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Two Noble Kinsmen: Act 1, Scene 2

Two Noble Kinsmen
Act 1, Scene 2

Thebes. The palace.

  1. Enter Palamon and Arcite.

Arcite

2 - 13
  1. Dear Palamon, dearer in love than blood,
  2. And our prime cousin, yet unhard’ned in
  3. The crimes of naturelet us leave the city
  4. Thebes, and the temptings in’t, before we further
  5. Sully our gloss of youth:
  6. And here to keep in abstinence we shame
  7. As in incontinence; for not to swim
  8. I’ th’ aid o’ th’ current were almost to sink,
  9. At least to frustrate striving, and to follow
  10. The common stream, ’twould bring us to an eddy
  11. Where we should turn or drown; if labor through,
  12. Our gain but life and weakness.

Palamon

14 - 28
  1.                                 Your advice
  2. Is cried up with example. What strange ruins,
  3. Since first we went to school, may we perceive
  4. Walking in Thebes! Scars and bare weeds
  5. The gain o’ th’ martialist, who did propound
  6. To his bold ends honor and golden ingots,
  7. Which though he won, he had not; and now flurted
  8. By peace, for whom he fought, who then shall offer
  9. To Mars’s so scorn’d altar? I do bleed
  10. When such I meet, and wish great Juno would
  11. Resume her ancient fit of jealousy
  12. To get the soldier work, that peace might purge
  13. For her repletion, and retain anew
  14. Her charitable heart, now hard, and harsher
  15. Than strife or war could be.

Arcite

29 - 34
  1.                              Are you not out?
  2. Meet you no ruin but the soldier in
  3. The cranks and turns of Thebes? You did begin
  4. As if you met decays of many kinds.
  5. Perceive you none that do arouse your pity
  6. But th’ unconsider’d soldier?

Palamon

35 - 38
  1.                               Yes, I pity
  2. Decays where e’er I find them, but such most
  3. That sweating in an honorable toil
  4. Are paid with ice to cool ’em.

Arcite

39 - 47
  1.                                ’Tis not this
  2. I did begin to speak of. This is virtue
  3. Of no respect in Thebes. I spake of Thebes,
  4. How dangerous, if we will keep our honors,
  5. It is for our residing; where every evil
  6. Hath a good color; where ev’ry seeming good’s
  7. A certain evil; where not to be ev’n jump
  8. As they are, here were to be strangers, and
  9. Such things to be, mere monsters.

Palamon

48 - 68
  1.                                   ’Tis in our power
  2. (Unless we fear that apes can tutor’s) to
  3. Be masters of our manners. What need I
  4. Affect another’s gait, which is not catching
  5. Where there is faith? Or to be fond upon
  6. Another’s way of speech, when by mine own
  7. I may be reasonably conceiv’d; sav’d too,
  8. Speaking it truly? Why am I bound
  9. By any generous bond to follow him
  10. Follows his tailor, haply so long until
  11. The follow’d make pursuit? Or let me know
  12. Why mine own barber is unblest, with him
  13. My poor chin too, for ’tis not scissor’d just
  14. To such a favorite’s glass? What canon is there
  15. That does command my rapier from my hip,
  16. To dangle’t in my hand, or to go tiptoe
  17. Before the street be foul? Either I am
  18. The forehorse in the team, or I am none
  19. That draw i’ th’ sequent trace. These poor slight sores
  20. Need not a plantin; that which rips my bosom
  21. Almost to th’ heart’s

Arcite

69
  1.                        Our uncle Creon.

Palamon

70 - 82
  1.                  He,
  2. A most unbounded tyrant, whose successes
  3. Makes heaven unfear’d, and villainy assured
  4. Beyond its power there’s nothing; almost puts
  5. Faith in a fever, and deifies alone
  6. Voluble chance; who only attributes
  7. The faculties of other instruments
  8. To his own nerves and act; commands men service,
  9. And what they win in’t, boot and glory; one
  10. That fears not to do harm; good, dares not. Let
  11. The blood of mine that’s sib to him be suck’d
  12. From me with leeches! Let them break and fall
  13. Off me with that corruption!

Arcite

83 - 88
  1.                              Clear-spirited cousin,
  2. Let’s leave his court, that we may nothing share
  3. Of his loud infamy; for our milk
  4. Will relish of the pasture, and we must
  5. Be vile, or disobedientnot his kinsmen
  6. In blood unless in quality.

Palamon

89 - 95
  1.                             Nothing truer.
  2. I think the echoes of his shames have deaf’d
  3. The ears of heav’nly justice. Widows’ cries
  4. Descend again into their throats, and have not
  5. Due audience of the gods.
  6. Enter Valerius.
  7.                           Valerius!

Valerius

96 - 100
  1. The King calls for you; yet be leaden-footed
  2. Till his great rage be off him. Phoebus, when
  3. He broke his whipstock and exclaim’d against
  4. The horses of the sun, but whisper’d, to
  5. The loudness of his fury.

Palamon

101 - 102
  1.                           Small winds shake him.
  2. But what’s the matter?

Valerius

103 - 106
  1. Theseus (who where he threats appalls) hath sent
  2. Deadly defiance to him, and pronounces
  3. Ruin to Thebes; who is at hand to seal
  4. The promise of his wrath.

Arcite

107 - 112
  1.                           Let him approach.
  2. But that we fear the gods in him, he brings not
  3. A jot of terror to us. Yet what man
  4. Thirds his own worth (the case is each of ours),
  5. When that his action’s dregg’d with mind assur’d
  6. ’Tis bad he goes about.

Palamon

113 - 118
  1.                         Leave that unreason’d.
  2. Our services stand now for Thebes, not Creon.
  3. Yet to be neutral to him were dishonor;
  4. Rebellious to oppose; therefore we must
  5. With him stand to the mercy of our fate,
  6. Who hath bounded our last minute.

Arcite

119 - 121
  1.                                   So we must.
  2. Is’t said this war’s afoot? Or it shall be,
  3. On fail of some condition?

Valerius

122 - 124
  1.                            ’Tis in motion,
  2. The intelligence of state came in the instant
  3. With the defier.

Palamon

125 - 131
  1.                  Let’s to the King, who were he
  2. A quarter carrier of that honor which
  3. His enemy come in, the blood we venture
  4. Should be as for our health, which were not spent,
  5. Rather laid out for purchase. But alas,
  6. Our hands advanc’d before our hearts, what will
  7. The fall o’ th’ stroke do damage?

Arcite

132 - 135
  1.                                   Let th’ event,
  2. That never-erring arbitrator, tell us
  3. When we know all ourselves, and let us follow
  4. The becking of our chance.
  1. Exeunt.
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