A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.
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.
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 nightingale.
You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
sweet-fac'd man; a proper man, as one shall see in a summer's
day; a most lovely gentleman-like man; therefore you must needs
Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play
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-fac'd. 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.