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ACT V. SCENE I.
Before the Cell of PROSPERO.
I did say so,
Enter Prospero in his magick robes; and Aniel.
Pro. Now does my project gather to a head : My charms crack not; my spirits obey; and time Goes upright with his carriage 4. How's the day ?
Ari. On the sixth hour; at which time, my lord, You said our work should cease.
PRO. When first I rais'd the tempest. Say, my spirit, How fares the king and his followers ? ARI.
Confin'd together In the same fashion as you gave in charge ; Just as you left them, sir ; all prisoners In the lime-grove which weather-fends your cell; They cannot budge till your release. The king, His brother, and yours, abide all three distracted; And the remainder mourning over them, Brim-full of sorrow, and dismay; but chiefly Him you term’d, sir, The good old lord, Gonzalo; His tears run down his beard, like winter's drops From eaves of reeds : your charm so strongly works
4 and time
Goes upright with his carriage.] Alluding to one carrying a burthen. This critical period of my life proceeds as I could wish. Time brings forward all the expected events, without faultering under his burthen. STEEVENS.
the king and his ?] The old copy reads "the king and his followers ?" But the word followers is evidently an interpolation, (or gloss which had crept into the text,) and spoils the metre without help to the sense. In King Lear we have the phraseology I have ventured to recommend :
“ To thee and thine, hereditary ever,” &c. STEEVENS. till your release.] i. e. till you release them. Malone.
That if you now beheld them, your affections
Pro. Dost thou think so, spirit ?
And mine shall.
quick, Yet, with my nobler reason, 'gainst my fury Do I take part: the rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance: they being penitent, The sole drift of my purpose doth extend Not a frown further : Go, release them, Ariel; My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore, And they shall be themselves. ARI.
I'll fetch them, sir. [Exit. Pro. Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and
7- - a touch, a feeling -] A touch is a sensation. So, in Cymbeline :
a touch more rare “ Subdues all pangs, all fears." So, in the 141st sonnet of Shakspeare:
“ Nor tender feeling to base touches prone.” Again, in The Civil Wars of Daniel, b. i. : “I know not how their death gives such a touch.”
STEEVENS. that relish all as sharply, Passion as they,] I feel every thing with the same quick sensibility, and am moved by the same passions as they are. A similar thought occurs in King Richard II. :
“ Taste grief, need friends, like you," &c. STEEVENS. 9 Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves ;] This speech Dr. Warburton rightly observes to be borrowed from Medea's in Ovid: and, “ it proves,” says Mr. Holt, “ beyond contradiction, that Shakspeare was perfectly acquainted with the sentiments of the ancients on the subject of inchantments.” The original lines are these :
And ye, that on the sands with printless foot
Auræque, et venti, montesque, amnesque, lacusque,
Diique omnes nemorum, diique omnes noctis, adeste. The translation of which, by Golding, is by no means literal, and Shakspeare hath closely followed it. Farmer.
Whoever will take the trouble of comparing this whole passage with Medea's speech, as translated by Golding, will see evidently that Shakspeare copied the translation, and not the original. The particular expressions that seem to have made an impression on his mind, are printed in Italicks : “ Ye ayres and windes, ye elves of hills, of brookes, of woodes
alone, “ Of standing lakes, and of the night, approche ye everych one. Through help of whom (the crooked bankes much wondering
at the thing) “ I have compelled streames to run clear backward to their spring. By charms I make the calm sea rough, and make the rough
seas playne, “ And cover all the skie with clouds, and chase them thence again,
By charmes I raise and lay the windes, and burst the viper's jaw, “ And from the bowels of the earth both stones and trees do draw. • Whole woodes and forrests I remove, I make the mountains
men from their graves, and thee, O lightsome
moone, “ I darken oft, though beaten brass abate thy peril soone. “ Our sorcerie dimmes the morning faire, and darks the sun at
noone, “The flaming breath of fierie bulles ye quenched for my sake, “ And caused their unwieldy neckes the bended yoke to take.
Among the earth-bred brothers you a mortal warre did set, " And brought asleep the dragon fell, whose eyes were never
shet.” MALONE. “ Ye elves of hills,” &c. Fairies and elves are frequently, in the poets, mentioned together, without any distinction of character that I can recollect. Keysler says, that alp and alf, which is elf with the Suedes and English, equally signified a mountain, or a dæmon of the mountains. This seems to have been its original meaning ; but Sonner's Dict. mentions elves or fairies of the mountains, of the woods, of the sea and fountains, without any distinction between elves and fairies. TOLLET.
It would be an injustice to our great poet, if the reader were not to take notice that Ovid has not supplied him with any thing
When he comes back; you demy-puppets, that
forth By my so potent art : But this rough magick
resembling the exquisite fairy imagery with which he has enriched this ch. BOSWELL.
with PRINTLESS foot Do chase the ebbing Neptune,] So Milton, in his Masque:
" Whilst from off the waters feet,
“ Thus I set my printless feet.” Steevens. 2 (Weak MASTERS though ye be,)] The meaning of this passage may be, Though you are but inferior masters of these supernatural powers—though you possess them but in a low degree.” Spenser uses the same kind of expression in The Fairy Queen, b. iii. cant. 8, st. 4:
“ Where she (the witch) was wont her sprights to entertain,
by whose aid, (Weak masters though ye be,) That is ; ye are powerful auxiliaries, but weak if left to yourselves ;-your employment is then to make green ringlets, and midnight mushrooms, and to play the idle pranks mentioned by Ariel in his next song ;--yet by your aid I have been enabled to invert the course of nature. We say proverbially, “Fire is a good servant, but a bad master."
BLACKSTONE. 3 – But this rough magick, &c.] This speech of Prospero VOL. XV.
I here abjure: and, when I have requir'd
[Solemn musick. Re-enter Ariel: after him, Alonso, with a fran
tick gesture, attended by Gonzalo; SEBASTIAN and Antonio in like manner, attended by ADRIAN and Francisco: they all enter the circle which PROSPERO had made, and there stand charmed
i which PROSPERO observing, speaks. A solemn air, and the best comforter To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains, Now useless, boil'd within thy skull 4! There stand, For you are spell-stopp'd.-Holy Gonzalo, honourable man, Mine eyes, even sociable to the shew of thine, Fall fellowly drops 5.-The charm dissolves apace ; And as the morning steals upon the night, Melting the darkness, so their rising senses
sets out with a long and distinct invocation to the various ministers of his art ; yet to what purpose they were invoked does not very distinctly appear. Had our author written—" All this,” &c. instead of —" But this,” &c. the conclusion of the address would have been more pertinent to its beginning. Steevens.
BOIL'D within thy skull !] So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : “ Lovers and madmen have such seething brains," &c.
STEEVENS. Again, in The Winter's Tale: “ Would any but these boild brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty, hunt this weather ? ”
MALONE. fellowly drops.] I would read, fellow drops. The additional syllable only injures the metre, without enforcing the sense. Fellowly, however, is an adjective used by Tusser.