|These notes are based on those written by Donald Mackenzie for the OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS edition of Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies (1995) with the kind permission of Oxford University Press. Except where stated otherwise, the page numbers below refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of Puck of Pook's Hill (1906, and frequently reprinted since).||
"One summer in the early 1900s we children and my father acted scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Our stage was an old grass-grown quarry and there my brother as Puck, myself as Titania, and my father as Bottom, rehearsed and acted happily. A most realistic cardboard donkey's head had been donned by Bottom for his part, and the village policeman, passing along the lane, was amazed to see the familiar tweed-clad figure of my father topped by this extraordinary headgear.[Page 6, line 9] Bath Oliver A classic English dry biscuit, baked to a recipe from the 18th century. It is still sold in supermarkets today.
This was the first beginning of the stories that afterwards became Puck of Pook's Hill." (Epilogue to Carrington, page 588.)
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;[Page 7, line 8] What hempen homespuns Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, III. i. 71-4.
Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed and to arise;
And pluck the wings from Painted butterflies
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,[Page 8, line 10] By Oak, Ash, and Thorn the formula may derive from the ballad of `Glasgerion' (Percy, Reliques of Ancient Poetry, 3rd ser., Bk. 1), where the hero:
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
What, a play toward! I'll be an auditor;
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.
`swore a full great othePhilip Holberton has suggested that Kipling may also have found it in Charles Kingsley’s novel Westward Ho! In chapter 2: 'Sir Richard swore a great and holy oath, like Glasgerion’s, "by oak and ash and thorn.” '. He points out that Kipling certainly knew the book by 1893 when he wrote “An English School”, see Land and Sea Tales page 255, line 15.
By oake and ashe and thorne'.
It wasna her home, and she couldna remain;
She left this world of sorrow and pain,
And returned to the land of thought again.