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Prospero here discovers a great emotion of anger on his sudden recollection of Caliban's plot. This appears from the admirable reflection he makes on the insignificancy of human things. For thinking men are never under greater depression of mind than when they moralize in this manner : yet, if we turn to the occasion of his disorder, 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 abfolutely 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 conveniences of life he had taught him to use. But these reflections on Caliban's ingratitude would naturally recal 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 hands the two befi gifts mortals are capable of, when rightly employed, regal power and the use of reason; that these, in return, should confpire against the life of the donor, would surely affli&t a generous mind to its utmost bearing.
WARB.* P. 65. 1. 9. 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. Johns. L. 20.] Thus Drayton, in his Court of Fairie Hobgoblin caught in a spell :
But once the circle got within
For as he thus was busy,
Alas his brain was dizzy.
At length upon his feet he gets,
And through the bushes scrambles,
Among the briers and brambles. JOHNSON. P. 66. 1. 1. The trumpery in my house, go bring it bither
For ftale to catib tbefe Thieves) If it be asked what neceflity there was for this apparatus, I answer that it was the superstitious fancy of the people, in our author's time, that witches, conjurors, &c. had no power over those against whom they would employ their charms, till they had got them at this advantage, committing fome lin or cther, as here of theft.
WARB. Ibid.] Very ingenious—but how then came Prospero's · charms to have power over Ferdinand, the HOL Y Gonzalo, and Miranda ? How over these very fellows, as defu ribed in the speech immediately preceding ? Can, of Crit.
L. 13. He has played Jack with a lantkorn, has led us about like an ignis fatuus, by which travellers are decoyed into the mire.
JOHNSON. P. 67. 1. 12. Trin. O King Stephano! O Peer! O worthy
Stephano ! Look, what a wardrobe here is for thee!] The humour of these lines confifts in their being an allution to an old ceis. brated billad, which begins thus, King Stephano was a coorthy Peer--and celebrates that King's parfimony with regard to his wardrobe. There are two stanzas of this ballad in Othello.
WAR B.* P. 69. 1. 3.
Time Goes upright with his carriage] The thought is pretty. -Time is usually represented as an old man almoft worn out, and bending under his load. He is here painted as in great vigour, and walking upright, to denote that things went prosperously on.
WARB. P. 70. 1. 5. Paffion'd' as they.) Thus Mr. Pope in both his editions. But all the authentick copies read;
Paffion as they
i. e. feel the force of paffion; am mov'd with it. So Julia, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona ;
Madam, 'twas Ariadne paffioning
THEOB.* P. 70. I. 15. Te elves of bills, brooks, standing lakes and
groves. Shakespeare here has closely followed Golding's translation of Ovid, though it is by no means literal,
Ye ayres and winds, ye elves of bills, of brooks, of woods alone, of standing lakes, and of the night, approcbe ye everycb one.
FARMER. P. 71. l. 1.
Graves at my command Have wak'd their sleepers ;] As odd, as this expresfion is, of graves waking their dead, instead of, the dead waking in their graves, I believe, it may be justified by the usage of Poets. Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Bonduca, speaking of the power of Fame, make it wake graves,
Wakens the ruin'd monuments, and there,
Informs again the dead bones. And Virgil, speaking of Rome as a city, says, it surrounded its seven hills with a wall.
Scilicet & rerum faéta eft pulcberrima Roma,
- I bave be-dimm'd
By my so potent art.] Here is evidently an absurd tranf. portion of the words in the last line but one. But Mr. 'Theobald's defence of the present reading is still more absurd. He jufifies the expression of graves waking ibeir sleep
ers, by Beaumont and Fletcher's saying -Fame wakens tbe ruin'd monuments which is an expression purely metaphorical, to fignify that those monuments are brought again into remembrance; and is therefore juftifiable. But-graves waking their sleepers must needs be underitood literally. For Prospero would insinuate that dead men were actually raised to life by his art. Therefore the expression is absurd, and consequently none of Shakespeare's, who certainly wrote
Graves at my command,
By my so potent art.
Stantia concutio cantu freta, rubila pello;
Et mugire folum MANESQUE EXIRE SEPULCRIS. Now m.inejque exire sepulcris is justly exprefied as we have sea formed the lines,
Graves, at my command,
By my so potent art The third line of his original containing an atchievi me it little in use amongst modern inchanters he has with jud ;ment omitted it in his irritation.
But this rough magick
fenses, that This airy charm IS FOR ;). I'll break my staff, &C.-) If the present reading be genuine, then, by (airy charm] is meant the beavenly mufick two lines before. But this admitted, the consequence will be, 1. A wretched tautology; He had faid-Some heavenly mufick to work mine end ; and then immediately adds this airy charm of musick is for working mine end. 2. As upardonable a defect; for, according to this sense and reading, we are not informed what this end
was, by not being told the State of their senses. We must needs then by [airy cbarm) understand the fire and cracks of fulphurous roaring, as it is called in the 3d Scene of Aa I. and thunder and ligbtning in the 4th Scene of Act III. which had in the higher degree terrified the persons concerned. That this was the airy cbarm is farther evident from these words, in the following Scene, Tbe charm diffolves aface, and es, &c. It was diffolved, we fee, by the beavenly mufick, and therefore different from it. But if this be the senie of Biry ebarm, then we see the reading (18 For] muf be corrupt; and that Shakespeare wrote,
Tbis airy charm HAS FRAIL'D. i. e. which senses the airy charm of Ariel above-mentioned has disturbed and shattered. For that this was their condilion appears from the lines which follow in the next scene :
-The charm difsilves apace;
WARB,* P.71. 1. 7.
I'll break my staff; Bury it certain fadoms in the eartb.) Certain in its prefent fignification is predicated of a precise determinate number. But this fense would make the thought flat and ridi. culous: We must consider the word certain therefore as used in its old signification of a many, indefinitely. So Bale in his Acts of English Votaries says, -But be took with bim a certen of bis idle companions. For a many. So that ShakeSpeare, I suppose, wrote the line thus, Bury't a certain fadom in the eartb.
WARB. Ibid.] Certain has notu, as it also had of old, two senses : it may be either used indefinitely; or else (as Mr. W. chooses to express himself) may be a predicated of a precise determinate number.” But how it came into our critic's head, that in its indefinitive use it must signify a great number, or (as he elegantly calls it) a many; I am at a loss to guess. Nor can I conceive, what bulky grammarian fell from the shelves upon his head ; that he takes fuch bitter