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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Digital Library-A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

STARVELING QUINCE Is all our company here? BOTTOM You were best to call them
generally, man by man, according to the scrip.

QUINCE Here is the scroll of every man’s name which is thought fit, through all
Athens, to play in our interlude before the Duke and the Duchess on his wedding-day
at night.

BOTTOM First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on; then read the names of
the actors; and so grow to a point.

QUINCE Marry, our play is ‘The most Lamentable Comedy and most Cruel Death of
Pyramus and Thisby.’ BOTTOM A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry.
Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll. Masters, spread

QUINCE Answer, as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.
BOTTOM Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.
QUINCE You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.
BOTTOM What is Pyramus? A lover, or a tyrant? QUINCE A lover, that kills himself
most gallant for love.

BOTTOM That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the
audience look to their eyes; I will move storms; I will condole in some measure. To the
rest-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. ‘The raging rocks And shivering shocks Shall break the locks Of
prison gates; And Phibbus’ car Shall shine from far, And make and mar The foolish

This was lofty. Now name the rest of the players. This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein: a
lover is more condoling.

QUINCE Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
FLUTE Here, Peter Quince.

QUINCE Flute, you must take Thisby on you.
FLUTE What is Thisby? A wand’ring knight? QUINCE It is the lady that Pyramus must

FLUTE Nay, faith, let not me play a woman; I have a beard coming.
QUINCE That’s all one; you shall play it in a mask, and you may speak as small as you

BOTTOM An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too.
I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice: ‘Thisne, Thisne!’
[Then speaking small]

‘Ah Pyramus, my lover dear! Thy Thisby dear, and lady dear!’ QUINCE No, no, you
must play Pyramus; and, Flute, you Thisby.

BOTTOM Well, proceed.
QUINCE Robin Starveling, the tailor.
STARVELING Here, Peter Quince.
QUINCE Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby’s mother.
Tom Snout, the tinker.
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