The Two Noble Kinsmen


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Enter Gaoler, Wooer, and Doctor
distraction (n.) 2 madness, derangement, insanity


Her distraction is more at some time of the moon

than at other some, is it not?


She is continually in a harmless distemper,
distemper (n.) 1 malady, illness, derangement
harmless (adj.) innocent, causing no harm

sleeps little, altogether without appetite save often

drinking; dreaming of another world, and a better; and

what broken piece of matter soe'er she's about, the name
broken (adj.) 1 disjointed, fragmentary, disconnected
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance

Palamon lards it, that she farces every business withal,
farce, force (v.) stuff, cram
lard (v.) 3 permeate, saturate, pepper

fits it to every question.
fit (v.) 1 suit, befit, be suitable [for]
question (n.) 6 conversation, discourse, piece of talk

Enter Gaoler's Daughter

Look where she comes; you shall perceive her



I have forgot it quite; the burden on't was
burden, burthen (n.) 1 refrain, chorus

‘ down-a, down-a,’ and penned by no worse man than

Geraldo, Emilia's schoolmaster. He's as fantastical, too,
fantastical (adj.) 1 fanciful, imaginative, full of wild ideas

as ever he may go upon's legs; for in the next world will

Dido see Palamon, and then will she be out of love with



What stuff's here! Poor soul.
stuff (n.) 3 rubbish, nonsense


E'en thus all day long.


Now for this charm that I told you of, you

must bring a piece of silver on the tip of your tongue,

or no ferry; then if it be your chance to come where the

blessed spirits are – there's a sight now! We maids that

have our livers perished, cracked to pieces with love,
liver (n.) 1 part of the body thought to be at the seat of the passions [especially sexual desire]
perish (v.) destroy, wither, become ruined

we shall come there, and do nothing all day long but

pick flowers with Proserpine. Then will I make Palamon

a nosegay; then let him mark me – then –
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count


How prettily she's amiss! Note her a little
amiss (adj.) deficient [in mind], deranged
note (v.) 1 observe, pay attention [to], take special note [of]
prettily (adv.) cleverly, ingeniously; or: charmingly



Faith, I'll tell you, sometime we go to

barley-break, we of the blessed. Alas, 'tis a sore life they
barley-break (n.) type of country game in which a couple occupies a den [nicknamed ‘hell’] in the centre of a [barley] field, and tries to catch other couples, who may separate [break] when about to be caught

have i'th' tother place, such burning, frying, boiling,

hissing, howling, chattering, cursing – O, they have

shrewd measure; take heed! If one be mad, or hang or
measure (n.) 7 punishment, treatment, retribution
shrewd (adj.) 1 harsh, hard, severe

drown themselves, thither they go – Jupiter bless us! –

and there shall we be put in a cauldron of lead and

usurers' grease, amongst a whole million of cutpurses,
cutpurse (n.) pickpocket, thief, robber
grease (n.) sweat, melted fat

and there boil like a gammon of bacon that will never

be enough.


How her brain coins!
coin (v.) 2 create fantasies, fabricate, fantasize


Lords and courtiers that have got maids with

child, they are in this place; they shall stand in fire up

to the navel and in ice up to th' heart, and there th' offending

part burns and the deceiving part freezes – in troth
troth (n.) 1 truth, good faith See Topics: Swearing

a very grievous punishment, as one would think, for

such a trifle. Believe me, one would marry a leprous

witch to be rid on't, I'll assure you.


How she continues this fancy! 'Tis not an
continue (v.) 1 keep up, maintain, elaborate

engraffed madness, but a most thick and profound
ingraft, engraffed (adj.) 1 ingrafted, ingrained, deep-rooted
thick (adj.) 1 deep, heavy, profound



To hear there a proud lady and a proud city

wife howl together – I were a beast an I'd call it good

sport! One cries ‘ O, this smoke!’, th' other ‘ This fire!’;
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

one cries ‘ O that ever I did it behind the arras!’, and
arras (n.) tapestry hanging

then howls; th' other curses a suing fellow and her
suing (adj.) persistently entreating, importuning, chasing

garden-house (n.) small building in a garden [often used for lovers' assignations]

(She sings)

I will be true, my stars, my fate, etc.



What think you of her, sir?


I think she has a perturbed mind, which I cannot

minister to.


Alas, what then?


Understand you she ever affected any man ere
affect (v.) 2 love, like, be fond of

she beheld Palamon?


I was once, sir, in great hope she had fixed her

liking on this gentleman my friend.


I did think so too, and would account I had a

great penn'orth on't, to give half my state that both she
pennyworth, penn'orth (n.) 2 money's worth, bargain, good value
state (n.) 11 estate, property, wealth, means

and I at this present stood unfeignedly on the same
unfeignedly (adv.) genuinely, sincerely, honestly



That intemperate surfeit of her eye hath
distemper (v.) disorder, derange, disturb, confuse
intemperate (adj.) excessive, immoderate, inordinate
surfeit (n.) 1 excess, over-indulgence

distempered the other senses; they may return and settle

again to execute their preordained faculties, but they
execute (v.) 1 carry out, fulfil, perform
faculty (n.) function, power, capability
preordained (adj.) intended, normal, appointed

are now in a most extravagant vagary. This you must
extravagant (adj.) vagrant, straying, roaming
vagary (n.) wandering, displacement, roaming about

do: confine her to a place where the light may rather

seem to steal in than be permitted; take upon you,

young sir her friend, the name of Palamon; say you

come to eat with her and to commune of love. This will
commune (v.) 1 talk, converse, discourse

catch her attention, for this her mind beats upon; other
beat on / upon (v.) be obsessed by, be preoccupied with

objects that are inserted 'tween her mind and eye

become the pranks and friskins of her madness. Sing
friskin (n.) antic, friskiness, playful action
prank (n.) 3 trick, frolic, mischief

to her such green songs of love as she says Palamon
green (adj.) 2 youthful, inexperienced, immature

hath sung in prison; come to her stuck in as sweet
stick (v.) 5 decorate, adorn

flowers as the season is mistress of, and thereto make

an addition of some other compounded odours, which
compounded (adj.) blended, mingled, combined, made up
odour (n.) perfume, fragrance, scent

are grateful to the sense. All this shall become Palamon,
grateful (adj.) pleasing, agreeable, gratifying
sense (n.) 1 senses, sensation, organs of sense

for Palamon can sing, and Palamon is sweet and every

good thing. Desire to eat with her, carve her, drink to
carve (v.) 2 serve food to, wait on

her, and still among intermingle your petition of grace
among (adv.) from time to time, every now and then
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

and acceptance into her favour. Learn what maids have

been her companions and playferes, and let them repair
playfere (n.) playfellow, playmate, companion
repair (v.) 1 come, go, make one's way

to her with Palamon in their mouths, and appear with

tokens, as if they suggested for him. It is a falsehood
falsehood (n.) 2 delusion, deception, illusion
suggest (v.) 2 present ideas, make suggestions
token (n.) 5 keepsake, present, memento

she is in, which is with falsehoods to be combated. This

may bring her to eat, to sleep, and reduce what's now
bring (v.) 3 persuade, induce, cause
reduce (v.) restore, bring back, lead back

out of square in her into their former law and regiment.
regiment (n.) rule, regimen, normal state
square, out of abnormal, disordered, deviant

I have seen it approved, how many times I know not,
approve (v.) 1 prove, confirm, corroborate, substantiate

but to make the number more I have great hope in this.

I will between the passages of this project come in
passage (n.) 1 incident, occurrence, event, happening

with my appliance. Let us put it in execution, and
appliance (n.) 1 remedy, cure, treatment
execution (n.) 1 action, performance, doing

hasten the success, which doubt not will bring forth
success (n.) 1 result, outcome, issue



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