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is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our enterlude before the Duke and the Dutchess, on his wedding, day at night. Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats then read the names of the actors, and so 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. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your Actors by the scrowl. Masters, spread your selves.

Quin. Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom the weaver.
Bot. Ready: name what part I am for, and proceed.
Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.
Bot. What is Pyramus, a lover, or a tyrant?
Quin. A lover that kills himself most gallantly for love.

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 measure. 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 the raging rocks, and Mivering socks shall break the locks of prison-gates

and Phibbus carr shall shine from far, and make and mar

the foolish fates a - This was lofty. Now name the rest of the players. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ; a lover is more condoling.

Quin. Francis Flute the bellows-mender.
Flu. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You must take Thisby on you.
Flu. What is Thisby, a wandring Knight?
Puin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
Flu. Nay faith teč not me play a woman, I have a

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;

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(a) This was probably a piece of nonsenfical bombafi saken out of Some foolis play known at that time. ... Theobald.

I'll speak in a monstrous little voice, 9 'Thisby, Thisby; 'ah, Pyramus, my lover dear, thy Thisby dear, and lady dear.

, Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus; and, Flute,

you, Thisby.

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; my self, 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 written? pray you, if

. it be, give it me, for I am Now 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.

All. That would hang us every mother's fon.

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 fo, 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 fummer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man: therefore you must needs play Pyramus.

Bót. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in Quin. Why, what you will.

Bor. 9 Thifne, Tbifre ;

a

Bot. I will discharge 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, masters, 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 the palace-wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight, there we will 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.
Bot. Enough, hold or cut bowstrings. a [Exeunt.

AĆ T II. 'SCENE 1.

The WOO D.

Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck (or Robin-goodfellow)

at another.

Puck
OW now, spirit, whither wander you?

Fai. Over hill, over dale,

Through bush, through briar,
Over park, over pale,
Through flood, through fire,
I do wander every where,
Swifter than the moon's sphere ;

And (a) A proverbial phrase fignifying, without fail, or, in all events.

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And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowfips tall her pensioners be,
In their gold coars spots you see,
Thost be rubics, Fairy-favours,
In those freckles live their favours :
I must go seek fome '/dew-drops here and there,
And hang a pearl in every cowsip's ear.
Farewel, thou lob of fpirits, I'll be gone,
Our Queen and all her elves come here anon.

Puck. The King doth keep his revels here to-night,
Take heed the Queen come not within his sight.
For Oberon is palling fell and wrath,
Because that she, as her attendant, hath
A lovely boy stoln from an Indian King:
She never had so sweet a changeling;
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild ;
But she per-force with-holds the loved boy,
Crowns him with flow'rs, and makes him all her joy.
And now they never meet in grove, or green,
By fountain clear, or spangled star-light Theen,
But they do square, that all their elves for fear
Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there.

Fai. Or I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavilh sprite
Callid Robin-goodfellow. Are you not he,
That fright the maidens of the villagery,
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern,
And bootless make the breathless huswife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barme,
Mif-lead night-wand'rers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck.
Are not you he?

Puck.'s 'The fame, thou speak' t aright';'
I am that merry wand'rer of the night :

I jest > dew-drops here, 2 Thou speak' t aright;

I jest to Oberon, and make him smile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted a crab,
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the laddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then Nip I from her bum, down topples she,
3 And rails or cries,' and falls into a cough,
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.
But make room, fairy, here comes Oberon.

Fair. And here my mistress: would that he were gone!

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Enter Oberon King of Fairies at one door with his Train,

and the Queen at another with hers. Ob. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania.

Queen. What, jealous Oberon? fairies, skip hence, I have forsworn his bed and company.

Ob. Tarry, rash wanton, am not I thy lord?

Queen. Then I must be thy lady; but I know
When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land,
And in the shape of Corin sate all day,
Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love
To am'rous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the farthest steep of India?
But that forsooth the bouncing Amazon,
Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior Love,
To Theseus must be wedded; and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.

Ob. How can ft thou thus for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with Hippolita,

Knowing (a) Crab apple,

3 And tailor cries,

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