« ZurückWeiter »
the gleam, The light that never was on sea or land, The consecration and the poet's dream :"
the celestial and the earthly being so commingled, -commingled, but not confounded, — that we see not where the one begins and the other ends : so that in reading it we seem transported to a region where we are strangers, yet old acquaintances; where all things are at once new and familiar : the unearthly visions of the spot hardly touching us with surprise ; because, though wonderful indeed, there is nothing about them but that somewhat within us owns and assimilates with more readily than is compatible with such an impression. That our thoughts and feelings are thus at home with such things and take pleasure in them, - is not this because of some innate aptitudes and affinities of our nature for a supernatural and celestial life?
“ Point not these mysteries to an Art
Lodged above the starry pole ? "
ALONZO, King of Naples.
MIRANDA, Daughter to Prospero.
Other Spirits attending on Prospero. ' SCENE, the Sea, with a Ship; afterwards an uninTHE TEMPEST.
Enter a Ship-master and a Boatswain.
Mast. Good: Speak to the mariners : fall to't yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
Enter Mariners. Boats. Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts ! yare, yare : Take in the top-sail ; tend to the master's whistle. — Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enough! Enter ALONZO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND,
GONZALO, and others. Alon. Good boatswain, have care. Where's the master ? Play the men.3
Upon this scene Coleridge finely remarks : “ The romance opens with a busy scene admirably appropriate to the kind of drama, and giving, as it were, the key-note to the whole harmony. It is the bustle of a tempest, from which the real horrors are abstracted; — therefore it is poetical, though not in strictness natural — (the distinction to which I have so often alluded) - and is purposely restrained from concentering the interest on' itself, but is used merely as an induction or tuning for what is to follow." H.
2 That is, readily, nimbly. 3 That is, act with spirit, behave like men. Thus Baret in his
Boats. I pray now, keep below.
Boats. Do you not hear him ? You mar our labor: keep your cabins ; you do assist the storm.
Gon. Nay, good, be patient.
Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What care these roarers for the name of king ? To cabin : silence! trouble us not.
Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
Boats. None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor : if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more ; use your authority : if you cannot, give thanks you have liv'd so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap. — Cheerly, good hearts !- Out of our way, I say.
[Exit. Gon. I have great comfort from this fellow : methinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him ; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good fate, to his hanging! make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage! If he be not born to be hang'd, our case is miserable.
[Exeunt. Re-enter Boatswain
Boats. Down with the top-mast : 4 yare; lower,
Alvearie : « To play the man, or to show himself a valiant man in any matter."
4 Of this order Lord Mulgrave, a sailor critic, says : « The striking the topmast was a new invention in Shakespeare's time, which he here very properly introduces.' Sir Henry Manwaring says : « If you have sea-room it is never good to strike the topmast.' Shakespeare has placed his ship in the situation in which it was indisputably right to strike the topmast, - where he had not sea-room."
lower : Bring her to try with main course. [A cry within.] A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office. —
Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and Gonzalo. Yet again! what do you here? Shall we give o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink ?
Seb. A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, uncharitable dog !
Boats. Work you, then.
Ant. Hang, cur, hang ! you whoreson, insolent noise-maker, we are less afraid to be drown'd than thou art.
Gon. I'll warrant him for 6 drowning ; though the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as leaky as an unstanched’ wench.
Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold: set her two courses; off to sea again; lay her off.
• This is a sea phrase. “ As the gale increases the topmast is struck, to take the weight from aloft, make the ship drive less to leeward, and bear the mainsail, under which the ship is laid to.” Smith, in his Sea Grammar, 1627, explains it: “To hale the tacke aboord, the sheate close aft, the boling set up, and the helme tied close aboord.”
6 For is here archaic, and used in the sense of from; so that Theobald's substitution of the latter word is needless. Of course Gonzalo has in mind the old proverb, — «He that is born to be banged will never be drowned."
7 In Beaumont and Fletcher's Mad Lover, Chilas says to the frightened priestess :
“Be quiet, and be staunch too; no inundations." 8 Stevens printed this, set her two courses off, which Captain Glascock objects to, and says : “ The ship's head is to be put leeward, and the vessel to be drawn off the land under that canvass nautically denominated the two courses.” The punctuation we have given is Lord Mulgrave's. Holt says : “ The courses meant are two of the three lowest and largest sails of a ship, so called because they contribute most to give her way through the water, and thus enable her to feel the helm, and steer her course better than when they are not set or spread to the wind.” To lay a ship a-hold, is to bring her to lie as near the wind as she can, in order to keep clear of the land, and get her out to sea. H.