« PoprzedniaDalej »
Mr. Steevens need not have scrupled to insert in the text his clear and obvious emendation of this corrupt passage : He being then appointed, &c.
25. “ Now I arise.”
It is very difficult to assign a meaning, or a commodious one, to these words; and I cannot but suspect them to be corrupt. May we suppose arrest, instead of arise ? Now I seize upon and fix your attention. This I am far from recommending; but I know not what to do with the passage. Mr. Strutt supposes it to be only a marginal note of the player's.
“ Now I arise."
I confess I cannot acquiesce in either of the explanations given of these words, though I do not know that I am able to give any very satisfactory account of them. With the regulation proposed by Sir William Blackstone (to which I can hardly believe that many readers will yield assent,) Mr. Steevens seems dissatisfied, from his not adopting it, and proposing an explanation of the words as they now stand; but I cannot think that Mr. S. has given the true meaning; for I do not perceive that Prospero now rises in his narration, which had from the beginning been extremely interesting, as Miranda confesses, (your story would cure deafness.) I am strongly inclined to think the words mean no more than that Prospero rises from his seat; which he does because he was just now concluding his narration; all that remains for him to relate, being, that they arrived in the island in which he had been tutor to his daughter; which account he dis
patches in four lines: what farther he says to Miranda, is in answer to a question put by her, and is no part of his narrative. I do not contend that the words understood in this sense are absolutely necessary; but neither are they so in the sense attributed to them by Mr. Steevens, or by Sir William Blackstone. I confess I think those gentlemen have gone too deep for the meaning.
LORD CHEDWORTH. 29. “ Yea, his dread trident shake.
“ My brave spirit !" This is defective; we might read,
“ That's my brave spirit.” But shake, says Dr. Farmer, is in Warwickshire, &c. a dissyllable; and so, indeed, it is, as well as brave, and many other such words, in London, and every where else, according to the barbarous tone of methodistical elocution ; but I believe by no other authority written or oral; the word often occurs in these works with its natural sound and quantity. 30. “
Cooling of the air with sighs, “ In an odd angle of the isle, and sitting, “ His arms in this sad knot." Thus in Romeo and Juliet:
“ His arms folded in sorrow's knot
“ The still-vex'd Bermoothes.' Milton uses the same word in a similar sense.
“When, with fierce winds, Orion, armid,
35. “Go make thyself like to a nymph o’the sea ;
“ Be subject to no sight but mine ; inoisible “ To every eye-ball else."
I do not perceive the inconsistency that Mr. Steevens complains of here : Ariel is commanded to assume the form of a sea nymph, and not to be known by any other eye than Prospero's, as his ministering agent 38. “Urchins.”
I believe urchin is used as synomymous with elf. I remember having heard children, small of their age, called urchins : so Prior“ Pleas’d Cupid heard, and check'd his mother's
pride; “ And who's blind now, Mamma? the urchin cried.”
LORD CHEDWORTH. 40. “Cursed be I that did so! All the charms.” I would read, with the second folio, “ Curs'd be I that I did so,” &c.
LORD CHEDWORTH. 40. “ Here you sty me.”
This passage seems a confirmation of the reading in As You Like It. “ Sty's me here at home;" not stays. 44. “Where shou'd this music be? i'the air, or
the earth? “ It sounds no more ; and sure it waits upon “ Some God of the island.”
Milton seems to have been thinking of this passage in Comus.
“ Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould “ Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment ? “ Sure something holy lodges in that breast,” &c.
ACT II. SCENE I.
57. “ You have taken it wiselier than I meant.”
An adverb declined into the comparative ad. jective; as, again, in A Midsummer Night's Dream: “ And earthlier happy is the rose distilld," &c.
57. - You’ve paid."
Mr. Malone's note appears to me ingeniously absurd. If you're paid be the true reading, the words must (as Mr. Mason has remarked,) be given to Sebastian; and this I think not improbable.
75. “ Twenty consciences, “That stand 'twixt me and Milan, candied
be they, “ And melt, ere they molest.” Away with all such objections as conscience can oppose; let them be made of such perishable or dissoluble stuff as candy, and melt sooner than molest or hinder me.
84. “Misery acquaints a man with strange
ACT III. SCENE I.
96. “ Created
“Of every creature's best.” I perceive no reason to dissent from Dr. Johnson's conjecture that this is an allusion to the picture of Venus by Apelles. Creature is still used in Ireland, absolutely without an epithet, as a term of endearment for a woman. 99.“ Here's my hand.”
I thought it had been a common custom to join hands on making a bargain : by notes like this of Mr. Henley's, a book may be swelled to any size that will suit the editor's purpose.
104. “What a pied ninny's this.”
Mr. Steevens is right; Mr. Malone's remark is true, but there is no occasion to have recourse to it in the present instance; it is going out of the way to fix an impropriety on the poet who has