Page images

Darwin's discoveries threw a new light upon the man. monster, which

Daniel Wilson exploited in his Caliban, or The Missing Link (1873). Politics, metaphysics, anthropology, literary history, have each been divined in the cloudy symbols of Shakespeare's high romance.1 Few of these interpretations have had any vogue.

One, however, the world by a common instinct refuses to resign : that which regards Shakespeare as having, in Prospero's epilogue, himself bidden farewell to the stage.

1 Cf. the summary in Dowden's Shakspere, His Mind and Art,

p. 424.



SCENE I. On a ship at sea : a tempestuous

noise of thunder and lightning heard.

Enter a Ship-Master and a Boatswain.
Mast. Boatswain !
Boats. Here, master: what cheer?

Mast. Good, speak to the mariners : fall to't, yarely, or run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.

[Exit. Enter Mariners. Boats. Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts ! yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the master's whistle. Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough!


3. Good, 'my good fellow,' command and the final cataa persuasive preface to a com- strophe (v. 64), there are three mand. So in vv. 16, 20, successive maneuvres in the etc.

handling of the ship. 3. fall to 't, yarely. This 4. yarely, briskly. order corresponds to the first of 7. Take in the topsail; this is the five phases or 'positions,' the first maneuvre. distinguished by Lord Mus- 9. if room enough, if there is grave. Apart from this general

[ocr errors]





GONZALO, and others. Alon. Good boatswain, have care. Where's the master? Play the men.

Boats. I pray now, keep below.
Ant. Where is the master, boatswain ?

Boats. Do you not hear him? You mar our labour : keep your cabins : you do assist the storm.

Gon. Nay, good, be patient.

Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence ! trouble us not.

Gon. Good, yet remember whom thou hast 30 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. Re-enter Boatswain. Boats. Down with the topmast ! yare ! lower, 18. roarers, blusterers.


The movable topmast was a 37. Down with the topmast; new invention in Shakespeare's the second maneuvre, still fur

This order is introduced ther reducing the weight aloft. to prepare for the next.


lower! Bring her to try with main-course. [A cry within.] A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather or our office.


you then.

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

Ant. Hang, cur! hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker! We are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.

Gon. I'll warrant him for drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nutshell and as leaky as an unstanched wench.

Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold ! set her two courses off to sea again ; lay her off.


Enter Mariners wet.

Mariners. All lost! to prayers, to prayers ! all lost !

Boats. What, must our mouths be cold ?
Gon. The king and prince at prayers ! let's

assist them,
For our case is as theirs.

I'm out of patience.

38. Bring her to try with courses off to sea again, bring her main-course, bring her close to close to the wind by hauling up the wind with the main-sail. To the main-sail, and set her two ‘lie as try with the main-course' lowest sails (courses) on the other was a recognised expedient in a tack, to try to clear the land storm.

that way. The third maneuvre;

which however fails, and the 40. our office, my orders.

ship, no being able to weather 52. Lay her a-hold; set her two a point, is driven ashore.



Ant. We are merely cheated of our lives by

drunkards : This wide-chapp'd rascal-would thou mightst

lie drowning The washing of ten tides ! Gon.

He'll be hang'd yet, Though every drop of water swear against it And gape at widest to glut him. [A confused noise within: 'Mercy on us!'We split, we split !'-'Farewell my wife and

children !' 'Farewell, brother!'--'We split, we split, we split!']

Ant. Let 's all sink with the king.
Seb. Let's take leave of him.

[Exeunt Ant. and Seb. Gon. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground, long heath, 70 brown furze, any thing. The wills above be done ! but I would fain die a dry death. [Exeunt.


The island. Before PROSPERO's cell.

Mir. If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffer'd
With those that I saw suffer : a brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O,


did knock Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd. 63. glut, swallow.

heath, which beareth his flowers

alongst the stemmes,' was then so 70. long heath, a variety of called.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »