Abbildungen der Seite

tion (Moulton) on first beholding a company of her fellow creatures.

205. Was Milan thrust from Milan? Was Prospero, the Duke of Milan, thrust out of his Duchy?

208-213. In these lines Gonzalo expounds, with pregnant brevity, the principle of loss and restitution which underlies so many incidents in the play.

214. still, always.
216. is. Cf. note on i. 1. 17-18.
218. blasphemy, for blasphemer.
221. safely found, found safe.

223. but three glasses since. If we compare this with Alonso's statement in 1. 136, we see that the boatswain's

glass is meant to be an hour-glass. Brinsley Nicholson, however (New Shakspere Society's Transactions, 1880-1882), quotes from The Seaman's Grammar, by Capt. John Smith (1627), the following words: “eight glasses, or foure houres, which is a watch.” This shows that the seaman's glass in Shakespeare's time, as now, was one of half-an-hour, not a full hour. The technical mistake thus made proves, according to Nicholson, that Shakespeare never was at sea. But this is too weak a foundation to support so momentous a conclusion, especially in the face of much internal evidence tending the other way.

224. tight, free from leaks.
230. of sleep, through sleep. Cf. Abbott, § 168.

238. Capering to eye her, dancing with joy at beholding Fier.

on a trice, in a moment (see Glossary).
242. maze, intricate, bewildering puzzle of paths.
244. conduct, conductor.
246. infest, vex.
247. pick'd, well-selected.

248. singled, alone; referring either to you” or “1,probably the former.

resolve you, give you an explanation.

249. Which to you shall seem probable. The antecedent to “ which ” is Prospero's explanation, implied in I'll resolve


every. The adjectives all, each, both, every, other are sometimes interchanged in E. E. Cf. Abbott, § 12.

255. odd. Cf. note on i. 2. 223. 257,258. hully-monster. With this slang use of bully as a



jovial term of address, cf. “ bully Hercules” and “ bully-rook in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

258. coragio. Fi has corasio, which may be right, considering that a man as drunk as Stephano might easily fail to repeat a foreign word correctly, even though his tongue had managed it once.

266. Is a plain fish. For this description of Caliban, cf. ii. 2. 25-30.

267. badges. Household servants, like Stephano and Trinculo, usually wore on their arms, as part of their livery, silver badges whereon the shield of their master was engraved.

269–270. one so strong That could control the moon. For other examples of so followed by the relative that, cf. Abbott, $ 279.

271. deal in her command without her power, either “ cise her influence without being empowered to do so," or cise her influence beyond or outside of her sphere.” For the latter use of without, Wright compares 2 Corinthians, x. 13: “ But we will not boast of things without our measure.

279. reeling ripe, so intoxicated as to be ready to reel. Cf. Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2. 274: “ The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.”

280. gilded 'em, made them drunk. There is probably a reference to the aurum potabile, drinkable gold, of the alchemists; or the reference may be to the effect of liquor in making the face glow.

284. I shall not fear fly-blowing. T'rinculo, punning on the word “pickle,” makes this statement, because pickling meat preserved it from “fly-blowing." Cf. iii. 1. 63.

289. a strange thing as, as strange a thing as. The first as in a comparison is often omitted.

298. bestow, stow away.

305. accidents gone by, events that have happened. Cf. 1. 250 above.

310. retire me. For other examples of verbs used by Shakespeare reflexively, but now intransitive, see Abbott, § 296.


“In the Epilogue, which was written perhaps by Shakespeare, perhaps by some one acquainted with his thoughts, Prospero in his character of a man, no longer a potent enchanter, petitions

the spectators of the theater for two things, pardon and freedom. It would be straining matters to discover in this Epilogue profound significances; and yet in its playfulness it curiously falls in with the moral purport of the whole. Prospero, the pardoner, implores pardon. Shakespeare was aware whether such be the significance (aside — for the writer's mind) of this Epilogue or not that no life is ever lived which does not need to receive as well as to render forgiveness ” (Dowden).

Many critics have doubted whether this Epilogue is by Shakespeare, chiefly because of what Grant White calls the miserable and eminently un-Shakespearian rhythm.” This critic especially falls foul of the sense-pauses in the middle of the line, e.g. 3 and 13. But as has already been said in discussing the Masque (cf. note on iv. 1. 60-138), these run-on lines and unrhythmical pauses are just what we should expect from Shakespeare at this period, and are no argument against the authenticity of the Epilogue.

10. An invitation to the audience to applaud. Noise was supposed to dissolve a spell.

16. prayer, probably suggested by the custom, prevalent at the time, of concluding the play by a prayer offered up for the sovereign.

18. Mercy itself, the merciful God. frees, procures pardon from.





The writing of Prefaces to Plays, was probably invented by some very ambitious Poet, who never thought he had done enough: Perhaps by some Ape of the French Eloquence, which uses to make a business of a Letter of Gallantry, an examen of a Farce; and, in short, a great pomp and ostentation of words on every trifle. This is certainly the Talent of that Nation, and ought not to be invaded by any other. They do that out of gaiety, which would be an imposition upon us.

We may satisfie our selves with surmounting them in the Scene, and safely leave them those trappings of writing, and flourishes of the Pen, with which they adorn the borders of their Plays, and which are indeed no more than good I.andskips to a very indifferent Picture. I must proceed no farther in this Argument, lest I run my self beyond my excuse for writing this. Give me leave therefore to tell you, Reader, that I do it not to set a value on anything I have written in this Play, but out of gratitude to the memory of Sir William Davenant, who did me the honour to join me with him in the alteration of it.

It was originally Shakespear's: a Poet for whom he had particularly a high veneration, and whom he first taught me to admire. The Play it self had formerly been acted with success in the BlackFryers: and our Excellent Fletcher had so great a value for it, that he thought fit to make use of the same Design, not much varied, a second time. Those who have seen his Sea-Voyage, may easily discern that it was a Copy of Shakespear's Tempest: the Storm, the Desart Island, and the Woman who had never seen a Man, are all sufficient Testimonies of it. But Fletcher was not the only Poet who made use of Shakespear's Plot: Sir John Suckling, a profess'd admirer of our Author, has follow'd his footsteps in his Goblins; his Regmella being an open imitation of Shakespear's Miranda; and his Spirits, though counterfeit, yet are copied from Ariel. But Sir William Davenant, as he was a Man of quick and piercing imagination, soon found that somewhat might be added to the design of Shakespear, of which neither Fletcher nor Suckling had ever thought: and therefore to put the last hand to it, he design’d the Counter part to Shakespear's Plot, namely, that of a Man who had never seen a Woman; that by this means those two Characters of Innocence and Love might the more illustrate and commend each other. This excellent Contrivance he was pleas’d to communicate to me, and to desire my assistance in it. I confess, that from the very first moment it so pleas’d me, that I never writ anything with more delight. I must likewise do him that justice to acknowledge, that my writing received daily his amendments, and that is the reason why it is not so faulty, as the rest which I have done, without the help or correction of so judicious a Friend. The Comical part of the Saylors were also of his invention and for the most part his writing, as you will easily discover by the Style. In the time I writ with him, I had the opportunity to observe somewhat more nearly of him than I had formerly done, when I had only a bare acquaintance with him: I found him then of so quick a fancy, that nothing was propos’d to him on which he could not suddenly produce a thought extremely pleasant and surprising: and those first thoughts of his, contrary to the old Latine Proverb, were not always the least happy. And as his fancy was quick, so likewise were the products of it remote and new. He borrowed not of any other; and his imaginations were such as could not easily enter into any other Man. His Corrections were sober and judicious: and he corrected his own writings much more severely than those of another Man, bestowing twice the time and labour in polishing, which he us’d in invention. It had perhaps been easie enough for me to have arrogated more to my self than was my due, in the writing of this Play, and to have pass'd by his name with silence in the Publication of it, with the same ingratitude which others have us’d to him, whose Writings he hath not only corrected, as he hath done this, but has had a greater inspection over them, and sometimes added whole Scenes together, which may as easily be distinguish'd fro n. the rest, as true Gold from counterfeit by the weight. But besides the unworthiness of the Action which deterred me from it (there being nothing so base as to rob the dead of his reputation) I am satisfi'd I could never have receiv’d so much honour, in being thought the Author any Poem, how excellent soever, as I shall from the joining my imperfections with the Merit and Name of Shakespear and Sir William Davenant.

« ZurückWeiter »