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• Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabrick of th' air-visions < The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, « The solemn temples, the great globe it self,
Yea, all, which it inherit, shall diffolve; • And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
« Leave He had just before said, that the Spirits were melted into Air, into thin Air. This furnishes him with the fine fimilitude of Air Vifions, which generally appearing, as Shakespear in another place says, like
A tower'd Citidel, a pendant Rock,
A forked Mountain, or blue Promontory, he very properly calls baseless Fabrics, which doth not fo well agree with spirits in a human form. By this emendation the tautology, taken notice of above, is avoided : and the Poet, with great perspicuity, and physical exa&tness, compares the Globe, and all inanimate things upon it, to Air Vifions ; and men and animals in the wordsyea all which it inherit- to the vision of Spirits, which the Speaker had just before presented to them. Further, that the Comparison was indeed to Air Vifons is still evident from the words,
leave not a Rack behind, which can refer only to Air Vifions. For Rack is the veftige of an embodied cloud, which hath been broken and diffipated by the Winds But lastly, to put the emendation out of all reasonable question, we have this very Similitude of Air Visions again in Antony and Cleopatra, with this difference only, that it is there applied to the transient glory of one man, and here, to that of human things in general.
Anthony and Cleopatra.
thou'f seen these figns,
Yet cannot hold this visible Shape, &c.
69 Leave not a rack behind! we are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life < Is rounded with a neep.'- Sir, I am vext; Bear with my weakness, my old brain is troubled : Be not disturb’d with my infirmity ; If thou be pleas’d, retire into my cell, And there repose: a turn or two I'll walk, To still my beating mind, Fer, Mira. We wish your peace.
[Exe. Fer, and Mir.
Pro. reflects its light upon the opposite Clouds; and as it gives a vast force to the Similitude, which infinuates that human glory is as certainly succeeded by Misery, as these gaudy Appearances by a dark cloudy Night. It is observable, that the time at which Propero uses this Similitude of Air Vifions, is the Evening.
9 Leave not a Rack behind!--) The Oxford Editor not knowing what Mariners call the Rack of a Cloud, namely the Vestige of it, after it has been broken and driven by the wind, alters it to Track.
Sir, I am vext, Bear with my weakness, my old brain is troubled:] 6. Prospero here discovers a great emotion of anger on his sudden recollection of Caliban's plot. This appears from the admirable reflexion he makes on the insignificancy of human things. For thinking men are never under greater depression of mind than when they moralize in this manner: and yet, if we turn to the occasion of his disorder, it does not appear, as first view, to be a thing capable of moving one in Prospero's circumstances. The Plot of a contemptible Savage and two drunken Sailors, all of whom he had absolutely in his power. There was then no apprehension of danger. But if we look more nearly into the case, we shall have reason to admire our Author's wonderful knowledge of nature. There was something in it with which great minds are most deeply affected, and that is the Sense of Ingratitude. He recalled to mind the Obligations this Caliban lay under for the instructions he had given him, and the conveniencies of life he had taught him to ule. But these reflexions on Caliban's Ingratitude would naturally recal to mind his brother's ; And then these two working together were very capable of producing all the diforder of passion here represented. —That these two, who had received, at his hands, the two best Gifts mortals are capable of, when rightly employed, Regal power and the Use of reason ; that these, in return, should conspire against the life of the Donor, would surely afflict a generous mind to its utmost bearing.
Pro. Come with a thought ;-I thank you :-
Ari. Thy thoughts I cleave to; what's thy pleasure?
Ari. Ay, my commander ; when I presented Ceres,
Pro. Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets ?
Ari. I told you, Sir, they were red hot with drinking;
Pro. This was well done, my bird ;
For fale to catch these Thieves) If it be asked what neceffity there was for this apparatus, I answer that it was the superstitious fancy of the people, in our Author's time, that Witches, Conjurors, &c. had no power over those against whom they would employ their Charms, till they had got them at this advantage, committing some sin or other, as here of theft.
Humanely taken, all, all loft, quite loft;
[Prospero remains invisible. S C Ε Ν Ε V. Enter Ariel loaden with glistering apparel, &c. Enter
Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo, all wet. Cal. Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole
may not Hear a foot fall; we now are near his cell.
Ste. Monster, your Fairy, which you say is a harmless Fairy, has done little better than plaid 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 wer't but a loft monster.
Cal. Good my lord, give me thy favour ftill: Be patient, for the prize, I'll bring thee to, Shall hood-wink this mischance; therefore, speak softly: All's husht as midnight yet.
Trin. “ Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,
Ste. “ There is not only disgrace and dishonour in 66 that, monster, but an infinite lofs.
Trin. “ That's more to me than my wetting: yet " this is your harmless Fairy, monster. Ste. “ I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o'er
labour.” Cal. Pr’ythee, my King, be quiet : feest thou here, This is the mouth oth' cell; no noise, and enter; Do that good mischief, which may make this Island Thine own for ever ; and I, thy Caliban, For ay thy foot-licker.
Ste. Give me thy hand: I do begin to have bloody thoughts.
[phano! Trin. 3 O King Stephano! O Peer! O worthy SteLook, what a wardrobe here is for thee!
Cal. Let it alone, thou fool, it is but trash.
Trin. Oh, oh, monster; we know what belongs to a frippery ;-0, King Stephano!
Ste. Put off that gown, Trinculo; by this hand, l’!! have that gown. Trin. Thy grace shall have it.
[mean, Çal. The dropsie drown this fool! what do you To doat thus on such luggage ? let's along, And do the murder first: if he awake, From toe to crown he'll fill our skins with pinches; Make us strange stuff.
Şte. Be you quiet, monster. Mistress line, is not this my jerkin? now is the jerkin under the line: now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair, and prove a bald jerkin.
Trin. Do, do; we steal by line and level, and't like your Grace.
Sté. “ I thank thee for that jest, here's a garment “ for't : wit shall not go unrewarded, while I am “ King of this country : steal by line and level, is an “ excellent pass of pate; there's another garment 6 for't.
Trin. Monster, come, put some lime upon your fingers, and away with the rest.
Cal. I will have none on't ; we shall lose our time, And all be turn’d to barnacles, or apes With foreheads villanous low.
3 Trin. King Stephano! O Peer! O worthy Stephano !
Look, what a wardrobe here is for thee! ] The Humour of these lines consists in their being an allusion to an old celebrated Ballad, which begins thus, King Stephen was a worthy Peer and celebrates that King's parsimony with regard to his wardThere are two Stanzas of this ballad in Othello.