Enter QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM,
FLUTE, SNOUT, and
|QUINCE||Is all our company here?|
|BOTTOM||You were best to call them generally, man by man,
according to the scrip.
|QUINCE||Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is
thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our
interlude before the duke and the duchess, on his
wedding-day at night.
|BOTTOM||First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats
on, then read the names of the actors, and so grow
to a point.
|QUINCE||Marry, our play is, The most lamentable comedy, and
most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
|BOTTOM||A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a
merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your
actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.
|QUINCE||Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.|
|BOTTOM||Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.|
|QUINCE||You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.|
|BOTTOM||What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?|
|QUINCE||A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.|
|BOTTOM||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 shivering shocks
Shall break the locks
Of prison gates;
And Phibbus' car
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
|QUINCE||Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.|
|FLUTE||Here, Peter Quince.|
|QUINCE||Flute, you must take Thisby on you.|
|FLUTE||What is Thisby? a wandering knight?|
|QUINCE||It is the lady that Pyramus must love.|
|FLUTE||Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming.|
|QUINCE||That's all one: you shall play it in a mask, and
you may speak as small as you will.
|BOTTOM||An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too, I'll
speak in a monstrous little voice. 'Thisne,
Thisne;' 'Ah, Pyramus, lover dear! thy Thisby dear,
and lady dear!'
|QUINCE||No, no; you must play Pyramus: and, Flute, you Thisby.|
|QUINCE||Robin Starveling, the tailor.|
|STARVELING||Here, Peter Quince.|
|QUINCE||Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.
Tom Snout, the tinker.
|SNOUT||Here, Peter Quince.|
|QUINCE||You, Pyramus' father: myself, Thisby's father:
Snug, the joiner; you, the lion's part: and, I
hope, here is a play fitted.
|SNUG||Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it
be, give it me, for I am slow of study.
|QUINCE||You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.|
|BOTTOM||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.'
|QUINCE||An you should do it too terribly, you would fright
the duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek;
and that were enough to hang us all.
|ALL||That would hang us, every mother's son.|
|BOTTOM||I grant you, friends, if that 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
sucking dove; I will roar you an 'twere any
|QUINCE||You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
sweet-faced 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.
|BOTTOM||Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best
to play it in?
|QUINCE||Why, what you will.|
|BOTTOM||I will discharge it in either your straw-colour
beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain
beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your
|QUINCE||Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and
then you will play bare-faced. But, masters, here
are your parts: and I am to entreat you, request
you and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night;
and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the
town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse, for if
we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with
company, and our devices known. In the meantime I
will draw a bill of properties, such as our play
wants. I pray you, fail me not.
|BOTTOM||We will meet; and there we may rehearse most
obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be perfect: adieu.
|QUINCE||At the duke's oak we meet.|
|BOTTOM||Enough; hold or cut bow-strings.|
To view other scenes from the show:
|Full Text||Act III, Scene 1 The wood Titania lying asleep.|
|Act I, Scene 1 Athens The Palace of Theseus.||Act III, Scene 2 Another part of the wood|
|Act I, Scene 2 Athens Quince's House.||Act IV, Part 1 The same|
|Act II, Scene 1 A Wood near Athens.||Act IV, Part 2 Quince's House|
|Act II, Scene 2 Another part of the wood.||Act V, Part 1 The Palace of Theseus|
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To view the other Plays click below:
|All's Well the Ends Well||Antony & Cleopatra||As You Like It||Cardenio||Comedy of Errors||Coriolanus|
|Cymbeline||Edward III||Hamlet||Henry IV, Part 1||Henry IV, Part 2||Henry V|
|Henry VI, Part 1||Henry VI, Part 2||Henry VI, Part 3||Henry VIII||Julius Caesar||King John|
|King Lear||Love's Labours Lost||Love's Labours Wonne||Macbeth||Measure for Measure||Merchant of Venice|
|The Merry Wives of Windsor||A Mid Summer Night's Dream||Much Ado About Nothing||Othello||Pericles||Richard II|
|Richard III||Romeo & Juliet||Sir Thomas More||Taming of the Shrew||The Tempest||Timon of Athens|
|Titus Andronicus||Troilus & Cressida||Twelfth Night||Two Gentlemen of Verona||The Two Noble Kinsman||The Winter's Tale|
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