Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

6

And observation strange, my meaner ministers Their several kinds have done: my high charms

work, And these, mine enemies, are all knit up In their distractions: they now are in my power ; And in these fits I leave them, whilst I visit Young Ferdinand (whom they suppose is drown'd) And his and my lov'd darling.

[Exit Prospero from above. Gon. I' the name of something holy, sir, why

stand you

In this strange ftare?
ALON.

O, it is monstrous ! monstrous ! Methought, the billows spoke, and told me of it; The winds did fing it to me; and the thunder, That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounc'd The name of Prosper; it did bass my trespass.?

the Clown) have a love song, or a song of good life?" Sir Toby answers, “ A love song, a love song;" Ay, ay, (replies Sir Andrew) I care not for good life." It is plain, from the character of the last speaker, that he was meant to mistake the sense in which good life is used by the Clown. It may therefore, in the present instance, mean, honeft alacrity, or cheerfulness.

Life seems to be used in the chorus to the fifth act of K. Henry V. with some meaning like that wanted to explain the approbation of Prospero: " Which cannot in their huge and

proper life “ Be here presented.” Steevens. To do any thing with good life, is still a provincial expression in the West of England, and signifies, to do it with the full bent and energy of mind :-“ And observation ftrange," is with such minute attention to the orders given, as to excite admiration. Henley.

6 Their several kinds have done :) i. e. have discharged the feveral functions allotted to their different natures. Thus in Antony and Cleopatra, Act V. sc. ii. the Clown fays" You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.STEEVENS.

7 bafs my trespass.] The deep pipe told it me in a rough bass found. JOHNSON.

their great

[ocr errors]

Therefore my son i’the ooze is bedded; and
I'll seek him deeper than e'er plummet sounded,
And with him there lie mudded.?

[Exit. SEB.

But one fiend at a time, I'll fight their legions o'er. Ant.

I'll be thy second.

[Exeunt Seb. and Ant. Gon. All three of them are desperate; their

guilt, Like poison given to work a great time after, Now 'gins to bite the fpirits :- I do beseech you That are of suppler joints, follow them swiftly, And hinder them from what this ecstacy' May now provoke them to. Apri.

Follow, I pray you.

[Exeunt. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. 12:

the rolling sea refounding soft, “ In his big base them fitly answered." STEVENS. 7 And with him there lie mudded.

But one fiend] As these hemistichs, taken together, exceed the proportion of a verse, I cannot help regarding the words-with him, and but, as playhouse interpolations.

The Tempeft was evidently one of the last works of Shakspeare ; and it is therefore natural to suppose the metre of it must have been exact and regular. Dr. Farmer concurs with me in this supposition.

STEVENS. * Like poison given, &c.] The natives of Africa have been fupposed to be poffessed of the secret how to temper poisons with such art as not to operate till several years after they were administered. Their drugs were then as certain in their effect, as fubtle in their preparation. So, in the celebrated libel called “ Leicester's Commonwealth :' “ I heard him once myselfe in publique act at Oxford, and that in presence of my lord of Leicester, maintain that poyfon might be fo tempered and given, as it should not appear presently, and yet should kill the party afterwards at what time should be appointed.” Steevens.

9 - this ecstacy -] Ecstacy meant not anciently, as at present, rapturous pleasure, but alienation of mind. Mr. Locke has not inelegantly styled it dreaming with our eyes opere STBEVENS, Vol. III.

I

ACT IV. SCENE I.

Before Prospero's cell.

Enter PROSPERO, FERDINAND, and Miranda.

Pro. If I have too austerely punish'd you, Your compensation makes amends; for Í Have given you here a thread of mine own life,

2

- a thread of mine own life,] The old

copy

reads_third. The word thread was formerly so spelt, as appears from the following passage :

“ Long maist thou live, and when the fifters shall decree “ To cut in twaine the twisted third of life,

" Then let him die," &c. See comedy of Macedorus, 1619, fignat. C. 3. HAWKINS.

A thrid of mine own life" is a fibre or a part of my own life, Profpero considers himself as the fock or parent-tree, and his daughter as a fibre or portion of himself, and for whose benefit he himself lives. In this sense the word is used in Markham's English Husbandman, edit. 1635, P: 146: “ Cut off all the maine rootes, within half a foot of the tree, only the finall thriddes or twist rootes you shall not cut at all.” Again, ibid. Every branch and thrid of the root.” This is evidently the same word as thread, which is likewise spelt thrid by lord Bacon. Tollet.

So, in Lingua, &c. 1607; and I could furnith many more in. Aances :

“ For as a subtle spider closely fitting
In center of her web that spreadeth round,
“ If the least fly but touch the smalleft third,

• She feels it inftantly." The following quotation, however, should seem to place the meaning beyond all dispute. In Acolastus, a comedy, 1540, is this paffage :

- one of worldly shame's children, of his countenaunce, and THREDE of his body." STEEVENS.

Again, in Tancred and Gifmund, a tragedy, 1592, Tancred, speaking of his intention to kill his daughter, fays,

Against all law of kinde, to shred in twaine
The golden shreede that doth as both maintain.

MALONE.

Or that for which I live; whom once again
I tender to thy hand : all thy vexations
Were but my trials of thy love, and thou
Haft strangely stood the test : here, afore Heaven,
I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand,
Do not smile at me, that I boast her off,
For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise,
And make it halt behind her.
Fer.

I do believe it,
Against an oracle.
Pro. Then, as my gift, and thine own acqui-

sition 4
Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter: But
If thou dost break her virgin knots before
All sanctimonious ceremonies 6 may

e

4

} -- ftrangely ftood the teft :] Strangely is used by way of commendation, merveilleusement, to a wonder; the same is the sense in the foregoing scene. JOHNSON. i. e. in the last scene of the preceding act:

with good life “And observation strange-" STEVENS. * Then, as my gift, and thine own acquisition -] My guest, firft felis. Rowe first read-gift. JOHNSON. A fimilar thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra :

I send him "The greatness he has got." Steevens. - her virgin knot -] The same expression occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609 :

Untide I still my virgin knot will keepe.” SteeveNS, If thou doft break ber virgin knot before

All fanctimonious ceremonies, &c.] This, and the passage in Pericles Prince of Tyre, are manifest allusions to the zones of the ancients, which were worn as guardians of chastity by marriageable young women.

“ Puellæ, contra, nondum viripotentes, hujusmodiozonis non utebantur: quod videlicet immaturis virgunculis nullum, aut certè minimum, a corruptoribus periculum immineret : quas propterea vocabant építeos, nempe discinetas.'

With full and holy rite be minister'd,
No sweet aspersion’ shall the heavens let fall
To make this contract grow; but barren hate,
Sour-ey'd disdain, and discord, shall bestrew
The union of your bed with weeds so loathly,
That
you

shall hate it both: therefore, take heed, As Hymen's lamps shall light you. FER.

As I hope For quiet days, fair issue, and long life, With such love as 'tis now; the murkiest den, The most opportune place, the strong’ft suggestion Our worser Genius can, shall never melt Mine honour into lust; to take away The edge of that day's celebration, When I shall think, or Phæbus' steeds are founder'd, Or night kept chain'd below. PRO.

Fairly spoke: 8 Sit then, and talk with her, she is thine own.What, Ariel; my industrious servant Ariel !

8

Enter Ariel.

Ari. What would my potent master? here I am.
Pro. Thou and thy meaner fellows your last

service
Did worthily perform; and I must use you

There is a passage in Nonnus, which will sufficiently illuftrate
Prospero's expression.

Κέρης 'εγυς έκανε και άτρέμας άκρον έρύσσας
Δεσμόν ασυλήτοιο φυλάκτορα λύσο μίτρης

Φειδομένη παλάμη, μη παρθένον υπνο εάσση. HENLEY. 7 No sweet aspersion —] Afperfion is here used in its primitive sense of sprinkling. At present it is expressive only of calumny and detraction. STEEVENS,

8 Fairly spoke : ) Fairly is here used as a trisyllable. STEEVENS.

« AnteriorContinuar »