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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 fhall be call'd Bottom's Dream, because it has no bottom; and I will fing it in the latter end of a play before the Duke; 5 peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I fhall fing it after Death.




Changes to the Town.

Enter Quince, Flute, Snout, and Starveling.

Quin. H

AVE you fent to Bottom's houfe ?. 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 marr'd. It goes not forward, doth it?

Quin. It is not possible; you have not a man, in all Athens, able to difcharge Pyramus, but he.

Flu. No, he hath fimply the best wit of any handycraft man in Athens.

Quin. Yea, and the best person too; and he is a very paramour for a fweet voice.


In former Editions: Peradventure, to make it the more gracicus,I fall fing it at her Death.] At whofe Death? In Bottom's Speech there is no mention of any She Creature, to whom this Relative can be coupled. I make not the leaft Scruple, but Bottom, for the fake of a Jeft, and to render his Voluntary, as we may call it, the more gracious and extraordinary, faid; I fball fing it after Death. He, as Pyramus, is kill'd upon the Scene; and fo might promife to rife again at the Con

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clufion of the Interlude, and
give the Duke his Dream by way
of Song.
The Source of
the Corruption of the Text is
very obvious. The f in after
being funk by the vulgar Pro-
nunciation, the Copyiit might
write it from the Sound,
a'ter which the wife Editors
not understanding, concluded,
two Words were erroneously got
together; fo, splitting them, and
clapping in an b, produced the
prefent Reading-
at ber

Flu. You must fay, paragon; a paramour is (God bless us!) a thing of nought.


Enter Snug.

Snug. Mafters, 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 fweet bully Bottom! thus hath he loft fixpence a day during his life; he could not have 'scaped fix-pence a-day; an the Duke had not given him fixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hang'd: He would have deferv'd it. Six pence a day, in Pyramus, or nothing.

Enter Bottom.

Bot. Where are thefe lads? where are these hearts? Quin. Bottom!O moft 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 as it fell out.

Quin. Let us hear, fweet Bottom.

Bot. Not a word of me; all I will tell you is, that the Duke hath dined. Get your apparel together, good ftrings to your beards, new ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the palace, every man look o'er his part; for the fhort and the long is, our play is preferr'd. In any cafe, let Thify have clean linen; and let not him, that plays the lion, pair his nails, for they fhall hang out for the lion's claws; and, most dear actors! eat no onions, nor garlick, for we are to utter fweet breath; and I do not doubt to hear them

6 A thing of nought, which Mr. Theobald changes with great pomp to a thing of naught, is, a good for nothing Thing.


7 In the fame fenfe as in the Tempeft, any monster in England

makes a man.


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fay, it is a most sweet comedy. No more words; away;

go away.




Enter Thefeus, Hippolita, Egeus, and his Lords.

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'TIS IS ftrange, my Thefeus, what thefe lovers

fpeak of.

The. More ftrange than true. I never may believe s These antick fables, nor these fairy toys; Lovers and madmen have fuch feething brains, Such fhaping fantafies, that apprehend More than cool reafon ever comprehends. The lunatick, the lover, and the poet, Are of imagination all compact:

One fees more devils than vast hell can hold;

The madman. While the lover, all as frantick,

Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt.

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rowling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to


And, as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to aiery nothing
A local habitation and a name.

Such tricks hath ftrong imagination,
That if he would but apprehend fome joy,
He comprehends fome bringer of that joy;

8 Thefe beautiful lines are in all the old Editions thrown out

of metre. They are very welk reftored by the later Editors.


Or in the night imagining fome fear,
How easy is a bush fuppos'd a bear?

Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigur'd fo together,
More witneffeth than fancy's images,
And grows to fomething of great conftancy, 9
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

Enter Lyfander, 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.

Lyf. More than to us,

Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed. The. Come now, what mafks, what dances fhall we have,

To wear away this long age of three hours,
Between our after-fupper and bed-time?
Where is our ufual manager of mirth?
What revels are in hand? is there no play,
To cafe the anguish of a torturing hour?
Call Philoftrate.

Enter Philoftrate.

Philoft. Here, mighty Thefeus.

The. Say, what abridgment have you for this evening? What mark? What mufick? how fhall we beguile The lazy time, if not with fome delight?

Philoft. There is a brief, how many fports are ripe:* Make choice of which your Highness will fee firit. [Giving a Paper. The. reads.+] The battel with the Centaurs, to be fung By an Athenian eunuch to the harp. We'll none of that. That I have told my love,

9 Conftancy. Confiftency; Stability; Certainty.

One of the quartos has ripe, the other, with II. III. IV. rife. This is printed as Mr. TheoVOL. I.

bald gave it from both the old quartos. In the first folio, and all the following Editions, Lyfander reads the catalogue, and TheJeus makes the remarks. M


In glory of my kinfman Hercules.
The riot of the tiply Bacchanals,
Tearing the Thracian finger in their rage.
That is an old device; and it was plaid,
When I from Thebes came laft a conqueror.
The thrice three Mufes mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.
That is fome fatire, keen and critical;
Not forting with a nuptial ceremony.
A tedious brief fcene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thilby; very tragical mirth.
Merry and tragical? tedious and brief?
That is hot Ice, and wonderous ftrange Snow. I
How fhall we find the concord of this difcord?

Philoft. A play there is, my lord, fome ten words long,

Which is as brief, as I have known a play;
But 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 faw rehears'd, I must confefs,
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
The paffion of loud laughter never shed.
The. What are they, that do play it?

Philoft. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens here,

Which never labour'd in their minds 'till now;
And now have toil'd their unbreath'd memories
With this fame play against your nuptials.

1 Merry and tragical? tedious and brief?

That is hot Ice, AND wondrous frange SNOW] The nonfenfe of the last line fhould be corrected thus,

That is, bot Ice, a wondrous frange SHOW!

WARBURTON. Mr. Upton reads, not improbably,

And wondrous ftrange black



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