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moon's divinity, may have been in the middle ages intermingled with the European legend. The Heetopades* contains the following allusion to this belief:-“ Then I will declare what are the commands of the God Chandra. He bade me say, that in driving away and destroying the hares who are appointed to guard the fountain which is consecrated to that deity, you have done ill; for, said he, they are my guards, and it is notorious that a figure of a hare is my emblem.”
Daniel O'Rourke, a famous Irish tippler, chronicled in Croker's Fairy Legends, is said to have had a brief but very unsatisfactory interview with this same inhabitant of the moon. “ Out there walks who do you think but the man in the moon himself? I knew him by his bush." It is to be regretted that Daniel has not furnished us with a more accurate account of his habiliments.
• Wilkins, in his translation of this book, interprets the animal mentioned to be a rabbit. We think that the original word more properly signifies a hare.
Give it an understanding."
IN the 5th Act, Philostrate produces a list of the
various amusements which had been proffered by the people of Athens, for Theseus to wear away the “ long age of three hours, between his after-supper and bed-time.” The exact meaning of one of these has never been satisfactorily explained :
“ The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceased in beggary."
“ That is some satire, keen and critical,
Now, it will be remembered that out of the four “ sports which are rife,” three of them certainly refer to a period and action consistent with the nature of the plot. We have
" The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung,
Next in order,
“ The riot of the tipsy bacchanals,
“ A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
It is probable that the two lines we have given above were either inserted after the play itself was written, or that the poet merely makes a general allusion to the low state of literature at the time; and this supposition accords sufficiently with Shakespeare's usual practice. For instance, as we have before mentioned, he evidently alludes, nearly at the beginning of the play, to the state of the weather in the year 1594 ; but this description is not at all incompatible with the circumstances of his drama. Now we think that a particular allusion to some real person and some real death has this difficulty. Theseus rejects one “ sport,”
“ In glory of my kinsman Hercules.”
and another, because it was
“ an old device; and it was play'd When I from Thebes came last a conqueror."
Is it reasonable to suppose that at the same time Shakespeare wrote the above lines, he would have considered it at all consistent to introduce a personal allusion to any of his own contemporaries ? For, it inust be remembered, such an allusion evidently could not apply also to the period of Theseus. If any, allusion be intended, we think it must be general; and Daniel, in the Cleopatra, printed in 1594, complains sadly of the “ barbarism” of the time. Perhaps, however, the plague of 1593 may have simultaneously destroyed learning and some of its professors.
Some have considered the lines in question to relate to the death of Spenser. If so, they must have been inserted immediately before the first publication of the play, in 1600, for Spenser died sometime in the year 1599. Although we do not think that this conjecture is supported by much probability, yet we are glad of the opportunity to insert another extract from Lane's Triton's Trumpet, because it not only contains an interesting allusion to Spenser's death, but also mentions other English poets :
“ Madam, quoth hee, I chaunced this Aprill springe
Whither quoth shee? to England Danus said.
Alas ! was that his ende ? quoth Danus tho,
At that Vipoda laughd, naie swore these strive
Yet lett that passe ! sithe I do love force none,
frend. O but, quoth Danus, Madam, yet are theare Some able, active, valient, stowt, austeare: Besides, amongst them, theare bee some good witts, So farr as drincking, wenchinge, eake permitts ! Yet graunt I touchinge them, that they of late, Have lost theire Father's footestepps in their gate. Natheless I hope well of theire generous, They wil bee to us like th' old gratious, And by November's mirror elevate, Correct own faultes, which they in others hate.
On that condicion, quoth shee, I will wend, To chalke how they which after come may mend.
Full glad was Danus when hee heard her yeild, Tho proffred him hert, beare ore sea, and feild. Just as herselfe, her owne course vp shoold steare, And safelie woold her ferrie anie wheare: Nowe, as shee shoold be pleasd to name the place, His winges shoeld fetch yt vp in litle space.
Tho uppon Danus back Vipoio sitts, Bowt whome with golden girdle a knott he knitts, And shee fast holding his forelock up they flewe, So for a while, bidds Amara adiewe. But Danus, quoth shee, rowz up all your might! For wee from hence, must take a weerie flight. Now when the wind had opened Danus winges, And all his plumage spred, aloft hee flinges, Wheare fruishinge foorth his aierie pineond quills, Delightfullie, through Auraes bosom thrills. But in the midle region soringe, viewd, What of each innovation greene ensewd. The peacefull plaines shee sawe with sweete delight, The troublous seas eake under came her sight, Th' ambitious projects mountinge up to skye, The stench of everie pollute misterie, All which shee lawghd, in that herselfe was heere, And bought not of theire wares at handes so deere. Danus, quoth shee, the queene of love they saie, Borne on a wave, at Venice first did swaie, Thence must I fetch a retort glasse full bright, Th'engredientes ceremonial to indight. Tho soone they crossd the Medeterranean,