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Could ever hear by Tale or Hiftory,
Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to Love.
Her. If then true Lovers have been ever croft,
Then let us teach our Trial Patience,
As due to Love, as Thoughts, and Dreams, and Sighs, Wishes and Tears, poor Fancy's Followers.
Lyf. A good Perfuafion; therefore hear me, Hermia, I have a Widow-Aunt, a Dowager,
Of great Revenue, and the hath no Child;
To do Obfervance for a Morn of May,
Her. My good Lyfander,
I fwear to thee, by Cupid's ftrongest Bow,
By that which knitteth Souls, and profpers Love,
And by that Fire which burn'd the Carthage Queen,
Her. God fpeed fair Helena, whither away?
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me ftill.
Hel. None but your Beauty, would that Fault were mine. Her. Take Comfort; he no more fhall fee my Face, Lyfander and my felf will fly this Place.
Before the time I did Lyfander fee,
Lyf. Helen, to you our Minds we will unfold,
A Time that Lovers Flights doth ftill conceal,
Her. And in the Wood, where often you and I
Lyf. I will, my Hermia. Helena adieu, As you on him, Demetrius doats on you. [Exit Lyfander.
Hel. How happy fome, o'er other fome can be!
Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and Straveling. Quin. Is all our Company here?
Bot. You were beft to call them generally, Man by Man, according to the Scrip.
Quin. Here is the Scrowl of every Man's Name, which is thought fit through all Athens, to play in our Enterlude before the Duke and the Dutchefs, on his Wedding-day at Night.
Bot. First, good Peter Quince, fay what the Play treats on; then read the Names of the Actors; and fo grow on to a Point.
Quin. Marry, our Play is the most lamentable Comedy, and moft cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisby.
Bot. A very good piece of Work I affure you, and a merry. Now good Peter Quince, call forth your Actors by the Scrowl. Mafters fpread your felves.
Quin. Aufwer as I call you. Nick Bottom the Wea
Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and proceed. Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are fet 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 fome Tears in the true performing of it; if I do it, let the Audience look to their Eyes; I will condole in fome mea fure. To the reft 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 to raging Rocks, and shivering Shocks fhall break the Locks of Prison-Gates, and Phibbus's Carr fhall fhine from far, and make and mar the Foolifh Fates. This was lofty. Now name the reft 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 wandring Knight?
Quin. It is the Lady that Pyramus must love.
Fla. Nay faith, let not me play a Woman, I have a Beard coming.
Quin. That's all one, you shall play it in a Mask, and you may speak as fmall as you will.
Bot. And I may hide my Face, let me play Thisby too; I'll fpeak in a monstrous little Voice, Thifne, Thine, ah Pyramus my Lover dear, thy Thisby dear, and Lady dear.
Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus, and Flute your Thisby.
Bat. Well, proceed.
Quin. Robin Starveling the Taylor.
Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's Mother.
Tom Snowt, the Tinker.
Snowt. Here Peter Quince.
Quin. You Pyramus's Father; my felf, Thisby's Father; Snug, the Joiner, you the Lion's part; and I hope there is a Play fitted..
Snug. Have you the Lion's Part written? 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.
Bot. 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 fay, Let him roar again, let him roar again.
Quin. If you fhould do it too terribly, you would fright the Dutchefs and the Ladies, that they would fhriek, and that were enough to hang us all.
All. That would hang us every Mother's Son.
Bot. I grant you Friend, if that you should fright the Ladies out of their Wits, they would have no more Dif cretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my Voice fo, that I will roar you as gently as any fucking Dove; I will roar and 'twere any Nightingal,
Quin. You can play no Part but Pyramus, for Pyramış iş a fweet-fac'd Man, a proper Man as one fhall fee in a Summer's Day; amoft lovely Gentleman-like-mar, therefore you muft needs play Pyramus.
Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What Beard were I beft to play it in?