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Sickness is catching; O were favour* so!
• such skill!
Lysander and myself will fy this place.
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold :
Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
And thence, from Athens, turn away pur eyes,
Enter Snug, Bottom, Fluté, Snout, Quince, and
Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.
Quin. Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and duchess, on his wedding-day at night.
Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on; then read the names of the actors; and so grow to a point.
Quin. Marry, our play is The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry. Now, good' Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll: Masters, spread yourselves,
Quin. Answer, ás I call you.Nick Bottom, the
Bot. Ready: name what part I am for, and proceed.
Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyra
Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?
Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly for love.
Bot. That will ask some tears in the true perform ing of it: If I do it, let the audience took to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole io some measure. To the rest :--Yet my chief humour is
for a tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to
“ The saging rocks,
“ Óf prison-gates:
“ The foolish fates."
Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Flu. Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming.
Quin. That's all one; you shall play it in a mask, and you may speak as small as you will.
Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too: I'll speak in a monstrous little voice;- Thisne, Thisne.- Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby dear! and lady dear!
Quin. No, no; you must play Pyramus, and,
Bot. Well, proceed.
Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's muther.—Tom Snout, the tinker.
Snout. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's father ;--Snug, the joiner, you, the lion's part:-and, I hope, here is a play fitted.
Snug. Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.
Ones tlem Pyrar
Во I bes
Qu Bo .
Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
Bot. Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say, Let him roar aguin, Let him roar again.
Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you would fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek: and that were enough to hang us all, All. That would hang us every mother's son.
Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more discretion but to hang us: but I will aggravate my voice so, that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you an* 'twere any nightingale.
Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus : for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, gentleman-like man; therefore you must needs play Pyramus.
Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?
Quin. Why, what you will.
Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw.coloured beard, your orange-tawny beard, your pur. ple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow.
Quin. Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced.But, masters, here are your parts : and I am to entreat you, request you, and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night: and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the town, by-moon light; there will we rehearse: for if we meet in the city, we shall be dog'd with company, and our devices known. In the mean time I will draw a bill of propertiest, such as our play wants. I pray you, fail me not.
† Articles required in performing a play.