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Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck :

8 Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,

You do their work,] To these traditionary opinions Milton has reference in L'Allegro:

“ Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
“ With stories told of many a feat,
“ How fairy Mab the junkets eat;
“ She was pinch'd and pull’d, she said,
“ And he by frier's lanthorn led;
“ Tells how the drudging goblin sweat
“ To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
“ When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
“ His shadowy fail hath thresh'd the corn
“ That ten day-labourers could not end;

“ Then lies him down the lubber fiend.” A like account of Puck is given by Drayton, in his Nymphidia :

“He meeteth Puck, which most men call
Hobgoblin, and on him doth fall.
“ This Puck seems but a dreaming dolt,
“ Still walking like a ragged colt,
“And oft out of a hush doth bolt,

“Of purpose to deceive us ;
“ And leading us makes us to stray,
“ Long winter's nights out of the way,
“ And when we stick in mire and clay,

“ He doth with laughter leave us.” It will be apparent to him that shall compare Drayton's poem with this play, that either one of the poets copied the other, or, as I rather believe, that there was then some system of the fairy empire generally received, which they both represented as accurately as they could. Whether Drayton or Shakspeare wrote first, I cannot discover. Johnson.

Gervase of Tilbury, speaking of the Portunus, a species of dæmon, says :-“ Cum inter ambiguas noctis tenebras Angli solitarii equitant, Portunus nonnunquam invisus equitanti se copulat, et cum diutius comitatur euntem, tandem loris arreptis equum in lutum ad manum ducit, in quo dum infixus volutatur, Portunus exiens cachinnum facit, et sic hujuscemodi ludibrio humanam simplicitatem deridet." See also Mr. Tyrwhitt on v. 6441, of the Cant. Tales of Chaucer.

The same learned editor supposes Drayton to have been the follower of Shakspeare; for, says he, “ Don Quixote (which was not published till 1605) is cited in the Nymphidia, whereas we have an edition of A Midsummer-Night's Dream in 1600.”

Are not you he ?

Puck.

Thou speak'st aright';

In this century some of our poets have been as little scrupulous in adopting the ideas of their predecessors. In Gay's ballad, inserted in The What D’ye Call It, is the following stanza:

“ How can they say that nature

“ Has nothing made in vain; “ Why then beneath the water

“ Should hideous rocks remain ? " &c. &c. Compare this with a passage in Chaucer's Frankeleines Tale, Tyrwhitt's edit. v. i. 11, 179, &c.

“ In idel, as men sain, ye nothing make,

“ But, lord, thise grisly fendly rockes blake," &c. &c. And Mr. Pope is more indebted to the same author for beauties inserted in his Eloisa to Abelard, than he has been willing to acknowledge. STEEVENS.

· If Drayton wrote the Nymphidia after A Midsummer-Night's Dream had been acted, he could with very little propriety say:

“ Then since no muse hath been so bold,
“ Or of the later or the ould,
“ Those elvish secrets to unfold

“ Which lye from others reading;
“My active muse to light shall bring
“ The court of that proud fayry king,
“ And tell there of the revelling;

“ Jove prosper my proceeding." Holt White. Don Quixote, though published in Spain in 1605, was probably little known in England till Skelton's translation appeared in 1612. Drayton's poem was, I have no doubt, subsequent to that year. The earliest edition of it that I have seen, was printed in 1619.

A copy of certain poems of this author, The Batail of Agincourt, Nymphidia, &c. published in 1627, which is in the collection of my friend Mr. Bindley, puts this matter beyond a doubt ; for in one of the blank leaves before the book, the author has written as follows: “ To the noble knight, my most honored ftrend, Sir Henry Willoughby, one of the selected patrons of thes my latest poems, from his servant, Mi. Drayton.” MALONE.

– sweet Puck.” The epithet is by no means superfluous; as Puck alone was far from being an endearing appellation. It signified nothing better than fiend, or devil. So, the author of Pierce Ploughman puts the pouk for the devil, fol. lxxxx. B. v. penult. See also, fol. lxvii. v. 15: “none helle powke.

It seems to have been an old Gothic word. Puke, puken; Sathanas, Gudm. And. Lexicon Island. TYRWHITT.

In The Bugbears, an ancient MS. comedy in the possession of

I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab?;
the Marquis of Lansdowne, I likewise met with this appellation of
a fiend :

Puckes, puckerels, hob howlard by gorn and Robin Goodfelow."

Again, in The Scourge of Venus, or the Wanton Lady, with the rare Birth of Adonis, 1615 :

“ Their bed doth shake and quaver as they lie,

“ As if it groan’d to bear the weight of sinne;
“ The fatal night-crowes at their windowes fee,

“ And cry out at the shame they do live in :
“ And that they may perceive the heavens frown,

“ The poukes and goblins pul the coverings down." Again, in Spenser's Epithalamion, 1595 :

“ Ne let house-fyres, nor lightning's helpelesse harms,

“Ne let the pouke, nor other evil spright,
“ Ne let mischievous witches with their charmes,

“ Ne let hobgoblins,” &c. Again, in the ninth book of Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, edit. 1587, p. 126 :

"— and the countrie where Chymæra, that same pooke,

“ Hath goatish bodie,” &c. STEEVENS. 9 Puck. Thou speak’st aright ;] I would fill up the verse which I suppose the author left complete:

I am, thou speak’st aright; It seems that in the fairy mythology, Puck, or Hobgoblin, was the trusty servant of Oberon, and always employed to watch or detect the intrigues of Queen M&b, called by Shakspeare, Titania. For in Drayton's Nymphidia, the same fairies are engaged in the same business. Mab has an amour with Pigwiggen: Oberon being jealous, sends Hobgoblin to catch them, and one of Mab's nymphs opposes him by a spell. Johnson.

1- a roasted CRAB ;] i. e, a wild apple of that name. So, in the anonymous play of King Henry V. &c. :

“Yet we will have in store a crab in the fire,

“ With nut-brown ale,” &c. Again, in Damon and Pythias, 1582 :

“ And sit down in my chaire by my wife fair Alison,
“ And turne a crabbe in the fire,” &c.

And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt”, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And tailor cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and

loffe 4; And waxen” in their mirth, and neeze, and swear

In Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1600, Christmas is described as —

“ sitting in a corner, turning crabs,

“ Or coughing o'er a warmed pot of ale.” Steevens. 2 The wisest AUNT,] Aunt is sometimes used for procuress. In Gascoigne's Glass of Government, 1575, the bawd Pandarina is always called aunt. “These are aunts of Antwerp, which can make twenty marriages in one week for their kinswoman.” See Winter's Tale, Act IV. Sc. I. Among Ray's proverbial phrases is the following : “ She is one of mine aunts that made mine uncle to go a begging.” The wisest aunt may therefore mean the most sentimental bawd, or perhaps, the most prosaic old woman.

STEEvens. The first of these conjectures is much too wanton and injurious to the word aunt, which in this place at least certainly means no other than an innocent old woman. Ritson.

3 And TAILOR cries, 7 The custom of crying tailor at a sudden fall backwards, I think I remember to have observed. He that slips beside his chair, falls as a tailor squats upon his board. The Oxford editor, and Dr. Warburton after him, read and rails or cries, plausibly, but I believe not rightly. Besides, the trick of the fairy is represented as producing rather merriment than anger.

JOHNSON. 4 — hold their hips, and loffe ;] So, in Milton's L'Allegro: . “ And laughter holding both his sides." STEEVENS. 5 And WAXEN -] And encrease, as the moon waxes.

Johnson. A feeble sense may be extracted from the foregoing words as they stand; but Dr. Farmer observes to me that waren is probably corrupted from yoxen, or yexen. Yoxe Saxon, to hiccup. Yyxyn. Singultio. Prompt. Parv. Thus in Chaucer's Reve's Tale, v. 4149 :

He yoxeth, and he speaketh thurgh the nose.”

A merrier hour was never wasted there.-
But room, Faery, here comes Oberon.
FAI. And here my mistress :-'Would that he

were gone!

SCENE II.

Enter Oberon?, at one door, with his train, and

TITANIA ®, at another, with hers.
OBE. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania.

1575:

Again, in the preface to XII. Mery Jestes of the Wyddow Edyth,

“ Beside the cough, a bloudy flyx,

“ And cuir among a deadly yex.Again, in Philemon Holland's translation of the 27th book of Pliny, chap. v.: “ — and also they do stay the excessive yer or hocket.”

That yer, however, was a familiar word so late as the time of Ainsworth the lexicographer, is clear from his having produced it as a translation of the Latin substantive-singultus.

The meaning of the passage before us will then be, that the objects of Puck’s waggery laughed till their laughter ended in a yer or hiccup.

It should be remembered, in support of this conjecture, that Puck is at present speaking with an affectation of ancient phraseology. STEEVENS.

But room, Faery,] Thus the old copies. Some of our modern editors read “ But make room, Fairy.” The word Fairy, or Faery, was sometimes of three syllables, as often in Spenser. JOHNSON.

7 Enter OBERON,] Oberon had been introduced on the stage in 1594, by some other author. In the Stationers' books is entered “The Scottishe Story of James the Fourthe, slain at Flodden, intermixed with a pleasant Comedie presented by Oberon, King of Fairies.” The judicious editor of The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, in his Introductory Discourse, (See vol. iv. p. 161,) observes that Pluto and Proserpina in the Merchant's Tale, appear to have been “ the true progenitors of Oberon and Titania." STEEVENS.

8 Titania, ] “ As to the Fairy Queen, (says Mr. Warton, in his Observations on Spenser,) considered apart from the race of fairies, Chaucer, in his Rime of Sir Thopas, mentions her, to

VOL. V.

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