« AnteriorContinuar »
As dreams are made of, and our little life
Here the translator adds, in a marginal note, “ The racke or motion of the clouds, for the clouds." Again, in Dryden's version of the tenth Æneid:
the doubtful rack of heaven “ Stands without motion, and the tide undriven." Mr. Pennant, in his Tour in Scotland, observes, there is a fish called a rack-rider, because it appears in winter or bad weather; Rack, in the English of our author's days, signifying the driving of the clouds by tempests.
Sir Thomas Hanmer instead of rack, reads track, which may be countenanced by the following passage, in the first scene of Timon of Athens :
“ But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
“ Leaving no tract behind.'' Again, in the Captain, by Beaumont and Fletcher, Act II. sc. i:
Steevens. Rack is generally used for a body of clouds, or rather for the course of clouds in motion; so, in Antony and Cleopatra:
That, which is now a horse, even with a thought,
« The rack dislimns." But no instance has yet been produced, where it is used to signify a single small fleeting cloud, in which sense only it can be figuratively applied here. I incline, therefore, to Sir Thomas Hanmer's emendation.
I am now inclined to think that rack is a mis-spelling for wrack, i. e. wreck, which Fletcher likewise has used for a minute broken fragment. See his Wife for a Month, wher we find the word mis-spelt, as it is in The Tempest:
“ He will bulge so subtilly and suddenly,
“ You may snatch him up by parcels, like a sea-rack." It has been urged, that “ objects, which have only a visionary and insubstantial existence, can, when the vision is faded, leave nothing real, and consequently no wreck behind them.” But the objection is founded on misapprehension. The words" Leave not a rack (or wreck) behind,” relate not to “the baseless fabrick of this vision,” but to the final destruction of the world, of which the towers, temples, and palaces, shall (like a vision, or a pageant,) be dissolved, and leave no vestige behind. Malone.
7 As dreams are made of,] The old copy reads-on. But this is a mere colloquial vitiation; of, among the vulgar, being still pronounced-on. Steevens.
The stanza, which immediately precedes the lines, quoted by Mr. Steevens from Lord Sterline's Darius, may serve still further to confirm the conjecture, that one of these poets imitated the other. Our author was, I believe the imitator:
Is rounded with a sleep.-Sir, I am vex'd;
We wish your peace.
[Exeunt. Pro. Come, with a thought:-I thank you :-Ariel, come. 8
Ari. Ay, my commander: when I presented Ceres, I thought to have told thee of it; But I fear'd, Lest I might anger thee.
Pro. Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?
Ari. I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking; So full of valour, that they smote the air For breathing in their faces; beat the ground
" And when the eclipse comes of our glory's light,
“ Then what avails the adoring of a name? “A meer illusion made to mock the sight,
" Whose best was but the shadow of a dream." Malong. 8 Fer. Mira. We wish your peace.
Pro. Come with a thought :- I thank you :-- Ariel, come.] The old copy reads “-I thank thee." But these thanks being in reply to the joint wish of Ferdinand and Miranda, I have substituted you
for thee, by the advice of Mr. Ritson. Steevens. 9 Thy thoughts I cleave to:] To cleave to, is to unite with closely. So, in Macbeth:
“ Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould.” Again: “ If
you shall cleave to my consent.” Steevens.
to meet with Caliban.] To meet with, is to counteract; to play stratagem against stratagem.-The parson knows the temper of every one in his house, and accordingly either meets with their vices, or advances their virtues. HERBERT's Country Parson.
Fohnson So, in Cynthia's Revenge, 1613:
- You may meet “ With her abusive malice, and exempt “ Yourself from the suspicion of revenge.” Steevens.
For kissing of their feet: yet always bending
This was well done, my bird:
2 Advanc'd their eye-lids, &c.] Thus Drayton, in his Nymphidia, or Court of Fairie:
“But once the circle got within,
“ For as he thus was busy,
“ Alas, his brain was dizzy.
“ And through the bushes scrambles,
“ Among the briers and brambles.” Johnson.
- pricking goss,] I know not how Shakspeare distinguished goss from furze; for what he calls furze is called goss or gorse, in the midland counties. This word is used in the first chorus to Kyd's Cornelia, 1594: “ With worthless gorse that, yearly, fruitless dies.”
Steevens. By the latter, Shakspeare means the low sort of gorse, that only grows upon wet ground, and which is well described by the name of whins in Markham's Farewell to Husbandry. It has prickles like those of a rose-tree or a gooseberry. Furze and whins occur together in Dr. Farmer's quotation from Holinshed. Tollet.
4 I’ the filthy mantled pool, -] Perhaps we should read-filthymantled. -A similar idea occurs in K. Lear:
“ Drinks the green mantle of the standing pool.” Steevens.
For stale to catch these thieves. 5
I go, I go.
Hrne on the line ] so.
] Even to roaring :-Come, hang them on this line. PROSPERO and ARIEL remain invisible. Enter CALIBAN,
STEPHANO, and TRINCULO, all wet, Cal. Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not Hear a foot fall:9 we now are near his cell.
Ste. Monster, your fairy, which, you say, is a harmless
6 For stale to catch these thieves.] Stale is a word in fowling, and is used to mean a bait, or decoy to catch birds. So, in A Looking glass for London and England, 1617:
“ Hence tools of wrath, stales of temptation !" Again, in Green's Mamillia, 1595:“- that she might not strike at the stale, lest she were canvassed in the nets.” Steevens.
6 Nurture can never stick;] Nurture is education. A little volume entitled The Boke of Nature, or Schoole of good Maners, &c. was published in the reign of King Edward VI. 4to. bl. 1. Steevens.
7 – all, all lost,] The first of these words was probably introduced by the carelessness of the transcriber or compositor. We might safely read-are all lost. Malone.
his body uglier grows, So his mind cankers :] Shakspeare, when he wrote this description, perhaps recollected what his patron's most intimate friend, the great lord Essex, in an hour of discontent, said of queen Elizabeth ; "that she grew old and canker'd, and that her mind was become as crooked as her carcase :". -a speech, which, according to Sir Walter Raleigh, cost him his head, and which, we may therefore suppose, was at that time much talked of. This play being written in the time of king James, these obnoxious words might be safely repeated. Malone.
the blind mole may not Hear a foot fall:] This quality of hearing which the mole is supposed to possess in so high a degree, is mentioned in Euphues, 4to. 1581, p. 64,“ Doth not the lion for strength, the turtle for love, the ant for labour, excel man? Doth not the eagle see clear. er, the vulture smell better, the moale heare lightlyer ?” Reed.
fairy, has done little better, than played the Jack with us. I
Trin. Monster, I do smell all horse-piss; at which my nose is in great indignation.
Ste. So is mine. Do you hear, monster? If I should take a displeasure against you; look you,
Trin. Thou wert but a lost monster.
Cal. Good my lord, give me thy favour still: Be patient; for the prize I'll bring thee to Shait hoodwink this mischance: therefore, speak softly; All's hush'd as midnight yet.
Trin. Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,
Ste. There is not only disgrace and dishonour in that, monster, but an infinite loss.
Trin. That's more to me, than my wetting: yet this is your harmless fairy, monster.
Ste. I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o'er ears for my labour.
al. Prythee, my king, be quiet: Seest thou here,
Ste. Give me thy hand: I do begin to have bloody thoughts.
Trin. O king Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! look, what a wardrobe here is for thee ! [Seccieg ihe cyparel]
SO. Cul. Let it alone, thou fool: it is but trash.
Trin. O, ho, monster; we know what belongs to a frippery:3_ king Stephano!
1- has done little better than play'd the Jack with us.] i. e. He has played Jack with a lantern; has led us about like an ignis fatuus, by which travellers are decoyed into the mire. Fohnson.
2 Trin. O king Stephano ! O peer! O worthy Stephano ! look what a wardrobe is here for thee! ] The humour of these lines consists in their being an allusion to an old celebrated ballad, which be. gins thus: King Stephen was a worthy peer-and celebrates that king's parsimony with regard to his wardrobe. There are two stanzas of this ballad in Othello. Warburton.
The old ballad is printed at large, in The Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Vol. I. Percy.
we know what belongs to a frippery:] A frippery was a shop where old clothes were sold. Fripperie, Fr.