1964. I Beatles sono già un fenomeno di massa, ma hanno ancora molti assi nelle ampie maniche, tra cui quello della recitazione. Qui recitano una parte del Sogno di una notte di mezza estate di Shakespeare. Per l’esattezza, siamo nel quinto atto, scena prima, vv. 126-304.
[Enter PYRAMUS and THISBE, WALL, MOONSHINE, and LION, as in dumb show.]
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 content
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 by name Lion hight,
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 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, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain,
At large discourse while here they do remain.
[Exeunt PROLOGUE, THISBE, LION, and MOONSHINE.]
I wonder if the lion be to speak.
No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.
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,
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.
Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?
It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord.
Pyramus draws near the wall; silence.
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;
Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne.
[WALL holds up his fingers.]
Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!
But what see what see I? No Thisby do I see.
O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss,
Curs’d be thy stones for thus deceiving me!
The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.
No, in truth, sir, he should not. ‘Deceiving me’ is Thisby’s cue: she is to enter now, and I am to spy her through the wall. You shall see it will fall pat as I told you.—Yonder she comes.
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.
I see a voice; now will I to the chink,
To spy an I can hear my Thisby’s face.
My love! thou art my love, I think.
Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover’s grace;
And like Limander am I trusty still.
And I like Helen, till the fates me kill.
Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.
As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.
O, kiss me through the hole of this vile wall
I kiss the wall’s hole, not your lips at all.
Wilt thou at Ninny’s tomb meet me straightway?
‘Tide life, ‘tide death, I come without delay.
Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so;
And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.
[Exeunt WALL, PYRAMUS and THISBE.]
Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.
No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.
The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.
It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.
If we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.
[Enter LION and MOONSHINE.]
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.
A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.
The very best at a beast, my lord, that e’er I saw.
This lion is a very fox for his valour.
True; and a goose for his discretion.
Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot carry his discretion, and the fox carries the goose.
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.
This lanthorn doth the hornèd moon present:
He should have worn the horns on his head.
He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference.
This lanthorn doth the hornèd moon present;
Myself the man i’ the moon do seem to be.
This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man should be put into the lantern. How is it else the man i’ the moon?
He dares not come there for the candle: for, you see, it is already in snuff.
I am aweary of this moon: would he would change!
It appears, by his small light of discretion, that he is in the wane: but yet, in courtesy, in all reason, we must stay the time.
All that I have to say, is to tell you that the lantern is the moon; I, the man i’ the moon; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.
Why, all these should be in the lantern; for all these are in the moon. But silence; here comes Thisbe.
This is old Ninny’s tomb. Where is my love?
[The LION roars.—THISBE runs off.]
Well roared, lion.
Well run, Thisbe.
Well shone, moon.—Truly, the moon shines with a good grace.
[The LION tears THISBE’S Mantle, and exit.]
Well moused, lion.
And so comes Pyramus.
And then the lion vanishes.
Sweet moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
I thank thee, moon, for shining now so bright:
For, by thy gracious golden, glittering streams,
I trust to take of truest Thisby’s sight.
But stay;—O spite!
But mark,—poor knight,
What dreadful dole is here!
Eyes, do you see?
How can it be?
O dainty duck! O dear!
Thy mantle good,
What! stained with blood?
Approach, ye furies fell!
O fates! come, come;
Cut thread and thrum;
Quail, rush, conclude, and quell!
This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look sad.
Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.
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:—
Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
Now am I dead,
Now am I fled;
My soul is in the sky:
Tongue, lose thy light!
Moon, take thy flight!
Now die, die, die, die, die.
[Dies. Exit MOONSHINE.]
No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.
Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.
With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover and prove an ass.
How chance moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?
She will find him by starlight.—Here she comes; and her passion ends the play.
Methinks she should not use a long one for such a Pyramus: I hope she will be brief.
A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better.
She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.
And thus she moans, videlicet.—
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 cheeks,
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;
Come, blade, my breast imbrue;
And farewell, friends:—
Thus Thisbe ends;
Adieu, adieu, adieu.
Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead.
Ay, and wall too.
No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance between two of our company?
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 played Pyramus, and hang’d 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.
[Here a dance of Clowns.]
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:—
Lovers, to bed; ‘tis almost fairy time.
I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn,
As much as we this night have overwatch’d.
This palpable-gross play hath well beguil’d
The heavy gait of night.—Sweet friends, to bed.—
A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
In nightly revels and new jollity.