Puslapio vaizdai

PYR," Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me ftraightway ?" 4

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THIS. Tide life, tide death, I come without de


WALL. "Thus have I, wall, my part discharged fo; "And being done, thus wall


doth go."

Exeunt Wall, PYRAMUS and THISBE. THE. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.

DEM. No remedy, my lord, when walls are fa wilful to hear without warning."

HIP. This is the fillieft ftuff that ever I heard.

THE. The beft 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 pafs for excellent men. Here come two noble beafts in, a moon and a lion."

4 Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me ftraightway?] So Gold. ing's Ovid:

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They did agree at Ninus tomb to meete without the towne.'


Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are fo wilful to hear without warning.] This alludes to the proverb, "Walls have ears. A wall between almoft any two neighbours would foon be down, were it to exercife this faculty without previous warning.

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The old copies read moral, instead of mural. Mr. Theobald made the correction. MALONE.

6 Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.] The old copies read a man, &c. STEEVENS.

I don't think the jeft here is either complete, or right. It is differently pointed in feveral of the old copies, which, I fufpe&, may lead us to the true reading, viz. ́

Here come two noble beafts

in a man and a lion."


Enter Lion aud Moonfhine.

LION." You, ladies, you, whofe gentle hearts do fear

"The fmalleft monftrous moufe that creeps on


May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here,

"When lion rough in wildeft rage doth roar. "Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am "A lion fell, nor elfe no lion's dam:"

immediately upon Thefeus faying this, Enter Lion and Moonshine. It seems very probable therefore, that our author wrote,

in a moon and a lion.

the one having a crefcent and a lanthorn before him, and reprefenting the man in the moon; the other in a lion's hide. THEOBALD.

Mr. Theobald reads-a moon and a lion, and the emendation was adopted by the subsequent editors; but, I think, without neceffity. The conceit is furnished by the perfon who reprefents the lion, and enters covered with the hide of that beaft; and Thefeus only means to fay, that the man who reprefented the moon, and came in at the fame time, with a lantern in his hand, and a bush of thorns at his back, was as much a beaft as he who performed the part of the lion. MALONE.

Here come two noble beafis in, a moon, and a lion. I cannot help fuppofing that we should have it, a moon-calf. The old copies read a man poffibly man was the marginal interpretation of moon-calf; and being more intelligible, got into the text.

The man in the moon was no new character on the ftage, and is here introduced in ridicule of fuch exhibitions. Ben Jonfon in one of his mafques, call'd News from the New World in the Moon, makes his Factor doubt of the perfon who brings the intelligence. "I muft fee his dog at his girdle, and the bufh of thorns at his back, ere I believe it." Thofe, replies one of the heralds, are FARMER.

Hale enfigns o' the' ftage.'

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Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am

A lion fell, nor elfe no lion's dam:] That is, that I am Snug the joiner; and neither a lion, nor a lion's dam. Dr. Johnson has juftly obferved in a note on All's well that ends well, that nor in the phrafeology of our author's time often related to two members

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For if I fhould as lion come in ftrife
Into this place, 'twere pity on my life."

THE. A very gentle beast, and of a good confcience.

DEM. The very best at a beaft, my lord, that e'er I faw.

Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour.
THE. True; and a goofe for his difcretion.
DEM. Not fo, my lord: for his valour cannot


his difcretion; and the fox carries the goose. THE. His difcretion, I am fure, cannot carry his valour; for the goofe carries not the fox. It is well: leave it to his difcretion, and let us liften to the


MOON." This lantern doth the horned moon


DEM. He fhould have worn the horns on his head. THE. He is no crefcent, and his horns are invifible within the circumference.

MOON." This lantern doth the horned moon prefent;

Myfelf the man i'th' moon do feem to be."

THE. This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man fhould be put into the lantern: How is it elfe the man i'the moon?

DEM. He dares not come there for the candle: for, you fee, it is already in fnuff."

of a sentence, though only expreffed in the latter.

just mentioned.

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contempt nor bitterness

"Were in his pride or sharpness. '

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So in the play

The reading of the text is that of the folio. The quartos read that I as Snug the joiner, &c. MALONE.

6 in fnuff.] An equivocation. Snuff fignifies both the cin der of a candle, and hafty anger. JOHNSON.

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 courtefy, in all reason, we must ftay the time.

Lys. Proceed, moon.

MOON. All that I have to fay, 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, filence; here comes Thisbe.


THIS." This is old Ninny's tomb: Where is my'


LION." Oh-."

[The Lion roars.

DEM. Well roar'd, lion.

THE. Well run, Thisbe.

THISBE runs off.

HIP. Well fhone, moon.-Truly, the moon

fhines with a good grace.

THE. Well mous'd, lion.7

[The Lion tears THISBE'S mantle, and exit.

So, in Love's Labour's Loft:

"You'll mar the light, by taking it in fnuff."


Well mous'd, lion. ] So in an ancient bl. 1. ballad on this ftory,

intitled, The Conftancy of true Love, &c.

"And having mufled thus the same,

Thither he went whence firft he came."

DEM. And fo comes Pyramus.
Lys. And then the moon vanifhes.


PYR." Sweet moon, I thank thee for thy funny


“ I thank thee, moon, for fhining now fo bright: "For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering ftreams,' "I trust to tafte of trueft Thisby's fight. "But flay;-O fpite!

"But mark;-Poor knight,

"What dreadful doie is here?

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Thefeus means that the lion has well tumbled and bloody'd the veil of Thifbe. STEEVENS.

I believe this fhould be "Well mouth'd lion," alluding either to his roaring, or to his tearing with his mouth the mantle of Thibe: "Which lion vile with bloody mouth did ftain.”


Well mous'd, lion!] To moufe fignified to mammock, to tear in pieces, as a cat tears a mouse. MALONE.

Dem. And fo comes Pyramus.

Lyf. And then the moon vanishes.] The old copies read

،، Dem. And then came Pyramus. '


Lyf. And fo the lion vanished.'

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It were needlefs to fay any thing in defence of Dr. Farmer's emendation. The reader indeed may afk why this glaring corruption was fuffered to remain fo long in the text.



glittering fireams] The old copies read beams.


The emendation was made by the editor of the fecond folio.

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