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Of sawcy and audacious eloquence.
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity,
In least, speak most, to my capacity.

Enter Philostrate.

Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is

addrest*. The. Let him approach. [Flourish of trumpets.

Enter 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, 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, thut 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 recordert; a sound, but not in goverument.

The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?

Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and

Lion, as in dumb show.

Prol. “Gentles, perchance, you wonder at this


• Ready.

+ A musical instrument.

* 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 thora,

• 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. • 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: 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; * Aud, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade, • His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, • Let lion, moon-shine, wall, and lovers twain, At large discourse, while here they do remain.'

(Exeunt Prol. Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine, The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak.

Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.

Wall. In this saine interlude, it doth befall, • That I, one Şnout by name, present a wall: * And such a wall, as I would have you think, • That had in it a cranny'd hole, or chink, • Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, • Did whisper often very secretly. * This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth • That I am that same wall; the truth is so: • And this the cranny is, right and sinister, • Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.' The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak bet.


• Called.

ter? 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, О 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


• 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 weil 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.

Enter Thisbe.

This. O wall, full often hast thou heard my

moans, • For parting my fair Pyramus and me:

My cherry lips have often kiss'd 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

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 walls hole, not your lips at all.' Pyr. : Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me

straightway" This. Tide life, tide death, I come without de

lay.' 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 wil. ful 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 comes two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.

Enter Lion and Moonshine.

Leon. "You, ladies, you, whose gentle bearts do fear • The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on


. 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

A 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 valour.
The. True; and a goose for his discretion.

Dem. Not so, my lord: for his valour cannot carry his discretion; and the fox carries the goose.

The. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour; 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 pre

sent; · Myself the man i' th' 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 souff*.

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.

* In anger ;, a quibble.

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