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You brother mine, that entertain'd ambition, Expellid remorse, and nature;* who, with Sebastian, (Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong,) Would here have kill'd your king; I do forgive
thee, Unnatural though thou art !—Their understanding Begins to swell; and the approaching tide Will shortly fill the reasonable shores, That now lie foul and muddy. Not one of them, That yet looks on me, or would know me :-Ariel
, Fetch me the hat and rapier in my cell ;
[Exit Ariel. I will dis-cafe me, and myself present, As I was sometime Milan :--quickly, fpirit ; Thou shalt ere long be free.
Ariel re-enters, singing, and helps to attire
Ari. Where the bee fucks, there fuck I;
In a complip's bell I lie :S
After summer, merrily: 3
the old copy: Theobald points the passage in a different manner, and perhaps rightly : “ Thou'rt pinch'd for't now, Sebastian, flesh and blood."
STEEVENS. 3 - that entertain’d ambition,] Old copy-entertain. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
4 — remorse and nature ;) Remorse is hy our author and the contemporary writers generally used for pity, or tenderness of heart. Nature is natural affection. MALONE. s In a cowslip's bell I lie :) So, in Drayton's Nymphidia:
“ At midnight, the appointed hour;
Pro. Why, that's my dainty Ariel : I shall miss
« Quoth he, is that fair cowslip flower
“ On Hipcut hill that bloweth." The date of this poem not being ascertained, we know not whether our author was indebted to it, or was himself copied by Drayton. I believe, the latter was the imitator. Nymphidia was not written, I imagine, till after the English Don Quixote had appeared in 1612. MALONE.
6-when owls de cry.) i. e. at night. As this passage is now printed, Ariel says that he reposes in a cowslip's bell during the night. Perhaps, however, a full point ought to be placed after the word couch, and a comma at the end of the line.
If the passage should be thus regulated, Ariel will then take his departure by night, the proper season for the bat to set out upon the expedition.
MALONE. After summer, merrily:] This is the reading of all the editions. Yet Mr. Theobald has substituted sun-set, because Ariel talks of riding on the bat in this expedition. An idle fancy. That circumstance is given only to design the time of night in which fairies travel. One would think the consideration of the circumstances should have set him right. Ariel was a spirit of great delicacy, bound by the charms of Prospero to a constant attendance on his occasions. So that he was confined to the island winter and summer. But the roughness of winter is represented by Shakspeare as disagreeable to fairies, and such like delicate fpirits, who, on this account, constantly follow summer. Was not this then the most agreeable circumstance of Ariel's new-recovered liberty, that he could now avoid winter, and follow summer quite round the globe ? But to put the matter quite out of question, let us confider the meaning of this line :
“ There I couch when owls do cry.” Where? in the cowslip's bell, and where the bee fucks, he tells us : this must needs be in summer. When? when owls cry,
and this is in winter:
“ When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
The Song of Winter in Love's Labour's Loff. The consequence is, that Ariel flies after summer. Yet the Oxford Editor has adopted this judicious emendation of Mr. Theobald.
WARBURTON. Ariel does not appear to have been confined to the island summer and winter, as he was sometimes sent on so long an errand as to the Bermoothes. When he says, On the bar's back I do fly, &c. Vol. III.
yet thou shalt have freedom: so, so, so To the king's ship, invisible as thou art :
he speaks of his present situation only; nor triumphs in the idea of his future liberty, till the last couplet :
“ Merrily, merrily,” &c. The bat is no bird of passage, and the exprefsion is therefore probably used to signify, not ihat be pursues fummer, but that, after fummer is pajt, he rides upon the warm down of a bat's back, which suits not improperly with the delicacy of his airy being. After summer is a phrase in K. Henry VI. P. II. A&t II. sc. iv.
Shakspeare, who, in his Midsummer Night's Dream, has placed the light of a glow-worm in its eyes, might, through the same ignorance of natural history, have supposed the bat to be a bird of pallage. Owls cry not only in winter. It is well known that they are to the full as clamorous in summer; and as a proof of it, Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, the time of which is Tupposed to be May, commands her fairies to
keep back " The clamorous owl, that nightly boots."— STEEVENS. Our author is feldom solicitous that every part of his imagery tould correspond. I therefore, think, that though the bat is
no bird of passage," Shakspeare probably meant to express what Dr. Warburton furposes. A short account, however, of this winged animal may perhaps prove the best illustration of the passage before us :
“ 'The bat (fays Dr. Goldsmith, in his entertaining and in. “ structive Natural Hiftory,) makes its appearance in summer, and
begins its fight in the dusk of the evening. It appears only in the
most pleasant evenings; at other times it continues in its retreat ; “ the chink of a ruined building, or the hollow of a tree. Thus “ the little animal even in summer sleeps the greatest part of his “ time, never venturing out by day-light, nor in rainy weather. But “ its short life is still more abridged by continuing in a torpid “ ftate during the winter. At the approach of the cold season, “ the bat prepares for its state of lífeless inactivity, and seems “ rather to choose a place where it may continue safe from inter
ruption, than where it may be warmly or commodiously “ lodged.”
When Shakspeare had determined to send Ariel in pursuit of fummer, wherever it could be found, as moft congenial to such an airy being, is it then surprising that he should have made the bat, rather than “ the wind, his post-horse;" an animal thus delighting in that season, and reduced by winter to a state of lifeless inactivity ? Malone.
There shalt thou find the mariners asleep
Ari. I drink the air' before me, and return
Gon. All torment, trouble, wonder, and amaze
Inhabits here ; Some heavenly power guide us
Behold, sir king,
Whe’r thou beest he, or no,
- shall I live now,
Under the bloffom that hangs on the bough.] This thought is not thrown out at random. It composed a part of the magical system of these days. In Tasso's Godfrey of Bulloigne, by Fairfax, B. IV. ft. 18:
“ The goblins, fairies, feends, and furies mad,
“ And under everie trembling leafe they fit.” The idea was probably first suggested by the description of the venerable elm which Virgil planted at the entrance of the infernal shades, Æn. vi. v. 282 :
Ulmus opaca, ingens ; quam fedem fomnia valgò “ Vana tenêre ferunt, foliisque fub omnibus hærent."
Holt Whits. 91 drink the air-] T. drink the air-is an expression of swiftness of the fame kind as to devour the way in K. Henry IV. JOHNSON.
2 Whe'r thou beeft he, or no,] Whe'r for whether, is an abbreviation frequently used both by Shakspeare and Jonson. So, in Julius Cæfar:
" See, whe'r their baseft metal be not mov'd,"
Or some inchanted trifle to abuse me,
First, noble friend,
Whether this be,
You do yet taste
Again, in the Comedy of Errors :
M. Mason. 3 Thy dukedom I refign;] The duchy of Milan being through the treachery of Antonio made feudatory to the crown of Naples, Alonso promises to resign his claim of sovereignty for the future.
STEEVENS 4 You do yet tafte
Some fubtilties o' the isle,] This is a phrase adopted from ancient cookery and confectionary. When a dish was so contrived as to appear unlike what it really was, they called it a subtilty. Dragons, castles, trees, &c. made out of sugar, had the like denomination. See Mr. Pegge's glossary to the Form of Cury, &c. Article Sotiltees.
Froissard complains much of this practice, which often led him into mistakes at dinner. Describing one of the feasts of his time, he fays there was " grant planté de mestz fa etranges & fi desguisez qu'on ne les pouvait deviser;" and L'Etoile speaking of a similar entertainment in 1597, adds “ Tous les poissons estoient fort dextrement desguisez en viande de chair, qui estoient monfires marins pour la pluspari, qu'on avait fait venir exprès de tous les cojtez." STEEVENS.