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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.
SCENE I. The same. An Apartment in the Palace
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords,
and Attendants. Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers
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,
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.
The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceased in beggary.
A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thisbe ; very tragical mirth.
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;
thing. Hip. He says they can do nothing in this kind. The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for
Enter PHILOSTRATE. Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is
addrest. 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."
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. 66 This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
66 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
“ 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,
1 A kind of flageolet.
2 i. e. not regularly, according to the time.