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IN THE

MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM,

ILLUSTRATED

BY A COMPARISON WITH

LYLIE'S ENDYMION.

[graphic]

BY THE REV. N. J. H ALPIN.

in longum tamen ævum
Manserunt, hodiéque manent, vestigia ruris.

LONDON:
PRINTED FOR THE SHAKESPEARE SOCIETY.

1843.

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COUNCIL

OF

THE SHAKESPEARE SOCIETY.

President.
THE MOST NOBLE THE MARQUESS OF CONYNGHAM.

Vice-Presidents.
RT. HON. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A.
RT. HON. LORD FRANCIS EGERTON, M.P.
RT. HON. THE EARL OF GLENGALL.
RT. HON. EARL HOWE.
RT. HON. THE EARL OF POWIS.

AMYOT, THOMAS, ESQ., F.R.S., TREAS. S.A.
AYRTON, WILLIAM, ESQ., F.R.S., F.S.A.
BOTFIELD, BERIAH, ESQ., M.P.
BRUCE, JOHN, ESQ., F.S.A.
CLERKE, MAJOR SHADWELL.
COLLIER, J. PAYNE, ESQ., F.S.A., DIRECTOR.
COOPER, C. PURTON, ESQ., Q.C., F.R.S., F.S.A.
CORNEY, BOLTON, ESQ.
CUNNINGHAM, PETER, ESQ., TREASURER.
DICKENS, CHARLES, ESQ.
DYCE, REV. ALEXANDER.
FIELD, BARRON, ESQ.
HALLAM, HENRY, ESQ., F.R.S., V.P.S.A.
HALLIWELL, J. 0., ESQ., F.R.S., F.S.A.
PETTIGREW, T. J., ESQ., F.R.S. F.S.A.
PLANCHÉ, J. R., ESQ., F.S.A.
SHARPE, THE REV. LANCELOT, M.A.
THOMS, WILLIAM J., ESQ., F.S.A.
TOMLINS, F. GUEST, ESQ., SECRETARY.
WATSON, SIR FREDERICK BEILBY, K.C.H., F.R.S.
WRIGHT, THOMAS, ESQ., M.A., F.S.A., CORRESPONDENT

OF THE INSTITUTE OF FRANCE, ETC.

The Council of the Shakespeare Society desire it to be understood that they are not answerable for any opinions or observations that may appear in the Society's publications; the Editors of the several works being alone responsible for the same.

PREFACE.

My attention was called to the subject discussed in the following essay, by a critique in the Times * (June 12, 1841), in which, lamenting that no commentator on Shakespeare, since Warburton, had attempted to elucidate “the famous passage of the Mermaid on a Dolphin's back," the writer proceeds to observe: “yet those who are impressed with the singular beauty of the passage (and who are not ?) would have been glad to have received at his hands some contribution, however slight, or at least to have seen the result of his own consideration of the conflicting arguments of Warburton and Ritson, and of the other commentators, not forgetting Mr. Boaden, who has written ingeniously and learnedly on

the passage.

A challenge from a quarter so popular as the Times seemed to me to indicate a demand more extensive than that of the individual critic; and, my occasional studies having previously led me to a careful investigation of the subject, I thought I could not do better than add “my contribution, however slight,” towards the elucidation of

* On Mr. Halliwell's ingenious Essay on the Midsummer Night's Dream.

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