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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)

    The Two Noble
    Actus Primus.
    Enter Hymen with a Torch burning: a Boy, in a white
    Robe before singing, and strewing Flowres: After Hymen,
    a Nimph, encompast in her Tresses, bearing a wheaten Gar-
    40land. Then Theseus betweene two other Nimphs with
    wheaten Chaplets on their heades. Then Hipolita the Bride,
    lead by Theseus, and another holding a Garland over her
    head (her Tresses likewise hanging.) After her Emilia hol-
    ding up her Traine.
    45The Song, Musike.
    ROses their sharpe spines being gon,
    Not royall in their smels alone,
    But in their hew.
    Maiden Pinckes, of odour faint,
    50Dazies smel-lesse, yet most quaint
    And sweet Time true.
    Prim-rose first borne, child of Ver,
    Merry Spring times Herbinger,
    With her bels dimme.
    55Oxlips, in their Cradles growing,
    Mary-golds, on death beds blowing,
    Larkes-heeles trymme.
    All deere natures children: sweete-
    Ly fore Bride and Bridegroomes feete Strew Flowers.
    60Blessing their sence.
    Not an angle of the aire,
    Bird melodious, or bird faire,
    Is absent hence.
    The Crow, the slaundrous Cuckoe, nor
    65The boding Raven, nor Clough hee
    Nor chattring Pie,
    May on our Bridehouse pearch or sing,
    Or with them any discord bring
    But from it fly.
    70Enter 3. Queenes in Blacke, with vailes staind, with impe-
    riall Crownes. The 1. Queene fals downe at the foote of
    Theseus; The 2. fals downe at the foote of Hypolita. The
    3. before Emilia.
    1. Qu. For pitties sake and true gentilities,
    75Heare, and respect me.
    2. Qu. For your Mothers sake,
    And as you wish your womb may thrive with faire ones,
    Heare and respect me,
    3. Qu. Now for the love of him whom Iove hath markd
    80The honour of your Bed, and for the sake
    Of cleere virginity, be Advocate
    For us, and our distresses: This good deede
    Shall raze you out o'th Booke of Trespasses
    All you are set downe there.
    85Theseus. Sad Lady rise.
    Hypol. Stand up.
    Emil. No knees to me.
    What woman I may steed that is distrest,
    Does bind me to her.
    90Thes. What's your request? Deliver you for all.
    1. Qu. We are 3. Queenes, whose Soveraignes fel before
    The wrath of cruell Creon; who endured
    The Beakes of Ravens, Tallents of the Kights,
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    And pecks of Crowes, in the fowle feilds of Thebs.
    95He will not suffer us to burne their bones,
    To urne their ashes, nor to take th' offence
    Of mortall loathsomenes from the blest eye
    Of holy Phaebus, but infects the windes
    With stench of our slaine Lords. O pitty Duke,
    100Thou purger of the earth, draw thy feard Sword
    That does good turnes to'th world; give us the Bones
    Of our dead Kings, that we may Chappell them;
    And of thy boundles goodnes take some note
    That for our crowned heades we have no roofe,
    105Save this which is the Lyons, and the Beares,
    And vault to every thing.
    Thes. Pray you kneele not,
    I was transported with your Speech, and suffer'd
    Your knees to wrong themselves; I have heard the fortunes
    110Of your dead Lords, which gives me such lamenting
    As wakes my vengeance, and revenge for 'em.
    King Capaneus, was your Lord the day
    That he should marry you, at such a season,
    As now it is with me, I met your Groome,
    115By Marsis Altar, you were that time faire;
    Not Iunos Mantle fairer then your Tresses,
    Nor in more bounty spread her. Your wheaten wreathe
    Was then nor threashd, nor blasted; Fortune at you
    Dimpled her Cheeke with smiles: Hercules our kinesman
    120(Then weaker than your eies) laide by his Club,
    He tumbled downe upon his Nenuan hide
    And swore his sinews thawd: O greife, and time,
    Fearefull consumers, you will all devoure.
    1, Qu. O I hope some God,
    125Some God hath put his mercy in your manhood
    Whereto heel infuse powre, and presse you forth
    Our undertaker.
    Thes. O no knees, none Widdow,
    Vnto the Helmeted-Belona use them,
    130And pray for me your Souldier.
    Troubled I am. turnes away.
    B 2 2. Qu.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    2. Qu. Honoured Hypolita
    Most dreaded Amazonian, that ha'st slaine
    The Sith-tuskd-Bore; that with thy Arme as strong
    135As it is white, wast neere to make the male
    To thy Sex captive; but that this thy Lord
    Borne to uphold Creation, in that honour
    First nature stilde it in, shrunke thee into
    The bownd thou wast ore-flowing; at once subduing
    140Thy force, and thy affection: Soldiresse
    That equally canst poize sternenes with pitty,
    Whom now I know hast much more power on him
    Then ever he had on thee, who ow'st his strength,
    And his, Love too: who is a Servant for
    145The Tenour of the Speech. Deere Glasse of Ladies
    Bid him that we whom flaming war doth scortch,
    Vnder the shaddow of his Sword, may coole us:
    Require him he advance it ore our heades;
    Speak't in a womans key: like such a woman
    150As any of us three; weepe ere you faile; lend us a knee;
    But touch the ground for us no longer time
    Then a Doves motion, when the head's pluckt off:
    Tell him if he i'th blood cizd field, lay swolne
    Showing the Sun his Teeth; grinning at the Moone
    155What you would doe.
    Hip. Poore Lady, say no more:
    I had as leife trace this good action with you
    As that whereto I am going, and never yet
    Went I so willing, way. My Lord is taken
    160Hart deepe with your distresse: Let him consider:
    Ile speake anon.
    3. Qu. O my petition was kneele to Emilia.
    Set downe in yce, which by hot greefe uncandied
    Melts into drops, so sorrow wanting forme
    165Is prest with deeper matter.
    Emilia. Pray stand up,
    Your greefe is written in your cheeke.
    3. Qu. O woe,
    You cannot reade it there; there through my teares,
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    170Like wrinckled peobles in a glasse streame
    You may behold 'em (Lady, Lady, alacke)
    He that will all the Treasure know o'th earth
    Must know the Center too; he that will fish
    For my least minnow, let him lead his line
    175To catch one at my heart. O pardon me,
    Extremity that sharpens sundry wits
    Makes me a Foole.
    Emili. Pray you say nothing, pray you,
    Who cannot feele, nor see the raine being in't,
    180Knowes neither wet, nor dry, if that you were
    The ground-peece of some Painter, I would buy you
    T'instruct me gainst a Capitall greefe indeed
    Such heart peirc'd demonstration; but alas
    Being a naturall Sister of our Sex
    185Your sorrow beates so ardently upon me,
    That it shall make a counter reflect gainst
    My Brothers heart, and warme it to some pitty
    Though it were made of stone: pray have good comfort.
    Thes. Forward to'th Temple, leave not out a Iot
    190O'th sacred Ceremony.
    1. Qu. O This Celebration
    Will long last, and be more costly then,
    Your Suppliants war: Remember that your Fame
    Knowles in the care, o'th world: what you doe quickly,
    195Is not done rashly; your first thought is more.
    Then others laboured meditance: your premeditating
    More then their actions: But oh Iove, your actions
    Soone as they mooves as Asprayes doe the fish,
    Subdue before they touch, thinke, deere Duke thinke
    200What beds our slaine Kings have.
    2. Qu. What greifes our beds
    That our deere Lords have none.
    3, Qu. None fit for'th dead:
    Those that with Cordes, Knives, drams precipitance,
    205Weary of this worlds light, have to themselves
    Beene deathes most horrid Agents, humaine grace
    Affords them dust and shaddow.
    1. Qu. But our Lords
    B3 Lie
    The Two Noble Kinsmen. 6]
    Ly blistring fore the visitating Sunne,
    210And were good Kings, when living.
    Thes. It is true. and I will give you comfort,
    To give your dead Lords graves:
    The which to doe, must make some worke with Creou;
    1. Qu. And that worke presents it selfe to'th doing:
    215Now twill take forme, the heates are gone to morrow.
    Then, booteles toyle must recompence it selfe,
    With it's owne sweat; Now he's secure,
    Not dreames, we stand before your puisiance
    Wrinching our holy begging in our eyes
    220To make petition cleere.
    2. Qu. Now you may take him,
    Drunke with his victory.
    3. Qu. And his Army full
    Of Bread, and sloth.
    225Thes. Artesuis that best knowest
    How to draw out fit to this enterpise,
    The prim'st for this proceeding, and the number
    To carry such a businesse, forth and levy
    Our worthiest Instruments, whilst we despatch
    230This grand act of our life, this daring deede
    Of Fate in wedlocke.
    1. Qu. Dowagers, take hands
    Let us be Widdowes to our woes, delay
    Commends us to a famishing hope.
    235All. Farewell.
    2. Qu. We come unseasonably: But when could greefe
    Cull forth as unpanged judgement can, fit'st time
    For best solicitation.
    Thes. Why good Ladies,
    240This is a service, whereto I am going,
    Greater then any was; it more imports me
    Then all the actions that I have foregone,
    Or futurely can cope.
    1. Qu. The more proclaiming
    245Our suit shall be neglected, when her Armes
    Able to locke Iove from a Synod, shall
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    By warranting Moone-light corslet thee, oh when
    Her twyning Cherries shall their sweetnes fall
    Vpon thy tastefull lips, what wilt thou thinke
    250Of rotten Kings or blubberd Queenes, what care
    For what thou feelst not? what thou feelst being able
    To make Mars spurne his Drom. O if thou couch
    But one night with her, every howre in't will
    Take hostage of thee for a hundred, and
    255Thou shalt remember nothing more, then what
    That Banket bids thee too.
    Hip. Though much unlike
    You should be so transported, as much sorry
    I should be such a Suitour; yet I thinke
    260Did I not by th'abstayning of my joy
    Which breeds a deeper longing, cure their surfeit
    That craves a present medcine, I should plucke
    All Ladies scandall on me. Therefore Sir
    As I shall here make tryall of my prayres,
    265Either presuming them to have some force,
    Or sentencing for ay their vigour dombe,
    Prorogue this busines, we are going about, and hang
    Your Sheild afore your Heart, about that necke
    Which is my ffee, and which I freely lend
    270To doe these poore Queenes service.
    All Queens. Oh helpe now
    Our Cause cries for your knee.
    Emil. If you grant not
    My Sister her petition in that force,
    275With that Celerity, and nature which
    Shee makes it in: from henceforth ile not dare
    To aske you any thing, nor be so hardy
    Ever to take a Husband.
    Thes. Pray stand up.
    280I am entreating of my selfe to doe
    That which you kneele to have me; Pyrithous
    Leade on the Bride; get you and pray the Gods
    For successe, and returne, omit not any thing
    In the pretended Celebration: Queenes
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    285Follow your Soldier (as before) hence you
    And at the banckes of Anly meete us with
    The forces you can raise, where we shall finde
    The moytie of a number, for a busines,
    More bigger look't; since that our Theame is haste
    290I stamp this kisse upon thy currant lippe,
    Sweete keepe it as my Token; Set you forward
    For I will see you gone. Exeunt towards the Temple.
    Farewell my beauteous Sister: Pyrithous
    Keepe the feast full, bate not an howre on't.
    295Pirithous. Sir
    Ile follow you at heeles; The Feasts solempnity
    Shall want till your returne.
    Thes. Cosen I charge you
    Boudge not from Athens; We shall be returning
    300Ere you can end this Feast; of which I pray you
    Make no abatement; once more farewell all.
    1. Qu. Thus do'st thou still make good the tongue o'th(world.
    2. Qu. And earnst a Deity equal with Mars,
    3. Qu. If not above him, for
    305Thou being but mortall makest affections bend
    To Godlike honours; they themselves some say
    Grone under such a Mastry.
    Thes. As we are men
    Thus should we doe, being sensually subdude
    310We loose our humane tytle; good cheere Ladies. Florish.
    Now turne we towards your Comforts. Exeunt.