fairies' “midwife—The,” ROMEO AND JULIET, i. 4. 54. “Does not mean the midwife to the fairies, but that she was the person among the fairies, whose department it was to deliver the fancies of sleeping men of their dreams, those children of an idle brain ” (STEEVENS) . “Shakespeare, by employing her [Mab] here, alludes at large to her midnight pranks performed on sleepers; but denominates her from the most notorious one, of her personating the drowsy midwife, who was insensibly carried away into some distant water, and substituting a new birth in the bed or cradle” (T. WARTON) .
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