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So thou, my surfeit, and my heresy,
Of all be hated; but the most, of me!
And all my powers, address your love and might,
To honour Helen, and to be her knight! [Exit.
Her. (starting from sleep.] Help me, Lysander, help me!

do thy best,
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast !
Ay me, for pity!—what a dream was here?
Lysander, look, how I do quake with fear :
Methought, a serpent eat my heart away,
And you sat smiling at his cruel prey :-
Lysander ! what, remov'd? Lysander ! lord !
What, out of hearing ? gone? no sound, no word ?
Alack, where are you ? speak, an if you hear ;
Speak, of all loves ; I swoon almost with fear.
No?—then I well perceive you are not nigh :
Or death, or you, I'll find immediately.



The Wood. Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and Starveling.

The Queen of Fairies lying asleep. Bot. Are we all met ?

Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rebearsal : 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.

* of all loves;]-I adjure you, as you love me; by all means.

Pat, Pat ;]-moft opportunely. < brake]-thicket, or bush.


is done.

Bot. Peter Quince,
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 Pyramus is not kill'd 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 s 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, you 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 :

By'rlakin, a parlous fear. 1-ladykin, or little lady, a perilous fear. e eight and fix.]-lines, or the measure used in sonnets.


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 chink of a wall.

Snug. You never can bring in a wall :-what say you, Bottom ? .

Bot. Some man or other must present wall: and let him have some plaster, or some flome, or some rough-caft, about him, to signify wall; or let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thilby 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.

r lome, ]-clay




Enter Puck behind.
Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering

So near the cradle of the fairy queen ?
What, a play toward ? I'll be an auditor ;
An actor too, perhaps if I see cause.

Quin. Speak, Pyramus :- Thisby, stand forth.
Pyr. Thisby, 8 the flower of odious favours sweet.
Quin. Odours, odours.
Pyr. odours favours sweet.

So doth thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.-
But, bark, a voice! stay thou but here h a whit,

And by and by I will to thee appear. [Exit Pyramus. Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd' here! [Afde.


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.

Tbis. Most radiant Pyramus, most lilly-white of bue,

Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier, Mojt k brisky juvenal, and eke most lovely ' Jew,

As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.

Quin. Ninus' tomb, man : Why you must not speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus : you speak all your part at once," cues and all.–Pyramus enter ; your cue is past; it is, never tire.

& the flower of odious)—the odour of flowers.
h a whit,)-a little while.
i here ! ]—in this theatre, on this stage before. .
k brisky juvenal,]-{prightly youth.
I Jew, ]-an abbreviation of jewel, a term of endearment.

m cues]-last words of a speech, which serve as hints for the next speaker.


Re-enter Puck, and Bottom, with an afs's head. This. 0,--As true as truest borse, 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! Ay, masters ! help!

[Exeunt Clowns. Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through mire, 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.

Re-enter Snout Snout. O Bottom, thou art chang'd! what do I see on thee? -An ass's bead?

Bot. What do you see ? you see an ass' head of your own; Do you?

Re-enter Quince. Quin, Bless thee, Bottom ! bless thee! thou art translated.

[Exit. Bot. I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir from this place, do what they can : I will walk up and down here, and I will fing, that they shall hear I am not afraid. [Sings.

The "ousel-cock, fo black of bue,

With orange-tawny bill,
Theo tbrojtle with his note so true,

The wren with little quill :
cufel-cock,)-black-bird. o throftle]-thrul.
D 2


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