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

SNOUT Here, Peter Quince.
QUINCE You, Pyramus’ 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? Pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of

QUINCE You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
BOTTOM 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.’ QUINCE 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.
BOTTOM I grant you, friends, if 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 sucking dove; I will roar you an ‘twere any nightingale.
QUINCE You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a sweet-fac’d 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.

BOTTOM Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in? QUINCE Why,
what you will.

BOTTOM I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny
beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfect

QUINCE Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-
fac’d. 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 moonlight; there will we rehearse; for if we meet in the city, we shall be
dogg’d with company, and our devices known.

In the meantime I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I pray you, fail
me not.

BOTTOM We will meet; and there we may rehearse most obscenely and courageously.
Take pains; be perfect; adieu.

QUINCE At the Duke’s oak we meet.
BOTTOM Enough; hold, or cut bow-strings.
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