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hanging! make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage! If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable. [Exeunt.

Re-enter Boatswain.

Boats. Down with the top-mast; yare; lower, lower; bring her to try with main-course. [A cry within.] A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office.

Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO. Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink?

Seb. A pox o' your throat! you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!

Boats. Work you, then.

Ant. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noisemaker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art. Gon. I'll warrant him from drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as leaky as an unstanched wench.


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Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold; set her two courses; off to sea again,1 lay her off.


Enter Mariners wet.

Mar. All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!


bring her to try with main-course.] Probably from Hackluyt's Voyages, 1598: “ And when the barke had way, we cut the hauser, and so gate the sea to our friend, and tried out all that day with our maine course." Malone.

This phrase occurs also in Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627, 4to. under the article How to handle a ship in a Storme: "Let us lie at Trie with our maine course; that is, to hale the tacke aboord, the sheat close aft, the boling set up, and the helme tied close aboord." P. 40. Steevens.

9 Lay her a-hold, a-hold;] To lay a ship a-hold, is to bring her to lie as near the wind as she can, in order to keep clear of the land, and get her out to sea. Steevens.


set her two courses; off to sea again,] The courses are the main-sail and fore-sail. This term is used by Raleigh, in his Discourse on Shipping. Johnson.

The passage, as Mr. Holt has observed, should be pointed, Set her two courses; off, &c.

Such another expression occurs in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612: "

your Banners; out with your courses."

off with your Drablers and


Boats. What, must our mouths be cold?

Gon. The king and prince at prayers! let us assist them, For our case is as theirs.

Seb. I am out of patience.

Ant. We are merely2 cheated of our lives by drunkards.

This wide-chapped rascal ;-'Would thou might'st lie drowning,

The washing of ten tides!


He'll be hanged yet;

Though every drop of water swear against it,
And gape at wid'st to glut him.3

[A confused noise within] Mercy on us!-We split, we split!-Farewell, my wife and children!-Farewell, brother! We split, we split, we split!


Ant. Let's all sink with the king.


merely-] In this place, signifies absolutely; in which

sense it is used in Hamlet, Act I. sc. iii:


-Things rank and gross in nature

"Possess it merely."

Again, in Ben Jonson's Poetaster:


at request

"Of some mere friends, some honourable Romans."


3 to glut him.] Shakspeare probably wrote, t'englut him, to swallow him; for which I know not that glut is ever used by him. In this signification englut, from engloutir, Fr. occurs frequently, as in Henry VI:


Thou art so near the gulf "Thou needs must be englutted."

And again, in Timon and Othello. Yet Milton writes glutted offal for swallowed, and therefore perhaps the present text may stand. Johnson.

Thus, in Sir A. Gorges's translation of Lucan, B. VI:


oylie fragments scarcely burn'd, "Together she doth scrape and glut."

i. e. swallow. Steevens.

4 Mercy on us! &c. Farewell, brother! &c.] All these lines have been hitherto given to Gonzalo, who has no brother in the ship. It is probable that the lines succeeding the confused noise within should be considered as spoken by no determinate characters. Johnson.

The hint for this stage direction, &c. might have been received from a passage in the second book of Sidney's Arcadia, where the shipwreck of Pyrocles is described, with this concluding circumstance: "But a monstrous cry, begotten of many roaring voyces, was able to infect with feare," &c. Steevens.

Seb. Let's take leave of him.


Gon. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing: the wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.


The island: before the cell of Prospero.



Mira. If by your art, my dearest father, you have Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them:


The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffer'd

With those that I saw suffer! a brave vessel,
Who had no doubt some noble creatures in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart! Poor souls! they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would

Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er
It should the good ship so have swallowed, and
The freighting souls within her.

Be collected;

No more amazement: Tell your piteous heart,
There's no harm done.

Mira. Pro.

O, woe the day!

No harm.7

5 But that the sea, &c.] So, in King Lear :
"The sea in such a storm as his bare head

"In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up,
"And quench'd the stelled fires." Malone.

Thus in Chapman's version of the 21st Iliad:


as if his waves would drowne the skie, "And put out all the sphere of fire."


6 or e'er-] i. e. before. So in Ecclesiastes, xii. 6: "Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken' Again, in our author's Cymbeline:



or e'er I could

"Give him that parting kiss.”


7 Pro. No harm.] I know not whether Shakspeare did not make Miranda speak thus:

O, woe the day! no harm?

To which Prospero properly answers:

I have done nothing but in care of thee.

Miranda, when she speaks the words, O, woe the day! supposes,

I have done nothing but in care of thee,
(Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter!) who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am; nor that I am more better3
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,9
And thy no greater father.


More to know

Did never méddle with my thoughts.1

'Tis time
I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand,
And pluck my magick garment from me.-So;

[Lays down his mantle. Lie there my art.2-Wipe thou thine eyes; have com


The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd
The very virtue of compassion3 in thee,

not that the crew had escaped, but that her father thought differently from her, and counted their destruction no harm. Johnson.

8 — more better -] This ungrammatical question is very frequent among our oldest writers. So, in The History of Helyas Knight of the Swan, bl. 1. no date, imprinted by Wm. Copland: "And also the more sooner to come, without prolixity, to the true Chronicles," &c. Again, in the True Tragedies of Marius and Scilla," 1594:

"To wait a message of more better worth." Again, ibid:


"That hale more greater than Cassandra now."


- full poor cell,] i. e. a cell in a great degree of poverty. So, in Antony and Cleopatra: "I am full sorry." Steevens.

1 Did never meddle with my thoughts.] i. e. mix with them. To meddle is often used, with this sense, by Chaucer. Hence the substantive medley. The modern and familiar phrase by which that of Miranda may be explained, is-never entered my thoughts→→→ never came into my head. Steevens.

It should rather mean-to interfere, to trouble, to busy itself, as still used in the North, e. g. Don't meddle with me; i. e. Let me alone; Don't molest me, Ritson.

See Howell's Dict. 1660, in v. to meddle 66
; se mesler de."


2 Lie there my art.] Sir Will. Cecil, lord Burleigh, lord high treasurer, &c. in the reign of queen Elizabeth, when he put off his gown at night, used to say, Lie there, lord treasurer. Fuller's Holy State, p. 257. Steevens.


virtue of compassion —] Virtue; the most efficacious part, the energetic quality; in a like sense we say, The virtue of a plant is in the extract, Johnson.

I have, with such provision in mine art,
So safely order'd, that there is no soul-
No, not so much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the vessel'

Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink.
Sit down;

For thou must now know further.

You have often

Begun to tell me what I am; but stopp'd
And left me to a bootless inquisition;
Concluding, Stay, not yet.


The hour's now come;

The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;

Obey, and be attentive. Can'st thou remember
A time before we came unto this cell?

I do not think thou can'st; for then thou wast not
Out three years old.


Certainly, sir, I can.

that there is no soul-] Thus the old editions read; but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read-that there is no soul lost, without any notice of the variation. Mr. Theobald substitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope follows him. To come so near the right, and yet to miss it, is unlucky: the author probably wrote no soil, no stain, no spot; for so Ariel tells : Not a hair perish'd;

On their sustaining garments not a blemish,

But fresher than before.

And Gonzalo, The rarity of it is, that our garments being drenched in the sea, keep notwithstanding their freshness and glosses. Of this emendation I find that the author of notes on The Tempest had a glimpse, but could not keep it. Johnson.

-no soul-] Such interruptions are not uncommon to Shakspeare. He sometimes begins a sentence, and, before he concludes it, entirely changes its construction, because another, more forcible, occurs. As this change frequently happens in conversation, it may be suffered to pass uncensured in the language of the stage. Steevens.

5 not so much perdition as an hair,

Betid to any creature in the vessel, -] Had Shakspeare in his mind St. Paul's hortatory speech to the ship's company, where he assures them that, though they were to suffer shipwreck," not an hair should fall from the head of any of them ?" Acts, xxvii. 34. Ariel afterwards says, " Not a hair perish'd." Holt White.

6 Out three years old.] i. e. Quite three years old, three years ald full-out, complete.

So, in the 4th Act: "And be a boy right out." Steevens.

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