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In the first editions of Percy were the following lines,

To doubt her virtue were suspecting heaven,
('Twere little less than infidelity!)

I tremble. Why does terror shake
These firm-strung nerves? But 'twill be ever thus,
When fate prepares us more than mortal bliss,
And gives us only human strength to bear it.

A. III. Which are thus altered in the edition in Mrs. More's Works, 1801.

Away! nor doubt a virtue so consummate.
And yet I tremble. Why does terror shake
These firm-ştrung nerves? But 'twill be ever thus
When heav'n prepares us more than humàn bliss,
And gives us only human strength to bear it,

p. 114,

years, and

D. p. 28. I feel no small degree of apprehension at entering upon this part of my subject, as I shall have to censure that, which hath given pleasure to so many persons from their earliest to which habit hath reconciled them, perhaps, without sufficient, or any consideration.

If it be allowable to represent any of the inhabitants of the invisible world, I am clear that it ought to be only according to those ideas which are founded in truth, and not according to those which are fictitious. Scripture hath certainly revealed to us much upon the subject of Angels, but it appears to me still to be wrong to embody them on the Stage. Mrs. More mentions The Masque of Comus as "an exquisite piece" to read; but I do not exactly understand whether she would allow it to be represented even in an Eutopian Theatre. I must confess I would not, even were the subject better treated than I consider it to be. : For, though the Attendant Spirit is intended to represent one of the ministering Spirits (Heb. i. 14.) or Guardian Angels of Scripture, for The Lady says,

He, the Supreme Good, t whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glist'ring guardian, if need were,
To keep my life and honour unassail'd.

1. 217. Yet the Spirit, at his first entrance, says,

Before the starry threshold of Jove's court
My mansion is, &c.

Among'st the enthron’d Gods on sainted seats.
And then he runs into all the heathen mythology of Neptune,

tributary gods, blue-hair'd deities, Bacchus, Circe, and Comus. His sky robes are of Iris woof. He says to the Brothers,

'Tis not vain or fabulous,
(Though so esteem'd by shallow ignorance)
What the sage poets, taught by th' heavenly Muse,
Storied of old in high immortal verse,
Of dire chimeras and enchanted isles,
And risted rocks, whose entrance leads to Hell ;
For such there be, but unbelief is blind.

1. 520.

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Dr. Johnson says, in praise of Shakspeare, that he
Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new,

Prologue on the opening of Drury-Lane Theatre, 1747. But Shakspeare, in his imagining, has borrowed from heathenism and the superstitions of later times, and decked them with spoils from the Scriptures of Truth,* with which he certainly was very conversant. The Tempest is a very remarkable proof of this.

The general idea of the Tempest, the Shipwreck, and the Island, is taken from the account of St. Paul's Shipwreck on the Island of Melita, mentioned in Acts, ch. xxvii. and xxviii. Prospero says to Miranda, respecting the wreck,

* In the Tragedy of Osway, when he is led away to prison, Dorna says,

All gracious Heaven! upon this land look down,
And, in thy mercy, guard my father's life.
Make him thy care, each minister of good,
Nor suffer sorrow to oppress

his mind.
And, if thy providence will do him right,
Let the chains fall from off his guiltless hands,
Earth! shake his prison to the centre down,
Open the doors, in spite of harden'd man,
And give him back to freedom and to life.

A. I. This is evidently an allusion to the miraculous deliverance of St. Peter from prison, mentioned, Acts xvi. 26. It is presumptuous to expect such an interference now. There is likewise a doubt expressed, whether Providence will do him right, and there is likewise a prayer offered to Angels. The author embraces this opportunity of censuring his own performances, where he sees occasion, equally with those of others,



I have with such provision in mine art
So safely ordered, that there is no soul-
No, not so much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the vessel
Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink. A. I. S. 2.
All, but mariners,
Plung'd in the foaming brine, and quit the vessel.
Not a hair perish’d.

but for the miracle,
I mean our preservation.

A. II. S. 1. • There shall not an hair fall from the head of


you. · Acts xxvii. 34.

We were in all in the ship, two hundred three-score and sixteen souls." v. 37.

In the conversation between Prospero and Miranda, respecting their preservation in the “ rotten carcase of a boat,” in which they had been turn'd adrift, she asks,

How came we ashore ? he answers,
By Providence divine.

“The centurion-commanded that they which could swim, should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship: and so it came to pass, that they all escaped safe to land.” (43, 44.)

The Sacred Historian proceeds to inform us, that “the bar-
barous people shewed us no little kindness.—And “when Paul had
gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came
a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the
barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said
among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though
he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And
he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit,
they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead
suddenly : but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm
come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was
& god." (xxviii. 2–6.)
Shakspeare says of the people of his island,

though they are of monstrous shape,
Their manners are more gentle kind, than of
Our human generation you shall find
Many, nay, almost any.

A, III, S. 3.

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He has preserved also the idea of gathering sticks :

Caliban. I'll bear him no more sticks. A. II. S. 2.
And Ferdinand, A. III. S. 1. is introduced bearing a log.

Caliban talks of adders, A. II. S. 2. and says of Trinculo and Stephano, “These be fine things, an if they be not sprights. That's a brave god.Miranda also says of Ferdinand,

What is't? a Spirit?

A thing divine.

A. I. S. 2. Prospero is represented as an old man, with a long beard, wear. ing a mantle, which is endowed with supernatural virtue,

Lend thy hand,
And pluck my magic garment from me.-So;

[Lays down his mantle.
Lye there my art.

A. I. S. 2. which, I suppose, is borrowed from Elijah's. 1 Kings six. and 2 Kings ii. He has also a rod, (A. I. S. 2. A. V. $. 1.) with which he

performs miracles, and controls the waters, which is undoubtedly taken from that of Moses; for, besides the general idea, there are passages, which incontestibly shew, that he had the history of the Israelites in the wilderness, in his mind; namely, that of the miraculous preservation of their garments (see Deut. viii. 4. xxix, 5. Nehemiah ix. 21.) which is mentioned no less than four times.

On their sustaining garments not a blemish,
But fresher than before.

A. I. S, 2. Though this island seems to be desert, -uninhabitable, and almost inaccessible, Yet-it must needs be of subtile, tender, and delicate temperance. - Here is every thing advantageous to life. But the rarity of it is (which is, indeed, almost beyond credit)—That our garments, being, as they were, drench'd in the sea, hold notwithstanding their fressness and glosses ; being rather new. dy'd, than stain'd with salt water. A. II. S. J.

Methinks our garments are now as fresh as when we put them on in Africk, &c. Ditto.

Sir, we were talking, that our garments seem now as fresh, as when, &c. Ditto.

The name of Ariel is taken from Isaiah xxix. ). and Ezra viii. 16,

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This Spirit had formerly been servant to the witch Sycorax, and as Prospero says to bim, on account of his being

a spirit too delicate
To act her, earthly and abhorred commands,
Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee
By help of her more potent ministers,
And, in her most unmitigable rage,
Into a cloven pine; within which rift
Imprison'd thou didst painfully remain
A dozen

years ;
within which


she died,
And left thee there ; where thou did'st vent thy groans
As fast as mill-wheels strike:-thy groans
Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts
Of ever-angry bears ; it was a torment
To lay upon the damn’d, which Sycorax
Could not again undo; it was mine art,
When I arriv'd, and heard thee, that made gape
The pine and let thee out.

A. I. S. 2, Of the same race with this tricksy Spirit are the Fairies of the MIDSUMMER Night's DREAM. But I find even an adversary of the Stage partly defending these; I say partly, because, though, in one sentence, he seems to defend, in another he appears 'to condemn them. The writer to which I allude, is the Reviewer of The Family Shukspeare, in The Christian Observer for May 1808, vol. vii. p. 328. He says,

“ Had the creative fancy of the poets merely summoned into being, Elves, Fairies, and other denizens of their ideal world, not the most marble-hearted moralist would have interdicted the perusal of the Drama. Oberon, Titania, Cobweb, and Peaseblossom, as far as our recollection goes, are very

innoxious characters.”

The other passage is at p. 333 of the same volume :

“ It is one of the triumphs of Christianity, when it has persuaded such as combine with a religious profession, a high taste for the literature of poetry, romance, and the drama, to renounce their once cherished familiarity with the auxiliaries of vice. The self-denial here called into action can be estimated by those, and only by those, who have such a taste. But it is the practical character of the religion we endeavour to inculcate, to exercise a sacred violence on the mind, by bringing all its faculties under the controul of a new and

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