SCENE I. [Before Prospero’s cell]


PROS. If I have too austerely punish’d you,

Your compensation makes amends, for I

Have given you here a third of mine own life,

Or that for which I live; who once again

I tender〖Offer.〗 to thy hand. All thy vexations

Were but my trials of thy love, and thou

Hast strangely stood the test. Here, afore Heaven,

I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand,

Do not smile at me that I boast her off,

For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise

And make it halt behind her.

FER. I do believe it

Against an oracle.

PROS. Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition

Worthily purchas’d, take my daughter. But

If thou dost break her virgin-knot before

All sanctimonious ceremonies may

With full and holy rite be minist’red,

No sweet aspersion〖Sprinkling.〗 shall the heavens let fall

To make this contract grow; but barren Hate,

Sour-eyed Disdain and Discord shall bestrew

The union of your bed with weeds so loathly

That you shall hate it both. Therefore take heed,

As Hymen’s lamps shall light you.

FER. As I hope

For quiet days, fair issue, and long life,

With such love as ’tis now, the murkiest den,

The most opportune place, the strong’st suggestion〖Temptation.〗

Our worser genius can, shall never melt

Mine honour into lust, to take away

The edge of that day’s celebration

When I shall think or Phœbus’ steeds are founder’d

Or Night kept chain’d below.

PROS. Fairly spoke.

Sit then and talk with her; she is thine own.

What, Ariel! my industrious servant, Ariel!


ARI. What would my potent master? Here I am.

PROS. Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service

Did worthily perform; and I must use you

In such another trick. Go bring the rabble,

O’er whom I give thee power, here to this place.

Incite them to quick motion; for I must

Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple

Some vanity of mine art. It is my promise,

And they expect it from me.

ARI. Presently?

PROS. Ay, with a twink.

ARI. Before you can say “come” and “go,”

And breathe twice and cry “so, so,”

Each one, tripping on his toe,

Will be here with mop〖Grimace.〗 and mow.

Do you love me, master? No?

PROS. Dearly, my delicate Ariel. Do not approach

Till thou dost hear me call.

ARI. Well, I conceive.〖Understand.〗 Exit.

PROS. Look thou be true; do not give dalliance

Too much the rein. The strongest oaths are straw

To the fire i’ the blood. Be more abstemious,

Or else, good night your vow!

FER. I warrant you, sir;

The white cold virgin snow upon my heart

Abates the ardour of my liver.〖Supposed to be the seat of passion.〗

PROS. Well.

Now come, my Ariel! bring a corollary,〖Overplus.〗

Rather than want a spirit. Appear, and pertly!

No tongue! all eyes! Be silent. Soft music.

Enter IRIS

  IRIS. Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas

Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and pease;

Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,

And flat meads thatch’d with stover,〖Hay.〗 them to keep;

Thy banks with pioned〖Overgrown with peony (?).〗 and twilled〖Reedy (?).〗 brims,

Which spongy April at thy hest betrims

To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy brown groves,

Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,

Being lass-lorn; thy pole-clipp’d〖The poles embraced by the vines.〗 vineyard;

And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky-hard,

Where thou thyself dost air;—the queen o’ the sky,

Whose watery arch and messenger am I,

Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace,

JUNO descends.

Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,

To come and sport; here peacocks fly amain.

Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.


CER. Hail, many-coloured messenger, that ne’er

Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;

Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers

Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers,

And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown

My bosky〖Covered with bushes.〗 acres and my unshrubb’d down,

Rich scarf to my proud earth; why hath thy queen

Summon’d me hither, to this short-grass’d green?

IRIS. A contract of true love to celebrate;

And some donation freely to estate〖Bestow.〗

On the blest lovers.

CER. Tell me, heavenly bow,

If Venus or her son, as thou dost know,

Do now attend the Queen? Since they did plot

The means that dusky Dis my daughter got,

Her and her blind boy’s scandal’d〖Scandalous.〗 company

I have forsworn.

IRIS. Of her society

Be not afraid. I met her deity

Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son

Dove-drawn with her. Here thought they to have done

Some wanton charm upon this man and maid,

Whose vows are, that no bed-right shall be paid

Till Hymen’s torch be lighted; but in vain.

Mars’s hot minion〖I. e., Venus.〗 is return’d again;

Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows,

Swears he will shoot no more, but play with sparrows

And be a boy right out.

CER. Highest queen of state,

Great Juno, comes; I know her by her gait.

[Enter JUNO]

JUNO. How does my bounteous sister? Go with me

To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be

And honour’d in their issue. They sing.

JUNO. Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,

Long continuance, and increasing,

Hourly joys be still upon you!

Juno sings her blessings on you.

[CER. ] Earth’s increase, foison〖Abundance.〗 plenty,

Barns and garners never empty,

Vines with clustering bunches growing,

Plants with goodly burden bowing.

Spring come to you at the farthest

In the very end of harvest!

Scarcity and want shall shun you;

Ceres’ blessing so is on you.

FER. This is a most majestic vision, and

Harmonious charmingly. May I be bold

To think these spirits?

PROS. Spirits, which by mine art

I have from their confines call’d to enact

My present fancies.

FER. Let me live here ever;

So rare a wond’red〖Wonder-working.〗 father and a wise

Makes this place Paradise.

PROS. Sweet, now, silence!

Juno and Ceres whisper seriously.

There’s something else to do; hush, and be mute,

Or else our spell is marr’d.

  JUNO and CERES whisper, and send IRIS on employment.

IRIS. You nymphs, call’d Naiads, of the winding brooks,

With your sedg’d crowns and ever-harmless looks,

Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land

Answer your summons; Juno does command.

Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate

A contract of true love; be not too late.

Enter certain Nymphs

You sunburnt sicklemen, of August weary,

Come hither from the furrow and be merry.

Make holiday; your rye-straw hats put on

And these fresh nymphs encounter every one

In country footing.

Enter certain Reapers, properly habited: they join with the Nymphs in a graceful dance; towards the end whereof PROSPERO starts suddenly, and speaks; after which, to a strange, hollow, and confused noise, they heavily vanish

PROS. [Aside.] I had forgot that foul conspiracy

Of the beast Caliban and his confederates

Against my life. The minute of their plot

Is almost come. [To the Spirits.] Well done! avoid. No more!

FER. This is strange. Your father’s in some passion〖Emotion.〗That works him strongly.

MIR. Never till this day

Saw I him touch’d with anger, so distemper’d.〖Perturbed.〗

PROS. You do look, my son, in a mov’d sort,

As if you were dismay’d. Be cheerful, sir,

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits, and

Are melted into air, into thin air;

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack〖Shred of cloud.〗 behind. We are such stuff

As dreams are made on, and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex’d,—

Bear with my weakness—my old brain is troubled.

Be not disturb’d with my infirmity.

If you be pleas’d, retire into my cell

And there repose. A turn or two I’ll walk,

To still my beating mind.

FER. MIR. We wish your peace.Exeunt.

PROS. Come with a thought. I thank thee, Ariel; come.


ARI. Thy thoughts I cleave to. What’s thy pleasure?

PROS. Spirit,

We must prepare to meet with Caliban.

ARI. Ay, my commander. When I presented Ceres,

I thought to have told thee of it, but I fear’d

Lest I might anger thee.

PROS. Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?

ARI. I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;

So full of valour that they smote the air

For breathing in their faces; beat the ground

For kissing of their feet; yet always bending

Towards their project. Then I beat my tabor;

At which, like unback’d colts, they prick’d their ears,

Advanc’d their eyelids, lifted up their noses

As they smelt music. So I charm’d their ears

That calf-like they my lowing follow’d through

Tooth’d briers, sharp furzes, pricking gorse, and thorns,

Which ent’red their frail shins. At last I left them

I’ the filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell,

There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lake

O’erstunk their feet.

PROS. This was well done, my bird.

Thy shape invisible retain thou still.

The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither,

For stale〖Lure.〗 to catch these thieves.

ARI. I go, I go.Exit.

PROS. A devil, a born devil, on whose nature

Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains,

Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost;

And as with age his body uglier grows,

So his mind cankers. I will plague them all,

Even to roaring.

Re-enter ARIEL, loaden with glittering apparel, etc.

Come, hang them on this line.〖Probably, lime-tree.〗

[PROSPERO and ARIEL remain, invisible.] Enter CALIBAN,


CAL. Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not

Hear a foot fall; we now are near his cell.

STE. Monster, your fairy, which you say is a harmless fairy, has done little better than play’d the Jack〖Knave.〗 with us.

TRIN. Monster, I do smell all horse-piss, at which my nose is in great indignation.

STE. So is mine. Do you hear, monster? If I should take a displeasure against you, look you,—

TRIN. Thou wert but a lost monster.

CAL. Good my lord, give me thy favour still.

Be patient, for the prize I’ll bring thee to

Shall hoodwink〖Make you forget.〗 this mischance; therefore speak softly.

All’s hush’d as midnight yet.

TRIN. Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,—

STE. There is not only disgrace and dishonour in that, monster, but an infinite loss.

TRIN. That’s more to me than my wetting; yet this is your harmless fairy, monster!

STE. I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o’er ears for my labour.

CAL. Prithee, my king, be quiet. See’st thou here,

This is the mouth o’ the cell. No noise, and enter.

Do that good mischief which may make this island

Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban,

For aye thy foot-licker.

STE. Give me thy hand. I do begin to have bloody thoughts.

TRIN. O King Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! look what a wardrobe here is for thee!

CAL. Let it alone, thou fool; it is but trash.

TRIN. O, ho, monster! we know what belongs to a frippery.〖Old-clothes shop.〗 O King Stephano!

STE. Put off that gown, Trinculo; by this hand, I’ll have that gown.

TRIN. Thy grace shall have it.

CAL. The dropsy drown this fool! what do you mean

To dote thus on such luggage? Let’s alone

And do the murder first. If he awake,

From toe to crown he’ll fill our skins with pinches,

Make us strange stuff.

STE. Be you quiet, monster. Mistress line, is not this my jerkin? Now is the jerkin under the line.〖Punning on line=lime-tree, and line=equinoctial line.〗 Now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair and prove a bald jerkin.

TRIN. Do, do; we steal by line and level, an ’t like your Grace.

STE. I thank thee for that jest; here’s a garment for ’t. Wit shall not go unrewarded while I am king of this country. “Steal by line and level” is an excellent pass of pate;〖Sally to wit.〗 there’s another garment for ’t.

TRIN. Monster, come, put some line upon your fingers, and away with the rest.

CAL. I will have none on ’t. We shall lose our time,

And all be turn’d to barnacles, or to apes

With foreheads villainous low.

STE. Monster, lay-to your fingers. Help to bear this away where my hogshead of wine is, or I’ll turn you out of my kingdom. Go to, carry this.

TRIN. And this.

STE. Ay, and this.

A noise of hunters heard. Enter divers Spirits, in shape of dogs and hounds, hunting them about, PROSPERO and ARIEL setting them on

PROS. Mountain, hey!

ARI. Silver! there it goes, Silver!

PROS. Fury, Fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark! hark!

[CAL., STE., and TRIN. are driven out.]

Go charge my goblins that they grind their joints

With dry convulsions, shorten up their sinews

With aged cramps, and more pinch-spotted make them

Than pard or cat o’ mountain.〖Wild-cat.〗

ARI. Hark, they roar!

PROS. Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour

Lies at my mercy all mine enemies.

Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou

Shalt have the air of freedom. For a little

Follow, and do me service. Exeunt.

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