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Moon. All that I have to say, is, to tell you, that the lantern is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this thornbush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.
Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern; for all these are in the moon'. But, silence! here comes Thisbe.
This. "This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?" Lion. "Oh-." [The Lion roars.-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 trust to take of truest Thisby sight'.
Eyes, do you see?
[Seeing THISBE's mantle.
O dainty duck! O dear!
Thy mantle good,
What! stain'd with blood ?
for ALL THESE are in the moon.] So Fisher's 4to: the folio and Roberts's 4to. have merely "they are in the moon."
3 Well MOUSED, lion.] Monck Mason would change "moused," of the old copies, to mouthed, in reference to the lion's mouthing and staining Thisbe's mantle. Steevens understands "moused" in this sense, and he is probably right. Compare "King John," A. ii. sc. 2.
For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering STREAMS.] The older copies repeat beams, as the rhyme to the same word in the line next but one preceding it; and the editor of the second folio substituted streams, perhaps, upon some then existing authority which we have no right to dispute. Mr. Dyce in his "Remarks," p. 49, adduces many needless proofs that "streams" is the true word; and if we did not accept it on the authority of the folio, 1632, we should certainly be disposed to think, with Mr. Knight, that gleams is preferable, on account of its ridiculous alliteration.
⚫ I trust to TAKE of truest Thisby sight.] So the 4tos: the folio reads taste for "take."
Approach, ye furies fell!
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.
That liv'd, that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd with cheer.
Where heart doth hop:-
My soul is in the sky:
Tongue, lose thy light!
[Dies.-Exit Moonshine. for he is but one.
he is dead; he is no
Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; Lys. Less than an ace, man, for thing.
The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet recover, and yet prove an ass.
Hip. How chance moonshine is gone, before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?
The. She will find him by star-light.-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
Thus die I, thus, thus, thus !] Modern editors give no cause for the death of Pyramus. In this respect they follow the old copies; but the annotator of the folio, 1632, places these words in the margin, Stab himself as often, meaning, no doubt, every time he utters the word "thus."
Thisbe, is the better; he for a man, God warrant us; she for a woman, God bless us".
Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.
This. "Asleep, my love?
Speak, speak! Quite dumb?
Must cover thy sweet eyes.
With hands as pale as milk;
With shears his thread of silk.
Come, blade, my breast imbrue :
And farewell, friends.—
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
God bless us.] This passage, from "he for a man," is taken from the 4tos. It was omitted in the folio, 1623, for an obvious reason.
8 And thus she MOANS,] All the old copies have means for "moans," a very easy misprint. Not so, lower down, where Thisbe exclaims,
"These lily LIPS,
This cherry nose," &c.
Theobald, for the sake of the rhyme, altered “lips” to brows, which could not have been mistaken by the compositor. The corr. fo. 1632 here gives us what was, in all probability, Shakespeare's language, which would have additional comic effect, if Thisbe at the same time pointed to the nose of the dead Pyramus. Our text conforms to the emendation.
1 Bot. No, I assure you ;] In the two 4to. editions this speech is given to "Lion." Perhaps such was the original distribution, but changed before the first folio was printed, to excite laughter on the resuscitation of Bottom.
fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance 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 play'd 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. [A dance'.
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.—
I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn,
In nightly revels, and new jollity.
Enter PUCK, with a broom on his shoulder".
Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon *;
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
In remembrance of a shroud.
That the graves, all gaping wide,
A dance.] There is no stage-direction in any of the old copies, and Malone inserted, "Here a dance of Clowns," which it certainly was.
Enter Puck with a broom on his shoulder.] Or, as it was more usual then to say, "on his neck." This stage-direction, only found in the corr. fo. 1632, is thus literally rendered in the German edition :
"Droll tritt auf, den Besen über der Schulter."
A broom was unquestionably Puck's usual property on the stage, and as he is represented on the title-page of the old history of his "Mad Pranks," 1628, and on the ballad on the same subject in the possession of the editor.
And the wolf BEHOWLS the moon ;] All the old editions have beholds: Warburton detected the misprint. It is singular that in the corr. fo. 1632 there is no alteration of this word: it may have escaped the old annotator.
Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with all their train.
Obe. Through the house give glimmering light,
Hop as light as bird from brier;
And this ditty after me
Tita. First, rehearse your song by rote,
Hand in hand with fairy grace
Will we sing, and bless this place. [Song and dance3.
Obe. Now, until the break of day,
Shall upon their children be,
5 Song and dance.] This stage-direction is necessary, and we adopt it from the German edition of Professor Mommsen, Gesang und Tanz. We must conclude that a song was introduced; for it is certain that what is headed "the song" in the old copies, is in fact Oberon's concluding address, beginning
"Now, until the break of day,"
and not a song. The prefix of Oberon is wanting, but there can be no doubt or difficulty in supplying it.