Imatges de pÓgina

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.1

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 man2 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. "Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am "No 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 valor.

The. True; and a goose for his discretion.

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. "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.


This. "This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?"

Lion. "Oh.”

[The Lion roars.-THISBE 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


2 To mouse, according to Malone, signified to mammock, to tear in pieces, as a cat tears a mouse.

Dem. And so comes Pyramus.
Lys. And so the lion vanished.


Pyr. "Sweet moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams.

"I thank thee, moon, for shining now so bright. "For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering streams, "I trust to taste of truest Thisby's sight.

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"O dainty duck! O dear!
"Thy mantle good,
"What, stained with blood?
Approach, ye furies fell!

"Ofates! come, come;
"Cut thread and thrum;1

"Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!" 2

The. This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look sad.

Hip. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man. Pyr. "O, wherefore, nature, didst thou lions frame? "Since lion vile hath here defloured my dear: "Which is no, no-which was the fairest dame, "That lived, that loved, that liked, that looked with


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1 Thrum is the end or extremity of a weaver's warp. It is used for collection or tuft of short thread.


3 Countenance.


"Now am I dead,
"Now am I fled;
"My soul is in the sky.
"Tongue, lose thy light!
"Moon, take thy flight!
"Now die, die, die, die, die."

[Dies.-Exit Moon-shine. Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one. Lys. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.

The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet recover, and prove an ass.

Hip. How chance moon-shine is gone, before Thisbe

comes back and finds her lover?

The. She will find him by star-light.-Here she comes; and her passion ends the play.


Hip. Methinks, she should not use a long one, for such a Pyramus. I hope she will be brief.

Dem. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better.

Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet


Dem. And thus she moans,' videlicet.

This. "Asleep, my love?

"What, dead, my dove?

"O Pyramus, arise;

"Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
"Dead, dead? A tomb

"Must cover thy sweet eyes.
"These lily brows,

"This cherry nose,

"These yellow cowslip cheeks,

"Are gone, are gone.


Lovers, make moan!

1 The old copies read means, which had anciently the same signification as moans. Theobald made the alteration.

2 The old copies read lips instead of brows. The alteration was made for the sake of the rhyme by Theobald.

"His eyes were green as leeks.
"O sisters three,

"Come, come, to me,
"With hands as pale as milk;
"Lay them in gore,
"Since you have shore
"With shears his thread of silk.
"Tongue, not a word.-
"Come, trusty sword;
"Come, blade, my breast imbrue,
"And farewell, friends;-
"Thus Thisby ends.

"Adieu, adieu, adieu."


The. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead.
Dem. Ay, and wall too.

Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance,' between two of our company?

The. No epilogue, I pray you for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it, had played Pyramus, and hanged himself with Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine tragedy; and so it is, truly, and very notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask. Let your epilogue alone. [Here a dance of Clowns. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.

I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn,
As much as we this night have overwatched.
This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled
The heavy gait of night.-Sweet friends, to bed.
A fortnight hold we this solemnity

In nightly revels, and new jollity.


1 A rustic dance framed in imitation of the people of Bergamasco (a province in the state of Venice), who are ridiculed as being more clownish in their manners and dialect than any other people of Italy. The lingua rustica of the buffoons, in the old Italian comedies, is an imitation of their jargon.

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