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Enter QUINCE for the 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 we come but in despite.

We do not come as minding to content you,
Our true intent is. All for your desight,
We are not here. That you should here repent you,
The actors are at hand; and, by their show,
You shall know all that you are like to know.


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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 Puramus, 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, 150 Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain, At large discourse, while here they do remain.

Exeunt Prologue, THISBE, Lion, and Moonshine.

The. I wonder if the lion be to speak. Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.

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 crannied hole or chink, Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, 160 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.

Dem. It is the wittiest parition 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!

This. My love thou art my love, I think. Pyr. Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace; 140 And, like Limander, am I trusty still.

This. And I like Helen, till the Fates me kill. 200
Pyr. Not Shajalus to Procrus was so true.
This. As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.
Pyr. O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall.
This. I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.
Pyr. Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straight-

The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?

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This. 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. Pyr. I see a voice: now will I to the chink, To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. Thisby !

This. Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay. Exeunt PYRAMUS and THISBE. Wall. Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so; And, being done, thus Wall away doth yo. Exit. The. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.


Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.

Hip. This is the silliest stuff that e'er 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 man and a lion.

Enter Lion and Moonshine.

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
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.

The. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.

231 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.


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


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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;
Out, sword, and wound
The pap of Pyramus:
Ay, that left pap,
Where heart doth hop:


Stabs himself.

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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

This. This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love? man, God warrant us; she for a woman, God

Lion. Oh

bless us.

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

Dem. And thus she moans, videlicet:

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shines with a good grace.

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Asleep, my love?

What, dead, my dove?

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 checks,
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;



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Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,



And the wolf behowls the moon ; Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, All with weary task fordone. Now the wasted brands do glow, Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,

Puts the wretch that lies in woe

In remembrance of a shroud.

Now it is the time of night

That the graves, all gaping wide, Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the church-way paths to glide: And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecate's team,

From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent with broom before,

To sweep the dust behind the door.


Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their Train.
Through the house give glimmering


By the dead and drowsy fire;

Every elf and fairy sprite

Hop as light as bird from brier; And this ditty after me

Sing, and dance it trippingly.



Tita. First, rehearse your song by rote,
To each word a warbling note:
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
Song and dance.
Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue there create
Ever shall be fortunate.
So shall all the couples three
Ever true and loving be;
And the blots of Nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand:
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,

Shall upon their children be.
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait,


And each several chamber bless, Through this palace with sweet peace; And the owner of it blest,

Ever shall in safety rest.

Trip away;

Make no stay;

Meet me all by break of day.

Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and Train.

Puck. If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I'm an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck


Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue, 410 We will make amends ere long;

Else the Puck a liar call:

So, good night unto you all.

Give me your hands, if we be friends,

And Robin shall restore amends.


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SCENE I.-Venice. A Street. Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO.

Ant. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad :
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn ;

And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.


Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean; There, where your argosies with portly sail. Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood, Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea, Do overpeer the petty traffickers, That court'sy to them, do them reverence, As they fly by them with their woven wings. Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth, The better part of my affections would Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still Plucking the grass to know where sits the wind, Peering in maps for ports, and piers, and roads; And every object that might make me fear Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt Would make me sad.

Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice, Gaoler, Servants
to Portia, and other Attendants.

SCENE.-Partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont, the seat of Portia, on the Continent.


Salar. My wind, cooling my broth, Would blow me to an ague, when I thought What harm a wind too great might do at sea. I should not see the sandy hour-glass run But I should think of shallows and of flats. And see my wealthy Andrew. dock'd in sand, Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs To kiss her burial. Should I go to church And see the holy edifice of stone, And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks, Which touching but my gentle vessel's side, Would scatter all her spices on the stream, Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks,


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TUBAL, a Jew, his Friend.

LAUNCELOT GOBBO, a Clown, Servant to Shylock.
OLD GOBBO, Father to Launcelot.
LEONARDO, Servant to Bassanio.

Servants to Portia.

PORTIA, a rich Heiress. NERISSA, her Waiting-maid. JESSICA, Daughter to Shylock.

And, in a word. but even now worth this, And now worth nothing? Shall I have the thought

To think on this, and shall I lack the thought
That such a thing bechanc'd would make me sad!
But tell not me I know Antonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandise.


Ant. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it, My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate Upon the fortune of this present year: Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad. Salar. Why, then you are in love.


Fie, fie! Salar. Not in love neither? Then let us say you are sad,

Because you are not merry; and 'twere as easy For you to laugh, and leap, and say you are


Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headea Janus,


Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
And langh like parrots at a bag-piper;
And other of such vinegar aspect
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile.
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.

Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO. Salan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman.

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Bass. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh?
say, when?

You grow exceeding strange: must it be so ?
Salar. We'll make our leisures to attend on
Lor. My Lord Bassanio, since you have found


Gra. You look not well, Signior Antonio;
You have too much respect upon the world:
They lose it that do buy it with much care:
Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd.

Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.

| Nor do I now make moan to be abridg'd
From such a noble rate; but my chief care
Is to come fairly off from the great debts
Wherein my time, something too prodigal,
Hath left me gaged. To you, Antonio,
I owe the most, in money and in love;
And from your love I have a warranty
To unburden all my plots and purposes
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.


We two will leave you; but at dinner-time,
I pray you, have in mind where we must meet.
Bass. I will not fail you.

Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
And if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Within the eye of honour, be assur'd,
My purse, my person, my extremest means,
Lie all unlock'd to your occasions.


Buss. In my school-days, when I had lost one

I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way with more advised watch,
To find the other forth, and by adventuring both,
I oft found both. I urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence.
I owe you much, and, like a wilful youth,
That which I owe is lost; but if you please
To shoot another arrow that self way
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt, 150
As I will watch the aim, or to find both,
Or bring your latter hazard back again,
And thankfully rest debtor for the first.

Ant. You know me well, and herein spend but

To wind about my love with circumstance;
And, out of doubt, you do me now more wrong
In making question of my uttermost
Than if you had made waste of all I have:
Then do but say to me what I should do
That in your knowledge may by me be done, 160
And I am prest unto it: therefore speak.

Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
Of wondrous virtues: sometimes from her eyes
I did receive fair speechless messages:
Her name is Portia ; nothing undervalued
To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia :
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,

Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner- For the four winds blow in from every coast

Renowned suitors; and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.
O my Antonio! had I but the means
To hold a rival place with one of them,
I have a mind presages me such thrift,
That I should questionless be fortunate.

Ant. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at


Neither have I money, nor commodity
To raise a present sum: therefore go forth; 180
Try what my credit can in Venice do:
That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
Go, presently inquire, and so will I,
Where money is, and I no question make
To have it of my trust or for my sake.


Let me play the fool:
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come,
And let my liver rather heat with wine
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster ?
Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio,
I love thee, and it is my love that speaks,
There are a sort of men whose visages

Do cream and mantle like a standing pond,
And do a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who should say, 'I am Sir Oracle,
And, when I ope my lips let no dog bark!'
0! my Antonio, I do know of these,
That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing; when, I am very sure,
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears
Which, hearing them, would call their brothers

I'll tell thee more of this another time:
But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
For this fool-gudgeon, this opinion.
Come, good Lorenzo. Fare ye well awhile:
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.




I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
For Gratiano never lets me speak.

Gra. Well,keepme company but two years more, Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.

Ant. Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear. Gra. Thanks, i' faith; for silence is only commendable


In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
Ant. Is that any thing now?
Bass. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of
nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His
reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two
bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you
find them, and when you have them, they are
not worth the search.


Ant. Well, tell me now, what lady is the same
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promis'd to tell me of?

Bass. "Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate,
By something showing a more swelling port
Than my faint means would grant continuance :


SCENE II.-Belmont. A Room in PORTIA'S




Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.

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