Page images
PDF
EPUB

Believe things certain :- Welcome, my friends

all : But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,

[Afide to Seb. and Ant. I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you, And justify you traitors; at this time I'll tell no tales. SEB. The devil speaks in him.

[ Aside. PRO.

No: For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive Thy rankest fault ; all of them; and require My dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know, Thou must restore, Alon.

If thou beest Prospero, Give us particulars of thy preservation: How thou hast met us here, who three hours finces Were wreck'd upon this shore; where I have lost, How sharp the point of this remembrance is ! My dear fon Ferdinand. Pro.

I am woe for’t, fir.

$ - who three hours since -] The unity of time is most rigidly observed in this piece. The fable scarcely takes up a greater number of hours than are employed in the representation; and from the very particular care which our author takes to point out this circumstance in so many other passages, as well as here, it should feem as if it were not accidental, but purposely designed to shew the admirers of Ben Jonson's art, and the cavillers of the time, that he too could write a play within all the strictest laws of regularity, when he chose to load himself with the critick’s fetters.

The Boatswain marks the progress of the day again—which but three glaffes fince, &c. and at the beginning of this act the duration of the time employed on the stage is particularly ascertained ; and it refers to a passage in the first act, of the same tendency. The form was raised at least two glasses after mid day, and Ariel was promised that the work soould cease at the fixth hour. Steevens,

6 I am woe for't, fir.] i. e. I am sorry for it. To be wie, is often used by old writers to fignify, to be sorry.

Alon. Irreparable is the loss; and patience
Says, it is past her cure.
PRO.

I rather think,
You have not fought her help; of whose soft grace,
For the like loss, I have her sovereign aid,
And rest myself content.
ALON.

You the like loss ? Pro. As great to me, as late;o and, portable? To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker Than you may call to comfort you; for I Have lost my daughter. Alon.

A daughter? O heavens! that they were living both in Naples, The king and queen there! that they were, I wish Myself were mudded in that oozy bed Where my son lies. When did you lose your

daughter? Pro. In this last tempeft. I perceive, these lords At this encounter do so much admire, That they devour their reason; and scarce think Their eyes do offices of truth, their words Are natural breath : 8 but, howsoe'er you have

woe

So, in the play of The Four Ps, 1569:

“ But be ye sure I would be

“ That you should chance to begyle me so." STEEVE NS. 6 As great to me, as late ;] My loss is as great as yours, and has as lately happened to me. JOHNSON. -portable --] So, in Macbeth:

these are portable With other graces weigh’d.” The old copy unmetrically reads" supportable.” STEEVENS.

- their words Are natural breath:] An anonymous correspondent thinks that their is a corruption, and that we should read-rhese words. His conjecture appears not improbable. The lords had no doubt concerning themselves. Their doubts related only to Prospero, whom they at first apprehended to be some " inchanted trifle to abuse

8

Been juftled from your senses, know for certain,
That I am Prospero, and that very duke
Which was thrust forth of Milan; who most

strangely Upon this shore, where you were wreck’d, was

landed, To be the lord on't. No more yet of this s For 'tis a chronicle of day by day, Not a relation for a breakfalt, nor Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, fir; This cell's my court: here have I few attendants, And subjects none abroad: pray you, look in. My dukedom since you have given me again, I will requite you with as good a thing ; At least, bring forth a wonder, to content ye, As much as me my dukedom. .

The entrance of the cell opens, and discovers FERDI

NAND and MIRANDA playing at chess.9
Mira. Sweet lord, you play me false.
Fer.

No, my dearest love,
I would not for the world.
MIRA. Yes, for a score of kingdoms, you

should wrangle, And I would call it fair play.

to

them.” They doubt, says he, whether what they see and hear is a mere illufion; whether the person they behold is a living mortal, whether the words they hear are spoken by a human creature.

MALONE, 9 playing at chess.] Shakspeare might not have ventured

engage his hero and heroine at this game, had he not found Huon de Bordeaux and his Princess employed in the fame manner. See the Romance of Hron, &c. chapter 53. edit. 1601 : “ How King Ivoryn caused his daughter to play at the chefje with Huon,” &c.

STEEVENS. * Yes, for a score of kingdoms,&c.] I take the sense to be only this : Ferdinand would not, he says, play her false for the world: yes,

If this prove

ALON.
A vision of the island, one dear son
Shall I twice lose.
Seb.

A most high miracle !
Fer. Though the seas threaten, they are mer-

ciful:
I have curs'd them without cause.

[Ferd. kneels to Alon. ALON.

Now all the blessings
Of a glad father compass thee about !
Arise, and say how thou cam’st here.
Mira.

O! wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here !
How beauteous mankind is ! O brave new world,
That has such people in't !
PRO.

'Tis new to thee. Alon. What is this maid, with whom thou wast

at play?
Your eld’st acquaintance cannot be three hours:
Is she the goddess that hath sever'd us,
And brought us thus together?
FER.

Sir, she's mortal;
But, by immortal providence, she's mine;
I chose her, when I could not ask my

father For his advice; nor thought I had one: she

answers fhe, I would allow you to do it for something less than the world, for twenty kingdoms, and I wish you well enough to allow you, after a little wrangle, that your play was fair. So likewise Dr. Grey. JOHNSON.

I would recommend another punctuation, and then the sense would be as follows:

Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,

And I would call it fair play; because such a contest would be worthy of you.

'Tis honour, with most lands to be at odds,'fays Alcibiades, in Timon of Athens. Steevens,

[ocr errors]

Is daughter to this famous duke of Milan,
Of whom so often I have heard renown,
But never saw before; of whom I have
Receiv'd a second life, and second father
This lady makes him to me.
ALON.

I am hers:
But O, how oddly will it sound, that I
Must ask my child forgiveness !
PRO.

There, sir, stop;
Let us not burden our remembrances 3
With a heaviness that's

gone. Gon.

I have inly wept, Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you

gods,
And on this couple drop a blessed crown;
For it is you, that have chalk'd forth the way
Which brought us hither!
Alon.

I say, amen, Gonzalo!
Gon. Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his issue
Should become kings of Naples? O, rejoice
Beyond a common joy; and set it down
With gold on lasting pillars : In one voyage
Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis;
And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife,
Where he himself was lost; Prospero his dukedom,
In a poor isle; and all of us, ourselves,
When no man was his own.*

3 - our remembrances -] By the mistake of the transcriber the word with being placed at the end of this line, Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors, for the sake of the metre, read—remembrance, The regulation now made renders change unnecessary. MALONE.

4 When no man was his own.] For when perhaps should be readwbere. JOHNSON.

When is certainly right; i. e. at a time when no one was in his senses. Shakspeare could not have written where, [i. e. in the

« PreviousContinue »