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cast about him, to signify wall; and let him hold his fingers thus, and through that
cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.

QUINCE 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 PUCK What hempen homespuns have we swagg’ring here, So
near the cradle of the Fairy Queen? What, a play toward! I’ll be an auditor; An actor too
perhaps, if I see cause.

QUINCE Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth.
BOTTOM Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweetQUINCE ‘Odious’- odorous!
BOTTOM -odours savours sweet; So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.

But hark, a voice! Stay thou but here awhile, And by and by I will to thee appear.
PUCK A stranger Pyramus than e’er played here!

FLUTE Must I speak now? QUINCE Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand he
goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.

FLUTE 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 would never tire, I’ll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny’s tomb.

QUINCE ‘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.’ FLUTE O-As true as truest horse, that y et would never tire.

Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass’s head BOTTOM If I were fair, Thisby, I
were only thine.

QUINCE O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray, masters! fly, masters! Help!
Exeunt all but BOTTOM and PUCK PUCK I’ll follow you; I’ll lead you 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.

BOTTOM Why do they run away? This is a knavery of them to make me afeard.
Re-enter SNOUT
SNOUT O Bottom, thou art chang’d! What do I see on thee? BOTTOM What do you
see? You see an ass-head of your own, do you?

Re-enter QUINCE
QUINCE Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee! Thou art translated.
BOTTOM 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
will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.

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