Page images


From firange to stranger :-Say, how came you

BOATS. If I did think, fir, I were well awake,
I'd strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep,
And (how, we know not,) all clapp'd under hatches,
Where, but even now, with strange and several

of roaring, shrieking, howling, gingling chains,
And more diversity of sounds, all horrible,
We were awak’d; straitway, at liberty :
Where we, in all her trim, freshly beheld
Our royal, good, and gallant ship; our master
Cap’ring to eye her: On a trice, so please you,
Even in a dream, were we divided from them,
And were brought moping hither.

Was't well done?
Pro. Bravely, my diligence. Thou} [Afide.

shalt be free.
Alon. This is as strange a maze as e’er men

trod: And there is in this business more than nature

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

dead of peep,] Thus the old copy. Modern editorsasleep.

Mr. Malone would substitute—011; but on (in the present inítance) is only a vulgar corruprion of of. We ftill say, that a person dies of such or such a disorder; and why not that he is dead of sleep?

STEEVENS. " On sleep" was the ancient English phraseology. So, in Gara coigne's Supposes : knock again ; I think they be on sleep." Again, in a long said to have been written by Anna Boleyn :

06 O deach, rock me on lepe." Again, in Campion's History of Ireland, 1633 : 66 One officer in the house of great men is a tale-teller, who bringeth his lord on sleep with tales vaine and frivolous.” MALONE.

In these instances adduced by Mr. Malone, on feet, most certainly means asleep; but they do not militate against my explanation of the pluase— “dead of feep." STEEVENS.

Was ever conduct of:7 fome oracle
Must rectify our knowledge.

Sir, my liege,
Do not infest your mind with beating on
The strangeness of this business;" at pick'd leisure,
Which fhall be shortly, single I'll resolve you
(Which to you shall seem probable,)' of every




-conduct of:] Condu& for condu&or. So, in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour : " Come, gentlemen, I will be your conduel.

STEEVENS. Again, in The Housholders' Philosophie, 4to. 1588, p. 1:_"I goe before, not to arrogat anie superioritie, but as your guide, because, perhaps you are well acquainted with the waie. Fortune (quoth I) doth favour mee with too noble a conduit."

REED. Conduet is yet: used in the same sense : the person at Cambridge who reads prayers in King's and in Trinity College Chapels, is still so styled.

8 - with beating on

The strangeness, &c.) A similar expression occurs in the second part of K. Henry VI.

thine eyes and thoughts 66 Beat on a crown. Beating, may mean hammering, working in the mind, dwelling long upon. So, in the preface to Stanyhurft's Translation of Virgil, 1582 : " For my part, I purpose not to beat on everye

childish tittle that concerneih prosodie." Again, Miranda, in the second scene of this play, tells her father that the storm is still beating in þer mind. STEEVENS. A kindred expression occurs in Hamlet;

Cudgei thy brains no more about it." MALONE. ? (Which to you shall seem probable,) These words seem, at the first view, to have no use; some lines are perhaps loft with which they were conneded. Or we may explain them thus : I will resolve you, by yourself, which method, when you hear the story.

(of Antonio's and Sebastian's plot), shall seem probable; that is, Muall deserve your approbation. JOHNSON.

Surely Prospero's meaning is: “I will relate to you the means by which I have been enabled to accomplish these ends; which means though they now appears strange and improbable, will then appear atherwise." ANONYMOUS.

These happen'd accidents : till when, be cheerful, And think of each thing well.—Come hither,

spirit; Set Caliban and his companions free: Untie the spell. (Exit Ariel.] How fares mý grá

cious fur? There are yet inissing of your company Some few odd lads, that you remember not. Re-enter ARIEL; driving in CALIBAN, STEPHANO,

and TRINCULO, in their stolen apparel. STE. Every man shift for all the rest, and let no man take care for himself; for all is but fortune :Coragio, bully-monster, Coragio !2

Trin. If these be truc spies which I wear in my head, here's a goodly fight.

Cal. O Setebos these be brave spirits, indeed!
How fine my master is! I am afraid
He will chastise me.

Ha, ha;
What things are these, my lord Antonio!
Will money buy them ?

Very like; one of them Is a plain fish,' and, no doubt, marketable.


I will inform you how all these wonderful accidents have happened; which, though they now appear to you strange, will then seem probable.

An anonymous writer pointed out the true conftru&ion of this passage, but his explanation is, I think, incorre&. MALONE.

Coragio ! ] This exclamation of encouragement Isind in J. Florio's Translation of Montaigue, 1603 :

You often cried Coragio, and called ça, ça." Again, in the Blind Beggar of Alexandria, 1598. STEEVENS.

3 Is a plain fish,] That is, plainly, evidently a fish. So, in Fletcher's Scornful Lady, " that visible beast the butler," means the butler who is visibly a beait. M. MASON.

Pro. Mark but the badges of these men, my

lords, Then fay, if they be true:* -This mis-fhapen

knave, His mother was a witch; and one so strong That could control the moon,' inake flows and

ebbs, And deal in her command, without her power: 6



It is not easy to determine the shape which our author designed to bestow on his monster. That he has hands, legs, &c. we gather from the remarks of Trinculo, and other circumstances in the play. How then is he plainly a fish? perhaps Shakipeare himself had no settled ideas concerning the form of Caliban. STEEVENS.

----true: ] That is, zoneft. A true man is, in the langunge of that time, opposed to a thief. The sense is, Mark what theje men wear, and say if they are honefi. JOHNSON.

s. His mother was a witch; and one so ftrong That could control the moon, &c.]

This was the phraseology of the times. After the fiatute against wiiches, revenge or ignorance frequently induced people to charge those against whom they harboured resentment, or entertained prejudices with the crime of witchcraft, which had just then been declared a capital offence. In our ancient reports are several cases where persons charged in this manner fought redress in the courts of law. And it is remarkable in all of them, to the scandalous impuiation of being witches, the term--a strong one, is constantly added. In Michaeimas Term, 9 Cam. 1. the point was settled that no adion could be supported on fo general a charge, and that the epithet strong did not inforce the other words. In this infance, I believe, the opinion of the people at large was not in unifun with the fages in Westminster-Hall. Several of these cases are colleåed together in l. Viner, 422.

REED. That could control the moon, From Medea's speech in Ovid (as tranílated by Golding) our author might have learned that this was one of the pretended powers of witchcraft:

and thee, O ligilome moor, " I daiken oft, though beaten brass abate thy peril foon."

MALONF. 6 And deal in her command, wiihout her power : I suppose Prof. pero means, that Sycorax, with less generai power than the moon could produce the same effects on the sea. STEEVENS.

These three have robb'd me; and this demi-devil
(For he's a bastard one,) had plotted with them
To take my life: two of these fellows you
Must know, and own; this thing of darkness I
Acknowledge mine.

I shall be pinch'd to death. Alon. Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler ?

STE. He is drunk now: Where had he wine? ALON. And Trinculo is reeling ripe; Where

should they Find this grand liquor that hath gilded them ?? How cam'st thou in this pickle ?

7 And Trinculo is reeling ripe where should they

Find this grand LIQUOR that hath gilded them?] Shakspeare, to be sure, wrote-grand 'Lixir, alluding to the grand Elixir of the alchymifts, which they pretend would restore youth and confer immortality. This, as they said, being a preparation of gold, they called Aurum potabile; which Shakspeare alluded to in the word gilded; as he does again in Antony and Cleopatra :

" How much art thou unlike Mark Antony?
us Yet coming fidm him; that great medicine hath

66 With his tinct gilded thee.' But the joke here is to insinuate that, notwithstanding all the boasts of the chemists, fack was the only restorer of youth and bestower of immortality. So Ben Jonson, in his Every Man out of his Humour ;--- Canarie, the very Elixir and spirit of wine." This seems to have been the cant name for fack, of which the Englilh were, at that time immoderately fond. Randolph, in his Jealous Lovers, speaking of it, fays, ----* A pottle of Elisir at the Pegasus, bravely caroused." So, again in Fletcher's Monheur Thomas, Ad III:

vs. Old reverend sack, which, for aught that I can read yet, " Was that philosopher's stone the wise king Ptolemeus

" Did all his wonders by.' The phrase too of being gilded, was a trite one on this occafion. Fletcher, in his Chances :-Duke, Is the not drunk too ? Whore. A little gilded o’er, fir; old jack, old fack, boys!" WARBURTON.

As the alchyinist's Elixir was supposed to be a liquor, the old reading may fland, and the allusion holds good without any alleration. STILVENS,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »