Imagini ale paginilor

thou to be the siege of this moon-calf?5 Can he vent Trinculos?

Trin. I took him to be killed with a thunder-stroke: -But art thou not drowned, Stephano? I hope now, thou art not drowned. Is the storm overblown? I hid me under the dead moon-calf's gaberdine, for fear of the storm: And art thou living, Stephano? O Stephano, two Neapolitans 'scap'd!

Ste. Pr'ythee, do not turn me about; my stomach is not constant.

Cal. These be fine things, an if they be not sprites. That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor: I will kneel to him.

Ste. How did'st thou 'scape? How cam'st thou hither? swear by this bottle, how thou cam'st hither. I escaped upon a butt of sack, which the sailors heaved over-board, by this bottle! which I made of the bark of a tree, with mine own hands, since I was cast a-shore.

Cal. I'll swear, upon that bottle, to be thy True subject; for the liquor is not earthly. Ste. Here; swear then, how thou escap'dst.


to be the siege of this moon-calf?] Siege signifies stool in every sense of the word, and is here used in the dirtiest.

So, in Holinshed, p. 705: "In this yeare also, a house on London Bridge, called the common siege, or privie, fell downe into the Thames."

A moon-calf is an inanimate shapeless mass, supposed by Pliny to be engendered of woman only. See his Nat. Hist. B. X. ch. 64.

Again, in Philemon Holland's Translation of Book XXX. ch. 14. edit. 1601: " -there is not a better thing to dissolve and scatter moon-calves, and such like false conceptions in the wombe." Steevens.

• Cal. I'll swear, upon that bottle, to be thy

True subject; &c.

Ste. Here; swear then how thou escap'dst.] The passage should probably be printed thus:

Ste. [to Cal.] Here, swear then. [to Trin.] How escap'dst


The speaker would naturally take notice of Caliban's proffered allegiance. Besides, he bids Trinculo kiss the book, after he has answered the question; a sufficient proof of the rectitude of the proposed arrangement. Ritson.

Trin. Swam a-shore, man, like a duck; I can swim? like a duck, I'll be sworn.

Ste. Here, kiss the book: Though thou canst swim like a duck, thou art made like a goose.

Trin. O Stephano, hast any more of this?

Ste. The whole butt, man; my cellar is in a rock by the sea-side, where my wine is hid. How now, mooncalf? how does thine ague?

Cal. Hast thou not dropped from heaven?

Ste. Out o' the moon, I do assure thee: I was the man in the moon, when time was.

Cal. I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee; My mistress shewed me thee, thy dog, and bush.9 Ste. Come, swear to that; kiss the book: I will furnish it anon with new contents: swear.

Trin. By this good light, this is a very shallow monster: I afeard of him?- -a very weak monster:1-The man i' the moon?-a most poor credulous monster :— Well drawn, monster, in good sooth.

Cal. I'll shew thee every fertile inch o' the island; And kiss thy foot: I pr'ythee, be my god.2

7 I can swim-] I believe Trinculo is speaking of Caliban, and that we should read—“ 'a can swim," &c. See the next speech. Malone.

I do not perceive how Trinculo could answer for Caliban's expertness in swimming, having only lain under his gaberdine for an hour. Ritson's arrangement of the preceding line is well imagined. M. Mason.

8 Hast thou not dropped from heaven?] The new-discovered Indians of the island of St. Salvador, asked, by signs, whether Columbus and his companions were not come down from heaven.


9 My mistress shewed me thee, thy dog, and bush.] The old copy, which exhibits this and several preceding speeches of Caliban as prose, (though it be apparent they were designed for verse,) reads-"My mistress shewed me thee, and thy dog and thy bush." Let the editor who laments the loss of the words-and, and thy, compose their elegy. Steevens.

1 I afeard of him?-a very weak monster: &c.] It is to be observed, that Trinculo, the speaker, is not charged with being afraid; but it was his consciousness that he was so, that drew this brag from him. This is nature. Warburton.

2 And kiss thy foot: I prythee, be my god.] The old copy redundantly reads: "And I will kiss thy foot," &c. Ritson.

Trin. By this light, a most perfidious and drunken monster; when his god's asleep, he'll rob his bottle.

Cal. I'll kiss thy foot: I'll swear myself thy subject.
Ste. Come on then; down, and swear.

Trin. I shall laugh myself to death, at this puppyheaded monster: A most scurvy monster! I could find in my heart to beat him,

Ste. Come, kiss.

Trin. —but that the poor monster's in drink: An abominable monster!

Cal. I'll shew thee the best springs; I'll pluck thee berries;

I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough.

A plague upon the tyrant, that I serve!

I'll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee,
Thou wond'rous man.

Trin. A most ridiculous monster; to make a wonder of a poor drunkard.

Cal. 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 sea-mells3 from the rock: Wilt thou go with me?


sea-mells —] This word has puzzled the commentators: Dr. Warburton reads shamois; Mr. Theobald would read any thing, rather than sea-mells. Mr. Holt, who wrote notes upon this play, observes, that limpets are in some places called scams, and, therefore, I had once suffered scamels to stand. Johnson.

Theobald had very reasonably proposed to read sea-malls, or sea-mells. An e, by careless printers, was easily changed into a c, and from this accident, I believe, all the difficulty arises, the word having been spelt by the transcriber, seamels. Willoughby mentions the bird, as Theobald has informed us. Had Mr. Holt told us in what part of England limpets are called scams, more regard would have been paid to his assertion.

I should suppose, at all events, a bird to have been design'd, as young and old fish are taken with equal facility; but young birds are more easily surprised than old ones. Besides, Caliban had already proffered to fish for Trinculo. In Cavendish's second voyage, the sailors eat young gulls at the isle of Penguins.


I have no doubt but Theobald's proposed amendment ought to be received. Sir Joseph Banks informs me, that in Willoughby's,

[ocr errors]

Ste. I pr'ythee now, lead the way, without any more talking. Trinculo, the king and all our company else being drowned, we will inherit here.-Here; bear my bottle. Fellow Trinculo, we'll fill him by and by again. Cal. Farewell master; farewell, farewell.

[Sings drunkenly. Trin. A howling monster; a drunken monster.

Cal. No more dams I'll make for fish;

Nor fetch in firing,

At requiring,


Nor scrape trenchering, nor wash dish;
'Ban 'Ban, Ca-Caliban,5

Has a new master-Get a new man. 6

Freedom, hey-day! hey-day, freedom! freedom, heyday, freedom!

Ste. O brave monster! lead the way.


or rather John Ray's Ornithology, p. 34, No. 3, is mentioned the common sea mall, Larus cinereus minor; and that young sea gulls have been esteemed a delicate food in this country, we learn from Plott, who, in his History of Staffordshire, p. 231, gives an account of the mode of taking a species of gulls, called, in that country, pewits, with a plate annexed, at the end of which he writes, " they being accounted a good dish at the most plentiful tables." To this it may be added, that Sir Robert Sibbald, in his Ancient State of the Shire of Fife, mentions, amongst fowls which frequent a neighbouring island, several sorts of sea-malls, and one in particular, the katiewake, a fowl of the Larus or mall kind, of the bigness of an ordinary pigeon, which some hold, says he, to be as savoury, and as good meat, as a partridge is. Reed.

4 Nor scrape trenchering,] In our author's time, trenchers were in general use; and male domesticks were sometimes employed in cleansing them. "I have helped (says Lyly, in his History of his Life and Times, ad. an. 1620,) to carry eighteen tubs of water in one morning;-all manner of drudgery I willingly performed; scrape-trenchers," &c. Malone.

5 'Ban 'Ban, Ca-Caliban,] Perhaps our author remembered a song of Sir P. Sidney's:


"Da, da, da-Daridan."

Astrophel and Stella, fol. 1627. Malone. Get a new man.:] When Caliban sings this last part of his ditty, he must be supposed to turn his head scornfully toward the cell of Prospero, whose service he had deserted. Steevens.


Before Prospero's Cell.

Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log.

Fer. There be some sports are painful; but their

Delight in them sets off:7 some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task would be

7 There be some sports are painful; but their labour Delight in them sets off :]

Molliter austerum studio fallente laborem,

The old copy reads: "

Hor. sat. 2. lib. ii.

and their labour," &c.

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, unnecessarily reads-" But their labour-," which has been followed 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:

[ocr errors]

This my mean task would be

"As heavy to me as 'tis odious; but

"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 to produce sense, were left to be understood. Steevens.

8 This my mean task 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 trisyllable. 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 trisyllable. Granted; but then it is always with the penult, short. The metre, therefore, as regulated by him, would still be defective.

By the advice of Dr. Farmer, I have supplied the necessary monosyllable-'tis; which completes the measure, without the slightest change of sense.


« ÎnapoiContinuă »