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Come away, servant, come : I am ready now :
To answer thy best pleasure; bet to fly;
Pro. Hast thou, spirit,
Ari. To every article.
Pro. My brave spirit !
Ari. Not a foul
9 Perform'd 10 point) i. e. to the minutest article.
STEEVENS. now on the beak,] The beak was a strong pointed body at the head of the ancient gallies; it is used here for the forccastle, or the bolt-sprit. JOHNSON.
• Nou in the wajie, -] The part between the quarter-deck and the forecastle. JOHNSON. 3 But felt a fever of the mad,-) In all the later editions
changed to a fever of the mind, without rea rity, nor is any notice given of an alteration. Johnson.
Some tricks of desperation : all, but mariners,
6 Hell is empty, “ And all the devils are here."
Pro. Why, that's my spirit!
Ari. Close by, my master.
If it be at all necessary to explain the meaning, it is this : Not a foul but felt such a fever as madmen feel, when the frantic fit is upon them. Steevens.
- Juftaining—] i.e. Their garments that bore them up and supported them. So K. Lear, Act 4. Sc. 4.
“ In our Juftaining corn.” Mr. Edwards was of opinion that we should read sea-stained garments ; for (says he) it was not the floating of their cloaths, but the magic of Prospero which preserved, as it had wrecked them. Nor was the miracle, that their garments had not been at firk discoloured by the sea-water, which even that fustaining would not have prevented, unless it had been on the air, not on the water ; but, as Gonzalo says, " that their
garments being (as they were) drenched in the sea, held 'notwith
landing their freshness and gloss, being rather new-dyed " than stained with salt-water.”
For this, and all such notes as are taken from the MSS. of the late Mr. Edwards, I am indebted to the friendship of Benjamin Way, Efq; who very obligingly procured them from the executors of that gentleman, with leave for their publication. Such of them as are omitted in this edition had been sometimes forestalled by the remarks of others, and sometimes by my own. The reader, however, might have been juftly offended, had any other reasons prevented me from communicating the unpublished sentiments of that sprightly critic and molt amiable man, as entire as I received them. STEVENS. This note of Mr. Edwards, with which I suppose no reader is fatis fed, shews with how much greater eafe critical emenda
destroyed than made, and how willingly every man would be changing the text, if his imagination would furnish
But fresher than before. And, as thou bad'st me,
Pro. Of the king's fhip
Ari. Safely in harbour
s From the ftill-vex'd Bermoothes.] Theobald says Bermoothes is printed by mistake for Bermudas. No. That was the name by which the islands then went, as we may fee by the voyages of that time; and by our author's contemporary poets.' Fletcher, in his Woman Pleajed, fays, The devil hooald think of purchasing that egg-shell to victual out a witch for the Bermoothes. Smith, in his account of these illands, p. 172. says, that the Bermudas were lo fearful to the world, that many called them The Isle of Devils.-P. 174.-10 all jeamen no less terrible than an inchanted den of furies. And no wonder, for the clime was extremely subject to storms and hurricanes; and the islands were surrounded with fcattered rocks lving shallowly hid under the surface of the water. WARBURTOX.
The opinion that Bermudas was haunted with evil spirits continued fo late as the civil wars. In a little piece of Sir John Berkinhead's, intitled, I'wo Centuries of Paul's Churcb-sard, una cum indice expurgatorio, &c. 12°.
In page 62. under the title of Cales of Conscience, is this.
34. “ Whether Bermudas and the parliament-house lie under
Supposing that they saw the king's ship wreck’d,
Pro. Ariel, thy charge
Ari. Past the mid season.
now, Must by us both be spent most preciously. Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou doft give me
pains, Let me remember thee what thou haft promis'd, Which is not yet perform'd me.
Pro. How now? moody?
Ari. My liberty.
Ari. I pray thee,
Pro. 8 Dost thou forget
: What is the time oʻthe day?] This paffage needs not be ditarbed, it being common to ask a queition, which the next moment enables us to answer; he that thinks it faulty may casily adjuft it thus :
Pro. What is the time o' the day? Paft the mid season.
Doft thou forget] That the character and conduct of Pro. fpero may be understood, fomething must be known of the fyftem of enchantment, which supplied all the marvellous found in the romances of the middle ages. This system seems to be founded on the opinion that the fallen spirits, having different degrees of guilt, had different habitations allotted them at their expulsion, fome being confined in hell, fome (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our poet's age, expresses it) dispersed
Ari. I do not, Sir.
Pro. Thou ly’st, malignant thing ! Hast thou forgot The foul witch Sycorax, who, with age Was grown into a hoop? haft thou forgot her?
in air, fome on earth, some in water, others in caves, dens, or minerals under the earth. Of these, some were more malignant and mischievous than others. The earthy spirits seem to have been thought the most depraved, and the aerial the least vitiated. Thus Prospero observes of Ariel :
-Tbou waft a spirit too delicate To cet her earthy and abhorr'd commands. Over thefe fpirits a power might be obtained by certain rites performed or charms learned. This power was called The Black Art, or Knowledge of Enchantment. The enchanter being (as king James oblerves in his Demonology) one who commands the devil, whereas the witch serves him. Those who thought best of this art, the existence of which was, I am afraid, believed very seriously, held, that certain sounds and characters had a physical power over spirits, and compelled their agency; others who condemned the practice, which in reality was surely never practised, were of opinion, with more reason, that the power of charms arose only from compact, and was no more than the spirits voluntary allowed them for the seduction of man. The art was held by all, though not equally criminal, yet unlawful, and therefore Causabon, speaking of one who had commerce with spirits, blames him, though he imagines him one of the best kind who dealt with them by way of command. Thus Prospero repents of his art in the last scene. The spirits were always considered as in some measure enslaved to the enchanter, at least for a time, and as ferving with unwillingness, therefore Ariel so often begs for liberty; and Caliban observes, that the fpirits serve Prospero with no good will, but bate him rootedly. Of these trifles enough. JOHNSON.
9 To run upon the sharp wind of the north ;] Sir W. Davenant and Dryden, in their alteration of this play, have made a very wanton change in the line, and read,
To run against, &c. S+EEVENS.