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Hip. He says they can do nothing in this kind.
Enter PHILOSTRATE. Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is
addrest? The. Let him approach. [Flourish of trumpets'.
Enter the PROLOGUE.
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,
7 — addrest.] i. e. ready, prepared.
8 Flourish of trumpets.] This is the stage-direction of the folio, 1623 : the quartos say nothing about it ; but it was usual on our old stage for the actor who spoke the Prologue to enter upon the stage when the trumpet or trumpets had sounded thrice. Hist. Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, iii. 440.
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 recordero; a sound, but not in government.
The. His speech was like a tangled chain,
Enter PYRAMUS' and THISBE, Wall, Moonshine, and
Lion, as in dumb show.
Prol. “Gentles, perchance, you wonder at this show;
But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
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 moonshine; for, if you will know,
To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
9 — like a child on a RECORDER ;] It is generally understood that the “ recorder" was what we now call the flageolet.
| Enter Pyramus] In the folio, 1623, this stage-direction is preceded by another in these words, “ Tawyer with a trumpet before them.” Possibly Tawyer was the name of the trumpeter.
Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain?: Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast;
His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
[Exeunt ProL. THISBE, Lion, and Moonshine. The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak.
Dem. No wonder, my lord :
Wall. “ In this same interlude, it doth befal,
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-look'd night! O, night with hue so
black ! O night, which ever art, when day is not ! O night! O night! alack, alack, alack!
I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot.2 And finds his TRUSTY Thisby's mantle slain :) Both the quartos have “ trusty ;" a necessary epithet, as far as relates to the measure, but omitted in the folio.
3 This Lime, this rough-cast,] We have had "lime and rough-cast ” just before ; and Theseus asks, afterwards, “ Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?” The 4tos, and folio in this place have love, merely the mistake of a letter. with lime and hair knit Up in THEE.] This is the preferable reading of the folio : the quartos have “knit now again,” which does not preserve the intended rhyme.
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. () 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.
Enter THISBE. This. “O wall, full often bast thou heard my moans,
For parting my fair Pyramus and me:
Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee 6."
To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face.
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.”
* O sweet, O lovely wall !) Fisher's and Roberts's 4to. read “ ( sweet, o lovely wall.” The folio has “thou sweet and lovely wall.”
she is to enter now.] The folio omits “ now.”
Pyr. “Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straight
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.”
[Exeunt Wall, PYRAMUS, and Thisbe. The. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours?
Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.
Hip. This is the silliest stuff that e'er 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 Moonshine. 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. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.
Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour. The. True; and a goose for his discretion. ? Now is the MURAL Down between the two neighbours.] For“ mural,” (which is Theobald's word,) the folio misreads moral ; while the quartos seem still farther from the meaning, when they have it, “ Now is the moon used," &c.
– ONE Snug, the joiner,] So the folio : the two quartos have “ as Snug the joiner.”