The Two Noble Kinsmen

Modern text


Key line

New Playes, and Maydenheads, are neare a kin,
New plays and maidenheads are near akin,  TNK prologue.1
Much follow'd both, for both much mony g'yn,
Much followed both, for both much money gi'en,follow (v.)

old form: follow'd
seek after, pursue, strive for, court
TNK prologue.2
If they stand sound, and well: And a good Play
If they stand sound and well. And a good play –  TNK prologue.3
(Whose modest Sceanes blush on his marriage day,
Whose modest scenes blush on his marriage day, TNK prologue.4
And shake to loose his honour) is like hir
And shake to lose his honour – is like hershake (v.)
tremble, quake, shiver
TNK prologue.5
That after holy Tye, and first nights stir
That after holy tie and first night's stirholy tie

old form: Tye
TNK prologue.6
Yet still is Modestie, and still retaines
Yet still is modesty, and still retains TNK prologue.7
More of the maid to sight, than Husbands paines;
More of the maid to sight than husband's pains.pain (n.)

old form: paines
effort, endeavour, exertion, labour
TNK prologue.8
We pray our Play may be so; For I am sure
We pray our play may be so; for I am sure TNK prologue.9
It has a noble Breeder, and a pure,
It has a noble breeder, and a pure,breeder (n.)
father, source, originator, author
TNK prologue.10
A learned, and a Poet never went
A learned, and a poet never wentgo (v.)
live, exist, breathe
TNK prologue.11
More famous yet twixt Po and silver Trent.
More famous yet 'twixt Po and silver Trent.Trent (n.)
river flowing south and then north-east in the English Midlands
TNK prologue.12
Chaucer (of all admir'd) the Story gives,
Chaucer, of all admired, the story gives; TNK prologue.13
There constant to Eternity it lives;
There constant to eternity it lives. TNK prologue.14
If we let fall the Noblenesse of this,
If we let fall the nobleness of this,let fall (v.)
lower, debase, fail to live up to
TNK prologue.15
And the first sound this child heare, be a hisse,
And the first sound this child hear be a hiss, TNK prologue.16
How will it shake the bones of that good man,
How will it shake the bones of that good man, TNK prologue.17
And make him cry from under ground, O fan
And make him cry from under ground, ‘ O, fan TNK prologue.18
From me the witles chaffe of such a wrighter
From me the witless chaff of such a writer TNK prologue.19
That blastes my Bayes, and my fam'd workes makes lighter
That blasts my bays and my famed works makes lighterbay (n.)

old form: Bayes
fame, renown [i.e. laurel wreath]
TNK prologue.20
blast (v.)
blight, wither, destroy
Then Robin Hood? This is the feare we bring;
Than Robin Hood!’ This is the fear we bring; TNK prologue.21
For to say Truth, it were an endlesse thing,
For, to say truth, it were an endless thing,endless (adj.)

old form: endlesse
never-ending, impossible, unattainable
TNK prologue.22
And too ambitious to aspire to him;
And too ambitious, to aspire to him. TNK prologue.23
Weake as we are, and almost breathlesse swim
Weak as we are, and almost breathless swim TNK prologue.24
In this deepe water. Do but you hold out
In this deep water, do but you hold out TNK prologue.25
Your helping hands, and we shall take about,
Your helping hands, and we shall tack about, TNK prologue.26
And something doe to save us: You shall heare
And something do to save us; you shall hear TNK prologue.27
Sceanes though below his Art, may yet appeare
Scenes, though below his art, may yet appear TNK prologue.28
Worth two houres travell. To his bones sweet sleepe:
Worth two hours' travail. To his bones sweet sleep;travail, travel (n.)

old form: travell
journeying, travel [often overlapping with the sense of 'labour']
TNK prologue.29
Content to you. If this play doe not keepe,
Content to you. If this play do not keepcontent (n.)
pleasure, satisfaction, happiness
TNK prologue.30
A little dull time from us, we perceave
A little dull time from us, we perceive TNK prologue.31
Our losses fall so thicke, we must needs leave.
Our losses fall so thick we must needs leave.leave (v.)
cease, stop, give up
TNK prologue.32
Flourish. Exit 
 Previous Prologue Next  

Jump directly to