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Quin. Here is the scrowl of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our enterlude before the duke and the dutchefs, 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 fo grow on 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.
Quin. Answer, as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.
Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it; if
Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
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 mask, and you may speak as small as you will
. Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too; I'll * This was probably a piece of nonfenfical bombast taken out of some foolish play known at that time.
yet my chief
speak in a monstrous little voice, Thisby, Thisby; ah, Pyramus,
Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus; and, Flute, you, Thisby.
Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.
Snowt. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's father ; Snug, the joiner, you, the lion's part. I hope, there is a play fitted. Snug. Have you the lion's part
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 say, 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 shriek, and that were enough to hang us all.
Al. That would hang us every mother's son.
Bot. I grant you, friends, if 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-fac'd man, a proper man as one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, gentleman-like man: therefore
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-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your Frenchcrown-colour'd beard, your perfect yellow. Quin. Some of your French-crowns have no hair at all, and
you will play bare-fac’d. But, masters, here are your parts; and I'am tą intreat 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 we will rehearsé; 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.
Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck (or Robin-goodfellow)
Fai. Over hill, over dale,
« A. proverbial phrase fignifying, without fail, or, in all events.
I must go seek fome dew-drops here and there,
Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to-night;
Fai. Or I mistake your shape and making quite,
a Crab apple,
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
Fai. And here my mistress: would, that he were gone!
queen at another with hers.
06. Tarry, rash wanton, am not I thy lord ?
Queen. Then I must be thy lady; but I know
06. How can’st thou thus for shame, Titania,