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SCENE II.

The same.

A room in a Cottage.

Enter Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, Quince, and

Starveling.

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

weaver.

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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.

F

for a tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.

“ The raging rocks,
“ With shivering shocks,
« Shall break the locks

“ Of prison-gates:
• And Phibbus' car
“ Shall shine from far,
• And make and mar

" 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. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You must take Thisby on you.
Flu, What is Thisby? a wandering knight?
Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love.

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, the tailor.
Star. Here, Peter Quince.

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;

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.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.

• Asif.

+ Articles required in performing

play.

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.
Bot. Enough; Hold, or cut bow-strings*.

(Exeunt.

ACT II.

SCENE I. A wood near Athens.

Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck at another.

Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Fai. Over hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough briar,
Over park, over pale,

Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander every where,
Swifter than tle moones sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbst upon the green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,

In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lobt of spirits, I'll be gone;
Our queen and all her elves come here anon.

Puck. The kiug doth keep his revels here to-night;
Take heed, the queen come not within his sight.
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she, as her attendant, hath

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A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king ;
She never had so sweet a changeling:
Apd jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild:
But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy,
Crowos him with flowers, and makes him all her joy:
And now they never meet in grove, or green,
By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen*,
But they do square t; that all their elves, for fear,
Creep into acorn cops, and hide them there.
Fri. Either I mistake your shape and making

quite,
Or else yon are that shrewd and knavish sprite,
Call'd Robin Good-fellow: are you not he,
That fright the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk; and sometimes labour in the quernt,
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barms;
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm :
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck :
Are not you he?
Puck.

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.

| Mill.

Yeast.

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