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Hel.

And Hippolyta.
Her. Yea; and my father.
Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.

Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow him; And, by the way, let us recount our dreams. (Exe.

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. A room in Quince's

House. Enter Quince, Flute, Snout, and
Starveling.

Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he come home yet?

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 nandicraft 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, l'll be hanged; he would have deserved it: sixpence a-day, in Pyramus, or nothing.

Enter Bottom. Bot. Where are these lads? where are these hearts?

Quin. Bottom !-0 most courageous day! 0 most happy hour!

Bot. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask ine not what; for, if I tell you, I am no truc Athenian. I will tell you every thing, right as it fell out.

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 ribbons 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.

(Exeunt

ACT V.
SCENE 1.The same. 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 forins 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 suppos'd a bear!

Hip. But all the story of the night told over, And all their minds transfigur'd so together, More witnesseth than fancy's images, And grows to something of great constancy;? (1) Are made of mere imagination. (2) Stability

But, howsoever, strange, and admirable.
Enter Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena.

The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.-
Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love,
· Accompany your hearts !
Lys.

More than to us
Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed.
T'he. Come now; what masks, what dances shall

we have,
To wear away this long age of three hours,
Between our after-supper, and bed-time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth?
What revels are in hand ? is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?"
Call Philostrate.

Philost. Here, mighty Theseus.
The. Say, what abridgement! have you for this

evening?
What mask? what music? How shall we beguile
The lazy time, if not with some delight?
Philost. There is a brief,2 how many sports are

ripe; Make choice of which your highness will see first.

[Giving a paper. The. [Reads.] The battle with the Centaurs, to

be sung
By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.
We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.

The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,

Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.
That is an old device; and it was play'd
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.

The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.
That is some satire, keen, and critical,
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

(1) Pastime. (2) Short account. ,

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,

And his love Thisbe : very tragical mirth.
Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord ?
Philost. A play there is, my lord, some ten words

long;
Which is as brief as I have known a play:
By ten words, my lord, it is too long ;
Which makes it tedious : for in all the play
There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
And tragical, my noble lord, it is; .
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which, when I saw rehears'd, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.

The. What are they, that do play it?
Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens

here,
Which never labour'd in their minds till now;
And now have toil'd their unbreath'di memories
With this same play, against your nuptial.

The. And we will hear it.
Philost.

No, my noble lord,
It is not for you: I have heard it over,
And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain,
To do you service.
The

I will hear that play; For never any thing can be amiss, When simpleness and duty tender it. Go, bring them in ;-and take your places, ladies.

[Exit Philostrate. Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg'd, And duty in his service perishing.

The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such

thing

(1) Unexercised.

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