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Two Noble Kinsmen: Act 5, Scene 1

Two Noble Kinsmen
Act 5, Scene 1

Before the Temples of Mars, Venus, and Diana.

  1. Three altars erectedto Mars, Venus, and Diana. Flourish.
  2. Enter Theseus, Pirithous, Hippolyta, Attendants.

Theseus

3 - 9
  1. Now let ’em enter, and before the gods
  2. Tender their holy prayers. Let the temples
  3. Burn bright with sacred fires, and the altars
  4. In hallowed clouds commend their swelling incense
  5. To those above us. Let no due be wanting;
  6. They have a noble work in hand will honor
  7. The very powers that love ’em.
  1. Flourish of cornets. Enter Palamon and Arcite and their
  2. Knights.

Pirithous

12
  1.                                Sir, they enter.

Theseus

13 - 22
  1. You valiant and strong-hearted enemies,
  2. You royal germane foes, that this day come
  3. To blow that nearness out that flames between ye,
  4. Lay by your anger for an hour, and dove-like,
  5. Before the holy altars of your helpers,
  6. The all-fear’d gods, bow down your stubborn bodies.
  7. Your ire is more than mortal; so your help be;
  8. And as the gods regard ye, fight with justice.
  9. I’ll leave you to your prayers, and betwixt ye
  10. I part my wishes.

Pirithous

23
  1.                   Honor crown the worthiest!
  1. Exeunt Theseus and his Train.

Palamon

25 - 32
  1. The glass is running now that cannot finish
  2. Till one of us expire. Think you but thus,
  3. That were there aught in me which strove to show
  4. Mine enemy in this business, were’t one eye
  5. Against another, arm oppress’d by arm,
  6. I would destroy th’ offender, coz, I would,
  7. Though parcel of myself. Then from this gather
  8. How I should tender you.

Arcite

33 - 38
  1.                          I am in labor
  2. To push your name, your ancient love, our kindred,
  3. Out of my memory; and i’ th’ self-same place
  4. To seat something I would confound. So hoist we
  5. The sails that must these vessels port even where
  6. The heavenly limiter pleases.

Palamon

39 - 42
  1.                               You speak well.
  2. Before I turn, let me embrace thee, cousin.
  3. They embrace.
  4. This I shall never do again.

Arcite

43
  1.                              One farewell.

Palamon

44
  1. Why, let it be so; farewell, coz.

Arcite

45 - 86
  1.                                   Farewell, sir.
  2. Exeunt Palamon and his Knights.
  3. Knights, kinsmen, lovers, yea, my sacrifices,
  4. True worshippers of Mars, whose spirit in you
  5. Expels the seeds of fear, and th’ apprehension
  6. Which still is farther off it, go with me
  7. Before the god of our profession. There
  8. Require of him the hearts of lions and
  9. The breath of tigers, yea, the fierceness too,
  10. Yea, the speed alsoto go on, I mean,
  11. Else wish we to be snails. You know my prize
  12. Must be dragg’d out of blood; force and great feat
  13. Must put my garland on, where she sticks
  14. The queen of flowers. Our intercession then
  15. Must be to him that makes the camp a cistern
  16. Brimm’d with the blood of men. Give me your aid
  17. And bend your spirits towards him.
  18. They advance to the altar of Mars and fall on their faces;
  19. then kneel.
  20. Thou mighty one, that with thy power hast turn’d
  21. Green Neptune into purple; whose approach
  22. Comets prewarn, whose havoc in vast field
  23. Unearthed skulls proclaim, whose breath blows down
  24. The teeming Ceres’ foison, who dost pluck
  25. With hand armipotent from forth blue clouds
  26. The mason’d turrets, that both mak’st and break’st
  27. The stony girths of cities: me thy pupil,
  28. Youngest follower of thy drum, instruct this day
  29. With military skill, that to thy laud
  30. I may advance my streamer, and by thee
  31. Be styl’d the lord o’ th’ day. Give me, great Mars,
  32. Some token of thy pleasure.
  33. Here they fall on their faces as formerly, and there is
  34. heard clanging of armor, with a short thunder, as the burst
  35. of a battle, whereupon they all rise and bow to the altar.
  36. O great corrector of enormous times,
  37. Shaker of o’er-rank states, thou grand decider
  38. Of dusty and old titles, that heal’st with blood
  39. The earth when it is sick, and cur’st the world
  40. O’ th’ plurisy of people! I do take
  41. Thy signs auspiciously, and in thy name
  42. To my design march boldly.—Let us go.
  1. Exeunt.
  1. Enter Palamon and his Knights, with the former observance.

Palamon

89 - 160
  1. Our stars must glister with new fire, or be
  2. Today extinct. Our argument is love,
  3. Which if the goddess of it grant, she gives
  4. Victory too. Then blend your spirits with mine,
  5. You whose free nobleness do make my cause
  6. Your personal hazard. To the goddess Venus
  7. Commend we our proceeding, and implore
  8. Her power unto our party.
  9. Here they advance to the altar of Venus, and fall on their
  10. faces; then kneel, as formerly.
  11. Hail, sovereign queen of secrets, who hast power
  12. To call the fiercest tyrant from his rage,
  13. And weep unto a girl; that hast the might,
  14. Even with an eye-glance, to choke Mars’s drum
  15. And turn th’ alarm to whispers; that canst make
  16. A cripple flourish with his crutch, and cure him
  17. Before Apollo; that mayst force the king
  18. To be his subject’s vassal, and induce
  19. Stale gravity to dance; the poll’d bachelor,
  20. Whose youth, like wanton boys through bonfires,
  21. Have skipp’d thy flame, at seventy thou canst catch,
  22. And make him, to the scorn of his hoarse throat,
  23. Abuse young lays of love. What godlike power
  24. Hast thou not power upon? To Phoebus thou
  25. Add’st flames, hotter than his; the heavenly fires
  26. Did scorch his mortal son, thine him. The huntress
  27. All moist and cold, some say, began to throw
  28. Her bow away, and sigh. Take to thy grace
  29. Me thy vow’d soldier, who do bear thy yoke
  30. As ’twere a wreath of roses, yet is heavier
  31. Than lead itself, stings more than nettles. I
  32. Have never been foul-mouth’d against thy law,
  33. Nev’r reveal’d secret, for I knew nonewould not,
  34. Had I kenn’d all that were. I never practiced
  35. Upon man’s wife, nor would the libels read
  36. Of liberal wits. I never at great feasts
  37. Sought to betray a beauty, but have blush’d
  38. At simp’ring sirs that did. I have been harsh
  39. To large confessors, and have hotly ask’d them
  40. If they had mothers; I had one, a woman,
  41. And women ’twere they wrong’d. I knew a man
  42. Of eighty wintersthis I told themwho
  43. A lass of fourteen brided. ’Twas thy power
  44. To put life into dust: the aged cramp
  45. Had screw’d his square foot round,
  46. The gout had knit his fingers into knots,
  47. Torturing convulsions from his globy eyes
  48. Had almost drawn their spheres, that what was life
  49. In him seem’d torture. This anatomy
  50. Had by his young fair fere a boy, and I
  51. Believ’d it was his, for she swore it was,
  52. And who would not believe her? Brief, I am
  53. To those that prate and have done, no companion;
  54. To those that boast and have not, a defier;
  55. To those that would and cannot, a rejoicer.
  56. Yea, him I do not love that tells close offices
  57. The foulest way, nor names concealments in
  58. The boldest language. Such a one I am,
  59. And vow that lover never yet made sigh
  60. Truer than I. O then, most soft sweet goddess,
  61. Give me the victory of this question, which
  62. Is true love’s merit, and bless me with a sign
  63. Of thy great pleasure.
  64. Here music is heard; doves are seen to flutter. They fall
  65. again upon their faces, then on their knees.
  66. O thou that from eleven to ninety reign’st
  67. In mortal bosoms, whose chase is this world,
  68. And we in herds thy game, I give thee thanks
  69. For this fair token, which being laid unto
  70. Mine innocent true heart, arms in assurance
  71. My body to this business.—Let us rise
  72. And bow before the goddess. Time comes on.
  1. They bow. Exeunt.
  1. Still music of records. Enter Emilia in white, her hair
  2. about her shoulders, and wearing a wheaten wreath; one in
  3. white holding up her train, her hair stuck with flowers; one
  4. before her carrying a silver hind, in which is convey’d
  5. incense and sweet odors, which being set upon the altar of
  6. Diana, her maids standing aloof, she sets fire to it; then
  7. they curtsy and kneel.

Emilia

169 - 209
  1. O sacred, shadowy, cold, and constant queen,
  2. Abandoner of revels, mute, contemplative,
  3. Sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure
  4. As wind-fann’d snow, who to thy female knights
  5. Allow’st no more blood than will make a blush,
  6. Which is their order’s robe: I here, thy priest,
  7. Am humbled ’fore thine altar. O, vouchsafe,
  8. With that thy rare green eyewhich never yet
  9. Beheld thing maculatelook on thy virgin,
  10. And, sacred silver mistress, lend thine ear
  11. (Which nev’r heard scurril term, into whose port
  12. Ne’er ent’red wanton sound) to my petition,
  13. Season’d with holy fear. This is my last
  14. Of vestal office; I am bride-habited,
  15. But maiden-hearted. A husband I have ’pointed,
  16. But do not know him. Out of two I should
  17. Choose one, and pray for his success, but I
  18. Am guiltless of election. Of mine eyes
  19. Were I to lose one, they are equal precious,
  20. I could doom neither; that which perish’d should
  21. Go to’t unsentenc’d. Therefore, most modest queen,
  22. He of the two pretenders that best loves me
  23. And has the truest title in’t, let him
  24. Take off my wheaten garland, or else grant
  25. The file and quality I hold I may
  26. Continue in thy band.
  27. Here the hind vanishes under the altar, and in the place
  28. ascends a rose tree, having one rose upon it.
  29. See what our general of ebbs and flows
  30. Out from the bowels of her holy altar
  31. With sacred act advances: but one rose!
  32. If well inspir’d, this battle shall confound
  33. Both these brave knights, and I, a virgin flow’r,
  34. Must grow alone, unpluck’d.
  35. Here is heard a sudden twang of instruments, and the rose
  36. falls from the tree, which vanishes under the altar.
  37. The flow’r is fall’n, the tree descends. O mistress,
  38. Thou here dischargest me. I shall be gather’d,
  39. I think so, but I know not thine own will:
  40. Unclasp thy mystery.—I hope she’s pleas’d,
  41. Her signs were gracious.
  1. They curtsy and exeunt.
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