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The Tempest and The M:dsummer's Night's Dream, are the noblest efforts of that sublime and amazing imagination peculiar to Shakspere, which soars above the bounds of nature without forsaking sense : or, more properly, carries nature along with him beyond her established limits. Fletcher seems particularly to have admired these two plays, and bath wrote two in imitation of them, The Sea Voyage and The Faithful Shepherdess. After him, Sir John Suckling and Milton catched the brightest fire of their imagination from these two plays ; which shines fantastically indeed in The Goblins, but much more nobly and serenely in The Mask at Ludlow, Castle.
WARBURTON. No one has been hitherto lucky enough to discover the romance on which Shakspere may be supposed to have founded this play, the beauties of which could not secure it from the criticism of Ben Jonson, whose malignity appears to have been more than equal to his wit. In the induction to Bartholomew Fair, he " If there be never a servant monster in the “ fair, who can help it, nor a nest of antiques ? He is loth to “make nature afraid in his plays, like those that beget Tales,
Tempests, and such like drolleries." STEEVENS,
It is observed of The Tempest, that its plan is regular ; this, the author of the Revisal thinks, what I think too, an acci, dental effect of the story, not intended or regarded by our author, But whatever might þe Shakspere's intention in forming or adapting the plat, he hath made it instrumental to the pro.
duction of many characters, diversitied with boundless inven)tion, and preserved with profound skill in nature, extensive knowledge of opinions, and accurate observation of life. In a single drama are here exhibited princes, courtiers, and sailors, all speaking in their real characters. Here is the agency of aity spirits, and of an earthly goblin. The operations of inagic, the tumults of a storm, the adventures of a desart island, the native effusion of untaught affection, the punishment of guilt, and the final happiness of the pair for whom our passions and reason are equally interested. JOHNSON,
Other Spirits attending on Prospero. SCENE, the Sea, with a Ship; afterwards, an
ACT 1. SCENE 1.
On a Ship at Sea. A tempestuous Noise of Thunder and
Lightning heard. Enter a Ship-Master and a Boatswain.
Boats. Here, master : What cheer ?
Mast. Good : speak to the mariners :-fall to't yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
[Exit. Enter Mariners. Boats. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts ; yare, yare : Take in the top-sail; Tend to the master's whistle ;--Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough! Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTHONIO, FERDI
NAND, GONZALO, and others. Alon, Good boatswain, have care, Where's the master ? Play the men. A iij
pray now, keep below: Ant. Where is the master, , boatswain ?
Boats. Do you not hear him? You mar our labour ; Keep your cabins : you do assist the storm.
Gon. Nay, good, be patient.
Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What care these roarers for the name of king? To cabin ; silence : trouble us not.
Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
Boats. None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor; if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present, we will not handle a rope inore; use your authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have liv'd so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap.-Cheerly, good hearts-Out of our way, I say.
[Exit. Gon. I have great comfort from this fellow : mea thinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him ; his complexion is perfe&t gallows. Stand fast, good fate, to his hanging; make the rope of his destiny gur cable, for our own doth little advantage : If he be not born to be hang’d, .qur case is miserable.
Re-enter Boatswain. Boats. Down with the top-mast; 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.”