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I have done nothing but in care of thee,
(Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter !) who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am; nor that I am more better:
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,
And thy no greater father.

More to know
Did never meddle with my thoughts."

'Tis time I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magick garment from me.-So;

[Lays down his mantle. Lie there my art.2 — Wipe thou thine eyes; have com

fort. The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd The very virtue of compassion 3 in thee,


not that the crew had escaped, but that her father thought differently from her, and counted their destruction no harm. Fohnson.

more better -] This ungrammatical question is very frequent among our oldest writers. So, in The History of Helyas Knight of the Swan, bl. 1. no date, imprinted by Wm. Copland: “ And also the more sooner to come, without prolixity, to the true Chronicles,” &c. Again, in the True Tragedies of Marius and Scilla," 1594:

To wait a message of more better worth.” Again, ibid : “ That hale more greater than Cassandra now.” Steevens.

- full poor cell,] i. e. a cell in a great degree of poverty. So, in Antony and Cleopatra : I am full sorry.Steevens.

1 Did never meddle with my thoughts.] i.e. mix with them. To meddle is often used, with this sense, by Chaucer. Hence the substantive medley. The modern and familiar phrase by which that of Miranda may be explained, is--never entered my thoughtsnever came into my head. Steevens.

It should rather mean-to interfere, to trouble, to busy itself, as still used in the North, e. g. Don't meddle with me;

i. e. Let me alone ; Don't molest me. Ritson. See Howell's Dict. 1660, in v. to meddle ; “ se mesler de.”

Malone. 2 Lie there my art.] Sir Will. 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 most efficacious part, the energetic quality ; in a like sense we say, The virtue of a plant is in the extract. Johnson.


Compafsimi pr. fol. 1632.

I have, with such provision in mine art,

prevision :e/1S. 1632
So safely order'd, that there is no soul-
No, not so much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the vessel 5
Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink.

Sit down;
For thou must now know further.

You have often
Begun to tell me what I am ; but stopp'd
And left me to a bootless inquisition;
Concluding, Stay, not yet-

The hour's now come ;
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
Obey, and be attentive. Can'st thou remember
A time before we came unto this cell ?
I do not think thou can'st; for then thou wast not
Out three years old.

Certainly, sir, I can.

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that there is no soul — ] Thus the old editions read; but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read-that there is no soul lost, without any notice of the variation. Mr. Theobald substitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope follows him. To come so near the right, and yet to miss it, is unlucky: the author probably wrote no soil, no stain, no spot ; for so Ariel tells :

Not a hair perish’d;
On their sustaining garments not a blemish,

But fresher than before.
And Gonzalo, The rarity of it is, that our garments being drenched
in the sea, keep notwithstanding their freshness and glosses. Of this
emendation I find that the author of notes on The Tempest had a
glimpse, but could not keep it. Fohnson.

- no soul — ] Such interruptions are not uncommon to Shakspeare. He sometimes begins a sentence, and, before he concludes ít, entirely changes its construction, because another, more forcible, occurs. As this change frequently happens in conversation, it may be suffered to pass uncensured in the language of the stage. Steevens.

not so much perdition as an hair,

Betid to any creature in the vessel, -] Had Shakspeare in his mind St. Paul's hortatory speech to the ship's company, where he assures them that, though they were to suffer shipwreck, an hair should fall

from the head of any of them ?” Acts, xxvii. 34. Ariel afterwards

says, “ Not a hair perish’d.Holt White. 6 Out three years old.] i, e. Quite three years old, three years old full-out, complete.

So, in the 4th Act: “ And be a boy right out." Steevens,


66 not

Pro. By what? by any other house, or person?
Of any thing the image tell me, that
Hath kept with thy remembrance.

'Tis far off ;
And rather like a dream, than an assurance
That my remembrance warrants : Had I not
Four or five women once, that tended me?

Pro. Thou had'st, and more, Miranda: But how is it,
That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else
In the dark backward and abysm of time??
If thou remember'st aught, ere thou cam'st here,
How thou cam'st here, thou may'st.

But that I do not.
Pro. Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since, &
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 said—thou wast my daughter; and thy father

Was duke of Milan, and his only heir
**** A princess/;—no worse issued.

O, the heavens !
What foul play had we, that we came from thence?
Or blessed was't, we did ?

Both, both, my girl:
By foul play, as thou say’st, were we heav'd thence;
But blessedly holp hither.



abysm of time?] i. e. Abyss. 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 chase him from the deep abysms below.” Steevens. 8 Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since,] Years, in the first instance, is used as a dissyllable, in the second as a monosyllable. But this is not a license, peculiar to the prosody of Shakspeare. In the second book of Şidney's Arcadia are the following lines, exhibiting the same word, with a similar prosodical variation :

“ And shall she die ? shall cruel fier spill

“ Those beames that set so many hearts on fire ?Steevens. . A princess ;-no worse issued.] The old copy reads—" And princess.”. For the trivial change in the text I am answerable. Issued is descended. So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608 : “For I am by birth a gentleman, and issued of such parents,"

&c. Steevens. Was Aleche of thlan , thou hij only hur And princess


Ms. 1632. The pinefuatiin kuue vi an improvement.

no waye


O, my heart bleeds To think o' the teen3 that I have turn’d you to, Which is from my remembrance! Please you, further.

Pro. My brother, and thy uncle, callid Antonio, I pray thee, mark me—that a brother should Be so perfidious—he, whom, next thyself, Of all the world I lov’d, and to him put The manage of my state; as, at that time, Through all the signiories it was the first, And Prospero the prime duke; being so reputed In dignity, and, for the liberal arts, Without a parallel; those being all my study, The government I cast upon my brother, And to my state grew stranger, being transported, And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncleDost thou attend me? Mira.

Sir, most heedfully. Pro. Being once perfected how to grant suits, How to deny them; whom to advance, and whom* To trash for over-topping ;5 new created The creatures that were mine; I say, or chang'd them,


-teen- ] is sorrow, grief, trouble. So, in Romeo and Juliet :

to my teen be it spoken.” Steevens. 4-whom to advance, and whom - ] The old copy has who in both places. Corrected by the editor of the second folio.

Malone. 6 To trash for over-topping ;] To trash, as Dr. Warburton ob. serves, is to cut away the superfluities. This word I have met with in books, containing directions for gardeners, published in the time of queen Elizabeth.

The present explanation may be countenanced by the following passage in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. X. ch. 57 : « Who suffreth none by might, by wealth or blood to over

topp, “ Himself gives all preferment, and whom listeth him doth

Again, in our author's K. Richard II:

“ Go thou, and, like an executioner,
“ Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays

“ That look too lofty in our commonwealth.” Mr. Warton's note, however, on—" trash for his quick hunt. ing,” in the second act of Othello, leaves my interpretation of this passage somewhat disputable.

Mr. M. Mason observes, that to trash for overtopping, may mean to lop them, because they did overtop, or in order to pre.


Or else new form’d them: having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts?
To what tune pleas’d his ear; that now he was
The ivy, which had hid my princely trunk,
And suck'd my verdure out on't. 8 - Thou attend'st not :
I pray thee, mark me.9

vent them from overtopping. So Lucetta, in the second scene of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, says :

“ I was taken up for laying them down,

“ Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.” That is, lest they should catch cold. See Mr. M. Mason's note on this passage:

In another place (a note on Othello) Mr. M. Mason observes, that Shakspeare had probably in view, when he wrote the passage before us, “the manner in which Tarquin conveyed to Sextus his advice to destroy the principal citizens of Gabii, by striking off, in the presence of his messengers, the heads of all the tallest poppies, as he walked with them in his garden.” Steevens.

I think this phrase means “ to correct for too much haughti. ness or overbearing." It is used by sportsmen in the North, when they correct a dog for misbehaviour in pursuing the game. This explanation is warranted by the following passage in Othello, Act II. sc. i:

“ If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash

“ For his quick hunting.” It was not till after I made this remark, that I saw Mr. Warton's note on the above lines in Othello, which corroborates it. Douce.

A trash is a term still in use among hunters, to denote a piece of leather, couples, or any other weight, fastened round the neck of a dog, when his speed is superior to the rest of the pack; i. e. when he over-tops them, when he hunts too quick, C. See Othello, Act II. sc. i. Steevens.

- both the key -] This is meant of a key for tuning the harpsichord, spinnet, or virginal; we call it now a tuning ham

Sir F. Hawkins.

Of officer and office, set all hearts-] The old copy reads—" all hearts i th' state, but redundantly in regard to metre, and unnecessarily respecting sense ; for what hearts, except such as were ith state, could Alonso incline to his purposes?

I have followed the advice of Mr. Ritson, who judiciously proposes to omit the words now ejected from the text. Steevens.

8 And suck'd my verdure out on't.] So in Arthur Hall's translation of the first book of Homer, 1581, where Achilles swears by his sceptre: 5. Who having lost the sapp of wood, eft greenenesse cannot

drawe.” Steevens. 9 I pray thee, mark me.] In the old copy, these words are the beginning of Prospero's next speech ; but, for the restoration of metre, I have changed their place. Steevens.




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