Page images

And after, bite me; then like hedge-hogs, which
Lie tumbling in my bare-foot way, and mount
Their pricks at my footfall; sometimes am I
All wound with adders, who, with cloven tongues,
Do hiss me into madness.

Satire on English Curiosity.

What have we here? a man or a fish? Dead or alive? A fish; he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of, not of the newest, PoorJohn. A strange fish! Were 1 in England now (as once I was), and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver; there would this monster make a man; any strange beast there makes a man: when they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian.

I pr'ythee, let me bring thee where crabs grow:
And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts :
Show thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how
To snare the nimble marmozet; I'll bring thee
To clustering filberds, and sometimes I'll get thee
Young sea-mells* from the rock.

Caliban's Promises.

I'll shew thee the best springs; I'll pluck thee berries;

I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough.
A plague upon the tyrant that I serve!

I'll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee,
Thou wondrous man.

* The sea-mell is pronounced by some commentators to be a species of sea gull. In the original text the word is "scamels."


Ferdinand and Miranda.

Prospero at a distance.

MIRANDA. 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.

O most dear mistress,
The sun will set, before I shall discharge
What I must strive to do.


If you will sit down

I'll bear your logs the while: pray give me that;
I'll carry it to the pile.


[ocr errors]

No, precious creature ;
I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
Than you should such dishonour undergo,
While I sit lazy by.

As well as it does you
With much more ease;
And yours against.

It would become me
and I should do it
for my good will is to it,

Poor worm! thou art infected;

This visitation shews it.


You look wearily.

FERDINAND. No, noble mistress; 'tis fresh morning

with me

I do beseech you

When you are by at night.
(Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers),
What is your name ?


Miranda :-O my father,

I have broke your hest to say so!

* Disobeyed her father's injunctions.


Admired Miranda !

Indeed the top of admiration; worth
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
With so full 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.


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 skill-less 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
Therein forget.


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 I would 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.

* Owned.

Do love me?
FERDINAND. O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this

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' the world,
Do love, prize, honour you.


To weep at what I am glad of.

I am a fool,

A Guilty Conscience.

O, it is monstrous! monstrous !
Methought the billows spoke and told me of it;
The winds did sing it to me; and the thunder,
That deep and dreadful organ pipe, pronounced
The name of Prosper.

Act IV.

Vanity of Human Nature.

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* behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

* Rack refers to the clouds when in motion; some critics suppose that track was the original word used.

Drunkards Enchanted by Ariel.

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,
Advanced their eyelids, lifted up their noses,

As they smelt music; so I charm'd their ears,
That, calf-like, they my lowing followed through
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 their chins.


Prospero's Abjuration of Magic.

Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves, And ye, that on the sands with printless foot Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him When he comes back; you demi-puppets, that By moonshine do the green-sour ringlets make, Whereof the ewe not bites; and you, whose pastime Is to make midnight-mushrooms; that rejoice To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid (Weak masters though ye be) I have bedimm'd The nood-tide sun, call'd forth the mutinous winds, And 'twixt the green sea and the azured vault Set roaring war; to the dread rattling thunder Have I given fire, and rifted Jove's stout oak With his own bolt: the strong-based promontory Have I made shake; and by the spurs pluck'd up

« PreviousContinue »