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Gonzalo invokes the blessings of the Gods upon
the · happy couple, and Alonzo, in his extacy, says,
Give me your hands,
Ariel re-enters with the Master and Boatswain, who relate the safe condition of the ship,
Which but three glasses since,
Prospero bids Alonzo not infest his mind, with the strangeness of this eventful story, as he assures him, he shall shortly resolve unto him, all its accidents ;-Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo appear with their stolen apparel, which, amidst the gravity of the scene, creates much merriment. Prospero, with his usual generosity, pardons them, and then, addressing himself to Alonzo, invites him and his train,
assuring them that in the morn,
He'll bring them
To see the nuptials,
The mild and gentle Ariel, is dismissed to the elements to be free; and this interesting scene, closes, by Prospero, promising, “ calm seas, and auspicious gales; so, that all may reach in safety, their destination.
Though some cold and fastidious critics, have found fault with this play, and have considered it, altogether, a meagre production, I, setting aside, the censure of such false criticism, must offer
my tribute of praise, in looking upon it, as the most perfect of all our poet's productions ;-being amongst the latest of his efforts, the powers of his great and intellectual mind, seem to have been here condensed, so as to give to mankind, a work, which time will never destroy ; for, whether, we contemplate, the moral of the tale,--the beauty of the composition,—the lofty and exalted sentiment, -the deep display of human action, in combination, with the knowledge so agreeably related, concerning the popular stories of superstition, both ancient and modern, it will ever be regarded as an imperishable monument, of Shakspere's fertile, sublime, and original genius.
Note 1, PAGE 5.
Shakspere, in Macbeth's address, to the Ghost of the murdered Banquo, gives a strong illustration, how far the mind of man, endowed with great courage, may be altogether subdued, under the belief of supernatural agency, though at the same time, it is here imagined, that the terrible object, which the ambitious tyrant saw, inspired him with that horror, which a sense of his crimes awakened ;
What man dare, I dare.
Superstition, which has often destroyed the energies of the bravest soldier, has also swamped, and laid waste, the human mind, even amidst the calm and peaceful inquiries of philosophy ;—the false and erroneous views of religion, which superstition has engendered, impeded, in a lamentable degree, in former times, the progress of science ;Tycho Brahe, distinguished for his glorious discoveries in Astronomy, was deterred from the further pursuit of his studies, by unhappily imagining, that to persevere with them, he would be guilty of impiety, towards the Deity; and Swammerdam, the celebrated Dutch anatomist, in an evil moment, when under the same fanatical influence, committed to the flames, the records of years, which, it is said, has deprived the science of anatomy, of many facts, connected with the physiology of man, that his laborious investigations had discovered.
NOTE 2, PAGE 6.
Mr. Walpole observes, that “ there is not the least suspicion, that the folio, under the name of James I., is not of his own composition, for, though Roger Ascham may have corrected or assisted periods of his illustrious pupil, no body can imagine, that Buchanan dictated a word of the Demonologia, or of the polite treatise, entitled • A Counterblast to Tobacco. Quotations, puns, witticisms, superstition, oaths, vanity, prerogative, and pedantry, the ingredients of all his sacred majesty's performances, were the pure produce of his own capacity, and deserving all the incense offered to such immense erudition, by the divines of his age, and the flatterers of his court.” The folio, Mr. Walpole alludes to, consists of several tracts, and which contain an attempt to prove, that monarchs have a right to be absolute and independent