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the Caniballes," which Shakespeare had read in Florio's translation: It is a nation. that hath no kinde of traffike, no knowledge of Letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate, nor of politike superioritie; no use of service, of riches or of povertie; no contracts, no successions, no partitions, no occupation but idle; no respect of kindred, but common, no apparell but naturall, no manuring of lands, no vse of wine, corne, or mettle. The very words that import lying, falshood, treason, dissimulations, covetousness, envie, detraction, and pardon were never heard of amongst them."
152. Bourn, limit.
156-158. Gonzalo had begun (1. 145) by supposing himself king of the island. But in his enthusiastic description of an ideal commonwealth in which all social obligations and class distinctions are to be abolished, he forgets the basis from which he started, and asserts that there is to be no sovereignty on the island. Sebastian and Antonio are quick to rally him on this self-contradiction, and for once they are probably Shakespeare's mouthpiece. For from the early days when he wrote (as is
probable) the “ Jack Cade scenes in 2 Henry VI until the
end of his career, he is always found ridiculing Utopian or communistic theories. "He who had earned the New Place, and become a landed gentleman by years of irksome toil, did not see that he was bound to share his tenements and lands with his less industrious neighbours. On the contrary he meant to hold them himself by every legal title, and at his decease to hand them down to his daughter, and her sons, and sons' sons (Dowden).
161. engine, instrument of war.
163. it own.
Cf. note on i. 2. 95, and Abbott, § 228. It is an early provincial form of the old genitive.” Cf. King Lear, i. 4. 235-236:
"The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
168. Save. Before this word we must understand God," which was probably omitted in the Ff in deference to the Act i Jac. 21, against profanity.
171. nothing, nonsense.
174. minister occasion, offer a cue.
175. sensible, sensitive. -Ible and -able have often an active instead of a passive meaning in E. E.
181. An, if. Printed and in the Ff. Cf. Bacon, Essay 23:
'They will set an house on fire, and it were but to roast their eggs. And is, in fact, the more correct spelling, for which an has been substituted by an editorial convention. An is frequently conjoined with if: cf. Richard II, iv. 1. 49: 'An if I do not," and Prof. Herford's note ad loc.: 'An is the modern form of the E. E. and, if,' which is probably merely a special usage of the ordinary conjunction and. From being used to introduce a hypothetical sentence, and acquired itself a hypothetical sense. An if is a trace of the process, before that sense had been definitely reached; but in E. E. it is used simply as = = if. It survives in the Somersetshire nif."
183. would, here used for the conditional should. Cf. Wright's note on the line.
185. a bat-fowling: a is the weakened form of the preposition on. Bat-fowling is explained by Gervase Markham in his Hunger's Prevention (1621) quoted by Wright. "For the manner of Bat-fowling it may be vsed either with Nettes, or without Nettes: if you use it without Nettes (which indeede is the most common of the two) you shall then proceede in this manner. First, there shall be one to carry the Cresset of fire (as was shewed for the Lowbell) then a certaine number, as two, three, or foure (according to the greatnesse of your company), and these shall haue poales bound with dry round wispes of hay, straw, or such like stuffe, or else bound with pieces of Linkes, or Hurdes, dipt in Pitch, Rosen, Grease, or any such like matter that will blaze. Then another company shall be armed with long poales, very rough and bushy at the vpper endes, of which the Willow, Byrche, or long Hazell are best, but indeed according as the country will afford so you must be content to take. Thus being prepared, and comming into the Bushy, or rough ground where the haunts of Birds are, you shall then first kindle some of your fiers as halfe, or a third part, according as your provision is, and then with your other bushy and rough poales you shall beat the Bushes, Trees, and haunts of the Birds to enforce them to rise, which done you shall see the Birds which are raysed to flye and play about the lights and flames of the fier, for it is their nature through their amazednesse, and affright at the strangenes of the light and the extreame darknesse round about it, not to depart from it, but as it were almost to scorch their wings in the same, so that those who have the rough bushye poales may (at their pleasures) beat them down with the same, & so take them."
187–188. adventure my discretion, imperil my reputation for discretion.
190. Halliwell-Phillips interprets this obscure line as follows: "Gonzalo asks them to laugh him to sleep, for he is very drowsy. Antonio replies, 'Go to sleep and hear us laugh,' the sound of which laughter, from a little distance, would soothe the drowsy counsellor into slumber. Antonio's speech, by the common idiom of inversion, is equivalent to Hear us and go to sleep.' This explanation, however, is far from convincing, and more point is given to the passage if laugh is interpreted in the sense of laugh at (cf. "Scoffing his state," Richard II, iii. 2. 163, and" Smile you my speeches? King Lear, ii. 2. 88). Gonzalo thus inquires," Will you gentlemen, who are always a-laughing (cf. 175-176), continue to laugh at me when I am asleep? Antonio retorts rudely, "Go to sleep, and then you'll find out whether we are laughing at you or not."
194. the heavy offer, the offer that brings heaviness or drowsi
204-296.“ The scene of the intended assassination of Alonso and Gonzalo is an exact counterpart of the scene between Macbeth and his lady, only pitched in a lower key throughout, as designed to be frustrated and concealed, and exhibiting the same profound management in the manner of familiarizing a mind, not immediately recipient, to the suggestion of guilt, by associating the proposed crime with something ludicrous or out of place, something not habitually matter of reverence. By this kind of sophistry the imagination and fancy are first bribed to contemplate the suggested act, and at length to become acquainted with it" (Coleridge).
207. What thou shouldst be, what thou oughtest to be. Cf. Abbott, § 323, for other instances of this use of should.
the occasion speaks thee: either " the opportunity calls to
thee or declares what thou mayest be."
216. wink'st, closest thy eyes.
220. if heed me: for the ellipsis of you, cf. Abbott, § 387. 221. Trebles thee o'er, makes thee three times as great as thou art.
standing water, neither ebbing nor flowing, and so ready to be moved in either direction.
224-226. If you but knew how you encourage the design even while you mock at it, how in exposing it in its nakedness you clothe it with greater seriousness. Men who let their fortunes ebb do indeed, as you say, most frequently lose them
selves in shallows through their own fears and sloth." For the metaphor cf. Julius Cæsar, iv. 3. 218–221, quoted in note on i. 2. 180-184.
229. proclaim: attracted into the plural by "cheek."
230. A matter, an important business, full of meaning. 231. throes, pains.
232-236. The passage may be paraphrased: Although this lord with his weak memory (who, when once laid in the ground, shall be as little remembered as he now remembers other things) has here almost persuaded (for he is the very soul of persuasion, and to practice it is his only profession) the king that his son is alive."
232. this lord. In all probability Gonzalo, who has been the king's chief comforter, though it is Francisco, according to the Ff, who gave the detailed narrative of Ferdinand's escape by his feat of swimming.
236. Professes, practices as a profession; cf. 1 Henry IV, v. 2. 91-92:
"I thank him, that he cuts me from my tale,
242. a wink, here used of an infinitesimal portion of space; more usually of time.
243. But doubt discovery there. If the Ff reading be retained, either but doubt means without doubting or cannot" is carried on from the former line, cannot but doubt discovery there,” i.e. is uncertain whether it can find anything at this extreme limit of its vision. "Ambition itself cannot feel any further than that hope" (Porter). Capell reads " doubts."
247. Ten leagues beyond man's life. Such a rhetorically exaggerated phrase need not be interpreted too precisely, but Antonio probably means ten leagues beyond the point a man could arrive at by traveling all his life."
248. note, knowledge, intimation.
250. she that—from whom. The Ff reading, though grammatically pleonastic, is probably correct. Antonio begins this clause, like the three previous ones, with she that, and then changes to from whom, which makes that superfluous. From whom is practically equivalent to "coming from whom."
But the theatrical usage of
act' and рго
251 cast, thrown up by the sea. the word, to cast for a part, suggests
logue in the following lines.
252. And by the same destiny that cast us ashore we are
fated to perform an act."
253. prologue. Many plays in Shakespeare's time were preceded by a prologue. Cf. the workmen's play in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the play scene in Hamlet. For the same theatrical metaphor see Macbeth, i. 3. 127–129:
"Two truths are told,
As happy prologues to the swelling act
253–254. what to come In yours and my discharge, what is to come lies with us to perform. Discharge is another theatrical term. Cf. A Midsummer Night's Dream, i. 2. 95: "I will discharge it [the part of Pyramus] in either your straw-colour beard, . or your French-crown-colour beard."
259. Keep. By an abrupt change of construction Claribel is directly addressed by every cubit," instead of being referred to in the third person as 'that Claribel," as in the previous line. 265-266. could make A chough of as deep chat, could teach a red-legged crow to talk as profoundly. Cf. All's Well that
chough's language, gabble enough,
Ends Well, iv. 1. 22–23: and good enough."
270. Tender, regard.
274. fellows, companions.
277. 'T would put me to my slipper, it would make me have to wear a slipper instead of a boot.
279. candied, congealed. Cf. Timon of Athens, iv. 3. 225227:
I will the cold brook,
Preserving the Ff reading, we may interpret the passage: Let twenty consciences, that bar my way to the throne of Milan, be frozen or be melted into insensibility before they cause me a twinge." In this case melt is the past participle for melted. Cf. note on i. 2. 31. Upton proposed to read “ discandied," from discandy," which is used as equivalent to melt" in Antony and Cleopatra, iv. 12. 20–23: