Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)

A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Quin. Mary, our Play is the most lamentable comedy,
280and most cruell death of Pyramus and Thisby.
Bot. A very good peece of worke, I assure you, & a mer-
ry. Now good Peeter Quince, call forth your Actors, by the
scrowle. Masters, spreade your selues.
Quin. Answere, as I call you. Nick Bottom, the Weauer?
Bott. Readie: Name what part I am for, and proceede.
Quin. You, Nick Bottom are set downe for Pyramus.
290Bott. What is Pyramus? A louer, or a tyrant?
Quin. A louer that kils himselfe, most gallant, for loue.
Bott. That will aske some teares in the true performing
of it. If I doe it, let the Audience looke to their eyes: I wil
295mooue stormes: I will condole, in some measure. To the
rest yet, my chiefe humour is for a tyrant. I could play Er-
cles rarely, or a part to teare a Cat in, to make all split the
raging rocks: and shiuering shocks, shall breake the locks
of prison gates, and Phibbus carre shall shine from farre,
300and make & marre the foolish Fates. This was loftie. Now,
name the rest of the Players. This is Ercles vaine, a tyrants
vaine: A louer is more condoling.
Quin. Francis Flute, the Bellowes mender?
305Flu. Here Peeter Quince.
Quin. Flute, you must take Thisby, on you.
Flu. What is Thisby? A wandring knight?
Quin. It is the Lady, that Pyramus must loue.
Fl. Nay faith: let not me play a womā: I haue a beard cō-(ming.
Quin. Thats all one: you shall play it in a Maske: and you
may speake as small as you will.
Bott. And I may hide my face, let me play Thisby to: Ile
speake in a monstrous little voice; Thisne, Thisne, ah Py-,
315ramus my louer deare, thy Thysby deare, & Lady deare.
Qu. No, no: you must play Pyramus: & Flute, you Thysby.
Bot. Well, proceede. Qui. Robin Starueling, the Tailer?
Star. Here Peeter Quince.
Quin. Robin Starueling, you must play Thysbyes mother: