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QUIN. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender. FLU. Here, Peter Quince. QUIN. You must take Thisby on you. Flu. What is Thisby ? a wandering knight? QUIN. It is the lady that Pyramus must love. FLU. Nay, faith, let not me play a woman; I have a beard coming. QUIN. That's all one; you shall play it in a mask", and you may speak as small as you will. Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too: I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice;—“Thisne, Thisne,—Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby dear! and lady dear!" QUIN. No, no, you must play Pyramus; and, Flute, you Thisby. Bot. Well, proceed. QUIN. Robin Starveling, the tailor. STAR. Here, Peter Quince. QUIN. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.—Tom Snout, the tinker. SNouT. Here, Peter Quince. QUIN. You, Pyramus's 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. QUIN. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring. Bor. 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.” QUIN. 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. Bot. 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 't were any nightingale. QUIN. 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, gentlemanlike man; therefore you must needs play Pyramus. Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in? QUIN. Why, what you will. Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-coloured beard, your perfect yellow. QUIN. 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 intreat 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 we will
rehearse : for if we meet in the city we shall be dogg'd with company, and our devices known. In the mean time I will draw a bill of properties 6
such as our play wants. I pray you fail me not. Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse more obscenely and courageous
ly. Take pains; be perfect; adieu. QUIN. At the duke's oak we meet. Bot. Enough. Hold, or cut bow-strings a.
• Capell says, this is a proverbial expression derived from the days of archery:-“When a party was made at butts, assurance of meeting was given in the words of that phrase.”
And I serve the fairy queen,
In those freckles live their savours :
Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
Take heed, the queen come not within his sight,
Creep into acorn-cups, and hide them there.
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite,
Orbs. The fairy rings, as they are popularly called; which, however explained by philosophy, will always have a poetical charm connected with the beautiful superstition that the night-tripping fairies have, on these verdant circles, danced their merry roundels. It was the Fairy's office to dew these orbs, which had been parched under the fairy-feet in the moonlight revels.
• Pensioners. These courtiers, whom Mrs. Quickly put above earls ( Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II., Scene 2), were Queen Elizabeth's favourite attendants. They were the handsomest men of the first families,-tall, as the cowslip was to the fairy, and shining in their spotted gold coats like that flower under an April sun. • Lob-looby, lubber, lubbard.
Changeling—a child procured in exchange. • Square—to quarrel. It is difficult to understand how to square, which, in the ordinary sense, is to agree, should mean to disagree. And yet there is no doubt that the word was used in this sense. Holinshed has “ Falling at square with her husband.” In · Much Ado about Nothing. Beatrice says, “ Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil?" Mr. Richardson, after explaining the usual meaning of this verb, adds, “ To square is also, corsequently, to broaden; to set out broadly, in a position or attitude of offence or defence-(se quarrer)." The word is thus used in the language of pugilism. There is more of our old dialet in flash terms than is generally supposed.
Skim milk; and sometimes labour in the querna ;
Are not you he?
Thou speak'st aright;
But room, Fairy, here comes Oberon.
SCENE II.-Enter OBERON, on one side, with his train, and TITANIA,
on the other, with hers.
I have forsworn his bed and company.
When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
To Theseus must be wedded ; and you come • Quern-a handmill; from the Anglo-Saxon, cuyrn.
Barm-yeast. Holland, in his translation of Pliny, speaks of the froth, or barm, that riseth from these ales or beers."