The Two Noble Kinsmen/Act 2/Scene 5

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The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare
Act 2/Scene 5

Scaena 5. (An open place in Athens.)

[Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Pirithous, Emilia: Arcite with a
Garland, &c.]

[This short florish of Cornets and Showtes within.]

THESEUS.

You have done worthily; I have not seene,
Since Hercules, a man of tougher synewes;
What ere you are, you run the best, and wrastle,
That these times can allow.

ARCITE.

I am proud to please you.

THESEUS.

What Countrie bred you?

ARCITE.

This; but far off, Prince.

THESEUS.

Are you a Gentleman?

ARCITE.

My father said so;
And to those gentle uses gave me life.

THESEUS.

Are you his heire?

ARCITE.

His yongest, Sir.

THESEUS.

Your Father
Sure is a happy Sire then: what prooves you?

ARCITE.

A little of all noble Quallities:
I could have kept a Hawke, and well have holloa'd
To a deepe crie of Dogges; I dare not praise
My feat in horsemanship, yet they that knew me
Would say it was my best peece: last, and greatest,
I would be thought a Souldier.

THESEUS.

You are perfect.

PERITHOUS.

Vpon my soule, a proper man.

EMILIA.

He is so.

PERITHOUS.

How doe you like him, Ladie?

HIPPOLITA.

I admire him;
I have not seene so yong a man so noble
(If he say true,) of his sort.

EMILIA.

Beleeve,
His mother was a wondrous handsome woman;
His face, me thinkes, goes that way.

HIPPOLITA.

But his Body
And firie minde illustrate a brave Father.

PERITHOUS.

Marke how his vertue, like a hidden Sun,
Breakes through his baser garments.

HIPPOLITA.

Hee's well got, sure.

THESEUS.

What made you seeke this place, Sir?

ARCITE.

Noble Theseus,
To purchase name, and doe my ablest service
To such a well-found wonder as thy worth,
For onely in thy Court, of all the world,
Dwells faire-eyd honor.

PERITHOUS.

All his words are worthy.

THESEUS.

Sir, we are much endebted to your travell,
Nor shall you loose your wish: Perithous,
Dispose of this faire Gentleman.

PERITHOUS.

Thankes, Theseus.
What ere you are y'ar mine, and I shall give you
To a most noble service, to this Lady,
This bright yong Virgin; pray, observe her goodnesse;
You have honourd hir faire birth-day with your vertues,
And as your due y'ar hirs: kisse her faire hand, Sir.

ARCITE.

Sir, y'ar a noble Giver: dearest Bewtie,
Thus let me seale my vowd faith: when your Servant
(Your most unworthie Creature) but offends you,
Command him die, he shall.

EMILIA.

That were too cruell.
If you deserve well, Sir, I shall soone see't:
Y'ar mine, and somewhat better than your rancke
Ile use you.

PERITHOUS.

Ile see you furnish'd, and because you say
You are a horseman, I must needs intreat you
This after noone to ride, but tis a rough one.

ARCITE.

I like him better, Prince, I shall not then
Freeze in my Saddle.

THESEUS.

Sweet, you must be readie,
And you, Emilia, and you, Friend, and all,
To morrow by the Sun, to doe observance
To flowry May, in Dians wood: waite well, Sir,
Vpon your Mistris. Emely, I hope
He shall not goe a foote.

EMILIA.

That were a shame, Sir,
While I have horses: take your choice, and what
You want at any time, let me but know it;
If you serve faithfully, I dare assure you
You'l finde a loving Mistris.

ARCITE.

If I doe not,
Let me finde that my Father ever hated,
Disgrace and blowes.

THESEUS.

Go, leade the way; you have won it:
It shall be so; you shall receave all dues
Fit for the honour you have won; Twer wrong else.
Sister, beshrew my heart, you have a Servant,
That, if I were a woman, would be Master,
But you are wise. [Florish.]

EMILIA.

I hope too wise for that, Sir. [Exeunt omnes.]