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should he learn our language? I will give him some relief, if it be but for that: If I can recover him, and keep him tame, and get to Naples with him, he's a present for
any emperor, that ever trod on neat's-leather.
Cal. Do not torment me, pr’ythee; I'll bring my wood home faster.
Ste. He's in his fit now; and does not talk after the wisest. He shall taste of my bottle: if he have never drunk wine afore, it will go near to remove his fit:: if I can recover him, and keep him tame, I will not take too much for him: he shall pay for him, that hath him, and that soundly.
Cal. Thou dost me yet but little hurt; thou wilt
Ste. Come on your ways;* open your mouth: here is
- if he have never drunk wine afore, it will go near to remove his fit:) This is no impertinent hint to those, who indulge themselves in a constant use of wine. When it is necessary for them as a medicine, it produces no effect. Steevens.
too much -] Too much means, any sum, ever so much. So, in the Letters from the Paston Family, Vol. II. p. 219: “ And ye be beholdyng unto my Lady for hyr good wurde, for sche hath never preysyd yowe to much.” i. e. though she has praised you much, her praise is not above your merit.
It has, however, been observed to me, that when the vulgar mean to ask an extravagant price for any thing, they say, with a laugh, I won't make him pay twice for it. This sense sufficiently accommodates itself to Trinculo's expression. Mr. M. Mason explains the passage differently.--" I will not take for him even more than he is worth.” Steevens.
I think the meaning is, Let me take what sum I will, however great, I shall not take too much for him: it is impossible for me to sell him too dear. Malone.
I know it by thy trembling :) This tremor is always represented as the effect of being possessed by the devil. So, in the Comedy of Errors, Act IV. sc. iv:
“ Mark how he trembles in his ecstacy!” Steevens.
* The meaning of this expression, appears to have escaped the attention of the various commentators. The words Come on your ways, as applied to Caliban, who is supposed to be lying on his face, must be understood “ Come on your side ; open your mouth," &c. The position of Caliban, not permitting him to drink from the bottle, Stephano, in the phrase of a mariner, naturally ad
that which will give language to you, cat;? open your mouth: this will shake your shaking, I can tell you,
and that soundly: you cannot tell who's your friend; open your chaps again.
Trin. I should know that voice: It should be-But he is drowned; and these are devils: 0! defend me!
Ste. Four legs, and two voices; a most delicate monster! His forward voice? now, is to speak well of his friend; his backward voice is to utter foul speeches, and to detract. If all the wine in my bottle will recover him, I will help his ague: Come,
Amen!3 I will pour some in thy other mouth.
Ste. Doth thy other mouth call me? Mercy! mercy! This is a devil, and no monster: I will leave him ; I have no long spoon.*
Trin. Stephano !-if thou beest Stephano, touch me, and speak to me; for I am Trinculo ;-be not afeard, thy good friend Trinculo.
Ste. If thou beest Trinculo, come forth; I'll pull thee by the lesser legs : if any be Trinculo's legs, these are they. Thou art very Trinculo, indeed: How cam'st
dresses him “Come on your side ; open,” &c. The ways of a ship (properly termed water-ways, as defined in Moore's Dic
ionary of sea-phrases) “are loi pieces of timber serving to connect the sides of a ship to her deck, and form a channel to carry off the water from the latter, by means of scuppers, which are cut through the former.” Amer. Edit.
1-cat;] Alluding to an old proverb, that good liquor will make a cat speak. Steevens.
2 His forward voice, &c.] The person of Fame was anciently de. scribed in this manner. So, in Penelope's Web, by Greene, 1601 : “ Fame hath two faces, readie as well to back-bite as to flatter."
Steevens. Amen!] Means, stop your draught: come to a conclusion. I will pour some, &c. Steevens.
* I have no long spoon.] Alluding to the proverb, A long spoon to eat with the devil.” Steevens.
See Comedy of Errors, Act IV. sc. ii. and Chaucer's Squier's Tale, 10,916 of the late edit.
« Therefore behoveth him a full long spoone,
That shall ete with a fend.”. Tyrwhitt.
thou to be the siege of this moon-calf?5 Can he vent Trinculos?
Trin. I took him to be killed with a thunder-stroke: -But art thou not drowned, Stephano? I hope now, thou art not drowned. Is the storm overblown? I hid me under the dead moon-calf's gaberdine, for fear of the storm: And art thou living, Stephano ? O Stephano, two Neapolitans 'scap'd!.
Ste. Prythee, do not turn me about; my stomach is not constant.
Cal. These be fine things, an if they be not sprites. That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor: I will kneel to him.
Ste. How did'st thou 'scape? How cam'st thou hither? swear by this bottle, how thou cam’st hither. I escaped upon a butt of sack, which the sailors heaved over-board, by this bottle! which I made of the bark of a tree, with mine own hands, since I was cast a-shore.
Cal. I'll swear, upon that bottle, to be thy True subject; for the liquor is not earthly.
Ste. Here; swear then, how thou escap’dst.6
to be the siege of this moon-calf?] Siege signifies stool in every sense of the word, and is here used in the dirtiest.
So, in Holinshed, p. 705: “In this yeare also, a house on Lon. don Bridge, called the common siege, or privie, fell downe into the Thames.”
A moon-calf is an inanimate shapeless mass, supposed by Pliny to be engendered of woman'only. See his Nat. Hist. B. X. ch. 64.
Again, in Philemon Holland's Translation of Book XXX. ch. 14. edit. 1601: “ —there is not a better thing to dissolve and scatter moon-calves, and such like false conceptions in the wombe.”
Steevens. 6 Cal. I'll swear, upon that bottle, to be thy
True subject ; &c. Ste. Here; swear then how thou escap'dst.] The passage should probably be printed thus :
Ste. [to Cal.] Here, swear then. [to Trin.] How escap’dst thou?
The speaker would naturally take notice of Caliban's proffered allegiance. Besides, he bids Trinculo kiss the book, after he has answered the question ; a sufficient proof of the rectitude of the proposed arrangement. Ritson.
Trin. Swam a-shore, man, like a duck; I can swim? like a duck, I'll be sworn.
Ste. Here, kiss the book: Though thou canst swim like a duck, thou art made like a goose.
Trin. O Stephano, hast any more of this?
Ste. The whole butt, man; my cellar is in a rock by the sea-side, where my wine is hid. How now, mooncalf? how does thine ague?
Cal. Hast thou not dropped from heaven?8
Ste. Out o' the moon, I do assure thee: I was the man in the moon, when time was.
Cal. I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee; My mistress shewed me thee, thy dog, and bush.9
Ste. Come, swear to that; kiss the book: I will furnish it anon with new contents : swear.
Trin. By this good light, this is a very shallow monster:~I afeard of him?-a very weak monster:1—The man i' the moon ?-a most poor credulous monster:Well drawn, monster, in good sooth.
Cal. I'll shew thee every fertile inch o' the island; And kiss thy foot: I prythee, be my god.2
? I can swim - ] I believe Trinculo is speaking of Caliban, and that we should read~"'a can swim,” &c. See the next speech.
Malone. I do not perceive how Trinculo could answer for Caliban's ex. pertness in swimming, having only lain under his gaberdine for an hour. Ritson's arrangement of the preceding line is well imagined. M. Mason.
8 Hast thou not dropped from heaven?] The new-discovered Indians of the island of St. Salvador, asked, by signs, whether Columbus and his companions were not come down from heaven.
Tollet. 9 My mistress shewed me thee, thy dog, and bush.] The old copy, which exhibits this and several preceding speeches of Caliban as prose, (though it be apparent they were designed for verse,) reads-“ My mistress shewed me thee, and thy dog and thy bush.” Let the editor who laments the loss of the words-and, and thy, compose their elegy. Steevens.
1 1 afeard of him ?-a very weak monster : &c.] It is to be observed, that Trinculo, the speaker, is not charged with being afraid; but it was his consciousness that he was so, that drew this brag from him. This is nature. Warburton.
2 Anil kiss thy foot: I pr’ythee, be my god.] The old copy redundantly reads: “ And I will kiss thy foot, &c. Ritson.
Trin. By this light, a most perfidious and drunken monster; when his god's asleep, he'll rob his bottle.
Cal. I'll kiss thy foot: I'll swear myself thy subject.
Trin. I shall laugh myself to death, at this puppyheaded monster: A most scurvy monster! I could find in my heart to beat him,
Ste. Come, kiss.
Trin.—but that the poor monster's in drink: An abominable monster! Cal. I'll shew thee the best springs; I'll pluck thee
Trin. A most ridiculous monster; to make a wonder of a poor drunkard.
Cal. I pr’ythee, let me bring thee where crabs grow; And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts ; Shew thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how To snare the nimble marmozet; I'll bring thee To clust'ring filberds, and sometimes I'll get thee Young sea-mells 3 from the rock: Wilt thou go with me?
sea-mells —] This word has puzzled the commentators: Dr. Warburton reads shamois; Mr. Theobald would read any thing, rather than sea-mells. Mr. Holt, who wrote notes upon this play, observes, that limpets are in some places called scams, and, therefore, I had once suffered scamels to stand. Johnson.
Theobald had very reasonably proposed to read sea-malls, or sea-mells. An e, by careless printers, was easily changed into a c, and from this accident, I believe, all the difficulty arises, the word having been spelt by the transcriber, seamels. Willoughby mentions the bird, as Theobald has informed us. Had Mr. Holt told us in what part of England limpets are called scams, more regard would have been paid to his assertion.
I should suppose, at all events, a bird to have been design'd,
young and old fish are taken with equal facility; but young birds are more easily surprised than old ones. Besides, Caliban had already proffered to fish for Trinculo. In Cavendish's second voyage, the sailors eat young gulls at the isle of Penguins.
Steevens. I have no doubt but Theobald's proposed amendment ought to be received. Sir Joseph Banks informs me, that in Willoughby's,