Enter QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING.
QUINCE: Is all our company here?
BOTTOM: You were best to call them generally, man
by man, according to the script.
QUINCE: Here is the scroll of every man's name,
which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in 
our interlude before the duke and the duchess, on
his wedding-day at night.
BOTTOM: First, good Peter Quince, say what the play
treats on, then read the names of the actors, and so
grow to a point. 
QUINCE: Marry, our play is, The most lamentable
comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and
BOTTOM: A very good piece of work, I assure you,
and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth 
your actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.
QUINCE: Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the
BOTTOM: Ready. Name what part I am for, and
QUINCE: You, Nick Bottom, are set down for
BOTTOM: What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?
QUINCE: A lover, that kills himself most gallant for
BOTTOM: That will ask some tears in the true per-
forming of it: if I do it, let the audience look to their
eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some
measure. To the rest: yet my chief humour is for a
tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to 
tear a cat in, to make all split.
The raging rocks
And shivering shocks
Shall break the locks
Of prison gates; 
And Phibbus' car
Shall shine from far
And make and mar
The foolish Fates.
This was lofty! Now name the rest of the players. 
This is Ercle's vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is more
QUINCE: Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
FLUTE: Here, Peter Quince.
QUINCE: Flute, you must take Thisby on you. 
FLUTE: What is Thisby? a wandering knight?
QUINCE: It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
FLUTE: Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a
QUINCE: That's all one: you shall play it in a mask, 
and you may speak as small as you will.
BOTTOM: An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby
too, I'll speak in a monstrous little voice. 'Thisne,
Thisne;' 'Ah, Pyramus, lover dear! thy Thisby
dear, and lady dear!' 
QUINCE: No, no; you must play Pyramus: and, Flute,
BOTTOM: Well, proceed.
QUINCE: Robin Starveling, the tailor.
STARVELING: Here, Peter Quince. 
QUINCE: Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.
Tom Snout, the tinker.
SNOUT: Here, Peter Quince.
QUINCE: You, Pyramus' father: myself, Thisby's
father: Snug, the joiner; you, the lion's part: and, 
I hope, here is a play fitted.
SNUG: Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if
it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.
QUINCE: You may do it extempore, for it is nothing
but roaring. 
BOTTOM: Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I
will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar,
that I will make the duke say 'Let him roar again,
let him roar again.'
QUINCE: An you should do it too terribly, you would 
fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would
shriek; and that were enough to hang us all.
ALL: That would hang us, every mother's son.
BOTTOM: I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the
ladies out of their wits, they would have no more 
discretion but to hang us: but I will aggravate my
voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking
dove; I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale.
QUINCE: You can play no part but Pyramus; for
Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one 
shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely gentleman-
like man: therefore you must needs play Pyramus.
BOTTOM: Well, I will undertake it. What beard were
I best to play it in?
QUINCE: Why, what you will. 
BOTTOM: I will discharge it in either your straw-colour
beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in
-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your
QUINCE: Some of your French crowns have no hair 
at all, and then you will play bare-faced. But, masters,
here are your parts: and I am to entreat you, request
you and desire you, to con them by to-morrow
night; and meet me in the palace wood, a mile with-
out the town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse, 
for if we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with
company, and our devices known. In the meantime
I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants.
I pray you, fail me not.
BOTTOM: We will meet; and there we may rehearse 
most obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be
QUINCE: At the duke's oak we meet.
BOTTOM: Enough; hold or cut bow-strings.