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Are you sure
Her. Yea; and my father.
Dem. Why, then, we are awake: let's follow him;
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.
SCENE II. Athens. 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 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.
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!
SCENE I. Athens. The palace of THESEUS.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords, and
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 er, And all their minds transfigured so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images
Enter LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HERMIA, and HELENA.
30 Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed! The. Come now; what masques, what dances shall we
Here, mighty Theseus.
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
50 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.
[Reads] 'A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
70 The. What are they that do play it ?
Phil. Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
The. And we will hear it.
No, my noble lord;
80 To do you service. The.
I will hear that play ;
[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.