Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Alon.

I cannot too much muse,* Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound, expressing (Although they want the use of tongue,) a kind Of excellent dumb discourse. Pro.

Praise in departing: 5 [Aside. Fran. They vanish'd strangely. Seb.

No matter, since They have left their viands behind; for we have sto

machsWill't please you taste of what is here? Alon.

Not I. Gon. Faith, sir, you need not fear: When we were boys, Who would believe that there were mountaineers, 6 Dew-lapp'd like bulls, whose throats had hanging at them Wallets of flesh? or that there were such men, Whose heads stood in their breasts?? which now we find

6

4 too much muse,] To muse, in ancient language, is to admire, to wonder. So, in Macbeth:

“ Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends.” Steevens. 5 Praise in departing.] i. e. Do not praise your entertaininent too soon, lest you should have reason to retract your commendation. It is a proverbial saying. So, in The Two angry Women of Abingdon, 1599:

“ And so she doth; buť praise your luck at parting.” Again, in Tom Tyler and his Wife, 1661:

“ Now praise at thy parting" Stephen Gosson, in his pamphlet entitled, Playes confuted in five Actions, &c. (no date) acknowledges himself to have been the author of a morality called, Praise at Parting. Steevens.

that there were mountaineers, &c.] Whoever is curious to know the particulars relative to these mountaineers, may consult Maundeville's Travels, printed in 1503, by Wynken de Worde; but it is yet a known truth that the inhabitants of the Alps have been long accustomed to such excrescences or tumours.

Quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus? Steevens.

men, Whose heads stood in their breasts?] Our author might have had this intelligence likewise from the translation of Pliny, B. V. chap. 8: “ The Blemmyi, by report, have no heads, but mouth and eies both in their breasts.” Steevens.

Or he might have had it from Hackluyt’s Voyages, 1598: “ On that branch, which is called Caora, are a nation of people, whose heads appear not above their shoulders. They are reported to have their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts. Malone.

7

Each putter-out on five for one,8 will bring us
Good warrant of.
Alon.

I will stand to, and feed,
Although my last: no matter, since I feel
The best is past:'-Brother, my lord the duke,

8 Each putter-out, &c.] The ancient custom here alluded to, was this. In this age of travelling, it was a practice with those who engaged in long and hazardous expeditions, to place out a sum of money, on condition of receiving great interest for it, at their return home. So, Puntarvolo, (it is Theobald's quotation,) in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour : I do intend, this year of jubilee coming on, to travel; and (because I will not altogether go upon expense) I am determined to put some five thousand pound, to be paid me five for one, upon the return of my wife, myself, and my dog, from the Turk's court in Constanti. nople.”

To this instance I may add another from The Ball, a comedy, by Chapman and Shirley, 1639:

I did most politickly disburse my sums,

“ To have five for one, at my return from Venice.” Again, in Amends for Ladies, 1639:

“ I would I had put out something upon my return;

“ I had as lieve be at the Bermoothes.

- on five for one” means on the terms of five for one. So, in Barnaby Riche's Faults, and nothing but Faults, 1607; “ – those whipsters, that having spent the greatest part of their patrimony in prodigality, will give out the rest of their stocke, to be paid two or three for one, upon their return from Rome.” &c. &c. Steevens. Each putter-out on five for one,] The old copy has :

of five for one.” I believe the words are only transposed, and that the author wrote: “Each putter-out of one for five."

So, in The Scourge of Folly, by J. Davies, of Hereford, printed about the year 1611:

“ Sir Solus straight will travel, as they say,

“ And gives out one for three, when home comes he.” It appears from Moryson's ITINERARY, 1617, Part I. p. 198, that “this custom of giving out money upon these adventures was first used in court, and among noblemen;" and that some years before his book was published, “ bankerouts, stage-players, and men of base condition, had drawn it into contempt,” by undertaking journies merely for gain upon their return." Maione. 9 I will stand to, and feed,

Although my last : no matter, since I feel

The best is past: ] I cannot but think, that this passage was intended to be in a rhyme, and should be printed thus:

I will stand to and feed; although my last,
No matter, since I feel the best is past." M. Mason.

Stand too, and do as we.
Thunder and lightning. Enter ARIEL like a harpy; claps

his wings upon the table, and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.2

Ari. You are three men of sin, whom destiny
(That hath to instrument this lower world, 3
And what is in't,) the never-surfeited sea
Hath caused to belch up; and on this island
Where man doth not inhabit; you ’mongst men
Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad;

[Seeing Alon. SEB. &c. draw their swords. And even with such like valour, men hang and drown Their proper selves. You fools! I and my fellows

2

Enter Ariel like a harpy; &c.] This circumstance is taken from the third book of the Æneid, as translated by Phaer, bl. 1. 4to. 1558:

fast to meate we fall. “But sodenly from down the hills with grisly fall to syght, “ The harpies come, and beating wings with great noys out

thei shright,

“ And at our meate they snach; and with their clawes,” &c. Milton, Parad. Reg. B. II. has adopted the same imagery:

with that
“ Both table and provisions vanish'd quite,
“ With sound of harpies' wings, and talons heard."

Steevers. and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.] Though I will not undertake to prove that all the culinary pantomimes exhibited in France and Italy; were known and imitated in this kingdom, I may observe, that flying, rising, and descending services were to be found, at entertainments given by the Duke of Burgundy, &c. in 1453, and by the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1600, &c. See M. Le Grand D’Aussi's “ Histoire de la vie privée des François,” Vol. III. p. 294, &c. Examples, therefore, of machinery similar to that of Shakspeare, in the present instance, were to be met with, and perhaps had been adopted on the stage, as well as at public festivals, here in England. See my note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V. sc. v. from whence it appears, that a striking conceit in an entertainment given by the Vidame of Chartres, had been transferred to another feast, prepared in England, as a compliment to Prince Alasco, 1583.

Steevens. 3 That hath to instrument this lower world, &c.] i. e. that makes use of this world, and every thing in it, as its instruments to bring about its ends. Steevens.

Are ministers of fate; the elements
Of whom your swords are temper’d, may as well
Wound the loud winds, or with bemock'd-at stabs
Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish
One dowle that's in my plume;4 my fellow-ministers
Are like invulnerable:5 if you could hurt,
Your swords are now too massy for your strengths,
And will not be uplifted : But, remember,
(For that's my business to you,) that you three,

4 One dowle that's in my plume;] The old copy exhibits the passage thus:

One dowle that's in my plumbe.Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Bailey, in his Dictionary, says, that dowle is a feather, or rather the single particles of the down.

Since the first appearance of this edition, my very industrious and learned correspondent, Mr. Tollet, of Betley in Staffordshire, has enabled me to retract a too hasty censure on Bailey, to whom we were long indebted for our only English Dictionary. In a small book, entitled Humane Industry: or, A History of most Ma. nual Arts, printed in 1661, page 93, is the following passage: “ The wool-bearing trees in Æthiopia, which Virgil speaks of, and the Eriophori Arbores in Theophrastus, are not such trees as have a certain wool or powl upon the outside of them, as the small cotton; but short trees that bear a ball upon the top, pregnant with wool, which the Syrians call Cott, the Græcians Gossypium, the Italians Bombagio, and we Bombase.”—“ There is a certain shell-fish in the sea, called Pinna, that bears a mossy DOWL, or wool, whereof cloth was spun and made.”—Again, p. 95: “ Trichitis, or the hayrie stone, by some Greek authors, and Alumen plumaceum, or downy alum, by the Latinists : this hair or dowl is spun into thread, and weaved into cloth.” I have since discovered the same word in The Ploughman's Tale, erroneously attributed to Chaucer, v. 3202:

“ And swore by cock 'is herte and blode,

“ He would tere him every doule.Steevens. Cole, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, interprets “ young dowle," by lanugo. Malone.

the elements
Of whom your swords are temper’d, may as well
Wound the loud winds, or with bemock'd-at stabs
Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish
One dowle that's in my plume; my fellow ministers
Are like invulnerable:] So, in Phaer's Virgil, 1573:

“ Their swords by them they laid-
“ And on the filthy birds they beat-
“ But fethers none do from them fal, nor wound for strok

doth bleed,
“ Nor force of weapons hurt them can.” Ritson.

5

From Milan, did supplant good Prospero;
Expos'd unto the sea, which hath requit it,
Him, and his innocent child: for which foul deed
The Powers, delaying, not forgetting, have
Incens’d the seas and shores, yea, all the creatures,
Against your peace; Thee, of thy son, Alonso,
They have bereft; and do pronounce by me,
Ling'ring perdition (worse than any death
Can be at once,) shall step by step attend
You, and your ways; whose wraths to guard you from
(Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls
Upon your heads,) is nothing, but heart's sorrow,
And a clear life6 ensuing: 7
He vanishes in thunder: then, to soft musick, enter the

Shapes again, and dance with mops and mowes, 8 and carry out the table.

Pro. [ Aside.] Bravely the figure of this harpy hast thou Perform’d, my Ariel; a grace it had, devouring: Of my instruction hast thou nothing 'bated, In what thou hadst to say: so, with good life,

6

7

[ocr errors]

-clear life --] Pure, blameless, innocent. Johnson. So, in Timon: *

roots you clear heavens.” Steevens. is nothing, but heart's sorrow, And a clear life ensuing.] The meaning, which is somewhat obscured by the expression, is-a miserable fate, which nothing but contrition and amendment of life can avert. Malone.

- with mops and mowes -] So, in K. Lear :
and Flibbertigibbet of mopping and mowing."

Steevens. The old copy, by a manifest error of the press, reads—with mocks. So afterwards: “ will be here with mop and mowe.'

Malone. To mock and to mowe, seem to have had a meaning somewhat similar; i. e. to insult, by making mouths, or wry faces. Steevens.

with good life,] With good life may mean, with exact presentation of their several characters, with observation strange of their particular and distinct parts. So we say, he acted to the life. Johnson. Thus in the 6th Canto of the Barons' Wars, by Drayton :

“ Done for the last with such exceeding life,

“ As art therein with nature seem'd at strife.” Again, in our author's King Henry VIII. Act I. sc. i:

the tract of every thing
“ Would by a good discourser lose some life,
“ Which action's self was tongue to.”.

« ZurückWeiter »