LYSANDER Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness, did lay siege to it, Making it momentary as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream; Brief as the lightning in the collied night That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, And ere a man hath power to say, Behold!
PHILOSTRATE There is a brief how many sports are ripe; Make choice of which your highness will see first.
’A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.’
Merry and tragical! tedious and brief!
PHILOSTRATE 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 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.
] HIPPOLYTA Methinks she should not use a long one for such a Pyramus: I hope she will be brief.