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To many a youth, and many a maid,
« of every municipal (town) PIDLER, for these are the country-
In ENGLAND's Helicon, there is “ A Shepheard's Song to
below queen Elizabeth's reign, in the music-establishment
On a sunshine holy-day.] Thus also in the Mask, v.959.
Till next SUNSHINE HOLY-DAY.
99. Till the live-long day-light fail.} Here the poet begins to
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.
With stories told of many a feat,
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.
They'll fuck our breath, and pinch us black and blue.
When about the creAM-BOWL Es sweete,
Tells how the drudging Goblin swet,
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,
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
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;
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
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
And there assume some other horrible form,
And draw you into madness?
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,
I. Robin Goodfellow a bugbear grown?
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,
That ten day-lab'rers could not end;
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.
Ho, Ho, Coward why comest not thou ?” Mids. N. DR. A. üü.
Mr. Bowle suggests an illustration of the text from Warner's
Hoho, hoho, needs must I laugh, such fooleries to name,
maid or dame
114. Mr. Bowle fupposes, that the poet here thought of a parfage in the FAERIE QUEENE, V. vi. 27,