Act V, Scene 5

Flourish. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Emilia, Pirithous, and some attendants.

EMILIA I'll no step further.
PIRITHOUS Will you lose this sight?
EMILIA I had rather see a wren hawk at fly
Than this decision. Every blow that falls
Threats a brave life; each stroke laments
The place whereon it falls, and sounds more like
A bell than blade. I will stay here.
It is enough my hearing shall be punished
With what shall happen, 'gainst the which there is
No dealing, but to hear; not taint mine eye
With dread sights it may shun.
PIRITHOUS [to Theseus.] ~~~ Sir, my good lord, ... [V.5.10]
Your sister will no further.
THESEUS O, she must.
She shall see deeds of honor in their kind,
Which sometime show well penciled. Nature now
Shall make and act the story, the belief
Both sealed with eye and ear [to Emilia.] You must be present --
You are the victor's meed, the price and garland
To crown the question's title.
EMILIA Pardon me,
If I were there, I'd wink.
THESEUS You must be there --
This trial is, as 'twere, i' th' night, and you
The only star to shine.
EMILIA I am extinct. [V.5.20]
There is but envy in that light which shows
The one the other. Darkness, which ever was
The dam of horror, who does stand accursed
Of many mortal missions, may even now,
By casting her black mantle over both,
That neither could find other, get herself
Some part of a good name, and many a murder
Set off whereto she's guilty.
HIPPOLYTA You must go.
EMILIA In faith, I will not.
THESEUS Why, the knights must kindle
Their valor at your eye. Know, of this war ... [V.5.30]
You are the treasure, and must needs be by
To give the service pay.
EMILIA Sir, pardon me --
The title of a kingdom may be tried
Out of itself.
THESEUS Well, well -- then at your pleasure.
Those that remain with you could wish their office
To any of their enemies.
HIPPOLYTA Farewell, sister.
I am like to know your husband fore yourself,
By some small start of time. He whom the gods
Do of the two know best, I pray them he
Be made your lot. ... [V.5.40]
[Exeunt all but Emilia. Emilia takes out two pictures, one from
her right side, and one from her left
EMILIA Arcite is gently visaged, yet his eye
Is like an engine bent or a sharp weapon
In a soft sheath. Mercy and manly courage
Are bedfellows in his visage. Palamon
Has a most menacing aspect. His brow
Is graved and seems to bury what it frowns on,
Yet sometime 'tis not so, but alters to
The quality of his thoughts. Long time his eye
Will dwell upon his object. Melancholy
Becomes him nobly -- so does Arcite's mirth. ... [V.5.50]
But Palamon's sadness is a kind of mirth,
So mingled as if mirth did make him sad
And sadness merry. Those darker humors that
Stock misbecomingly on others, on them
Live in fair dwelling.
[Cornets. Trumpets sound as to a charge.]
Hark, how yon spurs to spirit do incite
The princes to their proof. Arcite may win me,
And yet may Palamon wound Arcite to
The spoiling of his figure. O, what pity
Enough for such a chance! If I were by ... [V.5.60]
I might do hurt, for they would glance their eyes
Toward my seat, and in that motion might
Omit a ward or forfeit an offense
Which craved that very time. It is much better
[Cornets. A great cry and noise within, crying, 'A Palamon'.]
I am not there. O better never born,
Than minister to such harm. [Enter Servant.]
What is the chance?
SERVANT The cry's 'A Palamon'.
EMILIA Then he has won. 'Twas ever likely --
He looked all grace and success, and he is
Doubtless the prim'st of men. I prithee run ... [V.5.70]
And tell me how it goes.
SERVANT Still 'Palamon'.
EMILIA Run and enquire. [Exit Servant.]
[She speaks to the picture in her right hand.]
~~~ Poor servant, thou hast lost.
Upon my right side still I wore thy picture,
Palamon's on the left. Why so, I know not.
I had no end in't, else chance would have it so.
[Another cry and shout within and cornets.]
On the sinister side the heart lies -- Palamon
Had the best-boding chance. This burst of clamor
Is sure the end o'th' combat. [Enter Servant.]
SERVANT They said that Palamon had Arcite's body
Within an inch o'th' pyramid -- that the cry ... [V.5.80]
Was general 'A Palamon'. But anon
Th'assistants made a brave redemption, and
The two bold tilters at this instant are
Hand to hand at it.
EMILIA Were they metamorphosed
Both into one! O why? There were no woman
Worth so composed a man: their single share,
Their nobleness peculiar to them, gives
The prejudice of disparity, value's shortness,
To any lady breathing -- [Cornets. Cry within, 'Arcite, Arcite'.]
~~~ More exulting?
'Palamon' still?
SERVANT  Nay, now the sound is 'Arcite'.
EMILIA I prithee, lay attention to the cry.
[Cornets. A great shout and cry, 'Arcite, victory!']
Set both thine ears to th' business.
SERVANT The cry is
'Arcite' and 'Victory' -- hark, 'Arcite, victory!'
The combat's consummation is proclaimed
By the wind instruments.
EMILIA Half sights saw
That Arcite was no babe. God's lid, his richness
And costliness of spirit looked through him -- it could
No more be hid in him than fire in flax,
Than humble banks can go to law with waters
That drift winds force to raging. I did think ... [V.5.100]
Good Palamon would miscarry, yet I knew not
Why I did think so. Our reasons are not prophets
When oft our fancies are. They are coming off --
Alas, poor Palamon.
[She puts away the pictures. Cornets. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta,
Pirithous, Arcite as victor, and attendants.
THESEUS  Lo, where our sister is in expectation,
Yet quaking and unsettled. Fairest Emily,
The gods by their divine arbitrament
Have given you this knight. He is a good one
As ever struck at head. [to Arcite and Emilia.] Give me your hands.
[to Arcite.] Receive you her, [to Emilia.]
~~~ you him: [to both.] be plighted with ... [V.5.110]
A love that grows as you decay.
ARCITE Emilia,
To buy you I have lost what's dearest to me
Save what is bought, and yet I purchase cheaply
As I do rate your value.
THESEUS [to Emilia.] ~~~ O loved sister,
He speaks now of as brave a knight as e'er
Did spur a noble steed. Surely the gods
Would have him die a bachelor lest his race
Should show i' th' world too godlike. His behavior
So charmed me that, methought, Alcides was
To him a sow of lead. If I could praise ... [V.5.120]
Each part of him to th'all I have spoke, your Arcite
Did not lose by't; for he that was thus good,
Encountered yet his better. I have heard
Two emulous Philomels beat the ear o'th' night
With their contentious throats, now one the higher,
Anon the other, then again the first,
And by and by out-breasted, that the sense
Could not be judge between 'em -- so it fared
Good space between these kinsmen, till heavens did
Make hardly one the winner. [to Arcite.] Wear the garland ... [V.5.130]
With joy that you have won. -- For the subdued,
Give them our present justice, since I know
Their lives but pinch 'em. Let it be here done.
The scene's not for our seeing; go we hence
Right joyful, with some sorrow. [to Arcite.] Arm your prize;
I know you will not lose her. Hippolyta,
I see one eye of yours conceives a tear,
The which it will deliver. [Flourish.]
EMILIA Is this winning?
O all you heavenly powers, where is your mercy?
But that your wills have said it must be so, ... [V.5.140]
And charge me live to comfort this unfriended,
This miserable prince, that cuts away
A life more worthy from him than all women,
I should and would die too.
HIPPOLYTA  Infinite pity
That four such eyes should be so fixed on one
That two must needs be blind for't.
  So it is. [Exeunt.]


Act V, Scene  6

Enter, guarded, Palamon and his three Knights pinioned;
enter with them the Jailer and an executioner with block and axe.


PALAMON There's many a man alive that hath outlived
The love o'th' people; yea, i' th' self-same state
Stands many a father with his child: some comfort
We have by so considering. We expire,
And not without men's pity; to live still,
Have their good wishes. We prevent
The loathsome misery of age, beguile
The gout and rheum that in lag hours attend
The grey approachers; we come towards the gods
Young and unwappered, not halting under crimes ... [V.6.10]
Many and stale -- that sure shall please the gods
Sooner than such, to give us nectar with 'em,
For we are more clear spirits. May dear kinsmen,
Whose lives for this poor comfort are laid down,
You have sold 'em too too cheap.
1 KNIGHT What ending could be
Of more content? O'er us the victors have
Fortune, whose title is as momentary
As to us death is certain -- a grain of honor
They not o'erweigh us.
2 KNIGHT Let us bid farewell,
And with our patience anger tott'ring fortune, ... [V.6.20]
Who at her certain'st reels.
2 KNIGHT Come, who begins?
PALAMON E'en he that led you to this banquet shall
Taste to you all. [to the Jailer] Aha, my friend, my friend,
Your gentle daughter gave me freedom once;
You'll see't done now for ever. Pray, how does she?
I heard she was not well; her kind of ill
Gave me some sorrow.
JAILER Sir, she's well restored
And is to be married shortly.
PALAMON By my short life,
I am most glad on't. 'Tis the latest thing
I shall be glad of. Prithee, tell her so; ... [V.6.30]
Commend me to her, and to piece her portion
Tender her this. [He gives his purse.]
1 KNIGHT Nay, let's be offerers all.
2 KNIGHT Is it a maid?
PALAMON Verily, I think so --
A right good creature more to me deserving
Than I can quit or speak of.
ALL 3 KNIGHTS Commend us to her.
[They give their purses.]
JAILER The gods requite you all, and make her thankful.
PALAMON Adieu, and let my life be now as short
As my leave-taking. [He lies on the block.]
1 KNIGHT Lead, courageous cousin.
2 and 3 KNIGHTS We'll follow cheerfully.
[A great noise within: crying, 'Run! Save! Hold!'
Enter in haste a Messenger.
MESSENGER Hold! Hold! O, hold! Hold! Hold! ... [V.6.40]
[Enter Pirithous in haste.]
PIRITHOUS Hold, ho! It is a cursed haste you made
If you had done so quickly! Noble Palamon,
The gods will show their glory in a life
That thou art yet to lead.
PALAMON Can that be,
When Venus, I have said, is false? How do things fare?
PIRITHOUS Arise, great sir, and give the tidings ear
That are most rarely sweet and bitter.
Hath waked us from our dream?
PIRITHOUS List, then: your cousin,
Mounted upon a steed that Emily
Did first bestow on him, a black one owing [V.6.50]
Not a hair-worth of white -- which some will say
Weakens his price and many will not buy
His goodness with this note; which superstition
Here finds allowance -- on this horse is Arcite
Trotting the stones of Athens, which the calkins
Did rather tell than trample; for the horse
Would make his length a mile, if't pleased his rider
To put pride in him. As he thus went counting
The flinty pavement, dancing, as 'twere, to th' music
His own hooves made -- for, as they say, from iron ... [V.6.60]
Came music's origin -- what envious flint,
Cold as old Saturn and like him possessed
With fire malevolent, darted a spark,
Or what fierce sulfur else, to this end made,
I comment not -- the hot horse, hot as fire,
Took toy at this and fell to what disorder
His power could give his will, bounds; comes on end;
Forgets school-doing, being therein trained
And of kind manage; pig-like he whines
At the sharp rowel, which he frets at rather ... [V.6.70]
Than any jot obeys; seeks all foul means
Of boist'rous and rough jad'ry to disseat
His lord, that kept it bravely. When naught served,
When neither curb would crack, girth break, nor diff'ring plunges
Disroot his rider whence he grew, but that
He kept him 'tween his legs, on his hind hooves --
On end he stands --
That Arcite's legs, being higher than his head,
Seemed with strange art to hang. His victor's wreath
Even then fell off his head; and presently ... [V.6.80]
Backward the jade comes o'er and his full poise
Becomes the rider's load. Yet is he living;
But such a vessel 'tis that floats but for
The surge that next approaches. He much desires
To have some speech with you -- lo, he appears.
[Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Emilia, and Arcite in a chair borne by attendants.]
PALAMON O miserable end of our alliance!
The gods are mighty. Arcite, if thy heart,
Thy worthy manly heart, be yet unbroken,
Give me thy last words. I am Palamon,
One that yet loves thee dying.
ARCITE Take Emilia, ... [V.6.90]
And with her all the world's joy. Reach thy hand --
Farewell -- I have told my last hour. I was false,
Yet never treacherous. Forgive me, cousin --
One kiss from fair Emilia -- [They kiss.] 'tis done.
Take her; I die. [He dies.]
PALAMON Thy brave soul seek Elysium.
EMILIA [to Arcite's body.]
I'll close thine eyes, Prince. Blessed souls be with thee.
Thou art a right good man, and, while I live,
This day I give to tears.
PALAMON And I to honor.
THESEUS In this place first you fought, e'en very here
I sundered you. Acknowledge to the gods ... [V.6.100]
Our thanks that you are living.
His part is played, and, though it were too short,
He did it well. Your day is lengthened and
The blissful dew of heaven does arouse you.
The powerful Venus well hath graced her altar,
And given you your love; our master, Mars,
Hath vouched his oracle, and to Arcite gave
The grace of the contention. So the deities
Have showed due justice. -- Bear this hence.
[Exeunt attendants with Arcite's body.]
PALAMON  O cousin,
That we should things desire which do cost us ... [V.6.110]
The loss of our desire! That naught could buy
Dear love, but loss of dear love!
THESEUS Never fortune
Did play a subtler game -- the conquered triumphs,
The victor has the loss. Yet in the passage
The gods have been most equal. Palamon,
Your kinsman hath confessed the right o'th' lady
Do lie in you, for you first saw her and
Even then proclaimed your fancy. He restored her
As your stol'n jewel, and desired your spirit
To send him hence, forgiven. The gods my justice ... [V.6.120]
Take from my hand, and they themselves become
The executioners. Lead your lady off,
And call your lovers from the stage of death,
Whom I adopt my friends. A day or two
Let us look sadly and give grace unto
The funeral of Arcite, in whose end
The visages of bridegrooms we'll put on
And smile with Palamon, for whom an hour,
But one hour since, I was as dearly sorry
As glad of Arcite, and am now as glad ... [V.6.130]
As for him sorry. O you heavenly charmers, --
What things you make of us! For what we lack
We laugh, for what we have, are sorry; still
Are children in some kind. Let us be thankful
For that which is, and with you leave dispute
That are above our question. Let's go off
And bear us like the time. [Flourish. Exeunt.]



EPILOGUE: I would now ask ye how ye like the play,
But, as it is with schoolboys, cannot say.
I am cruel fearful. Pray yet stay awhile,
And let me look upon ye. No man smile?
Then it goes hard, I see. He that has
Loved a young handsome wench, then, show his face --
'Tis strange if none be here -- and, if he will,
Against his conscience let him hiss and kill
Our market. 'Tis in vain, I see, to stay ye.
Have at the worst can come, then! Now, what say ye? ... [Ep.10]
And yet mistake me not -- I am not bold --
We have no such cause. If the tale we have told --
For 'tis no other -- any way content ye,
For to that honest purpose it was meant ye,
We have our end; and ye shall have ere long
I dare say, many a better to prolong
Your old loves to us. We and all our might
Rest at your service. Gentlemen, good night. [Flourish. 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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