Two Noble Kinsmen
Act 2, Scene 3
The country near Athens.
- Enter Arcite.
Arcite2 - 24
- Banish’d the kingdom? ’Tis a benefit,
- A mercy I must thank ’em for; but banish’d
- The free enjoying of that face I die for—
- O, ’twas a studied punishment, a death
- Beyond imagination! Such a vengeance
- That were I old and wicked, all my sins
- Could never pluck upon me. Palamon!
- Thou hast the start now; thou shalt stay and see
- Her bright eyes break each morning ’gainst thy window,
- And let in life into thee; thou shalt feed
- Upon the sweetness of a noble beauty,
- That nature nev’r exceeded, nor nev’r shall.
- Good gods! What happiness has Palamon!
- Twenty to one, he’ll come to speak to her,
- And if she be as gentle as she’s fair,
- I know she’s his; he has a tongue will tame tempests,
- And make the wild rocks wanton. Come what can come,
- The worst is death: I will not leave the kingdom.
- I know mine own is but a heap of ruins,
- And no redress there. If I go, he has her.
- I am resolv’d another shape shall make me,
- Or end my fortunes. Either way, I am happy:
- I’ll see her, and be near her, or no more.
- Enter four Country People, and one with a garland before
First Country Folk28
- My masters, I’ll be there, that’s certain.
Second Country Folk29
- And I’ll be there.
Third Country Folk30
- And I.
Fourth Country Folk31 - 33
- Why then have with ye, boys! ’Tis but a chiding.
- Let the plough play today, I’ll tickle’t out
- Of the jades’ tails tomorrow.
First Country Folk34 - 36
- I am sure
- To have my wife as jealous as a turkey.
- But that’s all one, I’ll go through, let her mumble.
Second Country Folk37 - 38
- Clap her aboard tomorrow night, and stow her,
- And all’s made up again.
Third Country Folk39 - 42
- Ay, do but put
- A fescue in her fist, and you shall see her
- Take a new lesson out, and be a good wench.
- Do we all hold against the Maying?
Fourth Country Folk43 - 44
- What should ail us?
Third Country Folk45
- Arcas will be there.
Second Country Folk46 - 50
- And Sennois,
- And Rycas, and three better lads nev’r danc’d
- Under green tree; and ye know what wenches, ha?
- But will the dainty domine, the schoolmaster,
- Keep touch, do you think? For he does all, ye know.
Third Country Folk51 - 54
- He’ll eat a horn-book ere he fail. Go to!
- The matter’s too far driven between him
- And the tanner’s daughter to let slip now;
- And she must see the Duke, and she must dance too.
Fourth Country Folk55
- Shall we be lusty?
Second Country Folk56 - 59
- All the boys in Athens
- Blow wind i’ th’ breech on ’s, and here I’ll be,
- And there I’ll be, for our town, and here again,
- And there again. Ha, boys, heigh for the weavers!
First Country Folk60
- This must be done i’ th’ woods.
Fourth Country Folk61
- O, pardon me!
Second Country Folk62 - 65
- By any means; our thing of learning says so—
- Where he himself will edify the Duke
- Most parlously in our behalfs. He’s excellent i’ th’ woods,
- Bring him to th’ plains, his learning makes no cry.
Third Country Folk66 - 69
- We’ll see the sports, then every man to ’s tackle!
- And, sweet companions, let’s rehearse by any means
- Before the ladies see us, and do sweetly,
- And God knows what may come on’t.
Fourth Country Folk70 - 71
- Content. The sports
- Once ended, we’ll perform. Away, boys, and hold!
Arcite72 - 73
- Comes forward.
- By your leaves, honest friends: pray you, whither go you?
Fourth Country Folk74
- Whither? Why, what a question’s that?
Arcite75 - 76
- Yes, ’tis a question
- To me that know not.
Third Country Folk77
- To the games, my friend.
Second Country Folk78
- Where were you bred you know it not?
Arcite79 - 80
- Not far, sir.
- Are there such games today?
First Country Folk81 - 83
- Yes, marry, are there;
- And such as you never saw. The Duke himself
- Will be in person there.
- What pastimes are they?
Second Country Folk85
- Wrastling and running.—’Tis a pretty fellow.
Third Country Folk86
- Thou wilt not go along?
- Not yet, sir.
Fourth Country Folk88 - 89
- Well, sir,
- Take your own time. Come, boys.
First Country Folk90 - 92
- My mind misgives me
- This fellow has a veng’ance trick o’ th’ hip,
- Mark how his body’s made for’t.
Second Country Folk93 - 95
- I’ll be hang’d though
- If he dare venture. Hang him, plum porridge!
- He wrestle? He roast eggs! Come let’s be gone, lads.
- Exeunt four Countrymen.
Arcite97 - 105
- This is an offer’d opportunity
- I durst not wish for. Well I could have wrestled,
- The best men call’d it excellent; and run
- Swifter than wind upon a field of corn,
- Curling the wealthy ears, never flew. I’ll venture,
- And in some poor disguise be there. Who knows
- Whether my brows may not be girt with garlands,
- And happiness prefer me to a place
- Where I may ever dwell in sight of her?
- Exit Arcite.