Imatges de pÓgina

lyke bulles, and cryed uppon their great devil Setebos to help them."'*

To the beautiful simplicity, interesting artlessness, and spotless innocence of Miranda's mind, a new grace is given by the quick susceptibility and eager confidence of her young and tender heart, ignorant and unsuspicious of the perfidies of love. But no circumstance in her state or education would ever lead us to expect her reply to Ferdinand's

“ prime request,
Which I do last pronounce, is, 0, you wonder !

be made, or no ?

No wonder, sir;
But, certainly a maid :" +

and still less are we prepared for her insidiously charitable remarks


poor grand-

mother, when Prospero, speaking of Antonio, directs her to

“ Mark his condition, and the event; then tell me,
If this might be a brother.

I should sin
To think but nobly of my grandmother:
Good wombs have borne good sons.” I

Little remains to be said of the only two remaining characters that make any pretensions to

* Eden's History of Travel.

+ Act I. sc. 2.

I Ibid.

prominency, Trinculo the jester, and Stephano*, the drunken steward. In no remarkable degree do they differ from various other low characters in the scenes of Shakspeare. Their wit, mostly disfigured by grossness, is nevertheless wit, rich, various, and poignant; and distinguished by that

gusto which so strongly marks the author's delight in the delineation of the humour of vulgar minds.

Among the advantages the Tempest is supposed to possess over many of its author's performances, that of regularity has been dwelt on with peculiar earnestness. If not immediately subservient to the main design, the presence of all the characters is naturally accounted for; their sphere of action properly limited to the object immediately in view; and the time consumed in the occurrence of the events represented, is particularly stated not to reach four hours. Of

* There is a character called Stephano in the Merchant of Venice, where the word is always in properly accented on the middle syllable.

“ My friend Stephāno, signify I pray you." In the present play the a is always, rightly, short; and the secret of the correction lies in Shakspeare's acquaintance with Ben Jonson's original Every Man in his Humour, in which there is a Stephano who, it need scarcely be added, is always properly called.

the good effect produced by an attention to the dramatic rules in the two first cases there can be no question; but it will not fail to strike the reader of the Tempest, that one consequence of an adherence to the unity of time, is the appearance of an unnatural precipitation of the story. Admitting the extreme diligence of the parties, and supposing them intent upon the execution of their allotted business with the greatest expedition, the completion of all that the plot embraces is, perhaps, possible in the prescribed time. But amidst action so rapid where is the leisure to be found in which those changes of the mind are effected which precede all human actions, and which, between the conception and the execution of an idea, occupy more time than the twinkling of an eye?


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