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Pro. Ariel, thy charge Exactly is perform'd; but there's more work: What is the time o' the day? Ari. - Past the mid season. Pro. At least two glasses: The time 'twixt six and now, Must by us both be spent most preciously. Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains, Let me remember thee what thou hast promis'd, Which is not yet perform'd me. Pro. How now moody? What is't thou can'st demand 2 Ari. My liberty. Pro. Before the time be out? no more. Ari. I pray thee Remember, I have done thee worthy service; Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, serv'd Without or grudge, or grumblings: thou didst promise To bate me a full year. Pro. Dost thou forget”
9 Dost thou forget—l That the character and conduct of Prospero may be understood, something must be known of the system of enchantment, which supplied all the marvellous found in the romances of the middle ages. This system seems to be founded on the opinion that the fallen spirits, having different degrees of guilt, had different habitations allotted them at their expulsion, some being confined in hell, some (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our poet’s age, expresses it,) dispersed in air, some on earth, some in water, others in caves, dens, or minerals under the earth. Of these, some were more malignant and mischievous than others. The earthy spirits seem to have been thought the most depraved, and the aerial the less vitiated. Thus Prospero observes of Ariel:
Thou wast a spirit too delicate
Over these spirits a power might be obtained by certain rites performed or charms learned. This power was called The black Art, or Knowledge of Enchantment. The enchanter being, (as kin James observes in his Demonology) one who commands the ...; From what a torment I did free thee?
Pro. Thou dost; and think'st
Ari. I do not, sir.
Pro. Thou liest, malignant thing! Hast thou
The foul witch Sycorax, who, with age, and envy, Was grown into a hoop 2 hast thou forgot her?
Ari. No, sir.
Pro. Thou hast: Where was she born ?
speak; tell me.
Ari. Sir, in Argier."
Pro. O, was she so 2 I must, Once in a month, recount what thou has been, Which thou forget'st. This damn'd witch, Sycorax, For mischiefs manifold, and sorceries terrible To enter human hearing, from Argier, Thou know'st was banish'd; for one thing she did, Thev would not take her life: Is not this true
ri. Ay, sir. Pro. This blue-ey'd hag was hither brought with child,
whereas the witch serves him. The art was held by all, though not equally criminal, yet unlawful, and therefore Casaubon, aking of one who had commerce with spirits, blames him, ough he imagines him one of the best kind, who dealt with them by way of command. Thus Prospero repents of his art in the last scene. The spirits were always considered as in some measure enslaved to the enchanter, at least for a time, and as serving with unwillingness; therefore Ariel so often begs for liberty; and Caliban observes, that the spirits serve Prospero with no good
will, but hate him rootedly. Johnson. l in Argier.] Argier is the ancient English name for Al
And here was left by the sailors: Thou, my slave,
Ari. Yes; Caliban her son,
Pro. Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban, Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st What torment I did find thee in : thy groans Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts Of ever-angry bears; it was a torment To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax Could not again undo ; it was mine art, When I arriv'd, and heard thee, that made gape The pine, and let thee out.
Ari. I thank thee, master.
Pro. If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak, And peg thee in his knotty entrails, till Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters.
Ari. Pardon, master: I will be correspondent to command, And do my spiriting gently.
Pro. Do so; and after two days I will discharge thee. Ari. That's my noble master!
What shall I do? say what? what shall I do?
Pro. Go make thyself like to a nymph o' the sea;" Be subject to no sight but mine; invisible To every eye-ball else. Go, take this shape, And hither come in't : hence, with diligence.
Awake, dear heart, awake! thou hast slept well; Awake!
Mira. The strangeness’ of your story put Heaviness in me.
Pro. Shake it off: Come on ; We'll visit Caliban, my slave, who never Yields us kind answer.
Mira. 'Tis a villain, sir,
We cannot miss him :” he does make our fire,
Fetch in our wood; and serves in offices
* — to a nymph o' the sea ; ) There does not appear to be sufficient cause o Ariel should assume this new shape, as he was to be invisible to all eyes but those of Prospero. Steev ENs. 3 The strangeness—] Why should a wonderful story produce sleep 2 I believe experience will prove, that any violent agitation of the mind easily subsides in slumber, especially, when, as in Prospero's relation, the last images are pleasing. Johnsos. The poet seems to have been apprehensive that the audience, as ..". Miranda, would sleep over this long but necessary tale, and therefore strives to break it. First, by making Prospero divest himself of his magic robe and wand: then by waking her attention no less than six times by verbal interruption: then by varying the action when he rises and bids her continue sitting: and lastly, by carrying on the business of the fable while Miranda sleeps, by which she is continued on the stage till the poet has occasion for her again. WARNER. * We cannot miss him :] That is, we cannot do without him.
Re-enter ARIEL, like a water-nymph.
Fine apparition! My quaint Ariel,
Cal. As wicked dew" as eer my mother brush'd With raven's feather from unwholesome fen, Drop on you both ! a south-west blow on ye, And blister you all o'er.
Pro. For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins"
Cal. I must eat my dinner. This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother,
* Cal. As wicked dew—J Wicked, having baneful qualities.
6 urchins—J i.e. hedgehogs; or perhaps, here, fairies.
7 for that vast of night that they may work, The vast 9 night means the night which is naturally empty and dese without action; or when all things lying in sleep and silence, makes the world appear one great uninhabited waste.
Vastum is likewise the ancient law term for waste, uncultivated land.
It should be remembered, that, in the pneumatology of former ages, these particulars were settled with the most minute exactness, and the different kinds of visionary beings had different allotments of time suitable to the variety or consequence of their employments. During these spaces, they were at liberty to act, but were always obliged to leave off at a certain hour, that they might not interfere in that portion of night which belonged to others.