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  • Title: Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)

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    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)

    Actus Quintus.
    Scæna 1.
    Enter Thesius, Perithous, Hipolita, attendants.
    Thes. Now let 'em enter, and before the gods
    Tender their holy prayers: Let the Temples
    Burne bright with sacred fires, and the Altars
    2630In hallowed clouds commend their swelling Incense
    To those above us: Let no due be wanting,
    Florish of Cornets.
    They have a noble worke in hand, will honour
    The very powers that love 'em.
    Enter Palamon and Arcite, and their Knights.
    Per. Sir they enter.
    Thes. You valiant and strong harted Enemies
    You royall German foes, that this day come
    To blow that nearenesse out that flames betweene ye;
    2640Lay by your anger for an houre, and dove-like
    Before the holy Altars of your helpers
    (The all feard gods) bow downe your stubborne bodies,
    Your ire is more than mortall; So your helpe be,
    And as the gods regard ye, fight with Iustice,
    2645Ile leave you to your prayers, and betwixt ye
    I part my wishes.
    Per. Honour crowne the worthiest.
    Exit Theseus, and his traine.
    Pal. The glasse is running now that cannot finish
    2650Till one of us expire: Thinke you but thus,
    That were there ought in me which strove to show
    Mine enemy in this businesse, wer't one eye
    Against another: Arme opprest by Arme:
    I would destroy th' offender, Coz, I would
    2655Though parcell of my selfe: Then from this gather
    How I should tender you.
    Arc. I am in labour
    To push your name, your auncient love, our kindred
    Out of my memory; and i'th selfe same place
    2660To seate something I would confound: So hoyst we
    The sayles, that must these vessells port even where
    The heavenly Lymiter pleases.
    Pal. You speake well;
    Before I turne, Let me embrace thee Cosen
    2665This I shall never doe agen.
    Arc. One farewell.
    Pal. Why let it be so: Farewell Coz.
    Exeunt Palamon and his Knights.
    Arc. Farewell Sir;
    2670Knights, Kinsemen, Lovers, yea my Sacrifices
    True worshippers of Mars, whose spirit in you
    Expells the seedes of feare, and th' apprehension
    Which still is farther off it, Goe with me
    Before the god of our profession: There
    2675Require of him the hearts of Lyons, and
    The breath of Tigers, yea the fearcenesse too,
    Yea the speed also, to goe on, I meane:
    Else wish we to be Snayles; you know my prize
    Must be drag'd out of blood, force and great feate
    2680Must put my Garland on, where she stickes
    The Queene of Flowers: our intercession then
    Must be to him that makes the Campe, a Cestron
    Brymd with the blood of men: give me your aide
    And bend your spirits towards him.
    They kneele.
    2685Thou mighty one, that with thy power hast turnd
    Greene Nepture into purple.
    Comets prewarne, whose havocke in vaste Feild
    Vnearthed skulls proclaime, whose breath blowes downe,
    The teeming Ceres foyzon, who dost plucke
    2690With hand armenypotent from forth blew clowdes,
    The masond Turrets, that both mak'st, and break'st
    The stony girthes of Citties: me thy puple,
    Yongest follower of thy Drom, instruct this day
    With military skill, that to thy lawde
    2695I may advance my Streamer, and by thee,
    Be stil'd the Lord o'th day, give me great Mars
    Some token of thy pleasure.
    Here they fall on their faces as formerly, and there is heard
    clanging of Armor, with a short Thunder as the burst of
    2700a Battaile, whereupon they all rise and bow to the Altar.
    O Great Corrector of enormous times,
    Shaker of ore-rank States, thou grand decider
    Of dustie, and old tytles, that healst with blood
    The earth when it is sicke, and curst the world
    2705O'th pluresie of people; I doe take
    Thy signes auspiciously, and in thy name
    To my designe; march boldly, let us goe.
    Enter Palamon and his Knights, with the former obser-
    2710Pal. Our stars must glister with new fire, or be
    To daie extinct; our argument is love,
    Which if the goddesse of it grant, she gives
    Victory too, then blend your spirits with mine,
    You, whose free noblenesse doe make my cause
    2715Your personall hazard; to the goddesse Venus
    Commend we our proceeding, and implore
    Her power unto our partie.
    Here they kneele as formerly.
    Haile Soveraigne Queene of secrets, who hast power
    To call the feircest Tyrant from his rage;
    2720And weepe unto a Girle; that ha'st the might
    Even with an ey-glance, to choke Marsis Drom
    And turne th'allarme to whispers, that canst make
    A Criple florish with his Crutch, and cure him
    Before Apollo; that may'st force the King
    2725To be his subjects vassaile, and induce
    Stale gravitie to daunce, the pould Bachelour
    Whose youth like wanton Boyes through Bonfyres
    Have skipt thy flame, at seaventy, thou canst catch
    And make him to the scorne of his hoarse throate
    2730Abuse yong laies of love; what godlike power
    Hast thou not power upon? To Phæbus thou
    Add'st flames, hotter then his the heavenly fyres
    Did scortch his mortall Son, thine him; the huntresse
    All moyst and cold, some say began to throw
    2735Her Bow away, and sigh: take to thy grace
    Me thy vowd Souldier, who doe beare thy yoke
    As t'wer a wreath of Roses, yet is heavier
    Then Lead it selfe, stings more than Nettles;
    I have never beene foule mouthd against thy law,
    2740Nev'r reveald secret, for I knew none; would not
    Had I kend all that were; I never practised
    Vpon mans wife, nor would the Libells reade
    Of liberall wits: I never at great feastes
    Sought to betray a Beautie, but have blush'd
    2745At simpring Sirs that did: I have beene harsh
    To large Confessors, and have hotly ask'd them
    If they had Mothers, I had one, a woman,
    And women t'wer they wrong'd. I knew a man
    Of eightie winters, this I told them, who
    2750A Lasse of foureteene brided, twas thy power
    To put life into dust, the aged Crampe
    Had screw'd his square foote round,
    The Gout had knit his fingers into knots,
    Torturing Convulsions from his globie eyes,
    2755Had almost drawne their spheeres, that what was life
    In him seem'd torture: this Anatomie
    Had by his yong faire pheare a Boy, and I
    Beleev'd it was his, for she swore it was,
    And who would not beleeve her? briefe I am
    2760To those that prate and have done; no Companion
    To those that boast and have not; a defyer
    To those that would and cannot; a Rejoycer,
    Yea him I doe not love, that tells close offices
    The fowlest way, nor names concealements in
    2765The boldest language, such a one I am,
    And vow that lover never yet made sigh
    Truer then I. O then most soft sweet goddesse
    Give me the victory of this question, which
    Is true loves merit, and blesse me with a signe
    2770Of thy great pleasure.
    Here Musicke is heard, Doves are seene to flutter, they
    fall againe upon their faces, then on their knees.
    Pal. O thou that from eleven, to ninetie raign'st
    In mortall bosomes, whose chase is this world
    2775And we in heards thy game; I give thee thankes
    For this faire Token, which being layd unto
    Mine innocent true heart, armes in assurance
    They bow.
    My body to this businesse: Let us rise
    And bow before the goddesse: Time comes on.
    Still Musicke of Records.
    Enter Emilia in white, her haire about her shoulders, a whea-
    ten wreath: One in white holding up her traine, her haire
    stucke with flowers: One before her carrying a silver
    Hynde, in whic his conveyd Incense and sweet odours,
    2785which being set upon the Altar her maides standing a
    loofe, she sets fire to it, then they curtsey and kneele.
    Emilia. O sacred, shadowie, cold and constant Queene,
    Abandoner of Revells, mate contemplative,
    Sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure
    2790As windefand Snow, who to thy femall knights
    Alow'st no more blood than will make a blush,
    Which is their orders robe. I heere thy Priest
    Am humbled fore thine Altar, O vouchsafe
    With that thy rare greene eye, which never yet
    2795Beheld thing maculate, looke on thy virgin,
    And sacred silver Mistris, lend thine eare
    (Which nev'r heard scurrill terme, into whose port
    Ne're entred wanton sound,) to my petition
    Seasond with holy feare; This is my last
    2800Of vestall office, I am bride habited,
    But mayden harted, a husband I have pointed,
    But doe not know him out of two, I should
    Choose one, and pray for his successe, but I
    Am guiltlesse of election of mine eyes,
    2805Were I to loose one, they are equall precious,
    I could doombe neither, that which perish'd should
    Goe too't unsentenc'd: Therefore most modest Queene,
    He of the two Pretenders, that best loves me
    And has the truest title in't, Let him
    2810Take off my wheaten Gerland, or else grant
    The fyle and qualitie I hold, I may
    Continue in thy Band.
    Here the Hynde vanishes under the Altar: and in the
    place ascends a Rose Tree, having one Rose upon it.
    2815See what our Generall of Ebbs and Flowes
    Out from the bowells of her holy Altar
    With sacred act advances: But one Rose,
    If well inspird, this Battaile shal confound
    Both these brave Knights, and I a virgin flowre
    2820Must grow alone unpluck'd.
    Here is heard a sodaine twang of Instruments, and the
    Rose fals from the Tree.
    The flowre is falne, the Tree descends: O Mistris
    Thou here dischargest me, I shall be gather'd,
    2825I thinke so, but I know not thine owne will;
    Vnclaspe thy Misterie: I hope she's pleas'd,
    Her Signes were gratious.
    They curtsey and Exeunt.