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represented on signs; but by an invisible agent, whom he quaintly and facetiously calls, the picture of No-body. This is evident from the next speech.
P. 83.-65.-102. Trin. Wilt come? I'll follow, Stephano. I think the author of the Revisal has explained this rightly, and consequently dissent from Mr. Malone, and from Mr. Ritson.
You fools ! I and my fellows
One dowle that's in my plume.
neque vim plumis ullam, nec vulnera tergo Accipiunt
VIRG. Æn. iii.
So, with good life,
Their several kinds have done. So with good life, is, I think, rightly explained by Dr. Johnson
be the author's mistake.
Thread is certainly what is meant. I believe the old way of spelling it was thrid, and that the r and the i were frequently transposed by the inattention of the compositor of the press.
And flat meads thatch'd with stover, them to keep,
Why hath thy queen Summon'd me hither, to this short-grass'd green? I see no reason for changing short-graz’d to short-grass'd.
Highest queen of state,
Leave not a rack behind. I am inclined to think that rack is a mis-spelling for wrack, i. e. wreck.
I think Mr. Steevens has done rightly in changing thee to you. Theobald made the same alteration.
Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost. I think it very probable that Mr. Malone is right.
and you, whose pastime
The noon-tide sun, &c. Blackstone has mistaken the meaning of this, which is rightly explained by Steevens
(Malone's reading). I think the reading of Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors much preferable to Mr. Malone's, whose meaning I confess I do not understand. The passage in the modern editions, preceding Mr. Malone's, stood thus :
A solemn air, and the best comforter
Now useless, boil'd within thy skull! This I understand, or at least fancy I do. Of the passage, as regulated by Mr. Malone, I can make nothing.
Thour't pinch'd for't now, Sebastian, flesh and blood.
After summer, merrily.
And worship this dull fool? Dr. Warton in his elegant critique on this play, (Adventurer, Nos. 93, 97,) thinks Shakespeare injudicious in putting into the mouth of Caliban this speech, which implies repentance and understanding ; whereas he thinks he ought to have preserved the fierce and implacable spirit of Caliban to the end. I doubt whether this censure is just, and suspect it would not have been passed, had not Dr. W. thought it necessary to point out some defect in the piece on which he was commenting, in order to escape the charge of an indiscriminating admiration of his author, too frequently imputable to commentators. Caliban was struck with the splendid appearance of Prospero and the other prịnces, whose magnificent habits far exceeded any thing he had ever seen before (for their “ Garments, being, as they were, drenched in the sea, held, notwithstanding, their freshness and glosses, being rather new-dyed than stained with salt water”): and he considered them as beings of a superior order to the drunkards with whom he had lately conversed :
0, Setebos ! these be brave spirits indeed !
How fine my master is ! It is natural to a savage to be immediately delighted with novelty, and to over-rate that with which he is captivated; and, accordingly, Caliban, in his first encounter with Stephano and Trinculo, is represented (with great propriety, I think,) as treating his new friends with a superstitious respect :
That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor !
I'll kneel to him. He had, besides, just had painful experience of Prospero's power, the farther effects of which he still dreaded (“ I fear he will chastise me,' and “I shall be pinch'd to death,”); and his extravagant admiration co-operating with his fears, it seems natural for him to promise amendment, and to engage obedience to those, whom his astonished imagination conceived to be of transcendent dignity and power,