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Pro. Why, that's my dainty-Ariel : I shall miss


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Quoth he, is that fair couslip flower

" On Hipcut hill that bloweth. The date of this poem not being ascertained, we know not whèther our author was indebted to it, or was himself copied by Drayton. I believe, the latter was the imitator. Nymphidia was not written, I imagine, till after the English Don Quixote had appeared in 1612.

MALONE. when owls do cry. ) i. e. at night. As this passage is printed, Ariel {ays that he reposes in a cowllip's bell during the night. Perhaps, however, a full point ought to be placed after the word couch, and a comma at the end of the line.

If the passage fhould be thuś regulated, Ariel will then take his departure by night, the proper season for the bat to set out upon the expedition.

MALONE, 1 After summer, merrily : ) This is the reading of all the editions. Yet Mr. Theobald has substitued fun-fet, 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 of 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 {pirits, who, on this account conftantly 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 ? But to put the matter quite out of question, let us consider the meaning of this line :

66 There I couch when owls do cry." Where ? in the covslip's bell, and where the bee fucks, he tells us : his must needs be in summer. When? when owls cry, and this is in winter :

5. When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
66 Then nightly fings the staring owl.

The Song of Winter in Love's Labour's Loft. The consequence is, that Ariel flies after summer. Yet the Oxford Editor has adopted this judicious emendation of Mr. Theobald.

WÁRBURTON. Ariel does not appear to have been confined to the island summer and winter, as he was sometimes sent on so long an errand as to the Bermoothes. When he says, On the bat's back I do Ay, &c. VOL. IV.



yet thou shalt have freedom : so, so, so. To the king's fhip, invisible as thou art :

he speaks of his present fituation only; nor triumphs in the idea of his future liberty, till the last couplet :

" Merrily, merrily,"&c. The bat is no bird of passage, and the expression is therefore probably used to signify, not that be pursues summer, but that, after Summer is pafi, he rides upon the warm down of a bat’s. back, which fuits not improperly with the delicacy of his airy being. After Summer is a phrase in K. Henry VI. P. II. Ad II. sc. iv.

Shakspeare, who, in his Midsummer Night's Dream, has placed the light of a glow-worm in its eyes, might, through the same ignorance of natural history, have supposed the bat to be a bird of paffage. Owls cry not only in winter. It is well known that they are to the full as clamorous in summer; and as a proof of it, Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, the time of which is supposed to be May, commands her fairies to

keep back The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots." STEEVENS, Our author is seldom solicitous that every part of his imagery should correspond. I therefore, think, that though the bat is " no bird of passage, ” Shakspeare probably meant to express what Dr. Warburton supposes. A short account, however, of this winged animal may perhaps prove the best illustration of the paslage before us :

" The bat (fays Dr. Goldsmith, in his entertaining and in-en ftrucive Natural history, ) makes its appearance in summer, and

begins its flight in the disk of the evening. It appears only in the

moft pleasant evenings; at other times is continues in its retreat; " the chink of a ruined building, or the hollow of a tree. Thus to the little animal even in fuminer leops the greatest part of his "s uime, never venturing out by day-light, nor in rainy weather. But os its short life is ftill more abridged by continuing in a torpid 66 state during the winter. At the approach of the cold season, - the bat prepares for its state of lifeless in activity, and scems "s rather to choose a place whicre it may continue safe from inter"s ruption, than where it may be warmly or commodiously


When Shakspeare had determined to send Ariel in pursuit of summer, wherever it could be found, as most congenial to fuch an airy being, is it then surprising that he should have made the bat, rather chan" the wind, his poil-horse; an animal thus delighting in that season, and reduced by winter to a state of lifeless ina&ivity ? MALONE.

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There shalt thou find the mariners allcep
Under the hatches ; the master, and the boatswain,
Being awake, enforce them to this place;
And presently, I prythce.

ARI. I drink the air 9 before me, and return
Or e'er your pulse twice beat. (Exit ARIEL.
GON. All torment, trouble, wonder, and amaze-

Inhabits here ; Some heavenly power guide us
Out of this fearful country!

Behold, sir king,
The wronged duke of Milan, Prospero :
For more assurance that a living prince
Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body;
And to thee, and thy company, I bid
A hearty welcome.

Whe'r thou beef he, or no,



8 Mall I live now,

Under the blosso.1 tkot hangs on the bougi. ) This thought is not thrown out at random. It composed a part of the magical system of these days. In Iaso's Godfrey of Bulloigne, by Fairfax, B. IV. ft. 18:

" The goblins, fairies, feends, and furiés mad,

Ranged in flowrie dales, and mountaines hore,

- And under everie trenbiing lease they hit. The idea was probably first suggefied by the description of the venerablc elm which Virgil planted at the entrance of the infernal shades. En, vi. v. 22 :

“ Ulmus opaca, ingens ; quam sedem fomnia vulgò
- Vana tenére ferunt, foliifque fub omnibus hærent.

HOLT WHITE, 9 I drink the air -).To drink the air is an expression of swift. ness of the same kind as to devour the way in K. Henry 1V. JOHNSON,

2 Whe'r thou besi he, or go,) Whe'r for whether, is an abbrevi. ation frequently used both by Shakspeare and Jonson. So, in Julius Cafar:

Şee, whe'r their bafest metal be not mov'd."


Or fome inchanted trifle to abuse me,
As late I have been, I not know: thy pulse
Beats, as of flesh and blood; and, since I saw thee,
The affli&ion of my mind amends, with which,
I fear, a madness held me: this must crave
(An if this be at all, ) a most slrange story.
Thy dukedom I resign; } and do intreat
Thou pardon me my wrongs :- But how should

Be living, and be here?

First, noble friend,
Let me embrace thine age ; whose honour cannot
Be measur'd or confin'd.

Whether this be,
Or be not, I'll not swear.

You do yet taste
Some subtilties o' the ille, 4 that will not let


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Again, in the Comedy of Errors :
" Good fir, fay whe'r you'll answer me, or not.

M. MASON. Thy duke dom I refign; ) The duchy of Milan being through the treachery of Antonio made feudatory to the crówn of Naples, Alonso promises to resign his claim of sovereignty for the future.

STEEVENS, 4 You do get taste

Some fubtilties o’the islc, ) This is a phrase adopted from ancient cookery and confe&ionary. When a dish was so contrived as to appear unlike what it really was, they called it a subtilty. Dragons, castles, trees, &c. made out of sugar, had ihe like denomination. See Mr. Pegge's glofsary to the Form of Gury, &c. Article Sotiltees.

Froiffard complains much of this pradice, which often led him into mistakes at dinner. Describing one of the feasts of his time, he says there was " grant planté de meyiz fi etranges & fi defgurfezik qu'on ne les pouvait devifer ; ” and L'Etoile speaking of a similar entertainment in 1597, adds “ Tous les poissons efloient fort dextrement desguisez en viande de chair, qui estoient monstres marins pour la plafpart, qu'on avait fait venir exprés de tous les softoz." STEEVENS.

Believe things certain : -- Welcome, my friends

all: But you, my braçe of lords, were I so minded,

(Afide to SEB, and ANT. I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you, And justify you traitors ; at this time I'll tell no tales. SEB. The devil speaks in him.

(Aside. PRO.


For you, most wicked fir, whom to call brother
Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive
Thy rankest fault; all of them ; and require
My dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know,
Thou must restore.

If thou beest Prospero,
Give us particulars of thy preservation :
How thou hast met us here, who three hours since
Were wreck'd upon this shore; where I have lost,
How sharp the point of this remembrance is !
My dear fon Ferdinand.

I am woe for't, fir. 6

s - who three hours since ) The unity of time is most rigidly observed in this piece. The fable scarcely takes up a greater numa ber of hours than are employed in the representation ; and from the very particular care which our author takes to point out this circumstance in so many other passages, as well as here, it should seem as if it were not accidental, but purposely designed to thew the admirers of Ben Jonson's art, and the cavillers of the time, that he too could write a play within all the strid est laws of regularity, when he chose to load himself with the critick's fetters.

The boatswain marks the progress of the day again which luč three glasses fince, &c. and at the begiuning of this ad the duration of the time employed on the stage is particularly ascertained ; and it refers to a paliage in the firft a&t, of the fame tendency. The storm was raised at least two glasies after mid day, and Ariel was promised that the work should cease at the sixth hour. STEEVENS. 6 I am

woe for’t, fir. ) i. e. I am sorry for it. Ia be woe, is piten uícd by old writers to signiíy, to be sorry.

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