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But, fare you well. Perforce, I must confess,
[Exit. Her. Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best To pluck this crawling serpent from my
breast ! * Ah me, for pity! what a dream was here?
Lysander, look, how do I quake with fear :
Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and Starveling,
The queen of fairies lying asleep.
Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hauthorn-brake our tiring house, and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the duke.
Bot. Peter Quince !
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
that? Snowt. 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 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 fix.
Bot. No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.
Snowt. Will not the ladies be afraid of the lion ?
. 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.
Snowt. 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 intreat 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 fo; 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 i moon-shine, find out moon-shine.
Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.
Bot. Why, then may you 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 à 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 can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom?
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 hold his fingers thus; and through the 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.
Quin. Speak, Pyramus ; Thisby, stand forth.
So doth thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear :
[Exit Pyr. Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here ! [ Aside. 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 Pyramus, most lilly-white of hue,
of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier, Moft briskly Juvenile, 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. This . O, As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.
Re-enter Bottom with an ass's head. Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
Quin. O monstrous ! o strange! we are haunted; pray, masters, Ay, masters, help!
[The clowns exeunt. Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead
I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier ; Sometimes a horse I'll be, sometimes 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.
fee an ass-head of your own, do you?
Enter Quince. Quin. Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee ! thou art translated. (Exit.
Bọt. 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, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The wren with little quill.
The plain-fong cuckoo gray,
And dares not answer, nay. For, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry, cuckoo, never so?
Queen. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again;
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days. The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek, upon occasion.