Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly for love.
Bot. 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 tyrants vein; a lover is more condoling.
Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
Bot. Let me play the lion too. I will roar, that I will do any mans 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 mothers 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 as twere 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 summers day; a most lovely, gentleman-like 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 colour 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 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 moon-light: 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.