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A dozen years ; within which space she died,
Ari, Yes ; Caliban her son.
Pro. Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban, Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st What torment I did find thee in : thy groans Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts Of ever-angry bears ; it was a torment To lay upon the damn’d, which Sycorax Could not again undo; it was mine art, When I arriv'd, and heard thee, that made gape The pine, and let thee out.
Ari. I thank thee, master.
Pro. If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak, And peg thee in his knotty entrails, till Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters. · Ari. Pardon, master : I will be correspondent to command, And do my spiriting gently.
Pro. Do so; and after two days
Ari. That's my noble master!
Pro. Go make thyself like to a nymph o'the sea 8 :
[Exit Ariel Awake, dear heart, awake! thou hast Nept well; Awake!
: a nymph of the sea.] There does not appear to be sufficient cause why Ariel should assume this new shape, as he was to be invisible to all eyes but thofe of Prospero. STEEVENS.
Mira. 9 The strangeness of your story put
Pro. Shake it off: Come on;
Mira. 'Tis a villain, fir,
Pro. But, as 'tis,
Cal. [Within.] 'There's wood enough within.
Enter Ariel like a water-nymph,
[Exit. Pro. Thou poisonous flave, got by the devil hini
self Upon thy wicked dam, come forth !
9 The strangeness ] Why should a wonderful story produce sleep? I believe experience will prove, that any violent agitation of the mind easily subsides in number, especially when, as in Prospero's relation, the last images are pleasing. JOHNSON,
The poet seems to have been apprehensive that the audience, as well as Miranda, would sleep over this long but necessary tale, and therefore strives to break it. First, by making Prospero divest himself of his magic robe and wand; then by waking her attention no less than six times by verbal interruption; then by varying the action when he rises and bids her continue fitting : and laitly, by carrying on the business of the fable while Miranda sleeps, by which she is continued on the stage till the poet has occasion for her again. WARNER.
Enter Caliban. "Cal. As wicked dew, as e'er iny mother brush'd With raven's feather from unwholsome fen,
Cal. As wicked dew, as e'er my mother brull'd
With raven's feather from unwholsome fen,
Drop on you both!] Shakespeare hath very artificially given the air of the antique to the language of Caliban, in order to heighten the grotesque of his character. As here he uses wicked for uncholsome. So fir John Maundevil, in his travels, p. 334. edit. Lond. 1725. at alle tymes brennethe a vesselle of cristalle fulle of bawme for to zeven gode Imelle and odour to the emperour, and to voyden arvey alle wYKKEDE eyres and corrupciouns. It was a tradition, it seems, that lord Falkland, lord C. J. Vaughan, and Mr. Selden concurred in observing, that Shakespeare had not only found out a new character in his Caliban, but had also devised and adapted a new manner of language for that character. What they meant by it, without doubt, was, that Shakespeare gave his language a certain groteíque air of the savage and antique ; which it certainly has. But Dr. Bentley took this, of a new language, literally; for speaking of a phrase in Milton, which he supposed altogether absurd and unmeaning, he says, Satan had not the privilege as Caliban in Shakespeare, to use nezu phrase and di&tion unknown to all others - and again to practise distances is fill a Caliban Atile. Note on Milton's Paradise Loft, 1. iv, v.945. But I know of no fuch Caliban stile in Shakespeare, that hath new phrase and diction unknown to all others.
WARBURTON. Whence these critics derived the notion of a new language appropriated to Caliban, I cannot find : they certainly miltook brutality of sentiment for uncouthness of words. Caliban had learned to speak of Prospero and his daughter, he had no names for the fun and moon before their arrival, and could not have in. vented a language of his own without more understanding than Shakespeare has thought it proper to bestow upon him. His diction is indeed somewhat clouded by the gloominess of his temper, and the malignity of his purposes; but let any other being entertain the same thoughts, and he will find them easily issue in the same expressions. Johnson.
As wicked dew,-] Wicked; having baneful qualities. So Spenser says, wicked weed; fo, in oppofition, we say herbs or medicines have virtues. Bacon mentions virtuous bezoar, and Dryden virtuous herbs. JOHNSON.
So in the Booke of Haukyng, &c. bl. 1. no date. “ Ifa uyckcd ^ fellon be swollen in such maner that a man may hele it, the “ hauke shall not dye,' STEVENS.
Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye,
2 urchins,] i. e. hedgehogs. Urchins are enumerated by Reginald Scott among other terrific "o-to fold thyself up like an urchin."
Chapman's May Day, 1611. Again in Selimus Emperor of the Turks, 1638.
66 What are the urchins crept out of their dens
“ Under the conduct of this porcupine !" Urchins are perhaps here put for fairies. Milton in his Masque speaks of " urchin blasts," and we still call any little dwarfish child, an urchin. The word occurs again in the next act. The echinus, or sea hedge-hog, is still called the urchin. Sreevens. .3 for that vast of night that they may work, ] The vast of night means the night which is naturally empty and deserted, without action; or when all things lying in sleep and filence, makes the world appear one great uninhabited waste. So in Hamlet;
" In the dead waste and middle of the night." It has a meaning like that of nor vafta.
Perhaps, however, it may be used in a signification somewhat different, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609.
" Thou God of this great vast, rebuke the surges.” Vastum is likewise the ancient law term for waste uncultivated Jand; and, with this meaning, vast is used by Chapman in his Shadow of Night, 1594.
6 - When unlightsome, vast and indigest
6. The formeless matter of this world did lye.” It should be remembered, that, in the pneumatology of former ages, these particulars were settled with the most minute exactness, and the different kinds of visionary beings had different allotments of time suitable to the variety or consequence of their employ'ments. During these spaces, they were at liberty to act, but were always obliged to leave off at a certain hour, that they might not interfere in that portion of night which belong'd to others. Among these we may suppose urchins to have had a part subjected to their dominion. To this limitation of time Shake. speare alludes again in K. Lear. He begins at curfew, and walks till the second cock. Steevens.
The rest ard rock, white king: and
As thick as honey.combs, each pinch more stinging Than bees that made 'em.
Cal. I must eat my dinner. This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother, Which thou tak'st from me. When thou camest first, Thou stroak’dst me, and mad'st much of me; would'i
give me Water with berries in't; and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night : and then I lov'd thee, And shew'd thee all the qualities o’the ille, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place, and fertile; Curs'd be I, that I did so !--All the charms Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! For I am all the subjects that you have, Who first was mine own king: and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest of the island.
Pro. Thou most lying save, Whom stripes may move, not kindness : I have us'd
thee, Filth as thou art, with human care ; and lodg'd thee In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate The honour of my child.
Cal. Oh ho, oh ho !--wou'd it had been done! Thou didit prevent me; I had peopled else This ifle with Calibans.
Pro. 4 Abhorred slave; 4 Abhorred Nave;] This speech, which the old copy gives to Miranda, is very judiciously bestowed by Mr. Theobald on Pro. Spero. JOHNSON.
The modern editions take this speech from Miranda, and give it to Prospero ; though there is nothing in it but what she may speak with the greatest propriety; especially as it accounts for her being enough in the way and power of Caliban, to enable him to make the attempt complained of. The poet himself shews he intended Miranda should be his tutoress, when he makes Caliban say, “ I've seen thee in her, my mistress shewed me thee " and thy dog, and thy bush ; " tó Stephano, who had just assured the moniter he was the man in the moon. HOLT.