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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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10
He would have deserved it. Sixpence a day in Pyramus, or nothing.
And he would have deserved it too. Pyramus is worth

six pence a day,

A pension of six pence a day would be a lot of money for a working class man.

six pence a day,
or it’s worth nothing!
Enter BOTTOM
BOTTOM enters.

BOTTOM
Where are these lads? Where are these hearts?
BOTTOM
Where are my guys? Where are my good fellows?

QUINCE
Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour!
QUINCE
Bottom! Oh, how wonderful to see you! Oh, what a relief!

BOTTOM
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 everything, right as it fell out.
BOTTOM
My friends, I’ve got some amazing things to tell you—but don’t ask me to tell you what. I swear by my Athenian citizenship that I won’t tell you anything. I’ll tell you everything exactly as it happened.

QUINCE
Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
QUINCE
Tell us, Bottom.

15
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 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 that plays the lion pair 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!
BOTTOM
No, you won’t get a word out of me. All I’ll tell you is that the duke has had dinner already. Now it’s time to get your costumes together. Find some good strings for tying on your false beards, and grab new ribbons to decorate your shoes. Meet me at the palace as soon as possible. Look over your lines again. Our play’s going to be performed for the duke! So make sure Thisbe’s wearing clean underwear, and make sure whoever’s playing the lion doesn’t cut his nails, because he needs them long to look like lion’s claws. And no one eat any onions or garlic. If we have sweet-smelling breath, I’m sure they’ll say “it’s a sweet play.” Now no more talking. Get busy, go!
Exeunt
They all exit.

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