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Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
Bot. A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanack; find out moon-shine, find out moon-shine.
Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.
Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of the great chamber window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at the casement.
Quin. Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorn, and say,
he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-shine. Then, there is another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby, says the story, did talk through the chink of a wall.
Snug. You never can bring in a wall.—What say
Bot. Some man or other must present wall: and let him have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall; or let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.
Quin. 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 your speech, enter into that brake and so every one according to his cue.
Enter Puck behind.
Quin. Speak, Pyramus :—Thisby, stand forth.
Pyr. odours savours sweet :
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.But, hark, a voice! stay thou but here a while,
And by and by I will to thee appear. [Exit. Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here !
[Aside.-Exit. This. Must I speak now? Quin. Ay, marry, must you:
for you must understand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
This. 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.
Quin. Ninus' tomb, man: Why you must not speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus: you speak all your part at once, cues and all.-Pyramus, enter; your cue is past; it is, never tire. Re-enter Puck, and BOTTOM with an ass's head. This. 0,-As true as truest horse, that yet would
never tire. Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
Quin. O monstrous ! O strange! we are haunted. Pray, masters! fly, masters! help! [Exeunt Clowns. Puck. I'll follow I'll lead
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. 7 Young man.
8 The cues were the last words of the preceding speech, which serve as a hint to him who was to speak next; and generally written out with that which was to be learnt by rote.
Bot. Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them, to make me afeard.
Re-enter SNOUT. Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?
Bot. What do you see? you see an ass's head of your own; Do you?
Re-enter QUINCE. Quin. Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated.
[Exit. Bot. I see their knavery! this is to make an ass of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir from this place, do what they can: I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.
[Sings. The ousel-cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawney bill,
The wren with little quill.
[Waking. Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,
The plain-song cuckoo' gray,
And dares not answer, nay ;for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry, cuckoo, never so ?
Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again;
9 The cuckoo, having no variety of note, sings in plain song (plano cantu), by which expression the uniform modulation or simplicity of the chaunt was anciently distinguished in opposition to prick-song, or variated music sung by note.
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me, On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that: And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays: The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek 10 upon occasion.
Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Bot. Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
Tita. 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 so That thou shalt like an airy spirit go. Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed!
Enter four Fairies. 1 Fai. Ready. 2 Fai.
And I. 3 Fai.
And I. 4 Fai.
And I. All. Where shall we go?
Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman; Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes; Feed him with apricocks and dewberries 11,
10 i. e. jest or scoff, from ylig, Saxon.
11 The fruit of a bramble called Rubus cæsius : sometimes called also the blue-berry.
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
1 Fai. Hail, mortal!
Bot. I cry your worship’s mercy, heartily.—I beseech, your worship's name?
Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance lo, good master Cobweb: If I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you.—Your name, honest gentleman ?
Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squash 13, your mother, and to master Peascod, your father. Good master Peas-blossom, I shall desire
you of more acquaintance too.—Your name, I beseech
sir ? Mus. Mustard-seed. Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, 'I know your 12 •I shall desire you of more acquaintance.' This kind of phraseology was not uncommon. In Lusty Juventus, a morality, we have:
*I shall desire you of better acquaintance.' And in A Humorous Day's Mirth, 1599 :
'I do desire you of more acquaintance.' So in Spenser's Faerie Queene, b. xi. c. 9:
• If it be I, of pardon I you pray.' 13 A squash is an immature peascod. So in Twelfth Night, Act i. Sc. 5:
As a squash is before 'tis a peascod.'