Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Modern)


[4.2]
Enter Quince, Flute [as] Thisby, Snout, and Starveling.
Quince Have you sent to Bottom's house? Is he come home yet?
Starveling He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is 1750transported.
Flute If he come not, then the play is marred. It goes not forward, doth it?
Quince It is not possible. You have not a man in all Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.
1755Flute No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft man in Athens.
Quince Yea, and the best person too, and he is a very paramour for a sweet voice.
Flute You must say "paragon." A paramour is (God 1760bless us), a thing of naught.
Enter Snug the Joiner.
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 1765men.
Flute O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a day during his life. He could not have 'scaped sixpence a day. And the duke had not given him sixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged. He would have 1770deserved it. Sixpence a day in Pyramus, or nothing.
Enter Bottom.
Bottom Where are these lads? Where are these hearts?
Quince Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour!
1775Bottom 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 as it fell out.
Quince Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
Bottom Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that 1780the 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're 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 1785that 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!
1790
Exeunt.