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Which any print of goodness will not take,
A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes
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 bis 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 show its meaning to others. And this certainly is what Prospero would say :
When thou couldst not, savage,
Show tly own meaning,
-but would/t gabbie like A thing most brutish,And when once [show] was corrupted to [know) the transcribers would of course change [couldf] into [didft) to make it agree with the other false reading. There is indeed a sense, in which Know thy own meaning, may be well applied to a brute. For it may fignify the not having any reflex knowledge of the operations of its own mind, which, it would feein, 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 didst not, savage, Know thy own meaning, -] By this expression, however defective, the poet seems to have meant When thou didi utter sounds, 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
-having no language among them but a confused * gabble, which is neither well understood by themselves, or others."
With words that made them known : But thy vild
Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good
Cal. You taught me language ; and my profit on't
Pro. Hag.seed, hence!
Cal. No, 'pray thee !
But thy wild race] Race, in this place, seems to fignify original disposition, inborn qualities. In this sense we still layThe race of wine; thus in Maffinger's New Way to pay old Debts.
" There came, not fix days since, from Hull, a pipe
Of rich Canary:
56 Is it of the right race ?"
? -the red plagne-] I suppose from the redness of the body,
“My dam's god, Setebos.”
It may be asked
Enter Ferdinand at the remotest part of the stage, and
Ariel invisible, playing and singing.
And then take hands :
(The wild waves whift)
Hark, hark !
The watch-dog's bark :
Hark, hark! I bear
" the giantes, when they found themselves fettered, roared like “ bulls, and cryed upon Setebos to help them.”—The metathesis 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 whift; i.e. the wild waves being filent (or whift) as in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. vii. c. 7. f. 59.
So was the Titanefs put down, and whift. And Milton seems to have had our author in his eye. ftanza 5. of his Hymn on the Nativity.
The cuinds with wonder whil,
Smoothly the waters kiss'd. So again, both lord Surrey and Phaer, in their translations of the second book of Virgil :
Conticuere omnes. " They whifted all." and Lylly in his Maid's Metamorphofis, 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 soft and folemn breathing found “ Rofe like a steam of rich distill'd perfumes,
" And stole upon the air." STEVENS.
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 sound + 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 foreteign, Ferdinand is represented (to thew it a match worth the feeking) of a most pious temper and difpofition, which would prevent his contracting himfeif 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.
WARBURTON. I know not whether Dr. Warburton has very successfully defended these songs from Gildon's accusation, Ariel's lays, however seasonable and efficacious, must be allowed to be of no fupernatural dignity or elegance, they express nothing great, nor reveal any thing above mortal 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 imınortal change."
STEEVENS. 4 That the earth 07125:- - ] To rive, in this place, as well as many others, signifies to ozun, So in Othello :
that sweet fleep,
" Which thou ow’dst yesterday." Again in the Tempefi.
thou doft here ufurp 66 The name thou ow'st net.” To use the word in this fenfe is not peculiar to Shakespeare. I meet with it in B. and Fletcher's Beggar's Bujh:
“ If now the beard be such, what is the prince,