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On a Ship at Sea.

A Storm with Thunder and Lightning.

Enter a Ship-mafter and a Boatswain.

MASTER. Boatswain,2

BOATS. Here, mafter: What cheer?

MAST. Good: Speak to the mariners fall to't yarely, 3 or we run ourselves aground: beftir, beftir.

Enter Mariners.


BOATS. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts; yare, yare: Take in the top-fail; Tend to

Boatfwain,) In this naval dialogue, perhaps the first example of failor's language exhibited on the ftage, there are, as I have been told by a skilful navigator, fome inaccuracies and contradi&ory orders. JOHNSON.

The foregoing observation is founded on a mistake. These orders fhould be confidered as given, not at once, but fucceffively, as the emergency required. One attempt to fave the ship failing, another is tried. MALONE.

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3 fall to't yarely, ) i. e. Readiły, nimbly. Our author is frequent in his ufe of this word. So in Decker's Satiromaftix: They'll make his mufe as yare as a tumbler." STEEVENS.

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Here it is applied as a fea-term, and in other parts of the fcene. So he uses the adje&ive, A& V. fc. v: "Our fhip is tight and yare." And in one of the Henries : "yare are our fhips. To this day the failors fay, fit yare to the helm." 66 The tackles

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Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, A& II. fc. iii: yarely frame the office. T. WARTON,

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the mafter's whiftle. Blow, till thou burft thy wind, if room enough!


ALON. Good boatfwain, have care, Where's the mafter? Play the men.'

BOATS. I pray now, keep below.

ANT. Where is the mafter, boatswain? BOATS. Do you not hear him? You mar our labour; Keep your cabins: you do affift the ftorm." GON. Nay, good, be patient.

BOATS. When the fea is.

Hence! What care

these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: filence trouble us not.

GON. Good; yet remember whom thou haft aboard.

4 Blow, till thou burst thy wind; &c.) Perhaps it might be read Blow till thou burft, wind, if room enough. JOHNSON. Perhaps rather blow till thou burft thee,

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wind! if room enough. Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this passage in The Pilgrim:

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Blow, blow well wind,

Blow till thou rive!",

Again, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609:

" ft Sailor. Blow, and split thyself !

Again, in K. Lear:

"Blow winds, and burft your cheeks!"

The allufion in these paffages, as Mr. M. Mason obferves, is to the manner in which the winds were reprefented in ancient prints and pictures. STEEVENS.

Play the men.) i. e, a& with spirit, behave like men. So in K. Henry VI. P. I. Ad 1. fc. vi:

"When they fhall hear how we have play'd the men,»

Again, in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590, p. 2:

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Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men.

Iliad. V. v. 529. STEEVENS.

Ὢ φίλοι, ανέρες, ἐτὲ,

"Be of good courage, "" MALONE.

Again, in Scripture, 2 Sam. x. 12: and let us play the men for our people. -affift the form. So in Pericles: Patience, good Sir; do not affift the form.»


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BOATS. None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor; if you can command thefe elements to filence, and work the peace of the prefent,' we will not hand a rope more ; use your authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have liv'd fo long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mifchance of the hour, if it fo hap. Cheerly, good hearts Out of our way, I say.


GON. I have great comfort from this fellow: methinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good fate, to his hanging! make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage! If he be not born to be hang'd, our cafe is miferable. (Exeunt.

Re-enter Boatswain.


BOATS. Down with the top-maft; yare; lower, lower; bring her to try with main-course. (A cry within.) A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office.

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of the prefent,) i. e. of the prefent inftant. So in the 15th Chapter of the 1ft Epiftle to the Corinthians : of whom the greater part remain unto this prefent."

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& Gonzalo.) It may be observed of Gonzalo, that, being the only good man that appears with the king, he is the only man that preferves his cheerfulness in the wreck, and his hope on the island. JOHNSON.

9 bring her to try with main-course. ) Probably from Hackluyt's Voyages, 1598 : "And when the barke had way, we cut the hauser, and so gate the fea to our friend, and tried out all that day with our maine courfe." MALONE.

This phrase also occurs in Smith's Sea-Grammar, 1627, 4o, under the article How to handle a fhip in a storme. «Let us lie at Trie with our maine courfe; that is, to hale the tacke aboord, the fheat close aft, the boling fet up, and the helme tied close aboord." p. 40. STEEVENS.


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Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO, Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to fink?

SEB. A pox o' your throat! you bawling, blafphemous, incharitable dog!

BOATS. Work you, then.

ANT. Hang, cur, hang! you whorefon, infolent noife-maker, we are lefs afraid to be drown'd than thou art.

GON. I'll warrant him from drowning; though the fhip were no ftronger than a nut - fhell, and as leaky as an unftanch'd wench.2

BOATS. Lay her a-hold, a-hold; ' fet her two courfes; off to fea again, lay her off,

Enter Mariners wet.

MAR. All loft! to prayers, to prayers! all loft! (Exeunt.

BOATS. What, muft our mouths be cold?

GON. The king and prince at prayers! let us affift them,

For our cafe is as theirs.

2 an unftanch'd wench.) Unftanch'd, I am willing to believe, means incontinent. STEEVENS.

3 Lay her a-hold, a-hold;) To lay a fhip a-hold, is to bring her to lie as near the wind as fhe can, in order to keep clear of the land, and get her out to fea. STEEVENS.

- fet her two courfes; off to fea again,) The courfes are the main fail and fore fail. This term is used by Raleigh, in his Difcourfe on shipping. JOHNSON.

The paffage, as Mr. Holt has obferved, fhould be pointed, Set her two courses; off, &c.

Such another expreffion occurs in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612:

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off with your Drablers and your Banners; out with your courfes." STEEVENS,

SEB. I am out of patience.

ANT. We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards.

This wide-chopp'd rafcal; -'Would, thou might'ft lie drowning,

The washing of ten tides!


He'll be hang'd yet;

Though every drop of water swear against it,
And gape at wid'ft to glut him."

{ A confufed noife within.) Mercy on us! - We split, we split! Farewell, my wife and children! Farewell, brother!"-We split, we fplit, we split! ANT. Let's all fink with the king.

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) In this place fignifies abfolutely. In which

fenfe it is used in Hamlet, A& I. sc. iii :

66 -- Things rank and grofs in nature

"Poffefs it merely."

Again, in Ben Jonfon's Poetaflar :


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at requeft

Of fome mere friends, fome honourable Romans."


to glut him.) Shakspeare probably wrote, t'englut him, to Swallow him; for which I know not that glut is ever ufed by In this fignification englut, from engloutir, French, occurs frequently, as in Henry VI:



Thou art fo near the gulf

"Thou needs muft be englutted."

And again, in Timon and Othello. Yet Milton writes glutted offal for Swallowed, and therefore perhaps the prefent text may ftand.

Thus in Sir A. Gorges's tranflation of Lucan, B. VI :

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oylie fragments fcarcely burn'd, «Together the doth fcrape and glut."

i. e. fwallow. STEEVENS.

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7 Mercy on us, &c. Farewell, brother ! &c.) All thefe lines have been hitherto given to Gonzalo, who has no brother in the ship. It is probable that the lines fucceeding the confused noise within should be confidered as spoken by no determinate chara&ers. JOHNSON.

The hint for this ftage dire&ion, &c. might have been received from a paffage in the fecond book of Sidney's Arcadia, where

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