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SCENE II. Athens. A Room in QUINCE'S House.


[Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, 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 transported.


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.


FLUTE
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 bless us, a thing of naught.


[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.


FLUTE
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.]


BOTTOM
Where are these lads? where are these hearts?


QUINCE
Bottom!--O most courageous day! O most happy hour!


BOTTOM
Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not what; for if I tell you, I am not true Athenian. I will tell you everything, right as it fell out.


QUINCE
Let us hear, sweet Bottom.


BOTTOM
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 over 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 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!


[Exeunt.]



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