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Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him,
When he comes back; you demy-puppets, that
By moon-shine do the green-sour ringlets make,
Whereof the ewe not bites; and you, whose pas-

Is to make midnight mushrooms; that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew ; by whose aid
(Weak masters though ye be,)' I have be-dimm'd
The noon-tide sun, call'd forth the mutinous winds,
And 'twixt the green sea and the azur'd vault
Set roaring war: to the dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire, and rifted Jove's stout oak
With his own bolt: the strong-bas'd promontory
Have I niade shake; and by the spurs pluck'd up
The pine and cedar: graves, at my command,
Have waked their sleepers ; oped, and let them forth
By my so potent art: But this rough magick?
I here abjure: and, when I have requir'd
Some heavenly musick, (which even now I do,)
To work mine end upon their senses,

This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And, deeper than did ever plummet sound,
I'll drown my book.

[Solemn musick.

(Weak masters though ye be,)] The meaning of this passage may be, Though you are but inferior masters of these supernatural powers-though you possess them but in a low degree. ŚTEEVENS

-by whose aid, (Weak masters though ye be,)] That is : ye are powerful auxikiaries, but weak if left to yourselves ;—your employment is then to make green ringlets, and midnight mushrooms, and to play the idle pranks mentioned by Ariel in his next song ; yet by your aid I have been enabled to invert the course of nature. We say proverbially, “ Fire is a good servant, but a bad master.

BLACKSTONE. But this rough magick, &c.] This speech of Prospero sets out with a long and distinct invocation to the various ministers of his art: yet to what purpose they were invoked does not very distinctly appear. Had ourauthor written" All this,” &c. instead

Re-enter Ariel: after him, Alonso, with a fran

tick gesture, attended by GONZALO; SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO in like manner, attended by ADRIAN and FRANCISCO: they all enter the circle which PROSPERO had made, and there stand charmed; which PROSPERO observing, speaks.


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A solemn air, an 1 the best comforter
To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains,
Now useless, boil'd within thy skull! There stand,
For you are spell-stopp’d.
Holy Gonzalo, honourable man,
Mine eyes, even sociable to the shew of thine,
Fall fellowly drops. -The charm dissolves apace ;
And as the morning steals upon the night,

of_" But this,” &c. the conclusion of the address would have been more pertinent to its beginning. STEEVENS. 3 A solemn air, and the best comforter

To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains, &c.] Prospero does not desire them to cure their brains. His expression is optative, not imperative ; and means-May musick cure thy brains! i. e. settle them. Mr. Malone reads :

“ To an unsettled fancy's cure! Thy brains,

Now useless, boil within thy scull:"- STEEVENS. The old copy reads-fancy. For this emendatian I am answerable. Prospero begins by observing, that the air which had been played was admirably adapted to compose unsettled minds. He ihen addresses Gonzalo and the rest, who had just before gone into the circle : “ Thy brains, now useless boil within thy scull," &c. [the soothing strain not having yet begun to operate.) Afterwards, perceiving that the musick begins to have the effect intended, he adds, “ The charm dissolves apace.” Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors read-boil'd. MALONE.

boil'd within thy skull ! ] So, in A Midsummer Night's dream, seething brains, &c. occur: and in The Winter's Tale, we have « boil'd brains."

-fellowly drops.] I would read, fellow drops. The additional syllable only injures the metre, without enforcing the eense. Fellowly, however, is an adjective used by Tusser.


Melting the darkness, so their rising senses
Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle
Their clearer reason.—0 my good Gonzalo,
My true preserver, and a loyal sir
To him thou follow'st; I will pay thy graces
Home, both in word and deed. -Most cruelly
Didst thou, Alonso, use me and my daughter :
Thy brother was a furtherer in the act ;-
Thou’rt pinch'd for’t now, Sebastian.-Flesh and

blood, 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-case me, and myself present, As I was sometime Milan :-quickly, spirit; Thou shalt ere long be free.

Ariel re-enters, singing, and helps to attire

Ari. IVhere the bee sucks, there suck I;

In a cowslip's bell I lie :S s—the ignorant fumes-] i.e. the fumes of ignorance. 6 Thou’rt pinch'd for't now, Sebastian. Flesh and blood,] Thus 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.”

remorse and nature ;] Remorse is by our author and the contemporary writers generally used for pity, or tenderness of heart. Nature is natural affection. MALONE.


There I couch when owls do cry.'
On the bat's back I do fly,
After summer, merrily : 1

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In a cowslip's bell I lie :) So, in Drayton's Nymphidia »

“ At midnight, the appointed hour;
“ And for the queen a fitting bower,
“ 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.

- when owls do 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 spirits, who, on this account, constantly follow summer.

WARBURTON. To this Mr. Steevens objects that the bat is no bird of passage, and the expression is therefore probably used to signify, not that he pursues summer, but that, after summer is past, he rides upon the warm down of a bat’s back; which suits not improperly with the delicacy of his airy being. But Mr. Malone thinks that though the bat is “no bird of passage,” Shakspeare probably meant to express what Dr. Warburton supposes. When Shak speare had determined to send Ariel in pursuit of summer, wherever it could be found, as most 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?

Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.? Pro. Why, that's my dainty Ariel : I shall miss

thee; But yet thou shalt have freedom : so, so, so.To the king's ship, invisible as thou art : There shalt thou find the mariners asleep Under the hatches; the master, and the boatswain, Being awake, enforce them to this place; And presently, I pr’ythee.

Ari. I drink the airs before me, and return
Or e'er your pulse twice beat. Exit ARIEL.
Gon. All torment, trouble, wonder, and amaze-

Inhabits here: Some heavenly power guide us
Out of this fearful country!

Behold, sir king,
The wronged duke of Milan, Prospero :
For more assurance that a living prince
Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body;
And to thee, and thy company, I bid
A hearty welcome.

Whe'r thou beest he, or no,
Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me,
As late I have been, I not know : thy pulse
Beats, as of flesh and blood; and, since I saw thee,


shall I live now, Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.] This thought is not thrown out at random. It composed a part of the magical system of these days. The idea was probably first suggested by the description of the venerable elm which Virgil planted at the entrance of the infernal shades.

3 I drink the air -] To drink the air — is an expression of swiftness of the same kind as to devour the way in K. Henry IV.

+ Whe'r thou beest he, or no,] Whe'r for whether, is an abbreviation frequently used both by Shakspeare and Jonson.

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