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The Tempest

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Act IV, Scene 1

Before PROSPERO’S cell.



  • Prospero. If I have too austerely punish'd you, 1700
    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 to thy hand: all thy vexations
    Were but my trials of thy love and thou 1705
    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. 1710
  • Ferdinand. I do believe it
    Against an oracle.
  • Prospero. Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition
    Worthily purchased take my daughter: but
    If thou dost break her virgin-knot before 1715
    All sanctimonious ceremonies may
    With full and holy rite be minister'd,
    No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall
    To make this contract grow: but barren hate,
    Sour-eyed disdain and discord shall bestrew 1720
    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.
  • Ferdinand. As I hope
    For quiet days, fair issue and long life, 1725
    With such love as 'tis now, the murkiest den,
    The most opportune place, the strong'st suggestion.
    Our worser genius can, shall never melt
    Mine honour into lust, to take away
    The edge of that day's celebration 1730
    When I shall think: or Phoebus' steeds are founder'd,
    Or Night kept chain'd below.
  • Prospero. Fairly spoke.
    Sit then and talk with her; she is thine own.
    What, Ariel! my industrious servant, Ariel! 1735

[Enter ARIEL]

  • Ariel. What would my potent master? here I am.
  • Prospero. Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service
    Did worthily perform; and I must use you
    In such another trick. Go bring the rabble, 1740
    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. 1745
  • Ariel. Before you can say 'come' and 'go,'
    And breathe twice and cry 'so, so,'
    Each one, tripping on his toe, 1750
    Will be here with mop and mow.
    Do you love me, master? no?
  • Prospero. Dearly my delicate Ariel. Do not approach
    Till thou dost hear me call.
  • Ariel. Well, I conceive. 1755


  • Prospero. 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! 1760
  • Ferdinand. I warrant you sir;
    The white cold virgin snow upon my heart
    Abates the ardour of my liver.
  • Prospero. Well.
    Now come, my Ariel! bring a corollary, 1765
    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 1770
    Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats and pease;
    Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,
    And flat meads thatch'd with stover, them to keep;
    Thy banks with pioned and twilled brims,
    Which spongy April at thy hest betrims, 1775
    To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom -groves,
    Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,
    Being lass-lorn: thy pole-clipt vineyard;
    And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky-hard,
    Where thou thyself dost air;—the queen o' the sky, 1780
    Whose watery arch and messenger am I,
    Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace,
    Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,
    To come and sport: her peacocks fly amain:
    Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain. 1785

[Enter CERES]

  • Ceres. Hail, many-colour'd messenger, that ne'er
    Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
    Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
    Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers, 1790
    And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
    My bosky 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; 1795
    And some donation freely to estate
    On the blest lovers.
  • Ceres. Tell me, heavenly bow,
    If Venus or her son, as thou dost know,
    Do now attend the queen? Since they did plot 1800
    The means that dusky Dis my daughter got,
    Her and her blind boy's scandal'd company
    I have forsworn.
  • Iris. Of her society
    Be not afraid: I met her deity 1805
    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 vain; 1810
    Mars's hot minion is returned 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.
  • Ceres. High'st queen of state, 1815
    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. 1820

[They sing:]

  • Juno. Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,
    Long continuance, and increasing,
    Hourly joys be still upon you!
    Juno sings her blessings upon you. 1825
  • Ceres. Earth's increase, foison plenty,
    Barns and garners never empty,
    Vines and clustering bunches growing,
    Plants with goodly burthen bowing;
    Spring come to you at the farthest 1830
    In the very end of harvest!
    Scarcity and want shall shun you;
    Ceres' blessing so is on you.
  • Ferdinand. This is a most majestic vision, and
    Harmoniously charmingly. May I be bold 1835
    To think these spirits?
  • Prospero. Spirits, which by mine art
    I have from their confines call'd to enact
    My present fancies.
  • Ferdinand. Let me live here ever; 1840
    So rare a wonder'd father and a wife
    Makes this place Paradise.
    [Juno and Ceres whisper, and send Iris on]
  • Prospero. Sweet, now, silence! 1845
    Juno and Ceres whisper seriously;
    There's something else to do: hush, and be mute,
    Or else our spell is marr'd.
  • Iris. You nymphs, call'd Naiads, of the windring brooks,
    With your sedged crowns and ever-harmless looks, 1850
    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] 1855
    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. 1860
    [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 1865
    heavily vanish]
  • Prospero. [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. 1870
    [To the Spirits]
    Well done! avoid; no more!
  • Ferdinand. This is strange: your father's in some passion
    That works him strongly.
  • Miranda. Never till this day 1875
    Saw I him touch'd with anger so distemper'd.
  • Prospero. You do look, my son, in a moved 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 1880
    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,
    Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve 1885
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack 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, brain is troubled: 1890
    Be not disturb'd with my infirmity:
    If you be pleased, retire into my cell
    And there repose: a turn or two I'll walk,
    To still my beating mind.
  • Ferdinand. [with Miranda] We wish your peace. 1895


  • Prospero. Come with a thought I thank thee, Ariel: come.

[Enter ARIEL]

  • Ariel. Thy thoughts I cleave to. What's thy pleasure?
  • Prospero. Spirit, 1900
    We must prepare to meet with Caliban.
  • Ariel. Ay, my commander: when I presented Ceres,
    I thought to have told thee of it, but I fear'd
    Lest I might anger thee.
  • Prospero. Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets? 1905
  • Ariel. I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;
    So fun 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 tabour; 1910
    At which, like unback'd colts, they prick'd
    their ears,
    Advanced 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 1915
    Tooth'd briers, sharp furzes, pricking goss and thorns,
    Which entered 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. 1920
  • Prospero. This was well done, my bird.
    Thy shape invisible retain thou still:
    The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither,
    For stale to catch these thieves.


  • Prospero. 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, 1930
    So his mind cankers. I will plague them all,
    Even to roaring.
    [Re-enter ARIEL, loaden with glistering apparel, &c]
    Come, hang them on this line.
    [PROSPERO and ARIEL remain invisible. Enter] 1935
  • Caliban. Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not
    Hear a foot fall: we now are near his cell.
  • Stephano. Monster, your fairy, which you say is
    a harmless fairy, has done little better than 1940
    played the Jack with us.
  • Trinculo. Monster, I do smell all horse-piss; at
    which my nose is in great indignation.
  • Stephano. So is mine. Do you hear, monster? If I should take
    a displeasure against you, look you,— 1945
  • Trinculo. Thou wert but a lost monster.
  • Caliban. Good my lord, give me thy favour still.
    Be patient, for the prize I'll bring thee to
    Shall hoodwink this mischance: therefore speak softly.
    All's hush'd as midnight yet. 1950
  • Trinculo. Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,—
  • Stephano. There is not only disgrace and dishonour in that,
    monster, but an infinite loss.
  • Trinculo. That's more to me than my wetting: yet this is your
    harmless fairy, monster. 1955
  • Stephano. I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o'er ears
    for my labour.
  • Caliban. Prithee, my king, be quiet. Seest thou here,
    This is the mouth o' the cell: no noise, and enter.
    Do that good mischief which may make this island 1960
    Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban,
    For aye thy foot-licker.
  • Stephano. Give me thy hand. I do begin to have bloody thoughts.
  • Trinculo. O king Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! look
    what a wardrobe here is for thee! 1965
  • Caliban. Let it alone, thou fool; it is but trash.
  • Trinculo. O, ho, monster! we know what belongs to a frippery.
    O king Stephano!
  • Stephano. Put off that gown, Trinculo; by this hand, I'll have
    that gown. 1970
  • Caliban. The dropsy drown this fool I 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, 1975
    Make us strange stuff.
  • Stephano. Be you quiet, monster. Mistress line,
    is not this my jerkin? Now is the jerkin under
    the line: now, jerkin, you are like to lose your
    hair and prove a bald jerkin. 1980
  • Trinculo. Do, do: we steal by line and level, an't like your grace.
  • Stephano. 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; there's another garment for't. 1985
  • Trinculo. Monster, come, put some lime upon your fingers, and
    away with the rest.
  • Caliban. I will have none on't: we shall lose our time,
    And all be turn'd to barnacles, or to apes
    With foreheads villanous low. 1990
  • Stephano. 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.
  • Stephano. Ay, and this. 1995
    [A noise of hunters heard. Enter divers Spirits,]
    in shape of dogs and hounds, and hunt them about,
    PROSPERO and ARIEL setting them on]
  • Ariel. Silver I there it goes, Silver! 2000
  • Prospero. Fury, Fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark! hark!
    driven out]
    Go charge my goblins that they grind their joints
    With dry convulsions, shorten up their sinews 2005
    With aged cramps, and more pinch-spotted make them
    Than pard or cat o' mountain.
  • Prospero. Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour
    Lie at my mercy all mine enemies: 2010
    Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou
    Shalt have the air at freedom: for a little
    Follow, and do me service.