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barnacle mentioned by Caliban was no doubt the treegoose; and the true absurdity of our old writers, as Douce has observed, consisted in their believing that this bird was really produced from the shell of the fish." Innumerable allusions to this vulgar error occur in our old writers, but we will adduce only the testimony of Sir John


Maundeville, who declares that in his country
trees that beren a fruyt, that become briddes fleeynge;
and tho that fellen into the water, lyven; and thei that
fallen on the erthe, dyen anon: and thei ben right gode
to mannes mete."


(1) SCENE I.-By my so potent art.] This speech is founded upon the invocation of Medea in Ovid's Metamorphoses, for which it is evident, from several expressions, that Shakespeare consulted Golding's translation :

Ye Ayres and Windes, ye Elves of Hilles, of Brookes, of Woods alone,

Of standing Lakes, and of the Night, approch ye everychone. Through help of whom (the crooked bankes much wondring at the thing)

I have compelled streames to un cleane backward to their spring. By charmes I make the call. seas rough, and make the rough seas playne,

And cover all the Skie with clouds, and chase them thence

By charmes I raise and lay the windes, and burst the Viper's jaw,
And from the bowels of the earth both stones and trees do draw.
Whole woods and Forests I remoove, I make the Mountaines

And even the earth it selfe to grone and fearefully to quake.
I call up dead men from their graves, and thee, O lightsome

I darken oft, though beaten brass abate thy perill soone:

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(2) SCENE I.-Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.] The beautiful fancy in the second line of Ariel's song,"In a cowslip's bell I lie,"

was once supposed to have been borrowed from a stanza in
Drayton's delicious "Nimphidia :"-

"At midnight the appointed hour;
And for the queen a fitting bower,
Quoth he, is that fair cowslip-flower
On Hip-cut hill that bloweth."

It is now, however, generally believed that "Nimphidia,'.
which was not printed before 1627, was written subse-
quently to "The Tempest;" Malone thinks in 1612.


"IT is observed of 'The Tempest,' that. its plan is regular. This the author of The Revisal' thinks, what I think too, an accidental effect of the story, not intended or regarded by our author. But whatever might be Shakespeare's intention in forming or adopting the plot, he has made it instrumental to the production of many characters, diversified with boundless invention, and preserved with profound skill in nature, extensive knowledge of opinions, and accurate observation of life. In a single drama are here exhibited princes, courtiers, and sailors, all speaking in their real characters. There is the agency of airy spirits, and of an earthly goblin; the operations of magick; the tumults of a storm, the adventures of a desart island, the native effusion of untaught affection, the punishment of guilt, and the final happiness of the pair for whom our passions and reason are equally interested."-JOHNSON.

"The Tempest,' according to all appearance, was written in Shakspeare's later days: hence most critics, on the supposition that the poet must have continued to improve with increasing maturity of mind, have honoured this piece with a marked preference over the Midsummer Night's Dream.' I cannot, however, altogether concur with them: the internal merit of these two works are, in my opinion, pretty nearly balanced, and a predilection for the one or the other can only be governed by personal taste. In profound and original characterisation, the superiority of 'The Tempest' is obvious: as a whole we must always admire the masterly skill which he has here displayed in the economy of his means, and the dexterity with which he has disguised his preparations,-the scaffoldings for the wonderful aerial structure.

"The Tempest' has little action or progressive movement; the union of Ferdinand and Miranda is settled at their first interview, and Prospero merely throws apparent obstacles in their way; the shipwrecked band go leisurely about the island; the attempts of Sebastian and Antonio on the life of the King of Naples, and the plot of Caliban and the drunken sailors against Prospero, are nothing but a feint, for we foresee that they will be completely frustrated by the magical skill of the latter; nothing remains therefore but the punishment of the guilty by dreadful sights which harrow up their consciences, and then the discovery and final reconciliation. Yet this want of movement is so admirably concealed by the most varied display of the fascinations of poetry, and the exhilaration of mirth, the details of the execution are so very attractive, that it requires no small degree of attention to perceive that the dénouement is, in some degree, anticipated in the exposition. The history of the loves of Ferdinand and Miranda, developed in a few short scenes, is enchantingly beautiful: an affecting unior. of chivalrous magnanimity on the one part, and on the other of the virgin openness of a heart which, brought up far from the world on an uninhabited island, has never learned to disguise its innocent movements. The wisdom of the princely hermit Prospero has a magical and mysterious air; the disagreeable impression left by the black falsehood of the two usurpers is softened by the honest gossiping of the old and faithful Gonzalo; Trinculo and Stephano, two good-for-nothing drunkards, find a worthy associate in Caliban; and Ariel hovers sweetly over the whole as the personified genius of the wonderful fable.

"Caliban has become a by-word as the strange creation of a poetical imagination. A mixture of gnome and savage, half demon, half brute, in his behaviour we perceive at once the traces of his native disposition, and the influence of Prospero's education. The latter could only unfold his understanding, without, in the slightest degree, taming his rooted malignity: it is as if the use of reason and human speech were communicated to an awkward ape. In inclination Caliban is malicious, cowardly, false, and base; and yet he is essentially different from the vulgar knaves of a civilized world, as portrayed occasionally by Shakspeare. He is rude, but not vulgar; he never falls into the prosaic and low familiarity of his drunken associates, for he is, in his way, a poetical being; he always speaks in verse. He has picked up everything dissonant and thorny in language to compose out of it a vocabulary of his own; and of the whole variety of nature, the hateful, repulsive, and pettily deformed, have alone been impressed on his imagination. The magical world of spirits, which the staff of Prospero has assembled on the island, casts merely a faint reflection into his mind, as a ray of light which falls into a dark cave, incapable of communicating to it either heat or illumination, serves merely to set in motion the poisonous vapours. The delineation of this monster is throughout inconceivably consistent and profound, and, notwithstanding its hatefulness, by no means hurtful to our feelings, as the honour of human nature is left untouched.

"In the zephyr-like Ariel, the image of air is not to be mistaken, his name even bears an allusion to it; as, on the other hand, Caliban signifies the heavy element of earth. Yet they are neither of them simple, allegorical personifications, but beings individually determined. In general we find in the Midsummer Night's Dream,' in 'The Tempest,' in the magical part of Macbeth,' and wherever Shakspeare avails himself of the popular belief in the invisible presence of spirits, and the possibility of coming in contact with them, a profound view of the inward life of nature and her mysterious springs, which, it is true, can never be altogether unknown to the genuine poet, as poetry is altogether incompatible with mechanical physics, but which few have possessed in an equal degree with Dante and himself."-SCHLEGEL.



THE Stationers' Registers contain the following memorandum concerning this tragedy, under the date, November 26th, 1607; "Na. Butler and Jo. Busby] Entered for their copie under t' hands of Sir Geo. Bucke, Kt. and the Wardens, a booke called Mr. Willm Shakespeare his Hystorye of Kinge Lear, as yt was played before the King's Majestie at Whitehall, upon St. Stephen's night at Christmas last, by his Majesties servants playing usually at the Globe on the Bank-side." which proves that it was acted at court, on the 26th of December 1606. In 1608, no less than three editions of it in quarto were issued, all by the same stationer. One of these is intituled,—" Mr. William Shak-speare: His True Chronicle Historie of the life and death of King Lear and his three Daughters. With the vnfortunate life of Edgar, sonne and heire to the Earle of Gloster, and his sullen and assumed humorr of Tom of Bedlam. As it was played before the kings Maiestie at Whitehall upon S. Stephens night in Christmas Hollidayes. By his Maiesties seruants playing vsually at the Gloabe, on the Bancke-side.-London, Printed for Nathaniel Butter, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Churchyard at the signe of the Pide Bull neere St. Austins Gate. 1608.

The two other impressions are described as,-" M. William Shake-speare, His True Chronicle History of the life and death of King Lear, and his three Daughters. With the vnfortunate life of Edgar, sonne and heire to the Earle of Glocester, and his sullen and assumed humour of Tom of Bedlam. As it was plaid before the Kings Maiesty at White-hall, vppon S. Stephens night, in Christmas Hollidaies. By his Maiesties Seruants, playing vsually at the Globe, on the Banck-side.-Printed for Nathaniel Butter. 1608."

No other edition of "King Lear" has been discovered, prior to that of the folio 1623, which differs materially from the text of the quartos, chiefly in the omission of large portions of matter found in the latter, in numberless minute verbal changes, and also by the addition of about fifty lines peculiar to itself. The omissions appear to have been made for the better adapting the piece to representation, and a careful comparison of the quarto and folio texts convinces us that, unlike that of Richard III., the text of Lear in the folio is taken from a later and revised copy of the play. Whether the curtailment is the work of the author, it is impossible now to determine; it is not always judicious, and some of the substitutions are inferior to the language they displace; yet, on the other hand, the additions which we meet with in the folio bear the undoubted mark of Shakespeare's mint, and while the metrical arrangement of the speeches in that edition has been carefully regarded, the text of the quartos is printed in parts without any observance of prosodial construction. With respect to the date of its composition, Steevens remarks, that King Lear, or at least the whole of it, could not have been

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