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Hel.

Dem.

Are you sure
That we are awake? It seems to me
That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
The duke was here, and bid us follow him ?
Her. Yea; and my father.

And Hippolyta.
Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.

Dem. Why, then, we are awake: let's follow him;
And by the way let us recount our dreams. [Exeunt.

Bot. [Awaking.] When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer: my next is, “Most fair Pyramus.' Heigh-ho! Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker ! Starveling! God's my life, stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I wasthere is no man can tell what. Methought I was,-and methought I had,—but man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of the play, before the duke: peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death. [Exit.

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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.

10 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 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.

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 every thing, 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 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 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.

ACT V.

SCENE I.

Athens. The palace of THESEUS.

Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords, and

Attendants.

IO

Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.

The. More strange than true: I never may believe These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover and the poet Are of imagination all compact: One sees more devils than vast hell can hold, That is, the madman : the lover, all as frantic, Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt: The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name. Such tricks hath strong imagination, That, if it would but apprehend some joy, It comprehends some bringer of that joy; Or in the night, imagining some fear, How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

Hip. But all the story of the night told over, And all their minds transfigured so together,

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More witnesseth than fancy's images
And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.

Enter LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HERMIA, and HELENA. Joy, gentle friends! joy and fresh days of love Accompany your hearts ! Lys.

More than to us
Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!
The. Come now; what masques, what dances shall we

have,
To wear away this long age of three hours
Between our after-supper and bed-time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth?
What revels are in hand ? Is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Call Philostrate.
Phil.

Here, mighty Theseus.
The. Say, what abridgement have you for this evening ?
What masque? what music ? How shall we beguile 40
The lazy time, if not with some delight?

Phil. There is a brief how many sports are ripe : Make choice of which your highness will see first.

[Giving a paper. The. [Reads] “The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.' We'll none of that: that have I told my love, In glory of my kinsman Hercules. [Reads] “The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals, Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.' That is an old device; and it was play'd . When I from Thebes came last a conqueror. [Reads] ‘The thrice three Muses mourning for the death Of Learning, late deceased in beggary.' That is some satire, keen and critical, Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

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[Reads] ‘A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.'
Merry and tragical! tedious and brief !
That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord ? 60

Phil. A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
Which is as brief as I have known a play;
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
Which makes it tedious; for in all the play
There is not one word apt, one player fitted :
And tragical, my noble lord, it is;
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which, when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.

The. What are they that do play it ?

Phil. Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
Which never labour'd in their minds till now,
And now have toil'd their unbreathed memories
With this same play, against your nuptial.

The. And we will hear it.
Phil.

No, my noble lord;
It is not for you: I have heard it over,
And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Extremely stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain,

80 To do you service. The.

I will hear that play;
For never anything can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.
Go, bring them in: and take your places, ladies.

[Exit Philostrate. Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharged And duty in his service perishing.

The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing. Hip. He says they can do nothing in this kind.

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