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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. w w [Eveunt.
SCENE I. The same. An Apartment in the Palace of Theseus.
Enter THESEus, Hippoly TA, PHILosTRATE, Lords, d 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
1 i.e. composed.
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Enter Lys ANDER, 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, Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed! The. Come, now; what masks, what dances shall we have, To wear away this long age of three hours, Between our after-supper, and bed-time F Where is our usual manager of mirth F What revels are in hand P Is there no play, To ease the anguish of a torturing hour? Call Philostrate. Philost. Here, mighty Theseus. The Say, what abridgment" have you for this evening f What mask? what music P. How shall we beguile The lazy time, if not with some delight? Philost. There is a brief.” how many sports are
By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.
1 An abridgment appears to mean some pastime to shorten the tedious evening. f 2 Schedule.
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
1 i.e. unexercised, unpractised.
The. **, I will hear that play; For never any thing can be amiss, When simpleness and duty tender it. Go, bring them in ;-and take your places, ladies. [Evit PHILOSTRATE. Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharged, And duty in his service perishing. The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such - thing. w 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; And what poor duty cannot do, Noble respect takes it in might, not merit." Where I have come, great clerks have purposed To greet me with premeditated welcomes; Where I have seen them shiver and look pale, Make periods in the midst of sentences, Throttle their practised accent in their fears, And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off, Not paying me a welcome ; trust me, sweet, Out of this silence, yet, I picked a welcome; And in the modesty of fearful duty I read as much, as from the rattling tongue Of saucy and audacious eloquence. Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity, In least speak most, to my capacity.
Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is - addrest.” w : The. Let him approach. [Flourish of trumpets.
- 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.”
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 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. “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 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. 2 i. e. not regularly, according to the time.