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Write me a Prologue, and let the Prologue seeme to say, we will do no harme with our swords, and that Pyramus is not kill'd indeede: and for the more better a.s.surance, tell them, that I Piramus am not Piramus, but Bottome the Weauer; this will put them out of feare
Quin. Well, we will haue such a Prologue, and it shall be written in eight and sixe
Bot. No, make it two more, let it be written in eight and eight
Snout. Will not the Ladies be afear'd of the Lyon?
Star. I feare it, I promise you
Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your selues, to bring in (G.o.d shield vs) a Lyon among Ladies, is a most dreadfull thing. For there is not a more fearefull wilde foule then your Lyon liuing: and wee ought to looke to it
Snout. Therefore another Prologue must tell he is not a Lyon
Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and halfe his face must be seene through the Lyons necke, and he himselfe must speake through, saying thus, or to the same defect; Ladies, or faire Ladies, I would wish you, or I would request you, or I would entreat you, not to feare, not to tremble: my life for yours. If you thinke I come hither as a Lyon, it were pitty 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 him plainly hee is Snug the ioyner
Quin. Well, it shall be so; but there is two hard things, that is, to bring the Moone-light into a chamber: for you know Piramus and Thisby meete by Moonelight
Sn. Doth the Moone shine that night wee play our play?
Bot. A Calender, a Calender, looke in the Almanack, finde out Moone-shine, finde out Moone-shine.
Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night
Bot. Why then may you leaue a cas.e.m.e.nt of the great chamber window (where we play) open, and the Moone may shine in at the cas.e.m.e.nt
Quin. I, or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorne, and say he comes to disfigure, or to present the person of Moone-shine. Then there is another thing, we must haue a wall in the great Chamber; for Piramus and Thisby (saies the story) did talke through the c.h.i.n.ke of a wall
Sn. You can neuer bring in a wall. What say you Bottome?
Bot. Some man or other must present wall, and let him haue some Plaster, or some Lome, or some rough cast about him, to signifie wall; or let him hold his fingers thus; and through that cranny shall Piramus and Thisby whisper
Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit downe euery mothers sonne, and rehea.r.s.e your parts.
Piramus, you begin; when you haue spoken your speech, enter into that Brake, and so euery one according to his cue.
Rob. What hempen home-spuns haue we swaggering here, So neere the Cradle of the Faierie Queene?
What, a Play toward? Ile be an auditor, An Actor too perhaps, if I see cause
Quin. Speake Piramus: Thisby stand forth
Pir. Thisby, the flowers of odious sauors sweete
Quin. Odours, odours
Pir. Odours sauors sweete, So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby deare.
But harke, a voyce: stay thou but here a while, And by and by I will to thee appeare.
Puck. A stranger Piramus, then ere plaid here
This. Must I speake now?
Pet. I marry must you. For you must vnderstand he goes but to see a noyse that he heard, and is to come againe
Thys. Most radiant Piramus, most Lilly white of hue, Of colour like the red rose on triumphant bryer, Most brisky Iuuenall, and eke most louely Iew, As true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre, Ile meete thee Piramus, at Ninnies toombe
Pet. Ninus toombe man: why, you must not speake that yet; that you answere to Piramus: you speake all your part at once, cues and all. Piramus enter, your cue is past; it is neuer tyre
Thys. O, as true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre: Pir. If I were faire, Thisby I were onely thine
Pet. O monstrous. O strange. We are hanted; pray masters, flye masters, helpe.
The Clownes all Exit.
Puk. Ile follow you, Ile leade you about a Round, Through bogge, through bush, through brake, through bryer, Sometime a horse Ile be, sometime a hound: A hogge, a headlesse beare, sometime a fire, And neigh, and barke, and grunt, and rore, and burne, Like horse, hound, hog, beare, fire, at euery turne.
Enter Piramus with the a.s.se head.
Bot. Why do they run away? This is a knauery of them to make me afeard.
Sn. O Bottom, thou art chang'd; What doe I see on thee?
Bot. What do you see? You see an a.s.se-head of your owne, do you?
Enter Peter Quince.
Pet. Blesse thee Bottome, blesse thee; thou art translated.
Bot. I see their knauery; this is to make an a.s.se of me, to fright me if they could; but I will not stirre from this place, do what they can. I will walke vp and downe here, and I will sing that they shall heare I am not afraid.
The Woosell c.o.c.ke, so blacke of hew, With Orenge-tawny bill.
The Throstle, with his note so true, The Wren and little quill
Tyta. What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed?
Bot. The Finch, the Sparrow, and the Larke, The plainsong Cuckow gray; Whose note full many a man doth marke, And dares not answere, nay.
For indeede, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird?
Who would giue a bird the lye, though he cry Cuckow, neuer so?
Tyta. I pray thee gentle mortall, sing againe, Mine eare is much enamored of thy note; On the first view to say, to sweare I loue thee.
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape.
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth moue me
Bot. Me-thinkes mistresse, you should haue little reason for that: and yet to say the truth, reason and loue keepe little company together, nowadayes.
The more the pittie, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleeke vpon occasion
Tyta. Thou art as wise, as thou art beautifull
Bot. Not so neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I haue enough to serue mine owne turne
Tyta. Out of this wood, do not desire to goe, Thou shalt remaine here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate: The Summer still doth tend vpon my state, And I doe loue thee; therefore goe with me, Ile giue thee Fairies to attend on thee; And they shall fetch thee Iewels from the deepe, And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleepe: And I will purge thy mortall grossenesse so, That thou shalt like an airie spirit go.
Enter Pease-blossome, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseede, and foure Fairies.