« VorigeDoorgaan »
No wonder, sir;
My language! heavens !--
How! the best?
Fer. A single thing, as I am now, that wonders
Alack, for mercy!
The duke of Milan,
Mira. Why speaks my father so ungently? This
O, if a virgin,
Soft, sir! one word more.-
[Aside. Make the prize light.-One word more; I charge thee, That thou attend me; thou dost here
No, as I am a man.
If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Follow me.-[To FERD.
No; I will resist such entertainment, till Mine enemy has more power.
[He draws, and is charmed from moving." Mira.
O dear father,
What, I say,
Beseech you, father!
Sir, have pity;
Silence ! one word more
a This is the original stage-direction.
b Smollett suggested that gentle has here the sense of high-born, noble; and therefore courageous.
So they are:
It works :-Come on.-
[T. FERD..and Mir. Hark, what thou else shalt do me.
[T. ARIEL Mira.
Be of comfort;
Thou shalt be as free
To the syllable.
1 SCENE I.-“ Boatswain,"' &c. Upon this scene Dr. Johnson has the following remark :-“ In this naval dialogue, perhaps the first example of sailors' language exhibited on the stage, there are, as I have been told by a skilful navigator, some inaccuracies and contradictory orders." Malone, in reply to this, very properly pointed out that the orders should be considered as given not at once, but successively, as the emergency required. In Boswell's edition we have a highly valuable communication from the second Lord Mulgrave, showing most conclusively that Shakspere's technical knowledge of seamanshiy must have been the result of the most accurate personal observation, or, what is perhaps more difficult, of the power of combining and applying the information derived from others. Lord Mulgrave supposes Shakspere must have acquired this technical knowledge “ by conversation with some of the most skilful seamen of that time.” He adds, “no books had then been published on the subject.' Lord Mulgrave then exhibits the ship in five positions, showing how strictly the words of the dialogue represent these. We transcribe the general observations by which these technical illustrations are introduced :
“ The succession of events is strictly observed in the natural progress of the distress described ; the expedients adopted are the most proper that could have been devised for a chance of safety; and it is neither to the want of skill of the seamen nor the bad qualities of the ship, but solely to the power of Prospero, that the shipwreck is to be attributed.
“ The words of command are not only strictly proper, but are only such as point the object to be attained, and no superfluous ones of detail. Shakspeare's ship was too well manned to make it necessary to tell the seamen how they were to do it, as well as what they were to do.
“ He has shown a knowledge of the new improvements, as well as the doubtful
points of seamanship: one of the latter he has introduced under the only circumstances in which it was indisputable.”
Mr. Campbell gives the testimony of Captain Glascock, R.N., to the correctness of Shakspere in nautical matters :-" The Boatswain in “The Tempest’ delivers himself in the true vernacular style of the forecastle.”
2 SCENE I.-“ Down with the topmast." Lord Mulgrave has the following note on this direction:-“ The striking the topmasts was a new invention in Shakspeare's time, which he here very properly introduces. Sir Henry Manwaring says, ' It is not yet agreed amongst all seamen whether it is better for a ship to hull with her topmast up or down.' In the Postscript to the Dictionary he afterwards gives his own opinion :- If you have sea-room it is never good to strike the topmast.' Shakspeare has placed his ship in the situation in which it was indisputably right to strike the topmast—where he had not searoom.”
3 SCENE II.-I'll manacle thy neck and feet together.”' We have given an engraving at the head of these Illustrations which explains this threat better than any description.