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Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the
stars, Telling the bushes that thou look's for wars, And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou
Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.
Re-enter LYSANDER. Lys. He goes before me, and still daras' me on: When I come where he calls, there is gone. The villain is much lighter-heel'd, an I: I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly That fallen am I in dark uneven way And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!
[Lies down. For if but once thou show me thy grey light, I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this fpite.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS. Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! Coward, why com'ft
thou not? Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'ft; for well I wot,
6 Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! Coward, why comit thou not?] This exclamation would have been uttered by Puck with greater propriety, if he were not now playing an assumed character, which he,ʻin the present instance, seems to forget. In the oid song printed by Peck and Percy, in which all his gambols are related, he concludes every ftanza with Ho, ho, ho! So, in Grim the Collier of Crogden:
Ho, ho, ho, my masters! Nó good fellowilsip!
Thou runn'st before me, hifting every place;
Again, in Drayton's Nymphidia :
" Hoh, hoh, quoth Hob, God save thy grace." It was not, however, as has been afseried, the appropriate cx. clamation, in our author's time, of this eccentric charader; the Devil himself having, if not a better, at least an older, title to it. So, in Hiftriomaftix ( as quoted by Mr. Sitevens in a note on king Richard. 111.) a roaring devil eniers, 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 Garmer Gurton's Needle:
" But Diccon, Diccon, did not the devil cry ko, ho, ho ?" And, in the same play:
u. By the maffe, ich saw him of late cal up a great blacke
os 0, the Konave cryed ho, ho, he roared and he thundred." So in the Epitaph attributed to Shakspeare:
“ Hoh! quoth the devill, 'tis my John o'Combe." Again, in Goulart's Hifiories, 1607:
i The fellow . . coming to the stove . . . fawe the Diuills in horrible fores, fome sitting, some standing, others walking; fome ramping against the walles, but al of them afsoone as they behield him ran unto him, crying Hoh, Hoh, what makeit thou here?" Again, in the fame book:
" The black giefs teturned no answere, but roared and ciyed out, Hol firra let alone the child, or we will teare thee all to pieces,"
Indeed, from a paffage in 1771; Beguilet, 1606, (as quoted in the new edition of Dodiley's Old Plays). I fufpect that this fame os knavilh sprite" was sometimes introduced on the stage as a demidevil: I'll rather," it is one Robin Goodfellow who speaks, " put on my flejhing red nose, and my fiaining face, and come wrap'd in a calf's skin, and cry ho ho." See also, Griin the Collier of Croydon. RUTSON.
The song above alluded to may be found in Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. III. p.
203. MALONE. 6 Where att thou? For the sake of the measure, wlich is other. wise imperfect, I suppose we ou ht to read
Where art thou now?" Demetrius, conceiving Lyfander to have still been shifting his ground, very naturally asks him where he is at that instant.
Come hither; I am here. Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt
buy this dear,
(Lies down and seeps.
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-lighit,
From these that my poor company detest:-And, lleep, that sometime shuts up sorrow's eye, Steal me a while froin mine own company.' [Shteps,
Puck. Yet but three? Come one more;
HER. Never so weary, never so in 'woe,
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers; I can no further crawl, no further go; My legs can keep no pace
desires. -buy this dear, ) i, e, thou shalt dearly pay for this. Though this is sense, and may well enough fand, yet the poet perhaps wrote thou Malt'ly it dear. So, in another place, thou shalt aby it. So, Milton, « How dearly I abide that boalt so vain." JOHNSON.
$ Steal me a while from mine own company. ] Thus allo in an address 10 leep, in Daniel's Tragedy of Cleopatra, 1599 : " That from ourselves to steal'it ourselves away."
Here will I rest me, till the break of day.
(Lies' down. Puck. On the ground
Sleep found :
To your eye,
When thou wak'st,
In the fight
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be
well.' (Exit Puck,-DEM. Hel. &c. sleep.
7 When thou wak't,
Thou takft, &c.] The second line would be improved, I think, both in its measure and conflrudion, if it were written thus:
When thou wak'jt,
True delight, &c. TYRWHITT. 8 Jack shall have fill; &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 -fill. i. e. all this discord fhall subsidie in a calm, become hulh'd and quiet. So, in Othello:
Ha! no more moving?
Enter TITANIA and BOTTOM, Fairies attending;
OBERON behind, unseen.
Tita. Come, fit thee down upon this flowery
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.-Where's monsieur Cobweb?
2 I see no reason why the fourth ađ should begin here, when there seems no interruption of the adion. In the old quartos of 1600, there is no division of acts, which seems to have been afterwards arbitrarily made in the first folio, and may therefore bo altered at pleasure. JOHNSON. 3
do coy, ] To coy is to sooth, to stroke. So, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584 :
- Plays with Amyntas' lusty boy, and coys him in the dales." Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602. Book VI. ch. xxx:
" And whilst she coys his footy cheeks, or curls his sweaty top." Again, in Sir A. Gorges' translation of Lucan, B. IX:
his sports to prove, Coying that powerful queen of love." Again, in Golding's Translation of the gtb Book of Ovid's Mea tamorphosis :
66 Their dangling dewclaps with his hand he coid unfearfully." Again, ibid:
and with her hand had coid, • The dragons' reined neckes-," The behaviour of Titania, on this occasion, seems copied from that of the Lady in Apuleius, Lib. VIII. STEEVENS.