Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > A Midsummer Night's Dream > Act III, scene I

Jump to: the first appearance of with_orange-tawny_bill,




	[Enter QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, and
	STARVELING]

BOTTOM: Are we all met?

QUINCE: Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place
	for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our
	stage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house; and we
	will do it in action as we will do it before the duke.

BOTTOM: Peter Quince,--

QUINCE: What sayest thou, bully Bottom?

BOTTOM: There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and
	Thisby that will never please. First, Pyramus must
	draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies
	cannot abide. How answer you that?

SNOUT: By'r lakin, a parlous fear.

STARVELING: I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.

BOTTOM: Not a whit: I have a device to make all well.
	Write me a prologue; and let the prologue seem to
	say, we will do no harm with our swords, and that
	Pyramus is not killed indeed; and, for the more
	better assurance, tell them that I, Pyramus, am not
	Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: this will put them
	out of fear.

QUINCE: Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be
	written in eight and six.

BOTTOM: No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.

SNOUT: Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?

STARVELING: I fear it, I promise you.

BOTTOM: Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: to
	bring in--God shield us!--a lion among ladies, is a
	most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful
	wild-fowl than your lion living; and we ought to
	look to 't.

SNOUT: Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a lion.

BOTTOM: Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must
	be seen through the lion's neck: and he himself
	must speak through, saying thus, or to the same
	defect,--'Ladies,'--or 'Fair-ladies--I would wish
	You,'--or 'I would request you,'--or 'I would
	entreat you,--not to fear, not to tremble: my life
	for yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it
	were pity of my life: no I am no such thing; I am a
	man as other men are;' and there indeed let him name
	his name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.

QUINCE: Well it shall be so. But there is two hard things;
	that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for,
	you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight.

SNOUT: Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?

BOTTOM: A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac; find
	out moonshine, find out moonshine.

QUINCE: Yes, it doth shine that night.

BOTTOM: Why, then may you leave a casement of the great
	chamber window, where we play, open, and the moon
	may shine in at the casement.

QUINCE: 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 Moonshine. 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.

SNOUT: You can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom?

BOTTOM: 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; 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 home-spuns have we swaggering 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 sweet,--

QUINCE: Odours, odours.

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.

	[Exit]

PUCK: A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here.

	[Exit]

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 yet 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 yet 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 QUINCE, SNUG, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING]

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.

	[Exit]

BOTTOM: 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?

BOTTOM: What do you see? you see an asshead of your own, do
	you?

	[Exit SNOUT]

	[Re-enter QUINCE]

QUINCE: Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art
	translated.

	[Exit]

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 I will sing, that they shall hear
	I am not afraid.

	[Sings]

	The ousel cock so black of hue,
	With orange-tawny bill,
	The throstle with his note so true,
	The wren with little quill,--

TITANIA: [Awaking]  What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?

BOTTOM: [Sings]

	The finch, the sparrow and the lark,
	The plain-song cuckoo gray,
	Whose note full many a man doth mark,
	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?

TITANIA: I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
	Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;
	So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
	And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
	On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.

BOTTOM: Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason
	for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and
	love keep little company together now-a-days; the
	more the pity that some honest neighbours will not
	make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.

TITANIA: Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

BOTTOM: Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out
	of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.

TITANIA: 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.
	Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!

	[Enter PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, and MUSTARDSEED]

PEASEBLOSSOM: Ready.

COBWEB:      And I.

MOTH:           And I.

MUSTARDSEED:                   And I.

ALL: Where shall we go?

TITANIA: Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
	Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;
	Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
	With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
	The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
	And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs
	And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
	To have my love to bed and to arise;
	And pluck the wings from Painted butterflies
	To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:
	Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

PEASEBLOSSOM: Hail, mortal!

COBWEB: Hail!

MOTH: Hail!

MUSTARDSEED: Hail!

BOTTOM: I cry your worship's mercy, heartily: I beseech your
	worship's name.

COBWEB: Cobweb.

BOTTOM: I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good Master
	Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold with
	you. Your name, honest gentleman?

PEASEBLOSSOM: Peaseblossom.

BOTTOM: I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your
	mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good
	Master Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of more
	acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?

MUSTARDSEED: Mustardseed.

BOTTOM: Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience well:
	that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath
	devoured many a gentleman of your house: I promise
	you your kindred had made my eyes water ere now. I
	desire your more acquaintance, good Master
	Mustardseed.

TITANIA: Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.
	The moon methinks looks with a watery eye;
	And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,
	Lamenting some enforced chastity.
	Tie up my love's tongue bring him silently.

	[Exeunt]




	A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM






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