Two Noble Kinsmen Scenes
A darkened room in the prison.
(Doctor; Jailer; Wooer; Jailer’s Daughter; Maid; First Messenger)
The Wooer reports that the Jailer’s Daughter is half-convinced that he is indeed Palamon. The Doctor approves and tells him to carry on, going as far as is needed; the Jailer protests when the Doctor suggests that they even go to bed together without having been married. When the Jailer goes out to fetch his daughter, the Doctor comments on the foolishness of fathers, remarking that whether or not the Jailer’s Daughter is honest has nothing to do with curing her. The Wooer agrees. The Jailer and his Daughter return, she discussing all of Palamon’s wonderful features. The Wooer advances and, pretending to be Palamon, agrees to marry her. They kiss, and she is eager for the night to begin. The Doctor pretends to be Arcite complimenting Palamon on his choice. A Messenger calls the Jailer to go to the tournament, and the Doctor follows along, not wishing to miss it; he guarantees that he will have the Daughter cured in a few more days. He advises the Wooer not to leave her alone, and to agree to her request for kisses, playing cards, and going to bed together. The Wooer promises not to hurt her. ( line)
Enter Doctor, Jailer, and Wooer in habit of Palamon.
Has this advice I told you done any good upon her?
O, very much; the maids that kept her company
Have half persuaded her that I am Palamon.
Within this half hour she came smiling to me,
And ask’d me what I would eat, and when I would kiss her.
I told her, presently, and kiss’d her twice.
’Twas well done. Twenty times had been far better,
For there the cure lies mainly.
Then she told me
She would watch with me tonight, for well she knew
What hour my fit would take me.
Let her do so,
And when your fit comes, fit her home, and presently.
She would have me sing.
You did so?
’twas very ill done then.
You should observe her ev’ry way.
I have no voice, sir, to confirm her that way.
That’s all one, if ye make a noise.
If she entreat again, do any thing,
Lie with her, if she ask you.
Ho there, doctor!
Yes, in the way of cure.
But first, by your leave,
I’ th’ way of honesty.
That’s but a niceness.
Nev’r cast your child away for honesty.
Cure her first this way; then if she will be honest,
She has the path before her.
Thank ye, doctor.
Pray bring her in
And let’s see how she is.
I will, and tell her
Her Palamon stays for her; but, doctor,
Methinks you are i’ th’ wrong still.
You fathers are fine fools. Her honesty!
And we should give her physic till we find that—
Why, do you think she is not honest, sir?
How old is she?
She may be,
But that’s all one, ’tis nothing to our purpose.
What e’er her father says, if you perceive
Her mood inclining that way that I spoke of,
Videlicet, the way of flesh—you have me?
Yet very well, sir.
Please her appetite,
And do it home; it cures her ipso facto
The melancholy humor that infects her.
I am of your mind, doctor.
Enter Jailer, Daughter, Maid.
You’ll find it so. She comes. Pray humor her.
Come, your love Palamon stays for you, child,
And has done this long hour, to visit you.
I thank him for his gentle patience,
He’s a kind gentleman, and I am much bound to him.
Did you nev’r see the horse he gave me?
How do you like him?
He’s a very fair one.
You never saw him dance?
I have often.
He dances very finely, very comely,
And for a jig, come cut and long tail to him,
He turns ye like a top.
That’s fine indeed.
He’ll dance the morris twenty mile an hour,
And that will founder the best hobby-horse
(If I have any skill) in all the parish,
And gallops to the tune of “Light a’ love.”
What think you of this horse?
Having these virtues,
I think he might be brought to play at tennis.
Alas, that’s nothing.
Can he write and read too?
A very fair hand, and casts himself th’ accounts
Of all his hay and provender. That hostler
Must rise betime that cozens him. You know
The chestnut mare the Duke has?
She is horribly in love with him, poor beast,
But he is like his master, coy and scornful.
What dowry has she?
Some two hundred bottles,
And twenty strike of oats, but he’ll ne’er have her.
He lisps in ’s neighing able to entice
A miller’s mare, he’ll be the death of her.
What stuff she utters!
Make curtsy, here your love comes.
Wooer comes forward.
How do ye? That’s a fine maid! There’s a curtsy!
Yours to command i’ th’ way of honesty.
How far is’t now to th’ end o’ th’ world, my masters?
Why, a day’s journey, wench.
Will you go with me?
What shall we do there, wench?
Why, play at stoolball:
What is there else to do?
I am content,
If we shall keep our wedding there.
For there, I will assure you, we shall find
Some blind priest for the purpose that will venture
To marry us, for here they are nice and foolish.
Besides, my father must be hang’d tomorrow,
And that would be a blot i’ th’ business.
Are not you Palamon?
Do not you know me?
Yes, but you care not for me. I have nothing
But this poor petticoat and two coarse smocks.
That’s all one, I will have you.
Will you surely?
Yes, by this fair hand, will I.
We’ll to bed then.
Ev’n when you will.
O, sir, you would fain be nibbling.
Why do you rub my kiss off?
’Tis a sweet one,
And will perfume me finely against the wedding.
Is not this your cousin Arcite?
Yes, sweet heart,
And I am glad my cousin Palamon
Has made so fair a choice.
Do you think he’ll have me?
Yes, without doubt.
Do you think so too?
We shall have many children.—Lord, how y’ are grown!
My Palamon I hope will grow too, finely,
Now he’s at liberty. Alas, poor chicken,
He was kept down with hard meat and ill lodging,
But I’ll kiss him up again.
Enter First Messenger.1. MESS.
What do you here? You’ll lose the noblest sight
That ev’r was seen.
Are they i’ th’ field?
You bear a charge there too.
I’ll away straight.
I must ev’n leave you here.
Nay, we’ll go with you,
I will not lose the fight.
How did you like her?
I’ll warrant you within these three or four days
I’ll make her right again.
To the Wooer.
You must not from her,
But still preserve her in this way.
Let’s get her in.
Come, sweet, we’ll go to dinner,
And then we’ll play at cards.
And shall we kiss too?
A hundred times.
Ay, and twenty.
And then we’ll sleep together?
Take her offer.
Yes, marry, will we.
But you shall not hurt me.
I will not, sweet.
If you do, love, I’ll cry.