Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes/Scene x
Enter Shift with sword and target.
- Be your leave, I came up so early this morning that I cannot see my way;
- I am sure it’s scarce yet in the break of the day.
- But you muse, I am sure, wherefore these weapons I bring:
- Well, listen unto my tale, and you shall know every thing;
- Because I played the shifting knave to save myself from harm,
- And by my procurement my master was brought in this charm.
- The ten days are expired, and this morning he shall awake,
- And now, like a crafty knave, to the prison my way will I take
- With these same weapons, as though I would fight to set him free,
- Which will give occasion that he shall mistrust there was no deceit in me;
- And having the charge of him here under Bryan Sans-foy,
- I’ll open the prison-doors, and make as though I did employ
- To do it by force, through good-will and only for his sake;
- Then shall Clamydes, being at liberty, the weapons of me take,
- And set upon Bryan and all his men, now that they are asleep,
- And so be revenged for that he did him keep
- By charm: in this order so shall they both deceived be,
- And yet upon neither part mistrust towards me.
- Well, near to the prison I’ll draw to see if he be awake:
- Hark, hark, this same is he, that his lamentation doth make!
- [in prison] Ah fatal hap! where am I, wretch? in what distressed case!
- Bereft of tire, of head, and shield, not knowing in what place
- My body is! Ah heavenly gods, was e’er such strangeness seen?
- What, do I dream? or am I still within the forest green?
- Dream! no, no, alas, I dream not I! my senses all do fail,
- The strangeness of this cruel hap doth make my heart to quail.
- Clamydes, ah, by Fortune she what forward luck and fate
- Most cruelly assigned is unto thy noble state!
- Where should I be? or in what place hath destiny assigned
- My silly corpse for want of food and comfort to be pined?
- Ah, farewell hope of purchasing my lady! since is lost
- The serpent’s head, whereby I should possess that jewel most.
- Ah, farewell hope of honor eke! now shall I break my day
- Before King Alexander’s grace, whereon my faith doth stay.
- And shall I be found a faithless knight? fie on fell Fortune, she
- Which hath her wheel of forward chance thus whirled back on me!
- Ah, farewell King of Suavia land! ah, farewell Denmark dame!
- Farewell, thou Knight of the Golden Shield! to thee shall rest all fame;
- To me this direful destiny; to thee, I know, renown;
- To me this blast of Ignomy; to thee Dame Honor’s crown.
- Ah, hateful hap! what shall I say? I see the gods have ’signed
- Through cruelty my careful corps in prison to be pined;
- And naught, alas, amates me so, but that I know not where I am,
- Nor how into this doleful place my woeful body came!
- Alas, good Clamydes, in what an admiration is he,
- Not knowing in what place his body should be!
- [in prison] Who nameth poor Clamydes there? reply to him again.
- And’t shall please you, I am your servant Knowledge, which in a thousand woes for you remain.
- [in prison] Ah Knowledge, where am I, declare, and be brief.
- Where are you! faith, even in the castle of that false thief,
- Bryan Sans-foy, against whom to fight and set you free
- Look out at the window, behold, I have brought tools with me.
- [in prison] Ah Knowledge, then cowardly that caitiff did me charm?
- Yea, or else he could never have done you any harm:
- But be of good cheer; for such a shift I have made,
- That the keys of the prison I have got, yourself persuade,
- Wherewith this morning I am come to set you free,
- And, as they lie in their beds, you may murder Bryan and his men, and set all other at liberty.
- [in prison] Ah Knowledge, this hath me bound to be thy friend forever!
- A true servant, you may see, will deceive his master never.
- So, the doors are open; now come and follow after me.
[Clamydes] enter out.
- Ah heavens, in what case myself do I see!
- But speak, Knowledge, canst thou tell how long have I been here?
- These ten days full, and sleeping still; this sentence is most clear.
- Alas, then this same is the day the which appointed was
- By the Knight of the Golden Shield to me that combat ours should pass
- Before King Alexander’s grace; and there I know he is!
- Ah cruel Fortune, why shouldst thou thus wrest my chance amiss,
- Knowing I do but honor seek, and thou dost me defame,
- In that contrary mine expect thou all things seeks to frame?
- The faith and loyalty of a knight thou causest me to break:
- Ah hateful dame, why shouldst thou thus thy fury on me wreak?
- Now will King Alexander judge the thing in me to be
- The which, since first I arms could bear, no wight did ever see.
- But, Knowledge, give from thee to me those weapons, that I may
- Upon that Bryan be revenged, which cowardly did betray
- Me of my things, and here from thrall all other knights set free
- Whom he by charm did bring in bale as erst he did by me.
- Come, into his lodging will I go, and challenge him and his.
- Do so, and to follow I will not miss.
- Ah sirrah, here was a shift according to my nature and condition!
- And a thousand shifts more I have to put myself out of suspicion;
- But it doth me good to think how that cowardly knave, Bryan Sans-foy,
- Shall be taken in the snare; my heart doth even leap for joy.
- Hark, hark! my master is amongst them; but let him shift as he can,
- For not, to deal with a dog, he shall have help of his man.
Re-enter, after a little fight within, Clamydes, three Knights.
- Come, come, sir knights; for so unfortunate was never none as I;
- That I should joy that is my joy the heavens themselves deny:
- That cowardly wretch that kept you here, and did me so deceive,
- Is fled away, and hath the shield the which my lady gave
- To me in token of her love, the serpent’s head like case,
- For which this mine adventure was, to win her noble grace.
- And sure that same th’ occasion was why we adventured hether.
- Well, sith I have you delivered, whenas you please, together,
- Each one into his native soil his journey do prepare;
- For though that I have broke my day, as erst I did declare,
- Through this most cowardly caitiff’s charms, in meeting of the knight
- Which of the Golden Shield bears name, to know else what he hight
- I will to Alexander’s court, and if that thence he be,
- Yet will I seek to find him out, lest he impute to me
- Some cause of cowardliness to be; and therefore, sir knights, depart;
- As to myself I wish to you with fervent zeal of heart:
- Yet, if that any one of you do meet this knight by way,
- What was the cause of this my let, let him perstand I pray.
All the Knights
- We shall not miss, O noble knight, t’accomplish this your will.
- Well, then, adieu, sir knights, each one; the gods protect you still!
- What, Knowledge, ho! where art thou, man? come forth, that hence we may.
- [within] Where am I! faith, breaking open of chests here within, for I’ll have the spoil of all away.
- Tush, tush, 
- I pray thee come, that hence we may; no riches thou shalt lack.
[Re-enter] Shift with a bag, as it were, full of gold on his back.
- I come now with as much money as I am able to carry of my back;
- A[h], there was never poor ass so loaden! But how now! that cowardly Bryan have you slain?
- And your shield, the serpent’s head, and coat, have you again?
- Ah, no Knowledge! 
- The knights that here were captives kept, they are by me at liberty,
- But that false Bryan this same night is fled away for certainty,
- And hath all things he took from me conveyed where none doth know.
- O the bones of me! how will you, then, do for the serpent’s head to Juliana to show?
- I have no other hope, alas, but only that her grace
- Will credit give unto my words, whenas I show my case,
- How they were lost: but first, ere I unto that dame return,
- I’ll seek the Knight of the Golden Shield whereas he doth sojourn,
- T’accomplish what my father willed; and therefore come away.
- Well, keep on before, for I mind not to stay.
- Ah sirrah, the craftier knave, the better luck! that’s plain:
- I have such a deal of substance here, where Bryan’s men are slain,
- That it passeth: O, that I had while for to stay!
- I could load a hundred carts full of kitchen-stuff away.
- Well, it’s not best to tarry too long behind, lest my master over-go,
- And then some knave, knowing of my money, a piece of cozenage show.
- tire, of] D B; Tyro Q
- silly] D; sely Q B
- Exit] D B; Exeunt Q
- All the Knights] Omnes Q
- Tush, tush] Printed as part of the following line in Q
- Ah, no Knowledge] Printed as part of the following line in Q
- Be: By
- silly: poor, wretched. Here Q has “sely” but in [scene i] it has “my silly barke,” and in [scene xxiii] “a sillie [silly] shepheards boy.”—Dyce.
- 'signed: assigned
- bale: misery
- condition: quality, disposition
- joy: enjoy
- let: hindrance
- perstand: understand
- of: on
- passeth: i.e. passeth belief.—Bullen