« ZurückWeiter »
fesses to persuade, that is, without being so persuaded himself, he
makes a show of persuading the king. Line 268. a wink beyond,] That this is the utmost extent of the prospect of ambition, the point where the eye can pass no further, and where objects lose their distinctness, so that what is there discovered is faint, obscure, and doubtful.
-she that from Naples
Can have no note, &c.] Shakspeare's great ignorance of geography is not more conspicuous in any instance than in this, where he supposes Tunis and Naples to have been at such an immeasurable distance from each other. STEEVENS.
Line 280. —though some cast again;] Vide Macbeth, Act II. Sc. 3. where the word retains the same meaning.
Line 283. In yours and my discharge.] i. e. Depends on what you and I are to perform. STEEVENS.
Line 290. keep in Tunis.] There is in this passage a propriety lost, which a slight alteration will restore : -Sleep in Tunis,
And let Sebastian wake!
A chough] i. e. A jack-daw.
-314. And melt e'er they molest.-] I had rather read,
i.e. Twenty consciences, such as stand between me and my hopes, though they were congealed, would melt before they could molest one, or prevent the execution of my purposes. JOHNSON.
for aye] i. e. For ever.
Line 320. This ancient morsel,- -] For morsel Dr. Warburton reads ancient moral, very elegantly and judiciously; yet I know not whether the author might not write morsel, as we say a piece of a man. JOHNSON.
Line 322. take suggestion,] i. e. Receive any hint of villainy. JOHNSON.
Line 337. to keep them living.] i. e. Alonzo and Antonio; for it was on their lives that his project depended. Yet the Oxford Editor alters them to you, because in the verse before, it is said, —you are his friend; as if, because Ariel was sent forth to
save his friend, he could not have another purpose in sending him viz. to save his project too.
I think Dr. Warburton and the Oxford Editor both mistaken. The sense of the passage, as it now stands, is this: He sees your danger, and will therefore save them. Dr. Warburton has mistaken Antonio for Gonzalo. Ariel would certainly not tell Gonzalo, that his master saved him only for his project. He speaks to himself as he approaches,
My master through his art foresees the danger
That these his friends are in.
These written with a y, according to the old practice, did not much differ from you. JOHNSON, -drawn?] Having your swords drawn. So in
Line 347. Romeo and Juliet:
"What art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?" JOHNS.
ACT II. SCENE II.
Line 382. that moe, &c.] i. e. Make mouths. So in the old version of the psalms:
-making moes at me."
Again, in K. Lear:
of mopping and moeing."
Line 385. Their pricks at my foot fall;-] i. e. Their prickles. Line 386. All wound with adders,] Enwrapped by adders, wound or twisted about me. JOHNSON.
Line 394. --looks like a foul bumbard—] This term again occurs in The First Part of Henry IV.-" that swoln parcel of dropsies, "that huge bumbard of sack”—and again in Henry VIII. "And here you lie baiting of bumbards when ye should do ser"vice." By these several passages, 'tis plain, the word meant a large vessel for holding drink, as well as the piece of ordinance so called. THEOBALD.
Ben Jonson, in his Masque of Augurs, confirms the conjecture of Theobald." The poor cattle yonder are passing away the time "with a cheat loaf, and a bumbard of broken beer."
So in Middleton's Inner Temple Masque, 1619,-" they "would have beat out his brains with bombards."
So again in The Martyr'd Soldier, by Shirley, 1638.
"His boots as wide as the black-jacks,
"Or bumbards toss'd by the king's guards."
And it appears from a passage in Ben Jonson's Masque of Love Restor'd, that a bombard-man was one who carried about provisions. "I am to deliver into the buttery so many firkins of aurum potabile, as it delivers out bombards of bouge," &c.
Line 402. —and had but this fish painted,-] It was very common in the time of our author to hang out and exhibit real and artificial fishes.
Line 404. make a man;—] That is, make a man's fortune. So in Midsummer Night's Dream—" we are all made men." JOHNS. Line 407. -to see a dead Indian.-] And afterwardsMen of Inde. Probably some allusion to a particular occurrence, now obscured by time. In Henry VIII. the porter asks the mob, if they think- -some strange Indian, &c. is come to court. STEEV. Line 412. his gaberdine;-] A gaberdine is properly the coarse frock or outward garment of a peasant. Ital. gaverdina. STEEVENS.
-too much- -] Meaning let me take or get what I can for him, it will not be too much.
Line 455. -I know it by thy trembling:— -] Fear, convulsive startings, were represented as the effects of being possessed by the devil.
-cat;- -] Alluding to the old proverb, that
See also, Comedy of Errors, Act 4.
Line 481. -to be the siege of this moon-calf?] Siege is a stool of easement, as Dr. Ph. Holland phrases it, in his translation of Pliny's Natural History. TOLLET.
A moon-calf, we are informed by Pliny, is a lump of inanimate and shapeless matter, engendered only by a woman.
Line 502. Here: swear then, how escap'dst thou?] The mean
good liquor will make a cat speak.
ing of this is rendered ambiguous, for want of a full stop after "swear then," as Caliban had just before proposed to swear himself a subject:-how thou escap'dst? should be read, how escap'dst thou? being addressed to Trinculo: to which he immediately replies, Swam ashore, &c.
Line 520. -I afeard of him? a very weak monster, &c.] It is to be observed, that Trinculo the speaker is not charged with being afraid: but it was his consciousness that he was so that drew this brag from him. This is nature. WARBURTON. Line 529. I'll kiss thy foot:- -] A sneer upon the papists for kissing the Pope's pantofle. GREY, Line 552.sea-mells] i. e. Sea-gulls. Much criticism has been displayed upon this expression: the context of the line, I think, sufficiently indicates the meaning to be a sea fowl.
Get a new man.] Caliban here addresses himself to his old master, Prospero.
ACT III. SCENE I.
Line 17. Most busy-less, when I do it. The two first folios read:
Most busy lest, when I do it.
"Tis true this reading is corrupt; but the corruption is so very little removed from the truth of the text, that I cannot afford to think well of my own sagacity for having discovered it.
-hest-] For behest; i. e. command. STEEVENS. 60. Of every creature's best.] Alluding to the picture of Venus by Appelles. JOHNSON. Line 77. The flesh-fly blow my mouth.-] Meaning the act of a fly depositing her eggs in flesh, commonly called flyblows. Line 91. I am a fool,
To weep at what I am glad of.] This is one of those touches of nature that distinguish Shakspeare from all other writers. It was necessary, in support of the character of Miranda, to make her appear ignorant, that excess of sorrow and excess of joy find alike their relief from tears; and as this is the first time that consummate pleasure had made any near approaches to her heart, she calls such an expression of it, folly. STEEVENS.
Line 111. -Here's my hand.] In many parts of the west of England, it is customary to join hands in sealing a bargain. So in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, "Here is my hand for my true constancy." And also, in The Winter's Tale, "Ere I could make "thee open thy white hand, and clap thyself my love; then didst "thou utter, I am your's for ever."
Line 115. A thousand! thousand!] It is impertinent to be for ever pointing out beauties, which the reader of taste will of course distinguish for himself; and yet I cannot quit this scene without observing, that it is superior in its kind to any of those that pass between Romeo and Juliet; and holds up the most captivating picture of juvenile affection that has been exhibited, even by Shakspeare himself. The prince behaves through the whole with a delicacy suitable to his birth and education; and his unexperienced mistress pours forth her soul without reserve, without descending from the soft elevation of maiden dignity, and apparently derives her confidence from the purity of her intentions. STEEVENS.
ACT III. SCENE II.
Line 133. I swam, &c.] This play was not published till 1623. Albumazar made its appearance in 1614, and has a passage relative to the escape of a sailor yet more incredible. Perhaps, in both instances, a sneer was meant at the Voyages of Ferdinando Mendez Pinto, or the exaggerated accounts of other lying travellers :
five days I was under water; and at length "Got up and spread myself upon a chest,
Rowing with arms, and steering with my feet,
"And thus in five days more got land." Act. 3. Sc. 5.
Line 136. Your lieutenant, if you list; he's no standard.] Meaning he is so much intoxicated, as not to be able to stand, We call fruit-trees, that grow without support, standards. STEEVENS.
Line 147. —thou debosh'd fish thou,—] I meet with this word, which I suppose to be the same as debauch'd, in Randolph's Jealous Lovers, 1634.
-See your house be stor❜d
"With the deboishest roarers in this city." STEEVENS.