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Puck. Now the hungry lion roars, And the wolf behowls the moon; Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, All with weary task fordone. Now the wasted brands do glow, Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, Puts the wretch, that lies in woe, In remembrance of a shroud. Now it is the time of night, That the graves, all gaping wide, Every one lets forth his sprite, In the church-way paths to glide: And we fairies, that do run By the triple Hecate's team, From the presence of the sun, Pollowing darkness like a dream, Now are frolic; not a mouse Shall disturb this hallow'd house: I am sent with broom before, To sweep the dust behind the door.
old Orthon, and Titania, with all their train.
0. Through the house give glimmering light, By the dead and drowsy fire; For elf and fairy sprite,
Hop as light as bird from brier;
Tita. First, rehearse your song by rote,
Obe. Now, until the break of day, Through this house each fairy stray. To the best bride-bed will we, Which by us shall blessed be; And the issue there create Ever shall be fortunate. So shall all the couples three Ever true in loving be; And the blots of nature's hand Shall not in their issue stand: Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar, Nor mark prodigious, such as are Despised in nativity, Shall upon their children be. With this field-dew consecrate, Every fairy take his gait, And each several chamber bless, Through this palace with sweet peace; Ever shall in safety rest, Ż. . . . . . * *And the owner of it bo.3 * ...,
“— our renowned Duke"—Gibbon, (“Decline and Fall," chap. xvii.) speaking of the title of Duke, as applied to the military commander of princes in the of: of Constantine, says that “it is only a corruption of the Latin word Dur, which was o applied to any chief." In this sense it was early adopted in Qld:English, and used in the first translations of the Bible, including that of King James., Thus, in the fis. teenth chapter of “Genesis,” the word in Greek and in Hebrew, answering to leader, is thus rendered. A alul, in the first chapter of the first book of “Chronicles,” we find a list of the “dukes of Edom.” Chaucer has Duke Theseus-Gower, Duke Spartacus—Stonyhurst, Duke AEneas.
“Haçcording to our law"+By a law of Solon, parents had an absolute power of life and death over their children. . It suited the Poet's purpose to suppose that the Athenians had it before.
“-Earthly happier-More, happy in an earthly sense. The reading of all the old copies is “earthlier happy,” and this is retained in the majority of editions, although Pope and Johnson proposed earlier happy, and Stevens earthly happy. We agree, with #: and Collier, that Capell's reading, which we have adopted, is the true one; and that the old reading arose out of a common typographical error. The orthography of the folio is earthlier happie—if the comparative not been used, it would have been earthlie a pie; and it is easy to see that the r has been transposed.
“Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke"—Collier follows the second folio–"to whose unwish'd yoke;" but to give anything sovereignty is still good English, without inserting to. The metre is more impressive as it stood in the three earlier editions, without this i. tion. “Lordship" is used as it was anciently, where we should now use dominion—an instance, among many, where the word of later derivation, of the same primitive sense, had displaced the former Anglo-Saxon one, or confined it to a more limited sense. In Wickliffe's “New Testament,” “lordship” is used where the translators of King James's “Bible” have Preferred dominion.
“Boter of them."—To “beteem,” in its Cornmon ac. ceptation, is to bestow, as often used by Spenser and others, and which gives a clear sense; but Stevens sugests that it here means P” out, as he says it is used in the North of England. y
“4k me! for aught that I could eter read"—The Furious observer of Shakespearian rhythm will note here a variation from most †. editions, affecting only the melody of the **,9 This is the reading of .
two editions printed in the Poet's life. The folio, fol-
till in use in crashaw, and's
**on have shortened the lines by reading
NOTES ON MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM.
o: player says, “The twelve labours of Hercules Lembly thundered on the stage."
--roy it in a mask"—"This passage shows how ontos women, on the old stage, was supplied. If odnotayoung man who could perform the part have that might pass for feminine, the character *dinamask; which was at that time a part of sites so much in use, that it did not give any - ppearance to the scene; and he that could voice in a female tone might play the woovery successfully. Some of the o of the immedies, o make lovers marry the wrong on, are, by recollection of the common use o
onwght nearer to probability. Prynne, in his
*-alill of properties”—The technicalities of the
* very unchanging. The person who has of the wooden swords, and pasteboard shields. - required for the business of the o: called the property-man. In the “Anti
"by R. Brome, it;40, (quoted by Mr. Collier,) *the following ludicrous account of the “prop*"which form as curious an assemblage as in Ho
"-Hold, or cut bow-strings"—Capell says this is a expression, derived from archery:-" When
*prefixes to the speeches, Puck is called Robin
low, until after the entrance of Oberon. Robin
low was his popular name.
oran bush”—“Thorough" is the older form ori, and both were used o in
's day, though the first began to be a little He uses either, as suits his metrical effect.
“ – they do square"—i.e. Quarrel. “It is difficult to understand how to square, which, in the ordinary sense, is to agree, o mean to disagree. And yet there is no doubt that the word was used in this sense. Hollingshed has- Falling at square with her husband." In Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice says—"Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil?” Mr. Richardson, after explaining the usual meaning of this verb, adds—‘To square is also, . to broaden; to set out broadly, in a position or attitude of offence or defence—(se quarrer.)" The word is thus used in the language of pugilism. There is more of our old dialect in flash terms than is generally supposed.”—Knight.
“—that shrewd and knavish sprite, Called Robin Good-fellow.” “The account given of this ‘knavish sprite' in these lines, corresponds with what is said of him in Harsenet's • Declaration,” (1603:)—“And if that the bowl of curds and cream were not duly set out for Robin Good-fellow, the friar, and Sisse, the dairymaid, why then either the pottage was burnt next day in the pot, or the cheeses would not curdle, or the butter would not come, or the ale in the vat never would have good head.” Scott also speaks of him, in his ‘Discovery of Witchcraft:‘Your grandams' maids were wont to set a bowl of milk for him, for his pains in grinding of malt and mustard, and sweeping the house at midnight. This white bread, and bread and milk, was his standing fee.”—t. Warton. In his “Nymphidia,” (1619,) Drayton thus speaks of Puck, “the merry wanderer of the night:"— This Puck seems but a dreaming dolt; Still walking like a ragged colt, And oft out of a bush doth bolt, Of purpose to deceive us; And leading us, makes us to stray Long winter nights, out of the wa And when we stick in mire and c oy. He doth with laughter leavens,