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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
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 corruption; 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.”
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 mov'd 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."
ACT V. SCENE I.
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, "
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 boil'd within thy skull! there
stand, " For you are spell-stopp’d.”
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 flows
and ebbs, “ And deal in her command without her
power.” . 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 habits far exceeded any thing he had ever seen before ; for their “ garments being, as they were, drenched in the sea, held, notwithstanding, their freshness and glosses, being rather new-dyed than stained with salt water;" and he considered them as beings of a superior order to the drunkards with whom he had lately conversed. “ O, Setabos ! these be brave spirits indeed. “ How fine my master is !”
It is natural for a savage to be immoderately delighted with novelty, and to overrate that with which he is captivated; and accordingly Caliban, in his first encounter with Stephano and Trinculo, is represented, with great propriety, (I think) as treating his new friends with a superstitious respect. " That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor. “ I'll kneel to him.”
He had recently, besides, had painful experience of Prospero's power; the further effects of which he still dreaded, "I fear he will chastise me,” and “ I shall be pinch'd to death ;' and his extravagant admiration co-operating with his fears, it seems natural for him to promise amendment, and to engage obedience to those whom his astonished imagination conceived to be pos. sessed of transcendant dignity and power.