A Midsummer Night's Dream Scene II
by William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream book cover
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Scene II


Enter Quince, [Flute], Snout, and Starveling

Have you sent to Bottom's house? Is he come home
He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is
If he come not, then the play is marred; it goes not(5)
forward, doth it?
It is not possible. You have not a man in all Athens
able to discharge Pyramus but he.
No; he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft
man in Athens.(10)
Yea, and the best person too; and he is a very paramour
for a sweet voice.
You must say ‘paragon.’ A paramour is—God bless
us!—A thing of naught.

Enter Snug the Joiner

Masters, the Duke is coming from the temple; and(15)
there is two or three lords and ladies more married. If our
sport had gone forward, we had all been made men.
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(20)
playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged. He would have
deserved it: sixpence a day in Pyramus, or nothing.

Enter Bottom

Where are these lads? Where are these hearts?
Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy
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.
Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that(30)
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 Thisbe have clean linen; and let not him(35)
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!(40)