Abbildungen der Seite

of Shakspeare are remarkably decent; but it is not sufficient that his defects are trifling in comparison with writers who are highly defective. It certainly is my wish, and it has Deen my study, to exclude from this publication whatever is unfit to be read aloud by a gentleman to a company of ladies. I can hardly imagine a more pleasing occupation for a winter's evening in the country, than for a father to read one of Shakspeare's plays to his family circle. My object is to enable him to do so without incurring the danger of falling unawares among words and expressions which are of such a nature as to raise a blush on the cheek of modesty, or render it necessary for the reader to pause, and examine the sequel, before he proceeds further in the entertainment of the evening.

But though many erasures have for this purpose been made in the writings of Shakspeare in the present edition, the reader may be assured that not a single line, nor even the half of a line, has, in any one instance, been added to the original text. I know the force of Shakspeare, and the weakness of my own pen, too well, to think of attempting the smallest interpolation. In a few, but in very few instances, one or two words (at the most three) have been inserted to connect the sense of what follows the passage that is expunged with that which precedes it. The few words which are thus added, are connecting particles, words of little moment, and in no degree affecting the meaning of the author, or the story of the play. A word that is less objectionable is sometimes substituted for a synonymous word that is improper.

In the following work I have copied the text of the last Edition of the late Mr. Steevens. This I have done so scrupulously, as seldom to have allowed myself to alter either the words or the punctuation. Othello's speech, for example, in the second scene of the fifth act, will be found as it is in Mr. Steevens, and in the old editions of Shakspeare, not as it is usually spoken on the stage. In a few instances I have deviated from Mr. Steevens, in compliance with the original folio of 1623. I do not presume to enter into any critical disputes as to certain readings of " Judean or Indian," "Sables or Sable," or any thing of that nature, respecting which many persons of superior abilities have entertained contrary opinions. The glossary (but nothing except the glossary) is borrowed from the edition of 1803. It was compiled by Mr. Harris, under the direction of Mr. Steevens. My great objects in this undertaking are to remove from the writings of Shakspeare some defects which diminish their value, and at the same time to present to the Public an edition of his plays, which the parent, the guardian, and the instructor of youth may place, without fear, in the hands of the pupil; and from which the pupil may derive instruction as well as pleasure; may improve his moral principles while he refines his taste; and, without incurring the danger of being hurt with any indelicacy of expression, may learn in the fate of Macbeth, that even a kingdom is dearly purchased, if virtue be the price of the acquisition.

My first idea of the FAMILY SHAKSPEARE arose from the recollection of my father's custom of reading In this manner to his family. Shakspeare (with whom no person was better acquainted) was a frequent subject of the evening's entertainment. In the perfection of reading few men were equal to my father; and such was his good taste, his delicacy, and his prompt discretion, that his family listened with delight to Lear, Hamlet, and Othello, without knowing that those matchless tragedies contained words and expressions improper to be pronounced; and without having reason to suspect that any parts of the plays had been omitted by the circumspect and judicious reader.

It afterwards occurred to me, that what my father did so readily and successfully for his family, my inferior abilities might, with the assistance of time and mature consideration, be able to accomplish for the benefit of the public. I say, therefore, that if "The Family Shakspeare" is entitled to any merit, it originates with my father.

The government I cast upon my brother,
And to my state grew stranger, being transported,
And wrapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle -
Dost thou attend me?


Sir, most heedfully.

Pro. Being once perfected how to grant suits,
How to deny them; whom to advance, and whom
To trash 6 for over-topping; new-created
The creatures that were mine; I say, or chang'd

Or else new-form'd them: having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts

Were most impertinent.

Wherefore did they not

That hour destroy us?


Well demanded, wench; My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not;

To what tune pleas'd his ear; that now he was
The ivy, which had hid my princely trunk,
And suck'd my verdure out on't. Thou attend'st


(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;

I pray thee mark me.


O good sir, I do.

Pro. I thus neglecting wordly ends, all dedi- Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepar'd


A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it: 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.

Alack! what trouble

Was I then to you!

Thou wast, that did

Infused with a fortitude from heaven,

When I have deck'd the sea with drops full salt;
Under my burden groan'd; which rais'd in me
An undergoing stomach 7, to bear up
Against what should ensue.


How came we ashore?

To closeness, and the bettering of my mind
With that, which, but by being so retir'd,
O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother
Awak'd an evil nature and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
A falsehood, in its contrary as great

As my trust was; which had, indeed, no limit,
A confidence sans bound. He being thus lorded,
Not only with what my revenue yielded,
But what my power might else exact, — like one
Who, having unto truth, by telling of it,
Made such a sinner of his memory,

To credit his own lie, - he did believe
He was the duke; out of the substitution,
And executing the outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative: - Hence his ambition
Growing, - Dost hear?


Your tale, sir, would cure deafness. Pro. To have no skreen between this part he play'd

And him he play'd it for, he needs will be
Absolute Milan: Me, poor man! - my library
Was dukedom large enough; of temporal royalties
He thinks me now incapable: confederates
(So dry he was for sway) with the king of Naples,
To give him annual tribute, do him homage;
Subject his coronet to his crown, and bend
The dukedom, yet unbow'd (alas, poor Milan!)
To most ignoble stooping.


O the heavens ! Pro. Mark his condition, and the event; tell me,

If this might be a brother.

6 Cut away..


I should sin
To think but nobly of my grandmother.
Now the condition.
This king of Naples, being an enemy
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit;
Which was, that he in lieu o' the premises, -
Of homage, and I know not how much tribute,
Should presently extirpate me and mine
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,
That wrings mine eyes.

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


Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me,
From my own library, with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.


'Would I might

But ever see that man!

Now I arise: -
then | Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow.
Here in this island we arriv'd; and here

O! a cherubim
preserve me! Thou didst

Pro. By Providence divine.
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; with
Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries,
Which since have steaded much; so, of his gen-

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Pro. My brave spirit! Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil 9 Would not infect his reason?

Of sulphurous roaring, the most mighty Neptune Seem'd to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble, Yea, his dread trident shake.

Pro. Of the king's ship, The mariners, say, how thou hast dispos'd, And all the rest o' the fleet ?

Ari. Not a soul But felt a fever of the mad, and play'd Some tricks of desperation: All, but mariners, Plung'd in the foaming brine, and quit the vessel, Then all a-fire with me: the king's son, Ferdinand, With hair up-staring, (then like reeds, not hair,) Was the first man that leap'd.

Why, that's my spirit!

Pro. But was not this nigh shore? Ari. Close by, my master. Pro. But are they, Ariel, safe? Ari. Not a hair perish'd; On their sustaining garments not a blemish, But fresher than before; and, as thou bad'st me, In troops I have dispers'd them 'bout the isle : The king's son have I landed by himself; Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs, In an odd angle of the isle, and sitting, His arms in this sad knot.

8 The minutest article. 1 Bermudas.


Past the mid season.

Pro. At least two glasses: The time 'twixt six and now,

Must by us both be spent most preciously.

Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains,


Let me remember thee what thou hast promis'd,
Which is not yet perform'd me.


How now? moody?

Ari. Safely in harbour Is the king's ship; in the deep nook, where once Thou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew From the still-vex'd Bermoothes', there she's hid: The mariners all under hatches stow'd; Whom, with a charm join'd to their suffer'd labour, I have left asleep: and for the rest o' the fleet, Which I dispers'd, they all have met again; And are upon the Mediterranean flote %, Bound sadly home for Naples; Supposing that they saw the king's ship wreck'd, And his great person perish.


Ariel, thy charge

9 Bustle, tumult.

3 Wave.

Exactly is perform'd; but there's more work : What is the time o' the day?

[blocks in formation]

Thou hast where was she born? speak; tell me. Ari. Sir, in Argier.3

Pro. O, was she so? I must, Once in a month, recount what thou hast been, Which thou forget'st. This vile witch, Sycorax, For mischiefs manifold, and sorceries terrible To enter human hearing, from Argier, Thou know'st, was banish'd; for one thing she did, They would not take her life: Is not this true? Ari. Ay, sir.

Pro. This blue-ey'd hag was hither brought with child,

And here was left by the sailors: Thou, my slave,
As thou report'st thyself, wast then her servant :
And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate
To act her earthly and abhorr'd commands,
Refusing her grand hests 4, she did confine thee,
By help of her more potent ministers,
And in her most unmitigable rage,
Into a cloven pine; within which rift
Imprison'd, thou did'st painfully remain
A dozen years; within which space she died,
And left thee there; where thou didst vent thy

As fast as mill-wheels strike: Then was this island (Save for the son that she did litter here,

A freckled whelp, hag-born,) not honour'd with A human shape.


Yes; Caliban her son.

Pro. Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban, Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st What torment I did find thee in thy groans Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts

3 Algiers.

4 Commands.

[ocr errors]

Of ever-angry bears.
This Sycorax
Could not again undo; it was mine art,
When I arriv'd, and heard thee, that made gape
The pine, and let thee out.


I thank thee, master.
Pro. If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak,
And peg thee in his knotty entrails, till
Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters.
I will be correspondent to command,
And do my spriting gently.

Pardon, master:


I will discharge thee.
That's my noble master!
What shall I do? say what? what shall I do?
Pro. Go make thyself like to a nymph o' the sea;
Be subject to no sight but mine; invisible
To every eye-ball else. Go take this shape,
And hither come in't: hence, with diligence.

[Exit ARIEL. Awake, dear heart, awake! thou hast slept well; Awake!

Mira. The strangeness of your story put Heaviness in me.

Shake it off: Come on,
We'll visit Caliban, my slave, who never
Yields us kind answer.


'Tis a villain, sir, I do not love to look on.


But, as 'tis,

We cannot miss him: he does make our fire,
Fetch in our wood; and serves in offices
That profit us. What ho! slave! Caliban,
Thou earth, thou! speak.

Cal. [Within.] There's wood enough within.
Pro. Come forth, I say: there's other business
for thee:
Come forth, thou tortoise! when?

Re-enter ARIEL like a water-nymph.
Fine apparition! My quaint Ariel,
Hark in thine ear.

Do so; and after two days Filth as thou art, with human care; and lodg'd thee
In mine own cell, till thou did'st seek to violate
The honour of my child. Abhorred slave;
Which any print of goodness will not take,
Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage,
Know thine own meaning, but would'st gabble like
A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes
With words that made them known: But thy vile

Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good

My lord, it shall be done. [Erit.
Pro. Thou poisonous slave, come forth!

[blocks in formation]

The fresh springs, brine pits, barren place, and fertile;

Cursed be I that did so!


Thou strok'dst me, and mad'st much of me; would'st give me

Water with berries in't; and teach me how

To name the bigger light, and how the less,

That burn by day and night: and then I lov'd thee,
And show'd thee all the qualities o' the isle,

5 Fairies.

All the charms
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you!
For I am all the subjects that you have,

Which first was mine own king: and here you sty me
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me
The rest of the island.


Thou most lying slave, Whom stripes may move, not kindness! I have us'd thee,


Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou
Deservedly confin'd into this rock,
Who hadst deserv'd more than a prison.

Cal. You taught me language; and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse: the red plague rid you,
For learning me your language!


Hag-seed, hence!
Fetch us in fuel; and be quick, thou wert best,
To answer other business. Shrug'st thou, malice?
If thou neglect'st, or dost unwillingly
What I command, I'll rack thee with old cramps;
Fill all thy bones with aches; make thee roar,
That beasts shall tremble at thy din.


No, 'pray thee!
I must obey his art is of such power,
It would control my dam's god, Setebos,
And make a vassal of him.


So, slave; hence!

[Exit CALIBAN. Re-enter ARIEL invisible, playing and singing; FERDINAND following him.


Come unto these yellow sands
And then take hands:

Court'sied when you have, and kiss'd,

(The wild waves whist 7)

[blocks in formation]

It sounds no more: - and sure, it waits upon
Some god of the island. Sitting on a bank,
Weeping again the king my father's wreck,
This musick crept by me upon the waters;

6 Destroy.

7 Being stilled, silenced.

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

Fer. The ditty does remember my drown'd
This is no mortal business, nor no sound
That the earth owes 8: - I hear it now above me.
Pro. The fringed curtains of thine eye advance
And say, what thou seest yond'.

A goodly person: he hath lost his fellows,
And strays about to find them.

As we have, such: This gallant which thou seest,
Was in the wreck; and but he's something stain'd
With grief, that's beauty's canker, thou might'st

call him

I might call him
A thing divine; for nothing natural
I ever saw so noble.

8 Owns.


[Aside. Spirit, fine spirit! I'll


It goes on,
As my soul prompts it: -
free thee
Within two days for this.
Most sure the goddess
On whom these airs attend! -Vouchsafe my prayer
May know, if you remain upon this island;
And that you will some good instruction give,
How I may bear me here: My prime request,
Which I do last pronounce, is, O you wonder!
If you be maid, or no?

No wonder, sir;

But, certainly a maid.
My language; heavens!
I am the best of them that speak this speech,
Were I but where 'tis spoken.

No, as I am a man.
Mira. There's nothing ill can dwell in such a

Mira. What is't? a spirit? If the ill spirit have so fair an house, See how it looks about! Believe me, sir, Good things will strive to dwell with't. It carries a brave form: - But 'tis a spirit. Pro. Follow me. Pro. No, wench; it eats and sleeps, and hath Speak not you for him; he's a traitor. I'll manacle thy neck and feet together: Sea-water shalt thou drink, thy food shall be The fresh-brook muscles, wither'd roots, and husks Wherein the acorn cradled: Follow. No;

such senses


I will resist such entertainment, till
Mine enemy has more power.


How! the best?
What wert thou, if the king of Naples heard thee?
Fer. A single thing, as I am now, that wonders
To hear thee speak of Naples: He does hear me;
And, that he does, I weep: myself am Naples;
Who with mine eyes, ne'er since at ebb, beheld
The king my father wreck'd.


Alack, for mercy! Fer. Yes, faith, and all his lords; the duke of Milan,

And his brave son being twain.


The duke of Milan,
And his more braver daughter, could control 9 thee,
If now 'twere fit to do't: At the first sight

They have chang'd eyes:

- Delicate Ariel,

I'll set thee free for this!

A word, good sir;

I fear, you have done yourself some wrong: a word.
Mira. Why speaks my father so ungently? This
Is the third man that e'er I saw; the first
That e'er I sigh'd for: pity move my father
To be inclin'd my way!


That thou attend me: thou dost here usurp
fa-The name thou ow'st not; and hast put thyself
Upon this island, as a spy to win it
From me, the lord on't.

9 Confute.

[ocr errors]

O, if a virgin,

And your affection not gone forth, I'll make you
The queen of Naples !

Soft, sir; one word more.
They are both in either's powers; but this swift

I must uneasy make, lest too light winning [Aside. Make the prize light. -One word more; I charge thee,

[To FERD. Come.

[He draws.
O dear father,
Make not too rash a trial of him, for
He's gentle, and not fearful.'
What, I say,
My foot my tutor! Put thy sword up, traitor;
Who mak'st a show, but dar'st not strike, thy con-


Is so possess'd with guilt: come from thy ward 2;
For I can here disarm thee with this stick,
And make thy weapon drop.


Beseech you father!
Pro. Hence; hang not on my garments.
Sir, have pity;

I'll be his surety.


Silence: one word more
Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee. What!
An advocate for an impostor? hush!

Thou think'st there are no more such shapes as he,
Having seen but him and Caliban: Foolish wench!
To the most of men this is a Caliban,
And they to him are angels.

My affections
Are then most humble; I have no ambition
To see a goodlier man.

Come on; obey: [To FERD.
Thy nerves are in their infancy again,
And have no vigour in them.

So they are:
My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up.
My father's loss, the weakness which I feel,
The wreck of all my friends, or this man's threats,
To whom I am subdued, are but light to me,
Might I but through my prison once a day
Behold this maid: all corners else o' the earth
Let liberty make use of; space enough
Have I in such a prison.

1 Frightful.

2 Guard

« ZurückWeiter »