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on the bottoms of ships, and which was anciently supposed, when broken off, to become one of these geese,
“ There are” (says Gerard, in his Herbal, edit. 1597, page 1291) “in the north parts of Scotland certaine trees, whereon " do growe shell-fishes, &c. &c. which, falling into the water, “ do become fowls, whom we call barnakles, in the north of “ England brant geese, and in Lancashire tree geese," &c. For this extract from Gerard, I am indebted to Mr. Collins of Hampstead.
STEEVENS. Line 287. A noise of hunters heard.] Shakspeare might have had in view “ Arthur's Chase, which many believe to be in “ France, and think that it is a kennel of black dogs followed by « unknown huntsmen with an exceeding great sound of horns, " as if it was a very hunting of some wild beast." See A Treatise of Spectres, translated from the French of Peter de Loier, and published in quarto, 1605.
ACT V, SCENE I. Line 3. and time
Goes upright with his carriage.--] Alluding to one carrying a burthen. This critical period of my life proceeds as I could wish. Time brings forward all the expected events, without faultering under his burthen.
STEEVENS, Line 8. -the king and his ?-] i.e. And his followers.
13. -till your release, -] i. e. Țill your release of them. Line 28. that relish all as sharply,
Passion as they, I feel every thing with the same quick sensibility, and am moved by the same passions as they are.
STEEVENS. Line 40. Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,] This speech Dr. Warburton rightly observes to be borrowed from Medea's in Ovid: and it proves, says Mr. Holt, beyond contradiction, that Shakspeare was perfectly acquainted with the sentiments of the ancients on the subject of enchantments. FARMER. Line 43. with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune,-) So Milton, in his Njusque:
« Whilst from off the waters fleet,
STEEVENS. · Line 49. (Weak masters though ye be] The meaning of this passage may be; Though ye are but inferior masters of these supernatural powers,-though you possess them but in a low degree.
STEEVENS. Line 84. that entertain'd ambition,] In the old copy we read entertain.
Line 99. There I couch when owls do cry.) Mr. Malone thinks the punctuation of this line incorrect : a full stop should be put after the word couch, which will render the succeeding line in the text free from confusion.
Line 101. After summer, merrily:] This is the reading of all the editions. Yet Mr. Theobald has substituted sun-set, because Ariel talks of riding on the bat in this expedition. An idle fancy. That circumstance is given only to design the time of night in which fairies travel. One would think the consideration of the circumstances should have set him right. Ariel was a spirit of great delicacy, bound by the charms Prospero to a constant attendance on his occasions. So that he was confined to the island winter and summer. But the roughness of winter is represented by Shakspeare as disagreeable to fairies, and such like delicate spirits, who, on this account, constantly follow summer. Was not this then the most agreeable circumstance of Ariel's new recovered liberty, that he could now avoid winter, and follow summer quite round the globe ?
The consequence is, that Ariel flies after summer. Yet the Ox. ford Editor has adopted this judicious emendation of Mr. Theobald.
WARBURTON. Line 103. Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.] Mr. Steevens annexes more importance to this phrase than it deserves; it must be felt and admitted by all readers of poetry, that“ fairies" haunt the groves.
Line 112. I drink the air) Is an expression of swiftness, of the same kind as to devour the way in Henry IV. JOHNSON. Line 124. -whe'r- -] An abbreviation of whether.
131. Thy dukedom I resign, -] The dutchy of Milan being through the treachery of Anthonio made feudatory to the
crown of Naples, Alonzo promises to resign his claim of sovereignty for the future.
STEEVENS. Line 156. who three hours since-] It may be here' remarked, that in this play our author has throughout rigidly at tended to the unity of time.
Line 160. I am woe fort, Sir.] i. e. I am sorry for it. To woe, is often used by old writers to signify to be sorry.
STEEVENS. Line 168. As great to me, as late;- - ] My loss is as great as yours, and has as lately happened to me.
JOHNSON. Line 181.
Are natural breath: -] Mr. Malone with great propriety conceives, that these words would improve the meaning of the
passage. Line 196. playing at chess.] This game was well known before our author's time.
Line 200. Yes, for a score of kingdoms,-) I take the sense to be only this: Ferdinand would not, he says, play her false for the world; yes, answers she, I would allow you to do it for something less than the world, for twenty kingdoms, and I wish you well enough to allow you, after a little wrangle, that your play was fair. So likewise Dr. Grey..
JOHNSON, I would recommend another punctuation, and then the sense would be as follows:
Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
STEEVENS: Line 253. When no man was his own.] For when perhaps should be read where,
JOHNSON Line 270. My tricksy spirit!] i:e. Clever.
292. Was ever conduct of ;- -] i. e. Had the conducting of. Line 295.
-with beating on
The strangeness, &c.] A similar expression occurs in one of the parts of Henry VI.
-your thoughts “ Beat on a crown.”
STEEVENS. Line 298. (Which to you shall seem probable )-] Prospero'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 appear strange and improbable, will then appear other“ wise."
ANONYMOUS. Line 308. Coragio,- -] i. e. Take courage.
320. true : -] That is, honest. A true man is, in the language of that time, opposed to a thief. The sense is, Mark what these men wear, and say if they are honest. JOHNSON, Line 321. His mother was a witch; and one so strong
That could control the moon, &c.] In the time of our author certain statutes were in force against witchcraft, and it was probable, that this expression might arise out of so weak and wicked a belief. To the disgrace of this country, having then so far approached towards civilization, prosecutions were carried on, and many innocent old women were condemned in various ways, for their supernatural agencies, vide Law Reports. The charge of witchcraft, with much greater propriety, might (I should think, in all ages) be applied to young ladies than to old hags. Line 332. And Trinculo is reeling ripe; where should they
Find this grand LIQUOR that hath gilded them ??] Shakspeare, to be sure, wrote-grand 'LIXIR, alluding to the grand Elixir of the alchymists, which they pretend would restore youth and confer immortality. This, as they said, being a preparation of gold they called Aurum potabile ; which Shakspeare alluded to in the word gilded. But the joke here is to insinuate that, note withstanding all the boasts of the chymists, sack was the only restorer of youth, and bestower of immortality, WARBURTON.
As the Elixir was a liquor, the old reading may nd, and the allusion holds good without any alteration.
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON THE TEMPEST,