Act I, Scene 4
Cornets. A battle struck within. Then a retreat. Flourish. Then enter Theseus, victor. The three Queens meet him and fall on their faces before him. Also enter a Herald, and attendants bearing Palamon and Arcite on two hearses.


1 QUEEN [to Theseus.] To thee no star be dark.
2 QUEEN [to Theseus.] Both heaven and earth
Friend thee for ever.
3 QUEEN [to Theseus.] All the good that may
Be wished upon thy head, I cry 'Amen' to't.
THESEUS Th'impartial gods, who from the mounted heavens
View us their mortal herd, behold who err
And in their time chastise. Go and find out
The bones of your dead lords and honor them
With treble ceremony: rather than a gap
Should be in their dear rites we would supply't.
But those we will depute which shall invest ... [I.4.10]
You in your dignities, and even each thing
Our haste does leave imperfect. So adieu,
And heaven's good eyes look on you. [Exeunt the Queen.]
~~~ What are those?
HERALD Men of great quality, as may be judged
By their appointment. Some of Thebes have told's
They are sisters' children, nephews to the King.
THESEUS By th' helm of Mars I saw them in the war,
Like to a pair of lions smeared with prey,
Make lanes in troops aghast. I fixed my note
Constantly on them, for they were a mark ... [I.4.20]
Worth a god's view. What prisoner was't that told me
When I enquired their names?
HERALD Wi' leave, they're called
Arcite and Palamon.
THESEUS 'Tis right: those, those.
They are not dead?
HERALD Nor in a state of life. Had they been taken
When their last hurts were given, 'twas possible
They might have been recovered. Yet they breathe,
And have the name of men.
THESEUS Then like men use 'em.
The very lees of such, millions of rates
Exceed the wine of others. All our surgeons ... [I.4.30]
Convent in their behoof; our richest balms,
Rather than niggard, waste. Their lives concern us
Much more than Thebes is worth. Rather than have 'em
Freed of this plight and in their morning state --
Sound and at liberty -- I would 'em dead;
But forty-thousandfold we had rather have 'em
Prisoners to us, than death. Bear 'em speedily
From our kind air, to them unkind, and minister
What man to man may do -- for our sake, more,
Since I have known frights, fury, friends' behests, ... [I.4.40]
Love's provocations, zeal, a mistress' task,
Desire of liberty, a fever, madness,
Hath set a mark which nature could not reach to
Without some imposition, sickness in will
O'er-wrestling strength in reason. For our love
And great Apollo's mercy, all our best
Their best skill tender. -- Lead into the city
Where, having bound things scattered, we will post
To Athens fore our army. [Flourish. Exeunt.]


Act I, Scene 5

Music. Enter the three Queens with the hearses of their
lords in a funeral solemnity, with attendants.


Urns and odors, bring away,
Vapors, sighs, darken the day;
Our dole more deadly looks than dying.
Balms and gums and heavy cheers,
Sacred vials filled with tears,
And clamors through the wild air flying:
Come all sad and solemn shows,
That are quick-eyed pleasure's foes.
We convent naught else but woes,
We convent naught else but woes. ... [I.5.10]

3 QUEEN This funeral path brings to your household's grave --
Joy seize on you again, peace sleep with him.
2 QUEEN And this to yours.
1 QUEEN Yours this way. Heavens lend
A thousand differing ways to one sure end.
3 QUEEN This world's a city full of straying streets,
And death's the market-place where each one meets. [Exeunt severally.]



To see other scenes from the show: 

Full Text Act III, Scene 3/Act III, Scene 4
Act I, Scene 1 Act III, Scene 5
Act I, Scene 2 Act III, Scene 6
Act I, Scene 3 Act IV, Scene 1
Act I, Scene 4/Act I, Scene 5 Act IV, Scene 2
Act II, Scene 1 Act IV, Scene 3
Act II, Scene 2 Act V, Scene 1
Act II, Scene 3/Act II, Scene 4 Act V, Scene 2/Act V, Scene 3
Act II, Scene 5/Act II, Scene 6 Act V, Scene 4
Act III, Scene 1/Act III, Scene 2 Act V, Scene 5/Act V, Scene 6


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