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19. Of whence. For this redundant phrase cf. Abbott, $179.
more better. The double comparative is frequently used by Shakespeare. Cf. Abbott, § 11.
20. full, completely.
25. Lie there, my art. Steevens quotes in illustration Fuller's anecdote about Lord Burleigh, Elizabeth's Lord Treasurer, who, “when he put off his gown at night, used to say, ‘Lie there, Lord Treasurer.'' Voss aptly notices that “Shakespeare here very skillfully separates Prospero, the man, from Prospero, the magician. A magician, devoted body and soul to his art, can claim but little of our sympathy. But Prospero's magic resides only in his mantle, staff, and book. Prospero himself remains akin to us.”
26. wreck. The Ff here, and in lines 390, 414, 488, read wracke, which gives a far finer rhythm.
27. The very virtue of compassion, the very essence of compassion.
29–31. no soul . . . vessel. There is no necessity to alter the reading of the Ff; the sense is clear, though grammatically there is an anacoluthon. Prospero begins to declare that no soul on board has been lost, but, before completing the sentence, he breaks off into the more emphatic assertion that not so much harm as a hair has befallen any one.
31. Betid, happened. For other examples of the omission of ed in the past indicative and past participle after d and t, cf. Abbott, $$ 341 and 342.
32. Which . . . which. The first which refers to “ creature,” the second to vessel.”
35. inquisition, inquiry. 41. Out, completely.
50. backward. For a similar example of an adverb used as a noun, cf. Sonnet cxxviii:
“To kiss the tender inward of thy hand.”
53. Twelve year. For the use of the noun in the singular, cf. 2 Henry IV, iii. 2. 224 : “That's fifty-five year ago.” Walker, Abbott, and Wright assert that the first year in this line is to be pronounced as a dissyllable, because it is more emphatic than the second. But the preferable scansion is that of Coleridge, Guest, and Furness :
“ Twelve year | since, | Miran | da, twelve / year since.”
The emphasis at the beginning of the line is not on year but on twelve, and this is indicated by the speaker's voice pausing on the word. Cf. Appendix C, 2.
Miranda, then, is about fifteen years old. Perdita, when Prince Florizel finds her, is less than sixteen, and Marina, when forced from Tarsus, is only fourteen. The Princess Elizabeth, whose gentleness and winning charm may live again in these lovely, tender-hearted girls, was fifteen in 1611, when The Tempest was played at court.
56. piece, a perfect specimen.
57–59. This is the reading of the Ff, with the omission of a semicolon after princess, and is to be interpreted: “ Thy father was Duke of Milan, and his only heir and princess had no meaner descent than this.” Many editors adopt Pope's conjecture of a princess instead of and princess, but it is unnecessary.
65. from. For this use of from in the sense of “ away from,” apart from,” cf. Abbott, § 158. Please you, if it please you.
66–87. Prospero's speech here contains a complicated series of anacolutha. He begins with the intention of saying, brother received the government of my state from me, whilst I was engaged in the study of liberal arts.” He first inserts the short parenthesis, “ I pray thee . . . perfidious,” and then takes up the subject of the sentence again in “ he ” (1. 68); this is followed by the involved series of relatival clauses,“ whom next thyself. .. Without a parallel ” (11. 68–74); at the end of these Prospero has forgotten the beginning of his sentence, and starts a fresh main sentence in which “I” is subject and “ brother ”is reintroduced as the accusative after cast upon.” Finally, in 1. 77, “ Thy false uncle " takes up again the original subject, My brother and thy uncle," and finds its verb in
created” in l. 81.
70. as at that time, then. For this use of as, corresponding to the German als in alsdann, cf. the Collect for Christmas day:
Almighty God Who hast given us Thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon Him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin.” Cf., too, Chaucer's Legende of Goode Women, 1491 : “ Us nedeth trewely Nothing as now.
80. who. For other examples of the use of the relative in the nominative where we should expect the accusative, cf. Abbott, § 274.
81. trash for over-topping, a mixture of metaphors from hunting and gardening. To trash is to fasten a weight op
the neck of a dog prevent him from outrunning his companions. Cf. Othello, ii. 1. 312–313:
“ If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash
For his quick hunting.” Overtopping is used of a tree that grows higher than its companions. Cf. Antony and Cleopatra, iv. 12. 23–24 :
this pine is bark’d, That overtopp'd them all.”
. . Or, either . . . or. 83. key. There is probably a play on two senses of the word: (1) the keys of office, (2) the key for tuning a musical instrument. The latter signification suggests the words that follow.
85. that, so that.
91-92. “By what, except that it involved such retirement, surpassed in value all popular estimation.”
94-95. This alludes to the proverb that a father above the common rate of men usually has a son below it.
95. in its contrary, in its opposite nature. Wright mentions that there are ten instances in Shakespeare's works of this form of the neuter possessive pronoun.
It does not occur in the Authorized Version of the Bible, 1611.
97. lorded, raised to the dignity of a lord.
99-102. like one . .. own lie. The general meaning of this passage is clear: “Like one who, by repeating a lie, has made his memory such a sinner against truth that he has come to believe his own invention." (Malone compares Bacon's account of Perkin Warbeck in his History of Henry VII: “ Nay himself, with long and continual counterfeiting, and with oft telling a lie, was turned by habit almost into the thing he seemed to be, and from a liar to a believer.”) The construction, however, presents great difficulty. If the reading of the Ff be retained, as in the present text, there is much plausibility in Philpott's interpretation: Who having, by telling of it, credited his own lie into truth, making thereby a sinner of his memory.” This sentence would naturally have run, Who having into truth, by telling of it, credited his own lie”; but the words“ made such a sinner of his memory,” which should have been parenthetical, at
tracted credited into to credit,” to suit themselves. Furnivall ingeniously suggests that “having into truth
cutting into, attacking truth.” The passage would then run: ' like one who, garbling truth by repetition of this garbled version, made such a sinner,” etc. Most critics adopt Warburton's emendation, unto truth,” which depends on sinner in the following line, but it is very doubtful whether the change is necessary.
103. out o' the substitution, by reason of being my deputy.
104. executing the outward face of royalty, performing the external duties of a king.
107-109. To have no overshadowing barrier between the rôle that he was playing and the actual office of Duke, he was determined to become complete sovereign of Milan.”
109. Me, for me. For omission of the preposition before the indirect object, cf. Abbott, $ 201.
112. dry, thirsty.
117. his condition and the event, the terms he made, and the consequences.
118. might, here used in the sense of could. For other instances cf. Abbott, § 312.
119. but nobly, otherwise than nobly.
134. Will cry it. The it here is probably used indefinitely, as in l. 880: Foot it featly.” It may, however, possibly stand for my crying ” understood from the previous line.
134-135. a hint That wrings mine eyes to 't, a theme that forces tears from my eyes.
For this use of hint cf. ii. 1. 3-4 : Our hint of woe Is common.”
137. the which. This use of the before which is frequent in Shakespeare. The question may arise why the is attached to which and not to who. The answer is that who is considered definite already, and stands for a noun, while which is considered an indefinite adjective; just as in French we have lequel’ and not 'lequi.' Abbott, $ 270. 144. In few, i.e. words.
146. butt. This, the reading of the first three Folios, is. without doubt, the right one. llad Shakespeare written “ boat” (as Rowe conjectured), it would not have been corrupted into the more unusual word. It is evident, however,
that butt cannot here have its modern meaning of cask,” as there would be no sense in the words, not rigg'd, Nor tackle, sail, nor mast.” Brinsley Nicholson suggests that it is a nautical term, borrowed by Shakespeare from an Italian original to give coloring to the tale, and that it may be a version of Botto, a sort of sloop with very rounded ribs, very little run, and a flattish bottom.
148. have. For a similar change from past to present tense, see 1. 205.
quit . . . hoist. See note on betid, 1. 31.
152. A cherubin. Used by Shakespeare and his contemporaries as a singular form, though once in Hamlet, iv. 3. 50) he uses cherub.
His plural is cherubins. It may be worth noting that in the Spanish story of the magician advanced by Miss Porter (see Introduction, p. xvi, footnote) as the source of The Tempest, the daughter's name is Seraphina.
155. deck'd. This word, as used here, is probably connected with the North-country phrase, to deck or deg, i.e. to sprinkle. The sprinkling of clothes before ironing them is known as degging.
156. which, referring to “ Thou didst smile,” l. 153.
157. undergoing stomach, enduring resolution. For this use of undergoing cf. iii. 1. 2–3. For a similar use of stomach cf. Henry V, iv. 3. 35–36 :
“ That he which hath no stomach to this fight
Let him depart.”
162. who is redundant.
Now I arise. The words are evidently used in their literal sense, as is shown by Prospero in the next line telling Miranda, who is rising on seeing him rise, to “sit still,” i.e. probably “keep sitting,” not “sit quietly.” Why Prospero should mention the fact of his rising is not very obvious, but nothing is gained by giving the phrase a symbolic interpretation, e.g., “I arrive at the climax of my story,” or “I reach the crisis of my fortunes.” The stage direction Resumes his mantle was added by Dyce, and has no warrant in the Ff.
172. more profit, greater advantages.
173. princesses. The reading of the first three Folios is, princesse, the fourth having princess. The form is probably an