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Her. O hell! to chufe love by another's eye!
As due to love, as thoughts and dreams and fighs,
Lyf. A good perfuafion; therefore hear me, Hermia: I have a widow-aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and the hath no child;
Her. My good Lyfander,
I fwear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow,
Lyf. Keep promife, love. Look, here comes Helena. SCENE III. Enter Helena.
Her. God fpeed fair Helena! whither away?
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me ftill." [fkill
Hel. None but your beauty, would that fault were mine! Her. Take comfort; he no more fhall fee my face, Lyfander and myself will fly this place. Before the time I did Lyfander fee, Seem'd Athens like a paradife to me. O then, what graces in my love do dwell, That he hath turn'd a heaven into hell?
Lyf. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold;
Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
Keep word, Lyfander, we must ftarve our fight
Hel. How happy fome, o'er other fome, can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not fo:
He will not know, what all but he do know.
Things bafe and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can tranfpofe to form and dignity:
As waggish boys themselves in game forswear,
So the boy Love is perjur'd ev'ry where.
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and Starveling.
But. You were beft to call them generally, man by man, according to the fcrip.
Quin, Here is the fcrowl of
every man's name, which
is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the Duke and the Dutchefs, on his weddingday at night.
Bot. First, good Peter Quince, fay what the play treats on; then read the names of the actors; and fo grow on to a point.
Quin. Marry, our play is the moft lamentable comedy and moft cruel death of Pyramus and Thify.
Bot. A very good piece of work I affure you, and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the fcrowl. Mafters, fpread yourselves.
Quin. Anfwer as I call you. Nick Bottom the weaver.
Quin. A lover that kills himfelf moft gallantly for love. Bot. That will afk fome tears in the true performing of it; if I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move ftorms; I will condole in fome meature. To the reft: - yet my chief humour is for a tyrant; I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in. To make all fplit the raging rocks, and fhivering frocks hall break the locks of prifon-gatesand Phibbus carr fhall shine from far, and make and mar the foolish fates *This was lofty. Now name the reft of the players. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is more condoling.
Quin. Francis Flute the bellows-mender.
Quin. You must take Thisby on you.
Flu. What is Thisby, a wandring knight?
Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
Flu. Nay faith let not me play a woman, I have a beard coming.
Quin. That's all one, you shall play it in a mafk, and you may fpeak as fmall as you will.
Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thiby too; I'll fpeak in a monstrous little voice, Thisby, Thilby; ah, Pyramus, my lover dear, thy Thisby dear, and lady dear.
This was probably a piece of nonfenfical bombaft taken out of fome foolish play known at that time.
13: Quin. No,no,you must play Pyramus; and Flute,you,Thifby. Bot. Well, proceed.
Quin. Robin Starveling the taylor.
Star. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother. Tom Snowt the tinker.
Snowt. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myfelf, Thifty's father; Snug the joiner, you, the lion's part; I hope there is a play fitted,
Snug. Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am flow 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 fay, let him roar again, let him roar again. Quin. If you should do it too terribly, you would fright the dutchess and the ladies, that they would fhriek, and that were enough to hang us all.
All. That would hang us every mother's fon.
Bot. I grant you, friends, if you fhould fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more difcretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my voice fo, that I will roar you as gently as any fucking dove; I'will roar you an 'twere any nightingale,
Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus, for Pyramus is a fweet-fac'd man, a proper man as one fhall fee in a fummer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man: therefore you must needs play Pyramus.
Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I beft to play it in?
Quin. Why, what you will.
Bot. I will difcharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour'd beard, your perfect yellow.
Quin. Some of your French-crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd. But, mafters, here are your parts, and I am to intreat you, request you, and defire you to con them by to-morrow night; and meet me in VOL. I,