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O look, sir, look, sir; here are more of us!
Boats. The best news is, that we have safely found
Sir, all this service Have I done, since I went.
My tricksy spirit!? Alon. These are not natural events; they strengthen, From strange to stranger:-Say, how came you hither?
Boats. If I did think, sir, I were well awake, I'd strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep, 8 And (how, we know not,) all clapp'd under hatches, Where, but even now, with strange and several noises Of roaring, shrieking, howling, gingling chains, And more diversity of sounds, all horrible, We were awak'd; straitway, at liberty:
7 My tricksy spirit!] Is, I believe, my clever, adroit spirit. Shakspeare uses the same word in The Merchant of Venice:
that for a tricksy word “ Defy the matter." So, in the interlude of The Disobedient Child, bl. 1. no date :
invent and seek out “ To make them go tricksie, gallaunt and cleane.” Steevens.
- dead of sleep,] Thus the old copy. Modern editors -asleep.
Mr. Malone would substitute-on; but on (in the present in. stance) is only a vulgar corruption of-of. We still say, that a person dies of such or such a disorder; and why not that he is dead of sleep?
Steevens. “ On sleep” was the ancient English phraseology: So, in Gascoigne's Supposes : “ – knock again; I think they be on sleep." Again, in a song, said to have been written by Anna Boleyn:
“ O death, rock me on slepe." Again, in Campion's History of Ireland, 1633: “ One officer in the house of great men is a tale-teller, who bringeth his lord on sleep with tales vaine and frivolous." Malone.
In these instances, adduced by Mr. Malone, on sleep, most certainly means asleep; but they do not militate against my explanation of the phrase—“ dead of sleep.” Şteevens.
Where we, in all her trim, freshly beheld
Was't well done?
Sir, my liege,
-conduct of:] Conduct for conductor. So, in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour :
“ Come, gentlemen, I will be your conduct.” Steevens. Again, in The Housholders' Philosophie, 4to. 1588, p. 1: “I goe before, not to arrogat anie superioritie, but as your guide, because, perhaps you are not well acquainted with the waie. Fortune (quoth I) doth favour mee with too noble a conduct.” Reed.
Conduct is yet used in the same sense: the person at Cambridge who reads prayers in King's and in Trinity College Chapels, is still so styled. Henley.
with beating on The strangeness, &c.] A similar expression occurs in The Second Part of K. Henry VI:
thine eyes and thoughts “ Beat on a crown." Beating may mean hammering, working in the mind, dwelling long upon. So, in the preface to Stanyhurst's translation of Virgil, 1582: “ For my part I purpose not to beat on everye childish tittle that concerneth prosodie.” Again, Miranda, in the second scene of this play, tells her father that the storm is still beating in her mind. Steevens. A kindred expression occurs in Hamlet :
Cudgel thy brains no more about it.” Malone. 2 (Which to you shall seem probable,)] These words seem, at the first view, to have no use; some lines are perhaps lost with which they were connected. Or we may explain them thus : I will resolve you, by yourself, which method, when you hear the story [of Antonio's and Sebastian's plot], shall seem probable; that is, shall deserve your approbation. Fohnson.
These happen'd accidents: till when, be cheerful,
TRINCULO, in their stolen apparel. Ste. Every man shift for all the rest, and let no man take care for himself; for all is but fortune :-Coragio, bully-monster, Coragio!3 Trin. If those be true spies, which I wear in my
head here's a goodly sight.
Cal. O Setebos, these be brave spirits, indeed!
Very like; one of them
Surely Prospero's meaning is: “I will relate to you the means, by which I have been enabled to accomplish these ends; which means, though they now appear strange and improbable, will then appear otherwise.” Anonymous.
I will inform you how all these wonderful accidents have hap. pened; which, though they now appear to you strange, will then seem probable.
An anonymous writer pointed out the true construction of this passage, but his explanation is, I think, incorrect. Malone.
Coragio!] This exclamation of encouragement I find in J. Florio's Translation of Montaigne, 1603:
You often cried Coragio, and called ça, ça." Again, in the Blind Beggar of Alexandı ia, 1598. Steevens.
4 Is a plain fish,] That is, plainly, evidently a fish. So, in Fletcher's Scornful Lady, “ that visible beast, the butler,” means the butler, who is visibly a beast. M. Mason.
It is not easy to determine the shape, which our author design. ed to bestow on his monster. That he has hands, legs, &c, we gather from the remarks of Trinculo, and other circumstances in the play. How then is he plainly a fish? Perhaps Shakspeare himself had no settled ideas, concerning the form of Caliban.
Pro. Mark but the badges of these men, my lords, Then say, if they be true:5—This mis-shapen knave, His mother was a witch; and one so strong That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs, And deal in her command, without her power:? These three have robb’d me; and this demi-devil (For he's a bastard one,) had plotted with them To take my life: two of these fellows you Must know, and own; this thing of darkness, I Acknowledge mine. Cal.
I shall be pinch’d to death. Alon. Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler? Seb. He is drunk now: where had he wine?
Alon. And Trinculo is reeling ripe: Where should they Find this grand liquor, that hath gilded them ?8.
true : ] That is, honest. A true man is, in the language of that time, opposed to a thief. The sense is, Mark what these men wear, and say if they are honest. Johnson. 6 His mother was a witch; and one so strong
That could control the moon, &c.] This was the phraseology of the times. After the statute against witches, revenge or ignorance frequently induced people to charge those, against whom they harboured resentment, or entertained prejudices, with the crime of witchcraft, which had just then been declared a capital offence. In our ancient reporters, are several cases, where per. sons charged in this manner, sought redress in the courts of law. And it is remarkable in all of them, to the scandalous imputation of being witches, the term-a strong one, is constantly added. In Michaelmas Term, 9 Car. I. the point was settled that no action could be supported on so general a charge, and that the epithet strong did not inforce the other words. In this instance, I believe, the opinion of the people at large was not in unison with the sages in Westminster-Hall. Several of these cases are collected together in I. Viner, 422. Reed.
That could control the moon,] From Medea's speech in Ovid, (as translated by Golding,) our author might have learned that this was one of the pretended powers of witchcraft:
and thee, O lightsome moon, “ I darken oft, though beaten brass abate thy peril soon."
Malone. 7 And deal in her command, without her power :] I suppose Prospero means, that Sycorax, with less general power than the moon, could produce the same effects on the sea. Steevens. 8 And Trinculo is reeling ripe: Where should they
Find this grand LIQUOR that hath gilded them.?] Shakspeare, to be sure, wrote--grand’LIXIR, alluding to the grand Elixir of
How cam'st thou in this pickle?
Trin. I have been in such a pickle, since I saw you last, that, I fear me, will never out of my bones: I shall not fear fly-blowing. 9
Seb. Why, how now, Stephano?
the alchymists, which they pretend would restore youth and confer immortality. This, as they said, being a preparation of gold, they called Aurum potabile; which Shakspeare alluded to in the word gilded; as he does again in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ How much art thou unlike Mark Antony?
great medicine hath, “ With his tinct gilded thee.' But the joke here is to insinuate that, notwithstanding all the boasts of the chemists, sack was the only restorer of youth and bestower of immortality. So, Ben Jonson, in his Every Man out of his Humour :-“Canarie, the very Elixir and spirit of wine." This seems to have been the cant name for sack, of which the English were, at that time, immoderateiy fond. Randolph, in his Jealous Lovers, speaking of it, says,-“ A pottle of Elixir at the Pegasus, bravely caroused.” So again, in Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas, Act III:
“ Old reverend sack, which, for aught that I can read yet, “Was that philosopher's stone the wise king Ptolemeus
“ Did all his wonders by.” The phrase too of being gilded, was a trite one on this occasion. Fletcher, in his Chånces :-“ Duke. Is she not drunk too? Whore. A little gilded o'er sir; old sack, old sack, boys.” Warburton.
As the alchymist's Elixir was supposed to be a liquor, the old reading may stand, and the allusion holds good, without any alteration. Steevens.
-fly-blowing. ] This pickle alludes to their plunge into the stinking pool; and pickling preserves meat from Ay-blowing.
Steevens. - but a cramp.] i.e. I am all over a cramp. Prospero had ordered Ariel to shorten up their sinews with aged cramps. Touch me not alludes to the soreness, occasioned by them. In his next speech Stephano confirms the meaning by a quibble on the word
Steevens. 2 I should have been a sore one then.]* The same quibble occurs afterwards, in the Second Part of King Henry VI: “ Mass, 'twill be sore law then, for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet.” Stephano also alludes to the sores about him. Steevens.