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shall hang out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions, nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath ; and I do not doubt but to hear them say, It is a sweet comedy. No more words; away; go, away.
The same. An Apartment in the Palace
Enter Theseus, HippolyTA, PhilosTRATE, Lords,
and Attendants. Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers
speak of. The. More strange than true. I never may believe These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. Lovers, and madmen, have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, Are of imagination all compact.' One sees more devils than vast hell can hold ; That is, the madman : the lover, all as frantic, Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt: The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to
heaven; And, as imagination bodies forth The forins of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation, and a name. Such tricks hath strong imagination, That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
1 i. e. composed.
It comprehends some bringer of that joy ;
Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
Enter LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, Hermia, and Helena.
The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love, Accompany your hearts ! Lys.
More, than to us,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour ?
Philost. Here, mighty Theseus.
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,
1 An abridgment appears to mean some pastime to shorten the tedious evening.
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage. That is an old device; and it was played When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceased in beggary. That is some satire, keen, and critical, Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
The. What are they that do play it?
The. And we will hear it.
No, my noble lord,
1 i. e. unexercised, unpractised.
I will hear that play;
- The sense of this passage appears to be:-“What dutifulness tries to perform without ability, regardful generosity receives with complacency; estimating it, not by the actual merit, but according to the power or might of the humble but zealous performers."
That you should think we come not to offend,
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 this prologue like a child on a recorder ;' a sound but not in government.?
The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?
Enter PYRAMUS and THISBE, Wall, Moon-shine, and
Lion, as in dumb show. Prol. “Gentles, perchance you wonder at this
show; “But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. 6This 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. 66 This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn,
6 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.
1 A kind of flageolet.
? i. e. not regularly, according to the time.