Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)

Enter Quince, Flute, Thisby and the rabble.
Quin. Haue you sent to Bottoms house? Is he come
home, yet?
Flut. Hee cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is trans-
Thys. If hee come not, then the Play is mard. It goes
not forward. Doth it?
Quin. It is not possible. You haue not a man, in all A-
thens, able to discharge Pyramus, but he.
1755Thys. No, hee hath simply the best wit of any handy-
craftman, in Athens.
Quin. Yea, and the best person to, and hee is a very
Paramour, for a sweete voice.
This. You must say, Paragon. A Paramour is (God
1760blesse vs) a thing of nought.
Enter Snug, the Joyner.
Snug. Masters, the Duke is comming from the Tem-
ple,and there is two or three Lords and Ladies more
married. If our sport had gon forward, wee had all
1765beene made men.
Thys. O sweete bully Bottome. Thus hath hee lost six
pence a day, during his life: hee coulde not haue scaped
sixe pence a day. And the Duke had not giuen him six
pence a day, for playing Pyramus, Ile be hanged.
He would haue deserued it. Six pence a day, in Pyramus,
1770or nothing.
Enter Bottom.
Bot. Where are these lads? Where are these harts?
Quin. Bottom, ? most couragious day! O most happy
1775Bott. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but aske me
not what. For if I tell you, I am not true Athenian. I will
tell you euery thing right as it fell out.
Quin. Let vs heare, sweete Bottom.
Bot. Not a word of mee. All that I will tell you, is, that
1780the Duke hath dined. Get your apparrell together, good
strings to your beardes, new ribands to your pumpes,
meete presently at the palace, euery man looke ore his part.
For, the short and the long is, our play is preferd. In any
case let Thisby haue cleane linnen: and let not him, that
1785plaies the Lyon, pare his nailes: for they shall hang out
for the Lyons clawes. And most deare Actors, eate no O-
nions nor garlicke: for we are to vtter sweete breath: and
I do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweete Comedy.
No more wordes. Away, go away.