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Before Prospero's Cell.

Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log.
Fer. There be some sports are painful; but their

Delight in them sets off:7 some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task would be 8


7 There be some sports are painful; but their labour
Delight in them sets off : ]
Molliter austerum studio fallente laborem,

Hor. sat. 2. lib. ü.
The old copy reads: “ and their labour,” &c. Steevens.
We have again the same thought in Macbeth:

“ The labour we delight in physicks pain.” After “ and,” at the same time must be understood. Mr. Pope, unnecessarily reads-But their labour," which has been followed by the subsequent editors.

In like manner in Coriolanus, Act IV. the same change was made by him. “ I am a Roman, and (i. e. and yet) my services are, as you are, against them.” Mr. Pope reads—“I am a Roman, but my services,” &c. Malone.

I prefer Mr. Pope's emendation, which is justified, by the fol. lowing passage in the same speech:

This my mean task would be “ As heavy to me as 'tis odious; but

" The mistress that I serve," &c. It is surely better to change a single word, than to countenance one corruption by another, or suppose that four words, necessary to produce sense, were left to be understood. Steevens.

8 This my mean task would be - ] The metre of this line is defective in the old copy, by the words would be being transferred to the next line. Our author, and his contemporaries, generally use odious, as a trisyllable. Malone. Mr. Malone prints the passage as follows:

This my mean task would be As heavy to me, as odious; but " The word odious, as he observes, is sometimes used as a tri. syllable.-Granted; but then it is always with the penult, short, The metre, therefore, as regulated by him, would still be defective.

By the advice of Dr. Farmer, I have supplied the necessary monosyllable'tis; which completes the measure, without the slightest change of sense. Steevens.

As heavy to me, as 'tis odious; but
The mistress, which I serve, quickens what's dead,
And makes my labours pleasures: O, she is
Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed;
And he's composed of harshness. I must remove
Some thousands of these logs, and pile them up,
Upon a sore injunction: My sweet mistress
Weeps, when she sees me work; and says such baseness
Had ne'er like éxecutor. I forget : 9
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours;
Most busy-less, when I do it.1

Enter MIRANDA ; and PROSPERO, at a distance.

Alas, now! pray you, Work not so hard : I would the lightning had Burnt up those logs, that you are enjoin'd to pile ! Pray, set it down, and rest you: when this burns, "Twill weep for having wearied you: My father Is hard at study; pray now, rest yourself; He's safe for these three hours. Fer.

O most dear mistress,
The sun will set, before I shall discharge
What I must strive to do.

If you'll sit down,
I'll bear your logs the while: Pray, give me that:
I'll carry it to the pile.

No, precious creature:
I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,


should such dishonour undergo, While I sit lazy by.


-I forget :) Perhaps Ferdinand means to say-I forget my task; but that is not surprising, for I am thinking on Miranda, and these sweet thoughts, &c. He may, however mean, that he forgets, or thinks little of the baseness of his employment. Whichsoever be the sense, And, or For, should seem more proper, in the next line, than But. Malone. 1 Most busy-less, when I do it.] The two first folios read:

Most busy lest, when I do it." 'Tis true this reading is corrupt; but the corruption is so very little removed from the truth of the text, that I cannot afford to think well of my own sagacity for having discovered it.

Theobald. Mira.

It would become me
As well as it does you: and I should do it,
With much more ease; for my good will is to it,
And yours against.2

Poor worm! thou art infected;
This visitation shews it.

You look wearily. Fer. No, noble mistress; 'tis fresh morning with me, When you are by at night.3 I do beseech you, (Chiefly, that I might set it in my prayers,) What is your name? Mira.

Miranda :- -O


father, I have broke your hest* to say so! Fer.

Admir'd Miranda, Indeed, the top of admiration ; worth What's dearest to the world! Full many a lady I have ey'd with best regard; and many a time, The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues Have I lik'd several women; never any, With so full soul, but some defect in her Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd, And put it to the foil: But you, O you, So perfect, and so peerless, are created Of every creature's best.5


2 And yours against.] The old copy reads:

« And yours it is against.” By the advice of Dr. Farmer, I have omitted the words, in Italicks, as they are needless to the sense of the passage, and would have rendered the hemistich too long to join with its successor, in making a regular verse. Steevens.

e'tis fresh morning with me,
When you are by at night.]

Tu mihi curarum requies, tu nocte vel atrâ
“ Lumen

Tibul. Lib. iv. El. xiii. Malone. hest —] For behest ; i. e. command. So before, Act I. sc. ï:

“ Refusing her grand hests Steevens. of every creature's best.] Alluding to the picture of Venus by Apelles. Johnson.

Had Shakspeare availed himself of this elegant circumstance, he would scarcely have said, “ of every creature's best,” because such a phrase includes the component parts of the brute creation.





I do not know
One of my sex; no woman's face remember,
Save, from my glass, mine own; nor have I seen
More that I may call men, than you, good friend,
And my dear father: how features are abroad,
I am skill-less of; but, by my modesty,
(The jewel in my dower,) I would not wish
Any companion in the world but you;
Nor can imagination form a shape,
Besides yourself, to like of: But I prattle
Something too wildly, and my father's precepts
Therein forget.

I am, in

my condition, A prince, Miranda: I do think, a king; (I would, not so!) and would no more endure This wooden slavery, than I would suffer? The flesh-fly blow my mouth. 8—Hear my soul speak;


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Had he been thinking on the judicious selection, made by the Grecian Artist, he would rather have expressed his meaning by “every woman's,” or “every beauty's best.” Perhaps, he had only in his thoughts, a fable, related by Sir Philip Sidney, in the third book of his Arcadia. The beasts obtained permission from Jupiter to make themselves a King; and accordingly created one of every creature's best :

“ Full glad they were, and tooke the naked sprite,

“ Which straight the earth yclothed in his clay:
“The lyon heart; the ounce gave active might;
“ The horse good shape ; the sparrow lust to play ;

Nightingale voice, entising songs to say, &c. &c. “ Thus man was made; thus man their lord became." In the 1st book of the Arcadia, a similar praise is also bestowed, by a lover on his mistress:

“ She is her selfe of best things the collection.Steevens. 6 Therein forget.] The old copy, in contempt of metre, reads _" I therein do forget.” Steevens.

than I would suffer, &c.] The old copy reads—Than to suffer. The emendation is Mr. Pope's. Steevens.

The reading of the old copy is right, however ungrammatical. So, in All’s well that ends well: “ No more of this, Helena, go to, no more; lest it be rather thought you affect a sorrow, than to have." Malone.

The defective metre shows that some corruption had happened in the present instance. I receive no deviations from established grammar, on the single authority of the folio. Steevens.

8 The flesh-fly blow my mouth.] Mr. Malone observes, that to blow, in this instance, signifies to “swell and inflame.” But I


The very instant that I saw you, did
My heart fly to your service; there resides,
To make me slave to it; and, for your sake,
Am I this patient log-man.


love me?
Fer. O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound,
And crown what I profess with kind event,
If I speak true; if hollowly, invert
What best is boded me, to mischief! I,
Beyond all limit of what else i’ the world,
Do love, prize, honour you.

I am a fool,
To weep at what I am glad of.1

Fair encounter
Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace
On that, which breeds between them!

Wherefore weep you?
Mira. At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer
What I desire to give; and much less take,
What I shall die to want: But this is trifling;
And all the more it seeks? to hide itself,

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believe he is mistaken. To blow, as it stands in the text, means the act of a fly, by which she lodges eggs in flesh. So, in Chapman's version of the Iliad:

I much fear, lest with the blows of flies
“His brass-inflicted wounds are fill'd—” Steevens.

of what else i' the world,] i. e. of aught else; of whatsoever else there is in the world. I once thought we should read -aught else. But the old copy is right. So, in King Henry VI. P. III:

“ With promise of his sister, and what else,

“To strengthen and support king Edward's place.Malone. 1 I am a fool,

To weep at what I am glad of.] This is one of those touches of nature, that distinguish Shakspeare from all other writers. It was necessary, in support of the character of Miranda, to make her appear unconscious that excess of sorrow and excess of joy find alike their relief from tears; and, as this is the first time, that consummate pleasure had made any near approaches to her heart, she calls such a seeming contradictory expression of it, folly. The same thought occurs in Romeo and Juliet :

“ Back, foolish tears, back, to your native spring!
“ Your tributary drops belong to woe,
“ Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy.” Steevens.

it seeks - ] i. e. my affection seeks. Malone.


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