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Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
Cal. " I must eat my dinner. " This Inland's mine by Sycorax my mother, “ Which thou tak 'ft from me. When thou camest first, “ Thou stroak dit me, and mad'st much of me; and
would'st give me < Water with berries in't ; and teach me how " To name the bigger light, and how the less, " That burn by day and night: and then I lov'd thee, " And shew'd thee all the qualities o'th' Ine, “ The fresh springs, brine-pits; barren place, and
fertile. < Curs'd be I, that I did fo! all the charms të Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! “ For I am all the subjects that you have, “ Whe first was mine own King; and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest of th' Inand. · Pro. Thou most lying save, Whom Stripes may move, not kindness; I have
us'd thee (Filth as thou art), with humane care, and lodg'd În mine own cell, 'till thou didst seek to violate The honour of my child.
Cal. Oh ho, oh ho! I wou'd, it had been done! Thou didst prevent me, I had peopled else This Ifile with Calibans.
Pro. 4 Abhorred slave; Which any print of goodness wilt not take, Being capable of all ill! I pity'd thee, Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
4 Abhorred save ; ] In the common Editions this speech was given to Miranda. Mr. Dryden in his alteration of this play rightly transferred it to Prospero.
One thing or other. When thou couldst not, savage,
Cal. You taught me language, and my profit on't
5 When thou Dids T not, Savage,
KNOW thy own meaning, but wouldp gabble like
With words to make them known.] The benefit which Prospero 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 shew its meaning to others. And this certainly is what Prospera would say,
When thou coU'LDS T not, Savage,
but would gabble like A thing moji brutish. And when once [hew] was corrupted to [know] the transcribers would of course change [couldst] 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 fignify the not having any reflex knowledge of the operations of its own mind, which, it would seem, a Brute hath not. Tho' this, I say, may be applied to a brute, and consequently to Caliban, and tho' 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 exaềt and learned Speaker. Besides, Prospero expresly says, that Caliban had purposes; which, in other words, is that he did know his own meaning.
Pro. Hag-feed, hence!
Cal. No, 'pray thee.
S CE N E V.
ARIEL's SON G.
(The wild waves whift ;)
Burthen, difperfedly. Hark, bark, bough-waugh: the watch-dogs bark,
This musick crept by me upon the waters ;
ARIEL's SON G.
Of bis bones are coral made :
Nothing of him that doth fade,
6 Full fathom five thy father lies, &c.] Gildon, who has pretended to criticise our Author, would give this up as an inlufferable and senseless piece of triling. 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 execucing it. The Commission Prospero had intrusted 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 same impressions. Ariel fets about his business by acquainting Ferdinand, in an extraordinary manner, with the affictive 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. 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 in. crease his averfion 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 fhew it a Match worth the seeking) of a most
But doth suffer a sea-change,
Sea-nymphs bourly ring his knell.
(Burthen : ding-dong.
N E VI. Pro. 7 The fringed curtains of thine eyes
advance, And say, what thou seest yond.
Mira, 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, which might otherwise have either stop'd, and retarded beyond the time of action, or quite Spoiled the whole Plot.
7 The fringed curtains of thine eyes advance,
And say, what thou seeft yond. ] The Daughters of Prospero, as they are drawn by Dryden, seem rather to have had their Education in a Court or a Play"house, than under the severe precepts of a Philosopher in a Desert. But the Miranda of Shakespear is truly what the Poet gives her out. And his art in preserving the unity of her character is won. derful. We must remember what was said in the foregoing note of Prospero's intention to make his Daughter fall in love at fight. And notwithstanding what the wits may fay, or the Pretty-felļows 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 ftrongest passions and affections. She had been brought up under the rough discipline of ftoical 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 infuence 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 preceeds love,