No wonder, sir;
But certainly a maid.

My language! heavens !--
I am the best of them that speak this speech,
Were I but where 't is spoken.

How! the best?
What wert thou, if the king of Naples heard thee?

Fer. A single thing, as I am now, that wonders
To hear thee speak of Naples : He does hear me;
And that he does I weep: myself am Naples;
Who with mine eyes, never since at ebb, beheld
The king my father wrack’d.

Alack, for mercy!
Fer. Yes, faith, and all his lords ; the duke of Milan,
And his brave son, being twain.

The duke of Milan,
And his more braver daughter, could control thee,
If now 't were fit to do ’t :-At the first sight [Aside.
They have chang'd eyes :-Delicate Ariel,
I'll set thee free for this !-A word, good sir;
I fear you have done yourself some wrong: a word.

Mira. Why speaks my father so ungently? This
Is the third man that e'er I saw; the first
That e’er I sigh’d for: pity move my father
To be inclin'd my way!

O, if a virgin,
And your affection not gone forth, I 'll make you
The queen of Naples.

Soft, sir! one word more.-
They are both in either's powers; but this swift business
I must uneasy make, lest too light winning

[Aside. Make the prize light.-One word more; I charge thee, That thou attend me; thou dost here

The name thou ow’st not; and hast put thyself
Upon this island, as a spy, to win it
From me, the lord on ’t.

No, as I am a man.
Mira. There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple :

If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Good things will strive to dwell with ’t.

Follow me.-[To FERD.
Speak not you for him; he's a traitor.- Come.
I'll manacle thy neck and feet together :3
Sea-water shalt thou drink, thy food shall be
The fresh-brook muscles, wither'd roots, and husks
Wherein the acorn cradled: Follow.

No; I will resist such entertainment, till Mine enemy has more power.

[He draws, and is charmed from moving." Mira.

O dear father,
Make not too rash a trial of him, for
He 's gentle, and not fearful.

What, I say,
My foot my tutor! Put thy sword up, traitor;
Who mak'st a show, but dar'st not strike, thy conscience
Is so possess’d with guilt: come from thy ward;
For I can here disarm thee with this stick,
And make thy weapon drop.

Beseech you, father!
Pro. Hence; hang not on my garments.

Sir, have pity;
I'll be his surety.

Silence ! one word more
Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee. What!
An advocate for an impostor! hush !
Thou think'st there are no more such shapes as he,
Having seen but him and Caliban: Foolish wench!
To the most of men this is a Caliban,
And they to him are angels.

My affections
Are then most humble; I have no ambition
To see a goodlier man.

a This is the original stage-direction.

b Smollett suggested that gentle has here the sense of high-born, noble; and therefore courageous.

Come on; obey :

Thy nerves are in their infancy again,
And have no vigour in them.

So they are:
My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound

My father's loss, the weakness which I feel,
The wrack of all my friends, or this man's threats,
To whom I am subdued, are but light to me,
Might I but through my prison once a day
Behold this maid : all corners else o' the earth
Let liberty make use of; space enough
Have I in such a prison.

It works :-Come on.-
Thou hast done well, fine Ariel !-Follow me.-

[T. FERD..and Mir. Hark, what thou else shalt do me.

[T. ARIEL Mira.

Be of comfort;
My father's of a better nature, sir,
Than he appears by specch; this is unwonted,
Which now came from him.

Thou shalt be as free
As mountain winds : but tlien exactly do
All points of my command.

To the syllable.
Pro. Come, follow: speak not for him. [Exeunt.

[graphic][merged small]

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.

Vol. IV.


« VorigeDoorgaan »