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Prof. O, a cherubim Thou wast, that did preserve me! Thou did it smile Infused with a fortitude from heaven, When I have deck'd the fea (5) with drops full salt, Under my burthen groan'd; which rais'd in me An undergoing ftomach, to bear up Against what should ensue.
A Father's Tutorage.
Here in this island we arriv'd; and here
By my prescience (6) I find, my zenith doth depend upon A most auspicious ftar; whose infuence If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes Will ever after droop. · Ariel's Description of his managing the Storm. I boarded the king's fhip: now on the beak, (7)
Now (5) Deck’d the fea.] i.e. cover'd : fo to deck the table : the deck of a Mip, &c.
(6) By my prescience,] This passage furnishes a prudent and necessary reflection to the mind of the reader, that man's success in life often depends upon some lucky and critical occasion, which, suffered to flip by, may never return again. S. expresses himfelf more fully on this subject in another place. Some other poet too presents us with a poetical image to the same purpose, where he says that opportunity is “ bald behind.” Mrs. G.
(7) On the beak.] The beak was a strong pointed body, at the head of the ancient gallies : it is used here for the a
Now in the waite, the deck, in every cabin,
forecastle. The waste is the part between the quarter-deck and the forecastle. 7.
0) A fever of the mind.] A fever of the madde, the folio reads: and I apprehend properly: the editors in general: read, a fever of the mind; which appears to me rather a too common expression ; besides, the following words-and play'd some tricks of defperation, seem to confirm the old reading. Perhaps this fever of the madde was some partiçularly violent fever that rendered the persons absolutely delirious; something like a calenture, a diftemper peculiar to failors, wherein they imagine the lea to be a green field, and will throw themselves into it, if not prevented. I have heard some propose to read,
But felt the fever of the mad,
Ariel's Expresion a little above, is very fine and pic
As is the following.
Prospero's 0) So, in the scripture, Thou caufest me to ride upon the wind, Job. xxx, 22. The Lord rideth on the swift cloud, Il. xix. 1. Extol him that rideth upon the heavens, Pf. xlviii, 4. Satan, speaking of what was appointed them to do in hell, (Milton, B. 1. 150.) says,
Whate'er his business be,
Or do his errands in the gloomy deep. And in the 2d Book, v. 500, Milton has the same expression with S.
To ride the air
In whirlwind. That fine expression in the Psalmist, He walketh upon the wings of the wind, is a good comment on to run upon the Marp wind : as is the following from Ecclefiafticus, of bakd with frost-chap. xliii, 20, 21. When the cold north-wind bloweth, it devoureth the mountains and burneth the wilderness, and confumeth the grass as fire. So Milton, B. 2. 594.
The parching air
Boréa penetrabile frigus adurat.
Prospero's Threat to Ariel.
Caliban's (10) Thou hast bowlid, &c.] Speaking of Ariel's former situation, he says that,
He did went bis groans
As fast as mill-wheels strike. That the character and conduct of Prospero may be understood, something must be known of enchantment, which supplied all the marvellous found in the romances of the middle ages. This system seems to be founded on the opinion that the fallen fpirits, having different degrees of guilt, had different habitations allotted them at their expulsion; some being confined in hell, fome (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our poet's age, expresses it) dispersed in air, fome on earth, fome in water, others in caves, dens, or minerals under the earth. Of these, some were more malignant and mischievous than others. The earthy spirits seem to have been thought the most depraved, and the aërial the least vitiated. Thus Prospero observes of Ariel:
Thou wajt a spirit too delicate
To aüt her earthy and abhorr'd commands, Over these fpirits a power might be obtained by certaina: rites perforined, or charms learned. This power was called The black Art, or Knowledge of Enchantment. The enchanter being (as king James observes in his Demonology) one who commands the devil, whereas the witch serves him. Those who thought best of this art, the existence of which was, I am afraid, believed very seriously, held, that certain sounds and characters had a physical power over spirits, and compelled their agency ; others, who condemned the practice, which in reality was surely never practised, were of opinion, with more reason, that the power of charms, arose only from compact, and was no more than the spirits voluntary allowed them for the seduction of man. The art was held by all, though not
Caliban's Curfes. As wicked dew, (11) as e'er my mother brush'd . With raven's feather from unwholesome fen,
equally criminal, yet unlawful'; and therefore Caufabon, speaking of one who had commerce with spirits, blames hiin, though he imagines him one of the best kind, who dealt with them by way of command. Thus Prospero repents of his art in the last scene. The spirits were always considered as in some measure enslaved to the enchanter, at least for a time, and as serving with unwillingness; thereföre Ariel so often begs for liberty; and Caliban observes, that the spirits serve Prospero with no good will, but hate bim rootedly.
(11) As wicked dew, &c.] S. hath very artificially given the air of the antique to the language of Caliban, in order to heighten the grotesque of his character. As here he uses wicked for unwholefome. So Sir John Maundevile, in his Travels, p. 334. edit. Lond. 1725.- at all tymes brennethe a vellelle of cristalle fulle of bawme for to zeven gode smalle and odour to the emperour, and to voyden away alle WYKKEDE eyres and corruptions. [So Spencer fays, wicked weed; fo, in opposition, we say herbs or medicines have virtues.' Bacon mentions virtuous bezoar, and Dryden virtuous herbs.] It was a tradition, it seems, that lord Falkland, lord C. 7. Vaughan, and Mr. Selden concurred in observing, that S. 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 S. gave his language a certain grotesque air of the savage and antique, which it certainly has." See W.
@Whence thefe critics derived the notion of a new language, appropriated to Caliban, I cannot find, says J. they certainly mistook brutality of sentiment for uncouthners 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 S. has thought proper to be tow upon him: his diction is indeed fomewhat clouded by the gloominess of his temper, and