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The Two Noble Kinsmen: Act I, Prologue

The Two Noble Kinsmen
Act I, Prologue

  1. Flourish.


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  1. New plays and maidenheads are near akin
  2. Much follow’d both, for both much money gi’n,
  3. If they stand sound and well; and a good play
  4. (Whose modest scenes blush on his marriage-day,
  5. And shake to lose his honor) is like her
  6. That after holy tie and first night’s stir,
  7. Yet still is modesty, and still retains
  8. More of the maid to sight than husband’s pains.
  9. We pray our play may be so; for I am sure
  10. It has a noble breeder and a pure,
  11. A learned, and a poet never went
  12. More famous yet ’twixt Po and silver Trent.
  13. Chaucer (of all admir’d) the story gives;
  14. There constant to eternity it lives.
  15. If we let fall the nobleness of this,
  16. And the first sound this child hear be a hiss,
  17. How will it shake the bones of that good man,
  18. And make him cry from under ground, O, fan
  19. From me the witless chaff of such a writer
  20. That blasts my bays and my fam’d works makes lighter
  21. Than Robin Hood!” This is the fear we bring;
  22. For to say truth, it were an endless thing,
  23. And too ambitious, to aspire to him,
  24. Weak as we are, and almost breathless swim
  25. In this deep water. Do but you hold out
  26. Your helping hands, and we shall tack about
  27. And something do to save us. You shall hear
  28. Scenes, though below his art, may yet appear
  29. Worth two hours’ travail. To his bones sweet sleep!
  30. Content to you! If this play do not keep
  31. A little dull time from us, we perceive
  32. Our losses fall so thick we must needs leave.
  1. Flourish.
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