Rob. What hempen home-spuns haue we swaggering here, So neere the Cradle of the Faierie Queene? What, a Play toward? Ile be an auditor, An Actor too perhaps, if I see cause

Quin. Speake Piramus: Thisby stand forth

Pir. Thisby, the flowers of odious sauors sweete

Quin. Odours, odours

Pir. Odours sauors sweete, So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby deare. But harke, a voyce: stay thou but here a while, And by and by I will to thee appeare.

Exit. Pir.

Puck. A stranger Piramus, then ere plaid here

This. Must I speake now? Pet. I marry must you. For you must vnderstand he goes but to see a noyse that he heard, and is to come againe

Thys. Most radiant Piramus, most Lilly white of hue, Of colour like the red rose on triumphant bryer, Most brisky Iuuenall, and eke most louely Iew, As true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre, Ile meete thee Piramus, at Ninnies toombe

Pet. Ninus toombe man: why, you must not speake that yet; that you answere to Piramus: you speake all your part at once, cues and all. Piramus enter, your cue is past; it is neuer tyre

Thys. O, as true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre: Pir. If I were faire, Thisby I were onely thine

Pet. O monstrous. O strange. We are hanted; pray masters, flye masters, helpe.

The Clownes all Exit.

Puk. Ile follow you, Ile leade you about a Round, Through bogge, through bush, through brake, through bryer, Sometime a horse Ile be, sometime a hound: A hogge, a headlesse beare, sometime a fire, And neigh, and barke, and grunt, and rore, and burne, Like horse, hound, hog, beare, fire, at euery turne. Enter.

Enter Piramus with the Asse head.

Bot. Why do they run away? This is a knauery of them to make me afeard. Enter Snowt

Sn. O Bottom, thou art chang'd; What doe I see on thee? Bot. What do you see? You see an Asse-head of your owne, do you? Enter Peter Quince.

Pet. Blesse thee Bottome, blesse thee; thou art translated. Enter.

Bot. I see their knauery; this is to make an asse of me, to fright me if they could; but I will not stirre from this place, do what they can. I will walke vp and downe here, and I will sing that they shall heare I am not afraid. The Woosell cocke, so blacke of hew, With Orenge-tawny bill. The Throstle, with his note so true, The Wren and little quill

Tyta. What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed? Bot. The Finch, the Sparrow, and the Larke, The plainsong Cuckow gray; Whose note full many a man doth marke, And dares not answere, nay. For indeede, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird? Who would giue a bird the lye, though he cry Cuckow, neuer so? Tyta. I pray thee gentle mortall, sing againe, Mine eare is much enamored of thy note; On the first view to say, to sweare I loue thee. So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape. And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth moue me

Bot. Me-thinkes mistresse, you should haue little reason for that: and yet to say the truth, reason and loue keepe little company together, nowadayes. The more the pittie, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleeke vpon occasion

Tyta. Thou art as wise, as thou art beautifull

Bot. Not so neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I haue enough to serue mine owne turne

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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