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Caliban shows the superiority of natural capacity over surely, much more expressive for Prospero to say greater knowledge and greater folly; and when Ariel he has given away a third' of his own life, than per's frightens them with his music, Caliban, to encourage a thread of his own life.” The ground of this chez them, accounts for it in the eloquent poetry of the is, that thread, often anciently spelled tred, was This is not more beautiful than true. The
easy misprint; and that the “ twisted thread of 5 Poet here shows us the savage with the simplicity of was a common image of the Old English, as well » the child, and makes the strange monster amiable. He | the Latin poets. If it had been the thread, as Z. Jac. had to paint the human animal rude, and without choice son insists it shonld be read, I should have concom in his pleasures, but not without the sense of pleasure, in this change. But a thread is merely one of the firs or some germ of the affections. Master Barnardine, in or parts of “my life," and thus less expressive of the MEASURE FOR MEASURE, the savage of civilized life, is strong parental feeling than a “third."
i Hali u an admirable philosophical counterpart to Caliban." (dimidium vitæ) is a frequent figure, both in Latin e Hazlitt.
English, to express this sense.
“ No sweet ASPERSION"-" Aspersion" is here med!
its primitive sense of sprinkling, in which sense " By'r La'kin"-i. e. By our lady-kin—an affection also found in Lord Bacon. Modern use has limited: ate diminutive of “ Our Lady,”-i. e. the Virgin. to the figurative sense of casting reproach on character.
- PROSPERO ABOVE"-On the top, in the folios; It is remarkable how many of those words, of lo meaning, perhaps, in some machine let down with origin, to which common use has affixed a similar por ropes from the ceiling, or in the balcony at the back of aphorical sense, are employed by Shakespeare in the
primitive meanings. (See note from Hallam, ai už
end of MIDSUMMER-Night's DREAM.) “Praise in departing”—This is a proverbial phrase, signifying, Do not praise your entertainment too soon, “_ bring a corollARY"—i. e. Bring more thsa s lest you should have reason to retract your commenda sufficient. Corollary; the addition or vantage 2 tion.
measure—an overplus, or surplusage."-BLOest. " — PUTTER-Out of five for one"-The “putters-out"
"— thatch'd with stoveR"-—“Stover" is still a lor were travellers, who put out money at what may be
of-England word for fodder for cattle, hay, strae; who termed interest-viz, to receive at the rate of five for Holloway (“English Provincialisms”) derives frio one, if they returned. The practice is often mentioned being stowed away" in ricks, or barns; and Ners by old writers.
Fast to meate we fall.
from the old French term, adopted in the common las
England—estover; “necessary provisions." Enter Ariel like a harpy''—This circumstance is of course taken from the “ Æneid" of Virgil. Those “ — PEONIED and LILIED brims"_The old editico who maintain that Shakespeare could not read the origi,
have “pioned and twilled" brims, which some of nal send him to Phaer's translation, which was printed
later retain, and endeavour to explain; but thoazhi in 1558 :
find pioning used in old poets for digging, (the rooted
our word pioneer,) and twilled for interroren, as But sodenly from down the hills with grisly fall to syght,
still retain the use in relation to various woren starten The harpies come, and beating wings with great noys out thei
silks, etc. ; yet the sense still seems so very harsh a shright, And at our meate they snatch, and with their clawes, etc.
improbable, that I cannot but think that the ongi.
reading is a misprint for those suggested by Stevens az. (“That hath to INSTRUMENT this lower world")—i. e. Warton—"peonied and lilied brims" presenting a man That hath the world to play upon, as an “instrument." ral and agreeable image, and supported by the “ Ladies “One DowLE that's in my plume"—"Dowle" seems
lilied banks” of Milton, whose poetical phraseology to mean nearly the same as down, or the light parts of
so much formed upon Shakespeare's as often to afford which feathers are composed.
the best comment upon him. The commentators bare
discussed the reading, in many pages, of which we gore "— it did Base my trespass"-Carrying out the figurative allusion to the loud music of the organ, he makes
the substance, as summed up by Singer and Collier :
“ In Ovid's' Banquet of Sense,' by Geo. Chapman, the thunder, in deep organ-like note, sound his guilt. (1595,) we meet with“Base," or bass, is a verb coined by Shakespeare, from
cuplike twill-pants strew'd in Bacchus bowers. the well-known musical term. The more technical musical orthography is bass, but both modes have
If twill be the name of any flower, the old reading my authority; and I have, therefore, differed from most
stand. Mr. Henley strongly contends for the old rest
. modern editions in preserving the spelling of the origi.
ing, and explains pioned to mean faced up with mr. nal edition, as it is pronounced.
in the manner that ditchers trim the banks of ditches:
twilled he derives from the French verb touiller, " — this ECSTASY"-Shakespeare uses “ecstasy" for
which Cotgrave interprets to mix, to mingle, tos any temporary alienation of mind—a fit, or madness. found, or shuffle together. He objects to peonied and Minshew's definition of this word will explain its mean lilied, because these flowers never blow in April. But ing, wherever it occurs :-"Extasie, or trance; Gr. Mr. Boaden has pointed out a passage in Lord Bacon's extase; Lat. extasis, abstractio mentis. Est proprie Essay on Gardens,' which supports the reading in the mentis emotio, et quasi ex statione sua deturbatio, seu
text: In April follow the double white violet
, the furore, seu admiratione, seu timore, aliove casu decidat.”—Guide to the Tongues, (1617.)
wall-Power, the stock-gilly-flower, the cowslip, flowers
de-luces, and lillies of ali natures; rosemary fowers This is the sense in which it is used in Hamlet, in
the tulippe, the double piony, etc.' Lyte, in his Ophelia's speech, (at end of act iii. scene 1;) and also in the fourth scene of the same act:-“Ecstasy-my
• Herbal,' says one kind of peonie is called by
maiden or virgin peonie. And Pliny mentions the pulse,” etc.
water-lily as a preserver of chastity, (book xxvi. chap
. 10.) Edward Fenton, in his Secret Wonders of Na ACT IV.-SCENE I.
ture, (1569,) asserts that the water-lilly mortifieth al- A THIRD of mine own life”-“We adhere (says together the appetite of sensuality, and defends from Collier) to the text of every old edition of this play,
“ The old text iswhere Prospero tells Ferdinand that he has given him a third' of his own life-a portion of his very exist
Thy banks with pioned and troilied brimsence-in bestowing Miranda. This seems not only per and we cannot discover any unintelligibility in it
, taking fectly intelligible, but natural, although modern editors * pioned' as dug, (a sense in which it is used by Spell; (Capell excepted) substitute thread for third.' It is, ser, and with the same etymology as pioneer,)
*twilled' as ridged, or made up in ridges—a sense it Hazlitt has presented the leading idea which pervades
It may be added, in reply to an objection to the more of the author's master-pieces. It is not, indeed, pleasant modern reading, that the Poet does not say that the to see this character on the stage, any more than it is to banks were in full bloom of peonies and lilies in April, see the god Pan represented there. But, in itself, it is but that it was that month which then so bestrewed one of the wildest and most abstracted of all Shakethe banks with such a growth as would yield “chaste speare's characters, where deformity, whether of body crowns for nymphs," etc.
or mind, is redeemed by the power and truth of the " — with thy saffron wings”—Mr. Douce remarks
imagination displayed in it. It is the essence of grossthat this is an elegant expansion of the following lines
ness, but there is not a particle of vulgarity in it. in Phaer's “Virgil's Æneid :"
Shakespeare has displayed the brutal mind of Caliban
in contrast with the pure and original forms of nature; Dame rainbow down therefore with safron wings of dropping showres,
the character grows out of the soil where it is rooted, Whose face a thousand sundry hues against the sun devoures,
uncontrolled, uncouth, and wild, uncramped by any of From heaven descending came.
the meannesses of custom. It is ‘of the earth, earthy;' " — this shORT-GRASS'd green"-Many editors, since
It seems almost to have been dug out of the ground, with Rowe, have “short-graz'd green," or grazed down so
a soul instinctively superadded to it, answering to its
wants and origin. Vulgarity is not natural coarseness, as to be short; which is neither the genuine old read.
but conventional coarseness, learned from others, coning, nor the sense. Ceres, as if finding herself out of
trary to or without entire conformity of natural power place on the scanty wild-grass of an uncultivated island,
and disposition; as fashion is the common-place affectanaturally asks why she is summoned to this “short
tion of what is elegant and refined, without any seeking grass'd green."
of the essence of it."
" — to MEET With Caliban"-i. e. To counteract, to
“ — lifted up their noses”—This passage is a most accurate description of the effect produced upon colts by music. On first bearing even a trumpet, instead of being terrified, they will often advance and thrust their nose up to the very mouth of the instrument, while it is blown, provided this be done with some consideration.
" — king Stephano”—This is an allusion to the old ballad, “ Řing Stephen was a worthy peer,” of which Iago sings a verse in OTHELLO.
"— a FRIPPERY"-i. e. A shop where old clothes
A FRIPPERY, 1587.
ACT V.-SCENE I.
“ – the Line-grove”—This is usually printed limesuggests that in the present instance they were hung grove; but the old name of the tree is "line," and not upon a hair line. Stevens thinks there is some gross
lime, and so it stands in the old copies. This error is allusion in the passage. Edwards says it refers to the
pointed out by the Rev. Mr. Hunter, in his “ Disquisiloss of hair by fever on passing the equinoctial line!
tion on the Tempest.” He, however, insists, with less Did the sailors shave folks with an iron hoop in those
reason, that the line on which the “glistering apparel" days ? Stephano, was, however, drunk; half with wine,
is hung means a lime-tree. All the coarse jokes of the and half with his ideas of royalty.
dialogue contradict this supposition. “Cal. I will have none on't: we shall lose our time”
“ Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes”—This It is an acute remark of Hazlitt's, that these drunken
speech is evidently suggested by Medea's, in Ovid; the sailors (who are as like drunken sailors as they can be expressions are. (many of them) in the old translation serve as an indirect foil to Caliban, “whose figure ac
by Golding, which is by no means literal, showing that quires a classical dignity in the contrast.” This passage
the Poet had that in his mind, and not the original. depicts a truth which, in that age, the Poet must have
But the exquisite fairy imagery is Shakespeare's own. rather inferred from his general acquaintance of human (“Weak MASTERS though ye be")-. e. “Ye are nature than gathered from immediate knowledge, but powerful auxiliaries, but weak if left to yourselves which the intercourse of civilized man with savages has, your employment is then to make green ringlets, and in later years, too often and too unhappily confirmed- midnight mushrooms, and to play the idle pranks, menthat, degraded and brutal as the savage may be, he is tioned by Ariel in his next song; yet, by your aid, I still, mentally and morally, above the level to which a have been enabled to invert the course of nature. We more wilful depravity can degrade his civilized visitor say, proverbially, "Fire is a good servant, but a bad or neighbour.
"There I couch when orls do cry"-There is some characters, diversifie variation in the modes adopted by the several editors in preserved with pre printing and pointing this song, and in their understand knowledge of opinig ing of it
. In the first edition the text of the folios has in a single drama, w been followed, and I see little difficulty in it. " When and sailors, all speak owls do cry" (i. e. at night) Ariel "couches in a cow is the agency of air slip's bell;" and he uses the "bat's back" as his pleasant The operations of m vehicle, to pursue the summer in its progress round the ventures of a deser globe, and thus live merrily under continual blossoms. taught affection, the But some of the commentators have rejected this, which happiness of the pui is admitted to be the most obvious sense, because bats are equally intereste no not migrate in search of summer, but become torpid in winter. Possibly the Poet did not advert to this, or more probably he did, but still saw no reason why
“ The TEMPEST Ariel might not make the bat serve as his locomotive, fixed at their first im
movement: the u and obey his direction, without depending upon the bat’s mere instinct to guide him. In reference to this apparent obstacles ir zoological fact of the non-migration of bats, divers varia- go leisurely about thi tions of the punctuation have been made. Theobald
and Antonio on the proposes sunset for summer. Capell and Collier place are nothing but a fei
Caliban and his dro a period after "couch:"There I couch. When owls do cry,
completely frustrated On the bat's back I do fly,
Nothing remains, the After summer, merrily.
guilty, by dreadful This reading is founded on the notion that owls do not sciences, the discov cry in summer, which is neither true in fact, nor accord this want is so admie ing to Shakespeare's idea of them; for he introduces display of the fascina " the clamorous owl that nightly hoots," in the month
of mirth-the detail of May, in the MidsUMMER-Night's Dream. Knight, tractive, that it requ retaining the folio arrangement in his text, in his notes perceive that the offers this punctuation :
already contained in In a cowslip's bell I lie :
love of Ferdinand a There I couch when owls do cry
short scenes, is end On the bat's back-1 do fly
union of chivalrous After summer merrily. '. After summer" he understands as after summer is past. brought up far from
on the other, of the But in this punctuation there seems to have no meaning, has never learned to nor can it refer at once to the cowslip's bell and to the The wisdom of the bat's back. I think we may be well content with the magical and mysterio old text, and consider it not very material (in fairy na- falsehood of the two ture) that Ariel should thus make the bat, instead of gossiping of the old a the wind, his post-horse, and pursue the circling series of Stephano, two goodblossoms and leaves in its progress around the world. associate in Caliban;
whole, as the persona
"Caliban has bec creation of a poetic gnome and the savag behaviour we percei disposition, and the The latter could only in the slightest deg it is as if the use of re communicated to a cowardly, false, and is essentially differen ized world, as they Shakespeare. He is falls into the low fan for he is a poetical b up every thing disse of which he has con whole variety of nato tily deformed bave : nation. The magice of Prospero has asse a faint reflection into falls into a dark cave either heat or illumi tion the poisonous vs
this monster is inco ARIEL AS A SEA-Nympu.
and notwithstanding ful to our feelings, as
untouched. “ It is observed of the TEMPEST, that its plan is regu- " In the zephyr-lik lar: this the author of the Revisal thinks, what I think be mistaken; his too, an accidental effect of the story, not intended, or On the other hand, regarded, by our author. But, whatever might be of earth. Yet they Shakespeare's intention in forming or adopting the plot,
sonifications, but be he has made it instrumental to the production of many general we find, in
in the Tempest, in the magical part of Macbeth, and of head and heart. He has drawn it, indeed, in all its wherever Shakespeare avails himself of the popular be distinctive energies of faith, patience, constancy, fortilief in the invisible presence of spirits, and the possibility tude-shown in all of them as following the heart, which of coming in contact with them, a profound view of gives its results by a nice tact and happy intuition, with. the inward life of Nature and her mysterious springs; out the intervention of the discursive faculty—sees all which, it is true, ought never to be altogether unknown things in and by the light of the affections, and errs, if to the genuine poet, as poetry is altogether incompatible it ever err, in the exaggerations of love alone. In all with mechanical physics, but which few have possessed in the Shakespearian women there is essentially the same an equal degree with Dante and himself."-SCHLEGEL. foundation and principle; the distinct individuality and
variety are merely the result of the modification of cir. “The Tempest is a specimen of the purely romantic
cumstances, whether in Miranda the maiden, in Imogen drama, in which the interest is not historical, or de
the wife, or in Katharine the queen. pendent upon fidelity of portraiture, or the natural con
“But to return. The appearance and characters of nection of events; but is a birth of the imagination, and
the super or ultra-natural servants are finely contrasted. rests only on the coaptation and union of the elements
Ariel has in every thing the airy tint which gives the granted to, or assumed by, the Poet. It is a species of
name; and it is worthy of remark that Miranda is never drama which owes no allegiance to time or space, and
directly brought into comparison with Ariel, lest the in which, therefore, errors of chronology and geogra
natural and human of the one and the supernatural of phy-no mortal sins in any species--are venial faults,
the other should tend to neutralize each other. Cali. and count for nothing. It addresses itself entirely to
ban, on the other hand, is all earth--all condensed and the imaginative faculty; and although the illusion
gross in feelings and images; he has the dawnings of may be assisted by the effect on the senses of the com
understanding without reason or the moral sense, and plicated scenery and decorations of modern times, yet
in him, as in some brute animals, this advance to the inthis sort of assistance is dangerous. For the
principal by the appearance of vice. For it is in the primacy of
tellectual faculties, without the moral sense, is marked and only genuine excitement ought to come from within—from the moved and sympathetic imagination ;
the moral being only that man is truly human ; in his whereas, where so much is addressed to the mere ex
intellectual powers he is certainly approached by the ternal senses of seeing and hearing, the spiritual vision
brutes, and, man's whole system duly considered, those is apt to languish, and the attraction from without will
powers cannot be considered other than means to an withdraw the mind from the proper and only legitimate
end, that is, to morality. interest which is intended to spring from within.
“In this scene, as it proceeds, is displayed the im. “ The romance opens with a busy scene admirably pression made by Ferdinand and Miranda on each other :
it is love at first sight-
at the first sight
They have chang'd eyes.
And it appears to me that, in all cases of real love, it is which their previous habits had not fitted them to un at one moment that it takes place. That moment may derstand. It is the bustle of a tempest, from which the
have been prepared by previous esteem, admiration, or real horrors are abstracted; therefore it is poetical,
even affection; yet love seems to require a momentary though not in strictness natural, (the distinction to which
act of volition, by which a tacit bond of devotion is imI have so often alluded,) and is purposely restrained
posed-a bond not to be thereafter broken without vio. from concentering the interest on itself, but used merely
lating what should be sacred in our nature. How finely as an induction or tuning for what is to follow.
is the true Shakespearian scene contrasted with Dryden's “ In the second scene, Prospero's speeches, till the vulgar alteration of it, in which a mere ludicrous psycho. entrance of Ariel, contain the finest example, I remem
logical experiment, as it were, is tried-displaying ber, of retrospective narration, for the purpose of excit
nothing but indelicacy without passion. Prospero's ining immediate interest, and putting the audience in
terruption of the courtship has often seemed to me to possession of all the information necessary for the un
have no sufficient motive; still his alleged reasonderstanding of the plot. Observe, too, the perfect pro
legt too light winning
Make the prize light-
, as it were, of the tempest) to open is enough for the ethereal connections of the romantic out the truth to his daughter, his own romantic bearing, | imagination, although it would not be so for the historiand how completely any thing that might have been cal. The whole courting scene, indeed, in the begindisagreeable to us in the magician, is reconciled and ning of the third act, between the lovers is a mastershaded in the humanity and natural feeling of the father. piece; and the first dawn of disobedience in the mind In the very first speeeh of Miranda, the simplicity and
of Miranda to the command of her father is very finely tenderness of her character are at once laid open; it drawn, so as to seem the working of the scriptural comwould have been lost in direct contact with the agita. mand, “Thou shalt leave father and mother,' etc.
0! tion of the first scene. The opinion once prevailed, with what exquisite purity this scene is conceived and but, happily, is now abandoned, that Fletcher alone executed! Shakespeare may sometimes be gross, but wrote for women. The truth is, that with very few, I boldly say that he is always moral and modest. Alas: and those partial, exceptions, the female characters in in this our day decency of manners is preserved at the the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher are, when of the expense of morality of heart, and delicacies for vice are light kind, not decent ; when heroic, complete viragos. allowed, while grossness against it is hypocritically, or But in Shakespeare all the elements of womanhood are at least morbidly, condemned. holy, and there is the sweet, yet dignified feeling of all “ In this play are admirably sketched the vices generthat continuates society, as sense of ancestry and of sex, ally accompanying a low degree of civilization; and in with a purity unassailable by sophistry, because it rests the first scene of the second act Shakespeare bas, as in not in the analytic processes, but in that same equipoise many other places, shown the tendency in bad men to of the faculties, during which the feelings are represent indulge in scorn and contemptuous expressions, as a ative of all past experience-not of the individual only, mode of getting rid of their own uneasy feelings of inbut of all those by whom she has been educated, and feriority to the good, and also, by making the good riditheir predecessors even up to the first mother that lived. culous, of rendering the transition of others to wickedShakespeare saw that the want of prominence, which ness easy. Shakespeare never puts habitual scorn into Pope notices for sarcasm, was the blessed beauty of the the mouths of other than bad men, as here in the inwoman's character, and knew that it arose not from any stances of Antonio and Sebastian. The scene of the indeficiency, but from the more exquisite harmony of all tended assassination of Alonzo and Gonzalo is an exact the parts of the moral being constituting one living total counterpart of the scene between Macbeth and his lady,
only pitched in a lower key throughout, as designed to of which, although few may be in possession, all enjoy be frustrated and concealed, and exhibiting the same the advantages. Hence, again, you will observe the profound management in the manner of familiarizing a good nature with which he seems always to make sport mind, not immediately recipient, to the suggestion of with the passions and follies of a mob, as with an imaguilt, by associating the proposed crime with something tional animal. He is never angry with it, but bugels ludicrous or out of place--something not habitually mat content with holding up its absurdities to its face; as ter of reverence. By this kind of sophistry the imagi- sometimes you may trace a tone of almost affectionate nation and fancy are first bribed to contemplate the sug. superiority, something like that in which a father speak gested act, and at length to become acquainted with it. of the rogueries of a child. See the good-humoured Observe how the effect of this scene is heightened by way in which he describes Stephano passing from the contrast with another counterpart of it in low life—that most licentious freedom to absolute despotism ora between the conspirators Stephano, Caliban, and Trin- || Trinculo and Caliban. The truth is, Shakespeare's culo, in the second scene of the third act, in which there characters are all genera intensely individualized; the are the same essential characteristics.
results of meditation, of which observation supplied the “In this play and in this scene of it are also shown drapery and the colours necessary to combine there the springs of the vulgar in politics—of that kind of with each other. He had virtually surveyed all tb politics which is inwoven with human nature. In his great component powers and impulses of human naturetreatment of the subject, wherever it occurs, Shake | had seen that their different combinations and subordspeare is quite peculiar. In 'other writers we find the nations were in fact the individualizers of men, as particular opinions of the individual—in Massinger it is showed how their harmony was produced by reciprock
! rank republicanism-in Beaumont and Fletcher even disproportions of excess or deficiency. The langer jure divino principles are carried to excess; but Shake in which these truths are expressed was not drawn frue speare never promulgates any party tenets. He is al- | any set fashion, but from the profoundest depths of b ways the philosopher and the moralist, but at the same moral being, and is therefore for all ages."-COLERIDE time with a profound veneration for all the established institutions of society, and for those classes which form [Coleridge has, more suo, given to his idolized Poe the permanent elements of the state-especially never his own opinions in making him “a philosophical si introducing a professional character, as such, otherwise tocrat," etc.; but, as more appropriate occasions are than as respectable. If he must have any name, he presented elsewhere for considering his political inelin should be styled a philosophical aristocrat, delighting in tions or opinions, we shall omit further consideramo
. those hereditary institutions which have a tendency to of it in this place, where it requires all Coleridge's exbind one age to another, and in that distinction of ranks cursive ingenuity to introduce it at all.]