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ed as an object of laudable curiosity. Nothing history. The industry of his illustrators for the could be more highly gratifying, than an account of the early studies of this wonderful man, the progress of his pen, his moral and social qualities, his friendships, his failings, and whatever else constitutes personal history. But on all these topics his contemporaries, and his immediate successors, have been equally silent; and if aught can hereafter be discovered, it must be by exploring sources which have hitherto escaped the anxious researches of those who have devoted their whole lives, and their most vigorous talents, to revive his memory, and illustrate his writings.
It is equally unfortunate, that we know as little of the progress of his writings, as of his personal
last forty years, has been such as probably never was surpassed in the annals of literary investigation; yet so far are we from information of the conclusive or satisfactory kind, that even the order in which his plays were written rests principally on conjecture, and of some of the plays usually printed among his works, it is not yet determined whether he wrote the whole, or any part. We are, however, indebted to the labours of his commentators, not only for much light thrown upon his obscurities, but for a text purified from the gross blunders of preceding transcribers and editors: and it is almost unnecessary to add, that the text of the following volumes is that of the last corrected edition of Johnson and Steevens.
Boats. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts; yare, yare: take in the top-sail: tend to the master's whistle.-Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough!
Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand,
fate, to his hanging! make the rope of his destiny
Boats. Down with the top-mast; yare; lower, lower; bring her to try with main course. [A cry within.] A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office.
Re-enter Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo. Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
Seb. A pox o' your throat! you bawling, blasphemous, uncharitable dog!
Boats. Work you, then.
Ant. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noise-maker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.
Gon. I'll warrant him from drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as
Alon. Good boatswain, have care. Where's leaky as an unstaunched3 wench. the master? Play the men.
Boats. I pray now, keep below.
Ant. Where is the master, boatswain?
Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What care these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence: trouble us not.
Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold; set her two courses; off to sea again, lay her off.
Enter Mariners, wet.
Mar. All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!
Boats. What, must our mouths be cold?
Seb. I am out of patience.
Ant. We are merely4 cheated of our lives by
This wide-chapped rascal;-'Would, thou might'st
Boats. None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor; if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present,2 we will not hand a rope more; use your authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap.-Cheerly, good hearts.-Out of our way, I say. [Exit. Gon. I have great comfort from this fellow: me-[A confused noise within.] Mercy on us!-We thinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; his split, we split !-Farewell, my wife and children!complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good Farewell, brother!-We split, we split, we split.
(1) Readily. (2) Present instant.
(3) Incontinent. (4) Absolutely.