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Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own fool's
eyes peep. Obe. Sound, music. [Still music.] Come, my queen,
take hands with me,
Puck. Fairy king, attend and mark;
Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Tita. Come, my lord; and in our flight,
[Horns sound within.
Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once,
The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
Was never hollaed too, nor cheered with horn,
Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe
Ege. It is, my lord.
The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns. 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. The.
I pray you all stand up.
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 followed them Fair Helena in fancy following me. But, my good lord, I wot not by what power (But by some power it is) my love to Hermia,
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now
The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met.
Dem. These things seem small and undistinguishable,
Her. Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
So methinks ;
It seems to me,
Her. Yea, and my father.
Dem. Why, then we are awake. Let's follow him; And, by the way, let us recount our dreams. (Ereunt.
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.
[Exit. SCENE II. Athens.
Athens. A Room in Quince's House.
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 handicraft 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.
Enter SNUG. 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.
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.
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Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
Bot. 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 ribands to your pumps; meet presently at the palace; every man look o'er 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, 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 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.
An Apartment in the Palace of Theseus.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords, and
Attendants. Hip. Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of? The. More strange than true. I never may believe These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. Lovers, and madmen, have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, Are of imagination all compact. One sees more devils than vast hell can hold; That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic, Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt: The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And, as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation, and a name. Such tricks hath strong imagination, That, if it would but apprehend some joy, It comprehends some bringer of that joy; Or, in the night, imagining some fear, How easy is a bush supposed a bear!