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foremost rank of tragic authors. The truth seems to be, that the theatre is affected by the change of fashion, which, among other caprices, has assigned late and irregular hours as a test of its votaries adherence to its dictates. Thus, unless on particular nights, the greater part of the audience is composed of persons whose day has been spent in fatiguing occupation, and whose slate of mind, not to mention their general taste, seeks relaxation, rather in the amusement of comedy, than from the graver efforts of the tragic author. It were well if this were all. But women of the higher rank, whose taste used formerly to have much influence upon the amusements of the drama,,cannot, in the present state of our theatres, easily visit them, without many and inconvenient precautions. A large portion of the house is avowedly abandoned to females of the worst description, whose numbers enable them to outrage decency with insolence and impunity, and to exhibit scenes much fitter for the haunts of low debauchery, than for a place of polished amusement. Late incidents also lead us to complain, that the slightest infraction of the rights of the public, real or supposed, leads to the repetition of tremendous remedies, which irresistibly remind us of the peasaut in the fable, who ca:led a squire and a pack of hounds into his garden, to chace out a poor hare, who had eat some of his cabbages. Until the natural good sense of an English audience find some remedy for these growing evils, the taste for this delightful art must become daily more corrupt and degraded. Meanwhile, the Editors may claim some inerit, for furnishing the admirers of the drama with an opportunity of deriving from its master-pieces that amusement in their closet, which is now loo unfrequently offered to them upon the stage, which GARRICK once trode, and which still boasts of SIDDONS.

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Year,

The Two Noble Kinsmen................SHAKESPEARE & FLETCHER, before 1616

A King and No King, .................. BEAUMONT & FLETCHER...............1611

The Maid's Tragedy,.....................Ditto........

................1610

Thierry and Theodoret...................DITTO........ ...............before 1621

Philaster ........

gore................. .............Ditto,.....

.................... 1680

Bonduca ....................................Ditto, ................................. before 1625

The False One.......... ............DITTO.........

do. do.

The Bondman......... ............

......MASSINGER, ................. ..............1623

The Fatal Dowry,.....

...................

MASSINGER & FIELD....................1632

The Broken Heart.................. ..FORD,

........................1633

The Rival Queens,

.......LEE..........

.......................1677

Theodosius,

...........Ditto........

DITTO...........

.....................1680

Au for Love..............

...........DRYDEN,.............

................1678

Don Sebastian,

.............................Ditto........

..................................1690

The Orphan,

..........OTWAY.......

..1680

Venice Preserved, .............Ditto, .........

............................1682

Isabella,........

.............SOUTHERN............................1694, 1758

Oroonoko,..........

..........Ditto,

.....

..................1696

The Mourning Bride .................. ...

CONGREVE............

........... 1697

Tamerlane,

....

ROWE...............

................ 1702

The Fair Penitent,........

.......................Ditto........

...............

Jane Shore,............................

DITTO............

........................1713

Lady Jane Gray,

..........DITTO........ ...............................1715

Cato, .........................

ADDISON,....

................1712

The Distrest Mother, ................. PHILIPS............... ...............1712

The Siege of Damascus, .................. HUGHES,...

.........

..............1720

366
409
436
463

483

513

536

........ 1703

562

583

603

625
657

666

THE

BRITISH DRAM A.

THE

TWO NOBLE KINSMEN.

BY

SHAKESPEARE AND FLETCHER.

PROLOGUE.

(Flourish. “ From me the witless chaff of such a writer, New plays and maidenheads are near akin ; That blasts my bays, and my famed works makes Much' followed both, for both much money gi'n, lighter If they stand sound and well: and a good play “ Than Robin Hood !” This is the fear we bring;' (Whose modest scenes blush on his marriage-day, For, to say truth, it were an endless thing, And shake to lose his honour) is like her And too ambitious, to aspire to him. , That after holy tie, and first night's stir,

Weak as we are, and almost breathless swim Yet still is modesty, and still retains

In this deep water, do but you hold out More of the maid to sight, than husband's pains. Your helping hands, and we shall tack about, We pray our play may be so; for I'm sure And something do to save us ; you shall hear It has a noble breeder, and a pure,

Scenes, though below his art, may yet appear A learned, and a poet never went

Worth two hours travel. - To his bones sweet More famous yet 'twixt Po, and silver Trent:

sleep! Chaucer (of all admired) the story gives; Content to you !-If this play do not keep There constant to eternity it lives !

A little dull time from us, we perceive If we let fall the nobleness of this,

Our losses fall so thick, we must needs leave. And the first sound this child hear be a hiss,

[Flourish. How will it shake the bones of that good man, And make him cry from under-ground, “Oh, fan

MEN.

WOMEN.
THESEUS, Duke of Athens.

HIPPOLITA, Bride to Theseus.
PALAMON, The two Noble Kinsmen, in love Emilia, her Sister.
ARCITE,
with Emilia.

Three Queens.
PERITHOUS, an Athenian General.

Jailor's Daughter, in love with Palamon.
VALERIUS, a Theban noblemun.

Servant to Emilia.
Three valiunt Knights.
Herald,

· Nymphs, Wenches, 8c.
Jailor.
Wover.
GERROLD, a schoolmaster.

A Taborer, Countrymen, Soldiers, 8c.

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THE

TWO NOBLE KINSMEN.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

Enter three Queens, in black, with veils stained,

with imperial crowns. The first Queen falls Enter HYMEN with a torch burning ; a Boy, in a down at the feet of Theseus; the second falls

white robe, before, singing, and strewing flow down at the foot of HIPPOLITA ; the third beers; after HYMEN, a Nymph, encompassed in

fore EMILIA. her tresses, bearing a wheaten garland; then THESEUS, between two other Nymphs, with i Queen. For pity's sake, and true gentility's, wheaten chaplets on their heads; then HIPPO- Hear and respect me! LITA, led by PERITHOUS, and another holding

2 Quèen. For your mother's sake, a garland ocer her head, her tresses likewise And as you wish your womb may thrive with fair hanging; after her, EMILIA, holding up her

ones, train.

Hear and respect me!

3 Queen. Now for the love of him whom Jove SONG.

hath marked

The honour of your bed, and for the sake
Roses, their sharp spines being gone, Of clear virginity, be advocate
Not royal in their smells alone,

For us, and our distresses ! This good deed
But in their hue;

Shall raze you out o' the book of trespasses Maiden-pinks, of odour faint ;

All you are set down there.
Daisies smell-less, yet more quaint,

Thes. Sad lady, rise.
And sweet thyme true.

Hipp. Stand up.

Emi. No knees to me! What woman I Primrose, first-born child of Ver,

May sted, that is distressed, does bind me to her. Merry spring-time's harbinger,

Thes. What's your request ? Deliver you, for all. With her bells dim;

i Queen. We are three Queens, whose soveOxlips in their cradles growing,

reigns fell before Marigolds on death-beds blowing,

The wrath of cruel Creon; who endured
Lark-heels trim.

The beaks of ravens, talons of the kites,

And pecks of crows, in the foul fields of Thebes. All dear Nature's children sweet,

He will not suffer us to burn their bones, Lye 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet, To urn their ashes, nor to take the offence

Blessing their sense! (Strew flowers. Of mortal loatlısomeness from the blest eye Not an angel of the air,

Of holy Phæbus, but infects the winds Bird melodious, or bird fair,

With stench of our slain lords. Oh, pity, duke ! Be absent hence !

Thou

purger of the earth, draw thy fear'd sword,

That does good turns to the world; give us the The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor

bones The boding raven, nor chough hoar, Of our dead kings, that we may chapel them ! Nor chatt'ring pie,

And, of thy boundless goodness, take some note, May on our bridehouse perch or sing, That for our crowned heads we have no roof Or with them any discord bring,

Save this, which is the lion's and the bear's, But from it fly!

And vault to every thing!

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