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I am fear'd in field and town;
Goblin, lead them up and down. Here comes one.
Enter LYSANDER. Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou
Puck. Here villain; drawn and ready. Where art
thou? Lys. I will be with thee straight. Puck.
Follow me then To plainer ground. [Exit 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 cow
oward, art thou bragging to the stars, Telling the bushes that thou look’st 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 dares me on; When I come where he calls, then he is gone. The villain is much lighter heel'd than 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 spite. [Sleeps.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS. Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! Coward, why com’st thou not? 5
Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! 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:
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 ? 6
“ 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 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 (às quoted by Mr. Steevens in a note on 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 blacke
“O, the knave eryed ho, ho, he roared and he thundered.” So, in the Epitaph attributed to Shakspeare:
“ Hoh! quoth the devil, 'tis my John o’Combe.” 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 as soone as they beheld him, ran unto him, crying Hoh, Hoh, what makest thou here?” Again, in the same book:
“The black guests returned no answer, 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.
6 Where art thou?] For the sake of the measure, which is other, wise 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. i
Come hither; I am here.
[Lies down and sleeps.
Abate thy hours: shine, comforts, from the east; That I may back to Athens, by day-light,
From these that my poor company detest:
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers;
My legs can keep no pace with my 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 eyes
(Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eye.
buy this dear,] i. e. thou shalt dearly pay for this. Though this is sense, and may well enough stand, yet the poet perhaps wrote--thou shalt buy it dear. So, in another place, thou shalt aby it. So, Milton, “ How dearly I abide that boast so vain."
Fohnson. 8 When thou wak'st,
Thou tak’st, &c.] The second line would be improved, I think,
In the sight
Jack shall have Jill;9
Nought shall go ill; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.1
[Exit Puck.-DEM. HEL. &c. sleep.
ACT IV ..... SCENE 1.2
Enter TITANIA and Bottom, Fairies attending ;
OBERON behind unseen.
Tita. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy, 3
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
both in its measure and construction, if it were written thus:
When thou wak'st,
True delight, &c. Tyrwhitt. 9 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-still; i.e. all this discord shall subside in a calm, become hushed and quiet. So, in Othello:
Ha! no more moving? “ Still as the grave.” Steevens. 2 I see no reason why the fourth Act should begin here, when there seems no interruption of the action. 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 be altered at pleasure. Johnson.
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.”
Bot. Where's Peas-blossom?
Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.Where's monsieur Cobweb?
Bot. Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-lipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loath to have you overflown with a honey-bag, signior.- Where's monsieur Mustard-seed?
Bot. Give me your neif,5 monsieur Mustard-seed.Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.
Must. What's your will?
Bot. Nothing, good' monsieur, but to help cavalero Cobwebé to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur;
Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, Book VI, ch. xxx:
“ And whilst she çoys his sooty 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 7th Book of Ovid's Metamorphoses :
“Their dangling dew-claps with his hand he coid unfear
fully." Again, ibid:
and with her hand had coid “ The dragons' reined neckes—.” The bebaviour of Titania, on this occasion, seems copied from that of the lady in Apuleius, Lib. VIII. Steevens.
over-flown -] It should be overflow’d; but it appears from a rhyme in another play that the mistake was our author's.
Malone. I perceive no mistake. Overflown is the participle passive.See Dr. Johnson's Dict. Steevens.
neif,] i. e. fist. So, in King Henry IV, Act II, sc. X: “Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif.” Grey.
cavalero Cobweb-] Without doubt it should be cavalero Peas-blossom; as for cavalero Cobweb, he had just been dispatched upon a perilous adventure. Grey.