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There's something else to do : hush, and be mute, Or else our spell is marr'd..
[ Funo and Ceres whilper, and send Iris on employment. ] Iris. You nymphs, callid Naiads, of the 3 wandring
brooks, With your sedg'd crowns, and ever harmless looks, 4 Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land Answer your summons; Juno does command : Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate A contract of true love; be not too late.
Enter certain nymphs. You sun-burn'd ficklemen, of August weary, Come hither from the furrow, and be merry; Make holy-day : your rye-straw hats put on, And these fresh nymphs encounter every one In country footing. Enter certain reapers, properly habited: they join with
the nymphs in a graceful dance; towards the end whereof Prospero starts suddenly, and speaks; after which, to a strange, bollow, and confused noise, they vanish heavily.
Pro. [Afde.] I had forgot that foul conspiracy Of the beast Caliban, and his confederates, Against my life; the minute of their plot Is almost come.- (To the spirits.] Well done;
avoid ;-no more,
3 — wandring brooks,] The modern editors read winding brooks. The old copy-windring. I suppose we should read wandring, as it is here printed. STEEVENS,
4 Leave your crisp channels, ] Crisp, i. é. curling, winding. Lat. crispus. So Hen. IV. part i, act I. fc. iv, Hotspur speaking of the river Severn:
." And hid his crisped head in the hollow bank.” Crifp, however, may allude to the little wave or curl (as it is commonly called) that the gentlest wind occasions on the surface of waters. STEEVENS,
Fer. This is strange : your father's in some paffion That works him strongly.
Mira. Never till this day,
Pro. You do look, my son, in a mov'd sort,
s And, like the baseless fabrick of this vifion, &c.] The exact period at which this play was produced, is unknown: It was not, however, published before 1623. In the year 1603, the Tragedy of Darius, by Lord Sterline, made its appearance, and there I find the following passage:
66 Let greatness of her glassy scepters vaunt,
" Not scepters, no, but reeds, foon bruis’d, foon broken; “ And let this worldly pomp our wits enchant,
" All fades, and scarcely leaves behind a token.
“ With furniture fuperfluously fair,
" Evanish all like vapours in the air.” Lord Sterline's play must have been written before the death of queen Elizabeth, (which happen'd on the 24th of March 1603) as it is dedicated to James VI. King of Scots.
Whoever should seek for this paffage, (as here quoted from the 4to, 1603) in the folio edition, 1637, will be disappointed, as Lord Sterline made considerable changes in all his plays, after their first publication. STEEVENS.
• Leave not a rack behind:-) “ The winds" (says lord Bacon) 66 which move the clouds above, which we call the rack, and are 66not perceived below, pass without noise."
The word is common to many authors contemporary with Shakespeare. So in the Faithful Shepherdefs, by B. and Fletcher :
66 shall I stray
As dreams are made on, and our little life
(Exeunt Fer. and Mira. Again in David and Betlysabe, 1599 :
* Beating the clouds into their swiftest rack.” Again in the prologue to the Three Ladies of London, 1584:
* We list not ride the rolling rack that dims the chryítal skies.'' Again in Shakespeare's 3 3d Sonnet: ! “ Anon permits the baseit clouds to ride
“ With ugly rack on his celestial face.” Sir T. H. instead of rack, reads track, which may be supported by the following passage in the first scene of Timon of Athens : 16. But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on, “6 Leaving no tract behind. STEEVENS.
Sir, I am vex'd; Bear with my weakness; my old brain is troubled :) Prospero here discovers a great emotion of anger on his sudden recollection of Caliban's plot. This appears from the admirable reflection he takes on the insignificancy of human things. For thinking men are never under greater depresion of mind than when they moralize in this manner; and yot, if we turn to the occasion of his dis. order, it does not appear, at first view, to be a thing capable of moving one in Prospero's circumstances. The plot of a contemptible savage and two drunken sailors, all of whom he had absolutely in his power. There was then no apprehension of danger. But if we look more nearly into the case, we shall have reason to admire our author's wonderful knowledge of nature. There was something in it with which great minds are most deeply affected, and that is, the sense of ingratitude. He recalled to mind the obligations this Caliban lay under for the instructions he had given him, and the conveniencies of life he had taught him to use. But these reflexions on Caliban's ingratitude would naturally recall to mind his brother's; and then these two working together, were very capable of producing all the disorder of paffion here represented.—That these two, who had received at his hands the two best gifts mortals are capable of, when rightly employed, regal power, and the use of reason; that these, in return, nould conspire against the life of the donor, would surely afflict a generous mind to its utmost bearing. WARBURTON.
Pro. Come with a thought :- I thank thee:Ariel, come. Prospero comes forward from the cell; enter Ariel to
| bim. Ari. Thy thoughts I cleave to 8 : What's thy
pleasure ? Pro. Spirit, We must prepare, 9 to meet with Caliban.
Ari. Ay, my commander : when I presented Ceres,
Pro. Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?
ing; So full of valour, that they smote the air For breathing in their faces; beat the ground For kissing of their feet; yet always bending Towards their project : Then I beat my tabor, At which, like unback'd colts, they prick'd their ears, "Advanc'd their eye-lids, lifted up their noses,
1. As 8 Thy thoughts I cleave to:) To cleave to is to unite with closely. So in Macbeth:
" Like our strange garments clcave not to their mold." Again ". If you shall cleave to my consent." STEEVENS.
§ - to meet with Caliban.) To meet with is to counteract ; to play stratagem against stratagem.—The parfon knows the temper of every one in his house, and accordingly either meets with their vices, or advances their virtues. HERBERT's Country Parson.
JOHNSON. So in Cinthia's Revenge, 1613:
66 - You may meet
66 Yourself from the suspicion of revenge." STEEVENS. 1- advanced their eye-lids, &c.] Thus Drayton, in his Court of Fairie of Hobgoblin caught in a Spell :
66 But once the circle got within,
“ A pain
As they smelt mufick ; so I charm'd their ears,
Pro. This was well done, my bird :
[Exit. Pro. A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
“ A pain he in his head-piece feels,
" Alas, his brain was dizzy.
" And through the bushes scrambles,
“ Among the briers and brambles.” JOHNSON. ? — pricking goss,-) I know not how Shakespeare distinguished gofs from furze ; for what he calls furze, is called goss of gorse in the midland counties. This word is used in the first chorus to Kyd's Cornelia, 1593: " With worthless gorse that yearly, fruitless dies.”
STEEVENS. By the latter, Shakespeare means the low sort of gorse that only grows upon wet ground, and which is well described by the name of whins in Markham's Farewell to Husbandry. It has prickles like those on a rose-tree or a gooseberry. Furze and whins occur together in Mr. Farmer's quotation from Holinshed. TOLLET.
3 For stale to catch these thieves.] Stale is a word in fouling, and is used to inean a bait or decoy to catch birds, So in A Looking Glass for London and England, 1617 :
“ Hence tools of wrathi, fioles of temptation !" So in Greene's Mamillia, 1503: " - that the might not strike • at the fiale, left she were canvalled in the nets." STEEVENS.