Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

I saw him beat the surges under him,
And ride upon their backs; he trod the water,
Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted
The surge most swoln that met him ; his bold head
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oared
Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
To the shore, that o'er his wave-worn basis bowed,
As stooping to relieve him : I not doubt
He came alive to land.
Alon.

No, no, he's gone!
Seb. Sir, you may thank yourself for this great loss,
That would not bless our Europe with your daughter,
But rather lose her to an African ;
Where she, at least, is banished from your eye,
Who hath cause to wet the grief on't.'
Alon.

Prithee, peace.
Seb. You were kneeled to, and importuned otherwise
By all of us; and the fair soul herself
Weighed 2 between loathness and obedience, at
Which end o' the beam she'd bow. We have lost your son,
I fear, for ever. Milan and Naples have
More widows in them of this business' making,
Than we bring men to comfort them :
The fault's your own.

Alon. So is the dearest o' the loss.
Gon.

My lord Sebastian,
The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness,
And time to speak it in; you

rub the sore, When you should bring the plaster. Seb.

Very well.4

1 Who hath cause, &c.] Which hath cause to weep for the grievance of it, i.e. of being denied the sight of so beautiful an object. ? Weighed.] Deliberated.

Time.] Proper season. * Very well.] Well, or very well, often denoted all right.

Very foul.

Ant. And most chirurgconly.

Gon. It is foul weather in us all, good sir,
When you are cloudy.
Seb.

Foul weather !
Ant.
Gon. Had I plantation of this isle, my lord-
Ant. He'd sow it with nettle-seed.
Seb.

Or docks, or mallows.
Gon. And were the king on 't, what would I do?
Seb. 'Scape being drunk for want of wine.

Gon. I' the commonwealth I would by contraries
Execute all things: For no kind of traffic
Would I admit; no name of magistrate;
Letters should not be known; riches, poverty,
And use of service, none;. contract, succession,
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;
No occupation; all men idle, all,
And women too, but innocent and pure:
No sovereignty-
Seb.

And yet he would be king on 't! Ant. The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning

Gon. All things in common nature should produce
Without sweat or endeavour: treason, felony,
Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine,
Would I not have; but nature should bring forth,
Of its own kind, all foison,3 all abundance,
To feed my innocent people.

| Very foul.] That is, very foul wit. 2 Plantation.] The colonising.

8 Foison.] A French word, meaning plenty. We must not imagino Gonzalo to be serious in his scheme of a new commonwealth; he was trying to beguile Alonso's sorrow, and designed, as he afterwards says,

ito minister occasion of laughter to Antonio and Sebastian.

Seb. No marrying 'mong his subjects ?
Ant. None, nian; all idle whores and knaves.

Gon. I would with such perfection govern, sir,
To excel the golden age.
Seb.

Save his majesty!
Ant. Long live Gonzalo !
Gon.

And, do

you
mark

me,

sirAlon. Prithee, no more: thou dost talk nothing to me.

Gon. I do well believe your highness; and did it to minister occasion to these gentlemen, who are of such sensible and nimble lungs, that they always use to laugh at nothing

Ant. 'T was you we laughed at.

Gon. Who in this kind of merry fooling am nothing to you : 2 so you may continue, and laugh at nothing still.

Ant. What a blow was there given !
Seb. An it had not fallen flat-long 3

Gon. You are gentlemen of brave mettle; you would lift the moon out of her sphere, if she would continue in it five weeks without changing.'

Gonzalo's discourse is derived from Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essays, i. 30, where we find the following passage :—' It is a nation, would I answer Plato, that hath no kind of traffic, no knowledge of letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate nor of politic superiority; no use of service, of riches, or of poverty; no contracts, no succession, no partitions ; no occupation, but idle; no respect of kindred, but common; no apparel, but natural; no use of wine, corn, or metal. The very words that import lying, falsehood, treason, dissimulations, covetousness, envy, detraction, and pardon, were never heard amongst them.'

"Of such sensible and nimble lungs.] Of such excitable lungs. See Hamlet, ii. 2, and the present Editor's note in loc. • The clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickled o' the scre.'

? To you.] Compared to you.
Flat-long.] Flatly, not with any edge or point.

If she would continue, &c.] If she took five weeks instead of four from change to change.

Enter Ariel invisible ; solemn music playing.
Seb. We would so, and then go a bat-fowling.
Ant. Nay, good my lord, be not angry.
Gon. No, I warrant you; I will not adventure my

discretion so weakly. Will you laugh me asleep, for I am very heavy. Ant. Go sleep, and hear us.

[All sleep but ALON., SEB., and ANT.
Alon. What, all so soon asleep! I wish mine eyes
Would, with themselves, shut up my thoughts: I find
They are inclined to do so.
Seb.

Please you, sir,
Do not omit the heavy offer of it:
It seldom visits sorrow; when it doth,
It is a comforter.
Ant.

We two, my lord,
Will guard your person while you take your rest,
And watch your safety.
Alon.

Thank you.-Wondrous heavy!

[ALONSO sleeps. Exit ARIEL.
Seb. What a strange drowsiness possesses them!
Ant. It is the quality o' the climate.
Seb.

Why
Doth it not then our eyelids sink? I find not
Myself disposed to sleep.
Ant.

Nor I; my spirits are nimble.
They fell together all, as by consent;
They dropped, as by a thunder-stroke. What might,
Worthy Sebastian-0, what might2-No more l-

* Bat-fowling.] A method of taking birds in the dark by rousing them from their nests and stupefying them with a sudden blaze of light, was called bat-fowling.

2 What might.] Antonio is here venturing to suggest what might now be done, viz, the murder of Sebastian's brother Alonso.

And yet methinks I see it in thy face,
What thou shouldst be : the occasion speaks thee; and
My strong imagination sees a crown
Dropping upon thy head.
Seb.

What, art thou waking ?
Ant. Do you not hear me speak?
Seb.

I do; and surely
It is a sleepy language, and thou speak’st
Out of thy sleep. What is it thou didst say?
This is a strange repose, to be asleep
With eyes wide open; standing, speaking, moving,
And yet so fast asleep.
Ant.

Noble Sebastian,
Thou lett'st thy fortune sleep-die rather;? wink'st
Whiles thou art waking.
Seb.

Thou dost snore distinctly;
There's meaning in thy snores.

Ant. I am more serious than my custom : you
Must be so too, if heed me; which to do
Trebles thee o'er.
Seb.

Well, I am standing water.3
Ant. I'll teach you how to flow.
Seb.

Do so: to ebb
Hereditary sloth instructs me.
Ant.

o,
If
you
but knew how

you
the
purpose

cherish
Whiles thus you mock it! how, in stripping it,
You more invest it! Ebbing men, indeed,
Most often do so near the bottom run
By their own fear or sloth.

· Standing.] That is, they were but now standing. ? Die rather.] That is, or rather thou lett'st it die. Standing water.] Still and attentive.

The purpose cherish, &c.] Argue in support of what I mean by the very jest you make upon my words,

« AnteriorContinuar »