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Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
I have done nothing but in care of thee,
O, woe the day!
the preceding as well as fubfequent words of Miranda seem to demand the emendation which I have received from Theobald. STEEVENS.
3 — or e'er — i. e. before. So, in Ecclefiaftes, xii. 6: -] "Or ever the filver cord be loofed, or the golden bowl be broken." Again, in our author's Cymbeline:
or e'er I could
"Give him that parting kiss ———." STEEVENS.
Pro. No harm.] I know not whether Shakspeare did not make Miranda fpeak thus:
O, woe the day! no harm?
To which Profpero properly anfwers:
I have done nothing but in care of thee. Miranda, when she speaks the words, O, woe the day! fuppofes, not that the crew had efcaped, but that her father thought differently from her, and counted their destruction no harm. JOHNSON. more better] This ungrammatical expreffion is very frequent among our oldeft writers. So, in the Hiftory of Helyas Knight of the Swan, bl. 1. no date: imprinted by William Copland. "And alfo the more fooner 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 Caffandra now." STEEVENS,
Than Profpero, mafter of a full poor cell,
PRO. 'Tis time 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
The direful fpectacle of the wreck, which touch'd
full poor cell, i. e. a cell in a great degree of poverty. So in Antony and Cleopatra:" I am full forry."
7 Did never meddle with my thoughts.] i. e. mix with them. To meddle is often ufed, with this fenfe, by Chaucer. Hence the fubftantive medley. The modern and familiar phrase by which that of Miranda may be explained, is never entered my thoughtsnever came into my head. STEEVENS.
It should rather mean to interfere, to trouble, to busy itself, as ftill ufed in the North, e. g. Don't meddle with me; i. e. Let me alone; Don't moleft me. RITSON.
See Howell's Dia. 1660, in v. to meddle; " se mesler de.”
Lye there my art.] Sir W. Cecil, lord Burleigh, lord high treasurer, &c. in the reign of queen Elizabeth, when he put off his gown at night, ufed to fay, Lie there, lord treasurer. Fuller's Holy State, p. 257. STEEVENS.
virtue of compaffion] Virtue; the moft efficacious part, the energetic quality; in a like fenfe we fay, The virtue of a plant is in the extract. JOHNson.
that there is no foul -] Thus the old editions read; but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read that there is no foul loft, without any notice of the variation. Mr. Theobald fubftitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope follows him. To come fo near the right, and yet to miss it, is
No, not fo much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the veffel3
Which thou heard 'ft cry, which thou faw'ft fink.
Sit down ;
For thou must now know further.
You have often
The hour's now come; The very minute bids thee ope thine ear; Obey, and be attentive. Can'ft thou remember A time before we came unto this cell?
I do not think thou can'ft; for then thou waft not Out three years old.*
Certainly, fir, I can.
unlucky: the author probably wrote no foil, no ftain, no spot: for fo Ariel tells,
Not a hair perifb'd;
On their fuftaining garments not a blemish,
And Gonzalo, The rarity of it is, that our garments being drench'd in the fea, keep notwithstanding their freshness and gloffes. Of this emendation I find that the author of notes on The Tempest had a glimpfe, but could not keep it. JOHNSON.
foul-] Such interruptions are not uncommon to Shakfpeare. He fometimes begins a fentence, and before he concludes it, entirely changes its conftruction, because another, more forcible, occurs. As this change frequently happens in converfation, it may be fuffered to pafs uncenfured in the language of the stage.
not fo much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the vessel] Had Shakspeare in his mind St. Paul's confolatory speech to the fhip's company, where he affures them that though they were to fuffer fhipwreck "not an hair fhould fall from the head of any of them?" Acts, xxvii. 34. Ariel afterwards fays, "Not a hair perish'd." HOLT WHITE.
* Out three years old.] i. e. Quite three years old, three years old full-out, complete.
So, in the 4th act: "And be a boy right out." STEEVENS,
PRO. By what? by any other house, or person? Of any thing the image tell me, that Hath kept with thy remembrance.
'Tis far off;
And rather like a dream, than an affurance
PRO. Thou had'ft, and more, Miranda: But how is it,
That this lives in thy mind? What feeft thou else
But that I do not. PRO. Twelve years fince, Miranda, twelve years fince,'
Thy father was the duke of Milan, and
A prince of power.
Sir, are not you my father? PRO. Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and She faid-thou waft my daughter; and thy father Was duke of Milan; and his only heir A princefs; -no worfe iffued."
4 abyfm of time?] i. e. abyfs.
This method of fpelling the word, is common to other ancient writers. They took it from the French abysme, now written abime. So, in Heywood's Brazen Age, 1613:
"And chafe him from the deep abysms below." STEEVENS.
5 Twelve years fince, Miranda, twelve years fince,] Years, in the first instance, is ufed as a diffyllable, in the fecond as a monofyllable. But this, I believe, is a licence peculiar to the profody of Shakspeare. STEEVENS.
no worfe iffued.] The old copy reads"And princess." For the trivial change in the text I am answerable. Ified is defcended. So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608: For I am by birth a gentleman, and iffued of fuch parents,"
O the heavens!
What foul play had we, that we came from thence?
Or bleffed was't, we did?
By foul play, as thou fay'st,
O, my heart bleeds To think o' the teen' that I have turn'd you to, Which is from my remembrance! Please you, further.
PRO. My brother, and thy uncle, call'd Antonio,
I pray thee, mark me,—that a brother should
Both, both, my girl: were we heav'd thence;
Sir, moft heedfully.
PRO. Being once perfected how to grant fuits, How to deny them; whom to advance, and whom' To trash for over-topping;' new created
teen-] is forrow, grief, trouble. So, in Romeo and Juliet: -to my teen be it fpoken." STEEVENS.
whom to advance, and whom-] The old copy has who in both places. Corrected by the editor of the fecond folio.
To trash for over-topping;] To trash, as Dr. Warburton obferves, is to cut away the fuperfluities. This word I have met with in