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And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Puck. Up and down, up and down;
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Lrs. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak
thou now. Puck. Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where
art thou? Lrs. I will be with thee straight. Puck.
Follow me then To plainer ground.
[Exit Lys. as following the voice.
Lysander! speak again.
of Aurora, is intended. The context, “ And, like a forefter," &c. seems to show that the chace was the sport which Oberon boasts he partook with the morning's love. HOLT WHITE.
s 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.
Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the
Yea; art thou there? Púck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.
Lrs. He goes before me, and still dares me on;
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.
Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho!“ Coward, why com’st
thou not? Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'ft; for well I wot,
6 Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! Coward, wby com'A thou not?] This exclamation would have been uttered by Puck with greater propriety, if he were not now playing an affumed 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!
Thoa runn'ft before me, shifting every place;
Again, in Drayton's Nymphidia :
“ Hob, hob, quoth Hob, God save thy grace." It was not, however, as has been asserted, the appropriate exclamation, in our author's time, of this eccentric character; the Devil himself having, if not a better, at least an older, title to it. So, in Histriomastix (as quoted by Mr. Steevens in a note on King Richard 111.) 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, hos” And, in the same play :
* By the mallo, ich saw him of late cal up a great blacke
“ O, the knave cryed bo, ba, he roared and he thundred." So, in the Epitaph attributed to Shakspeare:
“ Hoh! quoth the devill, 'tis my fohn o'Combe." Again, in Goulare's Histories, 1607:
“ The fellow . . . coming to the stove ... fawe the Diuills in horrible formes, some sitting, some standing, others walking, some ramping againtt the walles, but al of them assoone as they beheld him ran unto him, drying Hoh, Hoh, what makest thou here ?"
Again, in the fame book :
“The black guests returned no answere, but roared and cryed out, Hoh firra 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 Dodiley's Old Plays) I fufpect that this fame " knavish sprite" was sometimes introduced on the stage as a demidevil: “ 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.
Where art thou ?] For the sake of the measure, which is otherwife imperfect, I suppose we ought to read
* Where art thou now?" Demetrius, conceiving Lysander to have still been shifting his ground, very naturally alks him where he is at that inftant.
Come hither; I am here.
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-light,
From these that my poor company detest:
Puck. Yet but three? Come one more;
Her. Never so weary, never fo in woe,
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers; I can no further crawl, no further go;
My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
buy this dear,] i. e. thou shalt dearly pay for this. Though this is fenfe, and may well enough stand, yet the poet perhaps wrote thou shalt ’by it dear. So, in another place, thou shalt aby it. So, Milion, “ How dearly I abide that boat fo vain.” Johnson.
8 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 ftcal'it ourselves away.”
Here will I rest me, till the break of day.
[Lies down. Puck. On the ground
To your eye,
When thou wak'st,
In the fight
Jack shall have Jill ; 8
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 tak'#, &c.] The second line would be improved, I think, both in its measure and construction, if it were written thus :
When thou wak',
True delight, &c. Tyrwhitt. 8 Jack shall have Jill; &c.] These three last lines are to be found among Heywood's Epigrams on three hundred Proverbs.
STEEVENS. 9 —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 shall fubfide in a calm, become hush'd and quiet. So, in Orhello :
Ha! no more moving ?