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Theseus, Duke of Athens.
in love with Hermia.
Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus. Hermia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander. Helena, in love with Demetrius.
Oberon, King of the Fairies.
Characters in the Interlude performed by Wall,
the Clowns. Moonshine, Lion,
Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
ACT I.....SCENE I.
Athens. A room in the Palace of Theseus.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and
The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Hin. Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;?
1 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 translation of the 4th Book of Homer: there the goodly plant lies withering out his grace.”
steep themselves in nights;] So, in Cymbeline, Act V, sc, iy.
neither deserve, “ And yet are steep'd in favours.” Steevens. 3. In all ota mprefsins it was New bent . m Rorre frit changed it arstis above - New bent in which correction
the ms. fol. agrees.
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
3 With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.] By triumph, as Mr. Warton has observed in his late edition of Milton's Poems, p. 56, we are to understand shows, such as masks, revels, &c. So again, in King Henry VI, P. III:
“ And now what rests, but that we spend the time.
“ Such as befit the pleasures of the court?” Again, in the preface to Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, 1624: “ Now come tidings of weddings, maskings, mummeries, entertainments, 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 procession; and, in one of the stage-directions, it is said, “ the triumph is seen far off.” Malone.
Thus also, (and more satisfactorily) in the Duke of Anjou's Entertainment at Antwerp, 1581: “yet notwithstanding, their tri. umphes (those of the Romans] have so borne the bell above all the rest, that the word triumphing, which commeth thereof, hath beene applied to all high, great, and statelie dooings.” Steevens.
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.
Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 861. Lidgate too, the monk of Bury, in his translation of the Tragedies of John Bochas, calls him by the same title, ch. xii, 1. 21:
« Duke Theseus had the victorye.” Creon, in the tragedy of Jocasta, translated from Euripides in 1566, is called Duke Creon. So likewise Skelton:
“ Not like Duke Hamilcar,
“ Nor like Duke Asdruball.” Stanyhurst, in his Translation of Virgil, calls Æneas, Duke Æneas; and in Heywood's Iron Age, Part II, 1632, Ajax is styled Duke Ajax, Palamedes, Duke Palamedes, and Nestor, Duke Nestor, &c.
Our version of the Bible exhibits a similar misapplication of a modern title; for in Daniel, iii. 2, Nebuchadonozar, King of Babylon, sends out a summons to the Sheriffs of his provinces.
Steevens. See also the 1st Book of The Chronicles, ch. i, v. 51, & seqq. a list of the Dukes of Edom. Harris.