Imagini ale paginilor

The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd
The very virtue of compaffion in thee, 9
I have with fuch provifion in mine art
So fafely order'd, that there is no foul,
No, not so much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the veffel
Which thou heard'ft cry, which thou faw'ft fink: fit
down ;

For thou muft now know further.

Mira. You have often

Begun to tell we what I am, but stopt,
And left me to a bootlefs inquifition;
Concluding, Stay, not yet. ——

Pro. The hour's now come:

The very minute bids thee ope thine ear:
Obey, and be attentive, Canft thou remember
A time, before we came unto this cell?

I do not think, thou canft; for then thou waft not
Out three years old,

Mira. Certainly, Sir, I can,

Pro. By what? by any other house, or person?
Of any thing the image tell me, that
Hath kept with thy remembrance,

Mira. 'Tis far off;

And rather like a dream, than an affurance


9 virtue of Compaffion.] Virtue: The most efficacious Part, the energetick Quality; in a like Senfe we fay, the Virtue of a Plant is in the Extract. that there is no Scul.] Thus the old Editions read, but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read that there is no Soul 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 mifs it is unlucky; the Author probably

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

That my remembrance warrants. Had I not
Four or five women once, that tended me?

Pro. Thou hadft, and more, Miranda: but how is it,
That this lives in thy mind? what feest thou else
In the dark back-ward and abyfme of time?
If thou remember'ft aught, ere thou cam'ft here;
How thou cam'ft here, thou may'st.

Mira. But that I do not.

Pro. 'Tis twelve years fince, Miranda.
years fince,

Thy father was the Duke of Milan, and
A Prince of Pow'r.


Mira. 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 2
And Princess, no worse iffu'd.

Mira. O the heav'ns!

What foul play had we, that we came from thence?
Or bleffed was't, we did?

Pro. Both, both, my girl:

By foul play (as thou fay'ft) were we heav'd thence;
But bleffedly holp hither.

[ocr errors]

Mira. O, my heart bleeds

To think o'th' teene that I have turn'd you to.
Which is from my remembrance. Please you, further.
Pro. My brother, and thy uncle, called Anthonio-
I pray thee, mark me;-that a brother should
Be fo perfidious!--he whom next thyself
Of all the world I lov'd, and to him put
The manage of my ftate; (as, at that time,
Through all the fignories it was the first;
And Profpero the prime Duke, being fo reputed
In dignity; and for the liberal arts,
Without a parallel, thofe being all my study 1)
The government I caft upon my brother,
And to my ftate grew ftranger; being transported,
2 Perhaps—and thou his only heir,


And rapt in fecret ftudies. Thy false uncle-
Doft thou attend me?

Mira. Sir, moft heedfully.

Pro. Being once perfected how to grant fuits, How to deny them; whom t'advance, and whom To trash for over-topping; new-created The creatures, that were mine; I fay, or chang'd'em, Or else new form'd 'em; having both the key2 Of officer and office, fet all hearts i'th' ftate

To what tune pleas'd his ear; that now he was
The ivy, which had hid my princely trunk,
And fuckt my verdure out on't.---Thou attend'st not.
Mira. O Good Sir, I do.

Pro. I pray thee, mark me.

I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
To clofenefs, and the bettering of my mind,
With that which, but by being fo retired,
O'er-prized all popular rate, in my falfe brother
Awak'd an evil nature; and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beger of him 3
A falfhood in its contrary as great

As my truft was; which had, indeed, no limit,
A confidence fans bound. He being thus lorded,
Not only with what my Revenue yielded,
But what my power might else exact; like one,
Who having into truth, by telling of it, +

2 Key in this Place feems to fignify the Key of a mufical Inftrument, by which he fet Hearts

to tune.

3 Alluding to the Obfervation, that a Father above the common rate of Men has commonly a Son below it. Heroum filii noxa.


like one

Who having INTO Truth by telling of it,


Made fuch a Sinner of his Me


To credit his own lie.] The corrupted reading of the Second line has rendered this beautiful Similitude quite unintelligible. For what is having into truth]? or what doth [it] refer to not to [truth], because if he told truth he could never credit a lie. And yet there is no other correlative to which [it] can belong. I read

Made fuch a finner of his memory,
To credit his own lie, he did believe
He was, indeed, the Duke; from substitution,
And executing th'outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative. Hence his ambition growing-
Doft thou hear?

Mira. Your tale, Sir, would cure deafness.

Pro. To have no fcreen between this part he plaid, And him he plaid it for, he needs will be Abfolute Milan. Me, poor man!my library Was Dukedom large enough; of temporal royalties He thinks me now incapable: confederates, So dry he was for fway, wi'th' King of Naples To give him annual tribute, do him homage; Subject his coronet to his crown; and bend The Dukedom, yet unbow'd, (alas, poor Milan!) To most ignoble ftooping.

Mira. O the heav'ns!

Pro. Mark his condition, and th'event; then tell me, If this might be a Brother.

Mira. I fhould fin,

To think but nobly of my grandmother;

Good wombs have bore bad fons.

Pro. Now the condition:

This King of Naples, being an enemy
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's fuit;
Which was, that he in lieu o'th' premifes,

[blocks in formation]

Of homage, and I know not how much tribute,
Should prefently extirpate me and mine
Out of the Dukedom; and confer fair Milan,
With all the honours, on my brother. Whereon
A treacherous army levy'd, one midnight
Fated to th' purpofe, did Arthonio open
The gates of Milan; and, i'th'dead of darkness,
The minifters for the purpose hurry'd thence
Me, and thy crying felf.

Mira. Alack, for pity!

I, not remembring how I cry'd out then,
Will cry it o'er again; it is a hint,
That wrings mine eyes to't.

Pro. Hear a little further,

And then I'll bring thee to the prefent bufinefs, Which now's upon's; without the which this ftory Were most impertinent.

Mira. Why did they not

That hour destroy us?

Pro. Well demanded, wench;

My tale provokes that queftion. Dear, they durft not,
So dear the love my people bore me, fet,
A mark fo bloody on the bufinefs; but
With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurry'd us aboard a bark;
Bore us fome leagues to fea; where they prepar'd
A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, fail, nor maft; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it: there they hoift us
To cry to th' fea, that roar'd to us; to figh
To th' winds, whofe pity, fighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.

Mira. Alack! what trouble

Was I then to you?

Pro. O a cherubim

Thou waft, that did preferve me: Thou didst smile, Infufed with a fortitude from heav'n,


« ÎnapoiContinuă »