« 上一頁繼續 »
plunged in the sea by a storm, from which, however, they suffer
magick of this piece, it was unquestionably Shakspeare's own. The popular notions that the Bermuda Islands were an enchanted region possessed by devils, naturally suggested the necromancy of Prospero and the agency of Ariel and the other ministering spirits introduced in The Tempest; yet, necromancy had been employed on the stage before our author's time. In an old play, of which but one copy is known to exist, entitled " The rare Triumphes of Love and Fortune, Plaide before the Queenes most excellent majestie, wherein are manie fine conceites with great delight,” 4to. 15897. Romelio, on a false charge having been banished by Duke Phyzantius, assumes the disguise of a hermit, takes refuge in a cave, and studies the black art, which he practises with such success that he strikes Armenio, the Duke's son, dumb; and then assuming the character of an uplandish Physician, he by his art cures him again and restores him to his speech. Hermione, his son, who is in love with Fidelia, the Duke's daughter, is so disgusted with necromancy, that in his father's absence he resolves to burn his books, which being done the father loses his power, and goes mad. Previously to this act, Hermione enters with some of his father's books under his arm, and recites the following lines :
“And therefore I perceive he strangely useth it,
Inchaunting and transforming that his fancy doth not fit : “ As I may see by these his vile blasphemous books
My soule abhorres, as often as mine eye upon them lookes.
* Even the slight circumstance of the place where the ship that carried Gerbino's mistress was built, appears to have dwelled on the poet's mind; and hence perhaps the mention of Carthage and Dido in the second Act of his comedy.
† In the library of The Marquis of Stafford. This piece, I think, was written by the author of Solyman and Perseda; and I suspect that Thomas Kyd was the writer of both.
" What gaine can countervaile the danger that they bring ?
“ Such is this art : such is the studie of this skill,
all.” Here clearly is no other archetype than what many of the romances of the time would have furnished. It is one of the first principles of necromancy, that when the books of the magician are destroyed, his power is at an end; and accordingly Prospero when be abjures magick, says, he will bury his staff or rod, and “deeper than ever plummet sounded drown his book.”
We have now considered the several parts of the story of this piece. It remains only to investigate and trace the character of Caliban, which, though in some respects invented by our author, was yet not entirely without an archetype. This archetype, as my very learned friend Dr. Vincent, Dean of Westminster, suggests to me, may be found in Pigafetta's Account of Magliani's, or, as we call him, Magellan's Voyage to the Southern Pole; and I entirely agree with him in thinking that the Savage, who came aboard his ship, by that voyager called a Patagonian, was the remote progenator of the servant-monster in The Tempest. Of this savage our poet found a particular account in Robert Eden's History of Travaile, 4to. 1577, which contains an abbreviated translation of Pigafetta's work. Eden's book being far from common, it will be proper here to extract from it what relates to our present subject :
" Departyng from hence (says the translator) they sayled to the 49 degree and a halfe under the pole antartike; where being wyntered, they were inforced to remayne there for the space of two monethes ; all which tyme they saw no man : except that one day by chaunce they espyed a man of the stature of a giant, who came to the haven dounsing and singyng, and shortly after seemed to cast dust over his head. The captayne sent one of his men to the shore, with the shippe boate, who made the lyke signe of peace. The which thyng the giant seeing, was out of feare, and came with the captayne's servant, to his presence, into a little ilande. When he sawe the captayne with certayne of his company about him, he was greatly amased, and made signes, holding up his hande to hea
ven, signifying thereby, that our men came from thence. This giant was so byg, that the head of one of our men of a meane stature came but to his waste. He was of good corporation, and well made in all partes of his bodie, with a large visage painted with divers colours, but for the most parte, yelow. Uppon his cheekes were paynted two hartes, and red circles about his eyes. The heare of his head was coloured whyte, and his apparell was the skynne of a beast sowde togeather. This beast (as seemed unto us,) had a large head, and great eares lyke unto a mule, with the body of a camell and tayle of a horse. The feete of the giant were foulded in the sayde skynne, after the manner of shooes. He had in his hande a bygge and shorte bowe, the sleyng whereof was made of a sinewe of that beaste. He had also a bundle of long arrowes made of reedes, feathered after the manner of ours, typte with sharpe stones, in the stead of iron heades. The captayne caused him to eate and drinke, and
him many thinges and among other a great looking glasse, in the which as soone as he sawe his own lykeness, was sodaynly afrayde, and started backe with suche violence, that hee overthrewe two that stood nearest about him. When the captayne had thus gyven him certayne haukes belles, and other great belles, with also a lookyng glasse, a combe, and a payre of beades of glasse, he sent him to lande with foure of his own men well armed. Shortly after, they sawe an other giant of somewhat greater stature with his bowe and arrowes in his hande. As hee drew nearer unto our men, hee layde his hande on his head, and poynted up towards heaven, and our men dyd the lyke. The captayne sent his shippe boate to bring him to a litle ilande, beyng in the haven. This giant was very tractable and pleasaunt. He soong and daunsed, and in his daunsing lefte the print of his feete on the ground.After other xv dayes were past, there came foure other giantes, without any weapons but had hid their bowes and arrowes in cer. taine bushes. The captayne retayned two of these, which were youngest and best made. He tooke them by a deceite, in this maner ;-that giving them knyves, sheares, looking glasses, belles, beades of chrystal and such other trifles, he so fylled their handes, that they coulde holde no more ; then caused two payre of shackels of iron to be put on their legges, making signes that he would also give them those chaynes, which they lyked very well, because they were made of bright and shining metall. And whereas they could not carry them bycause theyr handes were full, the other giantes would have caryed them, but the captayne would not suffer them. When they felt the shackels fast about theyr legges, they began to doubt; but the captayne dyd put them in comfort, and bade them stande still. In fine, when they sawe how they were deceived, they roared lyke bulles, and cryed uppon their great devill, Setebos, to help them. They say, that when any of them dye, there appeare x or xii devils, leaping and dauns
ing about the bodie of the dead, and seeme to have their bodies paynted with divers colours, and that among other there is one seene bigger then the residue, who maketh great mirth and rejoysing. This great Devyll they call Setebos, and call the lesse Cheleule. One of these giantes which they tooke, declared by signes that he had seene devylles with two hornes above their heades, with long heare downe to theyr feete, and that they caste foorth fyre at theyr throates, both before and behind. The captayne named these people Patagoni. The most parte of them weare the skynnes of such beastes whereof I have spoken before. They lyve of raw fleshe, and a certayne sweete roote which they
When various passages in this comedy, and the language, dress, and general demeanour of Caliban * are considered; there can, I think, be little doubt that in the formation of that character Shakspeare had the foregoing passages in his thoughts. Holland's translation of Pliny also, I think, furnished him with some traits of his monster. in the first chapter of the seventh book of the Natural History, which treats of the “strange and wondrous shapes of sundrie nations," we find the following passage : “ Tanson writeth that the Choromandæ are a savage and wild people : distinct voice, and speech they have none t, but instead thereof they keep an horrible nashing and hideous noise ; rough they are, and hairy all over their bodies ; eyes they have red like the howlets, and brothed they bee like dogges 1. See also
* The dress worn by this character, which doubtless was originally prescribed by the poet himself, and has been continued, I believe, since his time, is a large bear-skin, or the skin of some other animal ; and he is usually represented with long shaggy hair, as in the foregoing description. In the play we find Stephano speaking of Caliban's two mouths and a forward and backward voice, which may have been suggested by the words abovequoted. In the same scene Caliban asks, “ Hast thou dropp'd from heaven?” and in other places twice mentions his dam's god, Setebos. The singing and dauncing of our savage, Act II. Sc. II. (for such is usually the stage representation,) seem to be derived from the same source. t. So, in The Tempest, Act I. Sc. II. :
Being capable of all ill, I pitied thee,
One thing or other; when thou did'st not, savage, “ Know thine own meaning, and would'st gabble like “ A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes
“ With words that made them known.' | Natural History, translated by Philemon Holland, folio, 1601, p. 136...
Spenser, in the dedication of his Wild Man, Fairy Queen, book vi. c. iv. st. 11 : [for a special purpose, however, the great poet has given some other tints to his portrait.]
“ For other language had he none nor speech,
To expresse his passions) which his reason did empeach." I may add, that having formed the character of his savage by blending together these several descriptions, and made him the offspring of a devil and Sycorax; he also in its composition availed himself of the current notions prevalent in his own time respecting the Devil and the Powke or Robin Goodfellow, as appears from various passages in this comedy *.
The names of the principal characters in this play are, Alonso, Sebastian, Prospero, Antonio, Ferdinand, Gonzalo, Adrian, Francisco, Caliban, Miranda, and Ariel. I had long entertained a notion that several of these names were suggested to Shakspeare, by some book of voyages, which he had recently read before he sat down to write it. And the perusal of Eden's History of Travaile, 1577, already mentioned, abundantly confirms that opinion ; for there are found the names of Alonso, Ferdinand, (which was likewise presented to him by Greene's play,) Sebastian, Gonzales (which he has changed to Gonzalo), and Antonio † ; a circumstance that adds some support to what has been already
* Thus Caliban, Act II. Sc. II. :
I pr’ythee, let me bring thee where crabs grow;
" And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts ;" &c. The Devil was usually represented with long unpared nails. See a note on the words--- Pare thy nails, dad,” Twelfth-Night, Act V. Sc. ult. So also, Caliban, when Prospero reproaches him with having attempted to violate the honour of his daughter, replies, “Oh ho, oh ho, would it had been done !” where we have the ordinary exclamation both of the devil when introduced speaking exultingly, and of the Powke or Robin Goodfellow. So, in the well known epitaph : “ Oh ho, quoth the devil, 'tis my John a Combe.” See also The Midsummer-Night's Dream, vol. v. p. 284, n. 7.
† But neyther here beyng able to bryng his sute to passe, hee caused the matter to bee moved to the kyng of Portugule, Don Alonzo, the fyfth of that name." Hist. of Travayle, 4to. 1577, p. 2, (b.)
It should be remembered that Alphonsus, Alphonse, Alphonzo, and Alonzo, are used indiscriminately for the same Christian name.
“ And thus shortly after, by means of Alonzo of Quintanilia, Colon (Columbus] was brought to the presence and audience of the cardinall Don Pero Gonzales of Mehooza.” Ibid. p. 3.