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A Midsummer Night’s Dream
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Navigate this workA Midsummer Night’s Dream
Act 4, scene 2
The tradesmen regret, for their own sakes and for Bottom’s, the loss of their opportunity to perform the play, since Bottom is irreplaceable. Bottom arrives and announces that their play has been chosen by Theseus for performance that night.Enter Quince, Flute, ⌜Snout, and Starveling.⌝
QUINCE 1734 Have you sent to Bottom’s house? Is he come
1735 home yet?
⌜STARVELING⌝ 1736 He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he
1737 is transported.
FLUTE 1738 5If he come not, then the play is marred. It goes
1739 not forward, doth it?
QUINCE 1740 It is not possible. You have not a man in all
1741 Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.
FLUTE 1742 No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraftman
1743 10 in Athens.
QUINCE 1744 Yea, and the best person too, and he is a very
1745 paramour for a sweet voice.
FLUTE 1746 You must say “paragon.” A “paramour” is (God
1747 bless us) a thing of naught.
Enter Snug the joiner.
SNUG 1748 15Masters, the Duke is coming from the temple,
1749 and there is two or three lords and ladies more
1750 married. If our sport had gone forward, we had all
1751 been made men.
FLUTE 1752 O, sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence
1753 20 a day during his life. He could not have
1754 ’scaped sixpence a day. An the Duke had not given
1755 him sixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I’ll be
1756 hanged. He would have deserved it. Sixpence a day
1757 in Pyramus, or nothing!
p. 139BOTTOM 1758 25Where are these lads? Where are these
QUINCE 1760 Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy
BOTTOM 1762 Masters, I am to discourse wonders. But ask
1763 30 me not what; for, if I tell you, I am not true
1764 Athenian. I will tell you everything right as it fell
QUINCE 1766 Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
BOTTOM 1767 Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is that
1768 35 the Duke hath dined. Get your apparel together,
1769 good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your
1770 pumps. Meet presently at the palace. Every man
1771 look o’er his part. For the short and the long is, our
1772 play is preferred. In any case, let Thisbe have clean
1773 40 linen, and let not him that plays the lion pare his
1774 nails, for they shall hang out for the lion’s claws.
1775 And, most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for
1776 we are to utter sweet breath, and I do not doubt but
1777 to hear them say it is a sweet comedy. No more
1778 45 words. Away! Go, away!