Abbildungen der Seite

have so ordered it, that no person in the ship shall receive any hurt. What I have done has been in care of you, my dear child. You are ignorant who you are, or where you came from, and you know no more of me, but that I am your father, and live in this poor cave. Can you remember a time before you came to this cell? I think you cannot, for you were not then three years of age."



Certainly I can, sir," replied Miranda. By what?" asked Prospero; "by any other house or person? Tell me what you can remember, my child."

Miranda said, "It seems to me like the recollection of a dream. But had I not once four or five women who attended upon me?" Prospero answered, "You had, and more. How is it that this still lives in your mind? Do you remember how you came here?"

"No, sir," said Miranda, "I remember nothing more.'

[ocr errors]

"Twelve years ago, Miranda," continued Prospero, "I was duke of Milan, and you were a princess, and my only heir. I had a younger brother, whose name was Antonio, to whom I trusted everything; and as I was

fond of retirement and deep study, I commonly left the management of my state affairs to your uncle, my false brother (for so indeed he proved). İ, neglecting all worldly ends, buried among my books, did dedicate my whole time to the bettering of my mind. My brother Antonio, being thus in possession of my power, began to think himself the duke indeed. The opportunity I gave him of making himself popular among my subjects awakened in his bad nature a proud ambition to deprive me of my dukedom: this he soon effected with the aid of the king of Naples, a powerful prince, who was my enemy."


Wherefore," said Miranda, "did they not that hour destroy us?"


My child," answered her father, "they durst not, so dear was the love that my people bore me. Antonio carried us on board a ship, and when we were some leagues out at sea, he forced us into a small boat, without either tackle, sail, or mast: there he left us, as he thought, to perish."

"O my father," said Miranda, "what a trouble I must have been to you then!' "No, my love," said Prospero, "you were

a little cherub that did preserve me. Your innocent smiles made me to bear up against my misfortunes. Our food lasted till we

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

landed on this desert island, since when my chief delight has been in teaching you, Miranda, and well have you profited by my instructions."

"How came we ashore?" asked Miranda. "We were saved," said Prospero,


By Providence divine. Some food we had, and some fresh water,


A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,

Out of his charity, who being then appointed
Master of this design, did give us, with
Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries,
Which since have steaded much; so, of
his gentleness,

Knowing I loved my books, he furnished me,
From mine own library, with volumes that
I prize above
my dukedom.


Would I might

But ever see that man!


Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow.
Here in this island we arrived; and here
Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more

Than other princes can, that have more


For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful. Mir. Heavens thank you for 't! And now, I pray you, sir,—

For still 'tis beating in my mind,—your


For raising this sea-storm?


Know thus far forth: By accident most strange, bountiful For


Now my dear lady—hath mine enemies
Brought to this shore."

'Know," said her father, "that by means of this storm, my enemies, the king of Naples and my cruel brother, are cast upon this



« ZurückWeiter »