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Hel. None, but your beauty; would that fault were
love do dwell, That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell ?
Lyf. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold;
Hel. How happy fome, o'er other some, can be!
Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste;
S CE N E IV.
Changes to a Cottage. Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and
Starveling. Quin. I ball you were being to call them generally man by man, according to the scrip. Quin. Here is the scrowl of
every which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the Duke and Dutchess, 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 so go 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 merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scrowl. Masters, spread yourselves. Quin. Answer, as I call you. Nick Bottom, the
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 Cap in: To make all split-" the raging
rocks, and shivering fhocks shall break the locks " of prison-gates--and Phibbus' carr shall shine " from far, and make and mar the foolish fates.” 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 wand'ring Knight? Quin. It is the lady, that Pyramus must love. 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 masque.; and
you may speak as small, as you will. Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisoy too; I'll speak in a monstrous little voice, Thisne, Thisne; 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, you must play Thisly's inother: Toni Snowt, the tinker.
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
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.
But. Let me play the lion too; I will roar, that I will do
I will roar, that I will make the Duke fay, 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 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
fucking 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 you 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'd beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purplein-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. Butmasters, here are your parts? and I am to intreat you, request you, and deGre 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 re
hearse; 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
rehearse more obscenely and courageously. Take pains, be perfeet, adieu.
* Quin. At the Duke's oak we meet.
SC EN E I.
Enter a Fairy at one Door, and Puck (or Robin
good-fellow) at another.
* At the Duke's oak we meet--hold, or cut bow-strings.] This proverbial Phrase came originally from the Camp. When a Rendezvous was appointed, the Militia Soldiers would frequently make excuse for not keeping Word that their bow-firings were broke, i. e. their Arms unserviceable. Hence when one would give another absolute Assurance of meeting him, he would say proverbially---hold or cut bowfrings-- i. e. whether the Bow-string held or broke.