« السابقةمتابعة »
Which any print of goodness will not take,
Know thy own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
With words to make them known.] The benefit which Pro. spero here upbraids Caliban with having bestowed, was teaching him language. He shews the greatness of this benefit by marking the inconvenience Caliban lay under for want of it. What was the inconvenience? This, that he did 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 cannot sew its meaning to others. And this certainly is what Prospero would say :
When thou couldst not, savage,
Show thy own meaning,
-but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish, And when once (show] was corrupted to [know] the transcribers would of course change (could/] into [didf] to make it agree with the other false reading. There is indeed a sense, in which Know thy own meaning, may be well applied to a brute. For it may lignify the not having any reflex knowledge of the opera. tions of its owly mind, which, it would seem, a brute hath not. Though this, I say, may be applied to a brute, and consequently 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 absurd in this place, where only the benefit of language is talked of by an exact and learned speaker. Befides, Prospero exprefly says, that Caliban had purposes; which, in other words, is, that he did know his own meaning:
, , Knocy thy own meaning, - how. ever defective, the poet seems to have meant-When thou didf utter sounds, to cvhich thou hadft no determinate meaning : but the following expression of Mr. Addison, in his 389th Spectator, concerning the Hottentots, may prove the best comment on this paffage, “having no language among them but a confused 66 gabble, which is neither well understood by themselves, or others."
With words that made them known: “But thy vild
Cal. You taught me language; and my profit on't Is, I know how to curse : 7 The red plague rid you, For learning me your language !
Pro. Hag.seed, hence ! Fetch us in fewel; and be quick, thou we'rt beft, To answer other business. Shrug'lt thou, malice ? If thou neglect'st, or doft unwillingly What I command, I'll rack thee with old cramps; Fill all thy bones with aches; make thee roar, That beasts shall tremble at thy din.
Cal. No, 'pray thee ! I must obey : his art is of such power, [ Afide. It would controul my dam's god Setebos', And make a vaffal of him. Pro. So, llave; hence !
But thy vild race] Race, in this place, seems to fignify original disposition, inborn qualities. In this sense we still lay“ The race of wine ; thus in Maflinger's New Way to pay old Debts.
“ There came, not fix days fince, froin Hull, a pipe
" Is it of the right race ?" and fir W. Temple has somewhere applied it to works of literature. Steevens.
? —the red plaguem] I suppose from the redness of the body, universally inflamed. JOHNSON. The erysipelas was anciently called the red plague. STEEVENS.
“ My dam's god, Setebos." A gentleman of great merit, Mr. Warner, has observed on the authority of John Barbot, that the Patagons are reported to “ dread a great horned devil, called Setebos. - It
be asked however, how Shakespeare knew any thing of this, as Barbot was a voyager of the present century? -Perhaps he had read Eden's History of 'Travayle, 1577, who tells us, p. 434. that
Enter Ferdinand at the remotest part of the stage, and
And then take bands :
(The wild waves whift)
Hark, hark !
The watch-dog's bark :
Hark, hark! I bear
" the giantes, when they found themselves fettered, roared like “ bulls, and cryed upon Setebos to help them."- The metathesis in Caliban from Canibal is evident. FARMER.
We learn from Magellan's voyage, that Setcbos was the supreme god of the Patagons, and Cheleule was an inferior one. Tollet.
9 Court'hed when you have, and kiss’d, ] As was anciently done at the beginning of some dances.
The wild waves whift; i. e. the wild waves being filent (or whist) as in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. vii. c. 7. 1. 59.
So was the Titaness put down, and whift. And Milton seems to have had our author in Iris eye. See ftanza
of his Hymn on the Nativity.
Smoothly the waters kiss'd. So again, both lord Surrey and Phaer, in their translations of the second book of Virgil:
-Conticuere omnes. " They whifted all." and Lylly in his Maid's Metamorphosis, 1600.
“ But every thing is quiet, whift, and still.” Steevens.
It sounds no more:-and sure, it waits upon
gone. No, it begins again.
Of his bones are coral made;
But · This mufis crept by me upon the waters ;] So in Milton's Masque. "-a soft and
folemn breathing found Rofe like a steam of rich distilld perfumes
" And stole upon the air." Steevens. ? Full fathom five thy father lies, &c.] Gildon, who has pretended to criticise our author, would give this up as an insufferable and senseless piece of trifling. And I believe this is the general opinion concerning it. But a very unjust one. consider the business Ariel is here upon, and his manner of executing it. The commission Prospero had intrufted to him, in a whisper, was plainly this ; to conduct Ferdinand to the fight of Miranda, and to dispose him to the quick sentiments of love, while he, on the other hand, prepared his daughter for the fame impressions. Ariel sets about his business by acquainting Ferdinand, in an extraordinary inanner, with the afflictive news of his father's death. A very odd apparatus, one would think, for a love-fit. 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. Bus to secure this point, it was necessary they should be contracted before the affair came to Alonso the father's knowledge. For Profpero was ignorant how this storm and shipwreck, caused by VOL. I. D
But doth suffer a sea-change i,
[Burden, ding-dong, Fer. The ditty does remember my drown'd father: This is no mortal business, nor no sound 4 That the earth owes :-I hear it now above me.
him, would work
temper. It might either soften him, or increase his aversion for Profpero 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 fovereign, Ferdinand is represented (to thew it a match worth the seeking) of a most pious temper and disposition, which would prevent his contracting himself without his father's knowledge. The poet therefore, with the utmost address, has made Ariel persuade him of his father's death to remove this remora,
WARBURTON. 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 reafon 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 ascribed a sort of diminu. tive agency, powerful but ludicrous, a humorous and frolick controlment of nature, well expressed by the songs of Ariel.
JOHNSON. 3 But doth suffer a fea-change.] “ And underwent a quick immortal change.”
STEEYENS. 4 That the earth aques: -] To owe, in this place, as well as many others, fignifies to orun, So in Othello :
that sweet sleep,
". Which thou o 'ift yesterday.” Again in the Tempeft.
-thou dost here usurp • The name thou arust not." To use the word in this fenfe is not peculiar to Shakespeare, I meet with it in B. and Fletcher's Beggar's Bush:
“ If now the beard be such, what is the prince,