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To many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd shade;
And young and old come forth
On a sun-fhine holy-day,
Till the live-long day-light fail:
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,

« of every municipal (town) PIDLER, for these are the country-
“ man's ARCADIAS, and his MontemAYORS.” PR. W. vol. i.
p. 149. Where he means Sydney's ARCADIA, and the DIANA of
George of Montemayor, two pastoral romances, then popular.

In ENGLAND's Helicon, there is “ A Shepheard's Song to
“ his Rebeck.Edit. 1614. Signat. M. In Shakespeare, a fidler
is called Hugh Rebeck. See Rom. Jul. A. iv. S. iv. and Stee-
vens's Note. If, as I have supposed, it is Chaucer's RIBIELE, the
diminutive of RIBIBE used also by Chaucer, I must


Sir John Hawkins, that it originally comes from Rebeb, the name
of a Moorish musical instrument with two strings, played on by a
bow. (See Tyrwhitt's CHAUCER, N. on v. 6959.] Sir John
adds, that the Moors brought it into Spain, whence it passed into
Italy, and obtained the appellation of Ribeca. Hist. Mus. ii.
86. Perhaps we have it from the French Rebec and Rebecquin. In
the Percy Houshold book, 1512, are recited, “ Mynftralls in
“ Houshold iij, viz. a Taberett, a Luyte, and a Rebecc.” It ap-

below queen Elizabeth's reign, in the music-establishment
of the royal houshold.
97. And young and old come forth to play

On a sunshine holy-day.] Thus also in the Mask, v.959.
Back, shepherds, back, enough your play,

Holiday-sports are still much encouraged in the counties to which
Milton was used. See Note on SAMS. Agon. v. 1418.

99. Till the live-long day-light fail.} Here the poet begins to
pass the Night with Mirth. And he begins with the night or
evening of the sunshine holy-day, whose merriments he has just cele-

100. Then to the Spicy nut-brown ale.] See the old play of HENRY THE FIFTH. In fix Old PLAYS, &c. Lond. 1779. p. 336.

Yet we will have in store a crab i' th' fire,

With NUT-BROWN ale, that is full ftale.
This was Shakespeare's “ goslip's bowl,” MiDs. N. DR. A. i. S.i.
The composition was ale, nutmeg, fugar, toaft, and roasted crabs


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With stories told of many a feat,
How faery Mab the junkets eat;
She was pincht, and pulld she sed,
And he by friers lantern led

or apples. It was called LAMBS-WOOL. Our old dramas have frequent allusions to this delectable beverage. In Fletcher's Faith FULL SHEPHERDESS it is ftiled “the spiced waffel boul.” A. v. S.i. vol. iii. p. 177.

101. With stories, &c.] Shakespeare's Winter's Tale is supposed to be of “ sprights and goblins.” A..ii. S.i.

103. She was pincht and pullid she fed, &c.] He and she are persons of the company assembled to spend the evening, after a country wake, at a rural junket. All this is a part of the pastoral imagery which now prevailed in our poetry. Compare Drayton's NYMPHIDIA, vol. ii. p. 453.

These make our girles their fluttery rue,

By pinching them both black and blue, &c.
And Shakespeare, Com. ERR. A.Ü. S. ii. Of the fairies.

They'll fuck our breath, and pinch us black and blue.
And the MERRY WIVES, where Falstaffe is pinched by fairies.
A. v. S. v. And Browne, BRIT. Past. B. i. S. ii. p. 31. And
Heywood's HIERARCHIE OF Angels, B.ix. p.574. edit. 1635.
fol. Who also, among the domestic demons, gives what he calls «r
“ ftrange story of the Spirit of the Buttery." Ibid. p. 577. But
almost all that Milton here mentions of these house-fairies appears
to be taken from Jonson's EnteRTAYNMENT AT ALTROPE,
1603. WORKS, fol. p. 872. edit. 1616.

When about the creAM-BOWL Es sweete,
You and all your elves do meet.
This is MAB, the miftris fairy,
That doth nightly rob the dairy,
And can help or hurt the churning,
As shee please, without discerning.
She that Pinches country wenches,
If they rub not cleane their benches ;
And with sharper nayles remembers
When they raké not up their embers.
This is the that empties cradles, &c.
Traynes forth midwives in their flumbers,
And then leades them from their burrowes,
Home through PONDS and WATER-FURROWB6.


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Tells how the drudging Goblin swet,
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,


As Milton here copied Jonson, fo Jonson copied Shakespeare, Mids. N. Dr. A. ii. S. i.

Are you not he That frights the maidens of the villagery, &c. It is remarkable, that the Demon who was laid to haunt women in child-bed, and steal their infants, is mentioned fo early as by Mi. chael Psellus, a Byzantine philosopher of the eleventh century, on the OPERATIONS of Demons. Edit. Gaulmin. Paris. 1615. Izmo. p. 78.

104. And he by friers lantern led, &c.] Thus the edition of 1645. But in the edition 1673, the context stands thus,

She was pincht and pull'd, the sed,
And by the friers lantern led

Tells how, &c. I know not if under the poet's immediate direction. And in Ton. son's, 1705. This reading at least removes a flight confusion arising from his, v. 106. Nor is the general sense much altered. Frier's lantern, is the JACK AND LANTERN, which led people in the night into marshes and waters. Milton gives the philosophy of this fuperstition, PARAD. Lost, ix. 634.

- A wandering fire
Compact of unctuous vapour, which the night
Condenses, and the cold environs round,
Kindled through agitation to a flame,
Which oft, they say, some eviL SPIRIT attends,
Hovering and blazing with delusive light,
Misleads th' amaz'd night-wanderer from his way

To bogs and mires, and oft through pond and pool. In the midst of a solemn and learned enarration, his strong imagination could not resist a romantic tradition, consecrated by popular credulity. Shakespeare has finely transferred the general idea of this fuperftition to his Ghost in HAMLET, A. i. S. iii.

Mar. It waves you to a more removed ground;
But do not go

with it. Hor. What if it tempt you to the FLOOD, my Lord ? But then, from the ground-work of a vulgar belief, so beautifully accommodated and improved, how does he rise in the progression of his imagination to the supposition of a more alarming and horrible danger!

Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
That beetles o'er his base into the sea,


When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail had thresh'd the corn,

And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,

And draw you into madness?
105. Tells how the drudging goblin fwet,

To earn his cream-bowl duly set, &c.] This goblin is Robin Goodfellow. See Note on v. 103. And the commentators on Shakespeare's Mids. N. DREAM, vol. iii. p. 27. edit. 1778, His cream-bowl was earned, and he paid the punctuality of those by whom it was duly placed for his refection, by the service of threshing with his invisible fairy flail, in one night, and before the dawn of day, a quantity of corn in the barn, which could not have been threshed in so short a time by ten labourers. He then returns into the house, fatigued with his talk ; and overcharged with his reward the cream-bowl, throws himfelf before the fire, and ftretched along the whole breadth of the fire-place, balks till the morning. Robin Goodfellow, who is here made a gigantic spi. rit, fond of lying before the fire, and called the LUBBAR-FIEND, seems to be confounded with the sleepy giant mentioned in Beaumont and Fletcher's KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLĘ, A. ii. S. i. vol. vi. p. 411. edit. 1751. “ There is a pretty tale of

a witch that had the devil's mark about her, god bless us, that “ had a gyaunt to her son that was called Lob-lye-by-the-fire." Jonson introduces Robin Goodfellow as a person of the drama, in LOVE RESTORED, A Masque at Court, where more of his services, and a great variety of his gambols, are recited. Works, edit. 1616. p.990. Burton, speaking of these fairies, says that

bigger kind there is of them, called with us Hob-goblins and “ Robin Goodfellowes, that would in those superstitious times

grinde corne for a messe of milke, cut wood, or do any manner « of drudgery worke.” MELANCH. P. i. §. 2. p. 42. edit

. 1632. Afterwards, of the demons that mislead men in the night, he says,

we commonly call them PUCKS.

In Grom the COLLIER OF CROYDON, perhaps printed be. fore 1600, Robin Goodfellow says,

I love a Messe of Cream as well as they,
Ho, Ho, my masters, no good fellowship?

I. Robin Goodfellow a bugbear grown?
A. y. $.i. See Reed's OLD PL. xi. 254. Again, ibid. p. 238.

For I shall fleet their creAM-BOWLs night by night. In the old Moralities, it was customary to introduce the Devil with the cry, ho, ho, ho! Gam. Gurt. N. ibid. ii. 34. See Note on



.” Ibid. p. 43.

V, 113. infr,

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That ten day-lab'rers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,
And stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,
And crop-full out of door he fings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.

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108. We have the fail, an implement here given to Robin Goodfellow, in the exhibition of that favourite character in GRIM The COLLIÉR of CROYDON, See A. iv. S.i. Reed's Old. PL. xi. 238. “ Enter Robin Goodfellow in, a suit of leather close to his

body, his face and hands coloured rulfet colour, with a FLAIL.” In which scene he says, p. 241.

What, miller, are you up agin?

Nay, then my Flail shall never lin. Robin Goodfellow, cloathed in green, was a common figure in the old city-pageants. Mayne's CITY MATCH, A.ü. S. vi. edit. 1639.

Some speeches, fir, in verse which I have spoke

By a green Robin Goodfellow from Cheapfide Conduit, 113. And crop-full out of doors he flings,

Ere the first cock his matin rings.] Milton remembered the old Song of Puck or ROBIN GOODřellow, rescued from obli. vion by Peck.

When larks gin sing

Away we fing.
The chorus of this song is “ Ho, Ho, Ho !” Hence says Puck,

Ho, Ho, Coward why comest not thou ?” Mids. N. DR. A. üü.
S. ii. See the last Note on the ODE ON THE NATIVITY.

Mr. Bowle suggests an illustration of the text from Warner's
Albion's ENGLAND, ch. 91. Robin Goodfellow is the speaker.

Hoho, hoho, needs must I laugh, such fooleries to name,
And at my CRUMMED MESSE OF MILKE, each night from

maid or dame
To do their chares, as they suppos'd, when in their deadeft

I pull'd them out their beds, and made themselves their

houses fweepe.
How clatter'd I amongst their pots and pans, &c.
Much the same is said in Scot's DiscoUERIE of WITCHCRAFT,
Lond. 1588. 4to. p. 66. See alfo, To the readers.

114. Mr. Bowle fupposes, that the poet here thought of a parfage in the FAERIE QUEENE, V. vi. 27,


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