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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Act IV, Scene 2

Athens. QUINCE’S house.



  • Quince. Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he come home yet?
  • Starveling. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is 1785
  • Flute. If he come not, then the play is marred: it goes
    not forward, doth it?
  • Quince. It is not possible: you have not a man in all
    Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he. 1790
  • Flute. No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft
    man in Athens.
  • Quince. Yea and the best person too; and he is a very
    paramour for a sweet voice.
  • Flute. You must say 'paragon:' a paramour is, God bless us, 1795
    a thing of naught.

[Enter SNUG]

  • Snug. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and
    there is two or three lords and ladies more married:
    if our sport had gone forward, we had all been made 1800
  • Flute. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a
    day during his life; he could not have 'scaped
    sixpence a day: an the duke had not given him
    sixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged; 1805
    he would have deserved it: sixpence a day in
    Pyramus, or nothing.

[Enter BOTTOM]

  • Bottom. Where are these lads? where are these hearts?
  • Quince. Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour! 1810
  • Bottom. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not
    what; for if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I
    will tell you every thing, right as it fell out.
  • Quince. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
  • Bottom. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that 1815
    the duke hath dined. Get your apparel together,
    good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your
    pumps; meet presently at the palace; every man look
    o'er his part; for the short and the long is, our
    play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby have 1820
    clean linen; and let not him that plays the lion
    pair his nails, for they shall hang out for the
    lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions
    nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I
    do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet 1825
    comedy. No more words: away! go, away!