The Two Noble Kinsmen eText - Prologue

Prologue

[Florish.]

New Playes, and Maydenheads, are neare a kin,
Much follow'd both, for both much mony g'yn,
If they stand sound, and well: And a good Play
(Whose modest Sceanes blush on his marriage day,
And shake to loose his honour) is like hir
That after holy Tye and first nights stir
Yet still is Modestie, and still retaines
More of the maid to sight, than Husbands paines;
We pray our Play may be so; For I am sure
It has a noble Breeder, and a pure,
A learned, and a Poet never went
More famous yet twixt Po and silver Trent:
Chaucer (of all admir'd) the Story gives,
There constant to Eternity it lives.
If we let fall the Noblenesse of this,
And the first sound this child heare, be a hisse,
How will it shake the bones of that good man,
And make him cry from under ground, 'O fan
From me the witles chaffe of such a wrighter
That blastes my Bayes, and my fam'd workes makes lighter
Then Robin Hood!' This is the feare we bring;
For to say Truth, it were an endlesse thing,
And too ambitious, to aspire to him,
Weake as we are, and almost breathlesse swim
In this deepe water. Do but you hold out
Your helping hands, and we shall take about,
And something doe to save us: You shall heare
Sceanes, though below his Art, may yet appeare
Worth two houres travell. To his bones sweet sleepe:
Content to you. If this play doe not keepe
A little dull time from us, we perceave
Our losses fall so thicke, we must needs leave. [Florish.]