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the master's whistle.-Blow, till thou burst thy wind3, if room enough!
Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO, and others.
ALON. Good boatswain, have care.
master? Play the men *.
BOATS. I pray now, keep below.
ANT. Where is the master, Boatswain?
BOATS. Do you not hear him? You mar our labour; Keep your cabins: you do assist the storm 5.
3 Blow, till thou burst THY wind, &c.] Perhaps it might be read: "Blow, till thou burst, wind, if room enough." JOHNSON. Perhaps rather-" Blow, till thou burst thee, wind! if room enough." Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this passage in The Pilgrim :
Blow, blow west wind,
"Blow till thou rive!"
Again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609:
Again, in K. Lear :
"Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!"
Again, in Chapman's version of the fifth book of Homer's Odyssey:
"Such as might shield them from the winter's worst,
Though steel it breath'd and blew as it would burst." Again, in Fletcher's Double Marriage:
Blow till you burst the air.—"
The allusion in these passages, as Mr. M. Mason observes, is to the manner in which the winds were represented in ancient prints and pictures. STEEVENS.
4 Play the men.] i. e. act with spirit, behave like men. So, in Chapman's translation of the second Iliad :
"Which doing, thou shalt know what souldiers play the men, "And what the cowards."
Again, in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590, p. 2:
Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men." " píλor, divépes érè, Iliad V. v. 529. STEEVENS. φίλοι,
Again, in Scripture, 2 Sam. x. 12: "Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people,-"
assist the storm.] So, in Pericles :
'Patience, good sir; do not assist the storm." STEEVENS
GON. Nay, good, be patient.
BOATS. When the sea is. Hence! What care these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence: trouble us not.
GON. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
BOATS. None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor; if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more; use your authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap.Cheerly, good hearts.-Out of our way, I say.
[Exit. GON.' I have great comfort from this fellow : methinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good fate, to his hanging! make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage! If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable. [Exeunt.
BOATS. Down with the top-mast; yare; lower, lower; bring her to try with main-course3. [A cry
6 of the present,] i. e. of the present instant. So, in the 15th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians : whom the greater part remain unto this present." STEEVENS. 7 Gonzalo.] It may be observed of Gonzalo, that, being the only good man that appears with the king, he is the only man that preserves his cheerfulness in the wreck, and his hope on the island. JOHNSON.
bring her to TRY WITH MAIN-COURSE.] Probably from Hackluyt's Voyages, 1598: “And when the barke had way, we cut the hauser, and so gate the sea to our friend, and tried out all that day with our maine course." MALONE.
This phrase occurs also in Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627, 4to.
within.] A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office.
Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO.
Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
SEB. A pox o' your throat! you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!
BOATS. Work you, then.
ANT. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noise-maker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.
GON. I'll warrant him from drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as leaky as an unstanched wench 9.
BOATS. Lay her a-hold, a-hold '; set her two courses; off to sea again', lay her off.
under the article How to handle a Ship in a Storme: "Let us lie as Trie with our maine course; that is, to hale the tacke aboord, the sheat close aft, the boling set up, and the helme tied close aboord." P. 40. STEEVENS.
9 an UNSTANCHED wench,] Unstanched, I am willing to believe, means incontinent. STEEVENS.
The meaning is clear from a passage in Beaumont and Fletcher's Mad Lover, Act V. Sc. I. where Chilas says to the frightened priestess:
Down you dog, then,
"Be quiet and be staunch too: no inundations."
Lay her a-hold, a-hold;] To lay a ship a-hold, is to bring her to lie as near the wind as she can, in order to keep clear of the land, and get her out to sea. STEEVENS.
-set her two coURSES; off to sea again,] The courses are the main sail and fore sail. This term is used by Raleigh, in his Discourse on Shipping. JOHNSON.
The passage, as Mr. Holt has observed, should be pointed, "Set her two courses; off," &c.
Such another expression occurs in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612: “. off with your Drablers STEEVENS,
and your Banners; out with your courses,"
Enter Mariners wet.
MAR. All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!
[Exeunt. BOATS. What, must our mouths be cold?
GON. The king and prince at prayers! let us assist them,
For our case is as theirs.
SEB. I am out of patience.
ANT. We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards.
This wide-chapped rascal ;-'Would, thou might'st lie drowning,
The washing of ten tides!
He'll be hanged yet;
Though every drop of water swear against it,
[A confused noise within.] Mercy on us!-We split,
3 merely-] In this place, signifies absolutely; in which sense it is used in Hamlet, Act I. Sc. III.:
Things rank and gross in nature
"Possess it merely."
Again, in Ben Jonson's Poetaster:
"Of some mere friends, some honourable Romans."
STEEVENS. 4- to glut him.] Shakspeare probably wrote, t' englut him, to swallow him; for which I know not that glut is ever used by him. In this signification, englut, from engloutir, Fr. occurs frequently, as in Henry VI.:
"Thou art so near the gulf
"Thou needs must be englutted."
And again, in Timon and Othello. Yet Milton writes glutted offal for swallowed, and therefore, perhaps, the present text may
Thus, in Sir A. Gorges's translation of Lucan, b. vi. :
oylie fragments scarcely burn'd,
"Together she doth scrape and glut."
i. e. swallow. STEEVENS.
we split !-Farewell, my wife and children!-Farewell, brother!-We split, we split, we split!ANT. Let's all sink with the king. SEB. Let's take leave of him.
GON. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze", any thing: The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death. [Exit,
The Island: before the cell of PROSPERO.
Enter PROSPERO and MIRanda.
MIRA. If by your art, my dearest father, you have Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them:
4 Mercy on us! &c.- -Farewell, brother! &c.] All these lines have been hitherto given to Gonzalo, who has no brother in the ship. It is probable that the lines succeeding the confused noise within should be considered as spoken by no determinate characters. JOHNSON.
The hint for this stage direction, &c. might have been received from a passage in the second book of Sidney's Arcadia, where the shipwreck of Pyrocles is described, with this concluding circumstance: "But a monstrous cry, begotten of many roaring voyces, was able to infect with feare," &c. STEEVENS.
5 — an acre of barren ground; LONG heath, BROWN furze, &c.] Sir T. Hanmer reads-ling, heath, broom, furze. Perhaps rightly, though he has been charged with tautology. I find in Harrison's description of Britain, prefixed to our author's good friend Holinshed, p. 91: "Brome, heth, firze, brakes, whinnes, ling," &c. FARMER.
Mr. Tollet has sufficiently vindicated Sir Thomas Hanmer from the charge of tautology, by favouring me with specimens of three different kinds of heath which grow in his own neighbourhood. I would gladly have inserted his observations at length; but, to say the truth, our author, like one of Cato's soldiers who was bit by a serpent,
Ipse latet penitus congesto corpore mersus. STEEVENS,