« AnteriorContinuar »
This musick crept by me upon the waters ® ;
Of his bones are coral made
Nothing of him that doth fade',
The placing Ferdinand in such a situation that he could still gaze upon the wrecked vessel, is one of Shakspeare's touches of nature. Again, in its ordinary sense, is inadmissible; for this would import that Ferdinand's tears had ceased for a time; whereas he himself tells us, afterwards, that from the hour of his father's wreck they had never ceased to flow :
Myself am Naples,
“ The king my father wreck’d.” However, as our author sometimes forgot to compare the different parts of his play, I have made no change. MALONE.
By the word—again, I suppose the Prince means only to describe the repetition of his sorrows. Besides, it
from Miranda's description of the storm, that the ship had been swallowed by the waves, and, consequently, could no longer be an object of sight. Steevens.
Miranda supposed that this was the case; but we learn from Ariel that it was not so. See p. 44:
Of the king's ship,
Safely in harbour “ Is the king's ship,” &c. MALONE. 8 This musick CREPT by me upon the waters ;] So, in Milton's Masque :
a soft and solemn breathing sound
“ And stole upon the air." STEEVENS. 9 Full fathom five thy father lies ; &c.] Ariel's lays, (which have been condemned by Gildon as trifling, and defended not very successfully by Dr. Warburton,] however seasonable and efficacious, must be allowed to be of no supernatural dignity or ele
But doth suffer a sea-change?
Burden, ding-dong? Hark ! now I hear them,-ding-dong, bell*. Fer. The ditty does remember my drown'd fa
This is no mortal business, nor no sound
gance; they express nothing great, nor reveal any thing above mortal discovery
The reason for which Ariel is introduced thus trifling is, that he and his companions are evidently of the fairy kind, an order of beings to which tradition has always ascribed a sort of diminutive agency, powerful but ludicrous, a humorous and frolick controlment of nature, well expressed by the songs of Ariel. Johnson.
The songs in this play, Dr. Wilson, who reset and published two of them, tells us, in his Court Ayres, or Ballads, published at Oxford, 1660, that Full fathom five,” and “Where the bee sucks," had been first set by Robert Johnson, a composer contemporary with Shakspeare. BURNEY.
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change-] The meaning is–Every thing about him, that is liable to alteration, is changed.
Steevens. But doth suffer a sea-CHANGE —] So, in Milton's Masque :
“ And underwent a quick immortal change.” Steevens. 3 BURDEN, ding-dong,] It should be
Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong bell." FARMER. 4 Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell : Hark? now I hear them,-DING-DONG, bell.
Burden, DING-DONG.] So, in The Golden Garland of Princely Delight, &c. 13th edition, 1690 :
Corydon's doleful knell to the tune of Ding, dong."
** I must go seek a new love,
5 That the earth owes:] To owe, in this place, as well as many others, signifies to own. So, in Othello :
Pro. The fringed curtains of thine eye advance And say, what thou seest yond'. MIRA.
What is't? a spirit ? Lord, how it looks about ! Believe me, sir, It carries a brave form :-But 'tis a spirit. Pro. No, wench; it eats and sleeps, and hath
I might call him
It goes on?, I see [Aside. As my soul prompts it:--Spirit, fine spirit! I'll free
thee Within two days for this. FER.
Most sure, the goddess
--that sweet sleep
“ Which thou ow'dst yesterday.” Again, in The Tempest :
thou dost here usurp - The name thou ow'st not.” To use the word in this sense is not peculiar to Shakspeare. I meet with it in Beaumont and Fletcher's Beggar's Bush :
If now the beard be such, what is the prince
" That owes the beard ?” STEEVENS. 6 The FRINGED CURTAINS, &c.] The same expression occurs in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609:
her eyelids “Begin to part their fringes of bright gold.” Again, in Sidney's Arcadia, lib. i. : Sometimes
my eyes would lay themselves open-or cast my lids, as curtains, over the image of beauty her presence had painted in them." STEEVENS.
7. It goes on,] The old copy reads—“ It goes on, I see,” &c. But as the words I see are useless, and an incumbrance to the metre, I have omitted them. STEEVENS.
On whom these airs attend ®!-Vouchsafe, my
No wonder, sir;
songs of Ariel :
8 Most sure, &c.] It seems, that Shakspeare, in The Tempest, hath been suspected of translating some expressions of Virgil ; witness the O Dea certe. I presume we are here directed to the passage, where Ferdinand says of Miranda, after hearing the
“ Most sure, the goddess
« On whom these airs attend ! And so very small Latin is sufficient for this formidable translation, that, if it be thought any honour to our poet, I am loth to deprive him of it; but his honour is not built on such a sandy foundation. Let us turn to a real translator, and examine whether the idea might not be fully comprehended by an English reader, supposing it necessarily borrowed from Virgil. Hexameters in our language are almost forgotten; we will quote therefore this time from Stanyhurst:
“O to thee, fayre virgin, what terme may rightly be fitted ? “Thy tongue, thy visage no mortal frayltie resembleth.
No doubt, a goddesse !" Edit: 1583. FARMER. 9 — certainly a maid.] Nothing could be more prettily imagined to illustrate the singularity of her character, than this pleasant mistake. She had been bred up in the rough and plaindealing documents of moral philosophy, which teaches us the knowledge of ourselves ; and was an utter stranger to the flattery invented by vicious and designing men to corrupt the other sex. So that it could not enter into her imagination, that complaisance, and a desire of appearing amiable, qualities of humanity which she had been instructed, in her moral lessons, to cultivate, could ever degenerate into such excess, as that any one should be willing to have his fellow-creature believe that he thought her a goddess, or an immortal. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton has here found a beauty which I think the author never intended. Ferdinand asks her not whether she was a created being, a question which, if he meant it, he has ill expressed, but whether she was unmarried ; for after the dialogue which Fer.
My language ! heavens !I am the best of them that speak this speech, Were I but where 'tis spoken.
Prospero's interruption produces, he goes on pursuing his former question :
“O if a virgin,
“ I'll make you queen of Naples." Johnson. A passage in Lyly's Galathea seems to countenance the present text : “ The question among men is common, are you a maide ?" --yet I cannot but think, that Dr. Warburton reads very rightly: “ If you
be made, or no.” When we meet with a harsh expression in Shakspeare, we are usually to look for a play upon words. Fletcher closely imitates The Tempest in his Sea Voyage : and he introduces Albert in the same manner to the ladies of his Desert Island:
“ Be not offended, goddesses, that I fall
“ Thus prostrate,” &c. Shakspeare himself had certainly read, and had probably now in his mind, a passage in the third book of The Fairy Queen, between Timias and Belphebe :
“ Angel or goddess ! do I call thee right?
“ And daughter of a woody nymph,” &c. FARMER. So, Milton, Comus, 265 :
Hail, foreign wonder !
• Unless the Goddess," &c. Milton's imitation explains Shakspeare. Maid is certainly a created being, a woman in opposition to goddess. Miranda immediately destroys this first sense by a quibble. In the mean time, I have no objection to read made, i. e. created. The force of the sentiment is the same. Comus is universally allowed to have taken some of its tints from The Tempest. T. WARTON. The first
Made was not suggested by Dr. Warburton, being an emendation introduced by the editor of the fourth folio. It was, I am persuaded, the author's word : There being no article prefixed adds strength to this supposition. Nothing is more common in his plays than a word being used in reply, in a sense different from that in which it was employed by the first speaker. Ferdinand had the moment before called Miranda a goddess; and the words immediately subjoined, .“ Vouchsafe my prayer”-show that he looked up to her as a person of a superior order, and sought her protection and instruction for his conduct, not her love. At this period, there