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Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil
Not a soul
vessel, Then all a-fire with me: the king's son, Ferdinand, With hair up-Itaring (then like reeds, not hair) Was the first man that leap'd; cried, Hell is empty, And all the devils are bere. PRO.
Why, that's my spirit! But was not this nigh shore? ARI.
Close by, my master. Pro. But are they, Ariel, safe? Ari.
Not a hair perish’d; On their sustaining* garments not a blemish, But fresher than before: and as thou bad'st me, In troops I have dispers’d them 'bout the isle:
• But felt a fever of the mad,] If it be at all necessary to explain the meaning, it is this: Not a Joul but felt such a fever as madmen feel, when the frantick fit is upon them. Steevens.
- and quit the vessel,] Quit is, I think, here used for quitted. So, in K. Lear:
- 'Twas he inform'd against him,
Might have the freer course."
“ He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered.” Malone. ---Juftaining-] i. e. their garments that bore them up and supported them. So, in K. Lear, Act IV. sc. iv:
“ In our suftaining corn.” Again, in Hamlet:
Her clothes spread wide, “ And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up." Mr. M. Mason, however, obferves that “ the word sustaining in this place does not mean supporting, but enduring; and by their suftaining garments, Ariel means their garments which bore, without being injured, the drenching of the fea." STEEVENS,
The king's son have I landed by himself;
Of the king's ship,
Safely in harbour Is the king's ship; in the deep nook, where once Thou call dst me up at midnight to fetch dew From the still-vex'd Bermoothes,' there she's hid:
s From the fill-rex'd Bermoothes,] Fletcher, in his Women Pleafed, says, " The devil fbould think of purchasing that egg-fhell to victual out a witch for the Bermcothes.” Smith, in his account of these islands, p. 172, says, “ that the Bermudas were lo fearful 19 the world,
called them The Isle of Devils.-P. 174.-10 all seamen no less terrible than an inchanted den of furies." And no wonder, for the clime was extremely subject to forms and hurricanes; and the islands were surrounded with scattered rocks lying Shallowly hid under the surface of the water. WARBURTON.
The epithet here applied to the Bermudas, will be best understood by those who have seen the chafing of the sea over the rugged rocks by which they are surrounded, and which render access to them so dangerous. It was in our poet's time the current opinion, that Bermudas was inhabited by monsters, and devils.-Setebos, the god of Caliban's dam, was an American devil, worshipped by the giants of Patagonia. HENLEY.
Again, in Decker's If this be not a good play, the Devil is in it, 1612: “ Sir, if you have made me tell a lye, they'll send me on a voyage to the island of Hogs and Devils, the Bermudas.”
STEEVENS. The opinion that Bermudas was haunted with evil spirits continued so late as the civil wars, In a little piece of Sir John Berkinghead's, intitled, Two Centuries of Paul's Church-yard, una cum indice expurgatorio, &c. 12°, in page 62, under the title Cafes of Confiience, is this :
“ 34. Whether Bermudas and the parliament-house lie under one planet, seeing both are haunted with devils.” Percy.
Bermudas was on this account the cant name for some privileged place, in which the cheats and riotous bullies of Shakspeare's time afienbled. So, in Tke Devil is an oli, by Ben Jonson :
The mariners all under hatches stow'd;
Ariel, thy charge
Past the mid season. Pro. At least two glasses : The time 'twixt six
Must by us both be spent most preciously.
me pains, Let me remember thee what thou hast promis'd, Which is not yet perform'd me.
gave my word
keeps he fill your quarter “ In the Bermudas ?". Again, in one of his Epistles:
“ Have their Bermudas, and their straights i' th Strand." Again, in The Devil is an Ass :
I " For one that's run away to the Bermudas." STEEVENS. the Mediterranean flote,] Flote is wave. Flot. Fr.
STEEVENS. ? What is the time o' the day?] This passage needs not be difturbed, it being common to ask a question, which the next moment enables us to answer : he that thinks it faulty, may easily adjust it thus :
Pro. What is the time o' the day ? Paft the mid seafon?
Pro. The time 'twixt fix and now Johnson.
Ariel. Paft ihe mid season, at least two glases. · Prof. The time, &c. MALONE,
How now? moody?
promise To bate me a full year. PRO.
Dost thou forget
8 Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, ferv'dm-] The old copy has
“ Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, fervid" The repetition of a word will be found a frequent mistake in the ancient editions. Ritson.
9 Doft thou forget ---] That the character and conduct of Prospero may be underltood, something must be known of the system of enchantment, which supplied all the marvellous found in the romances of the middle ages. This system seems to be founded on the opi. nion that the fallen fpirits, having different degrees of guilt, had different habitations allotted them at their expulfion, fome being confined in hell, some (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our poet's age, expresses it) dispersed in air, fome on earth, jome in water, others in caves, dens, or minerals under the earth. Of these, some were more malignant and mischievous than others. The earthy fpirits seem to have been thought the most depraved, and the aerial the least vitiated. Thus Prospero obferves of Ariel :
Thou wast a spirit too delicate
To a&t her earthy and abhorr'd commands. Over these spirits a power might be obtained by certain rites performed or charms learned. This power was called The black Art, or Knowledge of Enchantment. The enchanter being (as king James observes in his Demonology) one who commands the devil, whereas the witch ferves him. Those who thought best of this art, the existence of which was, I am afraid, believed very feriously, held, that certain sounds and characters had a physical power over spirits, and compelled their agency ; others, who condemned the practice, which in reality was surely never practised, were of opinion, with more reason, that the power of charms arofe only from compact,
From what a torment I did free thee?
I do not, fir.
forgot The foul witch Sycorax, who, with envy, Was
grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot her? Ari. No, fir. Pro.
Thou hast: Where was she born? speak; tell me. Ari. Sir, in Argier.'
and was no more than the spirits voluntarily allowed them for the seduction of man. The art was held by all, though not equally criminal, yet unlawful, and therefore Casaubon, speaking of one who had commerce with spirits, blames him, though he imagines him one of the best kind, who dealt with them by way of command. Thus Prospero repents of his art in the last scene. The spirits were always considered as in some measure enslaved to the enchanter, at least for a time, and as serving with unwillingness; therefore Ariel so often begs for liberty; and Caliban observes, that the spirits ferve Prospero with no good will, but hate him rootedly. Of these trifles enough. JOHNSON.
* The foul witch Sycorax,] This idea might have been caught from Dionyfe Settle's Reporte of the Last Voyage of Capteine Frobiber, 12mo. bl. 1. 1577. He is speaking of a woman found on one of the islands described. • The old wretch, whome diuers of our Saylers supposed to be a Diuell, or a Witche, plucked off her buskins, to see if she were clouen-footed, and for her ougly hewe and deformitie, we let her goe." STEVENS,
3 in Argier.) Argier is the ancient English name for Algiers. See a pamphlet entitled, “ A true Relation of the Travailes, &c. of William Davies, barber-surgeon," &c. 1614. In this is a chapter“ on the description, &c. of Argier." STEEVENS.