[Enter 3. Queenes in Blacke, with vailes staind, with imperiall Crownes. The 1. Queene fals downe at the foote of Theseus; The 2. fals downe at the foote of Hypolita. The 3. before Emilia.]

1. QUEEN.

For pitties sake and true gentilities, Heare, and respect me.

2. QUEEN.

For your Mothers sake, And as you wish your womb may thrive with faire ones, Heare and respect me.

3. QUEEN

Now for the love of him whom Iove hath markd The honour of your Bed, and for the sake Of cleere virginity, be Advocate For us, and our distresses. This good deede Shall raze you out o'th Booke of Trespasses All you are set downe there.

THESEUS.

Sad Lady, rise.

HIPPOLITA.

Stand up.

EMILIA.

No knees to me. What woman I may steed that is distrest, Does bind me to her.

THESEUS.

What's your request? Deliver you for all.

1. QUEEN.

We are 3. Queenes, whose Soveraignes fel before The wrath of cruell Creon; who endured The Beakes of Ravens, Tallents of the Kights, And pecks of Crowes, in the fowle feilds of Thebs. He will not suffer us to burne their bones, To urne their ashes, nor to take th' offence Of mortall loathsomenes from the blest eye Of holy Phoebus, but infects the windes With stench of our slaine Lords. O pitty, Duke: Thou purger of the earth, draw thy feard Sword That does good turnes to'th world; give us the Bones Of our dead Kings, that we may Chappell them; And of thy boundles goodnes take some note That for our crowned heades we have no roofe, Save this which is the Lyons, and the Beares, And vault to every thing.

THESEUS.

Pray you, kneele not: I was transported with your Speech, and suffer'd Your knees to wrong themselves; I have heard the fortunes Of your dead Lords, which gives me such lamenting As wakes my vengeance, and revenge for'em, King Capaneus was your Lord: the day That he should marry you, at such a season, As now it is with me, I met your Groome, By Marsis Altar; you were that time faire, Not Iunos Mantle fairer then your Tresses, Nor in more bounty spread her. Your wheaten wreathe Was then nor threashd, nor blasted; Fortune at you Dimpled her Cheeke with smiles: Hercules our kinesman (Then weaker than your eies) laide by his Club, He tumbled downe upon his Nemean hide And swore his sinews thawd: O greife, and time, Fearefull consumers, you will all devoure.

1. QUEEN.

O, I hope some God, Some God hath put his mercy in your manhood Whereto heel infuse powre, and presse you forth Our undertaker.

THESEUS.

O no knees, none, Widdow, Vnto the Helmeted Belona use them, And pray for me your Souldier. Troubled I am. [turnes away.]

2. QUEEN.

Honoured Hypolita, Most dreaded Amazonian, that hast slaine The Sith-tuskd Bore; that with thy Arme as strong As it is white, wast neere to make the male To thy Sex captive, but that this thy Lord, Borne to uphold Creation in that honour First nature stilde it in, shrunke thee into The bownd thou wast ore-flowing, at once subduing Thy force, and thy affection: Soldiresse That equally canst poize sternenes with pitty, Whom now I know hast much more power on him Then ever he had on thee, who ow'st his strength And his Love too, who is a Servant for The Tenour of thy Speech: Deere Glasse of Ladies, Bid him that we, whom flaming war doth scortch, Vnder the shaddow of his Sword may coole us: Require him he advance it ore our heades; Speak't in a womans key: like such a woman As any of us three; weepe ere you faile; Lend us a knee; But touch the ground for us no longer time Then a Doves motion, when the head's pluckt off: Tell him if he i'th blood cizd field lay swolne, Showing the Sun his Teeth, grinning at the Moone, What you would doe.

HIPPOLITA.

Poore Lady, say no more: I had as leife trace this good action with you As that whereto I am going, and never yet Went I so willing way. My Lord is taken Hart deepe with your distresse: Let him consider: Ile speake anon.

3. QUEEN.

O my petition was [kneele to Emilia.] Set downe in yce, which by hot greefe uncandied Melts into drops, so sorrow, wanting forme, Is prest with deeper matter.

The Two Noble Kinsmen Page 03

William Shakespeare

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Two Noble Kinsmen
William Shakespeare First Folio