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Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will. That you should think we come not to offend, But with good will. To show our simple skill, That is the true beginning of our end. Consider, then, we come but in despite. We do not come as minding to content you, Our true intent is. All for your delight, We are not here. That you should here repent you, The actors are at hand; and, by their show, You shall know all, that you are like to know. The. This fellow doth not stand upon points. Lys. He hath rid his prologue, like a rough colt; he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord. It is not enough to speak, but to speak true. Hip. Indeed he hath played on this prologue like a child on a recorder;" a sound but not in government.” The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?
Enter PYRAMUs and THISBE, Wall, Moon-shine, and Lion, as in dumb show.
Prol. “Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show ; “But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. “This man is Pyramus, if you would know; “This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. “This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present “Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers sunder, “And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are content “To whisper; at the which let no man wonder. “This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn, “Presenteth moon-shine; for, if you will know, “By moon-shine did these lovers think no scorn “To meet at Ninus’ tomb, there, there to woo.
1 A kind of flageolet. 2 i. e. not regularly, according to the time.
“This grisly beast, which by name lion hight,
Enter PyRAMUs. Pyr. “O grim-looked night! O night with hue so black' “O night, which ever art, when day is not! “O might, O night, alack, alack, alack, “I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!— “And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
“That stand'st between her father's ground and mine ; “Thou wall, O wall, O sweet, and lovely wall, “Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine
eyne. [Wall holds up his fingers. “Thanks, courteous wall. Jove shield thee well for this
“But what see I? No Thisby do I see. “O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss. “Curst be thy stones for thus deceiving me !” The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again. Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving me, is Thisby's cue. She is to enter now, and I am to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will fall
pat as I told you.-Yonder she comes.
This. “O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans, “For parting my fair Pyramus and me. “My cherry lips have often kissed thy stones; “Thy stones, with lime and hair knit up in thee.” Pyr. “I see a voice: now will I to the chink, “To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. “Thisby. " This. “My love! Thou art my love, I think.” Pyr. “Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace; “And like Limander' am I trusty still.” This. “And I like Helen, till the fates me kill.” Pyr. “Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.” This. “As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.” Pyr. “O, kiss me through the hole of this vile wall.” This. “I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.” Pyr. “Wilt thou at Ninny’s tomb meet me straightway ?” This. “Tide life, tide death, I come without delay.” Wall. “Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so; “And, being done, thus wall away doth go.” [Ereunt Wall, PyRAMUs, and THISBE. The. Now is the mural down between the two neighbors. - . Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning." Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. The. The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them. Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs. The. If we imagine no worse of them, than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a man” and a lion.
1. Limander and Helen, blunderingly for Leander and Hero, as Shafalus and Procrus for Cephalus and Procris. WOL. II.
Enter Lion and Moon-shine.
Lion. “You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear “The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor, “May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here, “When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar. “Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am “No lion fell, nor else no lion’s dam : “For if I should as lion come in strife “Into this place, ’twere pity on my life.” The. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience. Dem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw. Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valor. The. True; and a goose for his discretion. Dem. Not so, my lord; for his valor cannot carry his discretion; and the fox carries the goose. The. His discretion, ‘I am sure, cannot carry his valor; for the goose carries not the fox. It is well. Leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon. Moon. “This lantern doth the horned moon pre- sent.” Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head. The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference. * Moon. “This lantern doth the horned moon present. “Myself the man i'the moon do seem to be.” The. This is the greatest error of all the rest. The man should be put into the lantern. How is it else the man i'the moon P Dem. He dares not come there for the candle ; for, you see, it is already in snuff." Hip. I am aweary of this moon. Would he would change The. It appears, by his small light of discretion, that he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all reason, we must stay the time. Lys. Proceed, moon. Moon. All that I have to say, is, to tell you, that the lantern is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this thorn bush, my thorn bush; and this dog, my dog. Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern; for they are in the moon. But silence; here comes
1 This alludes to the proverb, “Walls have ears.” A wall between almost any two neighbors, says Johnson, would soon be down, were it to ex ercise this faculty without previous warning.
° Theobald altered this word to moon, without apparent reason.
Enter Thisbe. This. “This is old Ninny’s tomb. Where is my
love P” Lion. “Oh–.” [The Lion roars.--THISBE runs off
Dem. Well roared, lion.
The. Well run, Thisbe.
Hip. Well shone, moon.—Truly, the moon shines
with a good grace.
The. Well moused,” lion.
[The Lion tears THISBE's mantle, and exit.
* An equivoque. Snuff signifies both the cinder of a candle and hasty anger. .* To mouse, according to Malone, signified to mammock, to tear in pieces, as a cat tears a mouse.