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BOATS Lay her a-hold, a-hold;' set her two courses; off to sea again,' lay her off.

Enter Mariners wet.

MAR. All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost! [Exeunt.

BOATS. What, must our mouths be cold? GON. The king and prince at prayers! let us assist them,

For our case is as theirs.

SEB. I am out of patience.

ANT. We are merely3 cheated of our lives by drunkards.

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This wide-chapped rascal;-'Would, thou might'st lie drowning,

The washing of ten tides!


He'll be hanged yet;

'Lay her a-hold, a-hold;] To lay a ship a-hold, is to bring her to lie as near the wind as she can, in order to keep clear of the land, and get her out to sea. STEEVENS.

set her two courses; off to sea again,] The courses are the main sail and fore sail. This term is used by Raleigh, in his Discourse on Shipping. JOHNSON.

The passage, as Mr. Holt has observed, should be pointed, Set her two courses; off, &c.

Such another expression occurs in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612: " - off with your Drablers and your Banners; out with your courses." STEEVENs.

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merely - In this place, signifies absolutely; in which sense it is used in Hamlet, Act I. sc. iii:


in nature

-Things rank and gross "Possess it merely."

Again, in Ben Jonson's Poetaster:


at request

"Of some mere friends, some honourable Romans."


Though every drop of water swear against it,
And gape at wid'st to glut him.3

[A confused noise within] Mercy on us! We split, we split!-Farewell, my wife and children!-Farewell, brother!'-We split, we split, we split!—

ANT. Let's all sink with the king.
SEB. Let's take leave of him.

[Exit. [Exit.

GON. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing: The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death. [Exit.

to glut him.] Shakspeare probably wrote, t'englut him, to swallow him; for which I know not that glut is ever used by him. In this signification englut, from engloutir, Fr. occurs frequently, as in Henry VI:


Thou art so near the gulf "Thou needs must be englutted."

And again, in Timon and Othello. Yet Milton writes glutted offal for swallowed, and therefore perhaps the present text may stand. JOHNSON.

Thus, in Sir A. Gorges's translation of Lucan, B. VI: oylie fragments scarcely burn'd,



Together she doth scrape and glut." i. e. swallow. STEEVENS.

Mercy on us! &c.

Farewell, brother! &c.] All these lines have been hitherto given to Gonzalo, who has no brother in the ship. It is probable that the lines succeeding the confused noise within should be considered as spoken by no determinate characters. JOHNSON.

The hint for this stage direction, &c. might have been received from a passage in the second book of Sidney's Arcadia, where the shipwreck of Pyrocles is described, with this concluding circumstance: "But a monstrous cry, begotten of many roaring voyces, was able to infect with feare," &c. STEEVENS.

5- an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, &c.] Sir T. Hanmer reads-ling, heath, broom, furze.-Perhaps rightly, though he has been charged with tautology. I find in Harrison's description of Britain, prefixed to our author's good


The island: before the cell of Prospero.

Enter PROSPERO and MIRAnda.

MIRA. If by your art, my dearest father, you have Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them: The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch, But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek, Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffer'd With those that I saw suffer! a brave vessel, Who had no doubt some noble creatures in her," Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock Against my very heart! Poor souls! they perish'd. Had I been any god of power, I would Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er

friend Holinshed, p. 91: "Brome, heth, firze, brakes, whinnes, ling," &c. FARMER.

Mr. Tollet has sufficiently vindicated Sir Thomas Hanmer from the charge of tautology, by favouring me with specimens of three different kinds of heath which grow in his own neighbourhood. I would gladly have inserted his observations at length; but, to say the truth, our author, like one of Cato's soldiers who was bit by a serpent,

Ipse latet penitus congesto corpore mersus. STEEVENS.

• But that the sea, &c.] So, in King Lear:

"The sea in such a storm as his bare head

"In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up,
"And quench'd the stelled fires." MALONE.

Thus, in Chapman's version of the 21st Iliad:
as if his waves would drowne the skie,
"And put out all the sphere of fire." STEEVENS.

66 —


- creatures in her,] The old copy reads-creature; but the preceding as well as subsequent words of Miranda seem to demand the emendation which I have received from Theobald.

STEEVENS. •—or e'er-] i. e. before. So, in Ecclesiastes, xii. 6;

It should the good ship so have swallowed, and
The freighting souls within her.

Be collected;
No more amazement: tell your piteous heart,
There's no harm done.

O, woe the day!



No harm.

I have done nothing but in care of thee,
(Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter!) who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am; nor that I am more better1
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,2
And thy no greater father.

"Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken" Again, in our author's Cymbeline:

or e'er I could

"Give him that parting kiss

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Pro. No harm.] I know not whether Shakspeare did not make Miranda speak thus:

O, woe the day! no harm?

To which Prospero properly answers:

I have done nothing but in care of thee. Miranda, when she speaks the words, O, woe the day! supposes, not that the crew had escaped, but that her father thought differently from her, and counted their destruction no harm.


1 -- more better-] This ungrammatical expression is very frequent among our oldest writers. So, in The History of Helyas Knight of the Swan, bl. 1. no date, imprinted by Wm. Copland: "And also the more sooner to come, without prolixity, to the true Chronicles," &c. Again, in the True Tragedies of Marius and Scilla, 1594:

"To wait a message of more better worth." Again, ibid:

"That hale more greater than Cassandra now."


-full poor cell,] i. e. a cell in a great degree of poverty. So, in Antony and Cleopatra: "I am full sorry." STEEVENS.

More to know

Did never meddle with my thoughts.3

'Tis time

PRO. I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magick garment from me.-So; [Lays down his mantle. Lie there my art.-Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort.


The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art
So safely order'd, that there is no soul-

Did never meddle with my thoughts.] i.e. mix with them. To meddle is often used, with this sense, by Chaucer. Hence the substantive medley. The modern and familiar phrase by which that of Miranda may be explained, is-never entered my thoughts-never came into my head. STEEVENS.

It should rather mean-to interfere, to trouble, to busy itself, as still used in the North, e. g. Don't meddle with me; i. e. Let me alone; Don't molest me. RITSON.

See Howell's Dict. 1660, in v. to meddle; "se mesler de.”


* Lie there my art.] Sir Will. Cecil, lord Burleigh, lord high treasurer, &c. in the reign of queen Elizabeth, when he put off his gown at night, used to say, Lie there, lord treasurer. Fuller's Holy State, p. 257. STEEvens.


virtue of compassion-] Virtue; the most efficacious part, the energetic quality; in a like sense we say, The virtue of a plant is in the extract. JOHNSON.


that there is no soul-] Thus the old editions read; but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read-that there is no soul lost, without any notice of the variation. Mr. Theobald substitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope follows him. To come so near the right, and yet to miss it, is unlucky: the author probably wrote no soil, no stain, no spot; for so Ariel tells:

Not a hair perish'd;

On their sustaining garments not a blemish,
But fresher than before.

And Gonzalo, The rarity of it is, that our garments being

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