[Reads] 'The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung
By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.'
We'll none of that: that
have I told my love,
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
'The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.'
That is an old device; and it
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
'The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of Learning, late deceased in beggary.'
That is some
satire, keen and critical,
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
'A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.'
Merry and tragical! tedious
That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord?
A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
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
And tragical, my noble lord, it is;
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which, when I saw rehearsed,
I must confess,
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.
What are they that do play it?
Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
Which never labour'd in their minds till now,
And now have
toil'd their unbreathed memories
With this same play, against your nuptial.
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;
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 anything can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.
Go, bring them
in: and take your places, ladies.
I love not to see wretchedness o'er charged
And duty in his service perishing.
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