William Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act I, Scene II

Scene II

The island. Before Prospero's cell.

Enter Prospero and Miranda

Miranda

If by your art, my dearest father, you have Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them. The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch, But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek, Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel, Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her, Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd. Had I been any god of power, I would Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere It should the good ship so have swallow'd and The fraughting souls within her.

Prospero

Be collected, No more amazement: tell your piteous heart there's no harm done.

Miranda

O, woe the day!

Prospero

No harm. I have done nothing but in care of thee, Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, who Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing Of whence I am, nor that I am more better Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell, And thy no greater father.

Miranda

More to know Did never meddle with my thoughts.

Prospero

'Tis time I should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magic garment from me. So:  [Lays down his mantle]  Lie there, my Art. Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort. The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd The very virtue of compassion in thee, I have with such provision in mine Art So safely ordered 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 down; For thou must now know farther.

Miranda

You have often Begun to tell me what I am, but stopp'd And left me to a bootless inquisition, Concluding “Stay: not yet.

Prospero

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? I do not think thou canst, for then thou wast not Out three years old.

Miranda

Certainly, sir, I can.

Prospero

By what? by any other house or person? Of any thing the image tell me that Hath kept with thy remembrance.

Miranda

'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?

Prospero

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 camest here, How thou camest here thou mayst.

Miranda

But that I do not.

Prospero

Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since, Thy father was the Duke of Milan and A prince of power.

Miranda

Sir, are not you my father?

Prospero

Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father Was Duke of Milan; and thou his only heir And princess no worse issued.

Miranda

O the heavens! What foul play had we, that we came from thence? Or blessed was't we did?

Prospero

Both, both, my girl: By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heaved thence, But blessedly holp hither.

Miranda

O, my heart bleeds To think o' the teen that I have turn'd you to, Which is from my remembrance! Please you, farther.

Prospero

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 loved and to him put The manage of my state; as at that time Through all the signories 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?

Miranda

Sir, most heedfully.

Prospero

Being once perfected how to grant suits, How to deny them, who to advance and who To trash for over-topping, new created The creatures that were mine, I say, or changed 'em, Or else new form'd 'em; having both the key Of officer and office, set all hearts i' the state To what tune pleased 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.

Miranda

O, good sir, I do.

Prospero

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-prized all popular rate, in my false brother Awaked 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 lorded, Not only with what my revenue yielded, But what my power might else exact, like one Who having into truth, 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 the outward face of royalty, With all prerogative: hence his ambition growing— Dost thou hear?

Miranda

Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.

Prospero

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—wi' 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.

Miranda

O the heavens!

Prospero

Mark his condition and the event; then tell me If this might be a brother.

Miranda

I should sin To think but nobly of my grandmother: Good wombs have borne bad sons.

Prospero

Now the condition. The 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 purpose 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.

Miranda

Alack, for pity! I, not remembering how I cried out then, Will cry it o'er again: it is a hint That wrings mine eyes to't.

Prospero

Hear a little further And then I'll bring thee to the present business Which now's upon's; without the which this story Were most impertinent.

Miranda

Wherefore did they not That hour destroy us?

Prospero

Well demanded, wench: My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not, So dear the love my people bore me, nor set A mark so 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 prepared 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.

Miranda

Alack, what trouble Was I then to you!

Prospero

O, 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 burthen groan'd; which raised in me An undergoing stomach, to bear up Against what should ensue.

Miranda

How came we ashore?

Prospero

By Providence divine. Some food we had and some fresh water that A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, Out of his charity, 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 loved my books, he furnish'd me From mine own library with volumes that I prize above my dukedom.

Miranda

Would I might But ever see that man!

Prospero

Now I arise:

Resumes his mantle

Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow. Here in this island we arrived; and here Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit Than other princesses can that have more time For vainer hours and tutors not so careful.

Miranda

Heavens thank you for't! And now, I pray you, sir, For still 'tis beating in my mind, your reason For raising this sea-storm?

Prospero

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

Ariel

All hail, great master! grave 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.

Prospero

Hast thou, spirit, Perform'd to point the tempest that I bade thee?

Ariel

To every article. I boarded the king's ship; now on the beak, Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin, I flamed amazement: sometime I'ld 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.

Prospero

My brave spirit! Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil Would not infect his reason?

Ariel

Not a soul But felt a fever of the mad and play'd Some tricks of desperation. All but mariners Plunged in the foaming brine and quit the vessel, Then all afire with me: the king's son, Ferdinand, With hair up-staring,—then like reeds, not hair,— Was the first man that leap'd; cried, 'Hell is empty And all the devils are here.'

Prospero

Why that's my spirit! But was not this nigh shore?

Ariel

Close by, my master.

Prospero

But are they, Ariel, safe?

Ariel

Not a hair perish'd; On their sustaining garments not a blemish, But fresher than before: and, as thou badest me, In troops I have dispersed them 'bout the isle. The king's son have I landed by himself; Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs In an odd angle of the isle and sitting, His arms in this sad knot.

Prospero

Of the king's ship The mariners say how thou hast disposed And all the rest o' the fleet.

Ariel

Safely in harbour Is the king's ship; in the deep nook, where once Thou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew From the still-vex'd Bermoothes, there she's hid: The mariners all under hatches stow'd; Who, with a charm join'd to their suffer'd labour, I have left asleep; and for the rest o' the fleet Which I dispersed, they all have met again And are upon the Mediterranean flote, Bound sadly home for Naples, Supposing that they saw the king's ship wreck'd And his great person perish.

Prospero

Ariel, thy charge Exactly is perform'd: but there's more work. What is the time o' the day?

Ariel

Past the mid season.

Prospero

At least two glasses. The time 'twixt six and now Must by us both be spent most preciously.

Ariel

Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains, Let me remember thee what thou hast promised, Which is not yet perform'd me.

Prospero

How now? moody? What is't thou canst demand?

Ariel

My liberty.

Prospero

Before the time be out? no more!

Ariel

I prithee, Remember I have done thee worthy service; Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, served Without or grudge or grumblings: thou didst promise To bate me a full year.

Prospero

Dost thou forget From what a torment I did free thee?

Ariel

No.

Prospero

Thou dost, and think'st it much to tread the ooze Of the salt deep, To run upon the sharp wind of the north, To do me business in the veins o' the earth When it is baked with frost.

Ariel

I do not, sir.

Prospero

Thou liest, malignant thing! Hast thou forgot The foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy Was grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot her?

Ariel

No, sir.

Prospero

Thou hast. Where was she born? speak; tell me.

Ariel

Sir, in Argier.

Prospero

O, was she so? I must Once in a month recount what thou hast been, Which thou forget'st. This damn'd witch Sycorax, For mischiefs manifold and sorceries terrible To enter human hearing, from Argier, Thou know'st, was banish'd: for one thing she did They would not take her life. Is not this true?

Ariel

Ay, sir.

Prospero

This blue-eyed hag was hither brought with child And here was left by the sailors. Thou, my slave, As thou report'st thyself, wast then her servant; And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands, Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee, By help of her more potent ministers And in her most unmitigable rage, Into a cloven pine; within which rift Imprison'd thou didst painfully remain A dozen years; within which space she died And left thee there; where thou didst vent thy groans As fast as mill-wheels strike. Then was this island— Save for the son that she did litter here, A freckled whelp hag-born—not honour'd with A human shape.

Ariel

Yes, Caliban her son.

Prospero

Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st What torment I did find thee in; thy groans Did make wolves howl and penetrate the breasts Of ever angry bears: it was a torment To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax Could not again undo: it was mine art, When I arrived and heard thee, that made gape The pine and let thee out.

Ariel

I thank thee, master.

Prospero

If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak And peg thee in his knotty entrails till Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters.

Ariel

Pardon, master; I will be correspondent to command And do my spiriting gently.

Prospero

Do so, and after two days I will discharge thee.

Ariel

That's my noble master! What shall I do? say what; what shall I do?

Prospero

Go make thyself like a nymph o' the sea: be subject To no sight but thine and mine, invisible To every eyeball else. Go take this shape And hither come in't: go, hence with diligence!

Exit Ariel

Awake, dear heart, awake! thou hast slept well; Awake!

Miranda

The strangeness of your story put Heaviness in me.

Prospero

Shake it off. Come on; We'll visit Caliban my slave, who never Yields us kind answer.

Miranda

'Tis a villain, sir, I do not love to look on.

Prospero

But, as 'tis, We cannot miss him: he does make our fire, Fetch in our wood and serves in offices That profit us. What, ho! slave! Caliban! Thou earth, thou! speak.

Caliban

Within

There's wood enough within.

Prospero

Come forth, I say! there's other business for thee: Come, thou tortoise! when?

Re-enter Ariel like a water-nymph

Fine apparition! My quaint Ariel, Hark in thine ear.

Ariel

My lord it shall be done.

Exit

Prospero

Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself Upon thy wicked dam, come forth!

Enter Caliban

Caliban

As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd With raven's feather from unwholesome fen Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye And blister you all o'er!

Prospero

For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps, Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins Shall, for that vast of night that they may work, All exercise on thee; thou shalt be pinch'd As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging Than bees that made 'em.

Caliban

I must eat my dinner. This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother, Which thou takest from me. When thou camest first, Thou strokedst me and madest much of me, wouldst give me Water with berries in't, and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night: and then I loved thee And show'd thee all the qualities o' the isle, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile: Cursed be I that did so! All the charms Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! For I am all the subjects that you have, Which first was mine own king: and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest o' the island.

Prospero

Thou most lying slave, Whom stripes may move, not kindness! I have used thee, Filth as thou art, with human care, and lodged thee In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate The honour of my child.

Caliban

O ho, O ho! would't had been done! Thou didst prevent me; I had peopled else This isle with Calibans.

Prospero

Abhorred slave, Which any print of goodness wilt not take, Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee, Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage, Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes With words that made them known. But thy vile race, Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good natures Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou Deservedly confined into this rock, Who hadst deserved more than a prison.

Caliban

You taught me language; and my profit on't Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you For learning me your language!

Prospero

Hag-seed, hence! Fetch us in fuel; and be quick, thou'rt best, To answer other business. Shrug'st thou, malice? If thou neglect'st or dost unwillingly What I command, I'll rack thee with old cramps, Fill all thy bones with aches, make thee roar That beasts shall tremble at thy din.

Caliban

No, pray thee.
  [Aside]  I must obey: his art is of such power, It would control my dam's god, Setebos, And make a vassal of him.

Prospero

So, slave; hence!

Exit Caliban

Re-enter Ariel, invisible, playing and singing; Ferdinand following

Ariel's song.

Come unto these yellow sands, And then take hands: Courtsied when you have and kiss'd The wild waves whist, Foot it featly here and there; And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear. Hark, hark!

Burthen (dispersedly, within) Bow-wow

The watch-dogs bark!

Burthen Bow-wow

Hark, hark! I hear The strain of strutting chanticleer Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow.

Ferdinand

Where should this music be? i' the air or the earth? It sounds no more: and sure, it waits upon Some god o' the island. Sitting on a bank, Weeping again the king my father's wreck, This music crept by me upon the waters, Allaying both their fury and my passion With its sweet air: thence I have follow'd it, Or it hath drawn me rather. But 'tis gone. No, it begins again.

Ariel sings

Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell

Burthen Ding-dong

Hark! now I hear them,—Ding-dong, bell.

Ferdinand

The ditty does remember my drown'd father. This is no mortal business, nor no sound That the earth owes. I hear it now above me.

Prospero

The fringed curtains of thine eye advance And say what thou seest yond.

Miranda

What is't? a spirit? Lord, how it looks about! Believe me, sir, It carries a brave form. But 'tis a spirit.

Prospero

No, wench; it eats and sleeps and hath such senses As we have, such. This gallant which thou seest Was in the wreck; and, but he's something stain'd With grief that's beauty's canker, thou mightst call him A goodly person: he hath lost his fellows And strays about to find 'em.

Miranda

I might call him A thing divine, for nothing natural I ever saw so noble.

Prospero

 [Aside]  It goes on, I see, As my soul prompts it. Spirit, fine spirit! I'll free thee Within two days for this.

Ferdinand

Most sure, the goddess On whom these airs attend! Vouchsafe my prayer May know if you remain upon this island; And that you will some good instruction give How I may bear me here: my prime request, Which I do last pronounce, is, O you wonder! If you be maid or no?

Miranda

No wonder, sir; But certainly a maid.

Ferdinand

My language! heavens! I am the best of them that speak this speech, Were I but where 'tis spoken.

Prospero

How? the best? What wert thou, if the King of Naples heard thee?

Ferdinand

A single thing, as I am now, that wonders To hear thee speak of Naples. He does hear me; And that he does I weep: myself am Naples, Who with mine eyes, never since at ebb, beheld The king my father wreck'd.

Miranda

Alack, for mercy!

Ferdinand

Yes, faith, and all his lords; the Duke of Milan And his brave son being twain.

Prospero

 [Aside]  The Duke of Milan And his more braver daughter could control thee, If now 'twere fit to do't. At the first sight They have changed eyes. Delicate Ariel, I'll set thee free for this.

To Ferdinand

A word, good sir; I fear you have done yourself some wrong: a word.

Miranda

Why speaks my father so ungently? This Is the third man that e'er I saw, the first That e'er I sigh'd for: pity move my father To be inclined my way!

Ferdinand

O, if a virgin, And your affection not gone forth, I'll make you The queen of Naples.

Prospero

Soft, sir! one word more.

Aside

They are both in either's powers; but this swift business I must uneasy make, lest too light winning Make the prize light.

To Ferdinand

One word more; I charge thee That thou attend me: thou dost here usurp The name thou owest not; and hast put thyself Upon this island as a spy, to win it From me, the lord on't.

Ferdinand

No, as I am a man.

Miranda

There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple: If the ill spirit have so fair a house, Good things will strive to dwell with't.

Prospero

Follow me. Speak not you for him; he's a traitor. Come; I'll manacle thy neck and feet together: Sea-water shalt thou drink; thy food shall be The fresh-brook muscles, wither'd roots and husks Wherein the acorn cradled. Follow.

Ferdinand

No; I will resist such entertainment till Mine enemy has more power.

Draws, and is charmed from moving

Miranda

O dear father, Make not too rash a trial of him, for He's gentle and not fearful.

Prospero

What? I say, My foot my tutor? Put thy sword up, traitor; Who makest a show but darest not strike, thy conscience Is so possess'd with guilt: come from thy ward, For I can here disarm thee with this stick And make thy weapon drop.

Miranda

Beseech you, father.

Prospero

Hence! hang not on my garments.

Miranda

Sir, have pity; I'll be his surety.

Prospero

Silence! one word more Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee. What! An advocate for an imposter! hush! Thou think'st there is no more such shapes as he, Having seen but him and Caliban: foolish wench! To the most of men this is a Caliban And they to him are angels.

Miranda

My affections Are then most humble; I have no ambition To see a goodlier man.

Prospero

Come on; obey: Thy nerves are in their infancy again And have no vigour in them.

Ferdinand

So they are; My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up. My father's loss, the weakness which I feel, The wreck of all my friends, nor this man's threats, To whom I am subdued, are but light to me, Might I but through my prison once a day Behold this maid: all corners else o' the earth Let liberty make use of; space enough Have I in such a prison.

Prospero

[Aside] It works.

[To Ferdinand] Come on.

Thou hast done well, fine Ariel!

[To Ferdinand] Follow me.

[To Ariel] Hark what thou else shalt do me.

Miranda

Be of comfort; My father's of a better nature, sir, Than he appears by speech: this is unwonted Which now came from him.

Prospero

Thou shalt be free As mountain winds: but then exactly do All points of my command.

Ariel

To the syllable.

Prospero

Come, follow. Speak not for him.

Exeunt