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.
Hippolita Bride to Theseus
Emelia Sister to Theseus
Three valiant Knights
Arcite The two Noble Kinsmen in love with fair Emelia
His Daughter in love with Palamon
[2 Friends of the Jaylor]
[Nel and other]
Gerrold A Schoolmaster.)
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.]
[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
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
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.]
For pitties sake and true gentilities
Heare and respect me.
For your Mothers sake
And as you wish your womb may thrive with faire ones
Heare and respect me.
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.
Sad Lady rise.
No knees to me.
What woman I may steed that is distrest
Does bind me to her.
What's your request? Deliver you for all.
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;