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* A MIDSUMMER-Night's DREAM.] This play was entered at Stationers' Hall, Q&. 8, 1600, by Thomas Fisher. It is probable thai the hint for it was received from Chaucer's Knight's Tale.

There is an old black letter pamphlet by W. Bettie, called Titana and Theseus, entered at Stationers' Hall, in 1608; but Shakspeare has taken no hints from it. Titania is also the name of the Queen of the Fairies in Decker's Whore of Babylon, 1607. STEEVENS.

The Midsummer-Night's Dream I suppose to have been written in 1592. See An attempt to ascertain the order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. MALONE.

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Theseus, Duke of Athens.
Egeus, Father to Hermia.
Lyiander,

in love with Hermia.
Demetrius,
Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus.
Quince, the Carpenter.
Snug, the Joiner.
Bottom, the Weaver.
Flute, the Bellows-mender.
Snout, the Tinker.
Starveling, the Tailor.
Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, hetrothed to

Theseus.
Hermia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander.
Helena, in love with Demetrius.
Oberon, King of the Fairies.
Titania, Queen of the Fairies.
Puck, or Robin-goodfellow, a Fairy.
Peafeblossom,
Cobweb,

Fairies.
Moth,
Mustard-feed,
Pyramus,
Thisbe,

Characters in the Interlude
Wall,
Moonshine,

performed by the Clowns.
Lion,

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.

Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it. * The enumeration of persons was first made by Mr. Rowe.

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STEEVENS.

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Athens. A Room in the Palace of Theseus.

Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and

Attendants.

THE. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon: but, oh, methinks, how slow
This old moon wanes! fhe lingers my desires,
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,
Long withering out a young man's revenue. *

Hir. Four days will quickly steep themselves in

2

nights; 3

Four nights will quickly dream away the time;

; And then the moon, like to a silver bow

2 Like- to a step-dame, or a dowager, Long withering out a young man's revenue. ] The authenticity of this reading having been questioned by Dr. Warburton, I shall exemplify it from Chapman's Transation of the 4th Book of Homer. there the goodly plant lies withering out his grace."

STEEVENS, Ut piget annus Pupillis, quos dura premit cuftodia matrum, " Sic mihi tarda fuunt ingrataque tempora." Hor.

MALONE. fteep themselves in nights; ] So, in Cymbeline, Ad V. sc. iv.

neither deserve,
“ And yet are feep'd in favours." STEEVENS.

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New bent * in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our folemnities.
The.

Go, Philostrate,
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Awake the pert and niinble fpirit of mirth;
Turn melancholy forth to funerals,
The pale companion is not for our pomp. -

[ Èxit PhilosTRATE.
Hippolyta, I woo'd thce with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.'

Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS.

EGE. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!

4 New bent --] The old copies read – Now bent. Correded by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

s With pomp, wiih triumph, and with revelling. By triumph,
as Mr. Warton bas observed in his late edition of Milton's Poems,
p. 56, we are 10 uuderstand shows, such as maiks, revels, &c. So,
again in King Henry VI. P. III:

" And now what rests, but that we spend the time
6. With 'ftately triumphs, mirthful comick shows,

“ Such as befit the pleasures of the court?"
Again, in ihe pieface to Burton's Anatomie of Melancholy, 1624 :
" Now come tidings of weddings, maskings, mummeries, enter-
tainments, trophies, triumphs, revels, sports, playes." Jonson, as
the same gentleman observes, in the title of his masque called Love's
Triumph through Callipolis, by triumph seems to have meant a grand
proceflion ; and in one of the stage-diređions, it is said, the
triunph is seen far off.” MALONE.

our renowned duke! ] Thus in Chaucer's Knight's Tale :
" Whilom as olde stories tellen us,
" There was a Duk that highte Theseus,
• Of Athenes he was lord and governour," &c.

Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 861.
Lidgate too, the monk of Bury, in his transiation of the Tragedies
of John Bochas, calls him by the same title, chap. xii. l. 211

“i Duke Theseus had the viđorye."

66

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