Two Noble Kinsmen
Act 3, Scene 1
A forest near Athens.
- Cornets in sundry places. Noise and hallowing, as people
- Enter Arcite alone.
Arcite4 - 33
- The Duke has lost Hippolyta; each took
- A several land. This is a solemn rite
- They owe bloom’d May, and the Athenians pay it
- To th’ heart of ceremony. O queen Emilia,
- Fresher than May, sweeter
- Than her gold buttons on the boughs, or all
- Th’ enamell’d knacks o’ th’ mead or garden! Yea
- (We challenge too) the bank of any nymph,
- That makes the stream seem flowers! Thou, O jewel
- O’ th’ wood, o’ th’ world, hast likewise blest a place
- With thy sole presence. In thy rumination
- That I, poor man, might eftsoons come between
- And chop on some cold thought! Thrice-blessed chance,
- To drop on such a mistress, expectation
- Most guiltless on’t. Tell me, O Lady Fortune
- (Next after Emily my sovereign), how far
- I may be proud. She takes strong note of me,
- Hath made me near her; and this beauteous morn
- (The prim’st of all the year) presents me with
- A brace of horses; two such steeds might well
- Be by a pair of kings back’d, in a field
- That their crowns’ titles tried. Alas, alas,
- Poor cousin Palamon, poor prisoner, thou
- So little dream’st upon my fortune that
- Thou think’st thyself the happier thing to be
- So near Emilia. Me thou deem’st at Thebes,
- And therein wretched, although free. But if
- Thou knew’st my mistress breath’d on me, and that
- I ear’d her language, liv’d in her eye, O coz,
- What passion would enclose thee!
- Enter Palamon, as out of a bush, with his shackles; bends
- his fist at Arcite.
Palamon36 - 49
- Traitor kinsman,
- Thou shouldst perceive my passion, if these signs
- Of prisonment were off me, and this hand
- But owner of a sword! By all oaths in one,
- I, and the justice of my love, would make thee
- A confess’d traitor! O thou most perfidious
- That ever gently look’d! The void’st of honor
- That ev’r bore gentle token! Falsest cousin
- That ever blood made kin, call’st thou her thine?
- I’ll prove it in my shackles, with these hands
- Void of appointment, that thou li’st, and art
- A very thief in love, a chaffy lord,
- Nor worth the name of villain! Had I a sword,
- And these house-clogs away—
- Dear cousin Palamon—
Palamon51 - 52
- Cozener Arcite, give me language such
- As thou hast show’d me feat.
Arcite53 - 65
- Not finding in
- The circuit of my breast any gross stuff
- To form me like your blazon, holds me to
- This gentleness of answer: ’tis your passion
- That thus mistakes, the which to you being enemy,
- Cannot to me be kind. Honor and honesty
- I cherish and depend on, howsoev’r
- You skip them in me, and with them, fair coz,
- I’ll maintain my proceedings. Pray be pleas’d
- To show in generous terms your griefs, since that
- Your question’s with your equal, who professes
- To clear his own way with the mind and sword
- Of a true gentleman.
- That thou durst, Arcite!
Arcite67 - 71
- My coz, my coz, you have been well advertis’d
- How much I dare; y’ave seen me use my sword
- Against th’ advice of fear. Sure, of another
- You would not hear me doubted, but your silence
- Should break out, though i’ th’ sanctuary.
Palamon72 - 79
- I have seen you move in such a place which well
- Might justify your manhood; you were call’d
- A good knight and a bold. But the whole week’s not fair
- If any day it rain. Their valiant temper
- Men lose when they incline to treachery,
- And then they fight like compell’d bears, would fly
- Were they not tied.
Arcite80 - 82
- Kinsman, you might as well
- Speak this and act it in your glass, as to
- His ear which now disdains you.
Palamon83 - 93
- Come up to me,
- Quit me of these cold gyves, give me a sword
- Though it be rusty, and the charity
- Of one meal lend me; come before me then,
- A good sword in thy hand, and do but say
- That Emily is thine, I will forgive
- The trespass thou hast done me, yea, my life
- If then thou carry’t, and brave souls in shades
- That have died manly, which will seek of me
- Some news from earth, they shall get none but this—
- That thou art brave and noble.
Arcite94 - 102
- Be content,
- Again betake you to your hawthorn house.
- With counsel of the night, I will be here
- With wholesome viands; these impediments
- Will I file off; you shall have garments, and
- Perfumes to kill the smell o’ th’ prison; after,
- When you shall stretch yourself, and say but, “Arcite,
- I am in plight,” there shall be at your choice
- Both sword and armor.
Palamon103 - 106
- O you heavens, dares any
- So noble bear a guilty business? None
- But only Arcite; therefore none but Arcite
- In this kind is so bold.
- Sweet Palamon—
Palamon108 - 111
- I do embrace you and your offer. For
- Your offer do’t I only, sir; your person
- Without hypocrisy I may not wish
- More than my sword’s edge on’t.
- Wind horns off. Cornets.
Arcite113 - 117
- You hear the horns:
- Enter your musit, lest this match between ’s
- Be cross’d ere met. Give me your hand, farewell.
- I’ll bring you every needful thing. I pray you
- Take comfort and be strong.
Palamon118 - 123
- Pray hold your promise;
- And do the deed with a bent brow. Most certain
- You love me not; be rough with me, and pour
- This oil out of your language. By this air,
- I could for each word give a cuff, my stomach
- Not reconcil’d by reason.
Arcite124 - 131
- Plainly spoken,
- Yet pardon me hard language. When I spur
- My horse, I chide him not; content and anger
- In me have but one face.
- Wind horns within.
- Hark, sir, they call
- The scatter’d to the banquet. You must guess
- I have an office there.
Palamon132 - 134
- Sir, your attendance
- Cannot please heaven, and I know your office
- Unjustly is achiev’d.
Arcite135 - 139
- If a good title,
- I am persuaded this question, sick between ’s,
- By bleeding must be cur’d. I am a suitor
- That to your sword you will bequeath this plea,
- And talk of it no more.
Palamon140 - 142
- But this one word:
- You are going now to gaze upon my mistress,
- For note you, mine she is—
- Nay then—
Palamon144 - 149
- Nay, pray you—
- You talk of feeding me to breed me strength;
- You are going now to look upon a sun
- That strengthens what it looks on; there you have
- A vantage o’er me, but enjoy’t till
- I may enforce my remedy. Farewell.
- Exeunt severally.