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Ari. No, Sir. · Pro. Thou hast: where was she born? speak; tell
me. Ari. Sir, in Argier.
Pro. Oh, was she so? I must, Once in a month, recount what thou haft been, Which thou forgett'st. This damn'd witch, Sy
Ari. Ay, Sir.
Ari, Yes ; Caliban her son.
Pro. Dull thing, I say so: he, that Caliban, Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st What torment I did find thee in: thy groans Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts Of ever-angry bears; it was a torment To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax Could not again undo: it was mine art,
When I arriv'd, and heard thee, that made gape
Ari. I thank thee, master.
Pro. If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak,
Ari. Pardon, master.
Pro. Do so; and after two days
Ari. That's my noble master :
Pro. Go make thyself like to a nymph o'the sea.
Mira. ' The strangeness of your story put
Pro. Shake it off : come on ;
'The strangeness ) Why should a wonderful story produce sleep? I believe experience will prove, that any violent agitation of the mind easily subsides in sumber, especially when, as in Prospero's relation, the last images are pleasing.
- JOHNSON. The poet seems to have been apprehensive that the audience, as well as Miranda, would sleep over this long but necessary tale, and therefore strives to break it. First, by making Profpero divest himself of his magic robe and wand ; then by waking lier attention no less than fix times by verbal intersuption; then by varying the action when he rises, and bids her continue fitting: and lastly, by carrying on the business of the fable while Miranda ilceps, by which she is continued on the stage till the poet has occasion for her again.
Mira. 'Tis a villain, Sir, I do not love to look on.
Pro. But, as 'tis, We cannot miss him: he does make our fire, Ferch in our wood, and serves in offices That profit us. What ha! Nave! Caliban! Thou earth, thou ! speak. Cal. (Within.] There's wood enough within. Pro. Come forth, I say; there's other business for
Enter Ariel like a water-nymph.
(Exit. Pro. Thou poisonous flave, got by the devil him
self Upon thy wicked dam, come forth !
Enter Caliban. • Cal. As wicked dew, as e'er my mother brush'd With raven's feather from unwholsome fen, Drop on you both! a fouth-west blow on you, And blister you all o'er !
Pro. 2 Cal. As wicked dere, as e'er my mother brush'd
With raven's feather from unwholjome fen,
Drop on you both!] Shakespeare hath very artificially given the air of the antique to the language of Caliban, in order to heighten the grotesque of his character. As here he uses wicked for unwhiljome. So Sir John Maundevil, in his travels, p. 334. edit. Lond. 1725.- at alle tymes brennet he a vefjelle of cristalle fulle of bawme for to zeven gode jmalle and odour to the emperour, and to voyden awey alle WYKKEDE e,res and corrupciouns. It was a tradition, it seems, that lord Falkland, lord C. J. Vaughan, and Mr. Seldon concurred in obferving, that Shakespeare had not only found out a new character in his Caliban, but had also devised and adapted a new manner of language for that character. What they meant by it, without doubi, was, that Shakespeare gave his language a cor
Pro. For this be sure, to-night thou shalt have
cramps, Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins Shall, 3 for that vast of night that they may work, All exercise on thee: thou shalt be pinch'd As thick as honey-combs, each pinch more stinging Than bees that made 'em.
tain grotesque air of the favage and antique ; which it certainly has. But Dr. Bentley took this, of a new language, literally ; for speaking of a phrase in Milton, which he supposed altogether absurd and unmeaning, he says, Satan had not the privilege as Calibun in Shakejpeare, to use new phrase and di&tion unknown to all others and again to practise distances is fill a Calihan file. Note on Milton's Paradise Lofl, l. 4. v. 945. But I know of no such Caliban ftile in Shakeipeare, that hath new phrafi and di&tion unknown to all others. WARBURTON.
Whence these critics derived the notion of a new language appropriated to Caliban, I cannot fird: they certainly rritook brutality of sentiment for uncouthness of words. Caliban had learned to speak of Prospero and his daughter, he had no names for the sun and moon before their arrival, and could not have invented a language of his own without more underftarding than Shakespeare has thought it proper to bestow upon him. His di&tion is indeed somewhat clouded by the gloominess of his temper, and the malignity of his purposes; but let any other being entertain the same thoughts, and he will find them easily it:ue in the fame expresions.
As wicked down--] Ilicked; having baneful qualities. So Spenser says, wicked weed; so, in opposition, we say herbs or medicines have virtues. Bacon mentions virtuous Bezoar, and Dryden virtuous berls. JOHNSON,
3 - for that vajt of night that they may work,] The vast of night means the night which is naturally empty and deserted, without action. It has a meaning like that of nox vafia,
It should be remembered, that, in the pneumatology of former times, these particulars were settled with the moit minute exactness, and the different kinds of visionary beings had different allotments of time suitable to the varieiy or confequence of their employments. During these spaces, they were at liberty to act, but were always obliged to leave off at a certain hour, that they might not interfere in that portion of night which belong'd to others. Among these we may suppose urchins to have had a part subjected to their dominion. To this limitation of time Shakespeare alludes again in K. Lear. He begins at curfew, and walks till the second cock. STEEVENS.
Cola Thou stroakan it from me. why mother,
Cal. I must eat my dinner. This isand's mine, by. Sycorax my mother, Which thou tak’st from me. When thou camest first, Thou stroak’dst me, and mad'st much of me; would'st
give me Water with berries in't; and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night: and then I lov'd thee, And shew'd thee all the qualities o’the ise, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place, and fertile. Curs'd be I, that I did so! All the charms Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! For I am all the subjects that you have, Who first was mine own king: and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest of the island.
Pro. Thou most lying Nave, Whom stripes may move, not kindness : I have us'd
thee, Filth as thou art, with human care, and lodg'd thee In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate The honour of my child.
Cal. Oh ho, oh ho! I wou'd it had been done!
Pro. 4 Abhorred Nave;
* Abborred Pave;] This speech, which the old copy gives to Miranda, is very judiciously bestowed by Mr. Theobald on Prospero. JOHNSON. .
The modern editions take this speech from Miranda, and give it to Prospero; though there is nothing in it but what the may speak with the greatest propriety; especially as it accounts for her being enough in the way and power of Caliban, to enable him to make the attempt complained of. The poet himself thews he intended Miranda should be his tutoress, when he makes Caliban say, “ I've seen thee in her, my mistress Mewed me, " thee and thy dog, and thy bush ;" to Stephano, who had Jux assured the monster he was the man in the moon. HOLT.