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The affliction of my mind amends, with which,
I fear, a madness held me: this must crave
(An if this be at all,) a most strange story.
Thy dukedom I resign,5 and do entreat
Thou pardon me my wrongs:-But how should Prospero
Be living, and be here?
Pro.

First, noble friend,
Let me embrace thine age; whose honour cannot
Be measur’d, or confin’d.
Gon.

Whether this be,
Or be not, I'll not swear.
Pro.

You do yet taste
Some subtilties o’the isle, 6 that will not let you
Believe things certain :-Welcome, my friends, all:-
But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,

[ Aside to SEB. and Ant.
I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you,
And justify you traitors: at this time
I'll tell no tales.
Seb. The devil speaks in him.

[ Aside. Pro.

No:-
For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother
Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive
Thy rankest fault; all of them; and require
My dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know,
Thou must restore.

yet

taste

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

Steevens.

costez."

Alon.

If thou beest Prospero,
Give us particulars of thy preservation:
How thou hast met us here, who three hours since?
Were wreck'd upon this shore; where I have lost,
How sharp the point of this remembrance is!
My dear son Ferdinand.
Pro.

I am woe for't, sir. 8
Aion. Irreparable is the loss; and patience
Says, it is past her cure.
Pro.

I rather think,
You have not sought her help; of whose soft grace,
For the like loss, I have her sovereign aid.
And rest myself content.
Alon.

You the like loss?
Pro. As great to me, as late;' and, portable
To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker,
Than you may call to comfort you; for I
Have lost my daughter.

1

7

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.

1

Alon.

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.

3

If this prove

I would not for the world.
Mira. Yes, for a score of kingdoms, 4 you should

wrangle,
And I would call it fair play.

Alon.
A vision of the island, one dear son
Shall I twice lose.
Seb.

A most high miracle!
Fer. Though the seas threaten, they are merciful:
I have curs’d them without cause. [FER. kneels to ALON.
Alon.

Now all the blessings
Of a glad father compass thee about!
Arise, and say how thou cam'st here.
Mira.

O! wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!
Pro.

'Tis new to thee.
Alon. What is this maid, with whom thou wast at play?
Your eld'st acquaintance cannot be three hours;
Is she the goddess that hath sever'd us,
And brought us thus together?
Fer.

Sir, she's mortal;
But, by immortal providence, she's mine;
I chose her, when I could not ask my father
For his advice; nor thought I had one: she
Is daughter to this famous duke of Milan,
Of whom so often I have heard renown,

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
Received a second life, and second father
This lady makes him to me.
Alon.

I am hers:
But O, how oddly will it sound, that I
Must ask my child forgiveness!
Pro.

There, sir, stop;
Let us not burden our remembrances5
With a heaviness that's gone.
Gon.

I have inly wept,
Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you gods,
And on this couple drop a blessed crown;
For it is you, that have chalk'd forth the way,
Which brought us hither!
Alon.

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,
Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart,
That doth not wish you joy!
Gon.

Be't so! Amen!
Re-enter ARIEL, with the Master and Boatswain.

amazedly following.

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.

Steevens.

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