Actus Tertius.

Enter the Clownes.

Bot. Are we all met? Quin. Pat, pat, and here's a maruailous conuenient place for our rehearsall. This greene plot shall be our stage, this hauthorne brake our tyring house, and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the Duke

Bot. Peter Quince? Peter. What saist thou, bully Bottome? Bot. There are things in this Comedy of Piramus and Thisby, that will neuer please. First, Piramus must draw a sword to kill himselfe; which the Ladies cannot abide. How answere you that? Snout. Berlaken, a parlous feare

Star. I beleeue we must leaue the killing out, when all is done

Bot. Not a whit, I haue a deuice to make all well. Write me a Prologue, and let the Prologue seeme to say, we will do no harme with our swords, and that Pyramus is not kill'd indeede: and for the more better assurance, tell them, that I Piramus am not Piramus, but Bottome the Weauer; this will put them out of feare

Quin. Well, we will haue such a Prologue, and it shall be written in eight and sixe

Bot. No, make it two more, let it be written in eight and eight

Snout. Will not the Ladies be afear'd of the Lyon? Star. I feare it, I promise you

Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your selues, to bring in (God shield vs) a Lyon among Ladies, is a most dreadfull thing. For there is not a more fearefull wilde foule then your Lyon liuing: and wee ought to looke to it

Snout. Therefore another Prologue must tell he is not a Lyon

Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and halfe his face must be seene through the Lyons necke, and he himselfe must speake through, saying thus, or to the same defect; Ladies, or faire Ladies, I would wish you, or I would request you, or I would entreat you, not to feare, not to tremble: my life for yours. If you thinke I come hither as a Lyon, it were pitty 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 him plainly hee is Snug the ioyner

Quin. Well, it shall be so; but there is two hard things, that is, to bring the Moone-light into a chamber: for you know Piramus and Thisby meete by Moonelight

Sn. Doth the Moone shine that night wee play our play? Bot. A Calender, a Calender, looke in the Almanack, finde out Moone-shine, finde out Moone-shine. Enter Pucke.

Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night

Bot. Why then may you leaue a casement of the great chamber window (where we play) open, and the Moone may shine in at the casement

Quin. I, or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorne, and say he comes to disfigure, or to present the person of Moone-shine. Then there is another thing, we must haue a wall in the great Chamber; for Piramus and Thisby (saies the story) did talke through the chinke of a wall

Sn. You can neuer bring in a wall. What say you Bottome? Bot. Some man or other must present wall, and let him haue some Plaster, or some Lome, or some rough cast about him, to signifie wall; or let him hold his fingers thus; and through that cranny shall Piramus and Thisby whisper

Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit downe euery mothers sonne, and rehearse your parts. Piramus, you begin; when you haue spoken your speech, enter into that Brake, and so euery one according to his cue. Enter Robin.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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