Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folio 1, 1623)

Enter Quince, Flute, Thisbie, Snout, and Starueling.
Quin. Haue you sent to Bottomes house? Is he come
home yet?
Staru. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt hee is
This. If he come not, then the play is mar'd. It goes
not forward, doth it?
Quin. It is not possible: you haue not a man in all
Athens, able to discharge Piramus but he.
1755This. No, hee hath simply the best wit of any handy-
craft man in Athens.
Quin. Yea, and the best person too, and hee is a very
Paramour, for a sweet voyce.
This. You must say, Paragon. A Paramour is (God
1760blesse vs) a thing of nought.
Enter Snug the Ioyner.
Snug. Masters, the Duke is comming from the Tem-
ple, and there is two or three Lords & Ladies more mar-
ried. If our sport had gone forward, we had all bin made
This. O sweet bully Bottome: thus hath he lost sixe-
pence a day, during his life; he could not haue scaped six-
pence a day. And the Duke had not giuen him sixpence
a day for playing Piramus, Ile be hang'd. He would haue
1770deserued it. Sixpence a day in Piramus, or nothing.
Enter Bottome.
Bot. Where are these Lads? Where are these hearts?
Quin. Bottome, ô most couragious day! O most hap-
pie houre!
1775Bot. 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 euery thing as it fell out.
Qu. Let vs heare, sweet Bottome.
Bot. Not a word of me: all that I will tell you, is, that
1780the Duke hath dined. Get your apparell together, good
strings to your beards, new ribbands to your pumps,
meete presently at the Palace, euery man looke ore his
part: for the short and the long is, our play is preferred:
In any case let Thisby haue cleane linnen: and let not him
1785that playes the Lion, paire his nailes, for they shall hang
out for the Lions clawes. And most deare Actors, eate
no Onions, nor Garlicke; for wee are to vtter sweete
breath, and I doe not doubt but to heare them say, it is a
sweet Comedy. No more words: away, go away.