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The Two Noble Kinsmen: Act I, Scene 4

The Two Noble Kinsmen
Act I, Scene 4

A field before Thebes.

  1. Cornets. A battle struck within; then a retreat; flourish.
  1. Then enter Theseus, victor, with his Lords.
  1. The three Queens meet him and fall on their faces before
  2. him.

First Queen

  1. To thee no star be dark.

Second Queen

2 - 3
  1.                          Both heaven and earth
  2. Friend thee forever.

Third Queen

4 - 5
  1.                      All the good that may
  2. Be wish’d upon thy head, I cry amen to’t.


6 - 16
  1. Th’ impartial gods, who from the mounted heavens
  2. View us their mortal herd, behold who err,
  3. And in their time chastise. Go and find out
  4. The bones of your dead lords, and honor them
  5. With treble ceremony; rather than a gap
  6. Should be in their dear rites, we would supply’t.
  7. But those we will depute which shall invest
  8. You in your dignities, and even each thing
  9. Our haste does leave imperfect. So adieu,
  10. And heaven’s good eyes look on you!
  11. Exeunt Queens.
  12. Enter Herald with Attendants bearing Palamon and Arcite on
  13. two hearses.
  14.                                     What are those?


17 - 19
  1. Men of great quality, as may be judg’d
  2. By their appointment. Some of Thebes have told’s
  3. They are sisters’ children, nephews to the King.


20 - 25
  1. By th’ helm of Mars, I saw them in the war,
  2. Like to a pair of lions smear’d with prey,
  3. Make lanes in troops aghast. I fix’d my note
  4. Constantly on them; for they were a mark
  5. Worth a god’s view. What was’t that prisoner told me
  6. When I inquired their names?


26 - 27
  1.                              Wi’ leave, they’re called
  2. Arcite and Palamon.


28 - 29
  1.                     ’Tis rightthose, those.
  2. They are not dead?


30 - 33
  1. Nor in a state of life; had they been taken
  2. When their last hurts were given, ’twas possible
  3. They might have been recovered. Yet they breathe
  4. And have the name of men.


34 - 55
  1.                           Then like men use ’em.
  2. The very lees of such (millions of rates)
  3. Exceed the wine of others. All our surgeons
  4. Convent in their behoof, our richest balms,
  5. Rather than niggard, waste; their lives concern us
  6. Much more than Thebes is worth. Rather than have ’em
  7. Freed of this plight, and in their morning state
  8. (Sound and at liberty), I would ’em dead;
  9. But forty thousand fold we had rather have ’em
  10. Prisoners to us than death. Bear ’em speedily
  11. From our kind air, to them unkind, and minister
  12. What man to man may do; for our sake more,
  13. Since I have known frights, fury, friends’ behests,
  14. Love’s provocations, zeal, a mistress’ task,
  15. Desire of liberty, a fever, madness,
  16. Hath set a mark which nature could not reach to
  17. Without some imposition, sickness in will
  18. O’er-wrestling strength in reason. For our love,
  19. And great Apollo’s mercy, all our best
  20. Their best skill tender.—Lead into the city,
  21. Where having bound things scatter’d, we will post
  22. To Athens ’fore our army.
  1. Flourish. Exeunt, Attendants bearing Palamon and Arcite.
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