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  • Title: Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)

    NEw Playes, and Maydenheads, are neare a kin,
    Much follow'd both, for both much mony g'yn,
    5If they stand sound, and well: And a good Play
    (Whose modest Sceanes blush on his marriage day,
    And shake to loose his honour) is like hir
    That after holy Tye, and first nights stir
    Yet still is Modestie, and still retaines
    10More of the maid to sight, than Husbands paines;
    We pray our Play may be so; For I am sure
    It has a noble Breeder, and a pure,
    A learned, and a Poet never went
    More famous yet twixt Po and silver Trent.
    15Chaucer (of all admir'd) the Story gives,
    There constant to Eternity it lives;
    If we let fall the Noblenesse of this,
    And the first sound this child heare, be a hisse,
    How will it shake the bones of that good man,
    20And make him cry from under ground, O fan
    From me the witles chaffe of such a wrighter
    That blastes my Bayes, and my fam'd workes makes
    Then Robin Hood? This is the feare we bring;
    For to say Truth, it were an endlesse thing,
    25And too ambitious to aspire to him;
    Weake as we are, and almost breathlesse swim
    In this deepe water. Do but you hold out
    Your helping hands, and we shall take about,
    And something doe to save us: You shall heare
    30Sceanes though below his Art, may yet appeare
    Worth two houres travell. To his bones sweet sleepe:
    Content to you. If this play doe not keepe,
    A little dull time from us, we perceave
    Our losses fall so thicke, we must needs leave.