Two Noble Kinsmen
Act 5, Scene 3
A place near the Lists.
- Flourish. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Emilia, Pirithous, and
- some Attendants.
- I’ll no step further.
- Will you lose this sight?
Emilia5 - 13
- I had rather see a wren hawk at a fly
- Than this decision. Ev’ry blow that falls
- Threats a brave life, each stroke laments
- The place whereon it falls, and sounds more like
- A bell than blade. I will stay here,
- It is enough my hearing shall be punish’d
- With what shall happen—’gainst the which there is
- No deafing—but to hear, not taint mine eye
- With dread sights it may shun.
Pirithous14 - 15
- Sir, my good lord,
- Your sister will no further.
Theseus16 - 22
- O, she must.
- She shall see deeds of honor in their kind
- Which sometime show well, pencill’d. Nature now
- Shall make and act the story, the belief
- Both seal’d with eye and ear. You must be present,
- You are the victor’s meed, the price and garland
- To crown the question’s title.
Emilia23 - 24
- Pardon me,
- If I were there, I’ld wink.
Theseus25 - 27
- You must be there;
- This trial is as ’twere i’ th’ night, and you
- The only star to shine.
Emilia28 - 36
- I am extinct,
- There is but envy in that light which shows
- The one the other. Darkness, which ever was
- The dam of Horror, who does stand accurs’d
- Of many mortal millions, may even now,
- By casting her black mantle over both,
- That neither could find other, get herself
- Some part of a good name, and many a murder
- Set off whereto she’s guilty.
- You must go.
- In faith, I will not.
Theseus39 - 42
- Why, the knights must kindle
- Their valor at your eye. Know, of this war
- You are the treasure, and must needs be by
- To give the service pay.
Emilia43 - 45
- Sir, pardon me,
- The title of a kingdom may be tried
- Out of itself.
Theseus46 - 48
- Well, well then, at your pleasure.
- Those that remain with you could wish their office
- To any of their enemies.
Hippolyta49 - 53
- Farewell, sister,
- I am like to know your husband ’fore yourself
- By some small start of time. He whom the gods
- Do of the two know best, I pray them he
- Be made your lot.
- Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, etc.
Emilia55 - 84
- Arcite is gently visag’d; yet his eye
- Is like an engine bent, or a sharp weapon
- In a soft sheath; mercy and manly courage
- Are bedfellows in his visage. Palamon
- Has a most menacing aspect, his brow
- Is grav’d, and seems to bury what it frowns on,
- Yet sometime ’tis not so, but alters to
- The quality of his thoughts; long time his eye
- Will dwell upon his object; melancholy
- Becomes him nobly. So does Arcite’s mirth,
- But Palamon’s sadness is a kind of mirth,
- So mingled as if mirth did make him sad,
- And sadness merry; those darker humors that
- Stick misbecomingly on others, on him
- Live in fair dwelling.
- Cornets. Trumpets sound as to a charge.
- Hark how yon spurs to spirit do incite
- The princes to their proof! Arcite may win me,
- And yet may Palamon wound Arcite to
- The spoiling of his figure. O, what pity
- Enough for such a chance? If I were by,
- I might do hurt, for they would glance their eyes
- Toward my seat, and in that motion might
- Omit a ward, or forfeit an offense,
- Which crav’d that very time. It is much better
- I am not there. O, better never born
- Than minister to such harm!
- Cornets. A great cry and noise within, crying “A Palamon!”
- Enter Servant.
- What is the chance?
- The cry’s “A Palamon!”
Emilia86 - 89
- Then he has won. ’Twas ever likely:
- He look’d all grace and success, and he is
- Doubtless the prim’st of men. I prithee run
- And tell me how it goes.
- Shout and cornets. Crying “A Palamon!” within.
- Still “Palamon!”
Emilia92 - 102
- Run and inquire.
- Exit Servant.
- Poor servant, thou hast lost.
- Upon my right side still I wore thy picture,
- Palamon’s on the left. Why so, I know not;
- I had no end in’t else; chance would have it so.
- On the sinister side the heart lies; Palamon
- Had the best-boding chance.
- Another cry, and shout within, and cornets.
- This burst of clamor
- Is sure th’ end o’ th’ combat.
- Enter Servant.
Servant104 - 109
- They said that Palamon had Arcite’s body
- Within an inch o’ th’ pyramid, that the cry
- Was general “A Palamon!”; but anon
- Th’ assistants made a brave redemption, and
- The two bold titlers at this instant are
- Hand to hand at it.
Emilia110 - 118
- Were they metamorphis’d
- Both into one—O why? There were no woman
- Worth so compos’d a man! Their single share,
- Their nobleness peculiar to them, gives
- The prejudice of disparity, value’s shortness,
- To any lady breathing.
- Cornets. Cry within, “Arcite, Arcite!”
- More exulting?
- “Palamon” still?
- Nay, now the sound is “Arcite.”
Emilia120 - 121
- I prithee lay attention to the cry;
- Set both thine ears to th’ business.
- Cornets. A great shout and cry, “Arcite! Victory!”
Servant123 - 126
- The cry is
- “Arcite!” and “victory!” Hark, “Arcite! Victory!”
- The combat’s consummation is proclaim’d
- By the wind instruments.
Emilia127 - 136
- Half-sights saw
- That Arcite was no babe. God’s lid, his richness
- And costliness of spirit look’d through him, it could
- No more be hid in him than fire in flax,
- Than humble banks can go to law with waters
- That drift-winds force to raging. I did think
- Good Palamon would miscarry, yet I knew not
- Why I did think so. Our reasons are not prophets
- When oft our fancies are. They are coming off.
- Alas, poor Palamon!
- Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Pirithous, Arcite as victor, and
- Attendants, etc.
Theseus140 - 146
- Lo, where our sister is in expectation,
- Yet quaking and unsettled. Fairest Emily,
- The gods by their divine arbitrement
- Have given you this knight: he is a good one
- As ever struck at head. Give me your hands.
- Receive you her, you him, be plighted with
- A love that grows as you decay.
Arcite147 - 150
- To buy you I have lost what’s dearest to me
- Save what is bought, and yet I purchase cheaply,
- As I do rate your value.
Theseus151 - 175
- O loved sister,
- He speaks now of as brave a knight as e’er
- Did spur a noble steed. Surely the gods
- Would have him die a bachelor, lest his race
- Should show i’ th’ world too godlike. His behavior
- So charm’d me that methought Alcides was
- To him a sow of lead. If I could praise
- Each part of him to th’ all I have spoke, your Arcite
- Did not lose by’t; for he that was thus good
- Encount’red yet his better. I have heard
- Two emulous Philomels beat the ear o’ th’ night
- With their contentious throats, now one the higher,
- Anon the other, then again the first,
- And by and by out-breasted, that the sense
- Could not be judge between ’em. So it far’d
- Good space between these kinsmen; till heavens did
- Make hardly one the winner.—Wear the girlond
- With joy that you have won.—For the subdu’d,
- Give them our present justice, since I know
- Their lives but pinch ’em. Let it here be done.
- The scene’s not for our seeing, go we hence,
- Right joyful, with some sorrow.—Arm your prize,
- I know you will not loose her.—Hippolyta,
- I see one eye of yours conceives a tear,
- The which it will deliver.
Emilia176 - 182
- Is this winning?
- O all you heavenly powers, where is your mercy?
- But that your wills have said it must be so,
- And charge me live to comfort this unfriended,
- This miserable prince, that cuts away
- A life more worthy from him than all women,
- I should and would die too.
Hippolyta183 - 185
- Infinite pity
- That four such eyes should be so fix’d on one
- That two must needs be blind for’t!
- So it is.
- Flourish. Exeunt