網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

To no sight but thine and mine; invisible
To every eye-ball else. Go, take this shape,
And hither come in't: go, hence, with diligence?.

[Exit Ariel. Awake, dear heart, awake ! thou hast slept well ; Awake!

Mira. The strangeness of your story put Heaviness in me.

sufficient cause why Ariel should assume this new shape, as he
was to be invisible to all eyes but those of Prospero. Steevens.
6 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 line, introduced the word to ;-reading, “ like to a nymph o' the sea.' The regulation that I have made, shows that the addition, like many others made by that editor, was unnecessary.

If Ariel looked in that glass which made Narcissus enamoured of himself, his own image would be reflected, unless we were to read with Steevens and the second folio ; for then he would be visible only to Prospero, and invisible to himself. MALONE.

My arrangement of this passage admits the word to, which, I think, was judiciously restored by the editor of the second folio.

STEEVENS.
Mr. Steevens's arrangement is as follows :

“ Go make thyself like to a nymph o' the sea;
“ Be subject to no sight but mine; invisible," &c.

BOSWELL.
7 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.

8 The strangeness -] Why should a wonderful story produce sleep? I believe experience will prove, that any violent agitation

[ocr errors]

Pro.

Shake it off: Come on;
We'll visit Caliban, my slave, who never
Yields us kind answer.
MIRA.

'Tis a villain, sir,
I do not love to look on.
PRO.

But, as 'tis,
We cannot miss himo: he does make our fire,
Fetch in our wood ; and serves in offices
That profit us.

What ho! slave! Caliban !
Thou earth, thou! speak.

Cal. [Within.] There's wood enough within. Pro. Come forth, I say; there's other business

for thee: Come, thou tortoise! when ?

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 his 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 carring 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. 9 We cannot miss him :] That is, we cannot do without him.

M. Mason. This provincial expression is still used in the midland counties.

MALONE. 1 Come, thou tortoise! WHEN?] This expression of impatience occurs often in our old dramas. So, in Julius Cæsar, vol. xii, p. 34: When, Lucius, when ? "

MALONE. It is found also in the extracts from Middleton's Witch, vol. xi.

p. 293 :

“ Give me marmaratin; some beare-breech : when?"

BOSWELL. This interrogation, indicative of impatience in the highest degree, occurs also in King Richard II. Act I. Sc. I. : When, Harry ? See note on this passage.

In Prospero's summons to Caliban, however, as it stands in the old copy, the word forth (which I have repeated for the sake of metre) (come forth] is wanting. Steevens.

Re-enter Ariel, like a water-nymph.
Fine apparition! My quaint Ariel,
Hark in thine ear.

ARI. My lord, it shall be done. [Exit.
Pro. Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil

himself Upon thy wicked dam, come forth !

Enter CALIBAN. CAL. As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd With raven's feather from unwholesome fen, Drop on you both ?! a south-west blow on ye, And blister you all o'er!

2 Cal. As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd

With raven's feather from unwholesome fen,

Drop on you both!] It was a tradition, it seems, that Lord Falkland, Lord C. J. Vaughan, and Mr. Selden, concurred in observing, that Shakspeare had not only found out a new character in his Caliban, but had also devised and adapted a new manner of language for that character. What they meant by it, without doubt, was, that Shakspeare gave his language a certain grotesque air of the savage and antique ; which it certainly has. But Dr. Bentley took this, of a new language, literally'; for, speaking of a phrase in Milton, which he supposed altogether absurd and unmeaning, he says, “ Satan had not the privilege, as Caliban in Shakspeare, to use new phrase and diction unknown to all others "--and again—" to practise distances is still a Caliban style.” Note on Milton's Paradise Lost, 1. iv. v. 945. But I know of no such Caliban style in Shakspeare, that hath new phrase and diction unknown to all others. WARBURTON.

Whence these critics derived the notion of a new language appropriated to Caliban, I cannot find : they certainly mistook brutality of sentiment for uncouthness of words. Caliban had learned to speak of Prospero and his daughter; he had no names for the sun and moon before their arrival ; and could not have invented a language of his own, without more understanding than Shakspeare has thought it proper to bestow upon him. His diction is indeed somewhat clouded by the gloominess of his temper, and the malignity of his purposes ; but let any other being entertain the same thoughts, and he will find them easily issue in the same expressions.

Johnson.

[ocr errors]

Pro. For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have

cramps, Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins Shall, for that vast of night that they may work“,

As wicked dew" Wicked; having baneful qualities. So Spenser says, wicked weed ; so, in opposition, we say herbs or medicines have virtues. Bacon mentions virtuous bezoar, and Dryden virtuous herbs. Johnson.

So, in the Book of Haukyng, &c. bl. I. no date : “ If a wycked fellon be swollen in such a manner that a man may hele it, the hauke shall not dye." Under King Henry VI. the parliament petitioned against hops, as a wicked weed. See Fuller's Worthies : Essex. STEEVENS.

3 urchins -] i. e. hedgehogs.

Urchins are enumerated by Reginald Scott among other terrific beings. So, in Chapman's May Day, 1611 : to fold thyself up

like an urchin.Again, in Selimus Emperor of the Turks, 1584 :

• What, are the urchins crept out of their dens,

“ Under the conduct of this porcupine !” Urchins are perhaps here put for fairies. Milton in his Masque speaks of “ urchin blasts,” and we still call any little dwarfish child, an urchin. The word occurs again in the next act. The echinus, or sea hedge-hog, is still denominated the urchin. Steevens.

In The Merry Wives of Windsor, we have “ urchins, ouphes, and fairies ;” and a passage to which Mr. Steevens alludes, inclines me to think, that urchins here signifies beings of the fairy kind :

“ His spirits hear me,
“ And yet I needs must curse; but they'll nor pinch,
Fright me with urchin-shews, pitch me i' the mire,” &c.

MALONE. In support of Mr. Steevens's note, which does not appear satisfactory to Mr. Malone, take the following proofs from Hormanni Vulgaria, 4to. 1515, p. 109 :-“ Urchyns or Hedgehoggis, full of sharpe pryckillys, whan they know that they be hunted, make them rounde lyke a balle.” Again, Porpyns have longer prykels than urchyns." Douce.

for that vast of night that they may work,] The vas& . of night means the night which is naturally empty and deserted, without action; or when all things lying in sleep and silence, makes the world appear one great uninhabited waste. So, in Hamlet :

“ In the dead waste and middle of the night.” It has a meaning like that of nox vasta.

4

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

All exercise on thee: thou shalt be pinch'd
As thick as honey-combs, each pinch more stinging
Than bees that made them.
CAL.

I must eat my dinner.
This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother,
Which thou tak'st from me. When thou camest

[ocr errors]

1

first",

Thou strok’dst me, and mad'st much of me; would'st

give me
Water with berries in't; and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night : and then I lov'd thee,
And shew'd thee all the qualities o' the isle,
The fresh springs, brine pits, barren place, and fer-

[ocr errors]

tile;

[ocr errors]

Cursed' be I that did so !-All the charms
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you !

* First folio, cam’st. + First folio, curst.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Perhaps, however, it may be used with a signification somewhat different, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609 :

“ Thou God of this great vast, rebuke the surges.". Vastum is likewise the ancient law term for waste, uncultivated land; and, with this meaning, vast is used by Chapman in his Shadow of Night, 1694 :

When unlightsome, vast, and indigest, “ The formeless matter of this world did lye.” It should be remembered, that, in the pneumatology of former ages, these particulars were settled with the most minute exactpess, and the different kinds of visionary beings had different allotments of time suitable to the variety or consequence of their employments. During these spaces, they were at liberty to act, but were always obliged to leave off at a certain hour, that they might not interfere in that portion of night which belonged to others. Among these, we may suppose urchins to have had a part subjected to their dominion. To this limitation of time Shakspeare alludes again in K. Lear :--"He begins at curfew, and walks till the second cock.”

STEEVENS. 5 Which thou tak'st from me. When thou Camest first,] We might read “ Which thou tak'st from me. When thou cam'st here first-."

Ritson.

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »