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Thefeus, Duke of Athens.

Egeus, Father to Hermia.

Lyfander, in love with Hermia.

Demetrius, in love with Hermia.

Philoftrate, Mafter of the Sports to Thefeus.

Quince, the Carpenter.

Snug, the Joiner.

Bottom, the Weaver.

Flute, the Bellows-mender.
Snowt, the Tinker.

Starveling, the Taylor.

Hippolita, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Thefeus. Hermia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lyfander. 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


the Clowns.



Other Fairies attending their King and Queen: Attendants on Thefeus and Hippolita.

SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it.

The enumeration of perfons was first made by Mr. Rowe.



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The Palace of Thefeus in Athens.

Enter Thefeus, Hippolita, Philoftrate, with attendants.

The. Now, fair Hippolita, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in

2 This play was entered at Stationers' Hall, Oct. 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 Thefeus as duke of Athens. The tale begins thus:

"Whilom as olde ftories tellen us,

"There was a Duk that highte Thefeus,

"Of Athenes he was lord and governour, &c."
Late edit. v. 861.

Lidgate too, the monk of Bury, in his tranflation of the Trage
dies of John Bochas, calls him by the fame title, chap. xii. 1. 21.
Duke Thefeus had the victorye."

Creon, in the tragedy of Focafta, tranflated from Euripides in 1566, is called Duke Creon:

So likewife Skelton:

"Not lyke Duke Hamilcar,

"Nor lyke Duke Afdruball."

Stanyhurft, in his tranflation of Virgil, calls Eneas, Duke
Eneas; and in Heywood's Iron Age, 2d Part, 1632, Ajax is
ftyled Duke Ajax, Palamedes, Duke Palamedes, and Neftor, Duke
Neftor, &c. STEEVENS.

There is an old black-letter'd pamphlet by W. Bettie, called Titana and Thefeus: I have not feen it; but one might imagine from the coincidence of names that Shakespeare took a part of his plot from it. FARMER.

This pamphlet was entered at Stationers' Hall, in 1608; but Shakespeare has taken no hints from it. Titania is also the name of the Queen of Fairies in Decker's Whore of Babylon, 1607.

B 2



Another moon: but, oh, methinks, how flow
This old moon wanes! fhe lingers my defires,
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,

Long withering out a young man's revenue 3.
Hip. Four days will quickly fteep themselves in

Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a filver bow
New bent in heaven, fhall behold the night
Of our folemnities.

The. Go, Philoftrate,

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 Phi.
Hippolita, I woo'd thee with my fword,

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, Lyfander, and Demetrius.
Ege. Happy be Thefeus, our renowned duke!
The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news with

Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.-
Stand forth, Demetrius ;-My noble lord,
This man hath my confent to marry her :-
Stand forth, Lyfander;-and, my gracious duke,

3 Long WITHERING OUT a young man's revenue. e.] Long withering out is, certainly, not good English. I rather think Shakepeare wrote, Long WINTERING ON a young man's revenue. WARBURTON.

That the common reading is not good English, I cannot perceive, and therefore find in myfelf no temptation to change it. JOHNSON.

So, in Chapman's Tranflation of the 4th B. of Homer: there the goodly plant lies withering out his grace.

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