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The affliction of my mind amends, with which,
First, noble friend,
Whether this be,
You do yet taste
[ Aside to SEB. and Ant.
[ Aside. Pro.
5 Thy dukedomn I resign;] The dutchy of Milan being through the treachery of Antonio made feudatory to the crown of Naples, Alonso promises to resign his claim of sovereignty for the future.
Steevens. 6 You do
Some subtilties o' the isle,] This is a phrase adopted from ancient cookery and confectionary: When a dish was so contrived as to appear unlike what it really was, they called it a subtilty. Dragons, castles, trees, &c. made out of sugar, had the like de. nomination. See Mr. Pegge’s glossary to the Form of Cury, &c. Article Sotiltees.
Froissard complains much of this practice, which often led him into mistakes at dinner. Describing one of the feasts of his time, he says there was “grant plunté de mestz si etranges & si desguisez qu'on ne les pouvait deviser;" and L'Etoile, speaking of a similar entertainment in 1597, adds “ Tous les poissons estoicnt fort dextrement desguisez en viande de chair, qui estoient monstres marins pour la pluspart, qu'on avait fait venir exprès de tous les
If thou beest Prospero,
I am woe for't, sir. 8
I rather think,
You the like loss?
who three hours since – ] The unity of time is most ri. gidly observed in this piece. The fable scarcely takes up a greater number of hours, than are employed in the representation; and from the very particular care, which our author takes to point out this circumstance, in so many other passages, as well as here, it should seem, as if it were not accidental, but purposely designed to shew the admirers of Ben Jonson's art, and the cavillers of the time, that he too could write a play within all the strictest laws of regularity, when he chose to load himself with the cri. tick's fetters.
The Boatswain marks the progress of the day again—which but three glasses since, &c. and at the beginning of this act the duration of the time, employed on the stage is particularly ascertained ; and it refers to a passage in the first act, of the same tendency. The storm was raised at least two glasses, after midday, and Ariel was promised that the work should cease, at the sixth hour. Steevens. 8 I am woe fort, sir.] i. e. I am sorry for it.
To be woe, is often used by old writers to signify, to be sorry. So, in the play of The Four P's, 1569:
“ But be ye sure I would be woe
“ That you should chance to begyle me so." Steevens. 9 As great to me, as late; ] My loss is as great as yours, and has as lately happened to me. Johnson.
portable -] So, in Macbeth:
these are portable “ With other graces weigh’d." The old copy unmetrically reads“ supportable.” Steevens.
A daughter? O heavens! that they were living both in Naples, The king and queen there! that they were, I wish Myself were mudded in that oozy bed, Where my son lies. When did you lose your daughter?
Pro. In this last tempest. I perceive these lords At this encounter do so much admire, That they devour their reason; and scarce think Their eyes do offices of truth, their words Are natural breath:2 but, howsoe'er you have Been justled from your senses, know for certain, That I am Prospero, and that very duke, Which was thrust forth of Milan; who most strangely Upon this shore, where you were wreck’d, was landed, To be the lord on't. No more yet of this; For 'tis a chronicle of day by day, Not a relation for a breakfast, nor Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, sir : This ceil's my court: here have I few attendants, And subjects none abroad : pray you, look in. My dukedom since you have given me again, I will requite you with as good a thing; At least, bring forth a wonder, to content ye, As much as me my dukedom. The entrance of the Cell opens, and discovers FERDINAND
and MIRANDA, playing at chess.3 Mira. Sweet lord, you play me false. Fer.
No, my dearest love, their words Are natural breath:] An anonymous correspondent thinks that their is a corruption, and that we should read these words. His conjecture appears not improbable. The lords had no doubt concerning themselves. Their doubts related only to Prospero, whom they at first apprehended to be some “inchanted trifle to abuse them.” They doubt, says he, whether what they see and hear is a mere illusion; whether the person they behold is a living mortal, whether the words they hear are spoken by a human crea. ture. Malone.
playing at chess.] Shakspeare might not have ventured to engage his hero and heroine at this game, had he not found Huon de Bordeaux and his Princess employed in the same manner. See the romance of Huon, &c. chapter 53, edit. 1601: “ How King Ivoryn caused his daughter to play at the chesse with Huon," &c. Steevens.
If this prove
I would not for the world.
A most high miracle!
Now all the blessings
'Tis new to thee.
Sir, she's mortal;
4 Yes, for a score of kingdoms, &c.] I take the sense to be only this: Ferdinand would not, he says, play her false for the world: yes, answers she, I would allow you to do it, for something less than the world, for twenty kingdoms, and I wish you well enough to allow you, after a little wrangle, that your play was fair. So, likewise, Dr. Grey. Johnson.
I would recommend another punctuation, and then the sense would be as follows:
Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
And I would call it fair play; because such a contest would be worthy of you.
“ 'Tis honour, with most lands to be at odds," says Alcibiades, in Timon of Athens. Again, in Fletcher's Two Noble Kinsmen :
They would show bravely, “ Fighting about the titles of two kingdoms.” Steevens,
But never saw before; of whom I have
I am hers:
There, sir, stop;
I have inly wept,
I say, Amen, Gonzalo! Gon. Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his issue Should become kings of Naples? O, rejoice Beyond a common joy; and set it down With gold on lasting pillars: In one voyage, Did Claribel her husband find, at Tunis; And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife, Where he himself was lost; Prospero his dukedom, In a poor isle; and all of us, ourselves, When no man was his own.6 Alon.
Give me your hands :
[70 FER. and MIRA,
Be't so! Amen!
5our remembrances - ] By the mistake of the transcriber, the word with being placed at the end of this line, Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors, for the sake of the metre, read-remembrance. The regulation now made, renders change unnecessary.
Malone. When no man was his own.] For when, perhaps should be read—where. Fohnson.
When is certainly right; i. e. at a time when no one was in his senses. Shakspeare could not have written where, [i. e. in the island,] because the mind of Prospero, who lived in it, had not been disordered. It is still said, in colloquial language, that a madman is not his own man, i. e. is not master of himself.