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found a little boat, guided by a frail old man who invited him to come on board. This aged pilot was King Dardano, who again struck the sea with his magic wand, so that they sank into the magic palace. As soon as he saw the Infanta Serafina, Prince Valentiniano rejoiced at his good fortune, and entreated the old man to give him Serafina as wife. By magic art the royal wedding is celebrated, and is attended by many princes and kings with their fair ladies who dwell in all the islands of the ocean.
Just at this time Juliano, the new emperor of Greece and Bulgaria, was returning from Rome, where he had married the daughter of the emperor. As his fleet came over the magic palace where King Dardano was celebrating the wedding of his daughter, a tremendous storm arose, and destroyed all of the ships except the four which were carrying the Emperor Juliano and his wife and their attendants. By his magic power King Dardano rises above the waves, and sternly rebukes the haughty emperor. Soon after reaching home the emperor died, and, shortly after, his bride. The great men of Greece unanimously agreed to search far and wide for Prince Valentiniano, and to offer him the power that justly belonged to him. King Dardano destroyed his magic palace, and sailed with his daughter and his son-in-law for Greece, where they were received with joy. Valentiniano and Serafino reigned for thirty-two years, twice as long as his father had ruled as a tyrant. Old King Dardano relinquished his kingdom in favor of his son-in-law; and, to fulfill his oath that he would dwell no more on dry land, he caused to be built upon five ships a suitable
palace, connecting with the royal palace of his son-in-law. Thus he lived for two years, and left the reputation of a just and peace-loving prince.
This tale can hardly be the immediate source of The Tempest. There is no reason for supposing that Shakespeare could have made use of a Spanish source; and it is not at all probable that a translation was made within a year of the publication in Spain.
Tieck was the first to point out (in his Deutsches Theater, 1817) a relation between The Fair Sidea and The Tempest. The German play was written by Jacob Ayrer, Notarius Publicus and Procurator to the Court in Nuremberg. Ayrer died in 1605, and The Fair Sidea was first published in 1618, in a large volume of plays collected and written by him. In this play Duke (or Prince) Ludolff, a magician, has an only daughter, Sidea, and an attendant spirit, Runcifal. He is overcome by his rival, Duke (or Prince) Leudegast, and is driven into a forest. Engelbrecht, son of Leudegast, meets Prince Ludolff and his daughter; refuses to surrender, draws his sword, and is made helpless by the magic power of Ludolff; becomes a servant to Sidea, to carry logs for her. She takes pity on him, and offers to marry him. After various disappearances and returns, the fathers are reconciled.
A brief summary of the German play, as also of the Spanish tale, emphasizes the points of likeness to The Tempest, and minimizes the differences, which are numerous and pervasive. In character, atmosphere, spirit, Shakespeare's romance differs greatly from this
dull, prosaic play. It is known that a company of English actors was at Nuremberg in 1604 and in 1606, and it has been conjectured that they brought to England this play or a report of it. More probably The Tempest, The Fair Sidea, and the story of King Dardano, derive from a common source as yet undiscovered.
Various facts of Italian history may have had a bearing on the story. A real Alonso, King of Naples, was succeeded in 1495 by his son Ferdinand. A banished Duke of Milan may be found in Maximilian who was dispossessed in 1514; and an usurping duke in 1477, - Prospero Adorno, who was established with the aid of Ferdinand of Naples. These details could have been found by Shakespeare in the Historye of Italie (1549) by William Thomas. The names Prospero and Stephano appear in Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humour, in which Shakespeare was one of the actors. Prospero was also the name of a riding-master, probably a Neapolitan, who lived in London in Shakespeare's day.
The speech of Prospero, "Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves" (V. i. 33–50), is a paraphrase of Ovid's Metamorphoses, VII, 192–219, a passage that Shakespeare may have read as a schoolboy at Stratford. He may have known Ovid better than any other Latin poet. He certainly made use, however, of the translation of the Metamorphoses by Arthur Golding, published in 1565; he had already used this translation in his burlesque dramatization of the story of Pyramus and Thisbe. There is a striking resemblance between the speech of Prospero "And like the baseless fabric,"
etc. (IV. i. 151) and a passage in The Tragedie of Darius (1603), by Sir William Alexander, afterward Earl of Sterling. Phrases in the speeches of Gonzalo about his ideal commonwealth (II. i. 147–162) are based upon the translation by John Florio of Montaigne's Essays (I, 30: Of the Caniballes), published in 1603. From other plays also it is evident that Shakespeare was acquainted with the Essays of Montaigne. Mention has already been made of the pamphlets by Silvester Jourdan and William Strachey on the shipwreck of Sir George Somers and his companions. These and other books of travel and discovery, such as Eden's History of Travaile (1577), Raleigh's Discovery of Guiana (1596), Shakespeare read and used. There is also the possibility, probability one might say, that in some London tavern he plied with questions some sailor or colonist who had returned from the expedition of 1609. What more natural for a playwright who was working upon a play dealing with storm and shipwreck? Several months after writing these words the present editor found a reference to aninteresting letter by Rudyard Kipling in the London Spectator of July 2, 1898. Mr. Kipling suggests that the managerplaywright may have drawn character, incident, setting, atmosphere, from "the chatter of a half-tipsy sailor at a theater," and have fitted them to a play that was already taking shape in his mind. To the manager-playwright "in a receptive hour, sent by heaven, entered the original Stephano, fresh from the seas and half-seas over. To him Stephano told his tale all in one piece, a two hours' discourse of most glorious absurdities." The genesis of atmosphere, minor characters, and underplot, as con
jectured by the fertile imagination of a writer of our own day, will repay a careful reading.
Relations to Contemporary Drama.
The Tempest is
one of the group of latest plays, including Pericles, Cymbeline, and The Winter's Tale, that are usually termed dramatic romances. These plays have in common the restoration of a lost child, or children, and the reconciliation of parted friends or relatives; in Pericles the loss is caused by a shipwreck. In each of these plays there is a group of older characters, and a girlish heroine who is the center of a group of younger characters. Some critics 1 have discovered in this group of plays the influence of the early plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, - such as Philaster. It has also been observed that among the varied suggestions from which Shakespeare made his play of an enchanted island, he drew some hints from the very elaborate Court Masques which were then in high favor at the Court of James. The betrothal of Ferdinand and Miranda is celebrated by a masque (IV. i), and the 66 strange shapes " (III. iii. divers spirits, IV. i) may have been suggested by the antimasques," or grotesque dances of the Court performances.
Imitations and Adaptations. The Tempest won immediate and continued popularity, as is attested by the comment of Ben Jonson 2 in the Induction to Bartholomew
1 The Influence of Beaumont and Fletcher on Shakespeare. A. H. Thorndike, Worcester, 1901.
2 If there bee never a Servant monster i' the Fayre who can helpe it? he sayes: nor a nest of Antiques? Hee [the author] is loth to make Nature afraid in his Playes, like those that beget Tales, Tempests, and such like Drolleries.