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ALONSO, King of Naples.
PROSPERO, the rightful] Duke of Milan.
ANTONIO, his Brother, the usurping Duke of Milan.
GONZALO, an honest old Counsellor of Naples.
CALIBAN, a savage and deformed Slave.
TRINCULO, a Jester.
STEPHANO, a drunken Butler.
Master of a Ship, Boatswain, and Mariners.
MIRANDA, Daughter to Prospero.
ARIEL, an airy Spirit.
Other Spirits attending on Prospero.
SCENE, the Sea, with a Ship; afterwards an uninhabited Island.
* This enumeration of persons is taken from the folio 1623.
ACT I. SCENE I.
On a Ship at Sea.
A Storm with Thunder and Lightning.
Enter a Ship-master and a Boatswain. MASTER. Boatswain 1,
BOATS. Here, master: What cheer? MAST. Good: Speak to the mariners fall to't yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir. [Exit.
BOATS. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts; yare, yare: Take in the top-sail; Tend to
I Boatswain,] In this naval dialogue, perhaps the first example of sailor's language exhibited on the stage, there are, as I have been told by a skilful navigator, some inaccuracies and contradictory orders. JOHNSON.
The foregoing observation is founded on a mistake. These orders should be considered as given, not at once, but successively, as the emergency required. One attempt to save the ship failing, another is tried. MALONE.
See the note at the end of the play. BOSWELL.
fall to't YARELY.] i. e. Readily, nimbly. Our author is frequent in his use of this word. So, in Decker's Satiromastix: They'll make his muse as yare as a tumbler." STEEVENS. Here it is applied as a sea-term, and in other parts of the scene. So he uses the adjective, Act V. Sc. V.: "Our ship is tight and yare." And in one of the Henries: "yare are our ships." To this day the sailors say, "sit yare to the helm." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. Sc. III.: "The tackles yarely frame the office." T. WARTON.
the master's whistle.-Blow, till thou burst thy wind3, if room enough!
Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO, and others.
ALON. Good boatswain, have care. master? Play the men *.
BOATS. I pray now, keep below.
BOATS. Do you not hear him? You mar our labour; Keep your cabins: you do assist the storm 5.
3 Blow, till thou burst THY wind, &c.] Perhaps it might be read: " Blow, till thou burst, wind, if room enough." JOHNSON. Perhaps rather“ Blow, till thou burst thee, wind! if room enough." Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this passage in The Pilgrim :
Blow, blow west wind, "Blow till thou rive!"
Again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609:
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!'
Again, in Chapman's version of the fifth book of Homer's Odyssey:
"Such as might shield them from the winter's worst, "Though steel it breath'd and blew as it would burst.” Again, in Fletcher's Double Marriage:
"Blow till you burst the air.”
The allusion in these passages, as Mr. M. Mason observes, is to the manner in which the winds were represented in ancient prints and pictures. STEEVENS.
4 Play the men.] i. e. act with spirit, behave like men. in Chapman's translation of the second Iliad :
"Which doing, thou shalt know what souldiers play the men, "And what the cowards."
Again, in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590, p. 2: Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men." "Ω φίλοι, ἀνέρες ἐσὲ, Iliad V. v. 529. STEVENS.
Again, in Scripture, 2 Sam. x. 12: "Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people,-"
assist the storm.] So, in Pericles :
Patience, good sir; do not assist the storm." STEevens.
GON. Nay, good, be patient. BOATS. When the sea is. Hence! What care these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence: trouble us not.
GON. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
BOATS. None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor; if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present we will not hand a rope more; use your authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap.Cheerly, good hearts.-Out of our way, I say.
[Exit. GON.' I have great comfort from this fellow : methinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good fate, to his hanging! make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage! If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable. [Exeunt.
BOATS. Down with the top-mast; yare; lower, lower; bring her to try with main-course. [A cry
of the present,] i. e. of the present instant. So, in the 15th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians : of whom the greater part remain unto this present." STEEVENS.
7 Gonzalo.] It may be observed of Gonzalo, that, being the only good man that appears with the king, he is the only man that preserves his cheerfulness in the wreck, and his hope on the island. JOHNSON.
bring her to TRY WITH MAIN-COURSE.] Probably from Hackluyt's Voyages, 1598: "And when the barke had way, we cut the hauser, and so gate the sea to our friend, and tried out all that day with our maine course." MALONE.
This phrase occurs also in Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627, 4to.
within.] A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office.
Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO.
Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
SEB. A pox o' your throat! you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!
BOATS. Work you, then.
ANT. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noise-maker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.
GON. I'll warrant him from drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as leaky as an unstanched wench 9.
BOATS. Lay her a-hold, a-hold '; set her two courses; off to sea again', lay her off.
under the article How to handle a Ship in a Storme: "Let us lie as Trie with our maine course; that is, to hale the tacke aboord, the sheat close aft, the boling set up, and the helme tied close aboord." P. 40. STEEVENS.
Unstanched, I am willing to
9 — an UNSTANCHED Wench,] believe, means incontinent. STEEVENS.
The meaning is clear from a passage in Beaumont and Fletcher's Mad Lover, Act V. Sc. I. where Chilas says to the frightened priestess:
Down you dog, then,
"Be quiet and be staunch too: no inundations."
Lay her a-hold, a-hold;] To lay a ship a-hold, is to bring her to lie as near the wind as she can, in order to keep clear of the land, and get her out to sea.
-set her two COURSES; off to sea again,] The courses are the main sail and fore sail. This term is used by Raleigh, in his Discourse on Shipping. JOHNSON.
The passage, as Mr. Holt has observed, should be pointed, "Set her two courses; off," &c.
Such another expression occurs in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612: off with your Drablers and your Banners; out with your courses." STEEVENS,