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In their gold coats spots you see ;
The glittering dew-drops are not the only signs they give the human race of their existence. Like other bodies politic, the fairy world has its commotions and jealousies and petty wars; and wars, small as well as great, will leave visible traces behind them. Thus Titania complains that Oberon has prevented her and her train from extending their benignant influences to man.
Never, since the middle summer's spring,
and the green corn
The fairies have other duties to perform besides watching over the opening flowers, contesting the rule of the night with the buzzing or crawling insects, and assisting the seasons in their course. They have sympathies with the human race. They caress and defend those who are attached to them, in the most devoted manner. Titania will not part with the little changeling boy, even at the risk of a quarrel with her lord. She protests
The fairy land buys not the child of me,
• Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act ii, Scene 1.
Ibid, Act ii, Scene 2.
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy;
And, for her sake, I will not part with him.* Again, the fairies haunt the houses of their friends, scattering blessings around them. They enter the palace of Theseus, and Oberon enjoins
Now, until the break of day,
Which by us shall blessed be.
These our actors,
Is rounded with a sleep.t The dawn of the morning causes Puck to warn his master that the ghosts are trooping home to the places of their abode :
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast.
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger.
But we are spirits of another sort :
+ Tempest, Act iv, Scene 1.
• Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act ii, Scene 2.
Midsummer Night's Dream, Act iii, Scene 2.
A little longer and their tasks are done, and they have all
Then Bottom the weaver finds himself awake, near a hawthorn thicket. The strange visions of the night flit through his brain; the ass's head, which so admirably fitted the wearer, and the elfin queen, who so freely offered him her love-what were they? Bottom answers the question himself, and from his muddled brain pours forth this version of the adventures of the night. “I have had a dream,-past "the wit of man to say what dream it was : Man is but an ass, “if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was" there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had.-But man is but a patched fool, if he “ will offer to say what methought I had."*
And thus, in one of the most beautiful compositions man ever penned, Shakspeare has preserved the airy visions, the summer's evening dreams, about the fairy people of the woodlands of Warwickshire.
My paper has extended much longer than I at first intended; but I think I have proved what I have tried to do-our great poet's strong love for the forest, and that it was no transient feeling which inspired the words which Amiens sang :
Under the greenwood tree,
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
There shall he see
• Midsummer Night's Dream, Act iv, Scene 1. + As You Like It, Act ii, Scene 5,
THE PAMPHLET LITERATURE OF LIVERPOOL.
By Thomas Dawson Esq., M.R.C.S.
(READ 4TH FEBRUABY, 10TH MARCH AND 3RD NOVEMBER, 1864).
HAVING, for several years, been a collector of books and pamphlets printed or published in, or peculiarly relating to, Liverpool, I had intended presenting to the Historic Society a catalogue of books and pamphlets united, under the names of their authors, in alphabetical order. In this, however, I have been partially anticipated by Mr. Mott, who has published in our Transactions a catalogue of books published in Liverpool. It has been thus left to me to grapple with the more arduous task of cataloguing the pamphlets, which, for uniformity, I propose arranging in the same chronological order and to the same date-1850.
The papers read to the Society, and intended to form a preface to this catalogue, cannot possibly be printed for want of space, the list having extended far beyond the ordinary limits of a single paper. The difficulty of getting together these little links, which, united, form such a strong bond of union with the past, is very great;—they are scattered about in unaccountable places, and for the most part neglected and forgotten. The present catalogue is very far from exhaustive, being little more than a list of local pamphlets which, by quiet perseverance, I have been able to gather together for my own library.
About the year 1700 a printing press appears to have been first established in Liverpool, under the management of Samuel Terry, in Dale Street; he must have had a good business, being possessed of Greek type and able to commence a newspaper. How long he had been settled in the town pursuing this trade is unknown; the earliest specimen I can find of his work is a pamphlet printed in 1710, for Joseph Eaton. From this date I commence my catalogue. It is amusing to have it on record, that so recently as in the year 1647 two dictionaries were ordered for the parish school, with the injunction that they be chained to the desk or walla striking proof of the rarity of books in Liverpool at that period.
As a pamphlet is generally an essay or treatise on some subject of temporary interest, we shall find, in looking through the present collection, that many of these bear upon the more important events in the history of the town and illustrate those rapid but gigantic strides which so suddenly carried Liverpool to her present eminence among the great commercial cities of the world. It must not be forgotten that the pioneers of her greatness rose from the ranks and had to keep pace with the enormous growth of commerce ; had therefore abundant other calls on their attention and but slight qualifications for literary work. Yet, notwithstanding these drawbacks, the period of a hundred and fifty years embraced in my catalogue is not entirely barren of productions whose interest is enhanced by their literary merit. Of their special interest to the members of a Society engaged in reclaiming from oblivion whatever conduces to a clearer apprehension of the past a glance at the titles here recorded will afford ample proof; and, in dismissing the present imperfect compilation, I cannot refrain from expressing the hope that the Society may succeed in obtaining from other sources the means of rendering it more nearly complete.