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Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Flu. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. You must take Thisby on you.

Flu. What is Thisby? A wandering knight?
Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love.

Flu. Nay, faith, let me not 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 small as you will.

Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too. I'll speak in a monstrous little voice, Thisne, Thisne Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby dear! And lady dear!

Quin. No, no; you must play Pyramus; and, Flute, you Thisby.

Bot. Well, proceed.

Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor.

Star. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother. -Tom Snout, the tinker.

Snout. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. You, Pyramus's 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? it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.

Pray you, if

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 say, Let him roar again, Let him roar again.

Quin. 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.

Bot. 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 suckling dove; I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale.

Quin. 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.

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?

Quin. Why, what you will.

Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-colored beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-color beard, your perfect yellow.

Quin. 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 moon-light. There will we rehearse; for if we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with company, and our devices known. In the mean time, I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I pray you, fail me not.

Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse more obscenely, and courageously. Take pains; be perfect; adieu. Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. Bot. Enough; hold, or cut bow-strings.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.

SCENE I. A Wood near Athens.

Enter a Fairy at one door, and PUCK at another.

Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Fai. Over hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough briar,

Over park, over pale,

Thorough flood, thorough fire.
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moones sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favors;

In those freckles live their savors.
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits, I'll be gone;
Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
VOL. I.-26

Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to-night. Take heed the queen come not within his sight, For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, Because that she, as her attendant, hath A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king. She never had so sweet a changeling; And jealous Oberon would have the child Knight of his train, to trace the forest wild. But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy, Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy; And now they never meet in grove, or green, By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen, But they do square; that all their elves, for fear, Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there.

Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making quite, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite, Called Robin Good-fellow. Are you not he, That fright the maidens of the villagery; Skim milk; and sometimes labor in the quern, And bootless make the breathless housewife churn; And sometime make the drink to bear no barm; Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm? Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck, You do their work; and they shall have good luck. Are not you he?

Puck.

Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal;
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab;
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
And on her withered dew-lap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me:
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And tailor cries, and falls into a cough;

And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe:
And yexen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.—

But room, Faery; here comes Oberon.

Fai. And here my mistress.—'Would that he were gone!

SCENE II.

Enter OBERON, at one door, with his Train, and TITANIA, at another, with hers.

Obe. Il met by moon-light, proud Titania.

Tita. What, jealous Oberon? Fairy, skip hence;
I have forsworn his bed and company.

Obe. Tarry, rash wanton. Am not I thy lord?
Tita. Then I must be thy lady. But I know
When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the farthest steep of India?
But that, forsooth, the bouncing amazon,
Your buskined mistress, and your warrior love,
To Theseus must be wedded; and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.

Obe. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,

Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?

Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
From Perigenia, whom he ravished?

And make him with fair Ægle break his faith,
With Ariadne, and Antiopa?

Tita. These are the forgeries of jealousy;

And never, since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,
Or on the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have sucked up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which, falling in the land,
Have every pelting river made so proud,
That they have overborne their continents.
The ox hath therefore stretched his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green corn
Hath rotted, ere his youth attained a beard.
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;
The nine men's morris is filled up with mud;
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable.

The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blessed.
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound;
And thorough this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter. Hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown,
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set. The spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the 'mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes

From our debate, from our dissension.

We are their parents and original.

Obe. Do you amend it, then; it lies in you.
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?

I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman.

Tita.
Set your heart at rest,
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a vot'ress of my order;
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossipped by my side,
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood;
When we have laughed to see the sails conceive,
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
Following, (her womb then rich with my young squire,)
Would imitate; and sail upon the land,

To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy;
And, for her sake, I will not part with him.

Obe. How long within this wood intend you stay?
Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding-day.

If you will patiently dance in our round,
And see our moon-light revels, go with us;
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Tita. Not for thy fairy-kingdom. — Fairies, away.
We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay.

[Exeunt TITANIA and her Train.

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