PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

The Tempest Scenes


Scene 1

Before Prospero’s cell.

(Ferdinand; Miranda; Prospero)


Ferdinand is stacking wood at Prospero’s orders, though since Miranda is nearby and clearly pities him he does not mind the labor overmuch. Miranda comes in and tries to comfort or help him, unaware that Prospero is watching them. He refuses to let her help, but they chat, Miranda giving away her name despite Prospero’s admonitions. They soon admit that they are head over heels in love with each other, which delights the unseen Prospero. ( line)

Enter Ferdinand bearing a log.

FER.

There be some sports are painful, and their labor

Delight in them sets off; some kinds of baseness

Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters

Point to rich ends. This my mean task

Would be as heavy to me as odious, but

The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead,

And makes my labors pleasures. O, she is

Ten times more gentle than her father’s crabbed;

And he’s compos’d of harshness. I must remove

Some thousands of these logs, and pile them up,

Upon a sore injunction. My sweet mistress

Weeps when she sees me work, and says such baseness

Had never like executor. I forget;

But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labors,

Most busil’est when I do it.

Enter Miranda, and Prospero at a distance, unseen.

MIR.

Alas, now pray you

Work not so hard. I would the lightning had

Burnt up those logs that you are enjoin’d to pile!

Pray set it down, and rest you. When this burns,

’Twill weep for having wearied you. My father

Is hard at study; pray now rest yourself,

He’s safe for these three hours.

FER.

O most dear mistress,

The sun will set before I shall discharge

What I must strive to do.

MIR.

If you’ll sit down,

I’ll bear your logs the while. Pray give me that,

I’ll carry it to the pile.

FER.

No, precious creature,

I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,

Than you should such dishonor undergo,

While I sit lazy by.

MIR.

It would become me

As well as it does you; and I should do it

With much more ease, for my good will is to it,

And yours it is against.

PROS.

Aside.PROS.

Poor worm, thou art infected!

This visitation shows it.

MIR.

You look wearily.

FER.

No, noble mistress, ’tis fresh morning with me

When you are by at night. I do beseech you—

Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers—

What is your name?

MIR.

Miranda.—O my father,

I have broke your hest to say so.

FER.

Admir’d Miranda,

Indeed the top of admiration! Worth

What’s dearest to the world! Full many a lady

I have ey’d with best regard, and many a time

Th’ harmony of their tongues hath into bondage

Brought my too diligent ear. For several virtues

Have I lik’d several women, never any

With so full soul but some defect in her

Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow’d,

And put it to the foil. But you, O you,

So perfect and so peerless, are created

Of every creature’s best!

MIR.

I do not know

One of my sex; no woman’s face remember,

Save, from my glass, mine own; nor have I seen

More that I may call men than you, good friend,

And my dear father. How features are abroad

I am skilless of; but by my modesty

(The jewel in my dower), I would not wish

Any companion in the world but you;

Nor can imagination form a shape,

Besides yourself, to like of. But I prattle

Something too wildly, and my father’s precepts

I therein do forget.

FER.

I am, in my condition,

A prince, Miranda; I do think, a king

(I would, not so!), and would no more endure

This wooden slavery than to suffer

The flesh-fly blow my mouth. Hear my soul speak:

The very instant that I saw you, did

My heart fly to your service, there resides,

To make me slave to it, and for your sake

Am I this patient log-man.

MIR.

Do you love me?

FER.

O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound,

And crown what I profess with kind event

If I speak true! If hollowly, invert

What best is boded me to mischief! I,

Beyond all limit of what else i’ th’ world,

Do love, prize, honor you.

MIR.

I am a fool

To weep at what I am glad of.

PROS.

Aside.PROS.

Fair encounter

Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace

On that which breeds between ’em!

FER.

Wherefore weep you?

MIR.

At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer

What I desire to give; and much less take

What I shall die to want. But this is trifling,

And all the more it seeks to hide itself,

The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning,

And prompt me, plain and holy innocence!

I am your wife, if you will marry me;

If not, I’ll die your maid. To be your fellow

You may deny me, but I’ll be your servant,

Whether you will or no.

FER.

My mistress, dearest,

And I thus humble ever.

MIR.

My husband then?

FER.

Ay, with a heart as willing

As bondage e’er of freedom. Here’s my hand.

MIR.

And mine, with my heart in’t. And now farewell

Till half an hour hence.

FER.

A thousand, thousand!

Exeunt Ferdinand and Miranda severally.

PROS.

So glad of this as they I cannot be,

Who are surpris’d withal; but my rejoicing

At nothing can be more. I’ll to my book,

For yet ere supper-time must I perform

Much business appertaining.

Exit.

 
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