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Here, mighty Theseus.
The. Say, what abridgement have you for this evening?
What mask? what musick? How shall we beguile The lazy time, if not with some delight?
Philost. There is a brieft, how many sports are ripe;
Make choice of which your highness will see first. [Giving a paper. The. reads.] The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung,
By an Athenian eunuch to the harp. We'll none of that: that have I told my love, In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.
The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus, And his love Thisbe: very tragical mirth. Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief? That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow. How shall we find the concord of this discord? Philost. A play there is, my lord, some ten words long;
Which is as brief as I have known a play:
+ Short account.
The. What are they, that do play it?
Which never labour'd in their minds till now;
The. And we will hear it.
No, my noble lord,
Go, bring them in;—and take your places, ladies.
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 nothing.
Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake:
Of sawcy and audacious eloquence.
Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is addrest*.
The. Let him approach. [Flourish of trumpets.
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
The actors are at hand; and, by their show,
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 govern
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 show;
+ 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, certáin. 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
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.
'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; And, 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, many asses do.
Wall. In this same interlude, it doth befall,
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:
Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord.
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, 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,
'But what see I? No Thisby do I see.
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: