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Speeches (Lines) for Quince
in "Midsummer Night's Dream"

Total: 40

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



(stage directions). [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 scrip.

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 Thisby.



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 weaver.



Bottom. Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.

Quince. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.



Bottom. What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?

Quince. A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.



Bottom. That will ask some tears in the true performing 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 Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is
more condoling.

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 beard coming.

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, you Thisby.



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.



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

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
perfect yellow.

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 without 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 perfect: adieu.

Quince. At the duke's oak we meet.



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. 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. 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.



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.



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.



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.



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.'



Bottom. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.

Quince. O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray,
masters! fly, masters! Help!



(stage directions). [Re-enter QUINCE]

Quince. Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art



(stage directions). [Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING]

Quince. Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he come home yet?



Flute. If he come not, then the play is marred: it goes
not forward, doth it?

Quince. It is not possible: you have not a man in all
Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.



Flute. No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft
man in Athens.

Quince. Yea and the best person too; and he is a very
paramour for a sweet voice.



Bottom. Where are these lads? where are these hearts?

Quince. Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour!



Bottom. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not
what; for if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I
will tell you every thing, right as it fell out.

Quince. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.



(stage directions). [Enter QUINCE for the Prologue]

Quince. If we offend, it is with our good will.
That you should think, we come not to offend,
But with good will. To show our simple skill,
That is the true beginning of our end.
Consider then we come but in despite.
We do not come as minding to contest you,
Our true intent is. All for your delight
We are not here. That you should here repent you,
The actors are at hand and by their show
You shall know all that you are like to know.



(stage directions). [Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion]

Quince. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
This beauteous lady Thisby is certain.
This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present
Wall, that vile Wall which did these lovers sunder;
And through Wall's chink, poor souls, they are content
To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
This man, with lanthorn, dog, and bush of thorn,
Presenteth Moonshine; for, if you will know,
By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn
To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
The trusty Thisby, coming first by night,
Did scare away, or rather did affright;
And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain:
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
He bravely broach'd is boiling bloody breast;
And Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,
His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
At large discourse, while here they do remain.

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