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The mariners all under hatches stow'd;
Which I dispers’d, they all have met again ; all And“are" upon the Mediterranean flote, 6 r float. ms. 1632.
Bound sadly home for Naples ;
Ariel, thy charge
Past the mid season.
Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains,
How now? moody?
Again, in one of his Epistles :
“Have their Bermudas, and their straights i' th' Strand.”
I gave my word
Pro. What is the time o' the day? Past the mid season?
Pro. The time 'twixt six and now Johnson
Ariel. Past the mid season, at least two glasses.
Without or grudge, or grumblings: thou didst promise
Dost thou forget
The repetition of a word will be found a frequent mistake, in the ancient editions. Ritson.
9 Dost thou forget - ] That the character and conduct of Prospero may be understood, something must be known of the system of enchantment, which supplied all the marvellous, found in the romances of the middle ages. This system seems to be founded on the opinion that the fallen spirits, having different degrees of guilt, had different habitations allotted them at their expulsion, some being confined in hell, some (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our poet's age, expresses it,) dispersed in air, some on earth, some in water, others in caves, dens, or minerals under the earth. Of these, some were more malignant and mischievous than others. The earthy spirits seem to have been thought the most depraved, and the aerial the least vitiated. Thus Prospero observes of Ariel:
Thou wast a spirit too delicate
To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands. Over these spirits a power might be obtained by certain rites performed, or charms learned. This power was called The black Art, or Knowledge of Enchantment. The enchanter being (as king James observes in his Demonology) one who commands the devil, whereas the witch serves him. Those who thought best of this art, the existence of which was, I am afraid, believed very seriously, held, that certain sounds and characters had a physical power over spirits, and compelled their agency; others who con. demned the practice, which in reality was surely never practised, were of opinion, with more reason, that the power of charms arose only from compact, and was no more than the spirits voluntarily allowed them for the seduction of man. The art was held by all, though not equally criminal, yet unlawful, and therefore Casaubon, speaking of one who had commerce with spirits, blames him, though he imagines him one of the best kind, who dealt with them by way of command. Thus Prospero repents of his art in the last scene. The spirits were always considered as in some measure enslaved to the enchanter, at least for a time, and as serving with unwillingness; therefore Ariel so often begs for liberty; and Caliban observes, that the spirits serve Prospero with no good will, but hate him rootedly. Of these trifles enough.
When it is bak'd with frost.
I do not, sir.
Ari. No, sir.
Thou hast: Where was she born?
O, was she so? I must,
Ari. Ay, sir.
Pro. This blue-ey'd hag was hither brought with child,
1 The foul witch Sycorax,] This idea might have been caught from Dionyse Settle's Reporte of the Last Voyage of Capteine Frobisher, 12mo. bl. 1. 1577. He is speaking of a woman found on one of the islands described. “ The old wretch, whome diuers of our Saylers supposed to be a Diuell, or a Witche, plucked off her buskins, to see if she were clouen footed, and for her ougly hewe and deformitie, we let her goe.” Steevens.
in Argier.) Argier is the ancient English name for Algiers. See a pamphlet entitled, A true Relation of the Travailes, &c. of William Davies, Barber-surgeon, &c. 1614. In this is a chapter “on the description, &c. of Argier.” Steevens.
A human shape.
Yes; Caliban her son.
I thank thee, master.
Do so; and after two days I will discharge thee. Ari.
noble master! What shall I do? say what? what shall I do?
Pro. Go make thyself like to a nymph o’ the sea ;3 Be subject to no sight but mine ; invisible To every eye-ball else.4 Go, take this shape,
to a nymph o' the sea;] There does not appear to be sufficient cause why Ariel should assume this new shape, as he was to be invisible to all eyes, but those of Prospero. Steevens. A Be subject to no sight but mine ; invisible To every eye-ball else.] The old copy reads
“Be subject to no sight but thine and mine; invisible,” &c. But redundancy in the first line, and the ridiculous precaution that Ariel should not be invisible to himself, plainly prove that the words-and thine-were the interpolations of ignorance.
Steevens. Go make thyself like a nymph o the sea : be subject
To no sight but thine and mine ; invisible, &c.] The words-“ be subject-having been transferred in the first copy of this play to the latter of these lines, by the carelessness of the transcriber or printer, the editor of the second folio, to supply the metre of the former, introduced the word to ;-reading, “like to a nymph o' the sea.” The regulation that I have made, shews that the addition, like many others made by that editor, was unnecessary. Malone.
And hither come in't: Hence, with diligence.5
[Exit ARIEL. Awake, dear heart, awake! thou hast slept well; Awake!
Mira. The strangeness of your story put Heaviness in me.
[Making ] SD, ms1632 Pro.
Shake it off: Come on;
'Tis a villain, sir,
But, as 'tis,
Cal. [Within] There's wood enough within.
Pro. Come forth, I say; there's other business for thee: Come forth, thou tortoise when?
My arrangement of this passage, admits the word to, which, I think, was judiciously restored by the editor of the second folio.
Steevens. 5 And hither come in't: hence with diligence.] The old copy reads
“ And hither come in't : go, hence with diligence.” The transcriber or compositor had caught the word go from the preceding line. Ritson.
6 The strangeness ] Why should a wonderful story produce sleep? I believe experience will prove, that any violent agitation of the mind easily subsides in slumber, especially when, as in Prospero's relation, the last images are pleasing. Johnson.
The poet seems to have been apprehensive that the audience, as well as Miranda, would sleep over this long, but necessary, tale, and, therefore, strives to break it. First, by making Prospero divest himself of the magic robe and wand; then, by waking her attention no less than six times, by verbal interruption : then, by varying the action, when he rises, and bids her continue sitting : and lastly, by carrying on the business of the fable, while Miranda sleeps, by which she is continued on the stage, till the poet has occasion for her again. Warner. Miranda swam magically jonmabuized 7 We cannot miss him:] That is, we cannot do without him. ·
M. Mason. 8 Come forth, thou tortoise! when?] This interrogation, indica. tive of impatience in the highest degree, occurs also in King Richard II. Act I. sc. i: “When, Harry?” See note on this pas. sage, Act I. sc. i.