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Or, as the heresies, that men do leave,
Her. Help me Lyfander, help me ! do thy best
А ст III.
SCENE, the Wood.
Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous con. venient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hauthorn-brake our tyring 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 plea.e. First, Pyramus muft
draw a sword to kill himself, which the Ladies cannot abide. How answer you that?
Snout. By’rlaken, 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. Snout. Will not the Ladies be afraid 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 moft 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 muft fpeak 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 náme 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 met by moonlight. Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
Bot. A kalendar, a kalendar! look in the almanack; find out moon-shine, find out moon-fhine.
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 a lanthorn, and say, he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-fhine. 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 plafter, or some lome, or some roughcast about him, to signify wall: Or let him hold his fingers thus ; and through the cranny fhall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.
Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, fit down every mother's lon, 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, bebind.
Quin. Speak, Pyramus ; Thisby, stand forth.
So doth thy breath, my dearest T hisoy, dear;
(15) And, by and by, I will to thee appear. (Exit Pyr.
Ray tbou but bere a while ;] The verses here, 'tis plain, should be alternately in rhyme; but sweet in the close of the first line, and wbile in the third, will not do for this purpose. The Author, doubtless, gave it; May Ibou bu! bere a whit ;
Puck. A ftranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here ![ Aside Thij. Must I speak now?
Quin. Ay, marry, muft you; for you must underftand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
This. Most radiant Pyramus, moft lilly-white of hue,
of colour like the red rose on triumphant briar, Moft brisky Juvenile, and eke moft lovely few,
As true as truest horle, 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 paft ; it is, never tire.
Re-enter Bottom, with an Ass-head. This, O, as true as truest horse, thatyet would never tire. Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
Quin. O monstrous ! O ftrange! we are haunted ; pray, maflers ; fly, masters ; help ! [The Clowns exeunt.
Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake, through
briar, Sometimes a horse I'll be, sometimes a hound,
A hog, a headless bear, sometimes a fire, And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and rear and burn, Like horle, hound, hog, bear, fire at every turn. [Exit ,.
Bot. Why do they run awaythis is a knavery of them to make me afeard,
Enter Snowt. Snowt. O Bottom, thou art chang'd; what do I see on thee?
i. e. a little while : for so it fignifies, as also any thing of no prices, or confideration; à trifle : in which sense it is very frequent with our Author. Bottom before in this Scene fays;
Not a wbit ; I have a device to make all well;
No, not a wbit ; we defy augury.
Bot. What do you see? you see an ass-head of your ow), do you?
Enter Quince. Quin. Bless thee, Bottom, blefs 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 wh they can; I will walk up and down here, and I will fing, that they shall hear 1 am not afraid.
[Sings. The oufel cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The wren with little quill.
[waking Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark, [Sings.
The plain-fong cuckow gray,
And dares not answer, nay. For, indeed, who would set his wit to fo foolish a bird ? who would give a bird the lye, tho' he cry cuckow never for
Queen. I pray thee, gentle mortal, fing again ;
Bot. Methinks, Mistress, you should have little reafon for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days. The (16) Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy noʻl,
On the first view to say, to swear, I love tbee ;
And thy fair virtue's force (perforce) doth move me.] Thus the generality of the impressions have fhuffled, and confused these verses, to the utmoft degree of obscurity and nonsense : but I have froin one of the old Quario's reduced 'em to clearness and order : and without knowing such an authority for it, Dr. Tbirlby ingenoully hinted to me, they should be placed.