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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 fo; *** 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 filliest stuff that ever I heard.
THE. The best in this kind are but shadows: and the worst are no worse, ifimagination 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 moon and a lion.'
* Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway? ]: So Gold. They did agree at Ninus tomb to meete without the lowne.'
RITSON. s Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.] This alludes to the proverb, “ Walls have cars. A wall between almost any two neighbours would soon be down, were'it to exercise this facully without previous warning.
FARMER. The old copies read moral, instead of mural. Mr. Thcobald made the corre&ion. MALONE.
6 Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.] The old copies read - a man, &c. , STEEVENS.
I don't think the jest here is either complete, or right. It is differently pointed in several of the old copies, which, I fufpeâ, may lead us to the true reading, viz.
" Here come two noble beajts - in a man and a lion."
Enter Lion aud 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, &c Then know, that I, cne Snug the joiner, am
A lion fell, por else no lion's dam:'
immediately upon Theseus saying this, Enter Lion and Moonshine. It seems very probable therefore, that our author wrote,
in a moon and a lion." the one having a crescent and a lanthorn before him, and represente ing the man in the moon; the other in a lion's hidç. THEOBALD.
Mr. Theobald reads-a moon and a lion, and the emendation was adopted by the subsequent editors; but, I think, without necessity. The conceit is furnilhed by the person who represents the lion, and enters covered with the hide of that beast; and Theseus only means to say, that the man who represented the moon, and came in at the same time, with a lantern in his hand, and a bush of thorns at his back, was as much a beast as he who performed the part of the lipn.
MALONE. Here come two noble beafis in, a moon, and a lion. I cannot help supposing that we should have it, a moon-calf. The old copies read a man: possibly man was the marginal interpretation of moon-calf ; and being more intelligible, got into the text.
The man in the moon was no new character on the stage, and is here introduced in ridicule of such exhibitions. Ben Jonson in one of his masques, call’d News from the New World in the Moon, makes lois Foctor doubt of the person who brings the intelligence. ? I must see his dog at his girdle, and the bush of thorns at his back, cre I believe it.' Those, replies one of the heralds, are llale ensigns othe' stage.' FARMER.
s Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am
A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam: ] That is, that I am Snug the joiner; and neither a lion, nor a lion's dam. Dr. Johnson has juftly observed in a note on All's well that ends 'weil, that nor in the phraseology of our author's time often related to two members
" For if I fhould as lion come in strife
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.
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
present:" 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’th'moon do feem 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 snuif.6
of a sentence, though only expressed in the latter. So in the play just mentioned.
contempt nor bitterness 66 Were in his pride or sharpness." The reading of the text is that of the folio. The quartos read that I as Snug the joiner, &c. MALONE.
in snuff. An equivocation. Snuf fignifies both the cia. der of a candle, and hasty anger. JOHNSON,
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, filence; here comes Thilbe.
This." This is old Ninny's tomb: Where is my
love? LION. Oh." [ The Lion roars.
Thisbe runs off. DEM. Well roar’d, lion. THE. Well run, Thisbe.
Hip. Well shone, moon.-Truly, the moon shines with a good grace. THE. Well mous'd, lion."
(The Lion tears THISBE's mantle, and exit.
So, in Love's Labour's Lost:
STEEVENS. Well mous'd, lion, ] So in an ancient bl. 1. ballad on this fory, intitled, The Constancy of true Love, &c.
" And having musled thus the same,
Dem. And so comes Pyramus.
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 Thilby's fight.
“ But stay ;-0 fpite !
6. But mark; ---Poor knight, 6. What dreadful doie is here ?
Thy mantle good,
Theseus means that the lion has well tumbled and bloody'd the veil of Thisbe. STEEVENS.
I believe this should be “ Well mouth'd lion," alluding either to his roaring, or to his tearing with his mouth the mantle of Thisbe : " Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
M. MASON. Well mous'd, lion!] To meufe fignified 10 mammock, to tear in pieces, as a cat tears a mouse. MALONE. 8 Dem. And so comes Pyramus. Lys. And then the moon vanishes.] The old copies read ' - Dem. And then came Pyramus.
Lyf. And so the lion vanished. It were needless to say any thing in defence of Dr. Farmer's emendation. The reader indeed may alk why this glaring corruption was suffered to remain so long in the text. STEEVENS, glittering streams, ] The old copies read · beams.
STEEVENS. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio.