Enter QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING
Are we all met?
Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient placefor our rehearsal. This green plot shall be ourstage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house; and wewill do it in action as we will do it before the duke.
What sayest thou, bully Bottom?
There are things in this comedy of Pyramus andThisby that will never please. First, Pyramus mustdraw a sword to kill himself; which the ladiescannot abide. How answer you that?
By'r lakin, a parlous fear.
I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.
Not a whit: I have a device to make all well.Write me a prologue; and let the prologue seem tosay, we will do no harm with our swords, and thatPyramus is not killed indeed; and, for the morebetter assurance, tell them that I, Pyramus, am notPyramus, but Bottom the weaver: this will put themout of fear.
Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall bewritten in eight and six.
No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.
Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
I fear it, I promise you.
Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: tobring in--God shield us!--a lion among ladies, is amost dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearfulwild-fowl than your lion living; and we ought tolook to 't.
Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a lion.
Nay, you must name his name, and half his face mustbe seen through the lion's neck: and he himselfmust speak through, saying thus, or to the samedefect,--'Ladies,'--or 'Fair-ladies--I would wishYou,'--or 'I would request you,'--or 'I wouldentreat you,--not to fear, not to tremble: my lifefor yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, itwere pity of my life: no I am no such thing; I am aman as other men are;' and there indeed let him namehis name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.
Well it shall be so. But there is two hard things;that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for,you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight.
Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac; findout moonshine, find out moonshine.
Yes, it doth shine that night.
Why, then may you leave a casement of the greatchamber window, where we play, open, and the moonmay shine in at the casement.
Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thornsand a lanthorn, and say he comes to disfigure, or topresent, the person of Moonshine. Then, there isanother thing: we must have a wall in the greatchamber; for Pyramus and Thisby says the story, didtalk through the chink of a wall.
You can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom?
Some man or other must present Wall: and let himhave some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-castabout him, to signify wall; and let him hold hisfingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramusand Thisby whisper.
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 yourspeech, enter into that brake: and so every oneaccording to his cue.Enter PUCK behind
Enter PUCK behind
What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,So near the cradle of the fairy queen?What, a play toward! I'll be an auditor;An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.
Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth.
Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet,--
--odours savours sweet:So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.But hark, a voice! stay thou but here awhile,And by and by I will to thee appear.Exit
A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here.Exit
Must I speak now?
Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand he goesbut to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier,Most brisky juvenal and eke most lovely Jew,As true as truest horse that yet would never tire,I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.
'Ninus' tomb,' man: why, you must not speak thatyet; that you answer to Pyramus: you speak all yourpart at once, cues and all Pyramus enter: your cueis past; it is, 'never tire.'
O,--As true as truest horse, that yet wouldnever tire.Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass's head
Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass's head
If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray,masters! fly, masters! Help!Exeunt QUINCE, SNUG, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING
Exeunt QUINCE, SNUG, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING
I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round,Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier:Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime 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
Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them tomake me afeard.Re-enter SNOUT
O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?
What do you see? you see an asshead of your own, doyou?Exit SNOUTRe-enter QUINCE
Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou arttranslated.Exit
I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me;to fright me, if they could. But I will not stirfrom this place, do what they can: I will walk upand down here, and I will sing, that they shall hearI am not afraid.SingsThe ousel cock so black of hue,With orange-tawny bill,The throstle with his note so true,The wren with little quill,--
[Awaking] What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
[Sings]The finch, the sparrow and the lark,The plain-song cuckoo gray,Whose note full many a man doth mark,And dares not answer nay;--for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolisha bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry'cuckoo' never so?
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move meOn the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
Methinks, mistress, you should have little reasonfor that: and yet, to say the truth, reason andlove keep little company together now-a-days; themore the pity that some honest neighbours will notmake them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.
Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get outof this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
Out of this wood do not desire to go:Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.I am a spirit of no common rate;The summer still doth tend upon my state;And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;And I will purge thy mortal grossness soThat thou shalt like an airy spirit go.Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!Enter PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, and MUSTARDSEED
Enter PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, and MUSTARDSEED
Where shall we go?
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighsAnd light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,To have my love to bed and to arise;And pluck the wings from Painted butterfliesTo fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
I cry your worship's mercy, heartily: I beseech yourworship's name.
I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good MasterCobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold withyou. Your name, honest gentleman?
I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, yourmother, and to Master Peascod, your father. GoodMaster Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of moreacquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?
Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience well:that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hathdevoured many a gentleman of your house: I promiseyou your kindred had made my eyes water ere now. Idesire your more acquaintance, good MasterMustardseed.
Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.The moon methinks looks with a watery eye;And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,Lamenting some enforced chastity.Tie up my love's tongue bring him silently.Exeunt