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Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin,
I flam'd amazement: Sometimes, I'd divide,
And burn in many places; on the top-maft,
The yards and bowfprit, would I flame diftinctly,
Then meet, and join: Jove's lightnings, the pre-
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O' the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary And fight-out-running were not: The fire, and cracks

Of fulphurous roaring, the moft mighty Neptune Seem'd to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble, Yea, his dread trident fhake.3

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32d book of Pliny's Natural Hiftory: our goodly tall and proud fhips, fo well armed in the beake-head with yron pikes," &c.

STEEVENS.

9 Now in the waift,] The part between the quarter-deck and the forecastle. JOHNSON.

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Sometimes, I'd divide,

And burn in many places ;] Perhaps our author, when he wrote these lines, remembered the following paffage in Hackluyt's Voyages, 1598: "I do remember that in the great and boysterous ftorme of this foule weather, in the night there came upon the toppe of our maine yard and maine-mast a certaine little light, much like unto the light of a little candle, which the Spaniards call the Cuerpo Santo. This light continued aboord our fhip about three houres, flying from mafte to mafte, and from top to top; and fometimes it would be in two or three places at once.' MALONE.

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Burton fays, that the Spirits of fire, in form of fire-drakes and blazing stars," oftentimes fit on fhip-mafts," &c. Melanch. P. I. § 2. p. 30. edit. 1632. T. WArton.

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precurfors

O' the dreadful thunder-claps,] So, in King Lear!
" 'Vant couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts."

STEEVENS.

3 Yea, his dread trident Shake.] Left the metre fhould appear defective, it is neceffary to apprize the reader, that in Warwickfhire and other midland counties, Shake is ftill pronounced by the common people as if it was written fhaake, a diffyllable. FARMER.

PRO.

My brave spirit! Who was fo firm, fo conftant, that this coil

Would not infect his reason ?

ARI.
Not a foul
But felt a fever of the mad,+ and play'd

Some tricks of defperation: All, but mariners,
Plung'd in the foaming brine, and quit the veffel,5
Then all a-fire with me: the king's fon, Ferdinand,
With hair up-staring (then like reeds, not hair,)
Was the firft man that leap'd; cried, Hell is empty,
And all the devils are here.

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The word shake is fo printed in Golding's verfion of the 9th book of Ovid's Metamorphofes, edit. 1575:

"Hee quaak't and haak't and looked pale," &c.

STEEVENS.

4 But felt a fever of the mad,] If it be at all neceffary to explain the meaning, it is this: Not a foul but felt fuch a fever as madmen feel, when the frantic fit is upon them. STEEVENS. sand quit the vessel,] Quit is, I think, here used for quitted. So, in K. Lear:

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"Twas he inform'd against him,

"And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment Might have the freer courfe.

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So, in King Henry VI. P. I. lift, for lifted:

"He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered." MALONE. 6 -fuftaining- i. e. their garments that bore them up and fupported them. Thus, in Chapman's tranflation of the eleventh Iliud:

"Who fell, and crawled upon the earth with his fuftaining palmes.' Again, in K. Lear, A& IV. fc. iv: "In our fuftaining corn."

But frefher than before: and, as thou bad'ft me,
In troops I have difpers'd them 'bout the isle:
The king's fon have I landed by himself;
Whom I left cooling of the air with fighs,
In an odd angle of the ifle, and fitting,
His arms in this fad knot.

PRO.

The mariners, fay, how thou haft dispos'd,
And all the reft o' the fleet?

ARI.

Of the king's fhip,

Safely in harbour

Is the king's fhip; in the deep nook, where once
Thou call'dft me up at midnight to fetch dew
From the ftill-vex'd Bermoothes," there fhe's hid:

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Her clothes fpread wide

"And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up." Mr. M. Mafon, however, obferves that" the word fuftaining in this place does not mean fupporting, but enduring; and by their fuftaining garments, Ariel means their garments which bore, without being injured, the drenching of the fea." STEEVENS.

7 From the ftill-vex'd Bermoothes,] Fletcher, in his Women Pleafed, fays," The devil fhould think of purchafing that eggShell to victual out a witch for the Beermoothes." Smith, in his account of these islands, p. 172, fays, " that the Bermudas were fo fearful to the world, that many called them The Ifle of Devils.P. 174.-to all feamen no lefs terrible than an inchanted den of furies." And no wonder, for the clime was extremely subject to ftorms and hurricanes; and the islands were furrounded with fcattered rocks lying fhallowly hid under the surface of the water. WARBURTON.

The epithet here applied to the Bermudas, will be best underftood by those who have seen the chafing of the fea over the rugged rocks by which they are furrounded, and which render access to them fo dangerous. It was in our poet's time the current opinion, that Bermudas was inhabited by monsters, and devils.—Seteboș, the god of Caliban's dam, was an American devil, worshipped by the giants of Patagonia. HENLEY.

Again, in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612: "Sir, if you have made me tell a lye, they'll fend me on a voyage to the island of Hogs and Devils, the Bermudas."

STEEVENS.

The mariners all under hatches ftow'd;

Whom, with a charm join'd to their fuffer'd labour,
I have left afleep: and for the rest o' the fleet,
Which I difpers'd, they all have met again;
And are upon the Mediterranean flote,

Bound fadly home for Naples

Suppofing that they faw the king's fhip wreck'd,
And his great perfon perish.

PRO.

Ariel, thy charge Exactly is perform'd; but there's more work : What is the time o' the day ??

ARI.

Paft the mid feafon.

The opinion that Bermudas was haunted with evil spirits continued fo late as the civil wars. In a little piece of Sir John Berkinghead's intitled, Two Centuries of Paul's Church-yard, una cum indice expurgatorio, &c. 12°, in page 62, under the title Cafes of Confcience, is this:

"34. Whether Bermudas and the Parliament-house lie under one planet, feeing both are haunted with devils." PERCY..

Bermudas was on this account the cant name for fome privileged place, in which the cheats and riotous bullies of Shakspeare's time affembled. So, in The Devil is an Afs, by Ben Jonson :

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keeps he ftill your quarter

"In the Bermudas ?"

Again, in one of his Epiftles:

"Have their Bermudas, and their straights i' th' Strand.” Again, in The Devil is an Afs:

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I gave my word

"For one that's run away to the Bermudas." STEEVENS.

the Mediterranean flote,] Flote is wave. Flot. Fr.

STEEVENS.

9 What is the time o' the day ?] This paffage needs not be disturbed, it being common to ask a question, which the next moment enables us to answer: he that thinks it faulty, may eafily adjuft it thus:

Pro. What is the time o' the day? Paft the mid feafon?
Ari. At least two glaffes.

Pro. The time 'twixt fix and now-.

JOHNSON.

Mr. Upton propofes to regulate this paffage differently:
Ariel. Paft the mid Jeafon, at least two glaffes.
-Prof. The time, &c. MALONE.

PRO. At least two glaffes: The time 'twixt fix and now,

Muft by us both be spent most preciously.

ARI. Is there more toil? Since thou doft give me pains,

Let me remember thee what thou haft promis'd,
Which is not yet perform'd me.

PRO.

What is't thou can'ft demand?

ARI.

How now ? moody?

My liberty.

I pray thee

PRO. Before the time be out? no more.

ARI. Remember, I have done thee worthy fervice; Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, ferv'd1 Without or grudge, or grumblings: thou didst

promife

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To bate me a full year.

PRO.

Doft thou forget

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1 Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, ferv'd.—] The old copy has

"Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, ferv'd-.” The repetition of a word will be found a frequent mistake in the ancient editions. RITSON.

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Doft thou forget-] That the character and conduct of Profpero may be understood, fomething must be known of the fyftem of enchantment, which supplied all the marvellous found in the romances of the middle ages. This fyftem feems to be founded on the opinion that the fallen spirits, having different degrees of guilt, had different habitations allotted them at their expulfion, fome being confined in hell, fome (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our poet's age, expreffes it,) difperfed in air, fome on earth, fome in water, others in caves, dens, or minerals under the earth. Of thefe, fome were more malignant and mischievous than others. The earthy spirits feem to have been thought the moft depraved, and the aerial the lefs vitiated. Thus Profpero obferves of Ariel : Thou waft a fpirit too delicate

To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands.

Over these spirits a power might be obtained by certain rites per

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