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From The Knight's Tale, lines 670-715:
Arcita dreams aloud about Emily and angers Palamon who responds furiously
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale
lines 716-764: Arcita and Palamon agree to fight the next day


      This Palamoun, that thoughte that thurgh his herte
He felte a coold swerd sodeynliche glyde,
For ire he quook, no lenger wolde he byde.
And whan that he had herd Arcites tale,
720As he were wood, with face deed and pale,
He stirte hym up out of the buskes thikke,
And seide, "Arcite, false traytour wikke!
Now artow hent that lovest my lady so,
For whom that I have al this peyne and wo,
725And art my blood, and to my conseil sworn,
As I ful ofte ofte have seyd thee heerbiforn,
And hast byjaped heere duc Theseus,
And falsly chaunged hast thy name thus.
I wol be deed, or elles thou shalt dye;
730Thou shalt nat love my lady Emelye,
But I wol love hire oonly, and namo,
For I am Palamon, thy mortal foo!
And though that I no wepene have in this place,
But out of prison am astert by grace,
735I drede noght that outher thow shalt dye,
Or thow ne shalt nat loven Emelye.
Chees which thou wolt, for thou shalt nat asterte!"
      This Palamon, who thought that through his heart
He felt a cold and sudden sword blade glide,
For rage he shook, no longer would he hide.
But after he had heard Arcita's tale,
720As he were mad, with face gone deathly pale,
He started up and sprang out of the thicket,
Crying: "Arcita, oh you traitor wicked,
Now are you caught, that crave my lady so,
For whom I suffer all this pain and woe,
725And are my blood, and know my secrets' store,
As I have often told you heretofore,
And have befooled the great Duke Thesues,
And falsely changed your name and station thus:
Either I shall be dead or you shall die.
730You shall not love my lady Emily,
But I will love her, and none other, no;
For I am Palamon, your mortal foe.
And though I have no weapon in this place,
Being but out of prison by God's grace,
735I say again, that either you shall die
Or else forgo your love for Emily.
Choose which you will, for you shall not depart."
      This Arcite, with ful despitous herte,
Whan he hym knew, and hadde his tale herd,
740As fiers as leoun pulled out his swerd,
And seyde thus: "By God that sit above,
Nere it that thou art sik and wood for love,
And eek that thow no wepne hast in this place,
Thou sholdest nevere out of this grove pace,
745That thou ne sholdest dyen of myn hond.
For I defye the seurete and the bond
Which that thou seist that I have maad to thee.
What, verray fool, thynk wel that love is free,
And I wol love hir, maugree al thy myght!
750But for as muche thou art a worthy knyght,
And wilnest to darreyne hire by bataille,
Have heer my trouthe; tomorwe I wol nat faille
Withoute wityng of any oother wight
That heere I wol be founden as a knyght,
755And bryngen harneys right ynough for thee,
And ches the beste, and leef the worste for me.
And mete and drynke this nyght wol I brynge
Ynough for thee, and clothes for thy beddynge;
And if so be that thou my lady wynne,
760And sle me in this wode ther I am inne,
Thow mayst wel have thy lady as for me."
      This Arcita, with scornful, angry heart,
When he knew him and all the tale had heard,
740Fierce as a lion, out he pulled a sword,
And answered thus: "By God that sits above!
Were it not you are sick and mad for love,
And that you have no weapon in this place,
Out of this grove you'd never move a pace,
745But meet your death right now, and at my hand.
For I renounce the bond and its demand
Which you assert that I have made with you.
What, arrant fool, love's free to choose and do,
And I will have her, spite of all your might!
750But in as much as you're a worthy knight
And willing to defend your love, in mail,
Hear now this word: tomorrow I'll not fail
Without the cognizance of any wight
To come here armed and harnessed as a knight,
755And to bring arms for you, too, as you'll see;
And choose the better and leave the worse for me.
And meat and drink this very night I'll bring,
Enough for you, and clothes for your bedding.
And if it be that you my lady win
760And slay me in this wood that now I'm in,
Then may you have your lady, for all of me."
      This Palamon answerde, "I graunte it thee."
And thus they been departed til amorwe,
Whan ech of hem had leyd his feith to borwe.
      This Palamon replied: "I do agree."
And thus they parted till the morrow morn,
When each had pledged his honour to return.




Next Next:
From The Knight's Tale, lines 765-804:
Arcita and Palamon start to fight their duel
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