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The Captain is not only saying this but he is rating the land still lower; he would not even expect to come out of the transaction by paying his five ducats their five; in other words the land would be farmed at a loss. It might very well have been said in just those words; but Shakespeare, as usual, not merely says it but does it in such a way as to strike into the very nature and philosophy of the thing.

The generally accepted interpretation not only misses this but has the Captain say the wrong thing and do it very awkwardly. He is supposed to be saying that he would not undertake to farm it to make a total profit of five ducats; and to be repeating the five simply to impress that amount on Hamlet's mind. Hence the present way of punctuating. But this is to miss the whole sense and spirit of the line.

The line should be printed without the commas before and after five; it is a straightaway English sentence which drives directly at its meaning. Shakespeare does not indulge in such weak emphasis nor halt and boggle a line over a point so futile and insignificant.

THE CHESS PLAYERS

The entrance of the cell opens, and discovers Ferdinand

and Miranda playing at chess.
Mira. Sweet lord, you play me false.
Ferd.

No, my dear'st love.
I would not for the world.

Mira. Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, And I would call it fair play.

(The Tempest V, 1, 170)

Close thought upon the possible significance of Miranda's remark has only led critics and editors deeper into the darkness of an unsolvable passage. The words usually selected for textual notes are, “you should wrangle. Speculation is divided as to whether she is saying that he ought to wrangle and she would call it fair play, or whether she means that if he did wrangle she would call it fair play; and there is indecision as to what she means, exactly, by wrangle. Hudson says, “The sense evidently wanted here is, you might play me false'; but how to get this out of wrangle, is not very apparent.

He then takes up a theory that as wrangle is derived from wrong, and the north of England has the expression wrangously for wrongfully, the word wrangle in this passage is “an explanatory parallelism of Miranda's 'play me false' and means wrong me, - cheat me at the game.”

Johnson, as cited by Furness, says: “I take the sense to be only this; Ferdinand would not, he says, play her false for the world; yes, answers she, I would allow you to do it for something less than the world, for twenty kingdoms, and I wish you well enough to allow you, after a little wrangle, that your play was fair.” Furness pointed out the inconsistency of this:— “It is not at once manifest whether ‘score' here is account, game or the number twenty, but in either case, I think, we should expect that Miranda, in order to show her boundless faith and love, would exaggerate Ferdinand's vaunt and not diminish it as she does, according to Mr. Smith and Dr. Johnson."

While this shows the unsatisfactoriness of taking the passage in such a sense, Mr. Fumess did not offer a solution.

As a matter of fact, the trouble here is not one of this word or that, for they are all perfectly familiar, nor of a particular phrase nor yet any doubtful grammatical construction. What is wanted is an insight of the spirit in which the lovers are speaking throughout. If we ask what Miranda means in this remark, why do we not go further and inquire what she means by saying “Sweet lord, you play me false.” Was Ferdinand cheating? If so, what sort of ideal lover is he, and how has his character changed so utterly of a sudden? If

he was not playing her false, what does she mean by saying he is? Is she just doing this for the pleasure of hearing him deny it and declare his devotion? If she was so politic a coquette here she is certainly not the utterly sincere and frank Miranda we have learned to take pleasure in.

The question should be: What does this whole scene mean? Why did Shakespeare write it at all? What was his object? The solution consists in pointing out the whole dramatic scheme of the author when he invented the scene.

When Shakespeare sat down to write this he had come to the fifth act of “The Tempest"; and almost the end of the act. The characters have all gone through their strange experience; deep lessons have been taught, past wrongs retributed and the fond lover tried; the magic wand has been discarded and Ariel is all done except for a slight remaining service. It is really the end of the play with only a formal conclusion to be observed.

At this point, Shakespeare wished to give us a final glimpse of the happy lovers; and he wanted to do it in some short climactic way which would give us the deepest and most delighted insight of perfect unselfish love. How would he contrive to do it? With only blank paper before him, and in his usual mood of close scrutiny into human nature, he sat and thought it over.

When he was through

he had done it in five lines; and here is what the audience saw:

The entrance to the cave or cell being uncovered, Miranda and Ferdinand were seen within at a game of chess. Pawns, knights, castles, bishops in their respective colors were prominent on the board; and (what an audience would take account of at once) they were mostly in Miranda's possession. Miranda was winning. And now we hear her say:

Sweet lord, you play me false. In other words, Ferdinand was deliberately giving the game away to her. He answers:

No, my dearest love,

I would not for the world. As a matter of fact he was not playing her false. So utter is his unselfishness toward her, so far removed from his mind is any thought but that of giving where she is concerned, that he has actually been helping her to win and taking pleasure every time a move was in her favor.

But a game is of such a nature that it will not go on under such conditions — it will not be a game.

A game is in the nature of a contest, and there must at least be a mimic desire to gain the victory and leave the other person the loser. Miranda, knowing by the promptings of her own soul what the difficulty is, sees that he must, in order to be desirous

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