O, he that's freckle-faced?

MESSENGER
The same, my lord.
Are they not sweet ones?

PIRITHOUS
Yes, they are well.

MESSENGER
Methinks,
Being so few and well disposed, they show
Great and fine art in Nature. He's white-haired,
Not wanton white, but such a manly colour
Next to an auburn; tough and nimble-set,
Which shows an active soul; his arms are brawny,
Lined with strong sinews; to the shoulder-piece
Gently they swell, like women new-conceived,
Which speaks him prone to labour, never fainting
Under the weight of arms; stout-hearted, still,
But when he stirs, a tiger; he's grey-eyed,
Which yields compassion where he conquers; sharp
To spy advantages, and where he finds 'em,
He's swift to make 'em his; he does no wrongs,
Nor takes none; he's round-faced, and when he smiles
He shows a lover, when he frowns, a soldier;
About his head he wears the winner's oak,
And in it stuck the favour of his lady;
His age some six-and-thirty; in his hand
He bears a charging staff, embossed with silver.

THESEUS
Are they all thus?

PIRITHOUS
They are all the sons of honour.

THESEUS
Now, as I have a soul, I long to see 'em!
Lady, you shall see men fight now.

HIPPOLYTA
I wish it;
But not the cause, my lord. They would show
Bravely about the titles of two kingdoms;
'Tis pity love should be so tyrannous.
O my soft-hearted sister, what think you?
Weep not till they weep blood, wench; it must be.

THESEUS
You have steeled 'em with your beauty. – Honoured friend,
To you I give the field; pray order it
Fitting the persons that must use it.

PIRITHOUS
Yes, sir.

THESEUS
Come, I'll go visit 'em; I cannot stay –
Their fame has fired me so – till they appear.
Good friend, be royal.

PIRITHOUS
There shall want no bravery.

EMILIA
Poor wench, go weep, for whosoever wins
Loses a noble cousin for thy sins.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Gaoler, Wooer, and Doctor

DOCTOR
Her distraction is more at some time of the moon
than at other some, is it not?

GAOLER
She is continually in a harmless distemper,
sleeps little, altogether without appetite save often
drinking; dreaming of another world, and a better; and
what broken piece of matter soe'er she's about, the name
Palamon lards it, that she farces every business withal,
fits it to every question.
Enter Gaoler's Daughter
Look where she comes; you shall perceive her
behaviour.

DAUGHTER
I have forgot it quite; the burden on't was
‘ down-a, down-a,’ and penned by no worse man than
Geraldo, Emilia's schoolmaster. He's as fantastical, too,
as ever he may go upon's legs; for in the next world will
Dido see Palamon, and then will she be out of love with
Aeneas.

DOCTOR
What stuff's here! Poor soul.

GAOLER
E'en thus all day long.

DAUGHTER
Now for this charm that I told you of, you
must bring a piece of silver on the tip of your tongue,
or no ferry; then if it be your chance to come where the
blessed spirits are – there's a sight now! We maids that
have our livers perished, cracked to pieces with love,
we shall come there, and do nothing all day long but
pick flowers with Proserpine. Then will I make Palamon
a nosegay; then let him mark me – then –

DOCTOR
How prettily she's amiss! Note her a little
further.

DAUGHTER
Faith, I'll tell you, sometime we go to
barley-break, we of the blessed. Alas, 'tis a sore life they
have i'th' tother place, such burning, frying, boiling,
hissing, howling, chattering, cursing – O, they have
shrewd measure; take heed! If one be mad, or hang or
drown themselves, thither they go – Jupiter bless us! –
and there shall we be put in a cauldron of lead and
usurers' grease, amongst a whole million of cutpurses,
and there boil like a gammon of bacon that will never
be enough.

DOCTOR
How her brain coins!

DAUGHTER
Lords and courtiers that have got maids with
child, they are in this place; they shall stand in fire up
to the navel and in ice up to th' heart, and there th' offending
part burns and the deceiving part freezes – in troth
a very grievous punishment, as one would think, for
such a trifle. Believe me, one would marry a leprous
witch to be rid on't, I'll assure you.

DOCTOR
How she continues this fancy! 'Tis not an
engraffed madness, but a most thick and profound
melancholy.

DAUGHTER
To hear there a proud lady and a proud city
wife howl together – I were a beast an I'd call it good
sport! One cries ‘ O, this smoke!’, th' other ‘ This fire!’;
one cries ‘ O that ever I did it behind the arras!’, and
then howls; th' other curses a suing fellow and her
garden-house.
(She sings)
I will be true, my stars, my fate, etc.
Exit

GAOLER
What think you of her, sir?

DOCTOR
I think she has a perturbed mind, which I cannot
minister to.

GAOLER
Alas, what then?

DOCTOR
Understand you she ever affected any man ere
she beheld Palamon?

GAOLER
I was once, sir, in great hope she had fixed her
liking on this gentleman my friend.

WOOER
I did think so too, and would account I had a
great penn'orth on't, to give half my state that both she
and I at this present stood unfeignedly on the same
terms.

DOCTOR
That intemperate surfeit of her eye hath
distempered the other senses; they may return and settle
again to execute their preordained faculties, but they
are now in a most extravagant vagary. This you must
do: confine her to a place where the light may rather
seem to steal in than be permitted; take upon you,
young sir her friend, the name of Palamon; say you
come to eat with her and to commune of love. This will
catch her attention, for this her mind beats upon; other
objects that are inserted 'tween her mind and eye
become the pranks and friskins of her madness. Sing
to her such green songs of love as she says Palamon
hath sung in prison; come to her stuck in as sweet
flowers as the season is mistress of, and thereto make
an addition of some other compounded odours, which
are grateful to the sense. All this shall become Palamon,
for Palamon can sing, and Palamon is sweet and every
good thing. Desire to eat with her, carve her, drink to
her, and still among intermingle your petition of grace
and acceptance into her favour. Learn what maids have
been her companions and playferes, and let them repair
to her with Palamon in their mouths, and appear with
tokens, as if they suggested for him. It is a falsehood
she is in, which is with falsehoods to be combated. This
may bring her to eat, to sleep, and reduce what's now
out of square in her into their former law and regiment.
I have seen it approved, how many times I know not,
but to make the number more I have great hope in this.
I will between the passages of this project come in
with my appliance. Let us put it in execution, and
hasten the success, which doubt not will bring forth
comfort.
Exeunt
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