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Before Profpero's Cell.
Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log. Fer. There be some sports are painful; but
their labour Delight in them sets off : & some kinds of baseness Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters Point to rich ends. This my mean task would be
There be fome sports are painful; but their labour
Molliter aufterum ftudio fallente laborem. Hor, fat. 2. lib.ii. The old copy reads : “ — and their labour,” &c. Steevens. We have again the same thought in Macbeth:
“ The labour we delight in physicks pain.” After“ and," at the same time must be understood. Mr. Pope, annecessarily, reads—" But their labour-," which has been fol. lowed by the subsequent editors.
In like manner in Coriolanus, Act IV. the same change was made by him. “ I am a Roman, and (i. e. and yet) my services are, as you are, against them.” Mr. Pope reads" I am a Roman, but my services," &c. Malone.
I prefer Mr. Pope's emendation, which is justified by the following passage in the same speech:
This my mean talk would be
“ The mistress that I serve,” &c. It is surely better to change a single word, than to countenance one corruption by another, or suppose that four words, necessary lo produce sense, were left to be understood, Steevens.
9 This my meant ask would be ] The metre of this line is defective in the old copy, by the words would be being transferred to the next line. Our author and his contemporaries generally use odious as a trifyllable. Malone, Mr. Malone prints the passage as follows:
This my mean task would be “ As heavy to me, as odious; but-" The word odious, as he observes, is sometimes used as a trifylla
As heavy to me, as 'tis odious; but
Enter MIRANDA; and PROSPERO at a distance. • MIRA.
Alas, now! pray you, Work not so hard: I would, the lightning had Burnt up
those logs, that you are enjoin'd to pile! Pray, set it down, and rest you : when this burns, 'Twill weep for having weary'd you: My father Is hard at study; pray now, rest yourself; He's safe for these three hours.
ble.-Granted; but then it is always with the penult. fort. The metre, therefore, as regulated by him, would still be defective.
By the advice of Dr. Farmer, I have supply'd the necessary monofyllable ---'tis; which completes the measure, without the slightest change of sense. STEEVENS.
2 - I forget: ] Perhaps Ferdinand means to say-I forget my task; but that is not surprising, for I am thinking on Miranda, and these sweet thoughts, &c. He may however mean, that he forgets or thinks little of the baleness of his employment. Whichfoever be the sense, And, or For, should seem more proper in the next line, than But. MALONE. 3 Most busy-less, when I do it.] The two first folios read:
Most busy left, when I do it.' 'Tis true this reading is corrupt; but the corruption is so very little removed from the truth of the text, that I cannot afford to think well of my own fagacity for having discovered it.
O most dear mistress, The sun will set, before I shall discharge What I must strive to do. Mira.
If you'll fit down, I'll bear your logs the while: Pray, give me that I'll carry it to the pile. FER.
No, precious creature: I had rather crack my sinews, break my back, Than you should such dishonour undergo, While I fit lazy by. MIRA.
It would become me As well as it does you: and I should do it With much more ease; for my good will is to it, And yours against.* PRO.
Poor worm ! thou art infected; This visitation shews it. MIRA.
You look wearily. Fer. No, noble mistress ; 'tis fresh morning
When you are by at night. I do beseech you,
Miranda :-O my father,
* And yours agains.] The old copy reads
“ And yours it is against." By the advice of Dr. Farmer I have omitted the words in Italicks, as they are needless to the fenfe of the passage, and would have rendered the hemistich too long to join with its fucceffor in making a regular verse. Steevens. s’tis fresh morning with me, , When you are by at night.]
Tu mihi curarum requies, tu noéte vel atrâ
Tibul. Lib. iv. El. xiii. MALONE. - heft-] For beheft; i. e. command. So before, Act I, fc. ii; “Refusing her grand hift ----" STEEVEN 3.
Admir'd Miranda !
I do not know
? Of every creature's best.] Alluding to the picture of Venus by Apelles. JOHNSON.
Had Shakspeare availed himself of this elegant circumftance, he would scarcely have said, “ of every creature's best,” because such a phrase includes the component parts of the brute creation, Had he been thinking on the judicious selection made by the Gre. cian Artist, he would rather have expressed his meaning by “ every woman's,” or “ every beauty's beit.” Perhaps he had only in his thoughts a fable related by Sir Philip Sidney in the third book of his Arcadia. The beaits obtained permiffion from Jupiter to make themselves a King; and accordingly created one of every greature's beft:
“ Full glad they were, and tooke the naked sprite,
“ Which straight the earth yclothed in his clay :
Nightingale voice, entising songs to say, &c. &c.
Nor can imagination form a shape,
precepts Therein forget.? Fer.
I am, in my condition,
love me? FER. O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this
Therein forget.] The old copy, in contempt of metre, reads “ I therein de forget.
Steevens. : - than I would suffer, &c.] The old copy reads — Than to fuffer. The emendation is Mr. Pope's. STEEVENS.
The reading of the old copy is right, however ungrammatical. So, in All's well that ends well: “ No more of this, Helena, go to, no more; left it be rather thought you affect a forrow, than to bave." MALONE.
The defective metre shows that some corruption had happened the present instance. I receive no deviations from established gram. mar, on the fingle authority of the folio. STEVENS.
9 The flesh-fly blow my mouth.] Mr. Malone obferves, that to blow, in this instance, fignifies to “ fwell and inflame." But I believe he is mistaken. To blow, as it stands in the text, means the act of a fly by which she lodges eggs in flesh. So, in Chapman's version of the Iliad :
-I much fear, left with the blows of Alies " His brass-inflicted wounds are fill'd" STEEVENS,