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Act V


Scene I Edit

Englisc Shakespeare
Sceaw I: Athena. Þeseuses heall Scene I: Athens. The palace of Theseus.
Cumaþ in Þeseus, Ippolite, Filostrat, Hlafordas and Ambihtmenn Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, Lords and Attendants
Ippolite Hyppolyta

'Tis strange my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.

Þeseus Theseus

More strange than true: I never may believe

These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,

Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend

More than cool reason ever comprehends.

The lunatic, the lover and the poet

Are of imagination all compact:

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,

That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,

Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:

The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;

And as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen

Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name.

Such tricks hath strong imagination,

That if it would but apprehend some joy,

It comprehends some bringer of that joy;

Or in the night, imagining some fear,

How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

Ippolite Hyppolyta

But all the story of the night told over,

And all their minds transfigured so together,

More witnesseth than fancy's images

And grows to something of great constancy;

But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

Þeseus Theseus

Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.

Cumaþ in Lysander, Demetrius, Erme, and Elene Enter Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena

Joy, gentle friends! joy and fresh days of love

Accompany your hearts!

Lysander Lysander

More than to us

Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!

Þeseus Theseus

Come now; what masques, 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 Philostrate.

Filostrat Philostrate

Here, mighty Theseus.

Þeseus Theseus

Say, what abridgement have you for this evening?

What masque? what music? How shall we beguile

The lazy time, if not with some delight?

Filostrat Philostrate

There is a brief how many sports are ripe:

Make choice of which your highness will see first.

He giefþ writ Giving a paper
Þeseus Theseus

[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,

In glory of my kinsman Hercules.

Arædeð Reads

'The riot of the tipsy 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.

Arædeð Reads

'The thrice three Muses mourning for the death

Of Learning, late deceased in beggary.'

That is some satire, keen and critical,

Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

Arædeð Reads

'A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus

And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.'

Merry and tragical! tedious and brief!

That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow.

How shall we find the concord of this discord?

Filostrat Philostrate

A play there is, my lord, some 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 one word apt, one player fitted:

And tragical, my noble lord, it is;

For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.

Which, when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,

Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears

The passion of loud laughter never shed.

Þeseus Theseus

What are they that do play it?

Filostrat Philostrate

Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,

Which never labour'd in their minds till now,

And now have toil'd their unbreathed memories

With this same play, against your nuptial.

Þeseus Theseus

And we will hear it.

Filostrat Philostrate

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 conn'd with cruel pain,

To do you service.

Þeseus Theseus

I will hear that play;

For never anything can be amiss,

When simpleness and duty tender it.

Go, bring them in: and take your places, ladies.

Gæþ ut Filostrat Exit Philostrate
Ippolite Hyppolyta

I love not to see wretchedness o'er charged

And duty in his service perishing.

Þeseus Theseus

Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.

Ippolite Hyppolyta

He says they can do nothing in this kind.

Þeseus Theseus

The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.

Our sport shall be to take what they mistake:

And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect

Takes it in might, not merit.

Where I have come, great 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 practised 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 saucy and audacious eloquence.

Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity

In least speak most, to my capacity.

Cymþ in eft Filostrat Re-enter Philostrate
Filostrat Philostrate

So please your grace, the Prologue is address'd.

Þeseus Theseus

Let him approach.

Blæsthornas aþytað Flourish of trumpets
Cymþ in Codæppel for þæm Foreword Enter Quince for the Prologue
Foreword Prologue

If we offend, it is with our good will.

That you 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 contest 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.

Þeseus Theseus

This fellow doth not stand upon points.

Lysander Lysander

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.

Ippolite Hyppolyta

Indeed he hath played on his prologue like a child

on a recorder; a sound, but not in government.

Þeseus Theseus

His speech, was like a tangled chain; nothing

impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?

Cumaþ in Pyramus and Þisbe, Weall, Monaleoht, and Leo Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion
Foreword Prologue

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 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 content

To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.

This man, with lanthorn, dog, and bush of thorn,

Presenteth Moonshine; for, if you will know,

By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn

To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.

This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,

The trusty Thisby, coming first by night,

Did scare away, or rather did affright;

And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall,

Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.

Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,

And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain:

Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,

He bravely broach'd is boiling bloody breast;

And Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,

His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,

Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain

At large discourse, while here they do remain.

Gaþ ut Foreword, Þisbe, Leo, and Monaleoht Exeunt Prologue, Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine
Þeseus Theseus

I wonder if the lion be to speak.

Demetrius Demetrius

No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.

Weall Wall

In this same interlude it doth befall

That I, one Snout 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, Pyramus and Thisby,

Did whisper often very secretly.

This loam, this rough-cast and this stone doth show

That I am that same wall; the truth is so:

And this the cranny is, right and sinister,

Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.

Þeseus Theseus

Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?

Demetrius Demetrius

It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard

discourse, my lord.

Cymþ in Pyramus Enter Pyramus
Þeseus Theseus

Pyramus draws near the wall: silence!

Pyramus Pyramus

O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!

O night, which ever art when day is not!

O night, O night! alack, alack, alack,

I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!

And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,

That stand'st between her father's ground and mine!

Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,

Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!

Weall aheoldeþ his fingras Wall holds up his fingers

Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!

But what see I? No Thisby do I see.

O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss!

Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me!

Þeseus Theseus

The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.

Pyramus Pyramus

No, in truth, sir, he should not. 'Deceiving me'

is Thisby's cue: she is to enter now, and I am to

spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will

fall pat as I told you. Yonder she comes.

Cymþ in Þisbe Enter Thisbe
Þisbe Thisbe

O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,

For parting my fair Pyramus and me!

My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones,

Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.

Pyramus Pyramus

I see a voice: now will I to the chink,

To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. Thisby!

Þisbe Thisbe

My love thou art, my love I think.

Pyramus Pyramus

Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace;

And, like Limander, am I trusty still.

Þisbe Thisbe

And I like Helen, till the Fates me kill.

Pyramus Pyramus

Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.

Þisbe Thisbe

As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.

Pyramus Pyramus

O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall!

Þisbe Thisbe

I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.

Pyramus Pyramus

Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?

Þisbe Thisbe

'Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay.

Gaþ ut Pyramus and Þisbe Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe
Weall Wall

Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;

And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.

Gæþ ut Exit
Þeseus Theseus

Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.

Demetrius Demetrius

No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear

without warning.

Ippolite Hyppolyta

This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.

Þeseus Theseus

The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst

are no worse, if imagination amend them.

Ippolite Hyppolyta

It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

Þeseus Theseus

If we imagine no worse of them than they of

themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here

come two noble beasts in, a man and a lion.

Cumaþ in Leo and Monaleoht Enter Lion and Moonshine
Leo Lion

You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear

The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,

May now perchance both quake and tremble here,

When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.

Then know that I, one Snug the joiner, am

A lion-fell, nor else no lion's dam;

For, if I should as lion come in strife

Into this place, 'twere pity on my life.

Þeseus Theseus

A very gentle beast, of a good conscience.

Demetrius Demetrius

The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.

Lysander Lysander

This lion is a very fox for his valour.

Þeseus Theseus

True; and a goose for his discretion.

Demetrius Demetrius

Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot carry his

discretion; and the fox carries the goose.

Þeseus Theseus

His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour;

for the goose carries not the fox. It is well:

leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon.

Monaleoht Moonshine

This lanthorn doth the horned moon present; -

Demetrius Demetrius

He should have worn the horns on his head.

Þeseus Theseus

He is no crescent, and his horns are

invisible within the circumference.

Monaleoht Moonshine

This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;

Myself the man i' the moon do seem to be.

Þeseus Theseus

This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man

should be put into the lanthorn. How is it else the

man i' the moon?

Demetrius Demetrius

He dares not come there for the candle; for, you

see, it is already in snuff.

Ippolite Hyppolyta

I am aweary of this moon: would he would change!

Þeseus Theseus

It appears, by his small light of discretion, that

he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all

reason, we must stay the time.

Lysander Lysander

Proceed, Moon.

Monaleoht Moonshine

All that I have to say, is, to tell you that the

lanthorn is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this

thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.

Demetrius Demetrius

Why, all these should be in the lanthorn; for all

these are in the moon. But, silence! here comes Thisbe.

Cymþ in Þisbe Enter Thisbe
Þisbe Thisbe

This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?

Leo Lion

[Roaring] Oh -

Þisbe afliemeþ Thisbe runs off
Demetrius Demetrius

Well roared, Lion.

Þeseus Theseus

Well run, Thisbe.

Ippolite Hyppolyta

Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with a

good grace.

Se Leo scaceþ Þisbe's mantle@, and gæþ ut The Lion shakes Thisbe's mantle, and exit
Þeseus Theseus

Well moused, Lion.

Lysander Lysander

And so the lion vanished.

Demetrius Demetrius

And then came Pyramus.

Cymþ in Pyramus Enter Pyramus
Pyramus Pyramus

Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;

I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;

For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,

I trust to take of truest Thisby sight.

But stay, O spite!

But mark, poor knight,

What dreadful dole is here!

Eyes, do you see?

How can it be?

O dainty duck! O dear!

Thy mantle good,

What, stain'd with blood!

Approach, ye Furies fell!

O Fates, come, come,

Cut thread and thrum;

Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!

Þeseus Theseus

This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would

go near to make a man look sad.

Ippolite Hyppolyta

Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.

Pyramus Pyramus

O wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?

Since lion vile hath here deflower'd my dear:

Which is - no, no - which was the fairest dame

That lived, that loved, that liked, that look'd

with cheer.

Come, tears, confound;

Out, sword, and wound

The pap of Pyramus;

Ay, that left pap,

Where heart doth hop:

Stingeþ self Stabs himself

Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.

Now am I dead,

Now am I fled;

My soul is in the sky:

Tongue, lose thy light;

Moon take thy flight:

Gæþ ut Monaleoht Exit Moonshine

Now die, die, die, die, die.

Dies Dies
Demetrius Demetrius

No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.

Lysander Lysander

Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.

Þeseus Theseus

With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover, and

prove an ass.

Ippolite Hyppolyta

How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes

back and finds her lover?

Þeseus Theseus

She will find him by starlight. Here she comes; and

her passion ends the play.

Cymþ eft Þisbe Re-enter Thisbe

Ippolite

Hyppolyta

Methinks she should not use a long one for such a

Pyramus: I hope she will be brief.

Demetrius Demetrius

A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which

Thisbe, is the better; he for a man, God warrant us;

she for a woman, God bless us.

Lysander Lysander

She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.

Demetrius Demetrius

And thus she means, videlicet: -

Þisbe Thisbe

Asleep, my love?

What, dead, my dove?

O Pyramus, arise!

Speak, speak. Quite dumb?

Dead, dead? A tomb

Must cover thy sweet eyes.

These My lips,

This cherry nose,

These yellow cowslip cheeks,

Are gone, are gone:

Lovers, make moan:

His eyes were green as leeks.

O Sisters Three,

Come, come to me,

With hands as pale as milk;

Lay them in gore,

Since you have shore

With shears his thread of silk.

Tongue, not a word:

Come, trusty sword;

Come, blade, my breast imbrue:

Stingeþ self Stabs herself

And, farewell, friends;

Thus Thisby ends:

Adieu, adieu, adieu.

Dies Dies
Þeseus Theseus

Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.

Demetrius Demetrius

Ay, and Wall too.

Botm Bottom

[Starting up] No assure you; the wall is down that

parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the

epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance between two

of our company?

Þeseus Theseus

No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no

excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all

dead, there needs none to be blamed. Marry, if he

that writ it had played Pyramus and hanged himself

in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine

tragedy: and so it is, truly; and very notably

discharged. But come, your Bergomask: let your

epilogue alone.

Hleapung A dance

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:

Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.

I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn

As much as we this night have overwatch'd.

This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled

The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.

A fortnight hold we this solemnity,

In nightly revels and new jollity.

Gaþ ut Exeunt
Cymþ in Puca Enter Puck
Puca Puck

Now the hungry lion roars,

And the wolf behowls the moon;

Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,

All with weary task fordone.

Now the wasted brands do glow,

Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,

Puts the wretch that lies in woe

In remembrance of a shroud.

Now it is the time of night

That the graves all gaping wide,

Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the church-way paths to glide:

And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecate's team,

From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream,

Now are frolic: not a mouse

Shall disturb this hallow'd house:

I am sent with broom before,

To sweep the dust behind the door.

Cumaþ in Ylfaric and Neorð mid hiera corþre Enter Oberon and Titania with their train
Ylfaric Oberon

Through the house give gathering light,

By the dead and drowsy fire:

Every elf and fairy sprite

Hop as light as bird from brier;

And this ditty, after me,

Sing, and dance it trippingly.

Neorð Titania

First, rehearse your song by rote

To each word a warbling note:

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,

Will we sing, and bless this place.

Leoð and Hleapung Song and dance
Ylfaric Oberon

Now, until the break of day,

Through this house each fairy stray.

To the best bride-bed will we,

Which by us shall blessed be;

And the issue there create

Ever shall be fortunate.

So shall all the couples three

Ever true in loving be;

And the blots of Nature's hand

Shall not in their issue stand;

Never mole, hare lip, nor scar,

Nor mark prodigious, such as are

Despised in nativity,

Shall upon their children be.

With this field-dew consecrate,

Every fairy take his gait;

And each several chamber bless,

Through this palace, with sweet peace;

And the owner of it blest

Ever shall in safety rest.

Trip away; make no stay;

Meet me all by break of day.

Gaþ ut Ylfaric, Neorð, and corþer

Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and train
Puca Puck

If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, and all is mended,

That you have but slumber'd here

While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme,

No more yielding but a dream,

Gentles, do not reprehend:

if you pardon, we will mend:

And, as I am an honest Puck,

If we have unearned luck

Now 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.

Back to the Midsumor Nihte Swefn Heafodside

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