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Which any print of goodness will not take,
A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy pirposes
With words to make them known.] The benefit which Prospero here upbraids Caliban with having bestowed, was teaching him language. He shews the greatness of this benefit by marking the inconvenience Caliban lay under for want of it
. What was the inconvenience ? This, that he did not know his own meaning. But sure a brute, to which he is compared, doth know its own meaning, that is, knows what it would be at. This, indeed, it cannot do, it cannot shew its meaning to others. And this certainly is what Prospero would say :
When thou couldst not, javage,
Show tły orun meaning,
-but would t gabbie like
A thing moft brutish, And when once (Ihow) was corrupted to [know) the transcribers would of course change [couldf) into [didf] to make it agree with the other false reading. There is indeed a sense, in which Know tly own meaning, may be well applied to a brute. For it may lignify the not having any reflex knowledge of the operations of its own mind, which, it would seein, a brute hath not. Though this, I say, may be applied to a brute, and consequently to Caliban, and though to remedy this brutality be a nobler benefit than even the teaching language ; yet such a sense would be impertinent and absurd in this place, where only the benefit of language is talked of by an exact and learned speaker
. Besides, Prospero exprefly fays, that Caliban had purposes; which, in other words, is, that he did know his own meaning
WARBURTON. When thou didsi not, favage, Know thy orun meaning, -] By this expression, how, ever defective, the poet seems to have meant-When thou didt xetter founds, to which thou hadst no determinate meaning : but the following expression of Mr. Addison, in his 389th Spectator, concerning the Hottentots, may prove the best comment on this paffage,“ having no language among them but a confused - gabble, which is neither well understood by themselves
, or others." Steevens.
With words that made them known : But thy vild
"Il not take
Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good
Cal. You taught me language; and my profit on't
Pro. Hag.seed, hence !
, or doft unwillingly
Cal. No, 'pray thee !
But thy vild race] Race, in this place, fæems to signify original disposition, inborn qualities. In this fenfe we still layThe race of wine; thus in Mallinger's New Way to pay old Debts.
“ There came, not fix days fince, from Hull, a pipe
STEEVENS. 1-the red plagne-] I suppose from the redness of the body, universally infiamed. JOHNSON. The erysipelas was anciently called the red plague. STEEVENS.
“ My dam's god, Setebos." A gentleman of great merit, Mr. Warner, has observed on the authority of John Barbot, that the Patagons are reported to “ dread a great horned devil, called Setebos." - It
be asked however, how Shakespeare knew any thing of this, as Barbet was a voyager of the present century? Perhaps he had read Eden's History of 'Travayle, 1577, who tells us, p. 434. that
Enter Ferdinand at the remoteft part of the stage, and
And then take hands :
(The wild waves whift)
Hark, hark !
Hark, hark! I hear
" the giantes, when they found themselves fettered, roared like “ bulls, and cryed upon Setebos to help them.”—The metatief in Caliban from Canibal is evident. FARMER.
We learn from Magellan's voyage, that Setebos was the supreme god of the Patagons, and Cheleule was an inferior one. Tollet.
, Court'fied when you have, and kiss'd, ] As was anciently done at the beginning of some dances.
The wild waves whist; i.e. the wild waves being filent (or whift) as in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. vii. c. 7. 1. 59.
So was the Titanefs put down, and whift.
of his Hymn on the Nativity.
Smoothly the waters kisi'd. So again, both lord Surrey and Phaer, in their translations of the fecond book of Virgil:
-Conticuere omnes. " They auhifted all." and Lylly in his Maid's Metamorphosis, 1600. “But every thing is quiet, whift, and still." STEEVENS.
It sounds no more:-and sure, it waits upon
Of his bones are coral made;
" --a foft and folemn breathing found “ Rofe like a fleam of rich distilld perfumes,
“ And stole upon the air.” Steevens.
I find my zenith doth depend upon
Will ever after droop.
But doth suffer a sea-change,
[Burden, ding.dong. Fer. The ditty does remember my drown'd father:This is no mortal business, nor no found * That the earth owes :- I hear it now above me.
him, would work upon Alonso's temper. It might either soften him, or increase his aversion for Prospero as the author. On the other hand, to engage Ferdinand, without the confent of his father, was difficult. For, not to speak of his quality, where such engagements are not made without the consent of the fore. teign, Ferdinand is represented (to thew it a match worth the seeking) of a most pious temper and difpofition, which would prevent his contracting himself without his father's knowledge. The poet therefore, with the utmost address, has made Arid persuade him of his father's death to remove this remora.
WARBURTON. I know not whether Dr. Warburton has very successfully de. fended these fongs from Gildon's accusation, Ariel's lays, hoxever seasonable and efficacious, must be allowed to be of no fupernatural dignity or elegance, they express nothing great, nor reveal any thing above mortai discovery.
The reafon for which Ariel is introduced thus trifling is, that he and his companions are evidently of the fairy kind, an order of beings to which tradition has always afcribed a sort of diminutive agency, powerful but ludicrous, a humorous and frolick controlment of nature, well expressed by the songs of Ariel.
JOHNSON 3 But doth suffer a sea-change.] “ And underwent a quick immortal change."
STEEVENS. 4 That the earth n=125:--) To mive, in this place, as well as many others, fignifies to osun. So in Othello:
that sweet fleep,
66 Which thou ow’elft yeiterday." Again in the Timpefi.
thou doit here ufurp - The name thou ons net.” To use the word in this sense is not peculiar to Shakespeare
. I meet with it in B. and Fletcher's Beggar's Buth:
“ If now the beard be fuch, what is the prince,