The Two Noble Kinsmen/Act 4/Scene 3

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The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare
Act 4/Scene 3

Scaena 3. (A room in the prison.)

[Enter Iailor, Wooer, Doctor.]

DOCTOR.

Her distraction is more at some time of the Moone, then at other
some, is it not?

IAILOR.

She is continually in a harmelesse distemper, sleepes little,
altogether without appetite, save often drinking, dreaming of
another world, and a better; and what broken peece of matter
so'ere she's about, the name Palamon lardes it, that she farces
ev'ry busines withall, fyts it to every question.—

[Enter Daughter.]

Looke where shee comes, you shall perceive her behaviour.

DAUGHTER.

I have forgot it quite; The burden on't, was DOWNE A, DOWNE A,
and pend by no worse man, then Giraldo, Emilias Schoolemaster;
he's as Fantasticall too, as ever he may goe upon's legs,—for
in the next world will Dido see Palamon, and then will she be
out of love with Eneas.

DOCTOR.

What stuff's here? pore soule!

IAILOR.

Ev'n thus all day long.

DAUGHTER.

Now for this Charme, that I told you of: you must bring a peece
of silver on the tip of your tongue, or no ferry: then, if it be
your chance to come where the blessed spirits, as ther's a sight
now—we maids that have our Lyvers perish'd, crakt to peeces with
Love, we shall come there, and doe nothing all day long but picke
flowers with Proserpine; then will I make Palamon a Nosegay; then
let him marke me,—then—

DOCTOR.

How prettily she's amisse? note her a little further.

DAUGHTER.

Faith, ile tell you, sometime we goe to Barly breake, we of the
blessed; alas, tis a sore life they have i'th other place, such
burning, frying, boyling, hissing, howling, chattring, cursing,
oh they have shrowd measure! take heede; if one be mad, or hang
or drowne themselves, thither they goe, Iupiter blesse vs, and
there shall we be put in a Caldron of lead, and Vsurers grease,
amongst a whole million of cutpurses, and there boyle like a
Gamon
of Bacon that will never be enough. [Exit.]

DOCTOR.

How her braine coynes!

DAUGHTER.

Lords and Courtiers, that have got maids with Child, they are in
this place: they shall stand in fire up to the Nav'le, and in yce
up to'th hart, and there th'offending part burnes, and the
deceaving part freezes; in troth, a very greevous punishment, as
one would thinke, for such a Trifle; beleve me, one would marry a
leaprous witch, to be rid on't, Ile assure you.

DOCTOR.

How she continues this fancie! Tis not an engraffed Madnesse,
but a most thicke, and profound mellencholly.

DAUGHTER.

To heare there a proud Lady, and a proud Citty wiffe, howle
together! I were a beast and il'd call it good sport: one cries,
'O this smoake!' another, 'this fire!' One cries, 'O, that ever
I did it behind the arras!' and then howles; th'other curses a
suing fellow and her garden house. [Sings] I will be true, my
stars, my fate, &c. [Exit Daugh.]

IAILOR.

What thinke you of her, Sir?

DOCTOR.

I thinke she has a perturbed minde, which I cannot minister to.

IAILOR.

Alas, what then?

DOCTOR.

Vnderstand you, she ever affected any man, ere she beheld
Palamon?

IAILOR.

I was once, Sir, in great hope she had fixd her liking on this
gentleman, my friend.

WOOER.

I did thinke so too, and would account I had a great pen-worth
on't, to give halfe my state, that both she and I at this present
stood unfainedly on the same tearmes.

DOCTOR.

That intemprat surfeit of her eye hath distemperd the other sences:
they may returne and settle againe to execute their preordaind
faculties, but they are now in a most extravagant vagary. This
you must doe: Confine her to a place, where the light may rather
seeme to steale in, then be permitted; take vpon you (yong Sir,
her friend) the name of Palamon; say you come to eate with her,
and to commune of Love; this will catch her attention, for this
her minde beates upon; other objects that are inserted tweene her
minde and eye become the prankes and friskins of her madnes; Sing
to her such greene songs of Love, as she sayes Palamon hath sung
in prison; Come to her, stucke in as sweet flowers as the season
is mistres of, and thereto make an addition of som other compounded
odours, which are grateful to the sence: all this shall become
Palamon, for Palamon can sing, and Palamon is sweet, and ev'ry
good thing: desire to eate with her, carve her, drinke to her,
and still among, intermingle your petition of grace and acceptance
into her favour: Learne what Maides have beene her companions and
play-pheeres, and let them repaire to her with Palamon in their
mouthes, and appeare with tokens, as if they suggested for him.
It is a falsehood she is in, which is with falsehood to be combated.
This may bring her to eate, to sleepe, and reduce what's now out
of square in her, into their former law, and regiment; I have seene
it approved, how many times I know not, but to make the number more,
I have great hope in this. I will, betweene the passages of this
project, come in with my applyance: Let us put it in execution,
and hasten the successe, which, doubt not, will bring forth
comfort. [Florish. Exeunt.]