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ON THE ffable and Composition of THE
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
Tuis play was entered at Stationers' Hall, O&. 8. 1600, by Thomas Fisher. It is probable that the hint for it was received from Chaucer's Knight's Tale. Thence it is, that our author speaks of Theseus as duke of Athens. The tale begins thus :
" Whilom as olde stories tellen us,
Late 'edit. v. 861. Lidgate too, the monk of Bury, in his translation of the Tragedies of John Bochas, calls him by the same title, chap. xij. 1. 21.
“ Duke Theseus had the victorye." Creon, in the tragedy of focasta, translated from Euripides in 1566, is called Duke Creon ; So likewise Skelton :
“ Not lyke Duke Hamilcar,
“ Nor lyke Duke Asdruball." Stanyhurst, in his translation of Virgil, calls Æneas, Duke Æneas; and in Heywood's Iron Age, 2d Part, 1632, Ajax is styled Duke Ajax, Palamedes, Duke Palamedes, and Nestor, Duke Nestor, &c. STEEVENS.
Wild and fantastical as this play is, all the parts in their vae rious modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure
which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion ; common tradition had made them familiar, and Spenser's poem had made them great. Johnson.
6, the Taylor,
Characters in the Interlude performed hy
Theseus and Hippolitą.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove :
her love :
Another Part of the Wood. Enter the Queen of Fairies,
with her Train.
Queen. Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song ;
Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen ;
Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong ;
Come not near our fairy queen :
Philomel, with melody,
Sing in your sweet lullaby;
Never harm, nor spell nor charm,
Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence:
Worn, nor snail, do no offence,
Philomel, with melody, &c.
[Exeunt Fairies, The Queen sloos.
Ob. What thou seest, when thou dost wake,
(Squeezes the Flower on her Eye-lids. Do it for thy true love take;
Love, and languish for his sake :
Enter LYSANDER, and HERMIA.
310 Her. Be it so, Lysander : find you out a bed, For I upon this bank will rest my head.
Lys. One turf shall serve aś pillow for us both; One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.
Her. Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear, Lye further off yet, do not lye so near.
Lys. O, take the sense, sweet of my innocence ;
Her. Lysander, riddles very prettily -