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Though every drop of water fwear against it,
[A confufed noife within] Mercy on us!-We split, we fplit!-Farewell, my wife and children!-Farewell, brother !4-We fplit, we fplit, we split !
ANT. Let's all fink with the king.
SEB. Let's take leave of him.
GON. Now would I give a thoufand furlongs of fea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing: The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death. [Exit.
3 to glut him.] Shakspeare probably wrote, t'englut him, to fwallow him; for which I know not that glut is ever ufed by him. In this fignification englut, from engloutir, Fr. occurs frequently, as in Henry VI:
-Thou art fo near the gulf
"Thou needs must be englutted."
And again, in Timon and Othello. Yet Milton writes glutted offal for fwallowed, and therefore perhaps the prefent text may ftand. JOHNSON.
Thus, in Sir A. Gorges's tranflation of Lucan, B. VI: oylie fragments fcarcely burn'd,
"Together the doth fcrape and glut."
i. e. fwallow. STEEVENS.
4 Mercy on us! &c. -Farewell, brother! &c.] All thefe lines have been hitherto given to Gonzalo, who has no brother in the thip. It is probable that the lines fucceeding the confufed noife within fhould be confidered as fpoken by no determinate characters. JOHNSON.
The hint for this stage direction, &c. might have been received from a paffage in the fecond book of Sidney's Arcadia, where the thipwreck of Pyrocles is defcribed, with this concluding circumftance: "But a monftrous cry, begotten of many roaring voyces, was able to infect with feare," &c. STEEVENS.
S —an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, &c.] Sir T. Hanmer reads-ling, heath, broom, furze.-Perhaps rightly, though he has been charged with tautology. I find in Harrifon's defcription of Britain, prefixed to our author's good
The ifland: before the cell of Profpero.
Enter PROSPERO and MIRANDA.
MIRA. If by your art, my dearest father, you have
With those that I faw fuffer! a brave vessel,
friend Holinihed, p. 91: "Brome, heth, firze, brakes, whinnes, ling," &c. FARMER.
Mr. Tollet has fufficiently vindicated Sir Thomas Hanmer from the charge of tautology. by favouring me with fpecimens of three different kinds of heath which grow in his own neighbourhood. I would gladly have inferted his obfervations at length; but, to fay the truth, our author, like one of Cato's foldiers who was bit by a ferpent,
Ipfe latet penitus congefto corpore merfus. STEEVENS. But that the fea, &c.] So, in King Lear:
"The fea in such a storm as his bare head
"In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up, "And quench'd the ftelled fires." MALONE.
Thus, in Chapman's verfion of the 21ft Iliad:
as if his waves would drowne the fkie,
"And put out all the fphere of fire." STEEVENS.
7 creatures in her,] The old copy reads-creature; but the preceding as well as fubfequent words of Miranda feem to demand the emendation which I have received from Theobald. STEEVENS.
s—or e'er-] i. e. before. So, in Ecclefiafies, xii. 6:
It fhould the good fhip fo have fwallowed, and
I have done nothing but in care of thee,
(Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter!) who
"Or ever the filver cord be loofed, or the golden bowl be broken- -"Again, in our author's Cymbeline:
or e'er I could
"Give him that parting kiss—.” STEEVENS.
Pro. No harm.] I know not whether Shakspeare did not make Miranda speak thus :
O, woe the day! no harm?
To which Profpero properly anfwers :
I have done nothing but in care of thee.
Miranda, when the fpeaks the words, O, woe the day! fuppofes, not that the crew had efcaped, but that her father thought differently from her, and counted their deftruction no harm.
more better-] This ungrammatical expreffion is very frequent among our oldeft writers. So, in The Hiftory of Helyas Knight of the Swan, bl. 1. no date, imprinted by Wm. Copland: "And alfo the more fooner to come, without prolixity, to the true Chronicles," &c. Again, in the True Tragedies of Marius and Scilla, 1594:
"To wait a meffage of more better worth.” Again, ibid:
"That hale more greater than Caffandra now."
-full poor cell,] i. e. a cell in a great degree of poverty. So, in Antony and Cleopatra: "I am full forry." STEEVENS.
More to know
Did never meddle with my thoughts.3
PRO. 'Tis time I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magick garment from me.-So; [Lays down his mantle. Lie there my art.4-Wipe thou thine eyes; have
The direful fpectacle of the wreck, which touch'd
3 Did never meddle with my thoughts.] i. e. mix with them. To meddle is often ufed, with this fenfe, by Chaucer. Hence the fubftantive medley. The modern and familiar phrafe by which that of Miranda may be explained, is―never entered my thoughts my head. STEEVENS.
-never came into
It fhould rather mean-to interfere, to trouble, to bufy itself, as ftill used in the North, e. g. Don't meddle with me; i. e. Let me alone; Don't moleft me. RITSON.
See Howell's Dict. 1660, in v. to meddle; "fe mefler de."
4 Lie there my art.] Sir Will. Cecil, lord Burleigh, lord high treasurer, &c. in the reign of queen Elizabeth, when he put off his gown at night, ufed to fay, Lie there, lord treafurer. Fuller's Holy State, p. 257. STEEvens.
virtue of compaffion-] Virtue; the most efficacious part, the energetic quality; in a like fenfe we fay, The virtue of a plant is in the extract. JOHNSON.
6 that there is no foul-] Thus the old editions read ; but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read that there is no foul loft, without any notice of the variation. Mr. Theobald fubftitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope follows him. To come fo near the right, and yet to miss it, is unlucky the author probably wrote no foil, no ftain, no fpot; for fo Ariel tells:
Not a hair perifh'd;
On their fufiaining garments not a blemish,
But fresher than before.
And Gonzalo, The rarity of it is, that our garments being
No, not fo much perdition as an hair,
Which thou heard 'ft cry, which thou faw'ft fink.
For thou must now know further.
You have often
The hour's now come;
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
I do not think thou can'ft; for then thou waft not
Certainly, fir, I can.
PRO. By what? by any other house, or person?
drenched in the fea, keep notwithstanding their freshness and gloffes. Of this emendation I find that the author of notes on The Tempest had a glimpfe, but could not keep it. JOHNSON.
-no foul-] Such interruptions are not uncommon to Shakspeare. He fometimes begins a fentence, and, before he concludes it, entirely changes its conftruction, because another, more forcible, occurs. As this change frequently happens in converfation, it may be suffered to pafs uncenfured in the language of the ftage. STEEVENS.
not fo much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the veffel-] Had Shakspeare in his mind St. Paul's hortatory fpeech to the fhip's company, where he affures them that, though they were to fuffer hipwreck, “not an hair fhould fall from the head of any of them?" Acts, xxvii. 34. Ariel afterwards fays, "Not a hair perish'd." HOLT WHITE.
"Out three years old.] i. e. Quite three years old, three years old full-out, complete.
So, in the 4th Act: "And be a boy right out." STEEVENS,