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LONGMANS' ENGLISH CLASSICS

EDITED BY

GEORGE RICE CARPENTER, A.B.

LATE PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC AND ENGLISH COMPOSITION

IN COLUMBIA COLLEGE

WILLIAM SHAKSPERE

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

SHAKSPERE'S

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S

DREAM

EDITED

WITH NOTES AND AN INTRODUCTION

BY

GEORGE PIERCE BAKER, A.B.
PROFESSOR OF DRAMATIC LITERATURE IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY

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LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
FOURTH AVENUE & 30TH STREET, NEW YORK

PRAIRIE AVENUE & 25TH STREET, CHICAGO

COLLEGE
LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT, 1896

BY
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

First EDITION, JANUARY, 1896
REPRINTED SEPTEMBER, 1903

OCTOBER, 1906
May, 1909; JANUARY, 1914

MAY, 1916

PREFACE

The aim of the editor in this edition of “A Midsummer Night's Dream ” has been to interest the boy or girl who chances to use it. Discussion of mooted passages, explanations of the growth of our language as shown in the play, research as to the sources of the material used in it, exposition of the dramatic construction it shows, may be important for a college student, they must be for the normal boy or girl tiresome. The editor believes that if a boy or girl can be made to see that the play is not simply a piece of literature prescribed for his preparatory reading for college examinations, but a play as vivid and interesting to the Londoners of nearly three centuries ago as is any play of today to him, and also that reading it will give him more knowledge of a time that has been made by its picturesqueness to rouse his curiosity and stimulate his imagination, the reading that would otherwise be a task will become a pleas

Boys and girls once interested thus in “A Midsummer Night's Dream ”must enjoy for themselves the story of the four lovers, the pranks of Puck, and the mistakes and antics of Bottom and his friends. If they can only be so thoroughly interested in the play as a play that they will read it not once but often, they must sooner or later come to realize for themselves the wealth of its imagery, the exquisiteness of its poetry. Until they do somewhat realize all this for themselves, critical study of the play is liable to check their growing appreciation of the play as literature. In brief, the edition is based on the idea that some appre

ure.

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