Sidor som bilder

For I am all the subjects that you have,

Who first was nine own king; and here you sty me

In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me

The rest o' th' island.

And again, he promises Trinculo his services thus, if he will free him from his drudgery.

"I'll shew thee the best springs; I'll pluck thee berries, I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough.

I pr'ythee let me bring thee where crabs grow,

And I, with my long nails, will dig thee pig nuts :
Shew thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how

To snare the nimble marmozet: I'll bring thee
To clust'ring filberds; and sometimes I'll get thee
Young scamels from the rock."

In conducting Stephano and Trinculo to Prospero's cell, Caliban shews the superiority of natural capacity over greater knowledge and greater folly; and in a former scene, when Ariel frightens them with his musick, Caliban, to encourage them, accounts for it in the eloquent poetry of the senses.

"Be not afraid, the isle is full of noises,

Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.

Sometimes a thousand twanging instruments

Will hum about mine ears, and sometimes voices,

That if I then had waked after long sleep,

Would make me sleep again; and then in dreaming,

The clouds methought would open, and shew riches
Ready to drop upon me: when I wak'd

I cried to dream again."

This is not more beautiful than it is true. The poet here shews us the savage with the simplicity of a child, and makes the strange monster amiable. Shakspeare had to paint the human animal rude and

without choice in its pleasures, but not without the sense of pleasure or some germ of the affections. Master Barnardine in Measure for Measure, the savage of civilized life, is an admirable philosophical counterpart to Caliban.

Shakspeare has, as it were by design, drawn off from Caliban the elements of whatever is ethereal and refined, to compound them in the unearthly mould of Ariel. Nothing was ever more finely conceived than this contrast between the material and the spiritual, the gross and delicate. Ariel is imaginary power, the swiftness of thought personified. When told to make good speed by Prospero, he says, "I drink the air before me." This is something like Puck's boast on a similar occasion, "I'll put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes." But Ariel differs from Puck in having a fellow feeling in the interests of those he is employed about. How exquisite is the following dialogue between him and Prospero!

"Ariel. Your charm so strongly works 'em,
That if you now bebeld them, your affections
Would become tender.

Prospero. Dost thou think so, spirit?
Ariel. Mine would, sir, were I human.

Prospero. And mine shall.

Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling

Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,

One of their kind, that relish all as sharply,

Passion'd as they, be kindlier moved than thou art ?"

It has been observed that there is a peculiar charm in the songs introduced in Shakspeare, which, without conveying any distinct images, seem to recall

all the feelings connected with them, like snatches of half-forgotten musick heard indistinctly and at intervals. There is this effect produced by Ariel's songs, which (as we are told) seem to sound in the air, and as if the person playing them were invisible. We shall give one instance out of many of this general power.

"Enter FERDINAND; and ARIEL, invisible, playing and singing.


Come unto these yellow sands,

And then take hands;

Curt'sied when you have, and kiss'd,

(The wild waves whist ;)

Foot it featly here and there;

And sweet sprites the burden bear.

[Burden dispersedly.

Hark, hark! bowgh wowgh: the watch dogs bark,

Bowg wowgh.

Ariel. Hark, hark! I hear

The strain of strutting chanticleer


Cry cock a doodle doo.

Where should this musick be? in air or earth?

It sounds no more: and sure it waits upon
Some god o' th' island. Sitting on a bank
Weeping against the king my father's wreck,
This musick crept by me upon the waters,
Allaying both their fury and my passion
With its sweet air; thence I have follow'd it,
Or it bath drawn me rather :-but 'tis gone.-
No, it begins again.


Full fathom five thy father lies,

Of his bones are coral made:

Those are pearls that were his eyes,

Nothing of him that doth fade,

But doth suffer a sea change,

Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell-

Hark! now I hear them, ding dong bell.

[Burden ding-dong.

Ferdinand. The ditty does remember my drown'd father.

This is no mortal business, nor no sound

That the earth owns: I hear it now above me."—

The courtship between Ferdinand and Miranda is one of the chief beauties of this play. It is the very purity of love. The pretended interference of Prospero with it heightens its interest, and is in character with the magician, whose sense of preternatural power makes him arbitrary, tetchy, and impatient of opposition.

The TEMPEST is a finer play than the Midsummer Night's Dream, which has sometimes been compared with it; but it is not so fine a poem. There are a greater number of beautiful passages in the latter. Two of the most striking in the TEMPEST are spoken by Prospero. The one is that admirable one when the vision which he has conjured up disappears, beginning "The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces," &c. which has been so often quoted, that every schoolboy knows it by heart; the other is that which Prospero makes in abjuring

his art.

"Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,
And ye that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him
When he comes back; you demi-puppets, that
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,

Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime
Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice

To hear the solemn curfew, by whose aid
(Weak masters tho' ye be) I have bedimm'd
The noontide sun, call'd forth the mutinous winds,
And 'twixt the green sea and the azur'd vault
Set roaring war; to the dread rattling thunder
Have I giv'n fire, and rifted Jove's stout oak
With his own bolt; the strong bas'd promontory
Have I made shake, and by the spurs pluck'd up
The pine and cedar graves at my command
Have wak'd their sleepers; op'd, and let 'em forth
By my so potent art. But this rough magick
I here abjure; and when I have requir'd
Some heav'nly musick, which ev'n now I do,
(To work mine end upon their senses that
This airy charm is for) I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fadoms in the earth,

And deeper than did ever plummet sound,
I'll drown my book."-

We must not forget to mention, among other things in this play, that Shakspeare has anticipated nearly all the arguments on the Utopian schemes of modern philosophy.

"Gonzalo. Had I the plantation of this isle, my lord-
Antonio. He'd sow't with nettle-seed.

Sebastian. Or docks or mallows.

Gonzalo. And were the king on't, what would I do?

Sebastian. 'Scape being drunk, for want of wine.

Gonzalo. I' th' commonwealth I would by contraries
Execute all things: for no kind of traffick
Would I admit; no name of magistrate;

Letters should not be known; wealth, poverty,
And use of service, none; contract, succession,
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;
No occupation, all men idle, all,

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