« PreviousContinue »
There shalt thou find the mariners asleep
Ari. I drink the air' before me, and return
Gon. All torment, trouble, wonder, and amaze
Inhabits here ; Some heavenly power guide us
Behold, sir king,
Whe’r thou beest he, or no,
- shall I live now,
Under the bloffom that hangs on the bongh.] This thought is not thrown out at random. It composed a part of the magical system of these days. In Tassos Godfrey of Bulloigne, by Fairfax, B. IV. ft. 18:
“ The goblins, fairies, feends, and furies mad,
“ And under everie trembling leafe they fit.” The idea was probably first suggested by the description of the venerable elm which Virgil planted at the entrance of the infernal shades, Æn. vi. v. 282 :
Ulmus opaca, ingens ; quam fedem fomnia valgò “ Vana tenêre ferunt, foliisque fub omnibus hærent."
Holt Whits. 91 drink the air-] T. drink the air-is an expression of swiftness of the fame kind as to devour the way in K. Henry IV. JOHNSON.
2 Whe'r thou beeft he, or no,] Whe'r for whether, is an abbreviation frequently used both by Shakspeare and Jonson. So, in Julius Cæfar:
" See, whe'r their baseft metal be not mov'd,"
Or fome inchanted trifle to abuse me,
First, noble friend,
Whether this be,
You do yet taste
Again, in the Comedy of Errors :
M. Mason. 3 Thy dukedom I refign;] The duchy of Milan being through the treachery of Antonio made feudatory to the crown of Naples, Alonso promises to resign his claim of sovereignty for the future.
STEEVENS, 4 You do yet tafte
Some fubtilties o' the ille,] This is a phrase adopted from ancient cookery and confectionary. When a dish was so contrived as to appear unlike what it really was, they called it a subtilty. Dragons, castles, trees, &c. made out of sugar, had the like denomination. See Mr. Pegge's glossary to the Form of Cury, &c. Article Sotiltees.
Froissard complains much of this practice, which often led him into mistakes at dinner. Describing one of the feasts of his time, he says there was “ grant planté de mestz fi etranges & fi desguisez qu'on ne les pouvait deviser;" and L'Etoile speaking of a similar entertainment in 1597, adds " Tous les poissons eftoient fort dextrement desguisez en viande de chair, qui estoient monfires marins pour la plupart, qu'on avait fait venir exprès de tous les cojtez." STEEVENS.
Believe things certain :- Welcome, my friends
all : But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,
[Aside to Seb. and Ant. I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you, And justify you traitors; at this time I'll tell no tales,
SEB. The devil speaks in him. [Aside.
Pro. For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive Thy rankeft fault ; all of them; and require My dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know, Thou must restore, Alon.
If thou beeft Prospero, Give us particulars of thy preservation: How thou hast met us here, who three hours since Were wreck'd upon this shore; where I have lost, How sharp the point of this remembrance is ! My dear fon Ferdinand. Pro.
I am woe for't, fir.“
s—who three hours fince] The unity of time is most rigidly observed in this piece. The fable scarcely takes up a greater number of hours than are employed in the representation; and from the very particular care which our author takes to point out this circumstance in so many other passages, as well as here, it should feem as if it were not accidental, but purposely designed to Thew the admirers of Ben Jonson's art, and the cavillers of the time, that he too could write a play within all the strictest laws of regularity, when he chose to load himself with the critick’s fetters.
The Boatswain marks the progress of the day again—which but three glafjes fince, &c. and at the beginning of this act the duration of the time employed on the stage is particularly ascertained; and it refers to a passage in the first act, of the same tendency. The form was raised at least two glasses after mid day, and Ariel was promised that the work foould cease at the fixth hour. STEEVENS,
6 I am woe for’t, fir.] i. e. I am sorry for it. To be wae, is often used by old writers to fignify, to be sorry,
Alon. Irreparable is the loss; and patience
I rather think,
You the like loss ? Pro. As great to me, as late;o and, portable? To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker Than you may call to comfort you; for I Have lost my daughter. Alon.
A daughter? O heavens! that they were living both in Naples, The king and queen there! that they were, I wish Myself were mudded in that oozy bed Where my son lies. When did you lose your
daughter? Pro. In this last tempeft. I perceive, these lords At this encounter do so much admire, That they devour their reason; and scarce think Their eyes do offices of truth, their words Are natural breath : 8 but, howsoe'er you have
So, in the play of The Four Ps, 1569:
“ But be ye sure I would be
“ That you should chance to begyle me so." STEEVE NS. 6 As great to me, as late ;] My loss is as great as yours, and has as lately happened to me. JOHNSON.
-portable --] So, in Macbeth:
these are portable “ With other graces weigh’d.” The old copy unmetrically reads" supportable.” STEEVENS.
- their words Are natural breath:] An anonymous correspondent thinks that their is a corruption, and that we should read-rhese words. His conjecture appears not improbable. The lords had no doubt concerning themselves. Their doubts related only to Prospero, whom they at first apprehended to be some " inchanted trifle to abuse
Been juftled from your senses, know for certain,
strangely Upon this shore, where you were wreck'd, was
landed, To be the lord on't. No more yet of this s For 'tis a chronicle of day by day, Not a relation for a breakfast, nor Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, fir; This cell's my court: here have I few attendants, And subjects none abroad: pray you, look in. My dukedom since you have given me again, I will requite you with as good a thing ; At least, bring forth a wonder, to content ye, As much as me my dukedom. .
The entrance of the cell opens, and discovers Ferdi,
NAND and MIRANDA playing at chess.9
No, my dearest love,
should wrangle, And I would call it fair play.
them.” They doubt, says he, whether what they fee and hear is a mere illufion; whether the person they behold is a living mortal, whether the words they hear are spoken by a human creature.
MALONE, 9 — playing at chess.] Shakspeare might not have ventured
engage his hero and heroine at this game, had he not found Huon de Bordeaux and his Princess employed in the fame manner. See the Romance of Hron, &c. chapter 53. edit. 1601 : “ How King Ivoryn caused his daughter to play at the choffe with Huon,” &c.
STEEVENS. * Yes, for a score of kingdoms,&c.] I take the sense to be only this : Ferdinand would not, he says, play her false for the world: yes,