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The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their
Horns, and shout within. DeMETRIUS, LYSANDER,
Hermia, and Helena, wake and start up. The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past; Begin these wood-birds but to couple now? Lys. Pardon, my lord.
[He and the rest kneel to Theseus.
Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough:
Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth, Of this their purpose hither, to this wood; And I in fury hither follow'd them; Fair Helena in fancy following ine.
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,
The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
[Exeunt Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, Egeus, and train. Dem. These things seem small, and undistinguish
able, Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.
Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted eye, When every thing seems double,
Hel. So methinks :
Dem. It seems to me,
Her. Yea; and my father.
Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow him;
As they go out, Bottom awakes. Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer :--my next is, Most fair Pyramus.Hey, 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 was—there 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 a play, before the duke: Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death.
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 handycraft 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 nought.
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 !-0 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.
But. 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 bis 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 garlick, 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.