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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;
Curs'd be thy stones for thus deceiving me!

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




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.

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

To spy an I can hear my Thisbe's face.

Thisby !

My love! thou art my love, I think.

Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace;
And like Limander am I trusty still.





And I like Helen, till the fates me kill.
Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.5

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O, kiss me through the hole of this vile wall.
I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.
Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?
"Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay.
Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;
And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.


The. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.6 Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.

Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.

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

no worse, if imagination amend them.

Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

The. If we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves,

they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.


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
No lion fell, nor else no lion's dam :7
For if I should as lion come in strife

Into this place, 'twere pity of my life.

The. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.
Dem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.

Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour.

The. True; and a goose for his discretion.

Dem. Not so, my lord: for his valour cannot carry his discretion; and the fox carries the goose.

The. 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.

Moon. This lantern doth the horned moon present:

Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head.

The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference. Moon.

This lantern doth the horned moon present;
Myself the man i' th' moon do seem to be.

The. This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man should be put into the lantern: how is it else the man i̇' the moon?

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle: for, you see, it is already in snuff.8

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

The. 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.

Lys. Proceed, moon.

Moon. All that I have to say is, to tell you, that the lantern is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.

Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern; for they are in the moon. But, silence; here comes Thisbe.


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

Lion. [Roars.] Oh—.

[THISBE runs off.

Dem. Well roared, lion.

The. Well run, Thisbe.

Hip. Well shone, moon.-Truly, the moon shines with a good grace.

[The LION tears THISBE's mantle, and exit.

The. Well moused, lion.

Dem. And then came Pyramus.

Lys. And so the lion vanished.


Pyr. Sweet moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
I thank thee, moon, for shining now so bright:
For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering streams,
I trust to taste of truest Thisby's sight.9
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!

The. This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go

near to make a man look sad.

Hip. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.
Pyr. 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 liv'd, that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd with cheer.
Come, tears, confound;

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

Lys. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing. The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet recover, and prove an ass.

Hip. How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?

The. She will find him by starlight. Here she comes; and her passion ends the play.


Hip. Methinks, she should not use a long one for such a Pyramus: I hope she will be brief.

Dem. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better—he for a man, she for a woman.

Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.

Dem. And thus she moans, videlicet.—

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O Pyramus, arise,

Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
Dead, dead? A tomb

Must cover thy sweet eyes.
These lily 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 :

[Stabs herself.

And farewell, friends;—

Thus Thisbe ends

Adieu, adieu, adieu !


The. Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.

Dem. Ay, and Wall too.

Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance,10 between two of our company ?

The. No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need 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.

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:—
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy-time.

I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn,

[A dance.

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