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So thou, my gurfeit, and my heresy,
SCENE I. The same. The Queen of Fairies lying
Enter QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT,
and STAR VELING.
Bot. Are we all met?
Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal : This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tyring-house; and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the duke.
Bot. Peter Quince,
. By all that is dear.
Quin. What say'st thou, bully Bottom?
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 answer you that?
Snout. By'rlakin, 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 seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords; and that Pyramas 'is not killed indeed: and, for the 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 afeard of the lion? Star. I fear it, I promise you.
Bot. Masters, yoù ought to consider with yourselves : 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 same defect,--Ladies, or fair ladies, I would wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble : my life for yours. If 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 so. 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 calendar, a calendar! look in the almanack;
find out moon-shine, find out moon-shine. Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.
Bot. Why, then you may 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 chinks 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 plaster, or some lome, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall; or let him VOL. II.
hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall 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.
Enter Puck behind.
Quin. Speak, Pyramus :-Thisby, stand forth.
So doth thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear,
[Exit. Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here!
[Aside.--Exit. This. Must I speak now?
Quin. Ay, marry, must you: for you must understand, he
goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
This. Most radiant Pyranus, most lilly-white of hue,
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier, Most brisky juvenal,2 und eke most lovely Jew,
As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb. 1 Thicket:
2 Young man.
Quin. Ninus' tomb, man: Why you must not speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus: you speak all your part at once, cues3 and all.-Pyramus enter; your cue is past; it is, never tire.
Re-enter Pựck, and Bottom with an ass's 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!
[Ereunt Clowns. Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush,, through brake,
through brier; Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime 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. 4
Re-enter SNOUT. Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?
Bot. What do you see? you see an ass's head of your own; Do you ?
3 The last words of the preceding speech, which serve as a hint to him who is to speak next.