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That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think,
And Hippolyta. Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple. Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow
And, by the way, let us recount our dreams.
[ Exeunt, 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-niender! Snout the tinker! Starveling! God's my life! stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a moft rare yifion. I have had a dream,-past the wit of man to say what dream it was: Man is but an ass, if
Are you sure 16 That we are awake ?! I had once injudiciously restored these words; but they add no weight to the sense of the passage, and create such a defe& in the measure as is best remedied by iheir omission. STEEVENS.
Are you sure
That we are awake?) Sure is here used as a disfýllable : so fire, fire, hour, &c. The word now [ That we are now awake? ] seems to be wanting, to complete the metre of the next line. MALONE,
I cannot accede to a belief that sure was ever employed as a dis. syllable, much less at the end of a verse. Fire (anciently spelt fier) and hour (anciently spelt hower) might be dillyllabically used, because the duplicate vowels in each of them were readily separated in pronunciation. Our author might have written
" But are you sure
16 That we are now awake?". Having exhibited this passage, however, only in my note on the hemiftich that follows it, I have little solicitude for iis reformation.
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 patch'd fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man' bath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen; man's hand is not able to tafe, his tongue to conceive, por his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream : it shall be call'd Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will fing it in the latter end ofå play, before the duke :' Peradventure, to make it the morę gracious, I shall fing it at her death.
[ Exit, patch'd fool, ] That is, a fool in a particolour'd coat.
JOHNSON. The eve of man, &c.] He is here blundering upon the scriptural passage of Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things," &c. 1. Cor. ii. 9.
Douce. the latter end of the play, before the duke: ] i. e. the play in which he was to perform. The old copies read~" a play." I have not scrupled to place the present emendation, which is Mr. Ritson's, in the text. STEEVENS.
- I shall sing it at her death. ] At whose 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 sake of a jest, and to render his voluntary, as we may call it, the more gracious and extraordinary, said ;--I shall sing it after death. Hc, as Pyramus, is kill'd upon the scene; and so might promise to rise again at the conclusion 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 pronunciation, the copyist might write it from the sound,-a'ter : which the wise editors not understanding, concluded, two words were erroneously got together; so, splitting them, and clapping in an h, produced the present reading-at her.
THEOBALD. Theobald might have quoted the following passage in The Tempeft in support of his emendation. i. This is a very scurvy tune (says Trinculo,) for a man to fing at his funeral." Yet I believe the text is right. MALONE.
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 marr’d; It goes not forward, doth it? Quin. It is not pofsible: you
have not a man in all Athens, able to discharge Pyramus, but he.
Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any handycraft 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.”
at her death. ] He may mean the death of Thisbe, which his heal might be at present full of; and yet I cannot but prefer the happy conje&ure of Mr. Theobald to my own attempt at explana. tion.. STEEVENS.
- a thing of nought. ] This Mr. Theobald changes with great pump to a thing of naught; i. c. a good for nothing thing.
JOHNSON. A thing of nought may be the true reading. So, in Hamlet : 16 Ham. The king is a thing
Guil. A thing my lord?
16 Hom. Of nothing." See the note on this passage.
Paramour being a word which Flute did not understand, he may design to say that it had no meaning, i, e. thing of nought.
Mr. M. Mason, however, is of a different opinion. 66 The ejaculation, (says he) God bless us! proves that Flute imagined he was saying a naughty word." STEEVENS.
SNUG. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married: if our sport had
forward, we had all been made men.
Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost fix-pence a-day during his life; he could not have 'scaped fix-pence a-day: an the duke had not given him fix-pence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hang’d; he would have deserv'd it: fix-pence aday, in Pyramus, or nothing. 9
Вот. Where are these lads ? where are these hearts?
Quin. Bottom !-0 most courageous day! O. most happy hour !
Bor. 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, 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 to
made men. ] In the same sense as in The Tempeft, ang monster in England makes a man. JOHNSON.
fixpence a day, in Pyramus, or nothing. ] Shakspeare has already ridiculed the title-page of Cambyses by Thomas Preston; and here he seems to allude to him, or some other person who, like him, had been penfioned for his dramatic abilities. Preston aded a part in John Ritwise's play of Dido before queen Elizabeth at Cambridge, in 1564; and the queen was so well pleased, that she bestowed on him a pension of twenty pounds a year, which is little more than a Milling a day. STEEVENS.
gether; good frings 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 preferr'd.' In any case, let 1 hisby 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, cat 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.
good frings to your beards, 1 i. c. to prevent the falsc beards, which they were to wear, from falling off. MALONE.
As no salse beard could be worn, without a ligature to fasten it on, (and a slender one would fuffice, ) the caution of Bottom, confidered in such a light, is superfluous. I fufpc& therefore that the good strings recommended by him, were ornamental, or employed to give an air of novelty to the countenances of the performers. Thus, in Measure for Measuri, ( where the natural beard is unqueftionably spoken of, the Duke, intent on disfiguring the head of Ragozine, fays " O, death's a great disguiser; and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard." STEEVENS.
our plny is preferr'd. ] This word is not to be understood in its most common acceptation here, as if their play was chosen in preference 10 the others; (for that appears 'afterwards not to be the fa& ;) but mcans, that it was given in among others for the duke's option. So, in Julius Cæfar Decius, says,
" Where is Metellus Cimber? let him go