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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 7. Enter Palamon from the Bush.
    Pal. About this houre my Cosen gave his faith
    1770To visit me againe, and with him bring
    Two Swords, and two good Armors; if he faile
    He's neither man, nor Souldier; when he left me
    I did not thinke a weeke could have restord
    My lost strength to me, I was growne so low,
    1775And Crest-falne with my wants; I thanke thee Arcite,
    Thou art yet a faire Foe; and I feele my selfe
    With this refreshing, able once againe
    To out dure danger: To delay it longer
    Would make the world think when it comes to hearing,
    1780That I lay fatting like a Swine, to fight
    And not a Souldier: Therefore this blest morning
    Shall be the last; and that Sword he refutes,
    If it but hold, I kill him with; tis Iustice:
    So love, and Fortune for me: O good morrow.
    1785Enter Arcite with Armors and Swords.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Arc. Good morrow noble kinesman,
    Pal. I have put you
    To too much paines Sir.
    Arc. That too much faire Cosen,
    1790Is but a debt to honour, and my duty.
    Pal. Would you were so in all Sir; I could wish ye
    As kinde a kinsman, as you force me finde
    A beneficiall foe, that my embraces
    Might thanke ye, not my blowes.
    1795Arc. I shall thinke either
    Well done, a noble recompence.
    Pal. Then I shall quit you.
    Arc. Defy me in these faire termes, and you show
    More then a Mistris to me, no more anger
    1800As you love any thing that's honourable;
    We were not bred to talke man, when we are arm'd
    And both upon our guards, then let our fury
    Like meeting of two tides, fly strongly from us,
    And then to whom the birthright of this Beauty
    1805Truely pertaines (without obbraidings, scornes,
    Dispisings of our persons, and such powtings
    Fitter for Girles and Schooleboyes) will be seene
    And quickly, yours, or mine: wilt please you arme Sir,
    Or if you feele your selfe not fitting yet
    1810And furnishd with your old strength, ile stay Cosen
    And ev'ry day discourse you into health,
    As I am spard, your person I am friends with,
    And I could wish I had not saide I lov'd her
    Though I had dide; But loving such a Lady
    1815And justifying my Love, I must not fly from't.
    Pal. Arcite, thou art so brave an enemy
    That no man but thy Cosen's fit to kill thee,
    I am well, and lusty, choose your Armes.
    Arc. Choose you Sir.
    1820Pal. Wilt thou exceede in all, or do'st thou doe it
    To make me spare thee?
    Arc. If you thinke so Cosen,
    You are deceived, for as I am a Soldier.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    I will not spare you.
    1825Pal. That's well said.
    Arc. You'l finde it.
    Pal. Then as I am an honest man and love,
    With all the justice of affection
    Ile pay thee soundly: This ile take.
    1830Arc. That's mine then,
    Ile arme you first.
    Pal. Do: pray thee tell me Cosen,
    Where gotst thou this good Armour.
    Arc. Tis the Dukes,
    1835And to say true, I stole it; doe I pinch you?
    Pal. Noe.
    Arc. Is't not too heavie?
    Pal. I have worne a lighter,
    But I shall make it serve.
    1840Arc. Ile buckl't close.
    Pal. By any meanes.
    Arc. You care not for a Grand guard?
    Pal. No, no, wee'l use no horses, I perceave
    You would faine be at that Fight.
    1845Arc. I am indifferent.
    Pal. Faith so am I: good Cosen, thrust the buckle
    Through far enough.
    Arc. I warrant you.
    Pal. My Caske now.
    1850Arc. Will you fight bare-armd?
    Pal. We shall be the nimbler.
    Arc. But use your Gauntlets though; those are o'th least,
    Prethee take mine good Cosen.
    Pal. Thanke you Arcite.
    1855How doe I looke, am I falne much away?
    Arc. Faith very little; love has usd you kindly.
    Pal. Ile warrant thee, Ile strike home.
    Arc. Doe, and spare not;
    Ile give you cause sweet Cosen.
    1860Pal. Now to you Sir,
    Me thinkes this Armo'rs very like that, Arcite,
    H Thou
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Thou wor'st that day the 3. Kings fell, but lighter.
    Arc. That was a very good one, and that day
    I well remember, you outdid me Cosen,
    1865I never saw such valour: when you chargd
    Vpon the left wing of the Enemie,
    I spurd hard to come up, and under me
    I had a right good horse.
    Pal. You had indeede
    1870A bright Bay I remember.
    Arc. Yes but all
    Was vainely labour'd in me, you outwent me,
    Nor could my wishes reach you; yet a little
    I did by imitation.
    1875Pal. More by vertue,
    You are modest Cosen.
    Arc. When I saw you charge first,
    Me thought I heard a dreadfull clap of Thunder
    Breake from the Troope.
    1880Pal. But still before that flew
    The lightning of your valour: Stay a little,
    Is not this peece too streight?
    Arc. No, no, tis well.
    Pal. I would have nothing hurt thee but my Sword,
    1885A bruise would be dishonour.
    Arc. Now I am perfect.
    Pal. Stand off then.
    Arc. Take my Sword, I hold it better.
    Pal. I thanke ye: No, keepe it, your life lyes on it,
    1890Here's one, if it but hold, I aske no more,
    For all my hopes: My Cause and honour guard me.
    Arc. And me my love:* Is there ought else to say?
    They bow se-
    verall wayes:
    then advance
    and stand.
    Pal. This onely, and no more: Thou art mine Aunts Son.
    And that blood we desire to shed is mutuall,
    1895In me, thine, and in thee, mine: My Sword
    Is in my hand, and if thou killst me
    The gods, and I forgive thee; If there be
    A place prepar'd for those that sleepe in honour,
    I wish his wearie soule, that falls may win it:
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    1900Fight bravely Cosen, give me thy noble hand.
    Arc. Here Palamon: This hand shall never more
    Come neare thee with such friendship.
    Pal. I commend thee.
    Arc. If I fall, curse me, and say I was a coward,
    1905For none but such, dare die in these just Tryalls,
    Once more farewell my Cosen,
    Pal. Farewell Arcite. Fight.
    Hornes within: they stand.
    Arc. Loe Cosen, loe, our Folly has undon us.
    1910Pal. Why?
    Arc. This is the Duke, a hunting as I told you,
    If we be found, we are wretched, O retire
    For honours sake, and safely presently
    Into your Bush agen; Sir we shall finde
    1915Too many howres to dye in, gentle Cosen:
    If you be seene you perish instantly
    For breaking prison, and I, if you reveale me,
    For my contempt; Then all the world will scorne us,
    And say we had a noble difference,
    1920But base disposers of it.
    Pal. No, no, Cosen
    I will no more be hidden, nor put off
    This great adventure to a second Tryall:
    I know your cunning, and I know your cause,
    1925He that faints now, shame take him, put thy selfe
    Vpon thy present guard.
    Arc. You are not mad?
    Pal. Or I will make th' advantage of this howre
    Mine owne, and what to come shall threaten me,
    1930I feare lesse then my fortune: know weake Cosen
    I love Emilia, and in that ile bury
    Thee, and all crosses else.
    Arc. Then come, what can come
    Thou shalt know Palamon, I dare as well
    1935Die, as discourse, or sleepe: Onely this feares me,
    The law will have the honour of our ends.
    Have at thy life.
    H2 Pal.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Pal. Looke to thine owne well Arcite.
    Fight againe. Hornes.
    1940Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Emilia, Perithous and traine.
    Theseus. What ignorant and mad malicious Traitors,
    Are you? That gainst the tenor of my Lawes
    Are making Battaile, thus like Knights appointed,
    Without my leave, and Officers of Armes?
    1945By Castor both shall dye.
    Pal. Hold thy word Theseus,
    We are certainly both Traitors, both despisers
    Of thee, and of thy goodnesse: I am Palamon
    That cannot love thee, he that broke thy Prison,
    1950Thinke well, what that deserves; and this is Arcite
    A bolder Traytor never trod thy ground
    A Falser neu'r seem'd friend: This is the man
    Was begd and banish'd, this is he contemnes thee
    And what thou dar'st doe; and in this disguise
    1955Against this owne Edict followes thy Sister,
    That fortunate bright Star, the faire Emilia
    Whose servant, (if there be a right in seeing,
    And first bequeathing of the soule to) justly
    I am, and which is more, dares thinke her his.
    1960This treacherie like a most trusty Lover,
    I call'd him now to answer; if thou bee'st
    As thou art spoken, great and vertuous,
    The true descider of all injuries,
    Say, Fight againe, and thou shalt see me Theseus
    1965Doe such a Iustice, thou thy selfe wilt envie,
    Then take my life, Ile wooe thee too't.
    Per. O heaven,
    What more then man is this!
    Thes. I have sworne.
    1970Arc. We seeke not
    Thy breath of mercy Theseus, Tis to me
    A thing as soone to dye, as thee to say it,
    And no more mov'd: where this man calls me Traitor,
    Let me say thus much; if in love be Treason,
    1975In service of so excellent a Beutie,
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    As I love most, and in that faith will perish,
    As I have brought my life here to confirme it,
    As I have serv'd her truest, worthiest,
    As I dare kill this Cosen, that denies it,
    1980So let me be most Traitor, and ye please me:
    For scorning thy Edict Duke, aske that Lady
    Why she is faire, and why her eyes command me
    Stay here to love her; and if she say Traytor,
    I am a villaine fit to lye unburied.
    1985Pal. Thou shalt have pitty of us both, o Theseus,
    If unto neither thou shew mercy, stop,
    (As thou art just) thy noble eare against us,
    As thou art valiant; for thy Cosens soule
    Whose 12. strong labours crowne his memory,
    1990Lets die together, at one instant Duke,
    Onely a little let him fall before me,
    That I may tell my Soule he shall not have her.
    Thes. I grant your wish, for to say true, your Cosen
    Has ten times more offended, for I gave him
    1995More mercy then you found, Sir, your offenses
    Being no more then his: None here speake for 'em
    For ere the Sun set, both shall sleepe for ever.
    Hipol. Alas the pitty, now or never Sister
    Speake not to be denide; That face of yours
    2000Will beare the curses else of after ages
    For these lost Cosens.
    Emil. In my face deare Sister
    I finde no anger to 'em; nor no ruyn,
    The misadventure of their owne eyes kill 'em;
    2005Yet that I will be woman, and have pitty,
    My knees shall grow to 'th ground but Ile get mercie.
    Helpe me deare Sister, in a deede so vertuous,
    The powers of all women will be with us,
    Most royall Brother.
    2010Hipol. Sir by our tye of Marriage.
    Emil. By your owne spotlesse honour.
    Hip. By that faith,
    That faire hand, and that honest heart you gave me.
    H3 Emil.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Emil. By that you would have pitty in another,
    2015By your owne vertues infinite.
    Hip. By valour,
    By all the chaste nights I have ever pleasd you.
    Thes. These are strange Conjurings.
    Per. Nay then Ile in too: By all our friendship Sir, by all(our dangers,
    2020By all you love most, warres; and this sweet Lady.
    Emil. By that you would have trembled to deny
    A blushing Maide.
    Hip. By your owne eyes: By strength
    In which you swore I went beyond all women,
    2025Almost all men, and yet I yeelded Theseus.
    Per. To crowne all this; By your most noble soule
    Which cannot want due mercie, I beg first.
    Hip. Next heare my prayers.
    Emil. Last let me intreate Sir.
    2030Per. For mercy.
    Hip. Mercy.
    Emil. Mercy on these Princes.
    Thes. Ye make my faith reele: Say I felt
    Compassion to 'em both, how would you place it?
    2035Emil. Vpon their lives: But with their banishments.
    Thes. You are a right woman, Sister; you have pitty,
    But want the vnderstanding where to use it.
    If you desire their lives, invent a way
    Safer then banishment: Can these two live
    2040And have the agony of love about 'em,
    And not kill one another? Every day
    The'yld fight about yov; howrely bring your honour
    In publique question with their Swords; Be wise then
    And here forget 'em; it concernes your credit,
    2045And my oth equally: I have said they die,
    Better they fall by 'th law, then one another.
    Bow not my honor.
    Emil. O my noble Brother,
    That oth was rashly made, and in your anger,
    2050Your reason will not hold it, if such vowes
    Stand for expresse will, all the world must perish.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Beside, I have another oth, gainst yours
    Of more authority, I am sure more love,
    Not made in passion neither, but good heede.
    2055Thes. What is it Sister?
    Per. Vrge it home brave Lady.
    Emil. That you would nev'r deny me any thing
    Fit for my modest suit, and your free granting:
    I tye you to your word now, if ye fall in't,
    2060Thinke how you maime your honour;
    (For now I am set a begging Sir, I am deafe
    To all but your compassion) how their lives
    Might breed the ruine of my name; Opinion,
    Shall any thing that loves me perish for me?
    2065That were a cruell wisedome, doe men proyne
    The straight yong Bowes that blush with thousand Blossoms
    Because they may be rotten? O Duke Theseus
    The goodly Mothers that have groand for these,
    And all the longing Maides that ever lov'd,
    2070If your vow stand, shall curse me and my Beauty,
    And in their funerall songs, for these two Cosens
    Despise my crueltie, and cry woe worth me,
    Till I am nothing but the scorne of women;
    For heavens sake save their lives, and banish 'em.
    2075Thes. On what conditions?
    Emil. Sweare 'em never more
    To make me their Contention, or to know me,
    To tread upon thy Dukedome, and to be
    Where ever they shall travel, ever strangers to one another.
    2080Pal. Ile be cut a peeces
    Before I take this oth, forget I love her?
    O all ye gods dispise me then: Thy Banishment
    I not mislike, so we may fairely carry
    Our Swords, aud cause along: else never trifle,
    2085But take our lives Duke, I must love and will,
    And for that love, must and dare kill this Cosen
    On any peece the earth has.
    Thes. Will you Arcite
    Take these conditions?
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    2090Pal. H'es a villaine then.
    Per. These are men.
    Arcite. No, never Duke: Tis worse to me than begging
    To take my life so basely, though I thinke
    I never shall enjoy her, yet ile preserve
    2095The honour of affection, and dye for her,
    Make death a Devill.
    Thes. What may be done? for now I feele compassion.
    Per. Let it not fall agen Sir.
    Thes. Say Emilia
    2100If one of them were dead, as one muss, are you
    Content to take th' other to your husband?
    They cannot both enjoy you; They are Princes
    As goodly as your owne eyes, and as noble
    As ever fame yet spoke of; looke upon 'em,
    2105And if you can love, end this difference,
    I give consent, are you content too Princes?
    Both. With all our soules.
    Thes. He that she refuses
    Must dye then.
    2110Both. Any death thou canst invent Duke.
    Pal. If I fall from that mouth, I fall with favour,
    And Lovers yet unborne shall blesse my ashes.
    Arc. If she refuse me, yet my grave will wed me,
    And Souldiers sing my Epitaph.
    2115Thes. Make choice then.
    Emil. I cannot Sir, they are both too excellent
    For me, a hayre shall never fall of these men.
    Hip. What will become of 'em?
    Thes. Thus I ordaine it,
    2120And by mine honor, once againe it stands,
    Or both shall dye. You shall both to your Countrey,
    And each within this moneth accompanied
    With three faire Knights, appeare againe in this place,
    In which Ile plant a Pyramid; and whether
    2125Before us that are here, can force his Cosen
    By fayre and knightly strength to touch the Pillar,
    He shall enjoy her: the other loose his head,
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    And all his friends; Nor shall he grudge to fall,
    Nor thinke he dies with interest in this Lady:
    2130Will this content yee?
    Pal. Yes: here Cosen Arcite
    I am friends againe, till that howre.
    Arc. I embrace ye.
    Thes. Are you content Sister?
    2135Emil, Yes, I must Sir,
    Els both miscarry.
    Thes. Come shake hands againe then,
    And take heede, as you are Gentlemen, this Quarrell
    Sleepe till the howre prefixt, and hold your course.
    2140Pal. We dare not faile thee Theseus.
    Thes. Come, Ile give ye
    Now usage like to Princes, and to Friends:
    When ye returne, who wins, Ile settle heere,
    Who looses, yet Ile weepe upon his Beere. Exeunt.