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Trin. Do, do: We steal by line and level, and 't like your grace.
Ste. I thank thee for that jest; here's a garment for 't: wit shall not go unrewarded, while I am king of this country: Steal by line and level, is an excellent pass of pate; there's another garment for 't.
Trin. Monster, come, put some lime6 upon your fingers, and away with the rest.
Cal. I will have none on 't: we shall lose our time, And all be turn’d to barnacles, or to apes? With foreheads villainous low. 8
Ste. Monster, lay-to your fingers; help to bear this away, where my hogshead of wine is, or I'll turn you out of my kingdom: go to, carry this.
· put some lime, &c.] That is, birdlime. Johnson. So, in Green's Disputation between a He and She Conycatcher, 1592: “ – mine eyes are stauls, and my hands lime twigs.”
Steevens. to barnacles, or to apes -) Skinner says barnacle is Anser Scoticus. The barnacle is a kind of shell-fish growing, on the bot. toms of ships, and which was anciently supposed, when broken off, to become one of these geese. Hall, in his Virgidemiarum, Lib. IV. sat. 2, seems to favour this supposition:
“ The Scottish barnacle, if I might choose,
“ That of a worme doth waxe a winged goose," &c. So likewise Marston, in his Malecontent, 1604:
like your Scotch barnacle, now a block, “ Instantly a worm, and presently a great goose.” “ There are” (says Gerard, in his Herbal, edit. 1597, page 1391) " in the north parts of Scotland, certaine trees, whereon do grow shell-fishes, &c. &c. which falling into the water, do become fowls, whom we call barnakles; in the north of England brant geese ; and in Lancashire tree geese,” &c.
This vulgar error deserves no serious confutation. Commend me, however, to Holinshed, (Vol. I. p. 38.) who declares himself to have seen the feathers of these barnacles “ hang out of the shell at least two inches." And in the 27th song of Drayton's Polyolbion, the same account of their generation is given. Collins.
8 With foreheads villainous low.] Low foreheads were anciently reckoned among deformities. So, in the old bl. I. ballad, enti. tled A Peerlesse Paragon:
" Her beetle brows all men admire,
“ Her forehead wondrous low." Again, (the quotation is Mr. Malone's) in Antony and Cleopatra :
And her forehead
Trin. And this.
Ste. Ay, and this. A noise of hunters heard.9 Enter divers Spirits, in shape
of hounds, and hunt them about; PROSPERO and ARIEL setting them on. Pro. Hey, Mountain, hey! Ari. Silver! there it goes, Silver ! Pro. Fury, Fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark, hark!
[CAL. STE. and Trin, are driven out.
Hark, they roar.
ACT V ..... SCENE I.
Before the Cell of Prospero.
9 A noise of hunters heard.] Shakspeare might have had in view “ Arthur's Chase," which many believe to be in France, and think that it is a kennel of black dogs, followed by unknown huntsmen with an exceeding great sound of horns, as if it was a very hunting of some wild beast.”. See a Treatise of Spectres, translated from the French of Peter de Loier, and published in quarto, 1605.
Grey “ HECATE, (says the same writer, ibid.) as the Greeks affirmed, did use to send dogges unto men, to feare and terrifie them.”
Malone. land time
Goes upright with his carriage.] Alluding to one, carrying a burthen. This critical period of my life proceeds as I could wish.
I did say so,
Ari. On the sixth hour; at which time, my lord,
Dost thou think so, spirit?
And mine shall.
Time brings forward all the expected events, without faultering under his burthen. Steevens.
- the king and his?] The old copy reads the king and his followers.?” But the word followers is evidently an interpolation, (or gloss which had crept into the text,) and spoils the metre, without help to the sense. În King Lear, we have the phraseology I have ventured to recommend :
“ To thee and thine, hereditary ever,” &c. Şteevens.
release them. Malone. - a touch, a feeling - ] A touch is a sensation. So, in Cymbeline :
a touch more rare “ Subdues all pangs, all fears.” So, in the 141st sonnet of Shakspeare:
“ Nor tender feeling to base touches prone.” Again, in the Civil Wars of Daniel, B. I:
“ I know not how their death gives such a touch.” Steevens.
that relish all as sharply, Passion as they,] I feel every thing with the same quick sensibility, and am moved by the same passions, as they are.
Though with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick,
I'll fetch them, sir. [Exit. Pro. Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and
A similar thought occurs in K. Richard II:
“ Taste grief, need friends, like you.” &c. Steevens. 6 Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves;], This speech Dr. Warburton rightly observes, to be borrowed from Medea's in Ovid: and, “it proves, (says Mr. Holt,) beyond contradiction, that Shakspeare was perfectly acquainted with the sentiments of the ancients on the subject of inchantments.” The original lines are these:
“ Auræque, & venti, montesque, amnesque, lacusque,
Diique omnes nemorum, diique omnes noctis, adeste.” The translation of which, by Golding, is by no means literal, and Shakspeare hath closely followed it. Farmer.
Whoever will take the trouble of comparing this whole passage with Medea's speech, as translated by Golding, will see evidently that Shakspeare copied the translation, and not the original. The particular expressions, that seem to have made an impression on his mind, are printed in Italicks : “ Ye ayres and windes, ye elves of hills, of brookes, of woodes alone, “ Of standing lakes, and of the night, approche ye everych one. Through help of whom (the crooked bankes much wondering at
the thing) “I have compelled streames to run clear backward to their spring. “ By charms I make the calm sea rough, and make the rough
seas playne, “ And cover all the skie with clouds, and chase them thence again.
By charms I raise and lay the winules, and burst the viper's jaw, “ And from the bowels of the earth both stones and trees do draw. ~ Whole woods and forrests I remove, I make the mountains shake, “ And even the earth itself to groan and fearfully to quake. “ I call up dead men from their graves, and thee, O lightsome
moone, “ I darken oft, though beaten břass abate thy peril soone. “Our sorcerie dimmes the morning faire, and darks the sun at noone. “ The flaming breath of fierie bulles ye quenched for my sake, “ And caused their unwieldy neckes the bended yoke to take. “ Among the earth-bred brothers you a mortal warre did set, " And brought asleep, the dragon fell, whose eyes were never
And ye, that on the sands with printless foot
Ye elves of hills, &c.] Fairies and elves are frequently, in the poets, mentioned together, without any distinction of character that I can recollect. Keysler says, that alp and alf, which is elf with the Suedes and English, equally signified a mountain, or a dæmon of the mountains. This seems to have been its original meaning; but Somner's Dict. mentions elves or fairies of the mountains, of the woods, of the sea and fountains, without any distinction, between elves and fairies. Tollet.
- with printless foot Do chase the ebbing Neptune,] So Milton, in his Masque :
“ Whilst from off the waters fleet,
“ Thus I set my printless feet.” Steevens. 8 (Weak masters though ye be,)] The meaning of this passage may be, Though you are but inferior masters of these supernatural powers--though you possess them but in a low degree. Spenser uses the same kind of expression, in The Fairy Queen, B. III. cant. 8. st. 4:
“Where she (the witch) was wont her sprights to entertain.
by whose aid, (Weak masters though ye be,)] That is; ye are powerful auxi. liaries, but weak if left to yourselves ;-your employment is then to make green ringlets, and midnight mushrooms, and to play the idle pranks, mentioned by Ariel in his next song ;-yet by your aid, I have been enabled to invert the course of nature. We say, proverbially, “Fire is a good servant, but a bad master:" Blackstone.
But this rough magick, &c.] This speech of Prospero sets out with a long and distinct invocation to the various ministers of his art: yet, to what purpose they were invoked does not very