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The mariners all under hatches stow'd;
Ariel, thy charge
Past the mid season. Pro. At least two glasses : The time 'twixt fix
Must by us both be spent most preciously.
me pains, Let me remember thee what thou hast promis'd, Which is not yet perform'd me.
gave my word
keeps he fill your quarter “ In the Bermudas ?". Again, in one of his Epiftles:
“ Have their Bermudas, and their straights i' th Strand." Again, in The Devil is an Ass :
I " For one that's run away to the Bermudas." STEEVENS. the Mediterranean flote,] Flote is wave. Flot. Fr.
STEEVENS. ? What is the time o' the day?] This passage needs not be difturbed, it being common to ask a question, which the next moment enables us to answer : he that thinks it faulty, may easily adjust it thus :
Pro. What is the time o' the day ? Paft the mid seafon?
Pro. The time 'twixt fix and now Johnson.
Ariel. Paft ihe mid season, at least two glases. · Prof. The time, &c. MALONE,
How now? moody?
promise To bate me a full year. PRO.
Dost thou forget
8 Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, ferv'dm-] The old copy has
“ Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, fervid" The repetition of a word will be found a frequent mistake in the ancient editions. Ritson.
9 Doft thou forget ---] That the character and conduct of Prospero may be underltood, something must be known of the system of enchantment, which supplied all the marvellous found in the romances of the middle ages. This system seems to be founded on the opi. nion that the fallen fpirits, having different degrees of guilt, had different habitations allotted them at their expulfion, fome being confined in hell, some (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our poet's age, expresses it) dispersed in air, fome on earth, jome in water, others in caves, dens, or minerals under the earth. Of these, some were more malignant and mischievous than others. The earthy fpirits seem to have been thought the most depraved, and the aerial the least vitiated. Thus Prospero obferves of Ariel :
Thou wast a spirit too delicate
To a&t her earthy and abhorr'd commands. Over these spirits a power might be obtained by certain rites performed or charms learned. This power was called The black Art, or Knowledge of Enchantment. The enchanter being (as king James observes in his Demonology) one who commands the devil, whereas the witch ferves him. Those who thought best of this art, the existence of which was, I am afraid, believed very feriously, held, that certain sounds and characters had a physical power over spirits, and compelled their agency ; others, who condemned the practice, which in reality was surely never practised, were of opinion, with more reason, that the power of charms arofe only from compact,
From what a torment I did free thee?
I do not, fir.
forgot The foul witch Sycorax, who, with envy, Was
grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot her? Ari. No, fir. Pro.
Thou hast: Where was she born? speak; tell me. Ari. Sir, in Argier.'
and was no more than the spirits voluntarily allowed them for the seduction of man. The art was held by all, though not equally criminal, yet unlawful, and therefore Casaubon, speaking of one who had commerce with spirits, blames him, though he imagines him one of the best kind, who dealt with them by way of command. Thus Prospero repents of his art in the last scene. The spirits were always considered as in some measure enslaved to the enchanter, at least for a time, and as serving with unwillingness; therefore Ariel so often begs for liberty; and Caliban observes, that the spirits ferve Prospero with no good will, but hate him rootedly. Of these trifles enough. JOHNSON.
* The foul witch Sycorax,] This idea might have been caught from Dionyfe Settle's Reporte of the Last Voyage of Capteine Frobiber, 12mo. bl. 1. 1577. He is speaking of a woman found on one of the islands described. • The old wretch, whome diuers of our Saylers supposed to be a Diuell, or a Witche, plucked off her buskins, to see if she were clouen-footed, and for her ougly hewe and deformitie, we let her goe." STEVENS,
3 in Argier.) Argier is the ancient English name for Algiers. See a pamphlet entitled, “ A true Relation of the Travailes, &c. of William Davies, barber-surgeon," &c. 1614. In this is a chapter“ on the description, &c. of Argier." STEEVENS.
O, was she so? I must,
Ari. Ay, fir.
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 brcasts 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 The pine, and let thee out.
I thank thee, master.
Pro. Ifthou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak, And peg thee in his knotty entrails, till Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters. ARI.
Pardon, master: I will be correspondent to command, And do my fpriting gently. Pro.
. Do so; and after two days I will discharge thee. Ari.
That's my noble master! What shall I do? say what? what shall I do?
Pro. Go make thyself like to a nymph o'the sea ; * Be subject to no sight but mine; invisible To every eye-ball else. Go, take this shape, And hither come in't: hence, with diligence.
4 — to a nymph o' the sea;] There does not appear to be sufficient cause why Ariel should allume this new shape, as he was to be invisible to all eyes but those of Prospero. Steevens. s Be subject to no fight but mine ; invisible To every eye-ball else.] The old copy reads
“ Be subject to no fight but thine and mine ; invisible," &c. But redundancy in the first line, and the ridiculous precaution that Ariel should not be invisible to himjelf, plainly prove that the words and thine were the interpolations of ignorance.
STEEVENS. Go make thyself like a nymph o' the sea : be fubje&i
To no fight but thine and mine ; invisible, &c.] The words " be subject"-having been transferred in the first copy of this play to the latter of these lines, by the carelessness of the transcriber or printer, the editor of the second folio, to supply the metre of the former, introduced the word to ;-reading, " like to a nymph o' the sea.” The regulation that I have made, shews that the addition, like many others made by that editor, was unnecessary. MALONE.
My arrangement of this passage, admits the word to, which, I think, was judiciously restored by the editor of the second folio.
STEEVENS. And hither come in't: hence with diligence.] The old copy reads-
“ And hither come in't: go, hence with diligence.” The transcriber or compcfitor had caught the word ge from the preceding line. Ritson. Vol. III.