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With such love as 'tis now, the murkiest den,
Or night kept chained belowA little after, old Prospero, being better acquainted with the fallibilities of human nature than the
young lovers were, repeats the same caution to Ferdinand, again :
Look, thou be true; do not give dalliance
Or else, good night, your vow !
I warrant you, Sir;
S CE N E IV. There is a beautiful, but humiliating reflection on the inconsiderableness of life and grandeur, made by Prospero, in this scene, which is worthy of being added to the golden verses of Pytbagoras, and ought to be placed in gilt characters, as an inscription, on all the palaces, monuments, or triumphal arches of the earth.
Our revels now are ended-These our actors,
SCENE I. The feelings and sentiments of humanity, with the nobleness of remission upon repentance, are here finely and most affectingly touched.
Æther. † Rack, the most rarified part of a cloud, detached from it, and floating in in higher region,
Ariel to Profpero..
Would become tender.
Haft thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling
« One with a flash begins, and ends in smoke;
Roscommon's Translation of the Art of Poetry.
M E N.
Theseus, Duke of Athens.
W O M E N.
HIPPOLITA, Princess of the Amazons, betrothed to
Theseus. Hermia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander. Helena, in love with Demetrius.
Midsummer Night's Dream.
Shall not trouble my readers with the Fable of
this piece, as I can see no general moral that can be deduced from the Argument; nor, as I hinted before * is there much sentiment to be collected even from the Dialogue. But whatever harvest can be gleaned from this unfruitful field, I shall endeavour to pick up, as becomes a faithful steward of the farm.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Theseus to Hermia. To you your father foould be as a God, One that composed your beauties; yea, and one To whom you are but as a form in wax By himn imprinted ; and within his power To leave the figure, or disfigure it. In this speech, the pious notion of the Antients, with regard to this relation, while genuine Nature was their sole Preceptor, is fully expressed. Here the duty of children to their parents, is indeed carried to the height; and yet, methinks, not at all too far. They are the objects of our earliest affections, of our first deference, of our primary obligations. Even superstition, in this case, as far at least as implicit obedience extends, exceeds not true devotion,
The Decalogue was originally written on two tables; five in each. The first refers solely to Religion; the second, to Morality, only. To honour our parents, therefore, as falling within the former line of obligations, is, by this distinction, made one
* Preface to the Tempest, paragraph 4th,