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And left me to a bootless inquisition ;
Concluding, Stay; not yet.

Pro. The hour's now come.
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear ;
Obey, and be attentive. Canst thou remember
A time, before we came unto this cell ?
I do not think, thou canst ; for then thou wast not
Out three years old.

Mira. Certainly, Sir, I can.

Pro. By what? by any other house, or person?
Of any thing the image tell me, that
Hath kept in thy remembrance.

Mira. 'Tis far off ;
And rather like a dream, than an assurance
That my remembrance warrants.

Had I not
Four, or five, women once, that tended me?
· Pro. Thou hadft, and more, Miranda: but how is it,
That this lives in thy mind? what seest thou else
In the dark back-ward and abysme of time?
If thou remember'st aught, ere thou cam’st here;
How thou cam'ft here, thou may'st.

Mira. But that I do not.
Pro. 'Tis twelve years since, Miranda ; twelve

years since,

Thy father was the Duke of Milan, and
A Prince of Pow'r.

Mira. Sir, are not you my father?

Pro. Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and She said, thou wast my daughter; and thy father Was Duke of Milan, and his only heir A Princess, no worse iffu'd.

Mira. O the heav'ns ! What foul play had we, that we came from thence ? Or blessed was’t, we did ?

Pro. Both, both, my girl : By foul play (as thou say'st) were we heav'd thence; But blessedly help'd hither.

Mira. O, my heart bleeds To think o'th teene that I have turn'd you to, Which is from my remembrance. Please you, farther.

Pro. My brother, and thy uncle, callid Anthonio---I pray

thee, mark me; (that a brother should Be so perfidious !) he whom next thy self Of all the world I lov’d, and to him put The manage of my state ; (as, at that time, Through all the signories it was the first; And Prospero the prime Duke, being so reputed In dignity ; and for the liberal arts, Without a parallel ; those being all my study:) The government I cast upon my brother, And to my state grew stranger; being transported, And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle (Dost thou attend me?)

Mira. Sir, most heedfully.

Pro. Being once perfected how to grant suits, How to deny them ; whom t'advance, and whom 5 To trash for over-topping ; new-created The creatures, that were mine; I say, or chang'd 'em, Or else new form'd 'em ; having both the key Of officer and office, fet all hearts i'th' ftate To what tune pleas'd his ear; that now he was The ivy, which had hid my princely trunk, [not. And fuckt my verdure out on't. - Thou attend'it

Mira. Good Sir, I do.

Pro. I pray thee, mark me then.
I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
To closeness, and the bettering of my mind,
With that which, but by being so retired,
O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother

5 To trash ] signifies to cut away the trash or superfluities ; as, to top, signifies, to cut off the top. The Oxford Editor alters it to plaß, not considering that to plash fignifies to bind and complicate branches together, and so is only used to signify the dressing and pleating of an Hedge.


Awak'd an evil nature ; and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
A falfhood in its contrary as great
As my trust was ; which had, indeed, no limit,
A confidence sans bound. - He being thus lorded,
Not only with what my Revenue yielded,
But what my power might else exact“; like one,
Who having, unto truth, by telling oft,
Made such a sinner of his memory,
To credit his own lie, he did believe
He was, indeed, the Duke; from substitution,
And executing th’outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative. Hence his ambition growing-
Doft thou hear?

Mira. Your tale, Sir, would cure deafness.

Pro. To have no screen between this part he plaid, And him he plaid it for, he needs will be Absolute Milan. Me, poor man!—my library Was Dukedom large enough; of temporal royalties He thinks me now incapable: confederates (So dry he was for sway) wi' th'King of Naples

Who having into truth by telling of it,
Made such a Sinner of his memory,

To credit his own lie.] The corrupted reading of the Second line has rendered this beautiful Similitude quite unintelligible. For what is [having into truth]? or what doth [it] refer to ? not to (truth), because if he told truth he could never credit a lie. And yet there is no other correlative to which [it] can belong.

I read and point it thus,

like one

like one

Who having, Unto truth, by telling OFT,
Made such a Sinner of his memory,

To credit his own lie, i.e. by often repeating the same Story, made his memory such a Sinner unto truth as to give credit to his own lie. A miserable delusion to which Story-tellers are frequently subje&t. The Oxford Editor having, by this Correction, been let into the Sense of the Passage, gives us this Sense in his own Words,

Who loving an untruth, and telling't oft,


To give him annual tribute, do him homage;
Subject his coronet to his crown; and bend
The Dukedom, yet unbow'd, (alas, poor Milan!)
To most ignoble stooping.

Mira. O the heav'ns!

Pro. Mark his condition, and th'event; then tell me, If this might be a Brother?

Mira. I should fin,
To think but nobly of my grand-mother ;
7 Good wombs have bore bad fons.

Pro. Now the condition :
This King of Naples, being an enemy
To me inveterate, hearks my brother's suit;
Which was, that he in lieu o’th' premises,
Of homage, and I know not how much tribute,
Should presently extirpate me and mine
Out of the Dukedom; and confer fair Milan,
With all the honours, on my brother. Whereon
A treacherous army levy’d, one mid-night
Fated to th' purpose, did Anthonio open
The gates of Milan; and, i'th' dead of darkness,
The ministers for the purpose hurry'd thence
Me, and thy crying felf.

Mira. Alack, for pity!
I, not remembring how I cry'd out then,
Will cry it o'er again ; it is a hint,
That wrings mine eyes to't.

Pro. Hear a little further,
And then I'll bring thee to the present business,
Which now's upon's; without the which this story
Were most impertinent.

7 Good wombs have bore bad fons ] Mr. Theobald would give these words to Prospero, because Miranda, bred up in the defart

Island from her infancy, could not be suppos’d to be furnished with such an observation from life. An idle reason. Prospero tells us, he had educated her more carefully than usual. Would he then suffer her to be ignorant of the most common cases in human life? Yet the Oxford Editor follows Mr. Theobald,


Mira. Why did they not
That hour destroy us?

Pro. Well demanded, wench;
My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not
(So dear the love my people bore me ;) set
A mark fo bloody on the business; but
With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurry'd us aboard a bark;
Bore us some leagues to Sea; where they prepar'd
A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, fail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it: there they hoist us
To cry to th' sea, that roar'd to us; to figh
To th’ winds, whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.

Mira. Alack ! what trouble
Was I then to you?

Pro. O! a cherubim
Thou wast, that did preserve me: Thou didst smile,
Infused with a fortitude from heav'n,

(When I have mock'd the sea with drops full-falt ;
Under my burthen groan'd ;) which rais’d in me
An undergoing stomach, to bear up
Against what should ensue.

Mira. How came we a-shore ?

Pro. By providence divine.
Some food we had, and some fresh water, that
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,
Out of his charity (being then appointed
Master of this design) did give us, with
Rich garments, linnens, ftuffs, and neceffaries,
Which since have steeded much. So of his gentleness,

8 When I have DECK'D the sea ) i. e. honour'd. But this is a poor thought. The Oxford Editor reads brack'd, which is ftill poorer. I imagine that Shakespear wrote mock'), i.e. lent the Sea this trilling addition of salt-water: For when any thing is given or added, the effect of which is not felt or perceived, it was in the language of that time properly called mocking.



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