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A Cottage. Enter Quince the Carpenter, SNUG the
Joiner, Bottom the Weaver, FLUTE the Bellows Mender, SNOUT the Tinker, and STARVELING the Taylor.
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 scrowl of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Atliens, to play in our interlude before the duke and dutchess, on his wedding day at night.
261 · Bct. 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 scrowi: Masters, spread yourselves.
271 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 Pyra
Bot. What is Pyramus ? a lover, or a tyrant?
Quin. A lover that kills himself most gallantly for love.
280 Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some
To the rest :-Yet my chief humour is for a tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
This was lofty !---Now name the rest of the plavers. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ; a lover is more condoling.
Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
300 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 inask, 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,th, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby dear! and lady dear!
310 Quin. No, no; you must play Pyramus, and, Flute, jou Thisby.
Bot. Well, proceed.
Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.-- Tom Snout, the Tinker.
Snou. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's father ;--Snug, the joiner, you, the lion's part :and, I hope, there is a play fitted.
321 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 roar again, let him roar again.
329 Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you would fright the dutchess 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.
339 Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus : for Pyramus is a sweet-fac'd man; a proper man, as one shall see in a summer's-day; a most lovely gentleman-like man; therefore you must needs play Py
Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?
Quin. Why, what
Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-coloured beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purplein-grain beard, or your French crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow.
351 Quin. Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-fac’d. But, mas. ters, 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 properties, such as our play wants. I pray you, fail me not.
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.
A Wood. Enter a Fairy at one Door, and Puck (or
ROBIN-GOODFELLOW) at another.
How now, spirit I whither wander you?
Thorough bush, thorough briar,
Thorough flood, thorought fire,
Swifter than the moones sphere ;
In those freckles live their savours :