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Ten leagues beyond man's life; she that from Naples

Can have no note, unless the sun were post,— The man i' the moon's too slow,-till new-born chins

Be rough and razorable; she from whom 22

We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again; 23

And, by that destiny, to perform an act, Whereof what's past is prologue; what to come, In yours and my discharge.

Seb. What stuff is this! How say you? 'Tis true, my brother's daughter's Queen of Tunis; So is she heir of Naples; 'twixt which regions

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almost persuaded (for he has a spirit of persuasion that only professes to persuade) the king his son's alive, yet 'tis as impossible,' &c.

22. She from whom. "Coming" is understood between "she" and "from." Shakespeare's style is full of this kind of ellipsis. He is so condensed a writer, that we have constantly to bear this in mind, while gathering the full sense of his concise passages.

23. Some cast again. In the poet's way of combining varied senses in one expression, he here uses the word in its meaning of cast up after swallowing, of cast ashore, of cast (or thrown) in wrestling, and of cast for a part in a play. The latter is confirmed by the words "to perform an act," 'prologue," and "discharge." The commentators, who differ about the sense in which some of Shakespeare's terms are to be taken, seldom


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No better than the earth he lies upon,

If he were that which now he's like, that's dead,Whom I, with this obedient steel, three inches of it,

Can lay to bed for ever; whiles you, doing thus,
To the perpetual wink for aye might put
This ancient morsel, this Sir Prudence, who
Should not upbraid our course. For all the rest,
They'll take suggestion 28 as a cat laps milk;
They'll tell the clock to any business that
We say befits the hour.


Thy case, dear friend,

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seem to perceive his large-minded way of assembling several significances in one concentrated word.

24. Chough. A sea-side crow; a bird with a chattering note. 25. Feater. More well-fittedly; more neatly.

26. Kibe. A chilblain in the heel. The word occurs again in "Hamlet"-"The toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe."

27. Candied be they. Possibly a play on the word "candid" may lurk here; and the meaning seems to be-'Twenty consciences might be candied hard, and melt into softness again, ere they would trouble or soften me.' 28. Suggestion. Often used for temptation, incitement to Here it means not only this, but prompting to bear any amount of false witness. 29. Why are you drawn? Wherefore are your swords drawn?


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By inch-meal a disease! His spirits hear me, And yet I needs must curse. But they'll nor pinch,


Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i' the mire,

Nor lead me, like a firebrand, in the dark
Out of my way, unless he bid 'em; but
For every trifle are they set upon me :
Sometime like apes, that moe 22 and chatter at me,
And after, bite me; then like hedgehogs, which
Lie tumbling in my barefoot way, and mount
Their pricks at my footfall: sometime am I
All wound with adders, who with cloven tongues
Do hiss me into madness.-Lo, now, lo!
Here comes a spirit of his, and to torment me
For bringing wood in slowly; I'll fall flat;
Perchance, he will not mind me.

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Trin. Here's neither bush nor shrub, to bear off any weather at all, and another storm brewing; I hear it sing i' the wind: yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombards that would shed his liquor. If it should thunder, as it did before, I know not where to hide my head: yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls.

What have we here? a man or a fish? dead or alive? A fish: he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of, not of the newest, Poor-John. A strange fish! Were I in England now (as once I was), and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver: there would this monster make a man: any strange beast there makes a man. When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. Legged like a man! and his fins like arms! Warm, o' my troth! I do now let loose my opinion, hold it no longer; this is no fish, but an islander, that hath lately suffered by a thunderbolt. [Thunder.] Alas! the storm is come again: my best way is to creep under his gaberdine; there is no other shelter hereabout: misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud, till the dregs of the storm be past.


Enter STEPHANO, singing; a bottle in his hand.

Ste. I shall no more to sea, to sea,

Here shall I die a-shore :

This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man's funeral: well, here's my comfort. [Drinks.

The master, the swabber,39 the boatswain, and I,
The gunner, and his mate,

Loved Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
But none of us car'd for Kate;
For she had a tongue with a tang,
Would cry to a sailor, ‘Go hang!'

She loved not the savour of tar nor of pitch,

Yet a tailor might scratch her where'er she did itch:
Then, to sea, boys, and let her go hang!

This is a scurvy tune, too; but here's my comfort. [Drinks.

Cal. Do not torment me: oh!

Ste. What's the matter? Have we devils here? Do you put tricks upon us with savages, and men of Inde, ha? I have not 'scaped drowning, to be afeard now of your four legs; for it hath been said, As proper a man as ever went on four legs cannot

36. Poor-John. A common name for the fish called hake, when salted and dried,

37. Doit. A small coin, value the eighth part of a penny. Dutch, duyt. French, d'huit.

38. Gaberdine. A coarse, loose over-garment.

39. Swabber. The sweeper of a deck.

40. Proper. Comely, well-proportioned.

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make him give ground; and it shall be said so again stroke. But art thou not drowned, Stephano? I while Stephano breathes at nostrils.

Cal. The spirit torments me: oh!

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

Ste. This is some monster of the isle, with four legs, who hath got, as I take it, an ague. Where the devil 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, prithee: I'll bring my That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor: wood home faster. I will kneel to him.

Ste. Prithee, do not turn me about; my stomach is not constant.

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 anon, I know it by thy trembling: Prosper works upon thee.

Ste. Come on your ways: open your mouth; here is 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 bebut he is drowned, and these are devils. Oh! defend me.

Cal. [Aside] These be fine things, an if they be not sprites.

Ste. How didst 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 overboard, by this bottle! which I made of the bark of a tree, with mine own hands, since I was cast ashore.

Cal. I'll swear, upon that bottle, to be thy true subject; for the liquor is no earthly.

Ste. Here; swear, then, how thou escapedst. Trin. Swam ashore, 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, moon-calf! how does thine ague?

Cal. Hast thou not dropp'd from heaven ?45 Ste. Out o' the moon, I do assure thee: I was the man in the moon, when time was.

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! 42 I will pour some in thy other My mistress show'd me thee, and thy dog, and thy


Trin. Stephano!

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.43

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 thou to be the siege of this moon-calf? can he vent Trinculos?

Cal. I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee:


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. The man i' the moon!-A most poor credulous monster!-Well drawn, monster, in good sooth!

Cal. I'll show thee every fertile inch o' the


And I will kiss thy foot. I prithee, be my god.

Trin. By this light, a most perfidious and drunken monster: when his god's asleep, he'll rob

Trin. I took him to be killed with a thunder- his bottle.

41. I know it by thy trembling. Those who were possessed by an evil spirit were supposed to tremble.

42. Amen! Stephano's hint to Caliban that he should finish his draught.

43. I have no long spoon. In allusion to the old proverb:"He who eats with the devil hath need of a long spoon." We meet with it again in the "Comedy of Errors," iv. 3.

44. Siege of this moon-calf? "Siege" was often used for
" and
moon-calf" is said to be a lumpish, shapeless

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mass, mentioned by Pliny, and made the subject of a poem by Drayton.

45. Dropp'd from heaven? It is recorded that the Indians of the Island of St. Salvador, when first discovered, asked Columbus and his companions by signs whether they were not come down from heaven.

46. Thy dog, and thy bush. The man in the moon has been said to be "Cain with his thorn-bush ;" and an Italian once pointed out to the Editors the figure of a dog in the full moon.

Cal. I'll kiss thy foot: I'll swear myself thy subject.

Ste. Come on, then; down, and swear.

Trin. I shall laugh myself to death at this puppy-headed monster. A most scurvy monster! I could find in my heart to beat him,—

Ste. Come, kiss.

To clustering filberds, and sometimes I'll get thee Young sea-mells from the rock.47 Wilt thou go with me?

Ste. I prithee now, lead the way, without any more talking.—Trinculo, the king and all our company else being drowned, we will inherit here.[To Cal.] Here; bear my bottle.-Fellow Trin

Trin. But that the poor monster's in drink. An culo, we'll fill him by-and-by again. abominable monster!

Cal. I'll show thee the best springs; I'll pluck

thee berries;

I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough.

A plague upon the tyrant that I serve!

I'll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee,
Thou wondrous man.

Trin. A most ridiculous monster, to make a wonder of a poor drunkard!

Gal. I prithee, let me bring thee where crabs

And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts;
Show thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how
To snare the nimble marmoset: I'll bring thee

Cal. sings drunkenly.] Farewell, master; farewell, farewell!
Trin. A howling monster; a drunken monster!

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Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log.


Fer. There be some sports are painful, and
their labour

Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task
Would be as heavy to me, as odious; but
The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead,
And makes my labours pleasures: oh, she is
Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed;
And he's composed of harshness. I must remove
Some thousands of these logs, and pile them up,

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47. Young sea-mells from the rock. In the Folio this word is printed scamels," and has occasioned endless differences among the commentators; some of whom retain "scamels" in the text, even while owning that they do not comprehend what it means. When we find such obvious misprints (among scores and scores of others) in the Folio, as "Barlet" for "martlet," "Paconcies" for "pansies," &c., we need hardly hesitate to suspect a similar error here. We have the expression "haggards of the rock," in "Much Ado,” iii. 1, where "haggards" mean untrained hawks; and this brings us to the probability that the word here means some kind of bird. In Chapman's translation of Homer's "Odyssey" (a book most likely well-known to Shakespeare), there is mention of the "sea-mew in her fishing

Upon a sore injunction: my sweet mistress Weeps when she sees me work; and says, such baseness

Had never like executor. I forget:

But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours;

Most busy, least when I do it.1

Enter MIRANDA; and PROSPERO at a distance,


Alas! now, pray you,
Work not so hard: I would the lightning had
Burnt up those logs that you are enjoin'd to

flight," and of men "tumbled to sea, like sea-mews swam about;" therefore that was a sea-bird likely to present itself to our poet's mind. The spelling of "scamels" is very near to that of sea-mews, sea-malls, or sea-mells, which are said to be other forms of the same word. In more than one work of authority, young sea-birds have been affirmed to be delicate food. All these arguments appear to us conclusive in favour of the reading here adopted, and which was first proposed by Theobald.

1. Most busy, least when I do it. This passage appears in the Folio :-" Most busie lest, when I doe it;" and has been variously altered, Pope reading, 'Least busy when I do it ;'

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