صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Lovers and madmen have such seeching brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatick, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact :
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
The madman. While the lover, all as frantick,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt.
The poet's eye; in a fine frenzy rowling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heav'n;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to aiery nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if he would but apprehend fome joy,
He comprehends some bringer of that joy";
Or in the night imagining some fears
How easy is a bush supposłd a bear?

Hip. But all the tory of the night told over,
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.
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 maks, what dance's shall we have, VoL, I,

L

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 Philostrate.

Enter Philostrate.

Philost. Here, mighty Theseus.

Thê. Say, what abridgment have you for this evening! What malk? what musick ? how fhall we beguile The lazy time, if not with fome delight!

Philost. There is a brief, how many sports are ripe: Make choice of which your highness will fee 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 I have told my love,
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
" The riot of the tipfy Bacchanals,
“Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage."
That is an old device; and it was play'd,
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
“ The thrice three mules mourning for the death

Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary."
That is some satire, keen and critical;
Not forting with a nuptial ceremony.
" A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
“And his love Thisby; very tragical mirth."
Merry and tragical? tedious and brief?
That is hotice, and wonderous strange snow.
How Thall we find the concord of this difcord ?

99

PhilosT. A play there is, my lord, fome ten words 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 oné word apt, one player fitted, And tragical, my noble lord, it is : For Pyramus therein doth kill himself. Which, when I faw rehears'd, I must confess, Made mine eyes water ; but more merry tears The passion of loud laughter never seed.

THE. What are they, that do play it?

Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens here, Which never labour'd in their minds till now And now have toil'd their unbreath'd memories With this same play, against your nuptialş.

Tae. And we will hear it.

Philost. 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,
Extremely stretch'd and connd with cruel pain,
To do you service.

The. I will hear that play :
For never any thing can be amils,
When simpleness and duty teneler 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 perifhing.

The. Why, gentle sweet, you fhall see no such thing.
Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind.

THE. The kinder we to give them thanks for nothing.
Our sport shall bit, to take what they miftake ;

Lo

[ocr errors]

And what poor duty cannot do,
Noble respect takes it in might, not merit.
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
To meet me with premeditated welcomes :
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practis'd accents in their fears,
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
Out of this Glence yet I pick'd a welcome :
And in the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much, as from the rattling tongue
Of sawcy and audacious eloquence.
Love therefore, and tongue-ty'd fimplicity,
In least speak most to my capacity.

Enter Philostrate.
Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is addrest.
The. Let him approach,

(Flour. Trom.

SCENE II..

Enter Quince, for the Prologue.
PROL. If we offend, it is with our good wilt.
That
you

should think, we come not to offend, But with good will. To lhew our simple kill,

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 play'd on his prologue, like a child on the recorder ; a sound, but not in government.

The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impair'd, but all disorder'd. Who is the next? Enter Pyramus and Thilbe, Wall, Moonshine and Lion, as

in dumb shew. 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 Thilby is, certain.
This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present

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-hine : for, if you will know,
By moon-fhine did these lovers think no scorn

To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
This grisly beast which by name Lyon hight,
The trusty Thilby, 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 tail,

And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle Nain; Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade

« السابقةمتابعة »