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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 in prison.
    Pal. How doe you Noble Cosen?
    Arcite. How doe you Sir?
    700Pal. Why strong inough to laugh at misery,
    And beare the chance of warre yet, we are prisoners
    I feare for ever Cosen.
    Arcite. I beleeve it,
    And to that destiny have patiently
    705Laide up my houre to come.
    Pal. Oh Cosen Arcite,
    Where is Thebs now? where is our noble Country?
    Where are our friends, and kindreds? never more
    Must we behold those comforts, never see
    710The hardy youthes strive for the Games of honour
    (Hung with the painted favours of their Ladies)
    Like tall Ships under saile: then start among'st 'em
    And as an Eastwind leave 'em all behinde us,
    Like lazy Clowdes, whilst Palamon and Arcite,
    715Even in the wagging of a wanton leg
    Out-stript the peoples praises, won the Garlands,
    Ere they have time to wish 'em ours. O never
    Shall we two exercise, like Twyns of honour,
    Our Armes againe, and feele our fyry horses
    720Like proud Seas under us, our good Swords, now
    (Better the red-eyd god of war nev'r were)
    Bravishd our sides, like age must run to rust,
    And decke the Temples of those gods that hate us,
    D2 These
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    These hands shall never draw'em out like lightning
    725To blast whole Armies more.
    Arcite. No Palamon,
    Those hopes are Prisoners with us, here we are
    And here the graces of our youthes must wither
    Like a too-timely Spring; here age must finde us,
    730And which is heaviest (Palamon) unmarried,
    The sweete embraces of a loving wife
    Loden with kisses, armd with thousand Cupids
    Shall never claspe our neckes, no issue know us,
    No figures of our selves shall we ev'r see,
    735To glad our age, and like young Eagles teach'em
    Boldly to gaze against bright armes, and say
    Remember what your fathers were, and conquer.
    The faire-eyd Maides, shall weepe our Banishments,
    And in their Songs, curse ever-blinded fortune
    740Till shee for shame see what a wrong she has done
    To youth and nature; This is all our world;
    We shall know nothing here but one another,
    Heare nothing but the Clocke that tels our woes.
    The Vine shall grow, but we shall never see it:
    745Sommer shall come, and with her all delights;
    But dead-cold winter must inhabite here still.
    Pal. Tis too true Arcite. To our Theban houndes,
    That shooke the aged Forrest with their ecchoes,
    No more now must we halloa, no more shake
    750Our pointed Iavelyns, whilst the angry Swine
    Flyes like a parthian quiver from our rages,
    Strucke with our well-steeld Darts: All valiant uses,
    (The foode, and nourishment of noble mindes,)
    In us two here shall perish; we shall die
    755(which is the curse of honour) lastly,
    Children of greife, and Ignorance.
    Arc. Yet Cosen,
    Even from the bottom of these miseries
    From all that fortune can inflict upon us,
    760I see two comforts rysing, two meere blessings,
    If the gods please, to hold here abrave patience,
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    And the enjoying of our greefes together.
    Whilst Palamon is with me, let me perish
    If I thinke this our prison.
    765Pala. Certeinly,
    Tis a maine goodnes Cosen, that our fortunes
    Were twyn'd together; tis most true, two soules
    Put in two noble Bodies, let'em suffer
    The gaule of hazard, so they grow together,
    770Will never sincke, they must not, say they could,
    A willing man dies sleeping, and all's done.
    Arc. Shall we make worthy uses of this place
    That all men hate so much?
    Pal. How gentle Cosen?
    775Arc. Let's thinke this prison, holy sanctuary,
    To keepe us from corruption of worse men,
    We are young and yet desire the waies of honour,
    That liberty and common Conversation
    The poyson of pure spirits; might like women
    780Wooe us to wander from. What worthy blessing
    Can be but our Imaginations
    May make it ours? And heere being thus together,
    We are an endles mine to one another;
    We are one anothers wife, ever begetting
    785New birthes of love; we are father, friends, acquaintance,
    We are in one another, Families,
    I am your heire, and you are mine: This place
    Is our Inheritance: no hard Oppressour
    Dare take this from us; here with a little patience
    790We shall live long, and loving: No surfeits seeke us:
    The hand of war hurts none here, nor the Seas
    Swallow their youth: were we at liberty,
    A wife might part us lawfully, or busines,
    Quarrels consume us, Envy of ill men
    795Crave our acquaintance, I might sicken Cosen,
    Where you should never know it, and so perish
    Without your noble hand to close mine eies,
    Or praiers to the gods; a thousand chaunces
    Were we from hence, would seaver us.
    D3 Pal.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    800Pal. You have made me
    (I thanke you Cosen Arcite) almost wanton
    With my Captivity: what a misery
    It is to live abroade? and every where:
    Tis like a Beast me thinkes: I finde the Court here,
    805I am sure a more content, and all those pleasures
    That wooe the wils of men to vanity,
    I see through now, and am sufficient
    To tell the world, tis but a gaudy shaddow,
    That old Time, as he passes by takes with him,
    810What had we bin old in the Court of Creon,
    Where sin is Iustice, lust, and ignorance,
    The vertues of the great ones: Cosen Arcite,
    Had not the loving gods found this place for us
    We had died as they doe, ill old men, unwept,
    815And had their Epitaphes, the peoples Curses,
    Shall I say more?
    Arc. I would heare you still.
    Pal. Ye shall.
    Is there record of any two that lov'd
    820Better then we doe Arcite?
    Arc. Sure there cannot.
    Pal. I doe not thinke it possible our friendship
    Should ever leave us.
    Arc. Till our deathes it cannot
    825Enter Emilia and her woman.
    And after death our spirits shall be led
    To those that love eternally. Speake on Sir.
    This garden has a world of pleasures in't.
    Emil. What Flowre is this?
    830Wom. Tis calld Narcissus Madam.
    Emil. That was a faire Boy certaine, but a foole,
    To love himselfe, were there not maides enough?
    Arc. Pray forward.
    Pal. Yes.
    835Emil. Or were they all hard hearted?
    Wom. They could not be to one so faire.
    Emil. Thou wouldst not.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Wom. I thinke I should not, Madam.
    Emil. That's a good wench:
    840But take heede to your kindnes though.
    Wom. Why Madam?
    Emil. Men are mad things.
    Arcite. Will ye goe forward Cosen?
    Emil. Canst not thou work: such flowers in silke wench?
    845Wom. Yes.
    Emil. Ile have a gowne full of 'em and of these,
    This is a pretty colour, wilt not doe
    Rarely upon a Skirt wench?
    Wom. Deinty Madam.
    850Arc. Gosen, Cosen, how doe you Sir? Why Palamon?
    Pal. Never till now I was in prison Arcite.
    Arc. Why whats the matter Man?
    Pal. Behold, and wonder.
    By heaven shee is a Goddesse.
    855Arcite. Ha.
    Pal. Doe reverence.
    She is a Goddesse Arcite.
    Emil. Of all Flowres.
    Me thinkes a Rose is best.
    860Wom. Why gentle Madam?
    Emil. It is the very Embleme of a Maide.
    For when the west wind courts her gently
    How modestly she blowes, and paints the Sun,
    With her chaste blushes? When the North comes neere her,
    865Rude and impatient, then, like Chastity
    Shee lockes her beauties in her bud againe,
    And leaves him to base briers.
    Wom. Yet good Madam,
    Sometimes her modesty will blow so far
    870She fals for't: a Mayde
    If shee have any honour, would be loth
    To take example by her.
    Emil. Thou art wanton.
    Arc. She is wondrous faire.
    875Pal. She is all the beauty extant.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Emil. The Sun grows high, lets walk in, keep these flowers,
    Weele see how neere Art can come neere their colours;
    I am wondrous merry hearted, I could laugh now.
    Wom. I could lie downe I am sure.
    880Emil. And take one with you?
    Wom. That's as we bargaine Madam,
    Emil. Well, agree then.
    Exeunt Emilia and woman.
    Pal. What thinke you of this beauty?
    885Arc. Tis a rare one.
    Pal. Is't but a rare one?
    Arc. Yes a matchles beauty.
    Pal. Might not a man well lose himselfe and love her?
    Arc. I cannot tell what you have done, I have,
    890Beshrew mine eyes for't, now I feele my Shackles.
    Pal. You love her then?
    Arc. Who would not?
    Pal. And desire her?
    Arc. Before my liberty.
    895Pal. I saw her first.
    Arc. That's nothing
    Pal. But it shall be.
    Arc. I saw her too.
    Pal. Yes, but you must not love her.
    900Arc. I will not as you doe; to worship her;
    As she is heavenly, and a blessed Goddes;
    (I love her as a woman, to enjoy her)
    So both may love.
    Pal. You shall not love at all.
    905Arc. Not love at all.
    Who shall deny me?
    Pal. I that first saw her; I that tooke possession
    First with mine eye of all those beauties
    In her reveald to mankinde: if thou lou'st her.
    910Or entertain'st a hope to blast my wishes,
    Thou art a Traytour Arcite and a fellow
    False as thy Title to her: friendship, blood
    And all the tyes betweene us I disclaime
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    If thou once thinke upon her.
    915Arc, Yes I love her,
    And if the lives of all my name lay on it,
    I must doe so, I love her with my soule,
    If that will lose ye, farewell Palamon,
    I say againe, I love, and in loving her maintaine
    920I am as worthy, and as free a lover
    And have as just a title to her beauty
    As any Palamon or any living
    That is a mans Sonne.
    Pal. Have I cald thee friend?
    925Arc. Yes, and have found me so; why are you mov'd thus?
    Let me deale coldly with you, am not I
    Part of you blood, part of your soule? you have told me
    That I was Palamon, and you were Arcite.
    Pal. Yes.
    930Arc. Am not I liable to those affections,
    Those joyes, greifes, angers, feares, my friend shall suffer?
    Pal. Ye may be.
    Arc. Why then would you deale so cunningly,
    So strangely, so vnlike a noble kinesman
    935To love alone? speake truely, doe you thinke me
    Vnworthy of her sight?
    Pal. No, but unjust,
    If thou pursue that sight.
    Arc. Because an other
    940First sees the Enemy, shall I stand still
    And let mine honour downe, and never charge?
    Pal. Yes, if he be but one.
    Arc. But say that one
    Had rather combat me?
    945Pal. Let that one say so,
    And use thy freedome: els if thou pursuest her,
    Be as that cursed man that hates his Country,
    A branded villaine.
    Arc. You are mad.
    950Pal. I must be.
    Till thou art worthy, Arcite, it concernes me,
    E And
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    And in this madnes, if I hazard thee
    And take thy life, I deale but truely.
    Arc. Fie Sir.
    955You play the Childe extreamely: I will love her,
    I must, I ought to doe so, and I dare,
    And all this justly.
    Pal. O that now, that now
    Thy false-selfe and thy friend, had but this fortune
    960To be one howre at liberty, and graspe
    Our good Swords in our hands, I would quickly teach thee
    What tw'er to filch affection from another:
    Thou art baser in it then a Cutpurse;
    Put but thy head out of this window more,
    965And as I have a soule, Ile naile thy life too't.
    Arc. Thou dar'st not foole, thou canst not, thou art feeble.
    Put my head out? Ile throw my Body out,
    And leape the garden, when I see her next
    Enter Keeper.
    970And pitch between her armes to anger thee.
    Pal. No more; the keeper's comming; I shall live
    To knocke thy braines out with my Shackles.
    Arc. Doe.
    Keeper. By your leave Gentlemen.
    975Pala. Now honest keeper?
    Keeper. Lord Arcite, you must presently to'th Duke;
    The cause I know not yet.
    Arc. I am ready keeper.
    Keeper, Prince Palamon, I must awhile bereave you
    980Of your faire Cosens Company.
    Exeunt Arcite, and Keeper.
    Pal. And me too,
    Even when you please of life; why is he sent for?
    It may be he shall marry her, he's goodly,
    985And like enough the Duke hath taken notice
    Both of his blood and body: But his falsehood,
    Why should a friend be treacherous? If that
    Get him a wife so noble, and so faire;
    Let honest men ne're love againe. Once more
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    990I would but see this faire One: Blessed Garden,
    And fruite, and flowers more blessed that still blossom
    As her bright eies shine on ye. would I were
    For all the fortune of my life hereafter
    Yon little Tree, yon blooming Apricocke;
    995How I would spread, and fling my wanton armes
    In at her window; I would bring her fruite
    Fit for the Gods to feed on: youth and pleasure
    Still as she tasted should be doubled on her,
    And if she be not heavenly I would make her
    1000So neere the Gods in nature, they should feare her.
    Enter Keeper.
    And then I am sure she would love me: how now keeper
    Wher's Arcite,
    Keeper, Banish'd: Prince Pirithous
    1005Obtained his liberty; but never more
    Vpon his oth and life must he set foote
    Vpon this Kingdome.
    Pal. Hees a blessed man,
    He shall see Thebs againe, and call to Armes
    1010The bold yong men, that when he bids 'em charge,
    Fall on like fire: Arcite shall have a Fortune,
    If he dare make himselfe a worthy Lover,
    Yet in the Feild to strike a battle for her;
    And if he lose her then, he's a cold Coward;
    1015How bravely may he beare himselfe to win her
    If he be noble Arcite; thousand waies.
    Were I at liberty, I would doe things
    Of such a vertuous greatnes, that this Lady,
    This blushing virgine should take manhood to her
    1020And seeke to ravish me.
    Keeper, My Lord for you
    I have this charge too.
    Pal. To discharge my life.
    Keep. No, but from this place to remoove your Lordship,
    1025The windowes are too open.
    Pal. Devils take 'em
    That are so envious to me; pre'thee kill me.
    E2 Keeper
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Keep. And hang for't afterward.
    Pal. By this good light
    1030Had I a sword I would kill thee.
    Keep, Why my Lord?
    Pal. Thou bringst such pelting scuruy news continually
    Thou art not worthy life; I will not goe.
    Keep. Indeede yon must my Lord.
    1035Pal. May I see the garden?
    Keep. Noe.
    Pal. Then I am resolud, I will not goe.
    Keep. I must constraine you then: and for you are dange-(rous
    Ile clap more yrons on you.
    1040Pal. Doe good keeper.
    Ile shake 'em so, ye shall not sleepe,
    Ile make ye a new Morrisse, must I goe?
    Keep. There is no remedy.
    Pal. Farewell kinde window.
    1045May rude winde never hurt thee. O my Lady
    If ever thou hast felt what sorrow was,
    Dreame how I suffer. Come; now bury me.
    Exeunt Palamon, and Keeper