From Act Five
Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion
Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;THESEUS DEMETRIUS Wall
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.
Exeunt Prologue, Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine
In this same interlude it doth befallTHESEUS DEMETRIUS THESEUS Pyramus
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.
O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!THESEUS Pyramus
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!
Wall holds up his fingersThanks, 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!
No, in truth, sir, he should not. 'Deceiving me'Thisbe
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,Pyramus Thisbe Pyramus Thisbe Pyramus Thisbe Pyramus Thisbe Pyramus Thisbe
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.
'Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay.Wall THESEUS DEMETRIUS HIPPOLYTA THESEUS HIPPOLYTA THESEUS
Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe
If we imagine no worse of them than they ofLion
themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here
come two noble beasts in, a man and a lion.
Enter Lion and Moonshine
You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fearTHESEUS DEMETRIUS LYSANDER THESEUS DEMETRIUS THESEUS
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.
His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour;Moonshine DEMETRIUS THESEUS Moonshine THESEUS
for the goose carries not the fox. It is well:
leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon.
This is the greatest error of all the rest: the manDEMETRIUS HIPPOLYTA THESEUS
should be put into the lanthorn. How is it else the
man i' the moon?
It appears, by his small light of discretion, thatLYSANDER Moonshine
he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all
reason, we must stay the time.
All that I have to say, is, to tell you that theDEMETRIUS
lanthorn is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this
thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.
Why, all these should be in the lanthorn; for allThisbe Lion
these are in the moon. But, silence! here comes Thisbe.
[Roaring] Oh--DEMETRIUS THESEUS HIPPOLYTA
Thisbe runs off
Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with aTHESEUS LYSANDER DEMETRIUS
The Lion shakes Thisbe's mantle, and exit
And then came Pyramus.Pyramus
Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;THESEUS HIPPOLYTA Pyramus
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!
O wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?DEMETRIUS LYSANDER THESEUS HIPPOLYTA THESEUS HIPPOLYTA DEMETRIUS
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
Come, tears, confound;
Out, sword, and wound
The pap of Pyramus;
Ay, that left pap,
Where heart doth hop:
Stabs himselfThus 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:
Exit MoonshineNow die, die, die, die, die.
A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, whichLYSANDER DEMETRIUS Thisbe
Thisbe, is the better; he for a man, God warrant us;
she for a woman, God bless us.
Asleep, my love?THESEUS DEMETRIUS BOTTOM
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:
Stabs herselfAnd, farewell, friends;
Thus Thisby ends:
Adieu, adieu, adieu.
[Starting up] No assure you; the wall is down thatTHESEUS
parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the
epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance between two
of our company?
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
Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology.
Laura Gibbs, Ph.D.
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