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Were I but where 'tis spoken.

How! the best?

PRO. What wert thou, if the king of Naples heard thee?

FER. A single thing, as I am now, that wonders To hear thee speak of Naples: He does hear me; And, that he does, I weep: myself am Naples; Who with mine eyes, ne'er since at ebb, beheld The king my father wreck'd.

MIRA.

Alack, for mercy!

FER. Yes, faith, and all his lords; the duke of

Milan,

And his brave son, being twain.'

PRO.

The duke of Milan,

what she said; which, if he had himself made the inquiry, would not be very reasonable to suppose.

It appears from the alteration of this play by Dryden and Sir W. D'Avenant, that they considered the present passage in this light: Fair, excellence,

66

"If, as your form declares, you are divine,

"Be pleas'd to instruct me, how you will be worship'd; "So bright a beauty cannot sure belong

"To human kind."

In a subsequent scene we have again the same inquiry:
Alon. "Is she the goddess that hath sever'd us,

"And brought us thus together?"

Fer. "Sir, she's mortal."

Our author might have remembered Lodge's description of Fawnia, the Perdita of his Winter's Tale: "Yet he scarce knew her, for she had attired herself in rich apparel, which so increased her beauty, that she resembled rather an angel than a creature." Dorastus and Fawnia, 1592. MALONE.

The question, (I use the words of Mr. M. Mason,) is "whether our readers will adopt a natural and simple expression which requires no comment, or one which the ingenuity of many commentators has but imperfectly supported." STEEVENS.

And his brave son, being twain.] This is a slight forgetfulness. Nobody was lost in the wreck, yet we find no such character as the son of the duke of Milan. THEOBALD.

And his more braver daughter, could control thee," If now 'twere fit to do't:-At the first sight

[Aside.

They have chang'd eyes:-Delicate Ariel,
I'll set thee free for this!-A word, good sir;
I fear, you have done yourself some wrong:3 a
word.

MIRA. Why speaks my father so ungently? This Is the third man that e'er I saw; the first

That e'er I sigh'd for: pity move my father
To be inclin'd my way!

FER.

O, if a virgin,

And your affection not gone forth, I'll make you The queen of Naples.

PRO. Soft, sir; one word more.They are both in either's powers: but this swift business

I must uneasy make, lest too light winning [Aside. Make the prize light.-One word more; I charge

thee,

That thou attend me: thou dost here usurp The name thou ow'st not; and hast put thyself Upon this island, as a spy, to win it

From me, the lord on't.

FER.

No, as I am a man.

MIRA. There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple:

thee.

3

control thee,] Confute thee, unanswerably contradict JOHNSON.

• I fear, you have done yourself some wrong:] i. e. I fear that, in asserting yourself to be King of Naples, you have uttered a falsehood, which is below your character, and, consequently, injurious to your honour. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor"This is not well, master Ford, this wrongs you." STEEVENS.

If the ill spirit have so fair an house,
Good things will strive to dwell with't.

PRO. Follow me.

[To FERD. Speak not you for him; he's a traitor.-Come. I'll manacle thy neck and feet together:

Sea-water shalt thou drink, thy food shall be
The fresh-brook muscles, wither'd roots, and husks
Wherein the acorn cradled: Follow.

FER.

I will resist such entertainment, till
Mine enemy has more power.

MIRA.

No;

[He draws.

O dear father,
Make not too rash a trial of him, for
He's gentle, and not fearful."

He's gentle, and not fearful.] Fearful signifies both terrible and timorous. In this place it may mean timorous. She tells her father, that as he is gentle, rough usage is unnecessary; and as he is brave, it may be dangerous.

Fearful, however, may signify formidable, as in K. Henry IV: "A mighty and a fearful head they are."

and then the meaning of the passage is obvious. STEevens. "Do not rashly determine to treat him with severity, he is mild and harmless, and not in the least terrible or dangerous." RITSON.

A late novellist has the following remark on this passage:"How have your commentators been puzzled, by the following expression in The Tempest-He's gentle, and not fearful; as if it was a paralogism to say that being gentle, he must of course be courageous: but the truth is, one of the original meanings, if not the sole meaning, of that word was, noble, high minded: and to this day a Scotch woman in the situation of the young lady in The Tempest, would express herself nearly in the same terms. -Don't provoke him; for being gentle, that is, high spirited, he won't tamely bear an insult. Spenser, in the very first stanza of his Fairy Queen, says:

"A gentle knight was pricking on the plain," which knight, far from being tame and fearful, was so stout that Nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad." Smollett's Humphrey Clinker, Vol. II. p. 182.

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