The Two Noble Kinsmen


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Cornets. A battle struck within; then a retreat.
dark (adj.) 2 unfavourable, malignant, evil

Flourish. Then enter Theseus, victor, with Herald and

attendants, and Palamon and Arcite brought in on

hearses. The three Queens meet him, and fall on their

faces before him


FIRST QUEEN

To thee no star be dark.


SECOND QUEEN

                         Both heaven and earth

Friend thee for ever.
friend (v.) 1 befriend, sustain, assist


THIRD QUEEN

                         All the good that may

Be wished upon thy head, I cry amen to't.


THESEUS

Th' impartial gods, who from the mounted heavens
mounted (adj.) exalted, high, lofty

View us their mortal herd, behold who err,

And in their time chastise. Go and find out

The bones of your dead lords, and honour them

With treble ceremony; rather than a gap

Should be in their dear rights, we would supply't.
dear (adj.) 7 noble, honourable, worthy

But those we will depute which shall invest

You in your dignities, and even each thing
even (v.) 1 make good, settle, put straight

Our haste does leave imperfect. So adieu,

And heaven's good eyes look on you.

Exeunt Queens with attendants

                         What are those?
quality (n.) 3 rank, standing, position


HERALD

Men of great quality, as may be judged

By their appointment; some of Thebes have told's
appointment (n.) 1 equipment, effects, weaponry

They are sisters' children, nephews to the King.


THESEUS

By th' helm of Mars, I saw them in the war,
helm (n.) 1 helmet

Like to a pair of lions, smeared with prey,

Make lanes in troops aghast. I fixed my note
lane (n.) path, passage, way
note (n.) 1 attention, notice, regard

Constantly on them, for they were a mark
mark (n.) 4 notable sight, object of serious attention

Worth a god's view. What prisoner was't that told me

When I inquired their names?


HERALD

                         Wi' leave, they're called

Arcite and Palamon.


THESEUS

                         'Tis right; those, those.

They are not dead?


HERALD

Nor in a state of life; had they been taken

When their last hurts were given, 'twas possible

They might have been recovered. Yet they breathe,
recover (v.) 1 revive, restore to health

And have the name of men.
use (v.) 2 treat, deal with, manage


THESEUS

                         Then like men use 'em.

The very lees of such, millions of rates,
lees (n.) (plural) dregs, remains, remnants
rate (n.) 1 quantity, amount, instance

Exceed the wine of others. All our surgeons

Convent in their behoof; our richest balms,
behoof (n.) benefit, advantage
convent (v.) 1 bring together, assemble, convene

Rather than niggard, waste; their lives concern us
niggard (v.) 1 begrudge, hoard, use sparingly

Much more than Thebes is worth. Rather than have 'em

Freed of this plight and in their morning state,

Sound and at liberty, I would 'em dead;

But forty-thousandfold we had rather have 'em

Prisoners to us then death. Bear 'em speedily

From our kind air, to them unkind, and minister
kind (adj.) 3 friendly, agreeable, pleasant

What man to man may do – for our sake, more,

Since I have known frights, fury, friends' behests,

Love's provocations, zeal, a mistress' task,

Desire of liberty, a fever, madness,

Hath set a mark which nature could not reach to
mark (n.) 1 target, goal, aim
nature (n.) 2 natural powers, normal state [of mind and body]

Without some imposition, sickness in will
imposition (n.) 2 extra burden, additional demand

O'er-wrestling strength in reason. For our love
over-wrestle (v.) surpass, outdo, exceed

And great Apollo's mercy, all our best

Their best skill tender. Lead into the city,

Where having bound things scattered, we will post
post (v.) 1 hasten, speed, ride fast

To Athens 'fore our army.

Flourish. Exeunt

 
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