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And ye that on the sands with printless foot (41)
The charm dissolves apace; And as the morning steals upon the night Melting the darkness, so their rising senses
(41) With printless foot, &c] So Milton in his Masque,
Whilst from off the waters fleet,
Thus I set my printless feet. St.
(42) Weak masters tbo'ye be.] The meaning of this passage may be—" Though you are but inserior masters of these supernatural powers—though you possess them but in a low degree." Spenser uses the fame kind of expression, B.-3. Cant. 8. St. 4..
Where she [the witch] was wont her sprights to en-
The masters of her art. There was she fain
Begin to chase the ign'rant fumes, that mantle
Where the bee fucks, there lurk I;
Jn a cowslip's bell I lie,
On the bat's back I do fly
After fun-set (43) merrily;
Alon. Irreparable is the loss; and patience Says, it is past her cure.
Prof. I rather think You have not sought her help; of whose soft grace, For the like loss I have her sovereign aid, And rest myself content.
(43) Sun-fet.] The whole of this beautiful song shews this to be the true reading; Ariel is speaking of the pleasures which he enjoys from his liberty, the plice of his repose for the day, from the heat and fatigue of the sun,— when he rests among the blossoms—and at the time, when fairies and aerial sprits are and ever have been supposed to enjoy their revels—after sunset he gaily travels about on the hack oj the hat.
Though the Tempest has much of the novel in it, no one has yet been able to meet with any such novel as can
be \>e supposed to have furnished S. with materials for writing this play": the fable of which must therefore pass entirely for his own production, till the contrary can be made appear bv any future discovery. One of the poet's editors, after observing that the persons of the drama are all Italians, and the unities all regularly observed in it (a custom likewise of the Italians,) concludes his note with
the mention of two of their plays // Negromante di
L. ARIOSTO, and II Negromante Palliato di Gio. Angela PETRUCCI; one or other of which, he seems to think, may have given rise to the Tempest : but he is mistaken inboth of them, and the last must needs be out of the question, . being later than S's time. CapelL .
It is observed of the Tempest, says J., that its plan is regular; and that S. has made it instrumental to the production of many characters, diversisied with boundless invention, and preserved with profound skill in nature, extensive knowledge of opinions, and accurate observation of life. In a single drama are here exhibited princes, courtiers, and sailors, all speaking in their real characters. There is the agency of airy spirits, and of an earthly goblin: the operations of magic, the tumults of a storm, the adventures of a desart island, the native effusion of un-taught afsection, the punishment of guilt, and the sinal happiness of the pair for whom cur passions and reason are equally interested. W. observes that the two plays the Tempest and the Midsummer Night's Dream, are the noblest efforts of that sublime and amazing imagination of S. which soar s above the bounds of nature without forsaking sense, or more properly, carries nature along with him beyond her established limits. Fletcher seems particularly to have admired these two plays, and hath wrote two in imitation of them, The Sea Voyage and The Faithful Shepherdess; but when he presumes to break a lance with J. and write in emulation of him, as he does in The False One, which is the rival of Anthony arid Cleopatra, he is not so successful. After him, Sir John Suckling and Milton catched the brightest sire of their imagination from theie two plays; which shines fantastically in The Goblins, but much more nobly and serenely in The Masque at Ludlow Castle.
D f The
The reader will sind in the Adventurer, No. 93 and 97* an ingenious criticism on The Tempest. "A play," says Mrs. Montague, " which alone will prove our author to have had a sertile, a sublime, and original genius." See the SpeUator, Vol. VI. No. 4.19.
Twelfth ^^^^^^^^^^^ XII.
Twelfth Night, or What you -will.
ACT I. SCENE I.
IF music be the food os lore, play on;
(i) Give me, &c] i. e, " Music being the food of love, let me have excess of it, that surfeiting therewith, the appetites which called for that food, may sicken and entirely cease." The reader will do well to observe the exact and beautiful propriety of the simile in the last lines, Milton, as Bp. Newton justly observes, undoubtedly took, the following sine passage from this of S.
Now gentle gales
Though, he tells us, Thyer is of opinion, that Milton rather alluded to the following lines of Ariosto's description of paradise, where speaking of the dolce aura, he says,
E quella a i fiori, a ipomi, e a la ,uerzural
Orl. Fur. L. 34. s. 5T,
"The two sirst of these lines express the air's stealing of the native perfumes, and the two latter, that -uernaTSelight which they give the mind. Besides, it may be further observed, that this expression of the air's stealing and difperf