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From frange to ftranger :-Say, how came you
BOATS. If I did think, fir, I were well awake,
Of roaring, fhrieking, howling, gingling chains,
Was't well done?) PRO. Bravely, my diligence.
fhalt be free.
ALON. This is as ftrange a maze as e'er men
And there is in this bufinefs more than nature
6 dead of feep,] Thus the afleep.
old copy. Modern editors
but on (in the prefent inftance)
Mr. Malone would fubftitute-on; is only a vulgar corruption of of. We ftill fay, that a peifon dies of fuch or fuch a diforder; and why not that he is dead of fleep?
"On fleep" was the ancient English phrafeology. So, in Gafcoigne's Supposes: -knock again; I think they be on fleep." Again, in a fong said to have been written by Anna Boleyn :
"O death, rock me on flepe."
Again, in Campion's Hiftory of Ireland, 1633: "One officer in the house of great men is a tale-teller, who bringeth his lord on fleep with tales vaine and frivolous."
In thefe inftances adduced by Mr. Malone, on fleep, moft certainly means afleep; but they do not militate agaiuft my explanation of the phrafe-"dead of fleep." STEEVENS.
Was ever conduct of: fome oracle
Muft rectify our knowledge.
Sir, my liege, Do not infeft your mind with beating on The ftrangeness of this business; at pick'd leisure, Which fhall be fhortly, fingle I'll refolve you (Which to you fhall feem probable,)' of every
7 conduct of:] Conduct for condu&or. So, in Ben Jonfon's Every Man out of his Humour :
"Come, gentlemen, I will be your conduct." STEEVENS. Again, in The Houfholders' Philofophie, 4to. 1588, p. 1:—“ goe before, not to arrogat anie fuperioritie, but as your guide, because, perhaps you are not well acquainted with the waie. Fortune (quoth I) doth favour mee with too noble a conduct."
Conduct is yet ufed in the fame sense; the perfon at Cambridge who reads prayers in King's and in Trinity College Chapels, is ftill fo ftyled. HENLEY.
The frangeness, &c.] A fimilar expreffion occurs in the fecond part of K. Henry VI.
thine eyes and thoughts
Beat on a crown.'
Beating, may mean hammering,
working in the mind, dwelling long upon. So, in the preface to Stanyhurft's Tranflation of Virgil, 1582: “For my part, I purpose not to beat on everye childish tittle that concerneth profodie." Again, Miranda, in the fecand fcene of this play, tells her father that the form is ftill beating in her mind. STEEVENS.
A kindred expreffion occurs in Hamlet;
Cudgei thy brains no more about it."
(Which to you fhall feem probable,) These words feem, at the first view, to have no ufe; fome lines are perhaps loft with which they were connected. Or we may explain them thus: I will refolve you, by yourself, which method, when you hear the ftory [of Antonio's and Sebaftian's plot], fhall feem probable; that is, fhall deferve your approbation. JOHNSON.
Surely Profpero's meaning is: "I will relate to you the means by which I have been enabled to accomplish these ends; which means though they now appears ftrange and improbable, will then appear atherwife." ANONYMOUS.
These happen'd accidents: till when, be cheerful, And think of each thing well.-Come hither,
Set Caliban and his companions free:
Untie the fpell. [Exit ARIEL.] How fares my grá
There are yet iniffing of your company
Re-enter ARIEL, driving in CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and TRINCULO, in their ftolen apparel.
STE. Every man fhift for all the reft, and let no man take care for himself; for all is but fortune: Coragio, bully-monfter, Coragio !2
TRIN. If thefe be true fpies which I wear in my head, here's a goodly fight.
CAL. O Setebos these be brave fpirits, indeed! How fine my mafter is! I am afraid
He will chaftife me.
What things are thefe, my lord Antonio!
Will money buy them?
Very like; one of them
Is a plain fish,' and, no doubt, marketable.
I will inform you how all these wonderful accidents have happened; which, though they now appear to you strange, will thén feem probable.
An anonymous writer pointed out the true conftruction of this paffage, but his explanation is, I think, incorrect. MALONE.
Coragio!] This exclamation of encouragement I find in
J. Florio's Tranflation of Montaigue, 1603:
You often cried Coragio, and called ça, ça." Again, in the Blind Beggar of Alexandria, 1598. STEEVENS.
3 Is a plain fifh,] That is, plainly, evidently a fish. Fletcher's Scornful Lady, that visible beaft the butler," means
the butler who is visibly a beast. M. MASON.
PRO. Mark but the badges of thefe men, my
Then fay, if they be true: This mif- fhapen knave,
His mother was a witch; and one fo ftrong
That could control the moon,' inake flows and ebbs,
And deal in her command, without her power:"
It is not easy to determine the fhape which our author defigned to bestow on his monfter. That he has hands, legs, &c. we gather from the remarks of Trinculo, and other circumftances in the play. How then is he plainly a fish? perhaps Shakspeare himself had no fettled ideas concerning the form of Caliban. STEEVENS.
4 -true:] That is, honeft. A true man is, in the language of that time, oppofed to a thief. The fenfe is, Mark what these
men wear, and fay if they are honeft. JOHNSON.
5 His mother was a witch; and one fo ftrong That could control the moon, &c.] This was the phrafeology of the times. After the flatute against wiiches, revenge or ignorance frequently induced people to charge those against whom they harboured resentment, or entertained prejudices with the crime of witchcraft, which had just then been declared a capital offence. In our ancient reports are feveral cafes where perfons charged in this manner fought redrefs in the courts of law. And it is remarkable in all of them, to the fcandalous imputation of being witches, the term-a Arong one, is conftantly added. In Michaelmas Term, 9 Car 1. the point was fettled that no action could be fupported on fo general a charge, and that the epithet Strong did not inforce the other words. In this inflance, I believe, the opinion of the people at large was not in unifon with the fages in Weftmiufter-Hall. Several of thefe cafes are collected together in I. Viner, 422. REED.
That could control the moon,] From Medea's fpeech in Ovid (as tranflated by Golding) our author might have learned that this was one of the pretended powers of witchcraft:
and thee, O lightfome moon,
“I daiken oft, though beaten brafs abate thy peril foon."
6 And deal in her command, without her power: I suppose Profpero means, that Sycorax, with lefs general power than the moon – could produce the fame effects on the fea. STEEVENS.
These three have robb'd me; and this demi-devil
I fhall be pinch'd to death. ALON. Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler? STE. He is drunk now: Where had he wine? ALON. And Trinculo is reeling ripe; Where fhould they
Find this grand liquor that hath gilded them?7 How cam'ft thou in this pickle?
7 And Trinculo is reeling ripe where should they
Find this grand LIQUOR that hath gilded them?] Shakspeare, to be fure, wrote-grand 'LIXIR, alluding to the grand Elixir of the alchymifts, which they pretend would reftore youth and confer immortality. This, as they faid, being a preparation of gold, they called Aurum potabile; which Shakspeare alluded to in the word gilded; as he does again in Antony and Cleopatra:
"How much art thou unlike Mark Antony?
"Yet coming from him, that great medicine hath
But the joke here is to infinuate that, notwithstanding all the boasts of the chemifts, fack was the only restorer of youth and bestower of immortality. So Ben Jonfon, in his Every Man out of his Humour - Canarie, the very Elixir and fpirit of wine." This feems to have been the cant name for fack, of which the English were, at that time immoderately fond. Randolph, in his Jealous Lovers, fpeaking of it, fays," A pottle of Elixir at the Pegafus, bravely caroused." So, again in Fletcher's Monfieur Thomas, A& III:
"Old reverend fack, which, for aught that I can read yet,
The phrafe too of being gilded, was a trite one on this occafion.
As the alchymift's Elixir was fuppofed to be a liquor, the old reading may fland, and the allufion holds good without any alte ration. STEEVENS.