Act IV - Act IV, Scene 2
Scaena 2. (A Room in the Palace.)
[Enter Emilia alone, with 2. Pictures.]
Yet I may binde those wounds up, that must open
And bleed to death for my sake else; Ile choose,
And end their strife: Two such yong hansom men
Shall never fall for me, their weeping Mothers,
Following the dead cold ashes of their Sonnes,
Shall never curse my cruelty. Good heaven,
What a sweet face has Arcite! if wise nature,
With all her best endowments, all those beuties
She sowes into the birthes of noble bodies,
Were here a mortall woman, and had in her
The coy denialls of yong Maydes, yet doubtles,
She would run mad for this man: what an eye,
Of what a fyry sparkle, and quick sweetnes,
Has this yong Prince! Here Love himselfe sits smyling,
Iust such another wanton Ganimead
Set Jove a fire with, and enforcd the god
Snatch up the goodly Boy, and set him by him
A shining constellation: What a brow,
Of what a spacious Majesty, he carries!
Arch'd like the great eyd Iuno's, but far sweeter,
Smoother then Pelops Shoulder! Fame and honour,
Me thinks, from hence, as from a Promontory
Pointed in heaven, should clap their wings, and sing
To all the under world the Loves and Fights
Of gods, and such men neere 'em. Palamon
Is but his foyle, to him a meere dull shadow:
Hee's swarth and meagre, of an eye as heavy
As if he had lost his mother; a still temper,
No stirring in him, no alacrity,
Of all this sprightly sharpenes not a smile;
Yet these that we count errours may become him:
Narcissus was a sad Boy, but a heavenly:--
Oh who can finde the bent of womans fancy?
I am a Foole, my reason is lost in me;
I have no choice, and I have ly'd so lewdly
That women ought to beate me. On my knees
I aske thy pardon, Palamon; thou art alone,
And only beutifull, and these the eyes,
These the bright lamps of beauty, that command
And threaten Love, and what yong Mayd dare crosse 'em?
What a bold gravity, and yet inviting,
Has this browne manly face! O Love, this only
From this howre is Complexion: Lye there, Arcite,
Thou art a changling to him, a meere Gipsey,
And this the noble Bodie. I am sotted,
Vtterly lost: My Virgins faith has fled me;
For if my brother but even now had ask'd me
Whether I lov'd, I had run mad for Arcite;
Now, if my Sister, More for Palamon.
Stand both together: Now, come aske me, Brother.--
Alas, I know not! Aske me now, sweet Sister;--
I may goe looke. What a meere child is Fancie,
That, having two faire gawdes of equall sweetnesse,
Cannot distinguish, but must crie for both.
[Enter (a) Gent(leman.)]
How now, Sir?
From the Noble Duke your Brother,
Madam, I bring you newes: The Knights are come.
To end the quarrell?
Would I might end first:
What sinnes have I committed, chast Diana,
That my unspotted youth must now be soyld
With blood of Princes? and my Chastitie
Be made the Altar, where the lives of Lovers
(Two greater and two better never yet
Made mothers joy) must be the sacrifice
To my unhappy Beautie?
[Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Perithous and attendants.]
Bring 'em in
Quickly, By any meanes; I long to see 'em.--
Your two contending Lovers are return'd,
And with them their faire Knights: Now, my faire Sister,
You must love one of them.
I had rather both,
So neither for my sake should fall untimely.
[Enter Messenger. (Curtis.)]
Who saw 'em?
I, a while.
From whence come you, Sir?
From the Knights.
You that have seene them, what they are.
I will, Sir,
And truly what I thinke: Six braver spirits
Then these they have brought, (if we judge by the outside)
I never saw, nor read of. He that stands
In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming,
Should be a stout man, by his face a Prince,
(His very lookes so say him) his complexion,
Nearer a browne, than blacke, sterne, and yet noble,
Which shewes him hardy, fearelesse, proud of dangers:
The circles of his eyes show fire within him,
And as a heated Lyon, so he lookes;
His haire hangs long behind him, blacke and shining
Like Ravens wings: his shoulders broad and strong,
Armd long and round, and on his Thigh a Sword
Hung by a curious Bauldricke, when he frownes
To seale his will with: better, o'my conscience
Was never Souldiers friend.
Thou ha'st well describde him.
Yet a great deale short,
Me thinkes, of him that's first with Palamon.
Pray, speake him, friend.
I ghesse he is a Prince too,
And, if it may be, greater; for his show
Has all the ornament of honour in't:
Hee's somewhat bigger, then the Knight he spoke of,
But of a face far sweeter; His complexion
Is (as a ripe grape) ruddy: he has felt,
Without doubt, what he fights for, and so apter
To make this cause his owne: In's face appeares
All the faire hopes of what he undertakes,
And when he's angry, then a setled valour
(Not tainted with extreames) runs through his body,
And guides his arme to brave things: Feare he cannot,
He shewes no such soft temper; his head's yellow,
Hard hayr'd, and curld, thicke twind like Ivy tods,
Not to undoe with thunder; In his face
The liverie of the warlike Maide appeares,
Pure red, and white, for yet no beard has blest him.
And in his rowling eyes sits victory,
As if she ever ment to court his valour:
His Nose stands high, a Character of honour.
His red lips, after fights, are fit for Ladies.
Must these men die too?
When he speakes, his tongue
Sounds like a Trumpet; All his lyneaments
Are as a man would wish 'em, strong and cleane,
He weares a well-steeld Axe, the staffe of gold;
His age some five and twenty.
A little man, but of a tough soule, seeming
As great as any: fairer promises
In such a Body yet I never look'd on.
O, he that's freckle fac'd?
The same, my Lord;
Are they not sweet ones?
Yes, they are well.
Being so few, and well disposd, they show
Great, and fine art in nature: he's white hair'd,
Not wanton white, but such a manly colour
Next to an aborne; tough, and nimble set,
Which showes an active soule; his armes are brawny,
Linde with strong sinewes: To the shoulder peece
Gently they swell, like women new conceav'd,
Which speakes him prone to labour, never fainting
Vnder the waight of Armes; stout harted, still,
But when he stirs, a Tiger; he's gray eyd,
Which yeelds compassion where he conquers: sharpe
To spy advantages, and where he finds 'em,
He's swift to make 'em his: He do's no wrongs,
Nor takes none; he's round fac'd, and when he smiles
He showes a Lover, when he frownes, a Souldier:
About his head he weares the winners oke,
And in it stucke the favour of his Lady:
His age, some six and thirtie. In his hand
He beares a charging Staffe, embost with silver.
Are they all thus?
They are all the sonnes of honour.
Now, as I have a soule, I long to see'em.
Lady, you shall see men fight now.
I wish it,
But not the cause, my Lord; They would show
Bravely about the Titles of two Kingdomes;
Tis pitty Love should be so tyrannous:
O my soft harted Sister, what thinke you?
Weepe not, till they weepe blood, Wench; it must be.
You have steel'd 'em with your Beautie.--Honord Friend,
To you I give the Feild; pray, order it
Fitting the persons that must use it.
Come, Ile goe visit 'em: I cannot stay,
Their fame has fir'd me so; Till they appeare.
Good Friend, be royall.
There shall want no bravery.
Poore wench, goe weepe, for whosoever wins,
Looses a noble Cosen for thy sins. [Exeunt.]