William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

2. SCENE II. The Same. A Room in a Cottage. (continued)

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.

That would hang us every mother's son.

I grant you, friends, if 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

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.

Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?

Why, what you will.

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.

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 dogg'd 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.

We will meet; and there we may rehearse most obscenely
and courageously. Take pains; be perfect; adieu.

At the duke's oak we meet.

Enough; hold, or cut bow-strings.


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