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Two Noble Kinsmen: Act 4, Scene 2

Two Noble Kinsmen
Act 4, Scene 2

A room in the palace.

  1. Enter Emilia alone, with two pictures.

Emilia

2 - 57
  1. Yet I may bind those wounds up, that must open
  2. And bleed to death for my sake else. I’ll choose,
  3. And end their strife. Two such young handsome men
  4. Shall never fall for me; their weeping mothers,
  5. Following the dead-cold ashes of their sons,
  6. Shall never curse my cruelty. Good heaven,
  7. What a sweet face has Arcite! If wise Nature,
  8. With all her best endowments, all those beauties
  9. She sows into the births of noble bodies,
  10. Were here a mortal woman, and had in her
  11. The coy denials of young maids, yet doubtless
  12. She would run mad for this man. What an eye,
  13. Of what a fiery sparkle and quick sweetness,
  14. Has this young prince! Here Love himself sits smiling.
  15. Just such another wanton Ganymede
  16. Set Jove afire with, and enforc’d the god
  17. Snatch up the goodly boy and set him by him,
  18. A shining constellation. What a brow,
  19. Of what a spacious majesty, he carries,
  20. Arch’d like the great-ey’d Juno’s, but far sweeter,
  21. Smoother than Pelops’ shoulder! Fame and Honor
  22. Methinks from hence, as from a promontory
  23. Pointed in heaven, should clap their wings and sing
  24. To all the under world the loves and fights
  25. Of gods and such men near ’em. Palamon
  26. Is but his foil, to him, a mere dull shadow;
  27. He’s swarth and meager, of an eye as heavy
  28. As if he had lost his mother; a still temper,
  29. No stirring in him, no alacrity,
  30. Of all this sprightly sharpness, not a smile.
  31. Yet these that we count errors may become him:
  32. Narcissus was a sad boy, but a heavenly.
  33. O, who can find the bent of woman’s fancy?
  34. I am a fool, my reason is lost in me;
  35. I have no choice, and I have lied so lewdly
  36. That women ought to beat me. On my knees
  37. I ask thy pardon: Palamon, thou art alone
  38. And only beautiful, and these the eyes,
  39. These the bright lamps of beauty, that command
  40. And threaten Love, and what young maid dare cross ’em?
  41. What a bold gravity, and yet inviting,
  42. Has this brown manly face! O Love, this only
  43. From this hour is complexion. Lie there, Arcite,
  44. Thou art a changeling to him, a mere gypsy,
  45. And this the noble body. I am sotted,
  46. Utterly lost. My virgin’s faith has fled me;
  47. For if my brother but even now had ask’d me
  48. Whether I lov’d, I had run mad for Arcite;
  49. Now if my sistermore for Palamon.
  50. Stand both together: now, come ask me, brother
  51. Alas, I know not! Ask me now, sweet sister
  52. I may go look! What a mere child is fancy,
  53. That having two fair gauds of equal sweetness,
  54. Cannot distinguish, but must cry for both!
  55. Enter Gentleman.
  56. How now, sir?

Gentleman

58 - 59
  1.               From the noble Duke your brother,
  2. Madam, I bring you news. The knights are come.

Emilia

60
  1. To end the quarrel?

Gentleman

61
  1.                     Yes.

Emilia

62 - 69
  1.      Would I might end first!
  2. What sins have I committed, chaste Diana,
  3. That my unspotted youth must now be soil’d
  4. With blood of princes? And my chastity
  5. Be made the altar where the lives of lovers
  6. Two greater and two better never yet
  7. Made mothers joymust be the sacrifice
  8. To my unhappy beauty?
  1. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, and Attendants.

Theseus

71 - 75
  1.                       Bring ’em in
  2. Quickly, by any means, I long to see ’em.—
  3. Your two contending lovers are return’d,
  4. And with them their fair knights. Now, my fair sister,
  5. You must love one of them.

Emilia

76 - 77
  1.                            I had rather both,
  2. So neither for my sake should fall untimely.

Theseus

78
  1. Who saw ’em?

Pirithous

79
  1.              I a while.

Gentleman

80
  1.            And I.
  1. Enter First Messenger.

Theseus

82
  1. From whence come you, sir?

First Messenger

83
  1.                            From the knights.

Theseus

84 - 85
  1.                   Pray speak,
  2. You that have seen them, what they are.

First Messenger

86 - 102
  1.                                         I will, sir,
  2. And truly what I think. Six braver spirits
  3. Than these they have brought (if we judge by the outside)
  4. I never saw nor read of. He that stands
  5. In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming
  6. Should be a stout man, by his face a prince
  7. (His very looks so say him), his complexion
  8. Nearer a brown than black; stern, and yet noble,
  9. Which shows him hardy, fearless, proud of dangers.
  10. The circles of his eyes show fire within him,
  11. And as a heated lion, so he looks;
  12. His hair hangs long behind him, black and shining
  13. Like ravens’ wings; his shoulders broad and strong,
  14. Arm’d long and round, and on his thigh a sword
  15. Hung by a curious baldrick, when he frowns
  16. To seal his will with. Better, o’ my conscience,
  17. Was never soldier’s friend.

Theseus

103
  1. Thou hast well describ’d him.

Pirithous

104 - 105
  1.                               Yet a great deal short,
  2. Methinks, of him that’s first with Palamon.

Theseus

106
  1. Pray speak him, friend.

Pirithous

107 - 127
  1.                         I guess he is a prince too,
  2. And if it may be, greater; for his show
  3. Has all the ornament of honor in’t.
  4. He’s somewhat bigger than the knight he spoke of,
  5. But of a face far sweeter; his complexion
  6. Is, as a ripe grape, ruddy. He has felt
  7. Without doubt what he fights for, and so apter
  8. To make this cause his own. In ’s face appears
  9. All the fair hopes of what he undertakes,
  10. And when he’s angry, then a settled valor
  11. (Not tainted with extremes) runs through his body,
  12. And guides his arm to brave things. Fear he cannot,
  13. He shows no such soft temper. His head’s yellow,
  14. Hard-hair’d, and curl’d, thick twin’d like ivy-tods,
  15. Not to undo with thunder. In his face
  16. The livery of the warlike maid appears,
  17. Pure red and white, for yet no beard has blest him;
  18. And in his rolling eyes sits victory,
  19. As if she ever meant to crown his valor.
  20. His nose stands high, a character of honor;
  21. His red lips, after fights, are fit for ladies.

Emilia

128
  1. Must these men die too?

Pirithous

129 - 133
  1.                         When he speaks, his tongue
  2. Sounds like a trumpet. All his lineaments
  3. Are as a man would wish ’em, strong and clean.
  4. He wears a well-steel’d axe, the staff of gold.
  5. His age some five and twenty.

First Messenger

134 - 137
  1.                               There’s another,
  2. A little man, but of a tough soul, seeming
  3. As great as any. Fairer promises
  4. In such a body yet I never look’d on.

Pirithous

138
  1. O, he that’s freckle-fac’d?

First Messenger

139 - 140
  1.                             The same, my lord.
  2. Are they not sweet ones?

Pirithous

141
  1.                          Yes, they are well.

First Messenger

142 - 161
  1.                     Methinks,
  2. Being so few and well dispos’d, they show
  3. Great and fine art in nature. He’s white-hair’d,
  4. Not wanton white, but such a manly color
  5. Next to an auburn; tough and nimble set,
  6. Which shows an active soul; his arms are brawny,
  7. Lin’d with strong sinews; to the shoulder-piece
  8. Gently they swell, like women new conceiv’d,
  9. Which speaks him prone to labor, never fainting
  10. Under the weight of arms; stout-hearted, still,
  11. But when he stirs, a tiger. He’s grey-ey’d,
  12. Which yields compassion where he conquers; sharp
  13. To spy advantages, and where he finds ’em,
  14. He’s swift to make ’em his. He does no wrongs,
  15. Nor takes none. He’s round-fac’d, and when he smiles
  16. He shows a lover, when he frowns, a soldier.
  17. About his head he wears the winner’s oak,
  18. And in it stuck the favor of his lady.
  19. His age some six and thirty. In his hand
  20. He bears a charging-staff emboss’d with silver.

Theseus

162
  1. Are they all thus?

Pirithous

163
  1.                    They are all the sons of honor.

Theseus

164 - 165
  1. Now as I have a soul I long to see ’em.
  2. Lady, you shall see men fight now.

Hippolyta

166 - 171
  1.                                    I wish it,
  2. But not the cause, my lord. They would show
  3. Bravely about the titles of two kingdoms.
  4. ’Tis pity love should be so tyrannous.
  5. O my soft-hearted sister, what think you?
  6. Weep not, till they weep blood. Wench, it must be.

Theseus

172 - 174
  1. You have steel’d ’em with your beauty.—Honor’d friend,
  2. To you I give the field; pray order it,
  3. Fitting the persons that must use it.

Pirithous

175
  1.                                       Yes, sir.

Theseus

176 - 178
  1. Come, I’ll go visit ’em. I cannot stay
  2. Their fame has fir’d me sotill they appear.
  3. Good friend, be royal.

Pirithous

179
  1.                        There shall want no bravery.

Emilia

180 - 181
  1. Poor wench, go weep, for whosoever wins
  2. Loses a noble cousin for thy sins.
  1. Exeunt.
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