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Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the

stars, Telling the bushes that thou look'it for wars, And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou

child;
I'll whip thee with a rod: He is defil'd,
That draws a sword on thee.
Dem.

Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.

[ Exeunt.

Re-enter LYSANDER. Lys. He goes before me, and still daras me on: When I come where he calls, the time is gone. The villain is much lighter-heel'd, an 1: I follow'd fast, but fafter he did fly; That fallen am I in dark uneven wat 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! 6 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 comilt thou not?] This exclamation would have been uttered by Puck with greater propriety, if he were not now playing an affumed chara&er, which he, in 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 Croydon:

Ho, ho, ho, my matters! Nó good followikip!
" Is Robin Goodfellow a bug-bear grown,
“ That he is not worthy io be bid &t down?"

Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place;
And darY not fland, nor look me in the face.
Where art thou? 6

Again, in Drayton's Nymphidia:

Hoh, hoh, quoth Hob, God save thy grace." It was not, however, as has been asserted, the appropriate ex. clarnation, in our author's time, of this eccentric charaâer; the Devil himself having, if not a better, at least an older, title to it. So, in Hiftriomastix ( as quoted by Mr. Sitevens in a note on hing Richard. 111.) a roaring devil eniers, with the Vice on his back, Iniquity in one hand, and Juventus in the other, crying

56 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:

6. By the maffe, ich saw him of late cal up a great blacke

devill.

" O, the knave 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:

Gr The fellow ... coming to the love . . . fawe the Diuills in horrible formes, fome sitting, some standing, others walking, fome ramping açaiuit the walles, but al of them afloone as they beheid him tan unto him, crying Hoh, Hoh, what makest thou here." Again, in the fame book:

" The black grefis teturnec no answere, but roared and cryed out, Hoh firra let alone the child, or we will teare thee all to pieces."

Indeed, from a raflage in 11'7ly Beguilet, 1606, (as quoted in the new edition of Doalley's Old Plays ) I fufped that this fame " knavish sprite" was sometimes introduced on the itage as a demidevil: I'll jather," it is one Robin Goodfellow who speaks, " put on my flajhins red nose, and my flaning face, and come wrap'd in a calf's skin, and cry ho ho." See also, Griin the Collier of Croyd011. Rurson.

The song above alluded to may be found in Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. Ill. p. 203. MALONE.

6 Where ort thou? For the sake of the measure, which is otherwise imperfe&t, I suppose we oy ht to read

" Where art ihou now?" Demelius, conceiving Lyfander to have still been shifting his ground, very naturally asks him where he is at that instant.

STIEVENS.

Puck.

Come hither; I am here. Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt

buy this dear, 7 If ever I thy face by day-light: see: Now, go thy way.

Faininess constraineth me To measure out my length on this cold bed.By day's approach look to be visited.

(Lies down and seeps.

Enter HELENA.

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.[Sleeps,

Puck. Yet but.three? Come one more;
Two of both kinds makes up four.
Here the comes, curt, and sad: -
Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad.

Enler HERMIA.

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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

with
my

desires. -buy this dear, ] i, e, thou shalt dearly pay for this. Though this is sense, and may well enough ftand, 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 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 lo steal'st ourselves away."

STEVENS,

Here will I rest me, till the break of day.
Heavens shield Lylander, if they mean a fray!

[Lies down. Puck. On the ground

Sleep found :
I'll apply

To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy.
[Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eye.

When thou wak'lt,
Thou tak'st 7
True delight

In the fight
Of thy former lady's eye:
And the country proverb known,
That every man should take his own,
In your waking shall be shown:

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 wakift,

Thou takft, &c.] The second line would be improved, I think, both in its measure and construđion, if it were written thus :

When thou wak'jt,
See thou takj,

True delight, &c. TYRWHITT. & fack Mall 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- ftill. i. e. all this discord fhall fubfide in a calm, become hush'd and quiet. So, in Othello:

Ha! no more moving?
" Still as the grave." STEEVENS,

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Enter TITANIA and BOTTOM, Fairies attending;

OBERON behind, unseen.

· Tita. Come, fit thee down upon this flowery

bed, While I th'y amiable cheeks do coy,' And stick mulk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,

And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy. Bot. Where's Peas-blossom? Peas. Ready

Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.- Where's monsieur Cobweb?

2 I see no reason why the fourth ađ should begin here, when there scems 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' traollation of Lucan, B. IX:

his sports to prove,

Coying that powerful queen of love." Again, in Golding's Translation of the 7th Book of Ovid's Mca tamorphosis :

“ 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.

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