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


Phi. So please your grace, the prologue is ad

dress'd.1 The. Let him approach. [florish of trumpets.

Pro. 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, that 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 his prologue, like a child on a recorder ; % a sound, but not in governmeni.

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


LION, as in dumb show. Pro. Gentles, perchance, you wonder at this


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 con

tent 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 Thisby's mantle slain :

i Called.

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, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain At large discourse, while here they do remain.'

[Exeunt Pro. 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 same interlude, it doth befal, That I, one Snout by name, present a wall ; And such a wall, as I would have you think, That had in it a crannied or chink, Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, Did whisper often very secretly. This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth

show 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

better? 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

mine; 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 well for

this! But what see I? No Thisby do I see. O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss

Cursed 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. O wall, full often hast thou heard my

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

Pyr. "I see a voice: now will I to the chink,
To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face.

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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.'

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 vil

This. 'I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips

at all.' Pyr. Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet

straightway?' This. Tide life, tide death, I come without delay.'

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.

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 exceuent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a man and a lion.

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