1. SCENE I. The Wood. The Queen of Fairies lying asleep.
[Enter QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING.]
Are we all met?
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.
What sayest thou, bully Bottom?
There are things in this comedy of 'Pyramus and Thisby' that
will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill
himself; which the ladies cannot abide. How answer you that?
By'r lakin, a parlous fear.
I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.
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.
Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be
written in eight and six.
No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.
Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
I fear it, I promise you.
Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: to bring in,
God shield us! a lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing:
for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion living;
and we ought to look to it.
Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a lion.