Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

& SCENE III.
Mountaineers

SCENE III.—Enter Ariel like a harpy."
Deu-lapp'd like bulls."

This circumstance is of course taken from the The engraving above exhibits a sketch re- 'Æneid' of Virgil. Those who maintain that cently made from a Tyrolese peasant. It is not Shakspere could not read the original send him strange that such an extraordinary appearance to Phaer's translation :of the goitre should in Shakspere's time be

" Fast to meate we fall. considered as a marvel to be reckoned with But sodenly from down the hills with grisly fall to syght,

The harpies come, and beating wings with great noys out the phoenix and the unicorn, and with “men

thei shright, whose heads stood in their breasts."

And at our meate they snatch, and with their clawes," &c. certain words, which we shall presently give :the above passage, with lime-grove. The effect of the change, Mr. Hunter says, is this :

[graphic]

ACT IV.

10 SCENE I.--"Come, hang them on this line." | italics. On the contrary, the tree, in connection MR. HUNTER, in his 'Disquisition on The with a grove, is printed thus,-Line-grove. Tempest,' has a special heading, “the line- 2nd. Mr. Hunter furnishes no example of the. grove." He invites the friend to whom he word line, as applied to a tree, being used withaddresses the Disquisition to accompany him out the adjunct of tree or grove-line-tree, lineto the “cell of Prospero, and to the grove or grove. The quotation which he gives from berry of line-trees by which it was enclosed or Elisha Cole is clear in this matter :-“Lineprotected from the weather.” He adds, "if you tree (tilia), a tall tree, with broad leaves and look for the very word line-grove in any verbal fine flowers." The other quotation which he index to Shakespeare you will not find it: for gives from Gerard would, if correctly printed, the modern editors, in their discretion, have exhibit the same thing :-". The female line,' chosen to alter the line in which it occurs, and says Gerard, or linden-tree, waxeth very great,' we now read

&c. But Gerard wrote, “The female line or . In the lime-grove which weather-fends your cell.""

linden tree waxeth," &c.; and the word tree as

much belongs to line as to linden. The editors, then, have substituted the more recent name of the tree for the more ancient:

3rd. Mr. Hunter quotes "some clumsy joking but the change had taken place earlier than the about the line, among the clowns as they steal days of the commentators. In Dryden's altera through the line-grove with the murderous tion of 'The Tempest' (edit. of 1876) we have intent;" and he quotes as follows, omitting

Ste. Mistress line, is not this my jerkin? Now is the

jerkin under the line. “When Prospero says to Ariel, who comes in Trin. We steal by line and level," &c. bringing the glittering apparel, 'Come hang Now the passage really stands thus :them on this line,' he means on one of the

" Ste. Mistress line, is not this my jerkin? Now is the line-trees near his cell, which could hardly

jerkin under the line: now, jerkin, you are like have been mistaken if the word of the original

to lose your hair, and prove a bald jerkin. copies, line-grove, had been allowed to keep its Trin. We steal by line and level," &c. place. But the ear having long been familiar Is not the "clumsy joking" about lose your with lime-grove, the word suggested not the hair, and bald jerkin, of some importance in branches of a tree so called, but a cord-line, getting at the meaning? Steevens has observed and accordingly, when the play is represented, that "the lines on which clothes are hung are such a line is actually drawn across the stage, usually made of twisted horse-hair.” But they and the glittering apparel is hung upon it. were especially so made in Shakspere's day. In Anything more remote from poetry than this a woodcut of twelve distinct figures of trades can scarcely be imagined.”

and callings of the time of James I. (see Smith's This, we admit, is exceedingly ingenious; and Cries of London,' p. 15), and of which there is we were at first disposed, with many others, to a copy in the British Museum, we have the cry receive the theory with an implicit belief. A of “Buy a hair-line !” The “clumsy joking” careful examination of the matter has, however, would be intelligible to an audience accustomed convinced us that the poet had no such inten- to a hair-line. It is not intelligible according tion of hanging the clothes on a line-tree; that to Mr. Hunter's assertion that the word suga clothes-line was destined to this office; and gested a "cord-line." that the players are right in stretching up a 4th. Is it likely that Shakspere would have clothes line. Our reasons are as follow : made these drunken fellows so knowing in the

1st. When Prospero says " hang them on this peculiarities of trees as to distinguish a line-tree line,"—when Stephano gives his jokes of "mis- from an elm-tree, or a plane-tree? Is it contress line," and "now is the jerkin under the ceivable that the trees in Prospero's island were line,"—the word “line” has no characteristic so young that clothes could be hung upon their mode of printing, neither with a capital, nor in lower branches ? Are the branches of a line.

tree of such a form as to hang clothes upon its place,” the passages in the fourth Act referthem, and to remove them easily? Had not ring to line must have been associated with the the clowns a distinct image in their minds of line-grove of the fifth Act. The poet, we are an old-clothes shop ?—

atisfied, had no such association in his mind. “We know what belongs to a frippery." Here is a picture of "a frippery,” from a print

IW dated 1587, with its clothes hung in "line and level.” Is not the joke “we steal by line and level" applicable only to a stretched line ?—or is it meaningless? It has the highest approbation of King Stephano.

Lastly, with reference to the clothes-line, when Mr. Hunter says " Anything more remote from poetry than this can scarcely be imagined,” we answer that the entire scene was intended to be the antagonist of poetry. All the scenes in which Trinculo and Stephano are tricked by Ariel are essentially ludicrous, and, to a certain extent, gross. The "pool" through which they were hunted had none of the poetical attributes about it. It was, compared with a fountain or a lake, as the hair-line to the line-tree. Mr. Hunter contends that, “if the word of the original, line-grove; had been allowed to keep

[graphic]

ACT V.

" SCENE I.-" Ye elves of hills."

Whole wools and forests I remove, I make the moun

tains shake, The invocation of Medea, in Ovid's 'Metamor

And even the earth itself to groan and fearfully to phoses,' was no doubt familiar to Shakspere quake. when he wrote this passage, and he has used

I call up dead men from their graves, and thee, O light

some moon, several exp ssions which we find in Golding's

I darken oft, though benten brass abate thy peril soon. translation. We subjoin the passage from Our sorcery dims the morning fair, and darks the sun at that translation, which Farmer quotes as one

noon. of his proofs that Shakspere did not know

The flaming breath of fiery bulls ye quenched for my

sake, the original. The evidence in this as in every And caused their unwieldy necks the bended yoke to other case only goes to show that he knew the take. translation :

Among the earth-bred brothers you a mortal war did set,

And brought asleep the dragon fell, whose eyes were “Ye airs and winds, ye elves of hills, of brooks, of woods

never shut.” alone, of standing lakes, and of the night, approach ye every 12 SCENE I.—“ Where the bee sucks," &c. Through help of whom (the crooked banks much won. There are probably more persons familiar dering at the thing)

with this song in association with the music of I have compelled streams to run clear backward to their

Dr. Arne than as readers of Shakspere. The spring. By charms I make the calm sea rough, and make the

first line is invariably sung, rough sea plain,

“Where the bee sucks, there lurk I." And cover all the sky with clouds, and chase them thence again.

It is perfectly clear that lurk is not the word By charms I raise and lay the winds, and burst the viper's which Ariel would have used ; and it is equally

jaw; And from the bowels of the earth both stones and trees

clear that the poet meant to convey the notion do draw.

of a being not wholly ethercal ; who required

one.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

some aliment, although the purest and the most | Bats do not migrate, as swallows do, in search delicate :

of summer. Steevens says that Shakspere " Where the bee sucks, there suck 1."

might, through his ignorance of natural hisTheobald changed the word summer into sunset. tory, have supposed the bat to be a bird of Warburton supports the old reading very inge- passage. He inclines, however, to the opinion, niously :-"The roughness of winter is repre- not that Ariel pursues summer on a bat's wing, sented by Shakspeare as disagreeable to fairies, but that after summer is past he rides upon the and such like delicate spirits, who, on this

warm down of a bat's back. Excellent natuaccount, constantly follow summer.

Was not ralist! Why, the bat is torpid after summer. this, then, the most agreeable circumstance of If this exquisite song is to be subjected to this Ariel's new recovered liberty, that he could now strict analysis, it is difficult to reduce all its avoid winter, and follow summer quite round images to the measure of fitness and propriety. the globe ?" But here a new difficulty arises.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

The action of this play gives us no hint as to a “the (Neapolitan) king's fair daughter Claribel" period in which it may be imagined to have and the King of Tunis. They are wrecked at occurred. The King of Naples and a tributary the command of Prospero, by the agency of Duke of Milan are returning from Tunis, whither | Ariel, who, however, informs his master that they have been to celebrate a marriage between there is “on their sustaining garments not a blemish, but fresher than before.” By this should also be magnificent state dresses is ingenious contrivance the usual stage absurdity pointed out by the next speech of Gonzalo, who of persons who have been immersed in either therein describes them as having been first put salt or fresh water appearing with their gar- on "in Afric, at the marriage of the king's fair ments as bright and dry as if just out of a daughter" aforesaid. With these hints we tailor's shop is avoided, and the remark of leave the artist to select any Italian costume Gonzalo, that their "garments, being, as they he may consider most picturesque previous to were, drenched in the sea, hold, notwithstand the commencement of the 17th century: but ing, their freshness and glosses ; being rather we should recommend a glance at that given new dyed than stained with salt water,” is in our notice prefixed to 'The Two Gentlemen rationally accounted for. That these garments of Verona.'

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »