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1611, being mentioned by John Davies of Hereford, in his Scourge of Folly, printed in that year. It appears from a prologue of D'Avenant's, that some of Fletcher's dramatick performances were produced as early as the year 1605.
MALOne. 293. On the curl'd clouds; -] So in Timon-Crisp heaven.
STEEVENS. 296. Perform'd to point -] i. e. to the minutest article. So in the Chances, by Beaumont and Fletcher,
are you all fit? “ To point, sir."
Steevens. 298. now on the beak,] The beak was a strong pointed body at the head of the ancient gallies; it is used here for the forecastle, or the bolt-sprit.
JOHNSON. 299. Now in the waste, -] The part between the quarter-deck and the forecastle.
JOHNSON, 300. Sometimes, I'll divide,
And burn in many places.---] Perhaps our author, when he wrote these lines, remembered the following passage in Hackluyt's Voyages, 1598: “I do remember that in the great and boysterous storme of this foule weather, in the night there came upon the toppe of our maine-mast a certain little light, much like unto the light of a little candle, which the Spaniards call the Cuerpo Santo. This light continued aboard our ship about three hours, flying from maste to maste, and from top to top; and sometimes it would be in two or three places at once."
O' the dreadful thunder-clap---] So, in K. Lear: “ 'Vaunt couriers of oak-cleaving thunder-bolts.”
STEEVENS, 313. But felt a fever of the mad, ----] In all the later editions this is changed to a fever of the mind, without reason or authority, nor is any notice given of an alteration.
JOHNSON. If it be at all necessary to explain the meaning, it is this : Not a soul but felt such a fever as madmen feel, when the frantick fit is upon them,
STEEVENS. 325. sustaining--] 1. e. Their garments that bore them up and supported them. So, K, Lear, act iv, sc. 4.
“ In our sustaining corn." Mr. Edwards was of opinion that we should read sca-stained garments; for (says he) it was not the floating of their clothes, but the magick of Prospero which preserved, as it had wrecked them. Nor was the miracle, that their garments had not been at first discoloured by the sea-water, which even that sus, taining 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 notwithstanding 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, Esq. who very obli,
ĝingly 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 justly offended, had any other reasons prevented me from communicating the unpublished sentiments of that sprightly critick and most amiable man, as entire as I received them.
STEEVENS. This note of Mr. Edwards, with which I suppose no reader is satisfied, shews with how much greater éase critical emendations are destroyed than made, and how willingly every man would be changing the text, if his imagination would furnish alterations.
JOHNSON. 338. From the still-vėx'd Bermoothés. ---] Theobald says, Bermoothes is printed by mistake for Bermudas. No. That was the name by which the islands then went, as we may see by the voyages
of that time; and by our author's contemporary poets. Fletcher, in his Women Pleased, says, The devil should think of purchasing that egg-shell to vi&tual out a witch for the Bermoothes. Smith, in his account of these islands, p. 172. says, That the Bermudas were so fearful to the world, that many called them The Isle of Devils.-P. 174.- to all seamen no less terrible than an inchanted den of furies. And no wonder, for the clime was extremely subject to storins and hurricanes z and the islands were surrounded with scattered rocks lying shallowly hid under the surface of the water.
The epithet here applied to the Bermudas, will be best understood by those who have seen the chafing of the sea over the rugged rocks by which they are surrounded, and which render access to them so dangerous. It was in our poet's time the current opinion, that the Bermudas were inhabited by monsters, and devils. Setebos, the god of Caliban's dam, was an American devil, worshipped by the giants of Patagonia.
HENLEY. Again, in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Dee vil is in it, 1612.
“ Sir, if you have made me tell a lye, they'll send me on a voyage to the island of Hogs and Devils, the Bermudas."
STEEVENS. The opinion that Bermudas was haunted with evil spirits continued so late as the civil wars. In a little piece of Sir John Berkinhead's, entitled, Two Centuries of Paul's Church-Yard, una cum indice expurgatorio, &c. 12mo in page 62, under the title Cases of Conscience, is this :
34. " Whether Bermudas and the parliament-house lie under one planet, seeing both are haunted with devils."
PERCY. 343. -the Mediterranean flote,] Flote is wave. Flot. Fr.
STEEVENS. 349. What is the time o' the day?] This passage needs not be disturbed, it being common to ask a 'question, which the next moment enables us to answer: he that thinks it faulty may easily adjust it thus :
Pro. What is the time oʻthe day? Past the mid-season ?
JOHNSON. Mr. Upton proposes to regulate this passage dif. ferently :
Ariel. Past the mid-season, at least two glasses.
MALONE. 365, Dost thou forget-] That the character and conduct of Prospero may be understood, something must be known of the system 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, some being confined in hell, some (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our poet's age, expresses it) dispersed in air, some 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:
-Thou wast a spirit too delicate To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands. Over these spirits 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 observes in his Demonology) one who commands the devil, whereas the witch serves him. Those who thought best of this