Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Two Noble Kinsmen (Quarto, 1634)

    3175Scaena 4. Enter Palamon and his Knightes pyniond; Iaylor,
    Executioner &c. Gard.
    Ther's many a man alive, that hath out liv'd
    The love o'th people, yea i'th selfesame state
    Stands many a Father with his childe; some comfort
    3180We have by so considering: we expire
    And not without mens pitty. To live still,
    Have their good wishes, we prevent
    The loathsome misery of age, beguile
    The Gowt and Rheume, that in lag howres attend
    3185For grey approachers; we come towards the gods
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Yong, and unwapper'd not, halting under Crymes
    Many and stale: that sure shall please the gods
    Sooner than such, to give us Nectar with 'em,
    For we are more cleare Spirits. My deare kinsemen.
    3190Whose lives (for this poore comfort) are laid downe,
    You have sould 'em too too cheape.
    1. K. What ending could be
    Of more content? ore us the victors have
    Fortune, whose title is as momentary,
    3195As to us death is certaine: A graine of honour
    They not ore'-weigh us.
    2. K. Let us bid farewell;
    And with our patience, anger tottring Fortune,
    Who at her certain'st reeles.
    32003. K. Come? who begins?
    Pal. Ev'n he that led you to this Banket, shall
    Taste to you all: ah ha my Friend, my Friend,
    Your gentle daughter gave me freedome once;
    You'l see't done now for ever: pray how do'es she?
    3205I heard she was not well; her kind of ill
    gave me some sorrow.
    Iaylor. Sir she's well restor'd,
    And to be marryed shortly.
    Pal. By my short life
    3210I am most glad on't; Tis the latest thing
    I shall be glad of, pre'thee tell her so:
    Commend me to her, and to peece her portion
    Tender her this.
    1. K. Nay lets be offerers all.
    32152. K. Is it a maide?
    Pal. Verily I thinke so,
    A right good creature, more to me deserving
    Then I can quight or speake of.
    All K. Commend us to her. They give their purses,
    3220Iaylor. The gods requight you all,
    And make her thankefull.
    Pal. Adiew; and let my life be now as short,
    As my leave taking. Lies on the Blocke.
    M3 1. K.
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    1. K. Leade couragiour Cosin.
    32251. 2. K. Wee'l follow cheerefully.
    A great noise within crying, run, save hold:
    Enter in hast a Messenger.
    Mess. Hold, Hold, O hold, hold, hold.
    Enter Pirithous in haste.
    3230Pir. Hold hoa: It is a cursed hast you made
    If you have done so quickly: noble Palamon,
    The gods will shew their glory in a life.
    That thou art yet to leade.
    Pal. Can that be,
    3235When Venus I have said is false? How doe things fare?
    Pir. Arise great Sir, and give the tydings eare
    That are most early sweet, and bitter.
    Pal. What
    Hath wakt us from our dreame?
    3240Pir. List then: your Cosen
    Mounted upon a Steed that Emily
    Did first bestow on him, a blacke one, owing
    Not a hayre worth of white, which some will say
    Weakens his price, and many will not buy
    3245His goodnesse with this note: Which superstition
    Heere findes allowance: On this horse is Arcite
    Trotting the stones of Athens, which the Calkins
    Did rather tell, then trample; for the horse
    Would make his length a mile, if't pleas'd his Rider
    3250To put pride in him: as he thus went counting
    The flinty pavement, dancing as t'wer to'th Musicke
    His owne hoofes made; (for as they say from iron
    Came Musickes origen) what envious Flint,
    Cold as old Saturne, and like him possest
    3255With fire malevolent, darted a Sparke
    Or what feirce sulphur else, to this end made,
    I comment not; the hot horse, hot as fire
    Tooke Toy at this, and fell to what disorder
    His power could give his will, bounds, comes on end,
    3260Forgets schoole dooing, being therein traind,
    And of kind mannadge, pig-like he whines
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    At the sharpe Rowell, which he freats at rather
    Then any jot obaies; seekes all foule meanes
    Of boystrous and rough Iadrie, to dis-seate
    3265His Lord, that kept it bravely: when nought serv'd,
    When neither Curb would cracke, girth breake nor diffring(plunges
    Dis-roote his Rider whence he grew, but that
    He kept him tweene his legges, on his hind hoofes
    on end he stands
    3270That Arcites leggs being higher then his head
    Seem'd with strange art to hang: His victors wreath
    Even then fell off his head: and presently
    Backeward the Iade comes ore, and his full poyze
    Becomes the Riders loade: yet is he living,
    3275But such a vessell tis, that floates but for
    The surge that next approaches: he much desires
    To have some speech with you: Loe he appeares.
    Enter Theseus, Hipolita, Emilia, Arcite, in a chaire.
    Pal. O miserable end of our alliance
    3280The gods are mightie Arcite, if thy heart,
    Thy worthie, manly heart be yet unbroken:
    Give me thy last words, I am Palamon,
    One that yet loves thee dying.
    Arc. Take Emilia
    3285And with her, all the worlds joy: Reach thy hand,
    Farewell: I have told my last houre; I was false,
    Yet never treacherous: Forgive me Cosen:
    One kisse from faire Emilia: Tis done:
    Take her: I die.
    3290Pal. Thy brave soule seeke Elizium.
    Emil. Ile close thine eyes Prince; blessed soules be with(thee,
    Thou art a right good man, and while I live,
    This day I give to teares.
    Pal. And I to honour.
    3295Thes. In this place first you fought: ev'n very here
    I sundred you, acknowledge to the gods
    Our thankes that you are living:
    His part is playd, and though it were too short
    He did it well: your day is lengthned, and,
    The Two Noble Kinsmen.
    3300The blissefull dew of heaven do's arowze you.
    The powerfull Venus, well hath grac'd her Altar,
    And given you your love: Our Master Mars
    Hast vouch'd his Oracle, and to Arcite gave
    The grace of the Contention: So the Deities
    3305Have shewd due justice: Beare this hence.
    Pal. O Cosen,
    That we should things desire, which doe cost us
    The losse of our desire; That nought could buy
    Deare love, but losse of deare love.
    3310Thes. Never Fortune
    Did play a subtler Game: The conquerd triumphes,
    The victor has the Losse: yet in the passage,
    The gods have beene most equall: Palamon,
    Your kinseman hath confest the right o'th Lady
    3315Did lye in you, for you first saw her, and
    Even then proclaimd your fancie: He restord her
    As your stolne Iewell, and desir'd your spirit
    To send him hence forgiven; The gods my justice
    Take from my hand, and they themselves become
    3320The Executioners: Leade your Lady off;
    And call your Lovers from the stage of death,
    Whom I adopt my Frinds. A day or two
    Let us looke sadly, and give grace unto
    The Funerall of Arcite, in whose end
    3325The visages of Bridegroomes weele put on
    And smile with Palamon; for whom an houre,
    But one houre since, I was as dearely sorry,
    As glad of Arcite: and am now as glad,
    As for him sorry. O you heavenly Charmers,
    3330What things you make of us? For what we lacke
    We laugh, for what we have, are sorry still,
    Are children in some kind. Let us be thankefull
    For that which is, and with you leave dispute
    That are above our question: Let's goe off,
    3335And beare us like the time. Florish. Exeunt.