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Enter PROSPERO, FERDINAND, and MIRANDA.

PRO. If I have too austerely punish'd you, Your compensation makes amends; for I Have given you here a thread of mine own life, Or that for which I live; whom once again I tender to thy hand. All thy vexations Were but my trials of thy love, and thou Hast strangely stood the test: here, afore Heaven, I ratify this my rich gift. O, Ferdinand, Do not smile at me that I boast her off, For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise, And make it halt behind her! FER. Against an oracle.

I do believe it,

PRO. Then, as my gift, and thine own acquisition

(*) Old text, guest.

a thread of mine own life,-] The folios have "third," a 35

Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter: but
If thou dost break her virgin-knot before
All sanctimonious ceremonies may
With full and holy rite be minister'd,
No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall
To make this contract grow; but barren hate,
Sour-ey'd disdain, and discord, shall bestrew
The union of your bed with weeds so loathly,
That you shall hate it both: therefore take heed,
As Hymen's lamps shall light you.
FER.

As I hope
For quiet days, fair issue, and long life,
With such love as 't is now,-the murkiest den,
The most opportune place, the strong'st suggestion
Our worser Genius can, shall never melt
Mine honour into lust; to take away

mis-spelling, perhaps, of thred = thread, which is oftentimes found in old writers.

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dbroom groves,-] Hanmer changes this to "brown groves,” as does Mr. Collier's annotator; and a more unhappy alteration can hardly be conceived, since it at once destroys the point of the allusion: yellow, the colour of the broom, being supposed especially congenial to the lass-lorn and dismissed bachelor. Thus Burton, in his "Anatomy of Melancholy," Part III. Sec. 2,"So long as we are wooers, and may kiss and coll at our pleasure, nothing is so sweet; we are in heaven, as we think: but when we are once tied, and have lost our liberty, marriage is an hell: give me my yellow hose again."

Enter JUNO.

JUN. How does my bounteous sister? Go with me

To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be, And honour'd in their issue.

SONG.

JUN. Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,
Long continuance, and increasing,
Hourly joys be still upon you!
Juno sings her blessings on you.

CER. Earth's increase, foison plenty,

Barns and garners never empty;
Vines, with clust'ring bunches growing;
Plants, with goodly burden bowing;
Spring come to you, at the farthest,
In the very end of harvest !
Scarcity and want shall shun you;
Ceres' blessing so is on you.

FER. This is a most majestic vision, and
Harmonious charmingly: may I be bold
To think these spirits?

PRO.

Spirits, which by mine art I have from their confines call'd to enact

My present fancies.

FER.

Let me live here ever;

d

So rare a wonder, and a father wise, Makes this place Paradise. [JUNO and CERES whisper, and send IRIS on employment.

PRO. Sweet now, silence! Juno and Ceres whisper seriously; There's something else to do: hush, and be mute, Or else our spell is marred.

IRIS. You nymphs, call'd Naiads, of the wandering brooks,

With your sedg'd crowns, and ever-harmless looks,
Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land
Answer your summons: Juno does command:
Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate
A contract of true love; be not too late.

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Mr. Collier's annotator would alter this, strangely enough, to, "Rain come to you," &c. See the "Faicry Queen," B. III. C. 6, St. 42,

"There is continuall spring, and harvest there
Continuall, both meeting at one time."

See also Amos, c. ix. v. 13 :-" Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed."

e Harmonious charmingly:] Charmingly here imports magically, not delightfully.

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Enter certain Nymphs.

You sun-burn'd sicklemen of August, weary, Come hither from the furrow, and be merry; Make holiday: your rye-straw hats put on, And these fresh nymphs encounter every one In country footing.

Enter certain Reapers, properly habited; they join with the Nymphs in a graceful dance; towards the end whereof PROSPERO starts suddenly, and speaks; after which, to a strange, hollow, and confused noise, they heavily vanish.

PRO. [Aside.] I had forgot that foul conspiracy Of the beast Caliban and his confederates, Against my life; the minute of their plot Is almost come. [To the Spirits.] Well done;avoid!-no more!

FER. This is strange: your father's in some passion

That works him strongly.

MIRA. Never till this day, Saw I him touch'd with anger so distemper'd. PRO. You do look, my son, in a mov'd sort, As if you were dismay'd: be cheerful, sir. Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind.(1) We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.-Sir, I am vex'd; Bear with my weakness; my old brain is troubled: Be not disturb'd with my infirmity: If you be pleas'd, retire into my cell, And there repose; a turn or two I'll walk, To still my beating mind.

In the ancient copies this reads,

"So rare a wondred Father, and a wise
Makes this place Paradise;"

and it is usually altered to,

"So rare a wonder'd father and a wife,
Make this place Paradise."

It is pretty evident that Ferdinand expresses a compliment to father and daughter; and equally so that the lines were in tended to rhyme; with the very slight change we have ventured the passage fulfils both conditions. It is noteworthy that the same rhyme occurs in the opening stanza of our author's "Pas sionate Pilgrim,”—

"what fool is not so wise,

To break an oath, to win a paradise?"

a stanza quoted in "Love's Labour's Lost," Act IV. Sc 3.

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Spirit,

We must prepare to meet with Caliban.

ARI. Ay, my commander; when I presented
Ceres,

I thought to have told thee of it; but I fear'd
Lest I might anger thee.

PRO. Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?

ARI. I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;

So full of valour that they smote the air
For breathing in their faces; beat the ground
For kissing of their feet; yet always bending
Towards their project. Then I beat my tabor,
At which, like unback'd colts, they prick'd their

ears,

Advanc'd their eyelids, lifted up their noses
As they smelt music; so I charm'd their ears,
That, calf-like, they my lowing follow'd through

I thank thee.] Steevens, rightly, we believe, considered these words to be in reply to the mutual wish of Ferdinand and Miranda, but wrongly, perhaps, altered them to, "I thank you." Thee, however ungrammatical, appears to have been sometimes

Tooth'd briers, sharp furzes, pricking goss, and thorns,

Which enter'd their frail shins: at last I left them
I' the filthy mantled pool beyond your cell,
There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lake
O'erstunk their feet.

PRO.
This was well done, my bird.
Thy shape invisible retain thou still :
The trumpery in my house, go, bring it hither,
For stale to catch these thieves.

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STE. Monster, your fairy, which you say is a harmless fairy, has done little better than played the Jack with us.

TRIN. Monster, I do smell all horse-piss; at which my nose is in great indignation.

STE. So is mine.-Do you hear, monster? If I should take a displeasure against you, look you,TRIN. Thou wert but a lost monster.

CAL. Good my lord, give me thy favour still. Be patient, for the prize I'll bring thee to Shall hoodwink 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.

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