Act II, Scene 3

Enter Arcite.


ARCITE Banished the kingdom? 'Tis a benefit,
A mercy I must thank 'em for; but banished
The free enjoying of that face I die for --
O, 'twas a studied punishment, a death
Beyond imagination; such a vengeance
That, were I old and wicked, all my sins
Could never pluck upon me. Palamon,
Thou has the start now -- thou shalt stay and see
Her bright eyes break each morning 'gainst thy window,
And let in life into thee. Thou shalt feed ... [II.3.10]
Upon the sweetness of a noble beauty
That nature ne'er exceeded, nor ne'er shall.
Good gods! What happiness has Palamon!
Twenty to one he'll come to speak to her,
And if she be as gentle as she's fair,
I know she's his -- he has a tongue will tame
Tempests and make the wild rocks wanton.
Come what can come,
The worst is death. I will not leave the kingdom.
I know mine own is but a heap of ruins, ... [II.3.20]
And no redress there. If I go he has her.
I am resolved another shape shall make me,
Or end my fortunes. Either way I am happy --
I'll see her and be near her, or no more.
[Enter four Country People, one of whom carries a garland before them. Arcite stands apart.]
1st COUNTRYMAN My masters, I'll be there -- that's certain.
2d COUNTRYMAN And I'll be there.
4th COUNTRYMAN Why then, have with ye, boys!
~~~'Tis but a chiding --
Let the plow play today, I'll tickle't out
Of the jades' tails tomorrow.
1st COUNTRYMAN I am sure ... [II.3.30]
To have my wife as jealous as a turkey --
But that's all one. I'll go through, let her mumble.
2d COUNTRYMAN Clap her aboard tomorrow night and stow her,
And all's made up again.
3d COUNTRYMAN Ay, do but put
A fescue in her fist and you shall see her
Take a new lesson out and be a good wench.
Do we all hold against the maying?
4th COUNTRYMAN Hold? What should ail us?
3d COUNTRYMAN Arcas will be there
2d COUNTRYMAN And Sennois, and Rycas, and three
better lads ne'er danced under green tree; and ye know ... [II.3.40]
what wenches, ha? But will the dainty dominie, the
schoolmaster, keep touch, do you think? For he does
all, ye know.
3d COUNTRYMAN He'll eat a hornbook ere he fail. Go
to, the matter's too far driven between him and the
tanner's daughter to let slip now, and she must see the
Duke, and she must dance too.
4th COUNTRYMAN Shall we be lusty?
2d COUNTRYMAN All the boys in Athens blow wind
i' th' breech on's! And here I'll be and there I'll be, for ... [II.3.50]
our town, and here again and there again -- ha, boys,
hey for the weavers!
1st COUNTRYMAN This must be done i' th' woods.
4th COUNTRYMAN O, pardon me.
2d COUNTRYMAN By any means, our thing of learning
said so; where he himself will edify the Duke most
parlously in our behalfs -- he's excellent i' th' woods,
bring him to th' plains, his learning makes no cry.
3d COUNTRYMAN We'll see the sports, then every man
to's tackle -- and, sweet companions, let's rehearse, by ... [II.3.60]
any means, before the ladies see us, and do sweetly,
and God know what may come on't.
4th COUNTRYMAN Content -- the sports once ended,
we'll perform. Away boys, and hold.
ARCITE [coming forward.]
By your leaves, honest friends, pray you whither go you?
4th COUNTRYMAN Whither? Why, what a question's that?
ARCITE Yet 'tis a question
To me that know not.
3d COUNTRYMAN To the games, my friend.
2d COUNTRYMAN Where were you bred, you know it not?
ARCITE Not far, sir --
Are there such games today?
1st COUNTRYMAN Yes, marry, are there, ... [II.3.70]
And such as you never saw. The Duke himself
Will be in person there.
ARCITE What pastimes are they?
2d COUNTRYMAN Wrestling and running.
~~~[to the others.] 'Tis a pretty fellow.
3d COUNTRYMAN [to Arcite.] Thou wilt not go along?
ARCITE Not yet, sir.
4th COUNTRYMAN Well, sir,
Take your own time. [to the others.] Come, boys.
1st COUNTRYMAN My mind misgives me --
This fellow has a vengeance trick o'th' hip:
Mark how his body's made for't.
2d COUNTRYMAN I'll be hanged though
If he dare venture; hang him, plum porridge!
He wrestle? He roast eggs! Come, let's be gone, lads.
[Exeunt the four Countrymen.]
ARCITE This is an offered opportunity ... [II.3.80]
I durst not wish for. Well I could have wrestled --
The best men called it excellent -- and run
Swifter than wind upon a field of corn,
Curling the wealthy ears, never flew. I'll venture,
And in some poor disguise be there. Who knows
Whether my brows may not be girt with garlands,
And happiness prefer me to a place
Where I may ever dwell in sight of her? [Exit.]


Act II, Scene 4

Enter the Jailer's Daughter.

DAUGHTER Why should I love this gentleman? 'Tis odds
He will never affect me. I am base,
My father the mean keeper of his prison,
And he a prince. To marry him is hopeless,
To be his whore is witless. Out upon't,
What pushes are we wenches driven to
When fifteen has once found us? First, I saw him;
I, seeing, thought he was a goodly man;
He has as much to please a woman in him --
If he please to bestow it so -- as ever ... [II.4.10]
These eyes yet looked on. Next, I pitied him,
And so would any young wench, o'my conscience,
That ever dreamed or vowed her maidenhead
To a young handsome man. Then, I loved him,
Extremely loved him, infinitely loved him --
And yet he had a cousin fair as he, too.
But in my heart was Palamon, and there,
Lord, what a coil he keeps! To hear him
Sing in an evening, what a heaven it is!
And yet his songs are sad ones. Fairer spoken ... [II.4.20]
Was never gentleman. When I come in
To bring him water in a morning, first
He bows his noble body, then salutes me, thus:
'Fair, gentle maid, good morrow. May thy goodness
Get thee a happy husband.' Once he kissed me --
I loved my lips the better ten days after.
Would he would do so every day! He grieves much,
And me as much to see his misery.
What should I do to make him know I love him?
For I would fain enjoy him. Say I ventured ... [II.4.430]
To set him free? What says the law then? Thus much
For law or kindred! I will do it,
And this night; ere tomorrow he shall love me. [Exit.]



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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