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The preceding Index is compiled on the same plan as that subu joined to Doddley's Collection of Old Plays published in the year 2780. REED.
* TEMPEST.) The Tempejt and The Midsummer Night's Dream are the noblest efforts of that sublime and amazing imagination peculiar to Shakspeare, which foars 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 Sca "Voyage and The Faithful Shepherdess. But when he presumes to break a lance with Shakspeare , and write in emulation of him, as he does in The False One , which is the rival of Antony and Cleopatra , he is not so successful. After him, Sir John Suckling and Milton catched the brightest fire of their imagination from these two plays; which shines fantastically indeed in The Goblins, but much more nobly and ferenely in The Mask at Ludlow Cafle.
WARBURTON. No one has' hitherto been lucky enough to discover the romance on which Shakspeare may be supposed to have founded this play, the beauties of which could not secure it from the criticism of Ben Jonson, whose malignity appears to have been more than equal to his wit. In the induction to Bartholomew Fair, he fays : « If there benever a servant monster " in the fair, who can help it, he says, nor a nest of 56 antiques ? He is loth to make nature afraid in his plays, o like those that beget Tales , Tempests, and such like 06 drolleries. STEEVENS.
I was informed by the late Mr., Collins of Chichester, that Shakspeare's Tempejt, for which no origin is yet assigned, was formed on a romance called Aurelio and Isabella , printed in Italian, Spanish, French, and English, in 1588. But though this information has not proved true on examination, an useful conclusion may be drawn from it, that Shakspeare's story is fome-where to be found in an Italian novel, at least, that the story preceded Shakspeare. Mr. Collins had searched this subject with no less fidelity than judgement and industry: but his memory failing in his last calamitous indisposition, he probably gave me the name of one novel for another. I remember he added a circumstance, which may lead to a discovery, that the principal character of the romance , answering to Shakspeare's Prospero , was a chemical negromancer, who had bound a spirit like Ariel to obey his call, and perform his services. It was a common pretence of dealers in the occult fciences to have a demon at command.
At least Aurelio, or Orelio, was probably one of the names of this romance, the production and multiplicity of gold being the grand object of alchemy. Taken at large, the magical part of the Tempestis founded on that sort of philosophy which was pradiled by John Dee and his associates, and has been called the Rosicrucian. Tlie name Ariel came from the Talmudistick mysteries with which the learned Jews had infected this Science.
T. WARTON. Mt. Theobald tells us, that The Tempest must have been written after 1609, because the Bermuda islands, which are mentioned in it, were unknown to the English until that year ; but this is a mistake. He might have seen in Hackluyt; 1600, folio, a defcription of Bermuda, by Henry May, who was shipwrecked there in 1593.
It was however one of our author's last works. In 1598 he played a part in the original Every Man in his Humour. Two of the characters are Prospero and Stephano. Here Ben Jonfon taught him the pronunciation of the latter word, which is always right in The Tempeft.
66 Is not this Stephảno , my drunken butler?,, And always wrong in his earlier play, The Merchant of Venice, which had been on the stage at least two or three years before its publication in 1600.
My friend Stephāno , signify I pray you, » &c. -- So little did Mr. Capell know of his author, when he idly fupposed his school literature might perhaps have been lost by the dissipation of youth , or the busy scene of public life
FARMER. This play must have been written before 1614, when Jonson sneers at it in his Bartholomew Fair. In the latter plays of Shakspeare, he has lefs of pun and quibble than in his early ones.
In The Merchant of Venice, he expressly declares against them. This perhaps might be one criterion to discover the dates of his plays.
BLACKSTONE. See Mr. Malone's attempt to ascertain the order of Shakspeare's plays, and a Note on The cloud-capt Towers, &c. Ad, IV.
Alonso, king of Naples.
Other Spirits attending on Prospero.
an uninhabited island.
This enumeration of persons is taken from the folio 1623.