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And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Enter LYSANDER. Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak
thou now. Puck. Here, villain ; drawn and ready. Where
art thou ? Lys. I will be with thee straight. Puck.
Follow me then
low To plainer ground.
[Erit Lys. as following the voice.
Enter DEMETRIUS. Dem.
Lysander! speak again. Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy
head ? Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the
“ Aurora now began to rise againe
“ Yong Cephalus," &c. STEEVENS. 6 Even till the eastern gate, &c.] What the fairy monarch means to inform Puck of, is this.—That he was not compelled, like meaner spirits, to vanish at the first appearance of the dawn.
Telling the bushes that thou look’st for wars,
Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice ; we'll try no manhood here.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.
7 Puck. Ho, ho! no, no! Coward, why com’st thou not?] This exclamation would have been uttered by Puck with greater propriety, if he were not now playing an assumed character, which he, in the present instance, seems to forget. In the old song printed by Peck and Percy, in which all his gambols are related, he concludes every stanza with Ho, ho, ho! So, in Grim the Collier of Croydon :
“Ho, ho, ho, my masters ! No good fellowship!
“ That he is not worthy to be bid sit down ? " Again, in Drayton's Nymphidia
: “ Hoh, hoh, quoth Hob, God save thy grace." It was not, however, as has been asserted, the appropriate exclaination, in our author's time, of this eccentric character; the devil himself having, if not a etter, at least an older, title to it. So, in Histriomastix (as quoted by Mr. Steevens in a note or
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar’st ; for well I wot, Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place; And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face. Where art thou ? Puck
Come hither; I am here. Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt
buy this dear,
King Richard III.) a roaring devil enters, with the Vice on his back, Iniquity in one hand, and Juventus in the other, crying :
Ho, ho, ho! these babes mine are all." Again, in Gammer Gurton's Needle:
“ But Diccon, Diccon, did not the devil cry ho, ho, ho ?” And, in the same play:
* By the masse, ich saw him of late cal up a great blackedevill.
“O, the knave cryed ho, ho, he roared and he thundered.” So, in the Epitaph attributed to Shakspeare :
“ Hoh! quoth the devil, 'tis my John o'Coombe.” Again, in Goulart's Histories, 1607 :
“ The fellow ... coming to the stove ... sawe the Diuills in horrible formes, some sitting, some standing, others walking, some ramping against the walles, but al of them assoone as they beheld him ran unto him, crying Hoh, Hoh, what makest thou here?"
Again, in the same book :
“ The black guests returned no answere, but roared and cryed out, Hoh sirra let alone the child, or we will teare thee all to pieces.”
Indeed, from a passage in Wily Beguiled, 1606, (as quoted in the new edition of Dodsley's Old Plays,) I suspect that this same “knavish sprite” was sometimes introduced on the stage as a demi-devil : " I'll rather,” it is one Robin Goodfellow who speaks, “put on my flashing red nose, and my flaming face, and come wrap'd in a calf's skin, and cry ho, ho," See also, Grim the Collier of Croydon. Ritson.
The song above alluded to may be found in Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. iii. p. 203. Malone.
8 Where art thou ?] For the sake of the measure, which is otherwise imperfect, I suppose we ought to read :
“ Where art thou now ? ” Demetrius, conceiving Lysander to have still been shifting his ground, very naturally asks him where he is at that instant.
STEEVENS. 9 — buy this dear,] i. e. thou shalt dearly pay for this. Though this is sense, and may well enough stand, yet the poet perhaps
If ever I thy face by day-light see:
[Lies down and sleeps.
Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night, Abate thy hours : shine, comforts, from the
east; That I may back to Athens, by day-light,
From these that my poor company detest :And, sleep, that sometime shuts up sorrow's eye, Steal me a while from mine own company
wrote—thou shalt 'by it dear. So, in another place—thou shalt aby it. So, Milton, “ How dearly I abide that boast so vain.”
Johnson. Steal me a while from mine own company.) Thus also in an address to sleep, in Daniel's tragedy of Cleopatra, 1599:
“ That from ourselves so steal'st ourselves away.” Steevens. Mr. Steevens is not quite accurate, when he says, that the address in Daniel's play is to sleep. The words are spoken by Cleopatra in the fifth Act, and are addressed to the aspick. After inveighing against death, that flies the poor
“ And loads with pains the already weak oppress’d, &c." She adds,
“ Therefore come thou of wonders wonder chief,
Cleopatra, 1594. Malone.
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers;
desires. Here will I rest me, till the break of day. Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!
[Lies down. Puck. On the ground
To your eye,
[Squeezing the juice on Lysander's eye.
In the sight
Jack shall have Jill ;
Nought shall go ill ; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be
[Exit Puck.—Dem. Hel. 8c. sleep. 2 When thou wak'st,
Thou tak'st, &c.] The second line would be improved, I think, both in its measure and construction, if it were written thus :
“ When thou wak'st,
“ True delight,” &c. Tyrwhitt. 3 Jack shall have Jill ; &c.] These three last lines are to be found among Heywood's Epigrams on Three Hundred Proverbs.
STEEVENS. all shall be well.] Well is so bad a rhyme to ill, that I cannot help supposing our author wrote-still ; i. e. all this dis