William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer-Night's Dream" in the complete original text
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HOME > Plays > A Midsummer-Night's Dream > Act IV. Scene II.

A Midsummer-Night's Dream

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Act IV. Scene II.

Scene II.—Athens. A Room in QUINCE'S
House.

Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING.

Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? is
he come home yet?
Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt
he is transported.
Flu. If he come not then the play is marred:
it goes not forward, doth it?
Quin. It is not possible: you have not a man
in all Athens able to discharge Pyramus but
he.
Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any
handicraft man in Athens.
Quin. Yea, and the best person too; and he
is a very paramour for a sweet voice.
Flu. 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.
Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost
Bixpence a day during his life; he could not have
leaped 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.

Enter BOTTOM.
Bot. Where are these lads? where are these
hearts?
Quin. Bottom! O most courageous day! O
most happy hour!
Bot. 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 everything, right as it
fell out.
Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell
you is, that the duke hath dined. Get your ap-
parel 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 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. [Exeunt.
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