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medicines have virtues. Bacon mentions virtuous bezoar, and Dryden virtuous berbs.
Johnson. P: 20. !: 7. Mira. Abborred Nave; ] In ail the printed editions this speech is given to Miranda : but I am persuaded, the Author never defign'd it for her. In the firit place, 'tis probable, Prospero taught Caliban to speak, rather than left that office to his daughter : in the next place, as Profpero was here rating Caliban, it would be a great i.proprietý for her to take the di cipline out of his hands; and, indeed, in fome fort, an indecency in her to reply to what Caliban last was speaking of. Mr. Dryden, I observe, in his alteration of this play, has judiciously placed this speech to Prospero. I can easily guess, that the change was first deriv'd from the Players, who not loving that any character should stand too long silent on the stage, to obviate that inconvenience with regard to Miranda, clap'd this speech to her part. THEOB.*
Ibid.] The modern editions, take this speech from Mi. randa, and give it to Prospero; though there is nothing in it but what she may speak with great 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. Hír. Dryden, in the alteration made by him and Sir William Davenant, in this play, led the way to this change : which Mr. Theobald calls judicious, and adds, “ it would be very indecent for Miranda to reply to what was last spoke:" but it is probable the poet thought otherwise, and that it was not only decent, but necessary, for her to clear her character, by shewing how the monster acquired the opportunity of making the attack. The poet himself shews he intended Miranda fhould be his tutoress, in the latter end of the fecond scene of the second act, when he makes Caliban say, 6 I've seen thee in her, my mistress shewed me thee and thy dog and thy brush,” to Stephano, who has just assured the monster, he was the man in the moon when-time was.
HOLT.* P. 20. L. 11. When thou DIDST not, savage,
Know tky own meaning, but wouldp gabble like
which Prospero here upbraids Caliban with having bestowed, was teaching him language. He thews the greatness of this benefit by marking the inconvenience Caliban lay under for want of it. What was the inconvenience? This, that he cid not know his own meaning. But sure a brute, to which he is compared, doth know its own meaning, that is, knows what it would be at. This, indeed, it cannot do, it cannut jbew its meaning to others. And this certainly is what Prospero would say,
-Wben thou COULDST not, savage,
SHEW tby orun meaning,
but wouldA gabble like
A tbing most brui.jp And when once thecu] was corrupted to [k now) the tranfcribers would of course change [couldf] into (diafl] to make it agree with the other false reading. There is indeed a fente in which Know thy own meaning -may be well applied to a brute. For it nay fignify the not having any reilex knowledge of the operation of its own mind, which, it would seem, a brute hath not. Though this, I say, may be applied to a brute, and confequently to Caliban, and though to remedy this brutality be a nobler benefit than even the teaching language ; yet such a sense would be impertinent and abii.rd in this place, where only the benefit of language is talked of by an exact and learned speaker. Besides; Prospero expresly fays, that Caliban had purposes; which, in uther words, is that he did koow kis own meaning. War B.
Read with Dr. Warburton, againft the old copies, could'ß not jew.
CAPELL.* P. 20. L. 20. Red Plague.] I suppose from the redness of the body universally inflamed.
JOHNSON. P. 21. L. 17. Weeping agains.] The old editions read, weeping again, i. e. After having wept at my feparation from him. There was therefore no occasion for altering the text.
REVISAL.* Ibid.] Read weeping against.
P. 22. L. 1. Full fathom five thy father lies, &c.] Gildon, who has pretended to criticise our author, would give this up as an insufferable and senseless pie. e of triling. And I believe this is the general opinion concerning it. But a very unjust one. Let us confider the business Ariel is here upon, and his manner of executing it. The commiffion Prospero had intrusted to him, in a whisper, was plainly this; to conduct Ferdinand to the fight of Miranda, and to difpofe him to the quick sentiments of love, while he, on the other hand, prepared his daughter for the same impreslions. Ariel fets about his business by acquainting Ferdinand, in an extraordinary manner with the affictive news of his father's death.
apparatus, one would think, for a lovefit. And yet as odd as it appears, the poet has shewn in it the finest conduct for carrying on his plot. Prospero had said,
I find my zenith doth depend upon
Will ever after droop.-In consequence of this his prescience, he takes advantage of every favourable circumstance that the occasion offers. The principal affair is the marriage of his daughter with young Ferdinand. But to secure this point it was necessary they should be contracted before the affair came to Alonzo the father's knowledge. For Prospero was ignorant how this form and shipwreck, caused by him, would work upon Alonzo's temper. It might either soften him, or increase his aversion for Prospero as the author. On the other hand, to engage Ferdinand, without the consent of his father, was difficult. For not to speak of his quality, where such engagements are not made without the consent of the sovereign, Ferdinand is represented (to shew it a match worth the feeking) of a most pious temper and difpofition, which would prevent his contracting himself without his father's knowiedge. The poet therefore, with the utmost address, has made Ariel persuade him of his father's death to remove this Remora, which might otherwise have either stopped,
and retarded beyond the time of action, or quite fpoiled thre whole plot.
WARB. Ibid.] I know not whether Dr. Warburton has very successfully defended these songs from Gildon's accusation. Ariel's lays, however seasonable and efficacious, must be allowed to be of no supernatural dignity or elegance, they express nothing great, nor reveal any thing above mortal discovery.
The reason for which Ariel is introduced thus trifling is, that he and his companions are evidently of the fairy kind, an order of beings to which tradition has always afcribed a sort of diminutive agency, powerful but ludicrous, a humourous and frolick controulment of nature, well expressed by the songs of Ariel.
Johnson. P. 22. L. 12. The fringed curtains of thine advance,
And say, what thou feeft yond.] The daughters of Prospero, as they are drawn by Dryden, seem rather to have had their education in a court or a playhouse, than under the severe precepts of a philosopher in a defart. But the Miranda of Shakespeare is truly what the poet gives her out; and his art in preserving the unity of her character is wonderful. We muft remember what was said in the foregoing note of Prospero's intention to make his daughter fall in love at first sight. And notwithstanding what the wits may fay, or the pretty fellows think, on this occasion, it was no such easy matter to bring this naturally about. Those who are the least acquainted with human nature know of what force institution and education are to curb and even deface the very strongest passions and affections. She had been brought up under the rough discipline of stoical morality; and misfortunes generally harden the morality of virtuous men into stoicism. Such a one was Prospero; and he tells us, that his daughter fully answered the care he bestowed upon her: so that there would be some difficulty for nature to regain its influence so suddenly as the plot required. The poet, therefore, with infinite address, causes her to be softened by the tender story her father told her of his misfortunes : for pity precedes love, and facilitates its entrance into the mind. But this was evidently insufficienti therefore, to make the way eafier, she is supposed to be under the influence of her father's charm, which was to dif. solve, as it were, the rigid chains of virtue and obedience. This is insinuated to the audience, when Prospero, before he begins his story, says to her,
Lend thy band, And pluck this magick garment from me, The touch communicated the charm, and its efficacy was to lay her to sleep. This is the reason that Prospero so often questions her, as he proceeds in his fory, whether the was attentive : being apprehensive the charm might operate too quick, even before he had ended his relation. Without this interpretation his frequent repetition will appeas extremely cold and absurd. For the same reason, likewise, he says, la conclusion,
Thou crt inclinod to sleep. 'Tis a good dulness,
And give it way: I know thou can't not chuse. P. 23. L. 1. vouchsafe my pray'r
May know, -] For, I may kucw. Extremely poetical, and most expressive of the humility of the speaker.
WARB.* L. 8.
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 plain-dealing documents of moral phiJosophy, whi h teaches us the knowledge of ourselves, and was an utter stranger to the flattery invented by vicious and. designing men to corrupt the other fex : fo that it could not enter into her imagination, that complaisance and a desire of appearing amiable, qualities of humanity, which she had been instructed, in her moral lessons, to cultivate, could ever degenerate into such excess, as that any one feculd be willing to have his fellow-creature believe that he thought her a goddess or an immortal.
WARB. Ibid.) 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 expressed : for after the dialogue which