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which intimate that the tempest described in the preceding scene, was the effect of Prospero's power. The manner in which he was driven from his dukea. dom of Milan, and landed afterwards on this solitary island, accompanied only by his daughter, is immediately introduced in a short and natural narration.
The offices of his attendant Spirit, Ariel, are enumerated with amazing wildness of fancy, and yet with equal propriety: his employment is said to be,
- To tread the ooze
On the curld clouds. In describing the place in which he has concealed the Neapolitan ship, Ariel expresses the secresy of its situation by the following circumstance, which artfully glances at another of his services;
- In the deep nook, where once
Ariel, being one of those elves or spirits, whose pastime is to make midnight mushrooms, and who rejoice to listen to the solemn curfew;' by whose assistance Prospero has bedimm’d the sun at noontide,
And 'twixt the green sea and the azur'd vault,
has a set of ideas and images peculiar to his station and office: a beauty of the same kind with that which is so justly admired in the Adam of Milton, whose manners and sentiments are all Paradisaical.
How delightfully and how suitably to his character, are the habitations and pastimes of this invisible being pointed out in the following exquisite song!
Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
After sun-set merrily:
Mr. Pope, whose Imagination has been thought by some the least of his excellencies, has, doubtless, conceived and carried on the machinery in his Rape of the Lock, with vast exuberance of fancy. The images, customs, and employments of his Sylphs, are exactly adapted to their natures, are peculiar and appropriated, are all
, if I may be allowed the expression, Sylphish. The enumeration of the punishments they were to undergo, if they neglected their charge, would, on account of its poetry and propriety, and especially the mixture of oblique satire, be superior to any circumstances in Shakspeare's Ariel, if we could suppose Pope to have been unacquainted with the Tempest, when he wrote this part of his accomplished poem.
She did confine thee
If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak,
For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps,
If thou neglect'st or dost unwillingly
Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, Forsakes his post or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins, Be stopp'd in vials, or transfixt with pins; Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie, Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye: Gums and pomatums shall his flight restrain, While clogg'd he beats his silken wings in vain ; Or alum styptics with contracting pow'r, Shrink his thin essence like a shrivell’d flow'r: Or as Ixion fix'd, the wretch sball feel The giddy motion of the whirling wheel; In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow, And tremble at the sea that froths below! POPE.
The method which is taken to induce Ferdinand to believe that his father was drowned in the late tempest is exceedingly solemn and striking. He is sitting upon a solitary rock, and weeping overagainst the place where he imagined his father was wrecked, when he suddenly hears with astonishment aërial music creep by him upon the waters, and the Spirit gives him the following information
any but a Spirit to utter :
in words not proper
Full fathom five thy father lies :
Of his bones are coral made : Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade, Bat doth suffer a sea-change, Into something rich and strange. VOL. XXV.
And then follows a most lively circumstance;
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell.
This is so truly poetical, that one can scarce forbear exclaiming with Ferdinand,
This is no mortal business, nor no sound
The happy versatility of Shakspeare's genius enables him to excel in lyric as well as in dramatic poesy.
But the poet rises still higher in his management of this character of Ariel, by making a moral use of it, that is, I think, incomparable, and the greatest effort of his art. Ariel informs Prospero, that he has fulfilled his orders, and punished his brother and companions so severely, that if he himself was now to behold their sufferings, he would greatly compassionate them. To which Prospero answers,
-Dost thou think so, Spirit ? Ariel. Mine would, Sir, were I human. PROSPERO. And mine shall.
He then takes occasion, with wonderful dexterity and humanity, to draw an argument from the incorporeality of Ariel, for the justice and necessity of pity and forgiveness :
Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling
The poet is a more powerful magician than his own Prospero: we are transported into fairy land; we are wrapt in a delicious dream, from which it is misery to be disturbed; all around is enchantment !
-The isle is full of noises,
N° 94. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1753.
Yoú have somewhere discouraged the hope of idleness by shewing, that whoever compares the number of those who have possessed fortuitous advantages, and of those who have been disappointed in their expectations, will have little reason to register himself in the lucky catalogue.
But as we have seen thousands subscribe to a rafie, of which one only could obtain the prize ; so idleness will still presume to hope, if the advan