Abbildungen der Seite

Out of the dukedom; and confer fair Milan,
With all the honours, on my brother: Whereon,
A treacherous army levied, one midnight
Fated to the purpose, did Antonio open

The gates of Milan; and, i' the dead of darkness,
The ministers for the purpose hurried thence
Me, and thy crying self.


Alack, for pity!

I, not rememb❜ring how I cried out then,
Will cry it o'er again; it is a hint,9
That wrings mine eyes.1



Hear a little further, And then I'll bring thee to the present business Which now's upon us; without the which, this story Were most impertinent.


That hour destroy us?


Wherefore did they not

Well demanded, wench;

My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not;
(So dear the love my people bore me) nor set
A mark so bloody on the business; but
With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark;

Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepar'd

[blocks in formation]

cried out -] Perhaps we should read-cried on't. Steevens.

a hint,] Hint is suggestion. So, in the beginning speech

of the second act:

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

A similar thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra, Act V. sc.i:

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

1 That wrings mine eyes.] i. e. squeezes the water out of them. The old copy reads

"That wrings mine eyes to't."

To what? every reader will ask. I have, therefore, by the advice of Dr. Farmer, omitted these words, which are unnecessary to the metre: hear, at the beginning of the next speech, being used as a dissyllable.

To wring, in the sense I contend for, occurs in the Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I. sc. ii: "his cook, or his laundry, or his washer, and his wringer."


A rotten carcass of a boat,2 not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it:3 there they hoist us,
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us; to sigh
To the winds, whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.


Was I then to you!


Alack! what trouble

O! a cherubim

Thou wast, that did preserve me! Thou didst smile,
Infused with a fortitude from heaven,

When I have deck'd the sea with drops full salt;


of a boat,] The old copy reads-of a butt. Henley. It was corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.



had quit it:] Old copy-have quit it. Corrected by Mr. Malone.

4 To cry to the sea that roar'd to us;] This conceit occurs again in the Winter's Tale:- -"How the poor souls roar'd, and the sea mock'd them," &c.



deck'd the sea-] To deck the sea, if explained, to honour, adorn, or dignify, is, indeed, ridiculous, but the original import of the verb deck, is to cover; so, in some parts, they yet say deck the table. This sense may be borne, but perhaps the poet wrote fleck'd, which I think is still used in rustic language of drops falling upon water. Dr. Warburton reads mock'd; the Oxford edition brack'd. Johnson.

Verstegan, p. 61. speaking of beer, says "So the overdecking or covering of beer came to be called berham, and afterwards barme." This very well supports Dr. Johnson's explanation. The following passage in Antony and Cleopatra may countenance the verb deck, in its common acceptation:

[ocr errors]


do not please sharp fate

grace it with your sorrows."

What is this but decking it with tears?

Again, our author's Caliban says, Act III. sc. ii:

[ocr errors]

He has brave utensils,

"Which, when he has a house, he'll deck withal." Steevens. To deck, I am told, signifies in the North, to sprinkle. See Ray's DICT. of North Country words, in verb. to deg, and to deck; and his DICT. of South Country words, in verb. dag. The latter signifies dew upon the grass!-hence daggle-tailed. In Cole's Latin Dictionary, 1679, we find," To dag, collutulo, irroro.”


A correspondent, who signs himself Eboracensis, proposes that this contested word should be printed degg'd, which, says he, signifies sprinkled, and is in daily use in the North of England. When


my burden groan'd; which rais'd in me

An undergoing stomach, to bear up

Against what should ensue.


Pro. By Providence divine.

How came we ashore?

Some food we had, and some fresh water, that
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,

Out of his charity, (who being then appointed
Master of this design,) did give us ;7 with

clothes that have been washed are too much dried, it is necessary to moisten them before they can be ironed, which is always done by sprinkling; this operation the maidens universally call degging.


6 An undergoing stomach,] Stomach is stubborn resolution. So, Horace: " gravem Pelidæ stomachum." Steevens.

7 Some food we had, and some fresh water, that

A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,

Out of his charity, (who being then appointed

Master of this design,) did give us;] Mr. Steevens has suggested, that we might better read-he being then appointed; and so we should certainly now write: but the reading of the old copy is the true one, that mode of phraseology being the idiom of Shakspeare's time. So, in the Winter's Tale:


This your son-in-law,

"And son unto the king, (whom heavens directing,)
"Is troth-plight to your daughter."

[merged small][ocr errors]

waving thy hand,

"Which, often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
"Now humble as the ripest mulberry,

"That will not hold the handling; or, say to them," &c.


I have left the passage in question as I found it, though with slender reliance on its integrity.

What Mr. Malone has styled "the idiom of Shakspeare's time," can scarce deserve so creditable a distinction. It should be remembered that the instances, adduced by him, in support of his position, are not from the early quartos, which he prefers on the score of accuracy, but from the folio 1623, the inaccuracy of which, with equal judgment, he has censured.

The genuine idiom of our language, at its different periods, can only be ascertained by reference to contemporary writers, whose works were skilfully revised, as they passed through the press, and are therefore unsuspected of corruption. A sufficient number of such books are before us. If they supply examples of phraseology, resembling that which Mr. Malone would establish, there is an end of controversy between us: Let, however, the

Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries,
Which since have steaded much; so, of his gentleness,
Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me,

From my own library, with volumes, that

I prize above my dukedom.


But ever see that man!


'Would I might

Now I arise: 8.

Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow.

Here in this island we arriv'd; and here

Have I, thy school-master, made thee more profit
Than other princes can, that have more time
For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.

disputed phrases be brought to their test before they are admitted; for I utterly refuse to accept the jargon of theatres and the mistakes of printers, as the idiom or grammar of the age, in which Shakspeare wrote. Every gross departure from literary rules may be countenanced, if we are permitted to draw examples from vitiated pages; and our readers, as often as they meet with restorations, founded on such authorities, may justly exclaim with Othello," Chaos is come again." Steevens.

8 Now I arise:] Why does Prospero arise? Or, if he does it to ease himself by change of posture, why need he interrupt his narrative to tell his daughter of it? Perhaps these words belong to Miranda, and we should read:

Mir. 'Would I might

But ever see that man!-Now I arise.

Pro. Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow.

Prospero, in p. 15, had directed his daughter to sit down, and learn the whole of this history; having previously by some magical charm disposed her to fall asleep. He is watching the progress of this charm; and in the mean time tells her a long story, often asking her whether her attention be still awake. The story being ended (as Miranda supposes) with their coming on shore, and partaking of the conveniences provided for them by the loyal humanity of Gonzalo, she therefore first expresses a wish to see the good old man, and then observes that she may now arise, as the story is done. Prospero, surprised that his charm does not yet work, bids her sit still; and then enters on fresh matter to amuse the time, telling her (what she knew before) that he had been her tutor, &c. But soon perceiving her drowsiness coming he breaks off abruptly, and leaves her still sitting to her slum


bers. Blackstone.

As the words “ now I arise”—may signify, “now I rise in my narration,”—“ now my story heightens in its consequence,” I have left the passage in question undisturbed. We still say, that the interest of a drama rises or declines. Steevens.

Mira. Heavens thank you for't! And now, I pray

you, sir,

(For still 'tis beating in my mind,) your reason

For raising this sea-storm?


Know thus far forth.

By accident most strange, bountiful fortune,
Now my dear lady,' hath mine enemies
Brought to this shore: and by my prescience
I find my zenith doth depend upon

A most auspicious star; whose influence
If now I court not, but omit,1 my fortunes
Will ever after droop. Here cease more questions;
Thou art inclin'd to sleep; 'tis a good dulness,2
And give it way; I know thou can'st not choose.-
[Miranda sleeps.
Come away, servant, come: I am ready now;
Approach, my Ariel; come.

Enter ARIEL.

Ari. All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come To answer thy best pleasure; be't to fly,3

9 Now my dear lady,] i. e. now my auspicious mistress. Steevens. 1 I find my zenith doth depend upon


A most auspicious star; whose influence

If now I court not, but omit, &c.] So, in Julius Cæsar:
"There is a tide in the affairs of man,

"Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
"Omitted, all the voyage of their life

"Is bound in shallows and in miseries."


'tis a good dulness,] Dr. Warburton rightly observes, that this sleepiness, which Prospero by his art had brought upon Miranda, and of which he knew not how soon the effect would begin, makes him question her so often whether she is attentive to his story. Johnson.

3 All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come

To answer thy best pleasure; be't to fly, &c.] Imitated by

Fletcher in The Faithful Shepherdess :

66 -tell me sweetest,

"What new service now is meetest
"For the satyre; shall I stray

"In the middle ayre, and stay

"The failing racke, or nimbly take

"Hold by the moone, and gently make

"Suit to the pale queene of night,
"For a beame to give thee light!
"Shall I dive into the sea,

« ZurückWeiter »