Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

has been called the Roficrucian. The name Ariel came from the Talmudiftick myfteries with which the learned Jews had infected this science. T. WARTon.

Mr. Theobald tells us, that The Tempest must have been written after 1609, because the Bermuda Islands, which are mentioned in it, were unknown to the English until that year; but this is a mistake. He might have feen in Hackluyt, 1600, folio, a description of Bermuda, by Henry May, who was fhipwrecked there in 1593.

It was however one of our author's laft works. In 1598, he played a part in the original Every Man in his Humour. Two of the characters are Profpero and Stephano. Here Ben Jonfon taught him the pronunciation of the latter word, which is always right in The Tempest :

"Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?"

And always wrong in his earlier play, The Merchant of Venice, which had been on the stage at least two or three years before its publication in 1600:

"My friend Stephano, fignify I pray you," &c.

-So little did Mr. Capell know of his author, when he idly fuppofed his fchool literature might perhaps have been loft by the dilipation of youth, or the busy scene of publick life! FARMER.

This play muft have been written before 1614, when Jonfon fneers at it in his Bartholomew Fair. In the latter plays of Shakspeare, he has lefs of pun and quibble than in his early ones. In The Merchant of Venice, he exprefsly declares against them. This perhaps might be one criterion to discover the dates of his plays. BLACKSTONE.

See Mr. Malone's Attempt to afcertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, and a Note on The cloud-capp'd towers, &c. A& ÏV.

STEEVENS.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.*

Alonfo, king of Naples.
Sebaftian, his brother.

Profpero, the rightful Duke of Milan.

Antonio, his brother, the ufurping Duke of Milan. Ferdinand, fon to the king of Naples.

Gonzalo, an honeft old counsellor of Naples.

[blocks in formation]

Caliban, a favage and deformed flave.

Trinculo, a jefter.

Stephano, a drunken butler.

Mafter of a ship, Boatswain, and Mariners.

Miranda, daughter to Profpero.

Ariel, an airy spirit.

Iris,

[blocks in formation]

Other Spirits attending on Profpero.

SCENE, the fea, with a fhip; afterwards an uninhabited ifland.

* This enumeration of perfons is taken from the folio 1623.

STEEVENS.

TEMPEST.

ACT I. SCENE I.

On a Ship at Sea.

A Storm with Thunder and Lightning.

Enter a Ship-mafter and a Boatswain.

MASTER. Boatswain,

BOATS. Here, mafter: What cheer?

MAST. Good: Speak to the mariners: fall to't yarely, or we run ourfelves aground: beftir, beftir.

I

2,

[Exit,

Boatswain,] In this naval dialogue, perhaps the firft example of failor's language exhibited on the ftage, there are, as I have been told by a ikilful navigator, fome inaccuracies and contradistory orders. JOHNSON.

The foregoing obfervation is founded on a mistake. These orders fhould be confidered as given, not at once, but fucceffively, as the emergency required. One attempt to fave the fhip failing,

another is tried. MALONE.

2

fall to't yarely,] i. e. Readily, nimbly. Our author is frequent in his ufe of this word. So, in Decker's Satiromaftix: "They'll make his mufe as yare as a tumbler." STEEVENS.

Here it is applied as a fea-term, and in other parts of the fcene. So he uses the adjective, A&t V. fc. v: "Our fhip is tight and yare." And in one of the Henries: "yare are our fhips." To this day the failors fay, "fit yare to the helm." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, A&t II. fc. iii: "The tackles yarely. frame the office." T. WARTON.

[ocr errors]

Enter Mariners.

BOATS. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts; yare, yare: Take in the top-fail; Tend to the mafter's whiftle.-Blow, till thou burst thy wind,3 if room enough!

Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO, and others.

ALON. Good boatswain, have care. Where's the mafter? Play the men.4

Blow, till thou burst thy wind, &c.] Perhaps it might be read: Blow, till thou burft, wind, if room enough. JOHNSON. Perhaps rather-Blow, till thou burst thee, wind! if room enough. Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this paffage in The Pilgrim:

[ocr errors]

Blow, blow weft wind,

"Blow till thou rive!"

Again, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609:

"1ft. Sailor. Blow, and Split thy felf!"

Again, in K. Lear:

"Blow, winds, and burst your cheeks!"

Again, in Chapman's verfion of the fifth book of Homer's Ody ffey:

"Such as might fhield them from the winter's worst,

[ocr errors]

Though steel it breath'd, and blew as it would burst.”

Again, in Fletcher's Double Marriage:

Rife, winds,

"Blow till you burst the air.—”

The allufion in these paffages, as Mr. M. Mafon obferves, is to the manner in which the winds were represented in ancient prints and pictures. STEEVENS.

• Play the men.] i. e. act with spirit, behave like men. So, in Chapman's translation of the second Iliad:

"Which doing, thou fhalt know what fouldiers play the

men,

"And what the cowards."

Again, in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590, p. 2:

[ocr errors]

Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men." Ω φίλοι, ἀνέρες ἐδὲ, Iliad, V. v. 529. STEEVENS,

BOATS. I pray now, keep below.

ANT. Where is the mafter, Boatswain?

BOATS. Do you not hear him? You mar our labour; Keep your cabins: you do affift the ftorm.5 GON. Nay, good, be patient.

BOATS. When the fea is. Hence!

What care

these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: filence: trouble us not.

GON. Good; yet remember whom thou haft aboard.

BOATS. None that I more love than myfelf. You are a counsellor; if you can command thefe elements to filence, and work the peace of the prefent, we will not hand a rope more; ufe your authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have lived fo long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mifchance of the hour, if it fo hap.Cheerly, good hearts.-Out of our way, I fay.

[Exit.

GON. I have great comfort from this fellow: methinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand faft, good fate, to his hanging! make the rope of his destiny

Again, in fcripture, 2 Sam. x. 12: "Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people." MALONE.

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

affift the ftorm.] So, in Pericles:

Patience, good fir; do not affift the ftorm." STEEVENS. of the prefent,] i. e. of the prefent inftant. So, in the 15th chapter of the 1ft Epiftle to the Corinthians: " - of whom the greater part remain unto this present." STEEVENS.

? Gonzalo.] It may be obferved of Gonzalo, that, being the only good man that appears with the king, he is the only man that preferves his cheerfulness in the wreck, and his hope on the ifland. JOHNSON.

« PředchozíPokračovat »