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That you should think we come not to offend,
That is the true beginning of our end.
We do not come as minding to content 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
“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 con
tent “ 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.
| A kind of flageolet.
2 i. e. not regularly, according to the time.
This grisly beast, which by name lion hight, “ The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, “Did scare away, or rather did affright; " And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall;
" Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain. 6 Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall,
66 And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain. - Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
“ He bravely broached his boiling bloody breast; “And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade,
“ His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
Exeunt Prol., THISBE, Lion, and Moon-shine.
many asses do.
Wall. - In this same interlude, it doth befall, 66 That I, one Snout by name, present a wall : “ And such a wall, as I would have you think, 66 That had in it a crannied hole, or chink, “ Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, “Did whisper often very secretly. “ This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth show - That I am that same wall. The truth is so: " And this the cranny is, right and siníster, 6. Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.” The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak
better? Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord. The. Pyramus draws near the wall. Silence !
Enter PYRAMUS. Pyr. “O grim-looked night! 0 night with hue
so black! “O night, which ever art, when day is not ! 50 night, О night, alack, alack, alack,
“I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!66 And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall.
6. 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
66 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.
Pyr.“ I see a voice: now will I to the chink,
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.”
This. « Tide lifė, tide death, I come without delay.”
1 Limander and Helen, blunderingly for Leander and Hero, as Shafalus and Procrus for Cephalus and Procris. VOL. II.
Wall. “ Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so; “ And, being done, thus wall away doth go.”
[Exeunt 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.
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.
The. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.
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.
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:
2 Theobald altered this word to moon, without apparent reason.
Moon. “ This lantern doth the horned moon pre
Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head.
The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference.
Moon. 66 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?
Dem. He dares not come there for the candle ; for, you see, it is already in snuff.1
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 Thisbe.
Enter THISBE. This. “ This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my
love?" Lion. 66 Oh,"
[The Lion roars.—THIsle 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.
1 An equivoque. Snuff signifies both the cinder of a candle and hasty anger.
To mouse, according to Malone, signified to mammock, to ţear in pieces, as a cat tears a mouse.