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And all their minds transfigur'd fo together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
And grows to something of great constancy ;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.
Enter Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia and Helena.

Thes. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.
Joy, gentle friends ; joy and fresh days of love
Accompany your hearts.
· Lyf. More than to us,
Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed.
Thef. 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?
Where is our usual manager of mirth?
What revels are in hand ? is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Call Pbilostrate.

Enter Philoftrate.
Philoft. Here, mighty Theseus.

(ing? Thes. Say, what abridgment have you for this evenWhat masque? what musick ? how shall we beguile The lazy time, if not with some delight ?

Philoft. There is a brief, how many sports are ripe : Make choice of which your Highness will see first."

(Giving a Paper. Thes. [reads.] The battle with the Centaurs, to be fung By an Athenian eunuch to the harp. We'll none of that. That I have told my love, In glory of my kinsman Hercules. The riot of the tipfie Bacchanals, Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage. That is an old device, and it was plaid, When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.


* The thrice three Mufes mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.
That is some fatyr, keen and critical ;
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.
3 Merry and tragical? tedious and brief?
That is hot Ice, a wondrous strange Shew.
How shall we find the concord of this discord ?

Philoft. A play there is, my lord, some ten words

play ch

Which long

Which is as brief, as I have known a play ;
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long;
Which makes it tedious : for in all the play
There is not one word apt, one player fitted
And tragical, my noble lord, it is:
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which, when I saw rehears'd, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water ; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.

Thes. What are they, that do play it ?

Philoft. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens here, Which never labour'd in their minds 'till now;

2 The thrice three Mufes, &c.] This seems to be intended as a compliment to Spencer, who wrote a poem called The tears of the Muses. He seems to have paid his friend another, in the fecond Act, where he makes the queen of fairies fay to the king,

- But I know
When thou haft poll'n away from fairy land,
And, in the shape of Corin, Jare all day
Playing on pipes of corn, and verlang love

To am'rous Phillida, — intimating that the paftorals of that poet were so sweet, that it was a superior being under the disguise of a mortal who composed them.

3 Merry and tragical? tedious and brief?

That is bot Ice, AND wondrous strange Snow.] The nonTense of the last line should be corrected thus, That is, hot Ice, a wondrous frange SHEW !


And now have toild their unbreath'd memories
With this same play against your nuptials.

Thes. And we will hear it.

Philoft. No, my noble lord,
It is not for you. I have heard it over,
And it is nothing, nothing in the world ;
Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Extreniely stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain,
To do you service.

Thes. 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.

Exit Phil. Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg'd, And duty in his service perishing.

Thes. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.
Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind.
Thes. The kinder we, to give them thanks for

nothing. Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake ; And what poor (willing) duty cannot do, Noble respect takes it in might, not merit. " Where I have come, grcat 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 practis'd 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 pick'd a welcome: “ And in the modesty of fearful duty " I read as much, as from the rattling tongue “Of fawcy and audacious eloquence. Love therefore, and tongue-ty'd simplicity, In least speak most, to my capacity.


· Enter Philoftráte. Phil. So please your Grace, the prologue is addrest. Tbel. Let him approach.

Flor. Trum, S CE NE 11. "

Enter Quince, for the prologue. ii Pro. If we offend, it is with our good will.

That you should think, we come not to offend, But with good will. To shew' our simple skill,

That is the true beginning of our end. Consider then, we come but in despight.

We do not come, as minding to content you, Our true intent is.---all for your delight, ; [you,

We are not here. —that you thould here repent The actors are at hand; ---- and by their show, You shall know all, that you are like to know.

Thef. This fellow doth not stand upon points.

Lyf. 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 play’d on his prologue, like a child on the recorder; a found, but not in government.

Thes. His speech was like a tangled chain ; nothing impair’d, but all disorder'd. Who is the next ? Enter Pyramus, and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and,

Lion, as in dumb firew. Pro. 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 Thisbe is, certain,
This man, with lime and rough-calt, doch present


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Wall, the vile wall, which did these lovers sunder: And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are content

To whisper, at the which let no man wonder. · This man, with lanthorn, 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.
This grilly beast, which by name Lion hight,
The trusty Thisbe, coming first by night,
Did scare away, or rather did affright :
And as she fled, her mantle she let fall ;

Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,

And finds his truity Thisbe's mantle Nain ; Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade

He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast. And Thisbe, tarrying in the mulberry shade,

His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, Let Lion, Moon-fhine, Wall, and lovers twain, . Aţ large discourse, while here they do remain,

[Exeunt all but Wall. Thes. I wonder, if the Lion be to speak.

Dem. No wonder, my lord; one Lion may, when many asses do.

Wall. In this fame Interlude, it doth befall, That I, one Srout by name, present a wall : And such a wall, as I would have you think,

That had in it a crannied hole or chink; · Through which the lovers, Pyr'mus and Thisbe, Did whisper often very secretly. This loan, this rough-cast, and this stone doth shew, That I am that same wall; the truth is fo. And this the cranny is, right and sinister, Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper,

Thef. Wauld you desire lime and hair to speak better?

Dem. It is the wittiest partition, that ever I heard discourse, my lord,


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