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And left me to a bootless inquisition ;
Pro. The hour's now come.
Mira. Certainly, Sir, I can.
Pro. By what? by any other house, or person?
Mira. 'Tis far off ;
Had I not
Mira. But that I do not.
Thy father was the Duke of Milan, and
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.
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,
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
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,
Who having, Unto truth, by telling OFT,
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;
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,
Pro. Now the condition :
Mira. Alack, for pity!
Pro. Hear a little further,
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
Pro. Well demanded, wench;
Mira. Alack ! what trouble
Pro. O! a cherubim
(When I have mock'd the sea with drops full-falt ;
Mira. How came we a-shore ?
Pro. By providence divine.
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.