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On a Ship at Sea.

A Storm, with Thunder and Fahniniaro : ells pol.1682. a hempestuous howed thund end ughtening

Enter a Ship-master and a Boatswain.

and a Thyboari, shaking it wet Master. Boatswain, — Boats. Here, master: What cheer?

Mast. Good : Speak to the mariners: fall to't yarely,* or we run ourselves aground: Bestir, bestir. [E.cit.

Enter Mariners. wet. Boats. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts; yare, yare : Take in the top-sail ; Tend to the master's whistle.—Blow, till thou burst thy wind, 3 if room enough!


1 Boatswain,] In this naval dialogue, perhaps the first exam. ple of sailor's language exhibited on the stage, there are, as I have been told by a skilful navigator, some inaccuracies and contradictory orders. Johnson.

The foregoing observation is founded on a mistake. These orders should be considered as given, not at once, but successively, as the emergency required. One attempt to save the ship failing, another is tried. Malone.

fall to't yarely,) i. e. Readily, nimbly. Our author is frequent in his use of thís word. So, in Decker's Satiromastix : • They'll make his muse as yare as a tumbler.” Steevens. Here it is applied, as a sea-term, and in other parts of the

So he uses the adjective, Act V. sc. v: “ Our ship is tight and yare.And in one of the Henries : yare are our ships.” To this day the sailors say, “ sit yare to the helm.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. sc. iii : “ The tackles yarely frame the office.” T. Warton.

3 Blow till thou burst thy wind, &c.] Perhaps it might be read: Blow, till thou burst, wind, if room enough. Johnson.

Perhaps rather-Blow, till thou burst thee, wind! if room enough.



GONZALO, and others; from the Cabi Alon. Good boatswain, have care. Where's the mas. ter? Play the men. 4

Boats. I pray now, keep below.
Ant. Where is the master, Boatswain?

Boats. Do you not hear him ? You mar our labour; Keep your cabins: You do assist the storm.5

Gon. Nay, good, be patient.

Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What care these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: Silence: Trouble us not.

Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard.

Boats. None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor; if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present,& we will not hand a rope more ; use your authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap-Cheerly, good hearts.-Out of our way, I say. [Ex.

Gon.? I have great comfort from this fellow: methinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good fate, to his

The allusion, as Mr. M. Mason observes, is to the manner in which the winds were represented in ancient prints and pictures. Steevens.

4 Play the men.) i. e. act with spirit, beħave like men. So, in Chapman's translation of the second Iliad:

“Which doing, thou shalt know what souldiers play the men,

“ And what the cowards." Again, in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590, p. 2:

“ Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men.” * a Qiros, ávéges ésé, Iliad, V. v. 529. Steevens. Again, in scripture, 2 Sam. x. 12:

“ Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people.” Malone.

assist the storm] So, in Pericles : “ Patience, good sir ; do not assist the storm." Steevens.

of the present,] i. e. of the present instant. So, in the 15th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians : “ of whom the greater part remain unto this present.Steevens.

7 Gonzalo.] It may be observed of Gonzalo, that, being the only good man that appears with the king, he is the only man that preserves his cheerfulness in the wreck, and his hope on the island. Johnson.


hanging! make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage! If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable.

[Exeunt. Re-enter Boatswain. Boats. Down with the top-mast; yare; lower, lower; bring her to try with main-course. 8 [A cry within.) A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office.

Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO. Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink?

Seb. A pox o'your throat! you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!

Boats. Work you, then.

Ant. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noisemaker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.

Gon. I'll warrant him from drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as leaky as an unstanched wench.

Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold;' set her two courses; off to sea again, 1 lay her off.

Enter Mariners wet.
Mar. All lost! to prayers, to prayers ! all lost!



- bring her to try with main-course.] Probably from Hackluyt’s Voyages, 1598: “ And when the barke Had way, we cut the hauser, and so gate the sea to our friend, and tried out all that day with our maine course. Malone.

This phrase occurs also in Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627, 4to. under the article How to handle a ship in a Storme: Let us lie at Trie with our maine course ; that is, to hale the tacke aboord, the sheat close aft, the boling set up, and the helme tied close aboord.” P. 40. Steevens.

9. Lay her a-hold, a-hold;} To lay a ship a-hold, is to bring her to lie as near the wind as she can, in order to keep clear of the land, and get her out to sea. Steevens.

set her tivo courses i off to sea again,] The courses are the main-sail and fore-sail. This term is used by Raleigh, in his Discourse on Shipping. Fohnson.

The passage, as Mr. Holt has observed, should be pointed, Set her two courses ; off, &c.

Such another expression occurs in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612: “ off with your Drablers and your Banners ; out with your courses.' Steevens.


Boats. What, must our mouths be cold?

Gon. The king and prince at prayers ! let us assist them, For our case is as theirs.

Seb. I am out of patience.
Ant. We are merely? cheated of our lives by drunk-

ards.This wide-chapped rascal ;-'Would thou might'st lie

drowning, The washing of ten tides ! Gon.

He'll be hanged yet; Though every drop of water swear against it, And gape at wid'st to glut him.3 [A confused noise within] Mercy on us ! —We split, we split-Farewell, my wife and children Farewell, brother!4_We split, we split, we split! Ant. Let's all sink with the king.




merely -] In this place, signifies absolutely; in which sense it is used in Hamlet, Act I. sc. ii :

-Things rank and gross in nature
“ Possess it merely."
Again, in Ben Jonson's Poetaster :

at request
“ Of some mere friends, some honourable Romans.”

Steevens. - to glut him.] Shakspeare probably wrote, t'englut him, to swallow him ; for which I know not that glut is ever used by him. In this signification englut, from engloutir, Fr. occurs fre. quently, as in Henry VI:

Thou art so near the gulf “ Thou needs must be englutted.And again,-in Timon and Othello. Yet Milton writes glutted offal for swallowed, and therefore perhaps the present text may stand.

Fohnson. Thus, in Sir A. Gorges's translation of Lucan, B. VI:

oylie fragments scarcely burn'd, “ Together she doth scrape and glut.j. e. swallow. Steevens.

4 Mercy on us ! &c. · Farewell, brother! &c.] All these lines have been hitherto given to Gonzalo, who has no brother in the ship. It is probable that the lines succeeding the confused noise within should be considered as spoken by no determinate characters. Fohnson.

The hint for this stage direction, &c. might have been received from a passage in the second book of Sidney's Arcadia, where the shipwreck of Pyrocles is described, with this concluding circumstance : “But a monstrous cry, begotten of many roaring voyces, was able to infect with feare,” &c. Steevens.

Seb. Let's take leave of him.

[Erit. Gon. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing: the wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.

The island: before the cell of Prospero.

Mira. If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them :
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheeks heat: Md it's
Dashes the fire out. O, I have sufferd
With those that I saw suffer! a brave vessel,
Who had no doubt some noble creatures in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart! Poor souls! they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er6
It should the good ship so have swallowed, and
The freighting souls within her.

Be collected;
No more amazement: Tell your piteous heart,
There's no harm done.

O, woe the day!

No harm.?

5 But that the sea, &c.] So, in King Lear :

“ The sea in such a storm as his bare head
“ In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd' up,

“ And quench'd the stelled fires." Malone. Thus in Chapman's version of the 21st Iliad :

as if his waves would drowne the skie,
“ And put out all the sphere of fire.” Steevens.
6.or e'er-) i. e. before. So in Ecclesiastes, xii. 6:
“ Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be bro-
ken." Again, in our author's Cymbeline :

or e'er I could
“ Give him that parting kiss-

Steevens. 7 Pro. No harm.) I know not whether Shakspeare did not make Miranda speak thus :

O, woe the day! no harm?
To which Prospero properly answers :

I have done nothing but in care of thee.
Miranda, when she speaks the words, 0, woe the day! supposes,

56. Creahire" is in all the old pr. Opies. Theobali reist maierit plural ; which the md.1632 confirms.


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