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When I from Thebes came last a conqueror. | Our true intent is. All for your delight,
The thrice three Muses mourning for the death We are not here. That you should here repent you, Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.
The actors are at hand ; and, by their show, That is some satire, keen, and critical,
You shall know all, that you are like to know. Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
The. This fellow doth not stand upon points. A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
Lys. He hath rid his prologue, like a rough colt; And his love Thisbe ; very tragical mirth.
he knows not the stop. "A good moral, my lord : It Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
is not enough to speak, but to speak true. That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow. Hip. Indeed he hath played on this prologue, like How shall we find the concord of this discord ? a child on a recorder ; a sound, but not in governPhilost. A play there is my lord, some ten words
The. His speech was like a tangled chain ; nothing Which is as brief as I have known a play ; impaired, but all disordered. Who is next? But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Which makes it tedious: for in all the play There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
Lion, as in dumb show. And tragical, my noble lord, it is ;
Prol. “Gentles, perchance, you wonder at this For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
show; Which when I saw rehears'd, I must confess, “But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. Made mine eyes water ; but more merry tears “This man is Pyramus, if you would know; The passion of loud laughter never shed.
« This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. The. What are they that do play it? There, / "This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present
Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens “Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers Which never labour'd in their minds till now ;
[tent And now have toil'd their unbreath'd memories "And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are conWith this same play, against your nuptial.
“ To whisper, at the which let no man wonder. The. And we will hear it.
" This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn, Philost.
No, my noble lord, “Presenteth moon-shine: for, if you will know, It is not for you: I have heard it over,
“ By moon-shine did these lovers think no scorn And it is nothing, nothing in the world ;
"To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo. Unless you can find sport in their intents,
“ This grisly beast, which by name lion hight, Extremely stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain, “ The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, To do you service.
“ Did scare away, or rather did affright: The. I will hear that play ;
" And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall; For never any thing can be amiss,
“Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain: When simpleness and duty tender it.
“ Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall, Go, bring them in : and take your places, ladies. “And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain :
[Eveunt PhilOSTRATE. " Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade, Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharged, “He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast; And duty in his service perishing.
“ And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade, The. Why, gentlesweet, you shall see no such thing. “His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind. “ Let lion, moon-shine, wall, and lovers twain,
The. The kinderwe, to give them thanks for nothing. “At large discourse, while here they do remain.” Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake :
[Exeunt Prol. Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine. And what poor duty cannot do,
The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak. Noble respect takes it in might, not merit.
Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when Where I have come, great clerks have purposed many asses do. To greet me with premeditated welcomes ;
Wall. “In this same interlude, it doth befall, Where I have seen them shiver and look pale, “ That I, one Snout by name, present a wall : Make periods in the midst of sentences,
“And such a wall as I would have you think, Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears, “ That had in it a cranny'd hole, or chink, And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off, “ Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, Not paying me a welcome: Trust me, sweet, “ Did whisper often very secretly. Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome; “This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth shew And in the modesty of fearful duty
“That I am that same wall; the truth is so : I read as much, as from the rattling tongue
“And this the cranny is, right and sinister, Of sawcy, and audacious eloquence.
“ Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper." Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity,
The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak In least, speak most, to my capacity.
Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard Enter PhilosTRATE.
discourse, my lord. Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is ad. The. Pyramus draws near the wall: silence!
drest. The. Let him approach. [Flourish of trumpets.
Pyr. “O grim-look'd night! ( night with hue so Enter Quince as Prologue.
black! Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will.
“O night, which ever art, when day is not ! That you should think, we come not to offend, “O night, О night, alack, alack, alack, But with good will. To shew our simple skill,
“I fear my Thisby's proinise is forgot!That is the true beginning of our end.
"And thou, wall,'o sweet, O lovely wall, smine ; Consider then, we come but in despite.
“That stand'st between her father's ground and We do not come as minding to content you, “Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
" Shew me thy chink, to blink through with mine“ Myself the man i' the moon do seem to be." eyne.
[Wall holds up his fingers. The. This is the greatest error of all the rest: the " Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for man should be put into the lantern : How is it else « But what see I ? No Thisby do I see. [this! the man i' the moon. “ ) wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss ; Dem. He dares not come there for the candle : for, “Curst be thy stones for thus deceiving me!"" you see, it is already in snuff.
The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should | Hip. I am aweary of this moon: Would, he would curse again.
change! Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving The. It appears, by his small light of discretion, se, is Thisby's cue : she is to enter now, and I am that he is in the wane: but yet, in courtesy, in all to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will reason, we must stay the time. fall pat as I told you :-Yonder she comes.
Lys. Proceed, moon.
Moon. “All that I have to say, is, to tell you, that
the lantern is the moon; 1, the man in the moon; this This. “ wall, full often hast thou heard my
my thorn-bush, my thorn-bush ; and this dog, my dog." " For parting my fair Pyramus and me: [moans,
Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern; for “ Mly cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones;
| they are in the moon. But, silence; here comes “Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee."
Thisbe. Pyr.' " I see a voice : now will I to the chink,
[love?" "To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. “ Thisby!"
This. “ This is old Ninny's tomb: Where is my This. *** My love! thou art my love, I think.”
Lion. “ Oh ." Pyr. “ Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's
[The Lion roars.-Tuisbe runs off. “ And like Limander am I trusty still.”
Dem. Well roared, lion.
[grace; This. “ And I like Helen, till the fates me kill.”
The. Well run, Thisbe. Pur. “Not Shafalus to Procrus, was so true.”
Hip. Well shone, moon.-Truly, the moon shines Thu." As Shafalus to Procrus. I to you.” [wall." with a good grace. Pur. “0, kiss me through the hole of this vile
The. Well mouz'd, lion. This. “I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.”|
[The Lion tears Thisbe's mantle, and erit. Pyr. “ Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me
Dem. And so comes Pyramus. straightway ?”
Lys. And then the moon vanishes. This. “Tide life, tide death, I come without delay.”|
Enter PYRAMUS. Wall. “ Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so ;] Pyr. “Sweet moon, I thank thee for thy sunny "And, being done, thus wall away doth go."
beams; [Exeunt Wall, Pyramus, and ThisBE.
“I thank thee, moon, for shining now so bright: The. Now is the mural down between the two For. by thy gracious, golden, glittering streams, Deighbours.
“I trust to taste of truest Thisby's sight. Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wil
“But stay ;-0 spite ! ful to hear without warning.
“But mark;— Poor knight, Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.
" What dreadful dole is here? Te. The best in this kind are but shadows; and
“ Eyes, do you see? the worse are no worse, if imagination amend them.
“ How can it be? Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not
“O dainty duck! O dear! theirs.
“ Thy mantle good, The. If we imagine no worse of them, than they
“What, stain'd with blood ? of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.
“ Approach, ye furies fell !
" O fates! come, come ; Enter Lion and Moonshine.
“Cut thread and thrum ; Lion.“ You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear “Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!” * The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor, The. This passion, and the death of a dear friend, “May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here, would go near to make a man look sad.
“When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar. Hip. Beshrow my heart, but I pity the man. “ Then know, that I, one Snug, the joiner, am
Pyr.“0, wherefore, nature, didst thou lions frame? * A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam :
“Since lion vile hath here deflour'd my dear: “ For if I should as lion come in strife
" Which is--no, no—which was the fairest dame, “Into this place, 'twere pity on my life.'
“ That liv'd, that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd with The. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.
“ Come, tears, confound; [cheer. Liem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er
“Out, sword, and wound I saw.
“The pap of Pyramus : Lus. This lion is a very fox for his valour.
“Ay, that left pap, The. True ; and a goose for his discretion.
“Where heart doth hop :Dern. Not so, my lord ; for his valour cannot carry “ Thus die I, thus, thus, thus. his discretion; and the fox carries the goose.
“Now am I dead, The. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his
“Now am I fed ; valour ; for the goose carries not the fox. It is well: “My soul is in the sky : lease it to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon.
"" Tongue, loose thy light! Moon. “This lantern doth the horned moon pre
"Moon, take thy flight ! sent:"
“Now die, die, die, die, die.” Den. He should have worn the horns on his head.
[Dies.—Exit Moonshine. The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one. within the circumference.
Lys. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he Moon. “This lantern doth the horned moon present;l is nothing.
The. With the help of a surgeon, ho might yet re- /
Puts the wretch that lies in woe, cover, and prove an ass.
In remembrance of a shroud. Hip. How chance moonshine is gone, before Thisbe Now it is the time of night, comes back and finds her lover ?
That the graves, all gaping wide, The. She will find him by star-light.--Here she Every one lets forth his sprite, comes; and her passion ends the play.
In the church-way paths to glide :
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecat's team, for such a Pyramus : I hope, she will be brief.
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream, Dem. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyra
Now are frolic ; not a mouse mus, which Thisbe, is the better.
Shall disturb this hallow'd house : Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet
I am sent, with broom, before, eyes. Dem. And thus she moans, videlicet.
To sweep the dust behind the door. This. “Asleep, my love ?
Enter Oberon and Titania, with their train. “What, dead, my dove? “O Pyramus, arise,
Obe. Through this house give glimmering light, “Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
By the dead and drowsy fire : “Dead, dead? A tomb
Every elf, and fairy sprite, "Must cover thy sweet eyes.
Hop as light as bird from brier ; “These lily lips,
And this ditty, after me, “ This cherry nose,
Sing, and dance it trippingly. “ These yellow cowslip cheeks,
Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote: “Are gone, are gone:
To each word a warbling note, “ Lovers, make moan!
Hand in hand, with fairy grace, “His eyes were green as leeks.
Will we sing, and bless this place.
SONG, AND DANCE. “With hands as pale as milk ;
Obe. Now, until the break of day, “Lay them in gore,
Through this house each fairy stray. “Since you have shore
To the best bride-bed will we, “ With shears his thread of silk.
Which by us shall blessed be; “ Tongue, not a word :
And the issue there create, “Come, trusty sword;
Ever shall be fortunate. “ Come, blade, my breast imbue :
So shall all the couples three “And farewell, friends ;
Ever true in loving be; “Thus Thisbe ends :
And the blots of nature's hand “Adieu, adieu, adieu.”
Dies. Shall not in their issue stand ; The. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead. Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar, Dem. Ay, and wall too.
Nor mark prodigious, such as are Bot. No, I assure you ; the wall is down that
Despised in nativity, parted their fathers. Will' it please you to see the Shall upon their children be.-epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance, between two With this field.dew consecrate, of our company.
Every fairy take his gait; The. No epilogue, I pray you ; for your play needs And each several chamber bless, no excuse. Never excuse ; for when the players are Through this palace with sweet peace : all dead, there need none to be blamed. `Marry, if Ever shall in safety rest, he that writ it had played Pyramus, and hanged him And the owner of it blest. self in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine tra
Trip away; gedy: and so it is, truly; and very notably discharged.
Make no stay: But come, your Bergomask: let your epilogue alone. Meet me all by break of day. [Here a dance of Clowns.
[Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and train. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve : Puck. If we shadows have offended, Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
Think but this, (and all is mended,) I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn,
That you have but slumber'd here, As much as we this night have overwatch'd.
While these visions did appear. This palpable-gross play hath well beguil'd
And this weak and idle theme, The heavy gait of night.-Sweet friends, to bed.
No more yielding but a dream, A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
Gentles, do not reprehend ; In nightly revels, and new jollity.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I'm an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
No to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends, ere long :
Else the Puck a liar call.
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends. [Exit,
wild and fantastical as this play is all the parts in their various modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure which the author desisned. Fairies in his time were much in fashion; common trudition had made them familiar, and Spenser's Du m had made them great.-JOHNSON.
PUBLISHED in 1538. Mr. Malone supposes this play to have been written in 1594. The title page in the quarto states it to have been rently corrected and augmensed by W. Shakspeare, and perhaps these corrections and augmentations constituted his only share of the production.
PERSONS REPRESENTED. So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, To live and study here three years. FERDINAND, King of Navarre.
But there are other strict observances : Birox, LONGAVILLE, DUMAIN, Lords, attending on As, not to see a woman in that terin; the King.
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there : BOSET. MERCADE, Lords, attending on the Princess And, one day in a week to touch no food; of France.
And, but one meal on every day beside ; Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantastical Spaniard.
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there : Sir NATHANIEL, a curate.
And then, to sleep but three hours in the night, HOLOTERNES, a schoolmaster,
And not be seen to wink of all the day; DULL, a constable.
(When I was wont to think no harm all night, COSTARD, a clown.
And make a dark night too of half the day ;) Nioru, page to Armado.
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there : A Forester.
0, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep; PRIXCESS OF FRANCE.
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep. ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, Ladies, attending on King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these. the Princess.
Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please; JAQUEYETTA, a country wench.
I only swore, to study with your grace, Officers and others, Attendants on the King
And stay here in your court for three years' space.
Long. You swore to that, Birón, and to the rest. and Princess.
Biron. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.-
What is the end of study ? let me know.
Biron. Things hid and barr’d, you mean, from ACT I.
common sense ?
King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense. SCENE 1.-Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it.
Biron. Come on then, I will swear to study so, Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, To know the thing I am forbid to know: and DUMAIN.
As thus,-To study where I well may dine, King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives, When I to feast expressly am forbid; Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
Or, study where to meet some mistress fine, And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When mistresses from common sense are hid : When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
Study knows that, which yet it doth not know .
King. These be the stops that hinder study quite, And the huge army of the world's desires,
And train our intellects to vain delight. Our late edict shall strongly stand in force :
Biron. Why, all delights are vain ; but that most Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain: (vain, On court shall be a little Academe,
As, painfully to pore upon a book, Suill and contemplative in living art.
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
And give him light that was it blinded by. Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too. Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,
Long. I am resolv'd : 'tis but a three years' fast; That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks ; The mind shall banquet, though the body pine : Small have continual plodders ever won, Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits | Save base authority from others' books. Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quite the wits. These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified ; That give a name to every fixed star, The grosser manner of these world's delights Have no more profit of their shining nights, He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves : Than those that walk, and wot not what they are. To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die, Too much to know, is, to know nought but fame; With all these living in philosophy.
And every godfather can give a name. Biron. I can but say their protestation over, 1 King. How well he's read, to reason against reading!
Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding! But is there no quick recreation granted ? Long. He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the King. Ay, that there is : our court, you know, is weeding.
With a refined traveller of Spain; [haunted Biron. The spring is near, when green geese are a A man in all the world's new fashion planted, Dum. How follows that?
I breeding. That hath a mint of phrases in his brain : Biron.
Fit in his place and time. One, whom the music of his own vain tongue Dum. In reason nothing.
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony; Biron.
Something then in rhyme. A man of complements, whom right and wrong Long. Birón is like an envious sneaping frost,
That bites the first-born infants of the spring. This child of fancy, that Armado hight, Biron. Well, say I am ; why should proud sum. For interim to our studies, shall relate, mer boast,
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight Before the birds have any cause to sing?
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate. Why should I joy in an abortive birth?
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I; At Christmas I no more desire a rose,
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie, Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows; And I will use him for my minstrelsy. But like of each thing, that in season grows.
Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, So you, to study now it is too late,
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.
Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our sport; King. Well, sit you out: go home, Birón; adieu! And, so to study, three years is but short. Biron. No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay with you:
Enter Dull, with a letter, and COSTARD. And, though I have for barbarism spoke more, Dull. Which is the duke's own person? Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
Biron. This, fellow ; What would'st? Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,
Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am And bide the penance of each three years' day. This grace's tharborough : but I would see his own Give me the paper, let me read the same ;
person in flesh and blood. And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name. Biron. This is he. King. How well this yielding rescues thee from Dull. Signior Arme - Arme - commends you. shame!
There's villany abroad; this letter will tell you more. Biron. [Reads.] Item, That no woman shall come Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me. within a mile of my court.
King. A letter from the magnificent Arınado. And hath this been proclaim'd?
Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God Long.
Four days ago. for high words. Biron. Let's see the penalty.
Long. A high hope for a low having : God grant [Reads.]-On pain of losing her tongue.
Who devis'd this? Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing ? Long. Marry, that did I.
Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh modeBiron. Sweet lord, and why?
rately; or to forbear both. Long. To fright them hence with that dread penalty. Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us Biron. A dangerous law against gentility. cause to climb in the merriness.
[Reads.] Item, If any man be seen to tulk with a wo Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaman within the term of three years, he shall endure such quenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the public shame as the rest of the court cun possibly devise.— This article, my liege, yourself must break;
Biron. In what manner? For well you know, here comes in embassy
Cost. In manner and form following, sir ; all those The French King's daughter with yourself to speak,— three: I was seen with her in the manor house, sitA maid of grace and complete majesty,
ting with her upon the form, and taken following her About surrender-up of Aquitain
into the park; which, put together, is in manner and To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father :
form following. Now, sir, for the inanner,-it is the Therefore this article is made in vain
manner of a man to speak to a woman : for the forin, Or vainly comes the admired princess hither. -in some form. king. What say you, lords ? why, this was quite Biron. For the following, sir?
Biron. So study evermore is over-shot; [forgot. | Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; And While it doth study to have what it would,
God defend the right? It doth forget to do the thing it should :
King. Will you hear this letter with attention ? And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
Biron. As we would hear an oracle. 'Tis won, as towns with fire; so won, so lost.
Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after King. We must, of force, dispense with this de- the flesh. She must lie here on mere necessity.
King. [Reads.] Great deputy, the welkin's vicegeBiron. Necessity will make us all forsworn Trent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's
Three thousand times within this three years' | God, and body's fostering patron,For every man with his affects is born; [space: 1 Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
Not by might master’d, but by special grace: King. So it is, If I break faith, this word shall speak for me,
Cost. It may be so : but if he say it is so, he is, in I am forsworn on mere necessity.
telling true, but so, so. So to the laws at large I write my name : [Subscribes. King. Peace
And he that breaks them in the least degree, Cost. —be to me, and every man that dares not fight! Stands in attainder of eternal shame :
King. No words Suggestions are to others, as to me;
Cost. ---of other men's secrets, I beseech you. But, I believe, although I seem so loth ;
King. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melanI am the last that will last keep his oath. Ichwly, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to