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IV. i. 59. S. d. Enter Iris. At this point begins the masque, acted in honor of the betrothal, by Prospero's spirits. It was once customary to doubt the authenticity of this part of the play; but no good reason Has ever been given for assigning it to any other hand than Shakespeare's.
IV. i. 64. pioned and twilled. Unintelligible words. 'We have simply lost the meanings of words which were perfectly intelligible to Shakespeare's audience.' (Furness.)
IV. i. 89. Dis. Pluto, who seized Proserpina, daughter of Ceres, as she was gathering flowers, and carried her off to the underworld.
IV. i. 114, 115. Spring come to you . . . harvest. The wish is that the year may be all spring and sum
The return of spring is to occur, at latest, immediately after harvest. IV. i. 223. 'King Stephen was a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown,
-Old Ballad. Cf. Othello, II. iii. 93.
IV. i. 238. Now is the jerkin under the line. ‘Line' probably means 'lime-tree' (cf. V. i. 10). Stephano brushes the jerkin off the tree, on which Ariel had hung it, and proceeds to pun, drunkenly. The 'line' reminds him of the equatorial line, below which one is likely to get a fever, and lose his hair. The jerkin will lose its 'hair' (nap) when Stephano wears it.
IV. i. 251. barnacles. It is generally assumed that this refers to 'barnacle geese,' that is, to geese said, in folk-lore, to be produced from shellfish which grow on certain trees, and, in their maturity, drop off into the water and hatch into geese.
Caliban's meaning, or the word may have its more ordinary signification. V. i. 39, 40. rejoice ...
curfew. The curfew bell marks the beginning of that 'vast of night,' in which fairies and witches may walk abroad and do their supernatural work. At cockcrow they must disappear again.
V. i. 171. S. d., 172-175. At this point Prospero draws the curtain concealing the rear stage, and reveals Ferdinand and Miranda playing at chess. Much difficulty has been made of the ensuing conversation between the lovers. It would seem that Ferdinand has just captured a piece from Miranda; whereupon she playfully remarks, 'You play me false.' He gallantly retorts, 'I would not do that for the world, and she, not to be outdone in generosity, replies, 'You might contend (wrangle] with me for the stake of twenty kingdoms, as we have been contending for this piece; you should win them all, and I would assert it to be fair play.'
V. i. 267. badges. 'Household servants usually wore on their arms, as a part of their livery, silver “badges,” whereon the shield of their masters was engraved.' (Furness.) V. i. 271. And deal ...
power. The first 'her' refers to the moon, the second to Sycorax. The witch dealt in the command of the moon, and this was beyond (without] her sphere of authority. She usurped the moon's power,
Epilogue. There is grave doubt whether these verses are Shakespeare's. Prologues and epilogues were often written by another hand than the author's. At the same time, it is necessary to remember that there is no direct evidence for the spuriousness of the passage.