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A room in a Cottage.
Enter Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, Quince, and
Quin. Is all our company here?
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 comeåy, 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 your. selves,
Quin. Answer, as I call you.-Nick Bottom, the
Bot. Ready: name what part I am for, and proceed.
Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.
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 look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure. To the rest:Yet my chief humour is VOL. II.
for a tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
“ The raging rocks,
“ Of prison-gates:
" The foolish fates.” This was lofty !-Now naine the rest of the players. --This is Ercles' vein; a tyrant's vein; a lover is more condoling.
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 This by dear! and lady dear!
Quin, No, no; you must play Pyramus, and, Flute, you Thisby.
Bot. Well, proceed.
Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's, mother,--Tom Snout, the tinker.
Snout. Here, Peter Quince,
Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's father ;-Saug, 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.
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 rear again, 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 graut 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, gen. tleman-like man;
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.co. loured 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 towu, 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
Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse more obscenely, and courageously. Take pains; be perfect; adieu.
Quin. At the duke's oak we meet.
SCENE I. A wood near Athens.
Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck at another.
Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Thorough bush, thorough briar,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
In those freckles live their savours:
Puck. The kiug doth keep his revels here to-night;
A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king ;
Thou speak'st aright; I am that merry wanderer of the night. I jest to Oberon, and make him smile, When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, Neighing in likeness of a filly foal : And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl, In very likeness of a roasted crabll; And, when she drinks, agaiost her lips I bob, And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale. The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale, Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me: Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, And tailor cries, and falls into a cough; And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe;
• Shining. + Quarrel. || Wild'apple.