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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 dukedom 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
Of the salt deep;
To run upon the sharp wind of the north;
-to dive into the fire; to ride On the curl'd 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
Thou call'st me up at midnight, to fetch dew
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:
Merrily merrily shall I live now,
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
Into a cloven pine: within which rift
A dozen years: within which space she dy'd,
If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak,
For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps, Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up: urchins Shall, for that vast of night that they may work, All exercise on thee; thou shalt be pinch'd As thick as honey-combs, each pinch more stinging Than bees that made 'em.
If thou neglect'st or dost unwillingly
Whatever spirit, careless of his charge,
Full fathom five thy father lies:
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 in words not proper for any but a Spirit to utter:
And then follows a most lively circumstance;
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell.
Hark! now I hear them-Ding-dong-bell!
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,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Will make me sleep again: and then in dreaming,
N° 94. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1753.
Monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare.
What I shew,
TO THE ADVENTURER.
You 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 raffle, of which one only could obtain the prize; so idleness will still presume to hope, if the advan