The Two Noble Kinsmen
Act 4, Scene 1
Athens. A room in the prison.
- Enter Jailer and his Friend.
Jailer2 - 4
- Hear you no more? Was nothing said of me
- Concerning the escape of Palamon?
- Good sir, remember.
Jailer’s First Friend5 - 18
- Nothing that I heard,
- For I came home before the business
- Was fully ended. Yet I might perceive,
- Ere I departed, a great likelihood
- Of both their pardons; for Hippolyta,
- And fair-ey’d Emily, upon their knees
- Begg’d with such handsome pity, that the Duke
- Methought stood staggering whether he should follow
- His rash oath, or the sweet compassion
- Of those two ladies; and to second them,
- That truly noble prince Pirithous,
- Half his own heart, set in too, that I hope
- All shall be well. Neither heard I one question
- Of your name, or his scape.
- Pray heaven it hold so!
- Enter Second Friend.
Jailer’s Second Friend21 - 22
- Be of good comfort, man; I bring you news,
- Good news.
- They are welcome.
Jailer’s Second Friend24 - 30
- Palamon has clear’d you,
- And got your pardon, and discover’d how
- And by whose means he escap’d, which was your daughter’s,
- Whose pardon is procur’d too; and the prisoner—
- Not to be held ungrateful to her goodness—
- Has given a sum of money to her marriage,
- A large one, I’ll assure you.
Jailer31 - 32
- Ye are a good man
- And ever bring good news.
Jailer’s First Friend33
- How was it ended?
Jailer’s Second Friend34 - 36
- Why, as it should be: they that nev’r begg’d
- But they prevail’d, had their suits fairly granted:
- The prisoners have their lives.
Jailer’s First Friend37
- I knew ’twould be so.
Jailer’s Second Friend38 - 39
- But there be new conditions, which you’ll hear of
- At better time.
- I hope they are good.
Jailer’s Second Friend41 - 42
- They are honorable,
- How good they’ll prove, I know not.
Jailer’s First Friend43
- ’Twill be known.
- Enter Wooer.
- Alas, sir, where’s your daughter?
- Why do you ask?
- O sir, when did you see her?
Jailer’s Second Friend48
- How he looks!
- This morning.
Wooer50 - 51
- Was she well? Was she in health?
- Sir, when did she sleep?
Jailer’s First Friend52
- These are strange questions.
Jailer53 - 59
- I do not think she was very well, for, now
- You make me mind her, but this very day
- I ask’d her questions, and she answered me
- So far from what she was, so childishly,
- So sillily, as if she were a fool,
- An innocent, and I was very angry.
- But what of her, sir?
Wooer60 - 62
- Nothing but my pity.
- But you must know it, and as good by me
- As by another that less loves her.
- Well, sir?
Jailer’s First Friend64
- Not right?
Jailer’s Second Friend65
- Not well?
Wooer66 - 67
- No, sir, not well:
- ’Tis too true, she is mad.
Jailer’s First Friend68
- It cannot be.
- Believe you’ll find it so.
Jailer70 - 74
- I half suspected
- What you told me. The gods comfort her!
- Either this was her love to Palamon,
- Or fear of my miscarrying on his scape,
- Or both.
- ’Tis likely.
- But why all this haste, sir?
Wooer77 - 90
- I’ll tell you quickly. As I late was angling
- In the great lake that lies behind the palace,
- From the far shore, thick set with reeds and sedges,
- As patiently I was attending sport,
- I heard a voice, a shrill one; and attentive
- I gave my ear, when I might well perceive
- ’Twas one that sung, and by the smallness of it,
- A boy or woman. I then left my angle
- To his own skill, came near, but yet perceiv’d not
- Who made the sound, the rushes and the reeds
- Had so encompass’d it. I laid me down
- And list’ned to the words she sung, for then
- Through a small glade cut by the fishermen,
- I saw it was your daughter.
- Pray go on, sir.
Wooer92 - 95
- She sung much, but no sense; only I heard her
- Repeat this often, “Palamon is gone,
- Is gone to th’ wood to gather mulberries.
- I’ll find him out tomorrow.”
Jailer’s First Friend96
- Pretty soul!
Wooer97 - 120
- “His shackles will betray him, he’ll be taken,
- And what shall I do then? I’ll bring a bevy,
- A hundred black-ey’d maids that love as I do,
- With chaplets on their heads of daffadillies,
- With cherry lips and cheeks of damask roses,
- And all we’ll dance an antic ’fore the Duke,
- And beg his pardon.” Then she talk’d of you, sir:
- That you must lose your head tomorrow morning,
- And she must gather flowers to bury you,
- And see the house made handsome. Then she sung
- Nothing but “Willow, willow, willow,” and between
- Ever was “Palamon, fair Palamon,”
- And “Palamon was a tall young man.” The place
- Was knee-deep where she sat; her careless tresses
- A wreath of bulrush rounded; about her stuck
- Thousand fresh water-flowers of several colors,
- That methought she appear’d like the fair nymph
- That feeds the lake with waters, or as Iris
- Newly dropp’d down from heaven. Rings she made
- Of rushes that grew by, and to ’em spoke
- The prettiest posies—“Thus our true love’s tied,”
- “This you may loose, not me,” and many a one;
- And then she wept, and sung again, and sigh’d,
- And with the same breath smil’d, and kiss’d her hand.
Jailer’s Second Friend121
- Alas, what pity it is!
Wooer122 - 133
- I made in to her.
- She saw me, and straight sought the flood. I sav’d her,
- And set her safe to land; when presently
- She slipp’d away, and to the city made
- With such a cry and swiftness that, believe me,
- She left me far behind her. Three or four
- I saw from far off cross her—one of ’em
- I knew to be your brother; where she stay’d,
- And fell, scarce to be got away. I left them with her,
- And hither came to tell you.
- Enter Jailer’s Brother, Daughter, and others.
- Here they are.
Daughter134 - 136
- “May you never more enjoy the light,” etc.
- Is not this a fine song?
- O, a very fine one!
- I can sing twenty more.
- I think you can.
Daughter140 - 141
- Yes, truly, can I. I can sing “The Broom,”
- And “Bonny Robin.” Are not you a tailor?
- Where’s my wedding gown?
- I’ll bring it tomorrow.
Daughter145 - 150
- Do, very rearly, I must be abroad else,
- To call the maids and pay the minstrels,
- For I must lose my maidenhead by cocklight,
- ’Twill never thrive else.
- “O fair, O sweet,” etc.
- You must ev’n take it patiently.
- ’Tis true.
Daughter153 - 154
- Good ev’n, good men. Pray did you ever hear
- Of one young Palamon?
- Yes, wench, we know him.
- Is’t not a fine young gentleman?
- ’Tis, love.
Jailer’s Brother158 - 159
- By no mean cross her, she is then distemper’d
- Far worse than now she shows.
Jailer’s First Friend160
- Yes, he’s a fine man.
- O, is he so? You have a sister?
Jailer’s First Friend162
Daughter163 - 168
- But she shall never have him, tell her so,
- For a trick that I know. Y’ had best look to her,
- For if she see him once, she’s gone—she’s done,
- And undone in an hour. All the young maids
- Of our town are in love with him, but I laugh at ’em
- And let ’em all alone. Is’t not a wise course?
Jailer’s First Friend169
Daughter170 - 175
- There is at least two hundred now with child by him—
- There must be four. Yet I keep close for all this,
- Close as a cockle. And all these must be boys,
- He has the trick on’t; and at ten years old
- They must be all gelt for musicians,
- And sing the wars of Theseus.
Jailer’s Second Friend176
- This is strange.
- As ever you heard, but say nothing.
Jailer’s First Friend178
Daughter179 - 182
- They come from all parts of the dukedom to him.
- I’ll warrant ye he had not so few last night
- As twenty to dispatch. He’ll tickle’t up
- In two hours, if his hand be in.
Jailer183 - 184
- She’s lost
- Past all cure.
- Heaven forbid, man!
Daughter186 - 187
- To the Jailer.
- Come hither, you are a wise man.
Jailer’s First Friend188
- Does she know him?
Jailer’s Second Friend189
- No, would she did!
- You are master of a ship?
- Where’s your compass?
Daughter194 - 197
- Set it to th’ north.
- And now direct your course to th’ wood, where Palamon
- Lies longing for me. For the tackling
- Let me alone. Come weigh, my hearts, cheerly!
All198 - 200
- Owgh, owgh, owgh! ’Tis up! The wind’s fair.
- Top the bowling! Out with the mainsail!
- Where’s your whistle, master?
- Let’s get her in.
- Up to the top, boy!
- Where’s the pilot?
Jailer’s First Friend204
- What ken’st thou?
Jailer’s Second Friend206
- A fair wood.
Daughter207 - 210
- Bear for it, master.
- Tack about!
- “When Cynthia with her borrowed light,” etc.