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The affliction of my mind amends, with which,
I fear, a madness held me: this must crave
(An if this be at all,) a most strange story.
Thy dukedom I resign;' and do entreat
Thou pardon me my wrongs :-But how should

Prospero
Be living, and be here?
Pro.

First, noble friend,
Let me embrace thine age; whose honour cannot
Be measur'd, or confin'd.
Gon.

Whether this be,
Or be not, I'll not swear.
Pro.

You do yet taste
Some subtilties o' the isle, that will not let

you Believe things certain :-Welcome, my friends

all :

But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,

[Aside to SEB. and ANT. I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you, And justify you traitors; at this time I'll tell no tales. Seb. The devil speaks in him.

[Aside. Pro.

No:
For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother
Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive
Thy rankest fault; all of them ; and require
My dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know,
Thou must restore.
Alon.

If thou beest Prospero,

Tky dukedom I resign,] The duchy of Milan being through the treachery of Antonio made feudatory to the crown of Naples, Alonso promises to resign his claim of sovereignty for the future. 6 You do yet taste

Some subtilties o' the isle,] This is a phrase adopted from ancient cookery and confectionary. When a dish was so contrived as to appear unlike what it really was, they called it ® subtilty. Dragons, castles, trees, &c. made out of sugar, hadi the like denomination.

Give us particulars of thy preservation :
How thou hast met us here, who three hours since?
Were wreck'd upon this shore; where I have lost,
How sharp the point of this remembrance is !
My dear son Ferdinand.
Pro.

I am woe for’t, sir. 8
Alon. Irreparable is the loss; and patience
Says, it is past her cure.
Pro.

I rather think,
You have not sought her help; of whose soft grace
For the like loss, I have her sovereign aid,
And rest myself content.
Alon.

You the like loss? Pro. As great to me, as late ;' and, portable To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker Than you may call to comfort you; for I Have lost my daughter. Alon.

A daughter? O heavens ! that they were living both in Naples, The king and queen there! that they were, I wish

passages, as well

who three hours since -] The unity of time is most rigidly observed in this piece. The fable scarcely takes up a greater number of hours than are employed in the representation; and from the very particular care which our author takes to point out this circumstance in so many

other as here, it should seem as if it were not accidental, but purposely designed to shew the admirers of Ben Jonson's art, and the cavillers of the time, that he too could write a play within all the strictest laws of regularity, when he chose to load himself with the critick's fetters. The Boatswain marks the progress of the day again-which but three glasses since, &c. and at the beginning of this act the duration of the time employed on the stage is particularly ascertained; and it refers to a passage in the first act, of the same tendency. The storm was raised at least two glasses after mid day, and Ariel was promised that the work should cease at the sixth hour. STEEVENS.

8 I am woe for't, sir.] i. e. I am sorry for it. To be woe, is often used by old writers to signify, to be sorry.

As great to me, as late ;] My loss is as great as yours, and has as lately happened to me,

JOHNSON.

you lose

Myself were mudded in that

oozy

bed Where my son lies. When did

your daughter? Pro. In this last tempest. I perceive, these lords At this encounter do so much admire, That they devour their reason; and scarce think Their eyes do offices of truth, their words Are natural breath :' but, howsoe'er you have Been justled from your senses, know for certain, That I am Prospero, and that very duke Which was thrust forth of Milan; who most

strangely Upon this shore, where you were wreck’d, was

landed, To be the lord on't. No more yet of this ; For 'tis a chronicle of day by day, Not a relation for a breakfast, nor Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, sir ; This cell's my court : here have I few attendants, And subjects none abroad : pray you, look in. My dukedom since you have given me again, I will requite you with as good a thing ; At least, bring forth a wonder, to content ye, As much as me my dukedom.

their words Are natural breath :] An anonymous correspondent thinks that their is a corruption, and that we should read—these words. His conjecture appears not improbable. The lords had no doubt concerning themselves. Their doubts related only to Prospero, whom they at first apprehended to be some“ inchanted trifle to abuse them.” They doubt, says he, whether what they see and hear is a mere illusion ; whether the person they behold is a living mortal, whether the words they hear are spoken by a human creature. MALONE.

[blocks in formation]

The entrance of the Cell opens, and discovers Fer

DINAND and MIRANDA playing at chess.

Mira. Sweet lord, you play me false.
Fer.

No, my dearest love,
I would not for the world,
Mira. Yes, for a score of kingdoms, you should

wrangle, And I would call it fair play. Alon.

If this

prove
A vision of the island, one dear son
Shall I twice lose.
Seb.

A most high miracle !
Fer. Though the seas threaten they are merci-

ful: I have curs'd them without cause.

[FERD. kneels to Alon, Alon.

Now all the blessings Of a glad father compass thee about ! Arise, and say how thou cam'st here. Mira.

O! wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here ! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't! Pro.

'Tis new to thee.

2 Yes, for a score of kingdoms, &c.] I take the sense to be only this: Ferdinand would not, he says, play her false for the world : : yea, answers she, I would allow you to do it for something less than the world, for twenty kingdoms, and I wish you well enough to allow you, after a little wrangle, that your play was fair. So, likewise, Dr. Grey. Johnson. . I would recommend another punctuation, and then the sense would be as follows:

Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,

And I would call it fair play: hecause such a contest would be worthy of you.

STEEVENS.

Alon. What is this maid, with whom thou wast

at play?
Your eld'st acquaintance cannot be three hours :
Is she the goddess that hath sever'd us,
And brought us thus together?
Fer.

Şir, she's mortal;
But, by immortal providence, she's mine;
I chose her, when I could not ask

my

father
For his advice; nor thought I had one: she
Is daughter to this famous duke of Milan,
Of whom so often I have heard renown,
But never saw before; of whom I have
Received a second life, and second father
This lady makes him to me.
Alon.

I am hers:
But 0, how oddly will it sound, that I
Must ask my child forgiveness !
Pro.

There, sir, stop;
Let us not burden our remembrances
With a heaviness that's gone.
Gon.

I have inly wept, Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you

gods,
And on this couple drop a blessed crown;
For it is you, that have chalk'd forth the way
Which brought us hither!
Alon.

I say, Amen, Gonzalo! Gon. Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his

issue Should become kings of Naples? O, rejoice Beyond a common joy; and set it down With gold on lasting pillars : In one voyage Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis; And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife, Where he himself was lost; Prospero his dukedom, In a poor isle ; and all of us, ourselves, When no man was his own.

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