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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Digital Library-A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death.

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 transported.

FLUTE If he come not, then the play is marr’d; 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.

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!- 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 men.

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. He would have deserved it: sixpence a day in
Pyramus, or nothing.

BOTTOM Where are these lads? Where are these hearts? QUINCE Bottom! O most
courageous day! O most happy hour!

BOTTOM Masters, I am to discourse wonders; but ask me not what; for if I tell you, I
am not true Athenian. I will tell you everything, 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 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 preferr’d. In any case, let Thisby have clean linen; and let not him that plays the
lion pare 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 comedy. No more words.

Away, go, away!
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