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The Tempest

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Act III, Scene 1

Before PROSPERO’S Cell.


[Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log]

  • Ferdinand. There be some sports are painful, and their labour
    Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness
    Are nobly undergone and most poor matters 1280
    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 labours pleasures: O, she is
    Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed, 1285
    And he's composed 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: 1290
    But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours,
    Most busy lest, when I do it.

[Enter MIRANDA; and PROSPERO at a distance, unseen]

  • Miranda. Alas, now, pray you,
    Work not so hard: I would the lightning had 1295
    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. 1300
  • Ferdinand. O most dear mistress,
    The sun will set before I shall discharge
    What I must strive to do.
  • Miranda. If you'll sit down,
    I'll bear your logs the while: pray, give me that; 1305
    I'll carry it to the pile.
  • Ferdinand. No, precious creature;
    I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
    Than you should such dishonour undergo,
    While I sit lazy by. 1310
  • Miranda. 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.
  • Prospero. Poor worm, thou art infected! 1315
    This visitation shows it.
  • Ferdinand. 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— 1320
    What is your name?
  • Miranda. Miranda.—O my father,
    I have broke your hest to say so!
  • Ferdinand. Admired Miranda!
    Indeed the top of admiration! worth 1325
    What's dearest to the world! Full many a lady
    I have eyed with best regard and many a time
    The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
    Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues
    Have I liked several women; never any 1330
    With so fun soul, but some defect in her
    Did quarrel with the noblest grace she owed
    And put it to the foil: but you, O you,
    So perfect and so peerless, are created
    Of every creature's best! 1335
  • Miranda. 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, 1340
    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 1345
    Something too wildly and my father's precepts
    I therein do forget.
  • Ferdinand. I am in my condition
    A prince, Miranda; I do think, a king;
    I would, not so!—and would no more endure 1350
    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 1355
    Am I this patient log—man.
  • Ferdinand. O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound
    And crown what I profess with kind event
    If I speak true! if hollowly, invert 1360
    What best is boded me to mischief! I
    Beyond all limit of what else i' the world
    Do love, prize, honour you.
  • Miranda. I am a fool
    To weep at what I am glad of. 1365
  • Prospero. Fair encounter
    Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace
    On that which breeds between 'em!
  • Miranda. At mine unworthiness that dare not offer 1370
    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! 1375
    I am your wife, it 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.
  • Ferdinand. My mistress, dearest; 1380
    And I thus humble ever.
  • Ferdinand. Ay, with a heart as willing
    As bondage e'er of freedom: here's my hand.
  • Miranda. And mine, with my heart in't; and now farewell 1385
    Till half an hour hence.

[Exeunt FERDINAND and MIRANDA severally]

  • Prospero. So glad of this as they I cannot be,
    Who are surprised withal; but my rejoicing 1390
    At nothing can be more. I'll to my book,
    For yet ere supper-time must I perform
    Much business appertaining.