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

in love with Hermia.
Demetrius, S
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, betrothed 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.


Characters in the Interlude performed by Wall,

the Clowns. Moonshine, Lion,

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.

Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.

Athens, and a Wood not far from it.


Athens. A room in the Palace of Theseus.



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! she lingers my desires,
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,
Long withering out a young man's revenue.1

Hin. Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;?
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow,
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.

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

[Exit Philos.

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.”

Ut piget annus
Pupillis, quos dura premit custodia matrum,
Sic mihi tarda fluunt ingrataque tempora.Hor. Malone.

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,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with"revelling's revelry.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke! 4
The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news with thee?

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.
“ With stately triumphs, mirthful comick shows,

“ 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.

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