Obrazy na stronie

improprieties enough of his own to answer for, without being loaded with those which are made by the ingenuity of his commentators.


[ocr errors]

107. “ I ne'er saw woman,

But only Sycorax, my dam, and she.

As it does not appear that the poet intended to make Caliban violate grammar, she ought, at once, in the text, to be altered to her.

Calls her a nonpareil ; I ne'er a woman.

It is of little consequence whether the article a, in this line, be rejected or retained; the redundancy in the last syllable (admitted in dramatic verse) is, in either case, the same.

Calls her a nonpareil ; I ne'er saw ă wom-an." 117. " The elements,

Of whom your swords are temper'd, may

as well Wound the loud wind, or with bemock'd

at stabs Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish

One dowle that's in my plume.This thought occurs in Macbeth. " As easy may'st thou the entrenchant air, “ With thy keen sword, impress, as make me


And Milton uses it, in Paradise Lost, Book 6.

" Spirits that live thro’out,
• Vital in every part, not as frail man,

“ Cannot, but by annihilation, die:
“ Nor, in their liquid texture, mortal wound
“ Receive, no more than can the fluid air."

The personal pronoun“ whom,” instead of the natural neuter which, is not accordant with English idiom. 119. “ So, with good life,

And observation strange, my meaner

ministers Their several kinds have done.There seems to be a great deal of superfluous comment here :--the sense, I believe, is plainly this. Those meaner ministers have performed their duty with spirit, and an admirable attention to their distinct offices. 120. "

I leave them, whilst I visit Young Ferdinand, (whom they suppose

is drown'd.)” Strange, that any editor should overlook so barbarous a breach of grammar as this; and yet it has polluted the text in all the successive editions of Mr. Steevens, and the rest. Whom, a nominative case !-whom is ! for while the verb is remains, this must be the construction. Whom they suppose to be drown'd, would, indeed, be concord; but the expression is elliptical: who (as) they suppose is drown'd; i. e. who is drown'd (as they suppose.) 121. “ And with him there lie mudded.

But one fiend at a time.I am ready to agree with Mr. Steevens that where, as in this instance and many others, the

metre is redundant or incomplete, there is corrup. tion; but I should rather repair the prosody here, by dismissing the words “ but” and “ fiend. “ And with him there lie mudded.”

- one at å time, “ I'll fight their legions o'er.”

Seb. "


135. This is strange : your father's in some


Mr. Steevens remarks that this line is defective, and introduces the word most, to make it complete ; but it is less defective than redundant.

“ 'Tis strange ; your father's in some passion.”

Passion is here, as in various other places, a trisyllable.

You do look, my son, in a movd sort.A slight transposition, and the enlargement of a vowel, would restore this line to measure.

“ You do, my son, look in a moved sort.” 140." — Advanc'd their eyelids.

Thus in Act 1, p. 46. “The fringed curtains of thine eye advance.”



152. I'll drown my book.[Solemn music.

The direction for the music was not, I suppose, intended for this place, but after the words,

vi Boild within thy skull.(Solemn music.)

The direction for “ solemn music” is certainly misplaced, the three lines, beginning “ A solemn air, and the best," &c. seem addressed only to Alonzo, as the first who approaches Prospero. “ Now useless boild within thy skull! there

stand, For you are spell-stoppid.

At the first pause after the word " skull," Alonzo, having approached the station designed by Prospero, is directed to stand : between the time of this sentence to Alonzo, and the subsequent one to Gonzalo, the solemn air commences, and the rest of the company take their stations in the circle formed by Prospero. Were the air first to commence at the pause after “ fellowdrops,” it would be too far distant, and the arrangement of the enchanted persons would improperly be unaccompanied by any of Prospero's magic. I would have the address to Gonzalo spoken during the diminuendo, or dying-away of the air, and the pause which follows that address be filled up by the air swelling upon the sense.This management of the music would give effect to Prospero's words, and the judicious introduction of it, at the various intervals of Prospero's speech, which follow, would connect the whole. At the end of the 92nd line, the music should be as an accompaniment to Ariel's song, (if here rightly inserted) and, having accomplished its purpose upon Alonzo and the others, might with propriety lay aside its solemnity, and fit itself to a lighter measure. When Ariel has finished his song, the symphony which ensues should be solemn, and but faintly heard, till finally dismissed by Prospero with So, so, so. B. STRUTT. 168. “ - Control the moon, make flaws

and ebbs, And deal in her command without her



i.e. I apprehend Sycorax could exercise her art in the regions of the moon's sway, independently of that power. 171. I'll be wise hereafter.

Dr. Warton, in his elegant critique on this play, (Adventurer, No. 93, 97) thinks Shakspeare injudicious in putting into the mouth of Caliban this speech, which implies repentance and understanding; whereas he thinks the poet ought to have preserved the fierce and implacable spirit of Caliban to the end. I doubt whether this censure is just, and suspect it would not have been passed, had not Dr. Warton thought it necessary to point out some defect in the piece, on which he was commenting, in order to escape the charge of an indiscriminating admiration of his author, too frequently imputable to commentators : Caliban was struck with the splendid appearance of Prospero and the other princes, whose magnificent

« PoprzedniaDalej »