Act II, Scene 1

Enter the Jailer and the Wooer.
 

JAILER  I may depart with little, while I live; something I
may cast to you, not much. Alas, the prison I keep,
though it be for great ones, yet they seldom come;
before one salmon you shall take a number of minnows.
I am given out to be better lined than it can appear to
me report is a true speaker. I would I were really that
I am delivered to be. Marry, what I have -- be it what
it will -- I will assure upon my daughter at the day of
my death.
WOOER Sir, I demand no more than your own offer, and ... [II.1.10
I will estate your daughter in what I have promised.
JAILER Well, we will talk more of this when the solemnity
is past. But have you a full promise of her?
[Enter the Jailer's Daughter with rushes.]
When that shall be seen, I tender my consent.
WOOER I have, sir. Here she comes.
JAILER [to Daughter.] Your friend and I have chanced to
name you here, upon the old business -- but no more
of that now. So soon as the court hurry is over we will
have an end of it. I'th' mean time, look tenderly to the
two prisoners. I can tell you they are princes. ... [II.1.20]
DAUGHTER These strewings are for their chamber.
'Tis pity they are in prison, and 'twere pity they should
be out. I do think they have patience to make any
adversity ashamed; the prison itself is proud of 'em,
and they have all the world in their chamber.
JAILER They are famed to be a pair of absolute men.
DAUGHTER By my troth, I think fame but stammers
'em -- they stand a grece above the reach of report.
JAILER I heard them reported in the battle to be the only doers. ... [II.1.30]
DAUGHTER Nay, most likely, for they are noble
sufferers. I marvel how they would have looked had
they been victors, that with such a constant nobility
enforce a freedom out of bondage, making misery their
mirth, and affliction a toy to jest at.
JAILER Do they so?
DAUGHTER It seems to me they have no more
sense of their captivity than I of ruling Athens. They
eat well, look merrily, discourse of many things, but
nothing of their own restraint and disasters. Yet ... [II.1.40]
sometime a divided sigh -- martyred as 'twere i' th'
deliverance -- will break from one of them, when the
other presently gives it so sweet a rebuke that I could
wish myself a sigh to be so chid, or at least a sigher
to be comforted.
WOOER I never saw 'em.
JAILER The Duke himself came privately in the night,
[Palamon and Arcite appear at a window above.]
and so did they. What the reason of it is I know not.
Look, yonder they are. That's Arcite looks out.
DAUGHTER No, sir, no -- that's Palamon. Arcite is ... [II.1.50]
the lower of the twain -- [pointing at Arcite.] you may
perceive a part of him.
JAILER Go to, leave your pointing. They would not make
us their object. Out of their sight.
DAUGHTER It is a holiday to look on them. Lord,
the difference of men!

 

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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