« PreviousContinue »
SEB. Let's take leave of him.
( Exit. GON. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of fea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing: The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death,
The island before the cell of Profpero.
Enter PROSPERO and MIRANDA.
MIRA. If by your art, my dearest father, you have Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them: The sky, it seems, would pour down ftinking pitch, But that the fea, mounting to the welkin's check, Dafhes the fire out. O, I have fuffer'd With thofe that I faw fuffer! a brave vessel, Who had no doubt fome noble creatures in her,
the fhipwreck of Pyrocles is described, with this concluding circumftance: But a monstrous cry, begotten of many roaring voyces, was able to infe&t with feare," &c. STEEVENS,
8 An acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, &c.) Sir T. Hanmer reads ling, heath, broom, furze. Perhaps rightly, though he has been charged with tautology. I find in Harrifon's defcription of Britain, prefixed to our author's good friend Holinfhed, p. 91; « Brome, heth, firze, brakes, whinnes, ling," &c.
Mr. Tollet has fufficiently vindicated Sir Thomas Hanmer from the charge of tautology, by favouring me with fpecimens of three different kinds of heath which grow in his own neighbourhood. I would gladly have inserted his observations at length; but, to fay the truth, our author, like one of Cato's foldiers who was bit by a ferpent,
Ipfe latet penitus congefto corpore merfus. STEEVENS.
But that the fea, &c.) So, in King Lear:
"The fea in fuch a ftorm as his bare head
«In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up,
"And quench'd the ftelled fires." MALONE.
creatures in her,) The old copy reads
Dafh'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Have funk the fea within the earth, or e'er 3
No more amazement: tell your piteous heart,
O, woe the day!
I have done nothing but in care of thee,
the preceding as well as fubfequent words of Miranda feem to demand the emendation which I have received from Theobald.
-) i. e. before. So, in Ecclefiaftes, xii. 6: "Or ever the filver cord be loofed or the golden bowl be. broken -97 Again, in our author's Cymbeline :
"Give him that parting kiss - STEEVENS,
Pro. No harm.) I know not whether Shakspeare did not make Miranda speak thus:
O, woe the day! no harm?
To which Profpero properly answers;
I have done nothing but in care of thee.
Miranda, when the speaks the words, 0, woe the day! fuppofes, not that the crew had efcaped, but that her father thought differently from her, and counted their deftru&ion no harm. JOHNSON. more better) This ungrammatical expreffion is very frequent among our oldeft writers. So, in the History of Helyas Knight of the Swan, bl. 1. no date imprinted by William Copland. "And also the more fooner to come, without prolixity, to the true Chronicles, &c. Again, in the True Tragedies of Marius and Scilla, 1594.
To wait a meffage of more better worth. ».
That hale more greater than Caffandra now." STEEVENS.
Than Profpero, mafter of a full poor cell,"
Did never meddle with my thoughts."'
More to know
I fhould inform thee further. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magick garment from me. - So: (Lays down his mantle. ̧ - Wipe thou thine eyes, have
Lie there my art. comfort.
The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd The very virtue of compaffion in thee,
I have with fuch provifion in mine art
So fafely order'd, that there is no foul — 2
– full poor cell,) i. e. a cell in a great degree of poverty. So in Antony and Cleopatra: « I am full forry,"
Did never meddle with my thoughts.) i. c. mix with them. To meddle is often used, with this fenfe, by Chaucer. Hence the fubftantive medley. The modern and familiar phrafe by which that of Miranda may be explained, is -never entered my thoughts never came into my head. STEEVENS.
It fhould rather mean to interfere, to trouble, to bufy itself, as ftill ufed in the North, e. g. Don't meddle with me; i. e. Let me alone, Don't moleft me. RITSON.
See Howell's Dia, 1660, in v. to meddle; « se mester de, »
Lie there my art.) Sir W. Cecil, lord Burleigh, lord high treasurer, &c. in the reign of queen Elizabeth, when he put off his gown at night, used to say, Lie there, lord treasurer. Fuller's Holy State, p. 257. STEEVENS.
virtue of compassion
) Virtue the maft efficacious part, the energetic quality; in a like fenfe we fay, The virtue of a plant is in the extract. JOHNSON.
that there is no foul
Thus the old editions read; but this is apparently defe&ive. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read that there is no foul loft, without any notice of the variation. Mr. Theobald fubftitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope follows him. To come fa near the right, and yet to miss it, is
No, not fo much perdition as an hair,
Which thou heard'ft cry, which thou faw'ft fink. Sit down;
For thou must now know further.
You have often
The hour's now come;
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear.
I do not think thou can't; for then thou waft not
Certainly, fir, I can.
unlucky the author probably wrote no foil, no ftain, no spot : for fo Ariel tells,
Not a hair perish'd ;
On their fuftaining garments not a blemish,
But fresher than before.
And Gonzalo, The rarity of it is, that our garments being drench'd in the fea, keep notwithstanding their freshness and gloffes. Of this emendation I find that the author of notes on The Tempest had a glimple, but could not keep it. JOHNSON.
no foul ) Such interruptions are not uncommon to Shakspeare. He sometimes begins a fentence, and before he concludes it, entirely changes its conftruction, because another, more forcible, occurs. As this change frequently happens in converfation, it may be suffered to pass uncenfured in the language of the ftage. STEEVENS.
not fo much perdition as an hair, Betid to any creature in the vessel -) Had Shakspeare in his mind St. Paul's confolatory fpeech to the fhip's company, where he affures them that, though they were to fuffer fhipwreck not an hair fhould fall from the head of any of them?" A&s, xxvii. 34. Ariel afterwards fays, Not a hair perifh'd." HOLT WHITE.
4 Out three years old.) i. e. Quite three years old, three years old full-out, complete.
So, in the 4th a&: « And be a boy right out." STEEVENS.
PRO. By what? by any other house, or perfon? Of any thing the image tell me, that
Hath kept with thy remembrance.
MIRA. "Tis far off; And rather like a dream, than an affurance That my remembrance warrants: Had I not Four or five women once, that tended me?
PRO. Thou had'ft, and more, Miranda: But how is it
That this lives in thy mind? What feeft thou elfe In the dark backward and abyfm of time?
If thou remember'st aught, ere thou cam'ft here, How thou cam'ft here, thou may'st.
But that I do not.
PRO. Twelve years fince, Miranda, twelve years
Thy father was the duke of Milan, and
A prince of power.
Sir, are not you my father?
PRO. Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and She faid -thou waft my daughter; and thy father Was duke of Milan; and his only heir
This method of spelling the word, is common to other ancient writers. They took it from the French abysme, now written abime. So, in Heywood's Brazen Age, 1613:
"And chafe him from the deep abysms below." STEEVENS. Twelve years fince, Miranda, twelve years fince,) Years, in the first instance, is used as a diffyllable, in the second as a monofyllable. But this, I believe, is a licence peculiar to the profody of Shakspeare. STEEVENS.
6 A princess; no worfe iffued.) The old copy reads And princess. For the trivial change in the text I am anfwerable. Ifued is defcended. So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608: For I am by birth a gentleman, and issued of such parents," &c. STEEVENS.