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Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 1, Scene 2

Midsummer Night’s Dream
Act 1, Scene 2

Athens. A room in Quince’s house.

  1. Enter Quince the carpenter and Snug the joiner and Bottom
  2. the weaver and Flute the bellows-mender and Snout the tinker
  3. and Starveling the tailor.

Quince

4
  1. Is all our company here?

Bottom

5 - 6
  1. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according
  2. to the scrip.

Quince

7 - 9
  1. Here is the scroll of every man’s name, which is thought
  2. fit, through all Athens, to play in our enterlude before the
  3. Duke and the Duchess, on his wedding-day at night.

Bottom

10 - 11
  1. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on; then
  2. read the names of the actors; and so grow to a point.

Quince

12 - 13
  1. Marry, our play is The most lamentable comedy and most cruel
  2. death of Pyramus and Thisbe.

Bottom

14 - 16
  1. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry. Now,
  2. good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll.
  3. Masters, spread yourselves.

Quince

17
  1. Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom the weaver.

Bottom

18
  1. Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.

Quince

19
  1. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.

Bottom

20
  1. What is Pyramus? A lover, or a tyrant?

Quince

21
  1. A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.

Bottom

22 - 36
  1. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I
  2. do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move
  3. storms; I will condole in some measure. To the restyet my
  4. chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or
  5. a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
  6. The raging rocks
  7. And shivering shocks
  8. Shall break the locks
  9. Of prison gates;
  10. And Phibbus’ car
  11. Shall shine from far,
  12. And make and mar
  13. The foolish Fates.”
  14. This was lofty! Now name the rest of the players. This is
  15. Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein; a lover is more condoling.

Quince

37
  1. Francis Flute the bellows-mender.

Flute

38
  1. Here, Peter Quince.

Quince

39
  1. Flute, you must take Thisbe on you.

Flute

40
  1. What is Thisbe? A wand’ring knight?

Quince

41
  1. It is the lady that Pyramus must love.

Flute

42
  1. Nay, faith; let not me play a woman; I have a beard coming.

Quince

43 - 44
  1. That’s all one; you shall play it in a mask, and you may
  2. speak as small as you will.

Bottom

45 - 47
  1. And I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too. I’ll speak
  2. in a monstrous little voice, Thisne! Thisne! Ah, Pyramus,
  3. my lover dear! Thy Thisbe dear, and lady dear!”

Quince

48
  1. No, no, you must play Pyramus; and, Flute, you Thisbe.

Bottom

49
  1. Well, proceed.

Quince

50
  1. Robin Starveling the tailor.

Starveling

51
  1. Here, Peter Quince.

Quince

52 - 53
  1. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisbe’s mother. Tom Snout
  2. the tinker.

Snout

54
  1. Here, Peter Quince.

Quince

55 - 57
  1. You, Pyramus’ father; myself, Thisbe’s father; Snug the
  2. joiner, you the lion’s part. And I hope here is a play
  3. fitted.

Snug

58 - 59
  1. Have you the lion’s part written? Pray you, if it be, give
  2. it me, for I am slow of study.

Quince

60
  1. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.

Bottom

61 - 63
  1. Let me play the lion too. I will roar, that I will do any
  2. man’s heart good to hear me. I will roar, that I will make
  3. the Duke say, Let him roar again; let him roar again.”

Quince

64 - 66
  1. And you should do it too terribly, you would fright the
  2. Duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek; and that
  3. were enough to hang us all.

All

67
  1. That would hang us, every mother’s son.

Bottom

68 - 72
  1. I grant you, friends, if you should fright the ladies out of
  2. their wits, they would have no more discretion but to hang
  3. us; but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as
  4. gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you and ’twere any
  5. nightingale.

Quince

73 - 76
  1. You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
  2. sweet-fac’d man; a proper man as one shall see in a summer’s
  3. day; a most lovely gentleman-like man: therefore you must
  4. needs play Pyramus.

Bottom

77 - 78
  1. Well; I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it
  2. in?

Quince

79
  1. Why, what you will.

Bottom

80 - 82
  1. I will discharge it in either your straw-color beard, your
  2. orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your
  3. French-crown-color beard, your perfit yellow.

Quince

83 - 90
  1. Some of your French crowns have no hair at all; and then you
  2. will play barefac’d. But, masters, here are your parts, and
  3. I am to entreat you, request you, and desire you, to con
  4. them by tomorrow night; and meet me in the palace wood, a
  5. mile without the town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse;
  6. for if we meet in the city, we shall be dogg’d with company,
  7. and our devices known. In the meantime I will draw a bill of
  8. properties, such as our play wants. I pray you fail me not.

Bottom

91 - 92
  1. We will meet, and there we may rehearse most obscenely and
  2. courageously. Take pains, be perfit; adieu.

Quince

93
  1. At the Duke’s oak we meet.

Bottom

94
  1. Enough; hold, or cut bow-strings.
  1. Exeunt.
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