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The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such prevision' in mine art
So safely order'd, 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. Sit
For thou must now know farther.
You have often
Begun to tell me what I am; but stopp'd,
And left me to a bootless inquisition,
Concluding, “Stay, not yet."
The hour's now come,
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
Obey, and be attentive. Canst thou remember
A time before we came unto this cell ? [Sits down.*
I do not think thou canst, for then thou wast not
Out three years old.
Certainly, sir, I can.
Pro. By what? by any other house, or person ?
Of any thing the image tell me, that
Hath kept with thy remembrance.
'Tis far off ;
And rather like a dream, than an assurance
That my remembrance warrants. Had I not
Four or five women once, that tended me ?
Pro. Thou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is it,
That this lives in thy mind ? What seest thou else
In the dark backward and abysm of time ?
If thou remember'st aught, ere thou cam’st here,
How thou cam’st here, thou may'st.
But that I do not.
Pro. Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since,
Thy father was the duke of Milan, and
A prince of power.
Sir, are not you my father ?
Pro. Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and
She said—thou wast my daughter; and thy father
Was duke of Milan, thou' his only heir
And princess, no worse issued.
0, the heavens ! What foul play had we, that we came from thence ? Or blessed was’t, we did ?
i provision : in f. e. 2 Not in f. e. 3 and : in f. e.
Both, both, my girl : By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heav'd thence; But blessedly holp hither. Mira.
0! my heart bleeds To think o' the teen' that I have turn'd you to, Which is from my remembrance. Please you, farther.
Pro. My brother, and thy uncle, call’d Antonio,
I pray thee, mark me,—that a brother should
Be so perfidious !-he whom, next thyself,
Of all the world I lov'd, and to him put
The manage of my state; as, at that time,
Through all the signiories it was the first,
(And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed
In dignity) and, for the liberal arts,
Without a parallel : those being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother,
And to my state grew stranger, being transported
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle-
Dost thou attend me?
Sir, most heedfully.
Pro. Being once perfected how to grant suits,
How to deny them, whoni t advance, and whom
To trash” for over-topping, new created
The creatures that were mine, I say, or chang'd them,
Or else new form'd them; having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts i’ the state
To what tune pleas'd his ear; that now he was
The ivy, which had hid my princely trunk,
And suck'd my verdure out on't. Thou attend'st not.
Mira. O good sir! I do.
I pray thee, mark me.
I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
To closeness, and the bettering of my mind
With that, which but by being so retired
O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother
Awak'd an evil nature : and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
A falsehood, in its contrary as great
As my trust was ; which had, indeed, no limit,
A confidence sans bound. He being thus loaded,
Not only with what my revenue yielded,
But what my power might else exact,-like one,
1 Trouble. ? A hunting term, signifying to beat back. See Othello, II., 1. 3 lorded : in f. e.
Who having to untruth,' by telling of it,
Made such a sinner of his memory,
To credit his own lie,-he did believe
He was indeed the duke; out o' the substitution,
And executing th' outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative:-hence his ambition
Growing-Dost thou hear ?
Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
Pro. To have no screen between this part he play'd,
And him he play'd it for, he needs will be
Absolute Milan. Me, poor man !--my library
Was dukedom large enough : of temporal royalties
He thinks me now incapable; confederates
(So dry he was for sway) with the king of Naples,
To give him annual tribute, do him homage,
Subject his coronet to his crown, and bend
The dukedom, yet unbow'd, (alas, poor Milan !)
To most ignoble stooping.
O the heavens !
Pro. Mark his condition, and th’ event; then tell me,
If this might be a brother.
I should sin
To think but nobly of my grandmother :
Good wombs have borne bad sons.
Now the condition.
This king of Naples, being an enemy
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit;
Which was, that he in lieu o' the premises,
Of homage, and I know not how much tribute, -
Should presently extirpate me and mine
Out of the dukedom, and confer fair Milan,
With all the honours, on my brother : whereon,
A treacherous army levied, one midnight,
Fated to the practise, did Antonio open
The gates of Milan; and, i’ the dead of darkness,
The ministers for the purpose hurried thence
Me, and thy crying self.
Alack, for pity!
I, not rememb’ring how I cried out then,
Will cry it o'er again : it is a hint,
That wrings mine eyes to’t.
Hear a little farther,
And then I'll bring thee to the present business
1 unto truth : in f. e
purpose : in f. e.
Which now's upon 's; without the which this story
Were most impertinent.
Wherefore did they not
That hour destroy us ?
Well demanded, wench:
My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not,
So dear the love my people bore me, nor set
A mark bloody on the business; but
With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,
Bore us some leagues to sea, where they prepar'd
A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it: there they hoist us,
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us; to sigh
To the winds, whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.
Alack! what trouble
Was I then to you !
0! a cherubim
Thou wast, that did preserve me. Thou didst smile,
Infused with a fortitude from heaven,
When I have deck'd the sea with drops full salt,
Under my burden groan'd; which rais'd in me
An undergoing stomach, to bear up
Against what should ensue.
How came we ashore ? Pro. By Providence divine. Some food we had, and some fresh water, that 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 lov'd my books, he furnish'd me, From my own library, with volumes that I prize above my dukedom. Mira.
Would I might But ever see that man!
Pro. Now I arise :- [Puts on his robe again." Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow. Here in this island we arriv'd; and here Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit
1 butt: in f. e. 2 have : in f. e. 3 This direction is not in f. e.
Than other princes' can, that have more time
For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.
Mira. Heavens thank you for't! And now, I pray
For still 'tis beating in my mind, your reason
For raising this sea-storm ?
Know thus far forth..
By accident most strange, bountiful fortune,
Now my dear lady, hath mine enemies
Brought to this shore; and by my prescience
I find my zenith doth depend upon
A most auspicious star, whose influence
If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes
Will ever after droop. Here cease more questions.
Thou art inclined to sleep; 'tis a good dulness,
And give it way :-I know thou canst not choose.
MIRANDA sleeps. Come away, servant, come! I am ready now. Approach, my Ariel : come!
Enter ARIEL. Ari. All hail, great master; gráve sir, hail. I come To answer thy best pleasure; be 't to fly, To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride On the curl'd clouds : to thy strong bidding task Ariel, and all his quality.
Hast thou, spirit, Perform'd to point the tempest that I bade thee?
Ari. To every article.
I boarded the king's ship; now on the beak,
Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin,
I flam'd amazement: sometimes, I'd divide,
And burn in many places; on the topmast,
The yards and bowsprit, would I flame distinctly,
Then meet, and join. Jove's lightnings, the precursors
O’ the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary
And sight-outrunning were not: the fire, and cracks
Of sulphurous roaring the most mighty Neptune
Seem to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble,
Yea, his dread trident shake.
My brave spirit!
Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil
Would not infect his reason ?
Not a soul
1 princess : in f. e.