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Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout and
Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our ftage, this hauthorn-brake our tyring house, and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the Duke,
Bot. Peter Quince-
Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby, that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself, which the ladies cannot abide. How anfwer you that?
Snout. By’rlaken, a parlous fear.
Star. I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done,
Bot. Not a whit, I have a device to make all well ; write me a prologue, and let the prologue feem to say, we will do no harm with our swords, and that Pyramus is not kill'd indeed ; and for more better assurance tell them, that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver ; this will put them out of fear.
Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue, and it shall be written in eight and six.
Bot. No, make it two more ; let it be written in eight and eight.
Snout. Will not the ladies be afraid of the lion?
Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your felves ; to bring in, God shield us, a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion living ; and we ought to look to it.
Snout. Therefore another prologue must tell, he is not a lion.
Bot. Nay you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the fame defect; ladies, or fair ladies, I would wish you, or I would request you, or I would intreat you, not to fear, not to tremble; my life for yours ;
you think, I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life ; no, I am no such thing, I am a man as other men are ; and there indeed let him name his name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.
Quin. Well, it shall be fo ; but there is two hard things, that is, to bring the moon-light into a chamber; for, you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moon-light.
Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
Bot. A kalendar, a kalendar! look in the almanack; find out moon-fhine, find out moon-shine.
Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.
Bot. Why then may you leave a casement of the great chamber-window, where we play, open ; and the moon may shine in at the casement.
Quin. Ay, or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorn, and say, he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-shine. Then there is another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber, for Pyramus and Thisby (says the story) did talk through the chink of a wall.
Snug. You never can bring in a wall. What say
Bot. Some man or other must present Wall; and let him have some plaiter, or some lome, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall: Or let him hold his fingers thus ; and through the cranny Thall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.
Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down every mother's son, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus, you begin ; when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake ; and so every one according to his cue.
S C Ε Ν Ε II.
Enter Puck behind.
Quin. Speak, Pyramus ; Thisby, stand forth.
So doth thy breath, my dearest Thisby, dear
And, by and by, I will to thee appear, [Exit Pyr.
for you must under stand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
This. Most radiant Pyramus, most lilly-white of hue,
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant bryer, Most brisky Juvenile, and eke most lovely Jewig
As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, I'U meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.
yet : that
Quin. Ninus' tomb, man; why you must not fpeak that
answer to Pyramus ; you speak all your part at once, cues and all. Pyramus, enter; your cue is paft; it is, never tire.
Re-enter Bottom, with an Ass-head. This. 0,- As true as truest horse, that yet would
never tire. Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
Quin. O monstrous ! O strange! we are haunted ; pray, masters; fly, masters; help! [The Clowns exeunt. Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you
about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake,
through bryer ; Sometimes a horse I'll be, sometimes a hound,
A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire, And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar and burn, Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.
[Exit. Bot. Why do they run away ? this is a knavery of them to make me afeard.
Enter Snout. Snout. O Bottom, thou art chang'd; what do I see on thee?
Bot. What do you see? you see an ass-head of your own, do you?
Enter Quince. Quin. Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee; thou art translated.
Bot. I fee their knavery, this is to make an afs of me, to fright me if they could ; but I will not ftir from this place, do what they can ; I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.
The Ousel cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The wren with little quill.
[Waking. Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark, [Sings.
The plain-long cuckow gray,
And dares not answer, nay. For, indeed, who would set his Wit to so foolish a bird? who would give a bird the lye, tho' he cry cuckow never fo?
Queen. I pray thee, gentle mortal, fing again ; Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note, So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape ; And thy fair virtue's force (perforce) doth move me, On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that : and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days. The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.
Queen. Thou art as wife, as thou art beautiful.
Bot. Not so neither : but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn,
Queen. Out of this wood do not desire to go,
i Joke or scof. Vol. I,