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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)

    Scaena 2. Enter Palamon, and Arcite.
    Arcite. Deere Palamon, deerer in love then Blood
    And our prime Cosen, yet unhardned in
    315The Crimes of nature; Let us leave the Citty
    Thebs, and the temptings in't, before we further
    Sully our glosse of youth,
    And here to keepe in abstinence we shame
    As in Incontinence; for not to swim
    320I'th aide o'th Current, were almost to sincke,
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    At least to frustrate striving, and to follow
    The common Streame, twold bring us to an Edy
    Where we should turne or drowne; if labour through,
    Our gaine but life, and weakenes.
    325Pal. Your advice
    Is cride up with example: what strange ruins
    Since first we went to Schoole, may we perceive
    Walking in Thebs? Skars, and bare weedes
    The gaine o'th Martialist, who did propound
    330To his bold ends, honour, and golden Ingots,
    Which though he won, he had not, and now flurted
    By peace for whom he fought, who then shall offer
    To Marsis so scornd Altar? I doe bleede
    When such I meete, and wish great Iuno would
    335Resume her ancient fit of Ielouzie
    To get the Soldier worke, that peace might purge
    For her repletion, and retaine anew
    Her charitable heart now hard, and harsher
    Then strife, or war could be.
    340Arcite, Are you not out?
    Meete you no ruine, but the Soldier in
    The Cranckes, and turnes of Thebs? you did begin
    As if you met decaies of many kindes:
    Perceive you none, that doe arowse your pitty
    345But th'un-considerd Soldier?
    Pal. Yes, I pitty
    Decaies where ere I finde them, but such most
    That sweating in an honourable Toyle
    Are paide with yce to coole 'em.
    350Arcite, Tis not this
    I did begin to speake of: This is vertue
    Of no respect in Thebs, I spake of Thebs
    How dangerous if we will keepe our Honours,
    It is for our resyding, where every evill
    355Hath a good cullor; where eve'ry seeming good's
    A certaine evill, where not to be ev'n Iumpe
    As they are, here were to be strangers, and
    Such things to be meere Monsters.
    C Pal.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Pal. Tis in our power,
    360(Vnlesse we feare that Apes can Tutor's) to
    Be Masters of our manners: what neede I
    Affect anothers gate, which is not catching
    Where there is faith, or to be fond upon
    Anothers way of speech, when by mine owne
    365I may be reasonably conceiv'd; sav'd too,
    Speaking it truly; why am I bound
    By any generous bond to follow him
    Followes his Taylor, haply so long untill
    The follow'd, make pursuit? or let me know,
    370Why mine owne Barber is unblest, with him
    My poore Chinne too, for tis not Cizard iust
    To such a Favorites glasse: What Cannon is there
    That does command my Rapier from my hip
    To dangle't in my hand, or to go tip toe
    375Before the streete be foule? Either I am
    The fore-horse in the Teame, or I am none
    That draw i'th sequent trace: these poore sleight sores,
    Neede not a plantin; That which rips my bosome
    Almost to'th heart's,
    380Arcite. Our Vncle Creon.
    Pal. He,
    A most unbounded Tyrant, whose successes
    Makes heaven unfeard, and villany assured
    Beyond its power: there's nothing, almost puts
    385Faith in a feavour, and deifies alone
    Voluble chance, who onely attributes
    The faculties of other Instruments
    To his owne Nerves and act; Commands men service,
    And what they winne in't, boot and glory on;
    390That feares not to do harm; good, dares not; Let
    The blood of mine that's sibbe to him, be suckt
    From me with Leeches, Let them breake and fall
    Off me with that corruption.
    Arc. Cleere spirited Cozen
    395Lets leave his Court, that we may nothing share,
    Of his lowd infamy: for our milke,
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Will relish of the pasture, and we must
    Be vile, or disobedient, not his kinesmen
    In blood, unlesse in quality.
    400Pal. Nothing truer:
    I thinke the Ecchoes of his shames have dea'ft
    The eares of heav'nly Iustice: widdows cryes
    Descend againe into their throates, and have not: Enter Va-(lerius.
    Due audience of the Gods: Valerius
    405Val. The King cals for you; yet be leaden footed
    Till his great rage be off him. Phebus when
    He broke his whipstocke and exclaimd against
    The Horses of the Sun, but whisperd too
    The lowdenesse of his Fury.
    410Pal. Small windes shake him,
    But whats the matter?
    Val. Theseus (who where he threates appals,) hath sent
    Deadly defyance to him, and pronounces
    Ruine to Thebs, who is at hand to seale
    415The promise of his wrath.
    Arc. Let him approach;
    But that we feare the Gods in him, he brings not
    A jot of terrour to us; Yet what man
    Thirds his owne worth (the case is each of ours)
    420When that his actions dregd, with minde assurd
    Tis bad he goes about.
    Pal. Leave that unreasond.
    Our services stand now for Thebs, not Creon,
    Yet to be neutrall to him, were dishonour;
    425Rebellious to oppose: therefore we must
    With him stand to the mercy of our Fate,
    Who hath bounded our last minute.
    Arc. So we must;
    Ist sed this warres a foote? or it shall be
    430On faile of some condition.
    Val. Tis in motion
    The intelligence of state came in the instant
    With the defier.
    C2 Pal.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Pal. Lets to the king, who, were he
    435A quarter carrier of that honour, which
    His Enemy come in, the blood we venture
    Should be as for our health, which were not spent,
    Rather laide out for purchase: but alas
    Our hands advanc'd before our hearts, what will
    440The fall o'th stroke doe damage?
    Arci. Let th'event,
    That never erring Arbitratour, tell us
    When we know all our selves, and let us follow
    The becking of our chance. Exeunt.