Oh, "the true love 'tween maid and maid", what would we do without it?
Emilia, Theseus' sister, is explaining to Hippolyta, Theseus' wife and former Queen of the Amazons, why she isn't particularly keen on men.
EMILIA: ~~~ I was acquainted
Once with a time when I enjoyed a playfellow; ... [I.3.50]
You were at wars when she the grave enriched,
Who made too proud the bed; took leave o'th' moon --
Which then looked pale at parting -- when our count
Was each eleven.
HIPPOLYTA: ~~~ 'Twas Flavina.
EMILIA: ~~~ Yes.
You talk of Pirithous' and Theseus' love:
Theirs has more ground, is more maturely seasoned,
More buckled with strong judgment, and their needs
The one of th'other may be said to water
Their intertangled roots of love; but I
And she I sigh and spoke of were things innocent, ... [I.3.60]
Loved for what we did, and like the elements,
That know not what, nor why, yet do effect
Rare issues by their operance, our souls
Did so to one another. What she liked
Was then of me approved; what not, condemned --
No more arraignment. The flower that I would pluck
And put between my breasts -- O then but beginning
To swell about the blossom -- she would long
Till she had such another, and commit it
To the like innocent cradle, where phoenix-like, ... [I.3.70]
They died in perfume. On my head no toy
But was her pattern. Her affections -- pretty,
Though happily her careless wear -- I followed
For my most serious decking. Had mine ear
Stol'n some new air, or at adventure hummed one,
From musical coinage, why, it was a note
Whereon her spirits would sojourn -- rather dwell on --
And sing it in her slumbers. This rehearsal --
Which, seely innocence wots well, comes in
Like old emportment's bastard -- has this end: ... [I.3.80]
That the true love 'tween maid and maid may be
More than in sex dividual.
HIPPOLYTA: ~~~ You're out of breath,
And this high-speeded pace is but to say
That you shall never, like the maid Flavina,
Love any that's called man.
EMILIA: I am sure I shall not.
HIPPOLYTA: Now alack, weak sister,
I must no more believe thee in this point --
Though in't I know thou dost believe thyself --
Than I will trust a sickly appetite ... [I.3.90]
That loathes even as it longs. But sure, my sister,
If I were ripe for your persuasion, you
Have said enough to shake me from the arm
Of the all-noble Theseus, for whose fortunes
I will now in and kneel, with great assurance
That we more than his Pirithous possess
The high throne in his heart.
EMILIA: ~~~ I am not
Against your faith, yet I continue mine. [Exeunt.]
Shakespeare and Fletcher, The Two Noble Kinsmen
, I.3.49-99, from here
. You should see what the men get up to later on. I think the gay male bits are by Fletcher and the lesbian bits by Shakespeare, but I'd have to check.