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Dem. I would, I had your bond; for, I perceive,| A weak bond holds you; I'll not trust your word. Lys. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?

Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.

Her. What, can you do me greater harm, than hate?

Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love?
Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
I am as fair now, as I was erewhile.

Since night, you lov'd me; yet, since night you

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Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures, she hath urg'd her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem,
Because I am so dwarfish, and so low ?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low,
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice;
Let her not strike me: You, perhaps, may think,
Because she's something lower than myself,
That I can match her.


Lower! hark, again.

Hel, Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. I evermore did love you, Hermia,

Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,

I told him of your stealth unto this wood:
He follow'd you; for love, I follow'd him.

But he hath chid me hence; and threaten'd me
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too :
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly back,
And follow you no further: Let me go:
You see how simple and how fond I am.

Her. Why, get you gone: Who is't that hinders


- Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind. Her. What, with Lysander?


With Demetrius. Lys. Be not afraid: she shall not harm thee, Helena.

Dem. No, sir; she shall not, though you take her part.

Hel. O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd: She was a vixen, when she went to school; And, though she be but little, she is fierce.

Her. Little again? nothing but low and little ?
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus ?
Let me come to her.

Get you gone, you dwarf ;
You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made;
You bead, you acorn.


You are too officious,

In her behalf that scorns your services.
Let her alone; speak not of Helena;
Take not her part: for if thou dost intend
Never so little show of love to her,

Thou shalt aby its w,。,,, k


Now she holds me not;

Now follow, if thou dar'st, to try whose right,
Or thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow? nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by
[Exeunt Lys. and Dem.
Her. You, mistress, all this coil is long of you:
Nay, go not back.
I will not trust you, I;
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though, to run away. [Exit.
Her. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say.
[Exit, pursuing Helena.
Obe. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st,
Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.

Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Did not you tell me, I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprize,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes:
And so far am I glad it so did sort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night; [fight; The starry welkin cover thou anon

With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,

As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error, with his might,
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league, whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy ;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with


For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast, And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;

At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and


Troop home to church-yards: damned spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone;

For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
Obe. But we are spirits of another sort:

I with the morning's love have oft made sport;
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay 4
We may effect this business yet ere day.

[Exit Oberon.
Puck. Up and down, up and down;
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town;
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.

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For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.

Re-enter Puck and Demetrius.

Puck. Ho, ho ho, ho! Coward, why com'st thou not?

Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot, Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place; And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face. Where art thou?


Come hither; I am here.

Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,

If ever I thy face by day-light see:

Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.
By day's approach look to be visited.

[Lies down and sleeps. Enter Helena.

Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night, Abate thy hours; shine, comforts, from the east;

That I may back to Athens, by day-light,

From these that my poor company detest:→→ And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye, Steal me awhile from mine own company. [Sleeps. Puck. Yet but three? Come one more; Two of both kinds makes up four. Here she comes, curst and sad :

Cupid is a knavish lad,

Thus to make poor females mad.

Enter Hermia.

Her. Never so weary, never so in woe, Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers;

I can no further crawl, no further go;

My legs can keep no pace with my desires. Here will I rest me, till the break of day. Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!


Puck. On the ground

Sleep sound;

I'll apply

To your eye,

Gentle lover, remedy,

[Lies down.

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Bot. Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you overflown with a honey-bag, signior.-Where's monsieur Mustardseed?

Must. Ready.

Bot. Give me your neif, monsieur Mustard-seed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur. Must. What's your will?

Bot. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help cava lero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy about the face: and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.

Tita. What, wilt thou hear some musick, my

sweet love?

Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in musick: let us have the tongs and the bones.

Tita. Or, say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to


Bot. Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks, I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

Tita. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek I The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

Bot. I had rather have a handful, or two, of dried peas. But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me. Tita. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms. Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away. So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle, Gently entwist,-the female ivy so Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.

O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

[They sleep.

Oberon advances. Enter Puck..

Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this

sweet sight?

Her dotage now I do begin to pity..
For meeting her of late, behind the wood,.
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her :
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew, which sometime on the buds

[Squeezing the juice on Lysander's eye. Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,

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From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair;
And think no more of this night's accidents,
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.

Bé, as thou wast wont to be;

[Touching her eyes with an herb.
See, as thou wast wont to see:
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower!
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
Tita. My Oberon ! what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.

Obe. There lies your love.

How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loath his visage now!
Obe. Silence, a while. Robin, take off this

Titania, musick call; and strike more dead
Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.
Tita. Musick, ho! musick; such as charmeth

Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own fool's eyes peep.

Obe. Sound, musick. [Still musick.] Come, my queen, take hands with me,

And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be,
Now thou and I are new in amity;

And will, to-morrow midnight, solemnly,
Dance in duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair posterity:

There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
Puck. Fairy king, attend, and mark;
I do hear the morning lark.
Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night's shade:
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wand'ring moon.

Tita. Come, my lord; and in our flight,
Tell me how it came this night,
That I sleeping here was found,

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With these mortals, on the ground. [Exeunt. [Horns sound within. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and train. The. Go, one of you, find out the forester ;For now, our observation is perform'd; And since we have the vaward of the day, My love shall hear the musick of my hounds.Uncouple in the western valley; go :Despatch, I say, and find the forester.We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top, And mark the musical confusion

Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once, When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear Such gallant chiding; for, besides the groves, The skies, the fountains, every region near Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind, So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung With ears that sweep away the morning dew; Crook-knee'd and dew-lap'd like Thessalian bulls; Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells, Each under each. A cry more tuneable Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn, In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly: Judge, when you hear.-But, soft; what nymphs are these?

Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep; And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is; This Helena, old Nedar's Helena:

I wonder of their being here together.

The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe The rite of May; and, hearing our intent, Came here in grace of our solemnity. But, speak, Egeus; is not this the day

That Hermia should give answer of her choice?

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Horns, and shout within. Demetrius, Lysander,
Hermia, and Helena, wake and start up.
The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is

Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
Lys. Pardon, my lord.


[He and the rest kneel to Theseus.
I pray you all, stand up.

I know, you are two rival enemies;
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?

Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Half 'sleep, half waking: But as yet, I swear,
I cannot truly say how I came here:
But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,-
And now I do bethink me, so it is;)

I came with Hermia hither: our intent
Was, to be gone from Athens, where we might be
Without the peril of the Athenian law.


Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough:
I beg the law, the law upon his head.-
They would have stol'n away, they would, Deme-
Thereby to have defeated you and me:
You, of your wife; and me, of my consent;
Of my consent that she should be your wife.
Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood;
And I in fury hither follow'd them;
Fair Helena in fancy following me.

But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,
(But, by some power it is,) my love to Hermia,
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gawd,
Which in my childhood I did dote upon :
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:
But, like in sickness, did I loath this food:
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.

The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.-
Egeus, I will overbear your will;

For in the temple, by and by with us,
These couples shall eternally be knit.
And, for the morning now is something worn,
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.
Away, with us, to Athens: Three and three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity
Come, Hippolyta.

[Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and train. Dem. These things seem small and undistin guishable,

Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.
Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted eye,
When every thing seems double.

So, methinks:

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vision. I have had a dream,past the wit of man to say what dream it was:-Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had,-But man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen; man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the duke: Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death. [Exit. SCENE II.-Athens. A Room in Quince's House. Enter Quince, Flute, Snout, and Starveling. Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he come home yet?

Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt, he is transported.

Flu. If he come not, then the play is marred; It goes not forward, doth it?

Quin. It is not possible: you have not a man in all Athens, able to discharge Pyramus, but he. Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any handycraft man in Athens.

Quin. Yea, and the best person too: and he is a very paramour, for a sweet voice.

Flu. You must say, paragon: a paramour is, God bless us, a thing of nought.

Enter Snug.

Snug. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married: if our sport had gone forward, we had all been made men.

Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a-day during his life; he could not have 'scaped sixpence a-day: an the duke had not given him sixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged; he would have deserved it: sixpence a-day, in Pyramus, or nothing.

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fell out.

Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you, is, that the duke hath dined: Get your apparel together; good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the palace; every man look o'er his part; for, the short and the long is, our play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby have clean linen; and let not him, that plays the lion, pare his nails, for they shall hang out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions, nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do not doubt, but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words; away; go, away. [Exeunt.

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Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, “
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatick, 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 frantick,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to
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 ;
It comprehends some bringer of that joy i
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear?

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Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigured so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
But, howsoever, strange, and admirable.
And grows to something of great constancy;

Enter Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena. The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth..

Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love,
Accompany your hearts!
More than to us
Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed!
The. Come now; what masks, what dances shall

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be sung,

We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.

The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
That is an old device, and it was play'd
Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
That is some satire, keen, and critical,
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.
That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord?
Philost. A play there is, my lord, some ten words

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 rehears'd, I must confess
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears"
The passion of loud laughter never shed.
The. What are they that do play it?
Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens

Which never labour'd in their minds till now;


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 his boiling bloody breast; And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade, "His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, "Let lion, moon-shine, wall, and lovers twain, "At large discourse, while here they do remain." [Exeunt Prol. Thisbe, Lion, and Moon-shine. The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak. Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.

And now have toil'd their unbreath'd memories
With this same play, against your nuptial.
The. And we will hear it.
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.
I will hear that play;
For never any thing can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.
Go, bring them in: and take your places, ladies.
[Exit Philostrate.
Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharged,
And duty in his service perishing.
The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such"
Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind.
The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for

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 practis'd 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 sawcy and audacious eloquence.
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity,
In least, speak most, to my capacity.

Enter Philostrate.

Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is addrest.

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 cranny'd hole, or chink, "Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, "Did whisper often very secretly. [show "This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth "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." The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?

Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord.

The. Pyramus draws near the wall: silence!
Enter Pyramus.

Pyr. "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;

The. Let him approach. [Flourish of trumpets."
Enter Prologue.

"Prol. 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, rve come but in despite."

We do not come as minding to content you,

Our true intent is. All for your delight,

Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall, "Shew me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne. [Wall holds up his fingers, "Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well "But what see I? No Thisbe do I see. [for this! "O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss; "Curst 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

We are not here. That you should here repent you, me, is Thisby's cue: she is to enter now, and I am The actors are at hand; and, by their show,

You shall know all, that you are like to know.
The. This fellow doth not stand upon points.
Lys. 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.

Hip. Indeed he hath played on this prologue, like a child on a recorder; a sound, but not in government.

The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next? Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion, as in dumb show.

Prol. "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


to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will fall pat as I told you :-Yonder she comes.

Enter Thisbe.

This. "O wall, full often hast thou heard my
"For parting my fair Pyramus and me: [moans,
"My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones;
"Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee."
Pyr. "I see a voice: now will I to the chink,
"To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face..

This. "My love! thou art my love, I think."
Pyr. "Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's
"And like Limander am I trusty still." [grace;
This. " And I like Helen, till the fates me kill."
Pyr. "Not Shafalus to Procrus, was so true."
This. "As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you."
Pyr. "O, kiss me through the hole of this vile

This. "I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all."
Pyr. "Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me
straightway ?"
This. "Tide life, tide death, I come without
Wall. "Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so;
And, being done, thus wall away doth go."
[Exeunt Wall, Pyramus, and Thisbe.
The. Now is the mural down between the two
Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so
wilful to hear without warning.

-"To whisper, at the which let no man wonder."
"This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn,
"Presenteth moon-shine; for, if you will know,
"By moon-shine did these lovers think no scorn

To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo. "This grisly beast, which by name lion hight, "The trusty Thisby, coming first by night,

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

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