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THE

TWO NOBLE KINSMEN.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

Enter three Queens, in black, with veils stained,

with imperial crowns. The first Queen falls Enter HYMEN with a torch burning; a Boy, in a down at the foot of THESEUS; the second falls

white robe, before, singing, and strewing flow- down at the foot of HIPPOLITA; the third beers; after HYMEN, a Nymph, encompassed in

fore EMILIA. her tresses, beuring a wheaten garland; then THESEUS, between two other Nymphs, with i Queen. For pity's sake, and true gentility's, wheaten chaplets on their heads; then HIPPO- Hear and respect me! Lita, led by PERITHOUS, and another holding 2 Queen. For your mother's sake, 4 garland over her head, her tresses likewise And as you wish your womb may thrive with fair. hanging ; after her, EMILIA, holding up her

ones, train.

Hear and respect me!

3 Queen. Now for the love of him whom Jove SONG.

hath mark'd

The honour of your bed, and for the sake Roses, their sharp spines being gone,

Of clear virginity, be advocate Not royal in their siells alone,

For us, and our distresses! This good deed But in their hue ;

Shall raze you out o' the book of trespasses Maiden-pinks, of odour faint ;

All you are set down there. Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,

Thes. Sad lady, rise. And sweet thyme true.

Hip. Stand up

Emi. No knees to me! What woman I Primrose, first-born child of Ver,

May sted, that is distress'd, does bind me to her. Merry spring-time's harbinger,

l'hes. What's your request? Deliver you, for all. With her bells dim;

i Queen. We are three Queens, whose soveOxlips in their cradles growing,

reigns fell before Marigolds on death-beds blowing,

The wrath of cruel Creon; who endured Lark-heels trim.

The beaks of ravens, talons of the kites,

And pecks of crows, in the foul fields of Thebes. All dear Nature's children sweet,

He will not suffer us to burn their bones, Lye 'fore bride and bridegro m's feet,

To urn their ashes, nor to take the offence Blessing their sense!

(Strew flowers. Of mortal loathsomeness from the blest eye Not an angel of the air,

Of holy Phæbus, but infects the winds Bird melodious, or bird fair,

With stench of our slain lords." Oh, pity, duke ! Be absent hence!

Thou purger of the earth, draw thy fear'd sword,

That does good turns to the world; give us the The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor

bones The boding raven, nor chough hoar,

Of our dead kings, that we may chapel them! Nor chatt'ring pie,

And, of thy boundless goodness, take some note, May on our bridehouse perch or sing,

That for our crowned heads we have no roof Or with them any discord bring,

Save this, which is the lion's and the bear's, But from it fly?

And vault to every thing!

Thes. Pray you kneel not.

3 Queen. Oh, my petition was I was transported with your speech, and suffer'd

(Kneels to EMILIA, Your knees to wrong themselves. I've heard the Set down in ice, which, by họt grief uncandied, fortunes

Melts into drops ; so sorrow, wanting form, of your dead lords, which gives me such lamenting is press’d with deeper matter, As wakes my vengeance and revenge for them. Emi. Pray stand up; King Capaneus was your lord: the day

Your grief is written in your cheek. That he should marry you, at such a season 3 Queen. Oh, woe! As now it is with me, I met your groom You cannot read it there; here through my tears, By Mars's altar; you were that time fair, Like wrinkled pebbles in a glassy stream, Not Juno's mantle fairer than your tresses, You may behold thein ! Lady, lady, alack, Nor in more bounty spread her; your wheaten He that will all the treasure know o' the earth wreath

Must know the centre too; he that will fish Was then nor thresh'd, nor blasted; Fortune at For my least minnow, let him lead his line you

To catch one at my heart. Oh, pardon me! Dimpled her cheek with smiles; Hercules our Extremity, that sharpens sundry wits, kinsman

Makes me a fool. (Then weaker than your eyes) laid by his club, Emi. Pray you, say nothing ; pray you ! He tumbled down upon his Nemean hide, Who cannot feel nor see the rain, being in't, And swore his sinews thaw'd : Oh, grief and Knows neither wet nor dry. If that you were time,

The ground-piece of some painter, I would buy Fearful consumers, you will all devour !

you, i Queen. Oh, I hope some god,

To instruct me 'gainst a capital grief indeed; Some god hath put his mercy in your manhood, (Such heart-pierced demonstration !) but, alas, Whereto he'll infuse power, and press you forth Being a natural sister of our sex, Our undertaker!

Your sorrow beats so ardently upon me, Thes. Oh, no knees, none, widow!

That it shall make a counter-reflect 'gainst Unto the helmeted Bellona use them,

My brother's heart, and warm it to some pity, And pray for me, your soldier.—Troubled I am. Though it were made of stone: pray have good

[Turns away.

comfort ! 2 Queen. Honour'd Hippolita,

Thes. Forward to the temple: leave not out a Most dreaded Amazonian, that hast slain

jot The scithe-tusk'd boar ; that, with thy arm as O'the sacred ceremony; strong

1 Queen. Oh, this celebration As it is white, wast near to make the male Will longer last, and be more costly, than To thy sex captive; but that this thy lard Your suppliants' war! Remember that your fame (Born to uphold creation in that honour Knolls in the ear o'the world : What you do First Nature styled it in) shrunk thee into

quickly The bound thou wast o'er-flowing, at once sub- Is not done rashly; your first thought is more duing

Than others' labour'd meditance; your premediThy force, and thy affection ; soldieress,

tating That equally canst poise sternness with pity, More than their actions ; but, (oh, Jove !) your Who now, I know, hast much more power on him actions, Than e'er he had on thee; who owest his strength, Soon as they move, as osprays do the fish, And his love too, who is a servant to

Subdue before they touch : think, dear duke, The tenor of thy speech ; dear glass of ladies,

think Bid him that we whom flaming war doth scorch, What beds our slain kings have ! Under the shadow of his sword may cool us ! 2 Queen. What griefs our beds, Require him he advance it o'er our heads ; That our dear lords have none ! Speak't in a woman's key, like such a woman 3 Queen. None fit for the dead : As any of us three; weep ere you fail ; Those that with cords, knives, drams, precipitance, Lend us a knee;

Weary of this world's light, have to themselves
But touch the ground for us no longer time Been death's most horrid agents, human grace
Than a dove's motion, when the head's pluck'd Affords them dust and shadow,
off!

1 Queen. But our lords
Tell him, if he i'the blood-sized field lay swoln, Lie blistering 'fore the visitating sun,
Showing the sun his teeth, grinning at the moon, And were good kings when living.
What you would do !

Thes. It is true;
Hip. Poor lady, say no more!

And I will give you comfort, I had as lief trace this good action with you To give your dead lords graves : As that whereto I'm going, and never yet The which to do must make some work with Went I so willing way. My lord is taken

Creon. Heart-deep with your distress : let him consider; i Queen. And that work now presents itself to 11 speak apon.

the doing :

12

Now 'twill take form; the heats are gone to-She makes it in, from henceforth I'll not dare morrow;

To ask you any thing, nor be so hardy Then bootless toil must recompense itself,

Ever to take a husband. With its own sweat; now he's secure,

Thes. Pray stand up; Not dreams we stand before your puissance, I am entreating of myself to do Rinsing your holy begging in our eyes, That which you kneel to have me. Perithous, To make petition clear.

Lead on the bride! Get you, and pray the gods 2 Queen. Now you may take him,

For success and return; omit not any thing Drunk with his victory.

In the pretended celebration. Queens, 3 Queen. And his army full

Follow your soldier (as before); hence you, Of bread and sloth.

And at the banks of Aulis meet us with Thes. Artesius, that best knowest

The forces you can raise, where we shall find How to draw out, fit to this enterprise

The moiety of a number, for a business The primest for this proceeding, and the number More bigger look’d.-Since that our theme is To carry such a business ; forth and levy

haste, Our worthiest instruments; whilst we dispatch I stamp this kiss upon thy currant lip; This grand act of our life, this daring deed Sweet, keep it as my token. Set you forward ; Of fate and wedlock !

For I will see you gone. i Queen. Dowagers, take hands !

(E.reunt towards the Temple. Let us be widows to our woes ! Delay

Farewell, my beauteous sister! Perithous, Commends us to a famishing hope.

Keep the feast full; bate not an hour on't ! All. Farewell !

Per. Sir, 2 Queen. We come unseasonably; but when I'll follow you at heels: the feast's solemnity could Grief

Shall want till your return. Cull forth, as unpang d Judgment can, fit'st time Thes, Cousin, I charge you For best solicitation ?

Budge not from Athens ; we shall be returning Thes. Why, good ladies,

Ere you can end this feast, of which I pray you This is a service, whereto I am going,

Make no abatement. Once more, farewell all! Greater than any war; it more imports me i Queen. Thus dost thou still make good the Than all the actions that I have foregone,

tongue o' the world. Or futurely can cope.

2 Queen. And earn'st a deity equal with Mars. i Queen. The more proclaiming

3 Queen. If not above him ; for, Our suit shall be neglected: When her arms, Thou being but mortal, mak'st affections bend Able to lock Jove from a synod, shall

To godlike honours; they themselves, some say, By warranting moon-light corslet thee, oh, when Groan under such a mastery. Her twinning cherries shall their sweetness fall Thes. As we are men, Upon thy tasteful lips, what wilt thou think Thus should we do ; being sensually subdued, Of rotten kings, or blubber'd queens? what care we lose our humane title. Good cheer, ladies! For what thou feelst not, what thou feel'st being

[Flourish. able

Now turn we tow'rds your

comforts. (Ereunt,
To make Mars spurn his drum ? Oh, if thou couch
But one night with her, every hour in't will
Take hostage of thee for a hundred, and

SCENE II.
Thou shalt remember nothing more than what
That banquet bids thee to.

Enter PALAMON and ARCITE.
Hip. Though much unlike
You should be so transported, as much sorry Arc. Dear Palamon, dearer in love than blood,
I should be such a suitor; yet I think

And our prime cousin, yet unharden'd in Did I not, by th' abstaining of my joy,

The crimes of nature ; let us leave the city Which breeds a deeper longing, cure their surfeit, Thebes, and the temptings in't, before we further That craves a present med'cine, I should pluck Sully our gloss of youth. All ladies' scandal on me: Therefore, Sir, And here to keep in abstinence we shame As I shall here make trial of my prayers,

As in incontinence: for not to swim Either presuming them to have some force, l' the head o' the current, were almost to sink, Or sentencing for ay their vigour dumb, At least to frustrate striving; and to follow Prorogue this business we are going about, and The common stream, 'twould bring us to an eddy hang

Where we should turn or drown ; if labour Your shield afore your heart, about that neck

through, Which is my fee, and which I freely lend Our gain but life, and weakness, To do these poor queens service.

Pal. Your advice All Queens. Oh, help now!

Is cried up with example: what strange ruins, Our cause cries for your knee.

Since first we went to school, may we perceive Emi. If you grant not

Walking in Thebes! Scars, and bare weeds, My sister her petition, in that force,

The gain o' the martialist, who did propound With that celerity and nature, which

To his bold ends, honour, and golden ingots,

Which, though he won, he had not; and now Off me with that corruption ! tlurted

Arc. Clear-spirited cousin, By peace, for whom he fought! Who then shall Let's leave his court, that we may nothing share offer

Of his loud infamy! for our milk
To Mars's so-scorned altar? I do bleed Will relish of the pasture, and we must
When such I meet, and wish great Juno would Be vile, or disobedient; not his kinsmen
Resume her ancient fit of jealousy,

In blood, unless in quality.
To get the soldier work, that peace might purge Pal. Nothing truer.
For her repletion, and retain anew

I think the echoes of his shames have deaf'd Her charitable heart, now hard, and harsher The ears of heavenly justice : widows cries Than strife or war could be.

Descend again into their throats, and have not Arc. Are you not out?

Due audience of the gods.—Valerius !
Meet you no ruin, but the soldier, in
The cranks and turns of Thebes ? You did begin

Enter VALERIUS.
As if you met decays of many kinds :
Perceive you none that do arouse your pity, Val. The king calls for you; yet be leaden-
But th' unconsider'd soldier?

footed, Pal. Yes; I pity

Till his great rage be off him! Phæbus, when Decays where'er I find them; but such most He broke his whipstock, and exclaim'd against That, sweating in an honourable toil,

The horses of the sun, but whisper’d, to Are paid with ice to cool 'em.

The loudness of his fury. Arc. 'Tis not this

Pal. Small winds shake him; I did begin to speak of; this is virtue

But what's the matter? Of no respect in Thebes : I spake of Thebes, Val. Theseus (who where he threats appals) How dangerous, if we will keep our honours,

hath sent It is for our residing ; where every evil

Deadly defiance to him, and pronounces
Hath a good colour ; where every seeming good's Ruin to Thebes; who is at hand to seal
A certain evil; where not to be even jump The promise of his wrath.
As they are, here were to be strangers, and

Arc. Let him approach!
Such things to be mere monsters.

But that we fear the gods in him, he brings not Pal. It is in our power

A jot of terror to us : yet what man (Unless we fear that apes can tutor's) to

Thirds his own worth (the case is each of ours) Be masters of our manners. What need I When that his action's dregg’d with mind assured Afect another's gait, which is not catching

'Tis bad he goes about? Where there is faith? or to be fond upon

Pal. Leave that unreason'd Another's way of speech, when by mine own

Our services stand now for Thebes, not Creon. I may be reasonably conceived: saved too,

Yet, to be neutral to him, were dishonour, Speaking it truly? Why am I bound

Rebellious to oppose; therefore we must By any generous bond to follow him

With him stand to the mercy of our fate, Follows his tailor, haply so long, until

Who hath bounded our last minute. The follow'd make pursuit? Or let me know,

Arc. So we must. Why mine own barber is unbless'd, with him

Is't said this war's afoot ? or it shall be, My poor chin too, for 'tis not scissar'd just

On fail of some condition ? To such a favourite's glass? What canon is there

Val. 'Tis in motion; That does command my rapier from my hip,

The intelligence of state came in the instant To dangle't in my hand, or to go tip-toe

With the defier. Before the street be foul? Either I am

Pal. Let's to the king; who, were he The fore-horse in the team, or I am none A quarter carrier of that honour which That draw i'the sequent trace. These poor slight His enemy comes in, the blood we venture sores

Should be as for our health; which were not spent, Need not a plantain; that which rips my bosom, Rather laid out for purchase: but, alas, Almost to the heart, is

Our hands advanced before our hearts, what will Arc. Our uncle Creon.

The fall o’the stroke do damage? Pal. He,

Arc. Let the event, A most unbounded tyrant! whose successes That never-erring arbitrator, tell us Make heaven unfear'd, and villany assured, When we know all ourselves; and let us follow Besond its power; there's nothing almost puts The becking of our chance.

(Ereunt. Faith in a fever, and deifies alone Voluble chance-who only attributes

SCENE III.
The faculties of other instruments
To bisowo nerves and act; commands mens'service,

Enter PERITIOUS, HIPPOLITA, and EMILIA.
And what they win in't, boot and glory too;
That fears not to do harm; good dares not: let Per. No further.
The blood of inine that's sibbe to him, be suck'd Hip. Sir, farewell! Repeat my wishes
From me with leeches ; let them break and fall To our great lord, of whose success I dare not

Make any timorous question; yet I wish him Theirs has more ground, is more maturely seaExcess and overflow of power, an't might be,

son’d, To cure ill-dealing fortune. Speed to him ! More buckled with strong judgment, and their Store never hurts good governors.

needs Per. Though I know

The one of th' other may be said to water His ocean needs not my poor drops, yet they Their intertangled roots of love; but I Must yield their tribute there. My precious maid, And she (I sigh and spoke of) were things innocent, Those best affections that the heav'ns infuse Loved for we did, and like the elements In their best-temper'd pieces, keep enthroned That know not what, nor why, yet do effect In your dear heart!

Rare issues by their operance; our souls Emi. Thanks, sir. Remember me

Did so to one another: What she liked, To our all-royal brother, for whose speed Was then of me approved; what not, condemn'd, The great Bellona I'll solicit : And

No more arraignment; the flower that I would Since, in our terrene state, petitions are not

pluck Without gifts understood, I'll offer to her And put between my breasts, (oh, then but beginWhat I shall be advised she likes. Our hearts

ning Are in his army, in his tent.

To swell about the blossom) she would long Hip. In's bosom!

Till she had such another, and commit it We have been soldiers, and we cannot weep To the like innocent cradle, where phænix-like When our friends don their helms, or put to sea, They died in perfume ; on my head no toy Or tell of babes broached on the lance, or women But was her pattern ; her aftections (pretty, That have sod their infants in (and after eat them) Though happily her careless wear). I follow'd The brine they wept at killing 'em: Then if For my most serious decking; had mine ear You stay to see of us such spinsters, we

Stolen some new air, or at adventure humm'd one Should hold you here for ever.

From musical coinage, why, it was a note Per. Peace be to you,

Whereon her spirits would sojourn, (rather dwell As I pursue this war! which shall be then

on) Beyond further requiring.

[Erit. And sing it in her slumbers : This rehearsal Emi. How his longing

(Which surely innocence wots well) comes in Follows his friend ! Since his depart, his sports, Like old importment's bastard; has this end, Though craving seriousness and skill, past slightly That the true love 'tween maid and maid may be His careless execution, where nor gain

More than in sex dividual.
Made him regard, or loss consider; but

Hip. You're out of breath ;
Playing o'er business in his hand, another And this high-speeded pace is but to say,
Directing in his head, his mind nurse equal That

you shall never, like the maid Flavina,
To these so diff’ring twins. Have you observed Love any that's call'd man.
him,

Emi. I am sure I shall not. Since our great lord departed ?

Hip. Now, alack, weak sister, Hip. With much labour,

I must no more believe thee in this point And í did love him for't. They two have cabin'd|(Though in't I know thou dost believe thyself) In many as dangerous, as poor a corner,

Than I will trust a sickly appetite, Peril and want contending, they have skift That loaths even as it longs. But sure, my sister, Torrents, whose roaring tyranny and power If I were ripe for your persuasion, you ['th' least of these was dreadful; and they have Have said enough to shake me from the arm Fought out together, where death's self was lodged, Of the all-noble Theseus; for whose fortunes Yet fate hath brought them off. Their knot of I will now in and kneel, with great assurance, love

That we, more than his Perithous, possess
Tied, weaved, entangled, with so true, so long, The high throne in his heart.
And with a finger of so deep a cunning,

Emi. I am not
May be out-worn, never undone. I think

Against your faith; yet I continue mine. Theseus cannot be umpire to himself,

[Ercunt. Cleaving his conscience into twain, and doing Each side like justice, which he loves best.

SCENE IV.
Emi. Doubtless,
There is a best, and reason has no manners

A Battle struck within; then a Retreat ; flourish. To say it is not you. I was acquainted

Then enter THESEUS (victor;) the three Queens Once with a time, when I enjoy'd a playfellow;

meet him, and fall on their faces before him. You were at wars when she the grave enrich’d, 1 Queen. To thee no star be dark ! Who made too proud the bed, took leave o' the 2 Queen. Both heav'n and earth moon

'Friend thee for ever! (Which then look'd pale at parting)when our count 3 Queen. All the good that may Was each eleven.

Be wish'd upon thy head, I cry amen to't! Ilip. 'Twas Flavina.

Thes. Th' impartial gods, who from the mountEmi. Yes,

ed heav'ns You talk of Perithous' and Theseus' love: View us their mortal herd, behold who err,

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