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This musick crept by me upon the waters; Allaying both their fury and my passion, With its sweet air ; thence I have follow'd it, Or it hath drawn me rather -but 'tis gone. No, it begins again.
ARIE L’s SON G.
Of bis bones are coral made :
Nothing of him that doth fade,
6 Full fathom five thy father lies, &c.] Gildon, who has pretended to criticise our Author, would give this up as an insufferable and senseless piece of trilling. And I believe this is the general opinion concerning it. But a very unjust one. Let us consider the business Ariel is here upon, and his manner of exe. cuting it. The Commission Prospero had intrusted to him, in a whisper, was plainly this ; to conduct Ferdinand to the fight of Miranda, and to dispose him to the quick sentiments of love, while he, on the other hand, prepared his daughter for the same impressions. Ariel sets about his business by acquainting Ferdi. nand, in an extraordinary manner, with the affictive news of his father's death. A very odd Apparatus, one would think, for a love-fit. And yet as odd as it appears, the Poet has thewn in it the finest conduct for carrying on his plot. Prospero had said,
I find my Zenith doth depend upon
Will ever after droop. In consequence of this his prescience, he takes advantage of every favourable circumstance that the occasion offers. The principal affair is the Marriage of his daughter with young Ferdinand. But to secure this point it was necessary they should be contracted before the affair came to Alonzo the Father's knowledge. For Prospero was ignorant how this form and shipwreck, caused by him, would work upon Alonzo's temper. It might either soften him, or in. crease his aversion for Profpero as the author. On the other hand, to engage Ferdinand, without the consent of his Father, was difficult. For not to speak of his Quality, where such engagements are not made without the consent of the Sovereign, Ferdinand is represented ( to thew it a Match worth the seeking) of a most
But doth suffer a sea-change,
Sea-nymphs bourly ring his knell.
[Burthen : ding-dong.
S Ç E N E VI. · Pro. 7 The fringed curtains of thine eyes advance, And say, what thou seest yond.
Mira, pious temper and disposition, which would prevent his contracting himself without his Father's knowledge. The Poet therefore, with the utmost address, has made Ariel persuade him of his Father's death to remove this Remora, which might otherwise have either stop'd, and retarded beyond the time of action, or quite Spoiled the whole Plot.
7 The fringed curtains of thine eyes advance,
And say, what thou feeli yond. ] The Daughters of Prospero, as they are drawn by Dryden, seem rather to have had their Education in a Court or a Playhouse, than under the severe precepts of a Philosopher in a Desert. But the Miranda of Shakespear is truly what the Poet gives her out. And his art in preserving the unity of her character is wonderful. We must remember what was said in the foregoing note of Prospero's intention to make his Daughter fall in love at fight. And no withstanding what the wits may fay, or the Pretty-fel. lows think, on this occasion, it was no such easy matter to bring this naturally about. Those who are the least acquainted with human nature know of what force institution and education are to curb and even deface the very strongest passions and affections. She had been brought up under the rough discipline of stoical Morality, and misfortunes generally harden the morality of virtuous men into Stoicism. Such a one was Prospero. And he tells us, that his daughter fully answered the care he bestowed upon her, So that there would be some difficulty for nature to regain its infuence so suddenly as the Plot required. The Poet, therefore, with infinite address, causes her to be softened by the tender story her father told her of his misfortunęs. For pity preceeds love,
Athina. I might . nnd 'em. It his fellows
Mira. What is’t, a spirit ? Lord, how it looks about! believe me, Sir, It carries a brave form. But 'tis a spirit. Pro. No, wench, it eats, and sleeps, and hath
such senses As we have, such. This gallant, which thou feest, Was in the wreck : and; but he's something stain'd With grief, (that's beauty's canker) thou might'st
Mira. I might call him
[Aside. As my soul prompts it. Spirit, fine fpirit, I'll free
thee Within two days for this.
Fer. Most sure, the Goddess On whom these ayres attend ! : vouchsafe, my pray’r May know, if you remain upon this Inand; and facilitates its entrance into the mind. But this was, evidently, insufficient. Therefore, to make the way the easier, she is sup posed to be under the influence of her father's charm, which was to diffolve, as it were, the rigid chains of virtue and obedience. This is insinuated to the Audience when Prospero, before he begins his story, says to her,
Lend thy hand And pluck this magick garment from me. The touch communicated the charm, and its efficacy was to lay her to sleep. This is the reason that Prospero so often questions her, as he proceeds in his story, whether he was attentive: being apprehensive the charm might operate too quick, even before he had ended his relation. Without this interpretation his frequent repetition will appear extremely cold, and absurd. For the same reason, likewise, he says, in conclusion,
Thou art inclin'd to peep. 'Tis a good dulness,
v ouchsafe my pray', May know,- ] For, I may know. Extremely poetical ; and most expressive of the humility of the Speaker.
And that you will some good instruction give,
Mira. No wonder, Sir,
Fer. My language! heav'ns !
Pro. How? the best?
Fer. A single thing, as I am now, that wonders To hear thee speak of Naples. He does hear me, And, that he does, I weep: my self am Naples, Who, with mine eyes (ne'er since at ebb) beheld The King my father wreckt.
Mira. Alack, for mercy!
Fer. Yes, faith, and all his lords: the Duke of Milan, And his brave son, being twain. Pro. The Duke of Milan,
[thee, And his more braver daughter, could ' controul If now 'twere fit to do't: -At the first sight, They have chang'd eyes : (delicate Ariel, I'll fet thee free for this.) À word, good Sir. I fear, you've done your self some wrong: a word
9 certainly a maid. ] Nothing could be more prettily imagined to illustrate the singularity of her character, than this pleasant mistake. She had been bred up in the rough and plaindealing documents of moral philosophy, which teaches us the knowledge of our selves : And was an utter ftranger to the flattery invented by vicious and designing Men to corrupt the other Sex. So that it could not enter into her imagination, that com. plaisance and a desire of appearing amiable, qualities of humanity which she had been instructed, in her moral lessons, to cultivate, could ever degenerate into such excess, as that any one should be willing to have his fellow-creature believe that he thought her a Goddess or an Immortal. I coutroul thee, ] i, e. fhew ahee thy error.
Mira. Why speaks my father so ungently? this
Fer. O, if a Virgin,
Pro. Soft, Sir : one word more. -
Pro. Follow me
[He draws, and is charm'd from moving. * Mira. O dear father,
Make 2 Mira. O dear father, Make not too rah a tryal of him ; for
He's gentle, and not fearful. This seems to be a very odd way of expressing her sense of her Lover's good qualities. It is certain the beauty of it is not seen at first view. Miranda, 'till now, had never seen any Mortal