October 15 1853.--Every reader of Shakespeare is disposed to regard the Midsummer Night's Dream as the most essentially unactable of all his plays. It is a dramatic poem of the utmost grace and delicacy; its characters are creatures of the poet's fancy that no flesh and blood can properly present--fairies who 'creep into acorn-cups', or mortals who are but dim abstractions, persons of a dream. The words they speak are so completely spiritual that they are best felt when they are not spoken. Their exquisite beauty is like that of sunset colours which no mortal artist can intrepret faithfully. The device of the clowns in the play to present Moonshine seems but a fair expression of the kind of success that might be achieved by the best actors who should attempt to present the Midsummer Night's Dream on the stage. It was, therefore, properly avoided by managers as lying beside and above their art; nor was there reason to be disappointed when the play some years ago furnished Madame Vestris with a spectacle that altogether wanted the Shakespearean spirit.
In some measure there is reason for a different opinion on these matters in the Midsummer Night's Dream as produced at SADLER'S WELLS by Mr. Phelps. Though stage-fairies cannot ride on bluebells, and the members of no theatrical company now in existence can speak such poetry as that of the Midsummer Night's Dream otherwise than most imperfectly, yet it is proved that there remains in the power of the manager who goes with pure taste