Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

CAL. Good my lord, give me thy favour still: Be patient, for the prize I'll bring thee to Shall hood-wink this mischance therefore, speak softly,

All's hush'd as midnight yet.

TRIN. Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,STE. There is not only disgrace and dishonour in that, monster, but an infinite loss.

[ocr errors]

TRIN. That's more to me than my wetting: yet this is your harmless fairy, monster.

STE. I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o'er ears for my labour.

This is the mouth o' the cell: no noise, and enter:
Do that good mischief, which may make this island
Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban,
For aye thy foot-licker.

STE. Give me thy hand: I do begin to have bloody thoughts.

TRIN. O king Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! look, what a wardrobe here is for thee 5! CAL. Let it alone, thou fool; it is but trash. TRIN. O, ho, monster; we know what belongs to a frippery :-O king Stephano!

6

66

Pr'ythee, my king, be quiet: Seest thou here,

5 Trin. O king Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! look, what a wardrobe is here for thee!] The humour of these lines consists in their being an allusion to an old celebrated ballad, which begins thus: "King Stephen was a worthy peer"—and celebrates that king's parsimony with regard to his wardrobe.—There are two stanzas of this ballad in Othello. WARBURTON.

The old ballad is printed at large in The Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. i. PERCY.

6

we know what belongs to a FRIPPERY:] A frippery was a shop where old clothes were sold. Fripperie, Fr. Beaumont and Fletcher use the word in this sense, in Wit Without Money, Act II. :

"As if I were a running frippery."

So, in Monsieur d' Olive, a comedy, by Chapman, 1606: Passing yesterday by the frippery, I spied two of them hanging out at a stall, with a gambrell thrust from shoulder to shoulder."

STE. Put off that gown, Trinculo; by this hand, I'll have that gown.

TRIN. Thy grace shall have it.

CAL. The dropsy drown this fool! what do you

mean,

To doat thus on such luggage? Let it alone",
And do the murther first: if he awake,
From toe to crown he'll fill our skins with pinches ;
Make us strange stuff.

STE. Be you quiet, monster.-Mistress line, is not this my jerkin? Now is the jerkin under the line: now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair, and prove a bald jerkin.

TRIN. Do, do: We steal by line and level, and't like your grace.

The person who kept one of these shops was called a fripper. Strype, in the Life of Stowe, says, that these frippers lived in Birchin Lane and Cornhill. STEEVENS.

7 Let it alone,] The old copy reads-Let's alone.

JOHNSON.

For the emendation in the text the present editor is answerable. Caliban had used the same expression before. Mr. Theobald reads "Let's along." MALONE.

Hanmer also reads, Let it alone.

BOSWELL.

"Let's alone," may mean- Let you and I only go to commit the murder, leaving Trinculo, who is so solicitous about the trash of dress, behind us.' STEEVENS.

8 under the line:] "An allusion to what often happens to people who pass the line. The violent fevers, which they contract in that hot climate, make them lose their hair.”

Edwards' MSS.

Perhaps the allusion is to a more indelicate disease than any peculiar to the equinoxial.

So, in The Noble Soldier, 1632:

[blocks in formation]

65 Where you inhabit; that's the torrid zone :

66

Yea, there goes the hair away."

Shakspeare seems to design an equivoque between the equinoxial and the girdle of a woman.

It may be necessary, however, to observe, as a further elucidation of this miserable jest, that the lines on which clothes are hung, are usually made of twisted horse-hair. STEEvens.

STE. I thank thee for that jest; here's a garment for't: wit shall not go unrewarded, while I am king of this country: Steal by line and level, is an excellent pass of pate; there's another garment for't.

9

TRIN. Monster, come, put some lime upon your fingers, and away with the rest.

CAL. I will have none on't: we shall lose our

time,

And all be turn'd to barnacles, or to apes
With foreheads villainous low 2.

1

-

9

put some LIME, &c.] That is, birdlime. JOHNSON. So, in Green's Disputation between a He and She Conycatcher, 1592: mine eyes are stauls, and my hands lime twigs."

68

STEEVENS.

I

to BARNACLES, or to apes-] Skinner says barnacle is Anser Scoticus. The barnacle is a kind of shell-fish growing on the bottoms of ships, and which was anciently supposed, when broken off, to become one of these geese. Hall, in his Virgidemiarum, lib. iv. sat. 2, seems to favour this supposition : "The Scottish barnacle, if I might choose,

"That of a worme doth waxe a winged goose," &c. So likewise Marston, in his Malecontent, 1604 : like your Scotch barnacle, now a block,

66

"Instantly a worm, and presently a great goose." "There are (says Gerard, in his Herbal, edit. 1597, page 1391) in the north parts of Scotland certaine trees, whereon do grow shell-fishes, &c. &c. which, falling into the water, do become fowls, whom we call barnakles; in the north of England, brant geese; and in Lancashire, tree geese, &c.

""

This vulgar error deserves no serious confutation. Commend me, however, to Holinshed, (vol. i. p. 38,) who declares himself to have seen the feathers of these barnacles" hang out of the shell at least two inches." And in the 27th song of Drayton's Polyolbion, the same account of their generation is given.

COLLINS.

Old Gerard, in his History of Plants, has a long account of these barnacles: 66 Many of these shells I brought with me to London, which, after I had opened, I found in them living things without form or shape; in others, which were nearer come to ripenesse, I found living things that were very naked, in shape like a bird in others, the birds covered with a soft downe, the shell half

STE. Monster, lay-to your fingers; help to bear this away, where my hogshead of wine is, or I'll turn you out of my kingdom: go to, carry this.

TRIN. And this.

STE. Ay, and this.

open, and the birds ready to fall out, which no doubt were the fowles called barnacles. I dare not absolutely avouch every circumstance of the first part of this history, concerning the tree that beareth those buds aforesaid, but will leave it to a future consideration, howbeit that which I have seene with mine eies, and handled with mine hands, I dare confidently avouch and boldly put down for verity." Johnston's ed. of Gerard, p. 1588.

PHILLIPPS.

own ;

"Cal. And all be turn'd to barnacles, or apes." Mr. Collins's note, it is presumed, will not be thought worth retaining in any future edition. His account of the barnacle is extremely confused and imperfect. He makes Gerarde responsible for an opinion not his he substitutes the name of Holinshed for that of Harrison, whose statement is not so ridiculous as Mr. Collins would make it, and who might certainly have seen the feathers of the barnacles hanging out of the shells, as the fish barnacle or Lepas anatifera is undoubtedly furnished with a feathered beard. The real absurdity was the credulity of Gerarde and Harrison in supposing that the barnacle goose was really produced from the shell of the fish. Dr. Bullein not only believed this himself, but bestows the epithets, ignorant and incredulous on those who did not; and in the same breath he maintains that christal is nothing more than ice. See his Bulwarke of Defence, &c. 1562. Folio, fo. 12. Caliban's barnacle is the clakis or tree-goose. Every kind of information on the subject may be found in the Physica Curiosa of Gaspar Schot the Jesuit, who with great industry has collected from a multitude of authors whatever they had written concerning it. See lib. ix. c. 22. The works of Pennant and Bewick will supply every deficiency with respect to rational knowledge. DouCE.

2 With FOREHEADS villainous Low.] Low foreheads were anciently reckoned among deformities. So, in the old bl. 1. ballad, entitled A Peerlesse Paragon :

"Her beetle brows all men admire,
"Her forehead wondrous low."

Again, (the quotation is Mr. Malone's,) in Antony and Cleopatra :

66

And her forehead

"As low as she would wish it." STEEVENS.

5

A noise of hunters heard3. Enter divers Spirits, in shape of hounds, and hunt them about; PROSPERO and ARIEL setting them on.

PRO. Hey, Mountain, hey!

ARI. Silver! there it goes, Silver!

PRO. Fury, Fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark, hark!

[CAL. STE. and TRIN. are driven out. Go, charge my goblins that they grind their joints With dry convulsions; shorten up their sinews With aged cramps; and more pinch-spotted make

them,

Than pard, or cat o' mountain.

ARI.

Hark, they roar. PRO. Let them be hunted soundly: At this hour Lie at my mercy all mine enemies: Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou Shalt have the air at freedom: for a little, Follow, and do me service.

[Exeunt.

3 A noise of hunters heard.] Shakspeare might have had in view "Arthur's Chace, which many believe to be in France, and think that it is a kennel of black dogs followed by unknown huntsmen with an exceeding great sound of horns, as if it was a very hunting of some wild beast." See a Treatise of Spectres, translated from the French of Peter de Loier, and published in quarto, 1605.

GREY.

"Hecate, (says the same writer, ibid.) as the Greeks affirmed, did use to send dogges unto men, to feare and terrifie them."

MALONE.

See Gervase of Tilbery, who wrote in 1211, for an account of the Familia Arturi. Ot. Imper. dec. ii. c. 12. STEEVENS. See Tyrwhitt's Chaucer; note on verse 6441. BoSWELL.

« AnteriorContinua »