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in length according to its interest and popularity, ana at the commencement of each play a short account of the plot or fable is given.
Dr. Dodd's well-known work, "The Beauties of Shakspere," has formed the basis of the present selection; but whilst Dodd's book has been pretty closely adhered to, yet many passages contained in it have been omitted as not suitable, and others not included in it have been incorporated.
Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, is cheated out of his dukedom by the intrigues of his brother Antonio, and is sent to sea with his infant daughter Miranda; in the frail boat in which they are embarked they reach an island, where, educated by her father, Miranda grows to womanhood. Prospero, who is a magician, with the help of Ariel, a familiar spirit, causes the king of Naples, with his son Ferdinand, and Antonio, the usurping brother, to be shipwrecked on the island. Ferdinand encounters Miranda, falls in love with her, and is accepted as her future husband. The play concludes with the resolution of Prospero to abandon magic and revisit his dukedom. The chief characters in the play are Prospero, the rightful Duke; Antonio, his usurping brother; Alonso, King of Naples; Ferdinand, his son; Ariel, an airy spirit; Caliban, a savage and deformed slave; Gonzalo, an honest old counsellor of Naples, and Miranda, daughter of Prospero.
Ariel's Description of Managing the Storm.
I BOARDED the king's ship; now on the beak,
O' the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary
-Not a soul
But felt a fever of the mad, and play'd
Some tricks of desperation: all but mariners
Plung❜d in the foaming brine, and quit the vessel,
CALIBAN. As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd With raven feather from unwholesome fen,
Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye,
And blister you all o'er !
PROSPERO. For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have
Side-stitches that shall
pen thy breath up; urchins
Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
As thick as honeycombs, each pinch more stinging
CALIBAN. I must eat my dinner.
This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother,
Which thou takest from me. When thou camest first
Thou strokedst me, and madest much of me; wouldst
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, * Imps, fairies.