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Gon. Faith, sir, you need not fear : When we
were boys, Who would believe that there were mountaineers, Dew-lapp'd like bulls, whose throats had hanging at
them Wallets of flesh? or that there were such men, Whose heads stood in their breasts?“ which now
I will stand to, and feed,
that there were mountaineers, &c.] Whoever is curious to know the particulars relative to these mountaineers, may consult Maundeville's Travels, printed in 1503, by Wynken de Worde ; but it is yet a known truth that the inhabitants of the Alps have been long accustomed to such excrescences or tumours.
Quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus ? Steevens.
теп, Whose heads stood in their breasts?] Our author might have had this intelligence likewise from the translation of Pliny, B. V. chap. 8: “ The Blemmyi, by report, have no heads, but mouth both in their breasts."
STEEVENS. 7 Each putter-out, &c.] The ancient custom here alluded to was this. In this age of travelling, it was a practice with those who engaged in long and hazardous expeditions, to place out a sum of money on condition of receiving great interest for it at their return home.
- on five for one” means on the terms of five for one. The old copy has :
of five for one."
“ Each putter-out of one for five.”
The best is past.] This passage was probably intended to be in a rhyme, thus :
** I will stand to and feed; although my last,
Thunder and lightning. Enter Ariel like a harpy;
claps his wings upon the table, and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.
Ari. You are three men of sin, whom destiny
I have made you mad; [Seeing Alon. Seb. &c. draw their swords. And even with such like valour, men hang and
drown Their proper selves. You fools ! I and
fellows Are ministers of fate ; the elements, Of whom your swords are temper'd, may as well Wound the loud winds, or with bemock'd-at stabs Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish One dowle that's in my plume ;' my fellow-ministers Are like invulnerable : if you could hurt, Your swords are now too massy for your strengths,
9 — and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.] Though I will not undertake to prove that all the culinary pantomimes exhibited in France and Italy were known and imitated in this king. dom, I may observe that Áying, rising, and descending services were to be found at entertainments given by the Duke of Burgundy, &c. in 1453, and by the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1600, &c. See M. Le Grand d'Aussi's Histoire de la vie privée des François, Vol. III. p. 294, &c. Examples, therefore, of machinery similar to that of Shakspeare in the present instance, were to be met with, and perhaps had been adopted on the stage, as well as at publick festivals here in England." STEEVENS.
i that hath to instrument this lower world, &c.] i. e. that makes use of this world, and every thing in it, as its instruments to bring about its ends.
9 One dowle that's in my plume ;] Bailey, in his Dictionary, says, that dowle is a feather, or rather the single particles of the down. Cole, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, interprets " young doule,” by lanugo.
And will not be uplifted : But, remember,
death Can be at once,) shall step by step attend You, and your ways; whose wraths to guard you
from (Which here, in this most desolate isle ; else falls Upon your heads,) is nothing, but heart's sorrow, And a clear life’ ensuing."
He vanishes in thunder: then, to soft musick, enter
the Shapes again, and dance with mops and mowes,' and carry out the table.
Pro. [Aside.] Bravely the figure of this harpy
hast thou Perform’d, my Ariel ; a grace it had, devouring: Of my
instruction hast thou nothing 'bated, In what thou hadst to say : so, with good life,
clear life,-) Pure, blameless, innocent.
is nothing, but heart's sorrow, And a clear life ensuing.] That is—a miserable fate, which nothing but contrition and amendment of life can avert. Malone.
mops and mowes-] The old copy, by a manifest error of the press, reads—with mocks. But to mock and to mowe, seem to have had a meaning somewhat similar ; i. e. to insult, by making mouths, or wry faces. Malone and STEEVENS.
with good life,] With good life may mean, with exact presentation of their several characters, with observation strange of their particular and distinct parts. So we say, he acted to the life. Johnson.
Good life, however, in Twelfth Night, seems to be used for in
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 loved darling.
[Exit PROSPERO from above.
PERO Gon. I' the name of something holy, sir, why
In this strange stare?
0, it is monstrous ! monstrous !
But one fiend at a time, I'll fight their legions o'er.
nocent jollity, as we now say a bon vivant : “ Would you, (says the Clown) have a love song, or a song of good life ? It may, therefore, in the present instance, mean, honest alacrity, or cheerfulness. 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 strange," is with such minute attention to the orders given, as to excite admiration.
HENLEY. 7 Their several kinds have done :) i. e. have discharged the several functions allotted to their different natures.
8 - bass my trespass.] The deep pipe told it me in a rough bass sound. Johnson.
9 And with him there lie mudded.
But one fiend-] with him, and but, are probably playhouse Interpolations.
The Tempest was evidently one of the last works of Shakspeare;
I'll be thy second.
[E.reunt Seb. and ANT: Gon. All three of them are desperate; their great
Follow, I pray you.
SCENE I. Before Prospero's Cell.
Enter PROSPERO, FERDINAND, and MIRANDA.
Pro. If I have too austerely punish'd you,
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 supposed to be possessed 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 subtle in their preparation.
? — 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 open.
- a thread of mine own life,] The old copy reads—third. The word thread was formerly so spelt. HAWKINS.
“ A third of mine own life” is a fibre or a part of my own life. Prospero considers himself as the stock or parent-tree, and his daughter as a fibre or portion of himself, and for whose benefit he himself lives. TOLLET.