The Two Noble Kinsmen/Act 2/Scene 3

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The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare
Act 2/Scene 3

Scaena 3. (The country near Athens.)

[Enter Arcite.]

ARCITE.

Banishd the kingdome? tis a benefit,
A mercy I must thanke 'em for, but banishd
The free enjoying of that face I die for,
Oh twas a studdied punishment, a death
Beyond Imagination: Such a vengeance
That, were I old and wicked, all my sins
Could never plucke upon me. Palamon,
Thou ha'st the Start now, thou shalt stay and see
Her bright eyes breake each morning gainst thy window,
And let in life into thee; thou shalt feede
Vpon the sweetenes of a noble beauty,
That nature nev'r exceeded, nor nev'r shall:
Good gods! what happines has Palamon!
Twenty to one, hee'le come to speake to her,
And if she be as gentle as she's faire,
I know she's his; he has a Tongue will tame
Tempests, and make the wild Rockes wanton.
Come what can come,
The worst is death; I will not leave the Kingdome.
I know mine owne is but a heape of ruins,
And no redresse there; if I goe, he has her.
I am resolu'd an other shape shall make me,
Or end my fortunes. Either way, I am happy:
Ile see her, and be neere her, or no more.

[Enter 4. Country people, & one with a garlond before them.]

1. COUNTREYMAN

My Masters, ile be there, that's certaine

2. COUNTREYMAN

And Ile be there.

3. COUNTREYMAN

And I.

4. COUNTREYMAN

Why, then, have with ye, Boyes; Tis but a chiding.
Let the plough play to day, ile tick'lt out
Of the Iades tailes to morrow.

1. COUNTREYMAN

I am sure
To have my wife as jealous as a Turkey:
But that's all one; ile goe through, let her mumble.

2. COUNTREYMAN

Clap her aboard to morrow night, and stoa her,
And all's made up againe.

3. COUNTREYMAN

I, doe but put a feskue in her fist, and you shall see her
Take a new lesson out, and be a good wench.
Doe we all hold against the Maying?

4. COUNTREYMAN

Hold? what should aile us?

3. COUNTREYMAN

Arcas will be there.

2. COUNTREYMAN

And Sennois.
And Rycas, and 3. better lads nev'r dancd
Under green Tree. And yee know what wenches: ha?
But will the dainty Domine, the Schoolemaster,
Keep touch, doe you thinke? for he do's all, ye know.

3. COUNTREYMAN

Hee'l eate a hornebooke ere he faile: goe too, the matter's too
farre driven betweene him and the Tanners daughter, to let slip
now, and she must see the Duke, and she must daunce too.

4. COUNTREYMAN

Shall we be lusty?

2. COUNTREYMAN

All the Boyes in Athens blow wind i'th breech on's, and heere ile
be and there ile be, for our Towne, and here againe, and there
againe:
ha, Boyes, heigh for the weavers.

1. COUNTREYMAN

This must be done i'th woods.

4. COUNTREYMAN

O, pardon me.

2. COUNTREYMAN

By any meanes, our thing of learning saies so:
Where he himselfe will edifie the Duke
Most parlously in our behalfes: hees excellent i'th woods;
Bring him to'th plaines, his learning makes no cry.

3. COUNTREYMAN

Weele see the sports, then; every man to's Tackle:
And, Sweete Companions, lets rehearse by any meanes,
Before the Ladies see us, and doe sweetly,
And God knows what May come on't.

4. COUNTREYMAN

Content; the sports once ended, wee'l performe.
Away, Boyes and hold.

ARCITE.

By your leaves, honest friends: pray you, whither goe you?

4. COUNTREYMAN

Whither? why, what a question's that?

ARCITE.

Yes, tis a question, to me that know not.

3. COUNTREYMAN

To the Games, my Friend.

2. COUNTREYMAN

Where were you bred, you know it not?

ARCITE.

Not farre, Sir,
Are there such Games to day?

1. COUNTREYMAN

Yes, marry, are there:
And such as you neuer saw; The Duke himselfe
Will be in person there.

ARCITE.

What pastimes are they?

2. COUNTREYMAN

Wrastling, and Running.—Tis a pretty Fellow.

3. COUNTREYMAN

Thou wilt not goe along?

ARCITE.

Not yet, Sir.

4. COUNTREYMAN

Well, Sir,
Take your owne time: come, Boyes.

1. COUNTREYMAN

My minde misgives me;
This fellow has a veng'ance tricke o'th hip:
Marke how his Bodi's made for't

2. COUNTREYMAN

Ile be hangd, though,
If he dare venture; hang him, plumb porredge,
He wrastle? he rost eggs! Come, lets be gon, Lads. [Exeunt.]

ARCITE.

This is an offerd oportunity
I durst not wish for. Well I could have wrestled,
The best men calld it excellent, and run—
Swifter the winde upon a feild of Corne
(Curling the wealthy eares) never flew: Ile venture,
And in some poore disguize be there; who knowes
Whether my browes may not be girt with garlands?
And happines preferre me to a place,
Where I may ever dwell in sight of her. [Exit Arcite.]