Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)

Scaena 2. Enter Emilia alone, with 2. Pictures.
Emilia. Yet I may binde those wounds up, that must(open
And bleed to death for my sake else; Ile choose,
And end their strife: Two such yong hansom men
2350Shall never fall for me, their weeping Mothers,
Following the dead cold ashes of their Sonnes
Shall never curse my cruelty: Good heaven,
The Two Noble Kinsmen.
What a sweet face has Arcite? if wise nature
With all her best endowments, all those beuties
2355She sowes into the birthes of noble bodies,
Were here a mortall woman, and had in her
The coy denialls of yong Maydes, yet doubtles,
She would run mad for this man: what an eye?
Of what a fyry sparkle, and quick sweetnes,
2360Has this yong Prince? Here Love himselfe sits smyling,
Iust such another wanton Ganimead,
Set Love a fire with, and enforcd the god
Snatch up the goodly Boy, and set him by him
A shining constellation: What a brow,
2365Of what a spacious Majesty he carries?
Arch'd like the great eyd Iuno's, but far sweeter,
Smoother then Pelops Shoulder? Fame and honour
Me thinks from hence, as from a Promontory
Pointed in heaven, should clap their wings, and sing
2370To all the under world, the Loves, and Fights
Of gods, and such men neere 'em. Palamon,
Is but his foyle, to him, a meere dull shadow,
Hee's swarth, and meagre, of an eye as heavy
As if he had lost his mother; a still temper,
2375No stirring in him, no alacrity,
Of all this sprightly sharpenes, not a smile;
Yet these that we count errours may become him:
Narcissus was a sad Boy, but a heavenly:
Oh who can finde the bent of womans fancy?
2380I am a Foole, my reason is lost in me,
I have no choice, and I have ly'd so lewdly
That women ought to beate me. On my knees
I aske thy pardon: Palamon, thou art alone,
And only beutifull, and these the eyes,
2385These the bright lamps of beauty, that command
And threaten Love, and what yong Mayd dare crosse 'em
What a bold gravity, and yet inviting
Has this browne manly face? O Love, this only
From this howre is Complexion: Lye there Arcite,
2390Thou art a changling to him, a meere Gipsey.
The Two Noble Kinsmen.
And this the noble Bodie: I am sotted,
Vtterly lost: My Virgins faith has fled me.
For if my brother but even now had ask'd me
Whether I lov'd, I had run mad for Arcite,
2395Now if my Sister; More for Palamon,
Stand both together: Now, come aske me Brother,
Alas, I know not: aske me now sweet Sister,
I may goe looke; What a meere child is Fancie,
That having two faire gawdes of equall sweetnesse,
2400Cannot distinguish, but must crie for both.
Enter Emil. and Gent:
Emil. How now Sir?
Gent. From the Noble Duke your Brother
Madam, I bring you newes: The Knights are come.
2405Emil. To end the quarrell?
Gent. Yes.
Emil. Would I might end first:
What sinnes have I committed, chast Diana,
That my unspotted youth must now be soyld
2410With blood of Princes? and my Chastitie
Be made the Altar, where the lives of Lovers,
Two greater, and two better never yet
Made mothers joy, must be the sacrifice
To my unhappy Beautie?
2415Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Perithous and attendants.
Theseus. Bring 'em in quickly,
By any meanes, I long to see 'em.
Your two contending Lovers are return'd,
And with them their faire Knights: Now my faire Sister,
2420You must love one of them.
Emil. I had rather both,
So neither for my sake should fall untimely
Enter Messengers. Curtis.
Thes. Who saw 'em?
2425Per. I a while.
Gent. And I.
Thes. From whence come you Sir?
Mess. From the Knights.
The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Thes. Pray speake
2430You that have seene them, what they are.
Mess. I will Sir,
And truly what I thinke: Six braver spirits
Then these they have brought, (if we judge by the outside)
I never saw, nor read of: He that stands
2435In the first place with Arcite, by his seeming
Should be a stout man, by his face a Prince,
(His very lookes so say him) his complexion,
Nearer a browne, than blacke; sterne, and yet noble,
Which shewes him hardy, fearelesse, proud of dangers:
2440The circles of his eyes show faire within him,
And as a heated Lyon, so he lookes;
His haire hangs long behind him, blacke and shining
Like Ravens wings: his shoulders broad, and strong,
Armd long and round, and on his Thigh a Sword
2445Hung by a curious Bauldricke; when he frownes
To seale his will with, better o' my conscience
Was never Souldiers friend.
Thes. Thou ha'st well describde him,
Per. Yet a great deale short
2450Me thinkes, of him that's first with Palamon.
Thes. Pray speake him friend.
Per. I ghesse he is a Prince too,
And if it may be, greater; for his show
Has all the ornament of honour in't:
2455Hee's somewhat bigger, then the Knight he spoke of,
But of a face far sweeter; His complexion
Is (as a ripe grape) ruddy: he has felt
Without doubt what he fights for, and so apter
To make this cause his owne: In's face appeares
2460All the faire hopes of what he undertakes,
And when he's angry, then a setled valour
(Not tainted with extreames) runs through his body,
And guides his arme to brave things: Feare he cannot,
He shewes no such soft temper, his head's yellow,
2465Hard hayr'd, and curld, thicke twind like Ivy tops,
Not to undoe with thunder; In his face
K The
The Two Noble Kinsmen.
The liverie of the warlike Maide appeares,
Pure red, and white, for yet no beard has blest him.
And in his rowling eyes, sits victory,
2470As if she ever ment to corect his valour:
His Nose stands high, a Character of honour.
His red lips, after fights, are fit for Ladies.
Emil. Must these men die too?
Per. When he speakes, his tongue
2475Sounds like a Trumpet; All his lyneaments
Are as a man would wish 'em, strong, and cleane,
He weares a well-steeld Axe, the staffe of gold,
His age some five and twenty.
Mess. Ther's another,
2480A little man, but of a tough soule, seeming
As great as any: fairer promises
In such a Body, yet I never look'd on.
Per. O, he that's freckle fac'd?
Mess. The same my Lord,
2485Are they not sweet ones?
Per. Yes they are well.
Mess. Me thinkes,
Being so few, and well disposd, they show
Great, and fine art in nature, he's white hair'd,
2490Not wanton white, but such a manly colour
Next to an aborne, tough, and nimble set,
Which showes an active soule; his armes are brawny
Linde with strong sinewes: To the shoulder peece,
Gently they swell, like women new conceav'd,
2495Which speakes him prone to labour, never fainting
Vnder the waight of Armes; stout harted, still,
But when he stirs, a Tiger; he's gray eyd,
Which yeelds compassion where he conquers: sharpe
To spy advantages, and where he finds 'em,
2500He's swift to make 'em his: He do's no wrongs,
Nor takes none; he's round fac'd, and when he smiles
He showes a Lover, when he frownes, a Souldier:
About his head he weares the winners oke,
And in it stucke the favour of his Lady:
The Two Noble Kinsmen.
2505His age, some six and thirtie. In his hand
He beares a charging Staffe, embost with silver.
Thes. Are they all thus?
Per. They are all the sonnes of honour.
Thes. Now as I have a soule I long to see 'em,
2510Lady you shall see men fight now.
Hip. I wish it,
But not the cause my Lord; They would show
Bravely about the Titles of two Kingdomes;
Tis pitty Love should be so tyrannous:
2515O my soft harted Sister, what thinke you?
Weepe not, till they weepe blood; Wench it must be.
Thes. You have steel'd 'em with your Beautie: honord(Friend,
To you I give the Feild; pray order it,
Fitting the persons that must use it.
2520Per. Yes Sir.
Thes. Come, Ile goe visit 'em: I cannot stay.
Their fame has fir'd me so; Till they appeare,
Good Friend be royall.
Per. There shall want no bravery.
2525Emilia. Poore wench goe weepe, for whosoever wins,
Looses a noble Cosen, for thy sins. Exeunt.