The Two Noble Kinsmen

The Two Noble Kinsmen

THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND JOHN FLETCHER Presented at the Blackfriers by the Kings Maiesties servants with great applause: Written by the memorable Worthies of their time; Mr. John Fletcher Gent. and Mr. William Shakspeare Gent. Printed at London by Tho. Cotes for John Waterson: and are to be sold at the signe of the Crowne in Pauls Church-yard. 1634. (The Persons represented in the Play. Hymen Theseus Hippolita Bride to Theseus Emelia Sister to Theseus [Emelia's Woman] Nymphs Three Queens Three valiant Knights Palamon and Arcite The two Noble Kinsmen in love with fair Emelia [Valerius] Perithous [A Herald] [A Gentleman] [A Messenger] [A Servant] [Wooer] [Keeper] Jaylor His Daughter in love with Palamon [His brother] [A Doctor] [4] Countreymen [2 Friends of the Jaylor] [3 Knights] [Nel and other] Wenches A Taborer Gerrold A Schoolmaster.) PROLOGVE. [Florish.] New Playes and Maydenheads are neare a kin Much follow'd both for both much mony g'yn If they stand sound and well: And a good Play (Whose modest Sceanes blush on his marriage day And shake to loose his honour) is like hir That after holy Tye and first nights stir Yet still is Modestie and still retaines More of the maid to sight than Husbands paines; We pray our Play may be so; For I am sure It has a noble Breeder and a pure A learned and a Poet never went More famous yet twixt Po and silver Trent: Chaucer (of all admir'd) the Story gives There constant to Eternity it lives. If we let fall the Noblenesse of this And the first sound this child heare be a hisse How will it shake the bones of that good man And make him cry from under ground 'O fan From me the witles chaffe of such a wrighter That blastes my Bayes and my fam'd workes makes lighter Then Robin Hood!' This is the feare we bring; For to say Truth it were an endlesse thing And too ambitious to aspire to him Weake as we are and almost breathlesse swim In this deepe water. Do but you hold out Your helping hands and we shall take about And something doe to save us: You shall heare Sceanes though below his Art may yet appeare Worth two houres travell. To his bones sweet sleepe: Content to you. If this play doe not keepe A little dull time from us we perceave Our losses fall so thicke we must needs leave. [Florish.] Actus Primus. [Scaena 1.] (Athens. Before a temple.) [Enter Hymen with a Torch burning: a Boy in a white Robe before singing and strewing Flowres: After Hymen a Nimph encompast in her Tresses bearing a wheaten Garland. Then Theseus betweene two other Nimphs with wheaten Chaplets on their heades. Then Hipolita the Bride lead by Pirithous and another holding a Garland over her head (her Tresses likewise hanging.) After her Emilia holding up her Traine. (Artesius and Attendants.)] The Song [Musike.] Roses their sharpe spines being gon Not royall in their smels alone But in their hew. Maiden Pinckes of odour faint Dazies smel-lesse yet most quaint And sweet Time true. Prim-rose first borne child of Ver Merry Spring times Herbinger With her bels dimme. Oxlips in their Cradles growing Mary-golds on death beds blowing Larkes-heeles trymme. All deere natures children sweete Ly fore Bride and Bridegroomes feete [Strew Flowers.] Blessing their sence. Not an angle of the aire Bird melodious or bird faire Is absent hence. The Crow the slaundrous Cuckoe nor The boding Raven nor Chough hore Nor chattring Pie May on our Bridehouse pearch or sing Or with them any discord bring But from it fly. [Enter 3. Queenes in Blacke with vailes staind with imperiall Crownes. The 1. Queene fals downe at the foote of Theseus; The 2. fals downe at the foote of Hypolita. The 3. before Emilia.] 1. QUEEN. For pitties sake and true gentilities Heare and respect me. 2. QUEEN. For your Mothers sake And as you wish your womb may thrive with faire ones Heare and respect me. 3. QUEEN Now for the love of him whom Iove hath markd The honour of your Bed and for the sake Of cleere virginity be Advocate For us and our distresses. This good deede Shall raze you out o'th Booke of Trespasses All you are set downe there. THESEUS. Sad Lady rise. HIPPOLITA. Stand up. EMILIA. No knees to me. What woman I may steed that is distrest Does bind me to her. THESEUS. What's your request? Deliver you for all. 1. QUEEN. We are 3. Queenes whose Soveraignes fel before The wrath of cruell Creon; who endured The Beakes of Ravens Tallents of the Kights And pecks of Crowes in the fowle feilds of Thebs. He will not suffer us to burne their bones To urne their ashes nor to take th' offence Of mortall loathsomenes from the blest eye Of holy Phoebus but infects the windes With stench of our slaine Lords. O pitty Duke: Thou purger of the earth draw thy feard Sword That does good turnes to'th world; give us the Bones Of our dead Kings that we may Chappell them; ...