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And all their minds transfigur'd fo together,
Thes. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.
(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
Philoft. A play there is, my lord, some ten words
Which is as brief, as I have known a play ;
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
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
Thes. And we will hear it.
Philoft. No, my noble lord,
Thes. I will hear that play:
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.
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 beauteous lady Thisbe is, certain,
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,
To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
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,