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Pro. The fringed curtains s of thine eye advance, And say, what thou seeft yond'.
Mira. What is’t ? a spirit ? Lord, how it looks about ! Believe me, fir, It carries a brave form :- But 'tis a spirit. Pro. No, wench; it ears, and sleeps, and hath
such senses As we have, such : This gallant, which thou seelt, Was in the wreck; and, but he's something stain'd With grief, that's beauty's canker, thou might'st call
Mira. I might call him
Alide. As my foul
prompts it :-Spirit, fine fpirit, I'll free
thce Within two days for this.
Fer. Most sure, the goddess On whom these airs attend !--Vouchsafe, my prayer
May 5 The fringed curtains, &c ] The same expression occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609.
her eyelids !” Begin to part their fringes of bright gold." STEEVENS.
Most fure, &c.] It seems, that Shakespeare, in The Tempest, hath been suspected of translating fome expressions of Virgil ;, witness the O Dea certe. I presume we are here directed to the paffage, where Ferdinand lays of Miranda, after hearing the Tongs of Ariel :
Moft sure, the goddess
On whom thefe airs ettend! And so very small Latin is fufficient for this formidable translation, that if it be thought any honour to our poet, I am loth to deprive
him of it ; but his honour is not built on such a fandy foundation. · Let us turn to a real translator, and examine whether the idea
might not be fully comprehended by an English reader, fuppofing it necessarily borrowed from Virgil. llcxameters in our own language are almost forgotten; we will quote theiefore this time from Stanyhurit :
66 O to
Ε Μ Ρ Ε
Ε Ρ S
you will some good instruction give,
Mira. No wonder, fir; But, certainly a maid.
in Ô to thee, fayre virgin, what terme may rightly be fitted? " Thy tongue, thy visage no mortal frayltie resembleth.
- No doubt, a goddesse !”. Edit. 1583. FARMER. 7 -certainly, a maid.) Nothing could be more prettily imagined to illustrate the fingularity of her character, than this pleasant mistake. She had been bred up in the rough and plaindealing documents of moral philosophy, which teaches us the knowledge of ourselves ; and was an utter stranger to the flattery invented by vicious and designing men to corrupt the other sex. So that it could not enter into her imagination, that complaisance, and a desire of appearing amiable, qualities of humanity which The had been instructed, in her moral lessons, to cultivate, could ever degenerate into such excess, as that any one should be willing to have his fellow-creature believe that he thought her a goddess, or an immortal. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton has here found a beauty, which I think the author never intended. Ferdinand asks her not whether she was a created being, a question which, if he meant it, he has ill ex. pressed, but whether she was unmarried; for after the dialogue which Prospero's interruption produces, he goes on pursuing his former question.
0, if a virgin,
P'll make you queen of Naples. JOHNSON. A passage in Lilly's Gallathea seems to countenance the present text, " The question among men is common, are you a maide ?" -yet I cannot but think, that Dr. W'arburton reads very rightly,
you be made, or no." When we meet with an harsh expression in Shakespeare, we are usually to look for a play spor words. Fletcher closely imitates the Tempest in his Sea Voyage : and he introduces Albert in the same manner to the ladies of his Desert Island.
“ Be not offended, goddesses, that I fall
“ Thus proftrate," &c. Shakespeare himself had certainly read, and had probably now in his mind, a paffage in the third book of the Fairy Queen, between Timias and Belphabe,
Fer. My language ! heavens !
Pri. How ! the best?
Fer. A single thing, as I am now, that wonders
Mira. Alack, for mercy!
Pro. The duke of Milan, And his more braver daughter, could controul thee, If now 'twere fit to do't :-At the first fight
( Aside to Ariel, They have chang'd eyes :-Delicate Ariel, I'll set thee free for this.-A word, good fir; I fear, you have done yourself some wrong'; a word
Mira. Why speaks iny father so ungently? This Is the third man that I c'er faw; the first, That e'er I figh’d for: pity move my father To be inclin'd my way!
“ Angel or goddess! do I call thee right?”
“ And daughter of a woody nymph," &c. FARMER. & And bis brave fon, being tavain.] This is a flight forgetfulness. Nobody was left in the wreck, yet we find no such character as the son of the duke of Milan.
THEOBALD. controul thee.] Confute thee, unanswerably contradict thee. JOHNSON.
• I fear you bave done yourself fome wrong :-) i, e. I fear that, in afferting yourself to be king of Naples, you have uttered a fallhood, which is below your character, and consequently injurious to your honour. So in the Merry Wives of Windsor". This is not well, master Ford, this wrongs you.
Fer. O, if a virgin,
Pro. Soft, fir; one word more.
fincis I must uneasy make, left too light winning [Afde. Make the prize light.-One word more ; I charge
Fer. No, as I am a man.
Pro. [To Ferd.) Follow me.--
[He draw's, Mira. O dear father, Make not too rash a trial of him, for 2 He's gentle, and not fearful.
Pro. What, I say,
traitor; ? He's genile, and not fearful.] Fearful signifies both terrible and timorous. In this place it may mean timorous. She tells her father, that as he is gentle, rough usage is unneceffary, and as he is brave, it may be dangerous. Fearful, however, may fignity formidable, as in K. Hen. IV.
“ A mighty and a fearful head they are;" and then the meaning of the passage is obvious. STEEVENS.
Who mak'st a shew, but dar’st not strike, thy con
Mira. Beseech you, father!
Mira. Şir, have pity ;
Pro. Silence : one word more
Mira. My affections
Pro. Come on; obey: [To Ferdinand.] 4 Thy nerves are in their intancy again, And have no vigour in them.
Fer. So they are : My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up. My father's loss, the weakness which I feel, The wreck of all my friends, or this man's threats, To whom I am subdu'd, are but light to me, Might I but through my prison once a day Behold this maid: all corners else o' the earth Let liberty make use of; space enough Have I, in such a prison.
Pro. It works :-Come on.
come from thy ward;] Defist from any hope of awing me by that posture of defence. JOHNSON.
* Thy nerves are in their infancy again,] So Milton, in his Masque at Ludlow-Castle. " Thy nerves are all bound up in alabaster.” ST EVENS. D 4