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The Two Noble Kinsmen: Act II, Scene 2

The Two Noble Kinsmen
Act II, Scene 2

The prison.

  1. Enter Palamon, and Arcite in prison.

Palamon

1
  1. How do you, noble cousin?

Arcite

2
  1.                           How do you, sir?

Palamon

3 - 5
  1. Why, strong enough to laugh at misery
  2. And bear the chance of war yet. We are prisoners
  3. I fear forever, cousin.

Arcite

6 - 8
  1.                         I believe it,
  2. And to that destiny have patiently
  3. Laid up my hour to come.

Palamon

9 - 28
  1.                          O cousin Arcite,
  2. Where is Thebes now? Where is our noble country?
  3. Where are our friends and kindreds? Never more
  4. Must we behold those comforts, never see
  5. The hardy youths strive for the games of honor,
  6. Hung with the painted favors of their ladies,
  7. Like tall ships under sail; then start amongst ’em
  8. And as an east wind leave ’em all behind us,
  9. Like lazy clouds, whilst Palamon and Arcite,
  10. Even in the wagging of a wanton leg,
  11. Outstripp’d the people’s praises, won the garlands,
  12. Ere they have time to wish ’em ours. O, never
  13. Shall we two exercise, like twins of honor,
  14. Our arms again, and feel our fiery horses
  15. Like proud seas under us. Our good swords now
  16. (Better the red-ey’d god of war nev’r ware),
  17. Ravish’d our sides, like age must run to rust,
  18. And deck the temples of those gods that hate us;
  19. These hands shall never draw ’em out like lightning
  20. To blast whole armies more.

Arcite

29 - 49
  1.                             No, Palamon,
  2. Those hopes are prisoners with us. Here we are,
  3. And here the graces of our youths must wither
  4. Like a too-timely spring. Here age must find us,
  5. And which is heaviest, Palamon, unmarried.
  6. The sweet embraces of a loving wife,
  7. Loaden with kisses, arm’d with thousand Cupids,
  8. Shall never clasp our necks; no issue know us;
  9. No figures of ourselves shall we ev’r see
  10. To glad our age, and like young eagles teach ’em
  11. Boldly to gaze against bright arms, and say,
  12. Remember what your fathers were, and conquer!”
  13. The fair-ey’d maids shall weep our banishments,
  14. And in their songs curse ever-blinded Fortune
  15. Till she for shame see what a wrong she has done
  16. To youth and nature. This is all our world:
  17. We shall know nothing here but one another,
  18. Hear nothing but the clock that tells our woes;
  19. The vine shall grow, but we shall never see it;
  20. Summer shall come, and with her all delights,
  21. But dead-cold winter must inhabit here still.

Palamon

50 - 59
  1. ’Tis too true, Arcite. To our Theban hounds,
  2. That shook the aged forest with their echoes,
  3. No more now must we hallow; no more shake
  4. Our pointed javelins, whilst the angry swine
  5. Flies like a Parthian quiver from our rages,
  6. Struck with our well-steel’d darts. All valiant uses
  7. (The food and nourishment of noble minds)
  8. In us two here shall perish; we shall die
  9. (Which is the curse of honor) lastly
  10. Children of grief and ignorance.

Arcite

60 - 67
  1.                                  Yet, cousin,
  2. Even from the bottom of these miseries,
  3. From all that fortune can inflict upon us,
  4. I see two comforts rising, two mere blessings,
  5. If the gods pleaseto hold here a brave patience,
  6. And the enjoying of our griefs together.
  7. Whilst Palamon is with me, let me perish
  8. If I think this our prison.

Palamon

68 - 74
  1.                             Certainly
  2. ’Tis a main goodness, cousin, that our fortunes
  3. Were twin’d together. ’Tis most true, two souls
  4. Put in two noble bodies, let ’em suffer
  5. The gall of hazard, so they grow together,
  6. Will never sink; they must not, say they could;
  7. A willing man dies sleeping, and all’s done.

Arcite

75 - 76
  1. Shall we make worthy uses of this place
  2. That all men hate so much?

Palamon

77
  1.                            How, gentle cousin?

Arcite

78 - 102
  1. Let’s think this prison holy sanctuary
  2. To keep us from corruption of worse men.
  3. We are young and yet desire the ways of honor,
  4. That liberty and common conversation,
  5. The poison of pure spirits, might, like women,
  6. Woo us to wander from. What worthy blessing
  7. Can be, but our imaginations
  8. May make it ours? And here being thus together,
  9. We are an endless mine to one another;
  10. We are one another’s wife, ever begetting
  11. New births of love; we are father, friends, acquaintance;
  12. We are, in one another, families:
  13. I am your heir, and you are mine; this place
  14. Is our inheritance. No hard oppressor
  15. Dare take this from us; here with a little patience
  16. We shall live long, and loving. No surfeits seek us;
  17. The hand of war hurts none here, nor the seas
  18. Swallow their youth. Were we at liberty,
  19. A wife might part us lawfully, or business,
  20. Quarrels consume us, envy of ill men
  21. Crave our acquaintance; I might sicken, cousin,
  22. Where you should never know it, and so perish
  23. Without your noble hand to close mine eyes,
  24. Or prayers to the gods. A thousand chances,
  25. Were we from hence, would sever us.

Palamon

103 - 119
  1.                                     You have made me
  2. (I thank you, cousin Arcite) almost wanton
  3. With my captivity. What a misery
  4. It is to live abroad, and every where!
  5. ’Tis like a beast, methinks. I find the court here,
  6. I am sure, a more content, and all those pleasures
  7. That woo the wills of men to vanity
  8. I see through now, and am sufficient
  9. To tell the world ’tis but a gaudy shadow
  10. That old Time, as he passes by, takes with him.
  11. What had we been, old in the court of Creon,
  12. Where sin is justice, lust and ignorance
  13. The virtues of the great ones? Cousin Arcite,
  14. Had not the loving gods found this place for us,
  15. We had died as they do, ill old men, unwept,
  16. And had their epitaphs, the people’s curses.
  17. Shall I say more?

Arcite

120
  1.                   I would hear you still.

Palamon

121 - 123
  1.                         Ye shall.
  2. Is there record of any two that lov’d
  3. Better than we do, Arcite?

Arcite

124
  1.                            Sure there cannot.

Palamon

125 - 126
  1. I do not think it possible our friendship
  2. Should ever leave us.

Arcite

127 - 129
  1.                       Till our deaths it cannot,
  2. Enter Emilia and her Woman below.
  3. And after death our spirits shall be led
  4. To those that love eternally. Speak on, sir.

Emilia

130 - 131
  1. This garden has a world of pleasures in’t.
  2. What flow’r is this?

Waiting-Woman

132
  1.                      ’Tis call’d narcissus, madam.

Emilia

133 - 134
  1. That was a fair boy certain, but a fool
  2. To love himself. Were there not maids enough?

Arcite

135
  1. Pray forward.

Palamon

136
  1.               Yes.

Emilia

137
  1.      Or were they all hard-hearted?

Waiting-Woman

138
  1. They could not be to one so fair.

Emilia

139
  1.                                   Thou wouldst not.

Waiting-Woman

140
  1. I think I should not, madam.

Emilia

141 - 142
  1.                              That’s a good wench!
  2. But take heed to your kindness though.

Waiting-Woman

143
  1.                                        Why, madam?

Emilia

144
  1. Men are mad things.

Arcite

145
  1.                     Will ye go forward, cousin?

Emilia

146
  1. Canst not thou work such flowers in silk, wench?

Waiting-Woman

147
  1.                                                  Yes.

Emilia

148 - 150
  1. I’ll have a gown full of ’em, and of these:
  2. This is a pretty color, will’t not do
  3. Rarely upon a skirt, wench?

Waiting-Woman

151
  1.                             Dainty, madam.

Arcite

152
  1. Cousin, cousin, how do you, sir? Why, Palamon!

Palamon

153
  1. Never till now I was in prison, Arcite.

Arcite

154
  1. Why, what’s the matter, man?

Palamon

155 - 156
  1.                              Behold, and wonder!
  2. By heaven, she is a goddess.

Arcite

157
  1.                              Ha!

Palamon

158 - 159
  1.     Do reverence;
  2. She is a goddess, Arcite.

Emilia

160 - 161
  1.                           Of all flow’rs
  2. Methinks a rose is best.

Waiting-Woman

162
  1.                          Why, gentle madam?

Emilia

163 - 169
  1. It is the very emblem of a maid;
  2. For when the west wind courts her gently,
  3. How modestly she blows, and paints the sun
  4. With her chaste blushes! When the north comes near her,
  5. Rude and impatient, then, like chastity,
  6. She locks her beauties in her bud again,
  7. And leaves him to base briers.

Waiting-Woman

170 - 173
  1.                                Yet, good madam,
  2. Sometimes her modesty will blow so far she falls for’t.
  3. A maid, if she have any honor, would be loath
  4. To take example by her.

Emilia

174
  1.                         Thou art wanton.

Arcite

175
  1. She is wondrous fair.

Palamon

176
  1.                       She is all the beauty extant.

Emilia

177 - 179
  1. The sun grows high, let’s walk in. Keep these flowers,
  2. We’ll see how near art can come near their colors.
  3. I am wondrous merry-hearted, I could laugh now.

Waiting-Woman

180
  1. I could lie down, I am sure.

Emilia

181
  1.                              And take one with you?

Waiting-Woman

182
  1. That’s as we bargain, madam.

Emilia

183
  1.                              Well, agree then.
  1. Exeunt Emilia and Woman.

Palamon

184
  1. What think you of this beauty?

Arcite

185
  1.                                ’Tis a rare one.

Palamon

186
  1. Is’t but a rare one?

Arcite

187
  1.                      Yes, a matchless beauty.

Palamon

188
  1. Might not a man well lose himself and love her?

Arcite

189 - 190
  1. I cannot tell what you have done; I have,
  2. Beshrew mine eyes for’t! Now I feel my shackles.

Palamon

191
  1. You love her then?

Arcite

192
  1.                    Who would not?

Palamon

193
  1.                And desire her?

Arcite

194
  1. Before my liberty.

Palamon

195
  1. I saw her first.

Arcite

196
  1.                  That’s nothing.

Palamon

197
  1.                 But it shall be.

Arcite

198
  1. I saw her too.

Palamon

199
  1.                Yes, but you must not love her.

Arcite

200 - 203
  1. I will not, as you doto worship her
  2. As she is heavenly and a blessed goddess;
  3. I love her as a woman, to enjoy her.
  4. So both may love.

Palamon

204
  1.                   You shall not love at all.

Arcite

205
  1. Not love at all! Who shall deny me?

Palamon

206 - 213
  1. I, that first saw her; I, that took possession
  2. First with mine eye of all those beauties in her
  3. Reveal’d to mankind. If thou lov’st her,
  4. Or entertain’st a hope to blast my wishes,
  5. Thou art a traitor, Arcite, and a fellow
  6. False as thy title to her. Friendship, blood,
  7. And all the ties between us, I disclaim
  8. If thou once think upon her.

Arcite

214 - 222
  1.                              Yes, I love her,
  2. And if the lives of all my name lay on it,
  3. I must do so; I love her with my soul;
  4. If that will lose ye, farewell, Palamon.
  5. I say again, I love, and in loving her maintain
  6. I am as worthy and as free a lover,
  7. And have as just a title to her beauty,
  8. As any Palamon or any living
  9. That is a man’s son.

Palamon

223
  1.                      Have I call’d thee friend?

Arcite

224 - 227
  1. Yes, and have found me so. Why are you mov’d thus?
  2. Let me deal coldly with you: am not I
  3. Part of your blood, part of your soul? You have told me
  4. That I was Palamon, and you were Arcite.

Palamon

228
  1.                                          Yes.

Arcite

229 - 230
  1. Am not I liable to those affections,
  2. Those joys, griefs, angers, fears, my friend shall suffer?

Palamon

231
  1. Ye may be.

Arcite

232 - 235
  1.            Why then would you deal so cunningly,
  2. So strangely, so unlike a noble kinsman,
  3. To love alone? Speak truly: do you think me
  4. Unworthy of her sight?

Palamon

236 - 237
  1.                        No; but unjust
  2. If thou pursue that sight.

Arcite

238 - 240
  1.                            Because another
  2. First sees the enemy, shall I stand still,
  3. And let mine honor down, and never charge?

Palamon

241
  1. Yes, if he be but one.

Arcite

242 - 243
  1.                        But say that one
  2. Had rather combat me?

Palamon

244 - 247
  1.                       Let that one say so,
  2. And use thy freedom; else, if thou pursuest her,
  3. Be as that cursed man that hates his country,
  4. A branded villain.

Arcite

248
  1.                    You are mad.

Palamon

249 - 252
  1.              I must be
  2. Till thou art worthy, Arcite, it concerns me,
  3. And in this madness if I hazard thee
  4. And take thy life, I deal but truly.

Arcite

253 - 256
  1.                                      Fie, sir!
  2. You play the child extremely. I will love her,
  3. I must, I ought to do so, and I dare
  4. And all this justly.

Palamon

257 - 264
  1.                      O that now, that now
  2. Thy false-self and thy friend had but this fortune
  3. To be one hour at liberty, and grasp
  4. Our good swords in our hands, I would quickly teach thee
  5. What ’twere to filch affection from another!
  6. Thou art baser in it than a cutpurse.
  7. Put but thy head out of this window more,
  8. And as I have a soul, I’ll nail thy life to’t!

Arcite

265 - 268
  1. Thou dar’st not, fool, thou canst not, thou art feeble.
  2. Put my head out? I’ll throw my body out,
  3. And leap the garden, when I see her next,
  4. And pitch between her arms to anger thee.
  1. Enter Jailer above.

Palamon

269 - 270
  1. No more; the keeper’s coming. I shall live
  2. To knock thy brains out with my shackles.

Arcite

271
  1.                                           Do.

Jailer

272
  1. By your leave, gentlemen.

Palamon

273
  1.                           Now, honest keeper?

Jailer

274 - 275
  1. Lord Arcite, you must presently to th’ Duke;
  2. The cause I know not yet.

Arcite

276
  1.                           I am ready, keeper.

Jailer

277 - 278
  1. Prince Palamon, I must awhile bereave you
  2. Of your fair cousin’s company.
  1. Exeunt Arcite and Jailer.

Palamon

279 - 300
  1.                                And me too,
  2. Even when you please, of life. Why is he sent for?
  3. It may be he shall marry her; he’s goodly,
  4. And like enough the Duke hath taken notice
  5. Both of his blood and body. But his falsehood!
  6. Why should a friend be treacherous? If that
  7. Get him a wife so noble and so fair,
  8. Let honest men ne’er love again. Once more
  9. I would but see this fair one. Blessed garden,
  10. And fruit and flowers more blessed, that still blossom
  11. As her bright eyes shine on ye, would I were,
  12. For all the fortune of my life hereafter,
  13. Yon little tree, yon blooming apricot!
  14. How I would spread, and fling my wanton arms
  15. In at her window! I would bring her fruit
  16. Fit for the gods to feed on; youth and pleasure,
  17. Still as she tasted, should be doubled on her,
  18. And if she be not heavenly, I would make her
  19. So near the gods in nature, they should fear her;
  20. And then I am sure she would love me.
  21. Enter Jailer above.
  22.                                       How now, keeper,
  23. Where’s Arcite?

Jailer

301 - 304
  1.                 Banish’d. Prince Pirithous
  2. Obtained his liberty; but never more,
  3. Upon his oath and life, must he set foot
  4. Upon this kingdom.

Palamon

305 - 317
  1. Aside.
  2.                    He’s a blessed man!
  3. He shall see Thebes again, and call to arms
  4. The bold young men that when he bids ’em charge,
  5. Fall on like fire. Arcite shall have a fortune,
  6. If he dare make himself a worthy lover,
  7. Yet in the field to strike a battle for her;
  8. And if he lose her then, he’s a cold coward.
  9. How bravely may he bear himself to win her,
  10. If he be noble Arcitethousand ways!
  11. Were I at liberty, I would do things
  12. Of such a virtuous greatness that this lady,
  13. This blushing virgin, should take manhood to her
  14. And seek to ravish me.

Jailer

318 - 319
  1.                        My lord, for you
  2. I have this charge too

Palamon

320
  1.                         To discharge my life?

Jailer

321 - 322
  1. No, but from this place to remove your lordship;
  2. The windows are too open.

Palamon

323 - 324
  1.                           Devils take ’em
  2. That are so envious to me! Prithee kill me.

Jailer

325
  1. And hang for’t afterward!

Palamon

326 - 327
  1.                           By this good light,
  2. Had I a sword, I would kill thee.

Jailer

328
  1.                                   Why, my lord?

Palamon

329 - 330
  1. Thou bring’st such pelting scurvy news continually,
  2. Thou art not worthy life. I will not go.

Jailer

331
  1. Indeed you must, my lord.

Palamon

332
  1.                           May I see the garden?

Jailer

333
  1. No.

Palamon

334
  1.     Then I am resolv’d, I will not go.

Jailer

335 - 337
  1.                                    I must
  2. Constrain you then; and for you are dangerous
  3. I’ll clap more irons on you.

Palamon

338 - 340
  1.                              Do, good keeper.
  2. I’ll shake ’em so, ye shall not sleep,
  3. I’ll make ye a new morris. Must I go?

Jailer

341
  1. There is no remedy.

Palamon

342 - 345
  1. Aside.
  2.                     Farewell, kind window.
  3. May rude wind never hurt thee! O my lady,
  4. If ever thou hast felt what sorrow was,
  5. Dream how I suffer!—Come; now bury me.
  1. Exeunt Palamon and Jailer.
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