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Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain,
To do you service,

The. I will hear that play:
For never any thing can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.
Go, bring them in ;-and take your places, ladies.

[Exit PHILOST. Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg’d, And duty in his service perishing.

go The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such

thing. Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind. The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for no

Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake:
And what poor duty cannot do,
Noble respect takes it in might, not merit.
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
Where I have seen them shiver, and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears,
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome : Trust me, sweet,
Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome;
And in the modesty of fearful duty
I read as mich, as from the rattling tongile
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.


Love, therefore, and tongue-ty'd simplicity,
In least, speak most, to my capacity.

Enter PhiloSTRATE.


Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is ad.

The. Let him approach.

[Flour. Trum.
Enter the Prologue.
Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will.

should think, we come not to offend,
But with good-will. To shew 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.

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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 play'd on this prologue, like a child on a recorder ; a sound, but not in govern. ment.

The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impair’d, but all disordered. Who is next? 130

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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 loyers

66 sunder: “ And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are

16 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, “ By moonshine 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 Thishy's mantle slain : 149 " Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,

“ He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast ; “ And Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,

“ His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,


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" Let lion, moon-shine, wall, and lovers twain,
• At large discourse, while here they do remain."

[Exeunt all but Wall.
The. I wonder if the lion be to speak.
Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when

many asses do.


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Wall. “ In this same interlude, it doth befall, “ That I one Snout by name, present a wall: 160 “ 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 lome, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth shew " 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 line and hair to speak better?

Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord.

171 The. Pyramus draws near the wall : silence!


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,


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" That " That stand'st between her father's ground and

“ mine; “ Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall, “ Shew me thy chink to blink through with mine eyne.

180 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.“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.

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."

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