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Him that you term’d The good old lord, Gonzalo,
That if you now beheld them, your affections
Pro. Do'st thou think so, spirit ?
Pro. 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,
a touch, a feeling] A touch is a sensation, So in Cymbeline :
a touch more rare “ Subdues all panys, all fears." So in the 141st fonnet of Shakespeare :
“ 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, Pasion as they, ] Paffion is a verb in Shakespeare. I
every thing with the same quick senfibility, and ai moved by the same passions as they are. So in The Gent. of Verona :
“ Madam, 'twas Ariadne paffioning
" For Theseus' perjury," &c. Again, in his Venus and Adonis :
“ Dumbly the pasions, frantickly she doateth." Again, in Love's Labour's Loft, act I. sc. i:
-I passion to say wherewith." Again, in Spenser's Faery Queen, b. II. c. 9:
to see the maid “ So strangely pashioned" A similar thought occurs in K. Rich. II : “ Tafte grief, need friends, like you," &c. STEEVENS,
The sole drift of my purpose doth extend
[Exit. Pro. ? Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes,
And ye, that on the sands : with printless foot
The ? Ye elves of bills, of 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 Shakespeare was perfectly acquainted with the sentiments of the ancients on the subject of inchantments.” The original lines are there :
“ Auræque, & venti, montesque, amnesque, lacusque, "
Diique omnes nemorum, diique omnes noctis adeste." The translation of which, by Golding, is by no means literal, and Shakespeare hath closely followed it : “ Ye ayres and winds; ye elves of hills, of brookes, of
oć woods alone ; “ Of standing lakes, and of the night, approche ye everych
one.” FARMER. re elves of bills, &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 Somner's Diet, mentions elves or fairies of the mountains, of the woods, of the sea and fountains, without any distinction between elves and fairies. TOLLET.
with printless foot Do chase the ebbing Neptune,-) So Milton in his Masque :
66 Whilst from off the waters fleet,
“ Thus I set my printless feet.” Steevens. 9 (Weak masiers though ye be) -] The meaning of this passage may be ; Though you are but inferior mafters of these supernatural
The noon-tide sun, callid forth the mutinous winds,
so potent art : But this rough magick
[Solemn musick.] Re-enter Ariel: after him Alonso with a frantick gesture,
attended by Gonzalo. Sebastian and Anthonio in like manner, attended by Adrian and Francisco. They all enter the circle which Prospero had made, and there stand charm’d; 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'! there stand, For you are spell-stopp’d. Holy Gonzalo, honourable man, Mine eyes, even fociable to the shew of thine, Fall fellowly drops.--The charm diffolves apace; And as the morning steals upon the night, powers, ---though you possess them but in a locu degree. Spenser uses the same kind of expreifion, b. III. cant. 8. st. 4.
“ Where she (the witch) was wont her sprights to entertain,
-boild within thy skull!] So in the Midsummer Night's “ Lovers and madmen have such feething brains, &c."
Melting the darkness, so their rifing senses
3 After summer, merrily:
Pro ? Thou'rt pinch'd for't now, Sebaftian.-Flesh and blood,] Thus the old copy: Theobald points the passage in a different manner, and perhaps rightly : Thou'rt pinch'd for't now, Sebastian, flesh and blood.
STEEVENS. After summer, merrily:] This is the reading of all the edi. tions. Yet Mr, Theobald has substituted fun-jét, because Ariel
Pro. Why, that's my dainty Ariel: I shall miss
thee; But yet thou shalt have freedom: So, fo, fo. To the king's thip, invisible as thou art:
talks of riding on the bat in this expedition. An idle fancy, That circumstance is given only to delign the time of night in which fairies travel. One would think the consideration of the circum. stances should have set him right. Ariel was a spirit of great delicacy, bound by the charms of Prospero to a constant attendance on his occasions. So that he was confined to the island winter and summer. But the roughness of winter is represented by Shakespeare as disagreeable to fairies, and such like delicate spirits, who, on this account, constantly follow summer. Was not this then the most agreeable circumstance of Ariel's new-recovered liberty, that he could now avoid winter, and follow summer quite round the globe ? But to put the matter quite out of question, let us conlider the meaning of this line:
There I couch when oculs do cry. Where? in the cotusip's bell, and where the bee fucks, he tells us : this must needs be in summer. When? when owls cry, and this is in winter:
" When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
The Song of Winter in Love's Labour Loft. The consequence is, that Ariel flies after summer. Yet the Oxford Editor has adopted this judicious emendation of Mr. Theobald. WARBURTON.
Ariel does not appear to have been confined to the island, sum. mer and winter, as he was sometimes sent on so long an errand as to the Bermoothes. When he says, On the bat's back I do fly, &c. he speaks of his present situation only, nor triumphs in the idea of his future liberty, till the last couplet ;
Merrily, merrily, &c, The bat is no bird of pafrage, and the expression is therefore probably used to fignity, not that he pursues summer, but that after fummer is past, he rides upon the fóft down of a bat’s back, which Tuits not improperly with the delicacy of his airy being.
Shakespeare, who, in his Midimmer Night's Dream, has placed the light of a glow-worm in its eyes, might, through the fame ignorance of natural history, have supposed the bat to be a bird of passage. Owls cry not only in winter. It is well known that they are to the full as clamorous in summer; and as a proof of it, Titania, in the Midsummer Night's Dream, the time of which is supposed to be May, commands her faeries to—kcep back Tbe clamorous owl, that nightly loots. STEEVENS.