Page images

And after, bite me; then like hedge-hogs, which
Lie tumbling in my bare-foot way, and mount
Their pricks at my foot-fall; sometime am I
All wound with adders, who, with cloven tongues,
Do hiss me into madness :-Lo! now! lo!
Here comes a spirit of his; and to torment me,
For bringing wood in slowly: I'll fall flat:
Perchance, he will not mind me.


Were I 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'll show 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.
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.


His tears run down his beard, like winter's drops
From eaves of reeds.

* Sea-gulls.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]


You look wearily.
Fer. 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 your prayers),
What is your name?

Miranda :-O my father,
I have broke your hest* to say so !

Admired Miranda !
Indeed the top of admiration ; worth
What's dearest to the world ! Full many a lady

* Command.

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.

Do you love me? Fer. O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound, And crown what I profess with kind event, If I speak true; if hollowly, invert

* Owned.

What best is boded me, to mischief ! I,
Beyond all limit of what else i' the world,
Do love, prize, honour you.

I am a fool,
To weep at what I am glad of.

Wherefore weep you?
Mira. At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer
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 !
I am your wife, if 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.

My mistress, dearest,
And I thus humble ever.

My husband, then ?
Ter. Ay, with a heart as willing
As bondage e'er of freedom : here's my hand. [well !

Mira. And mine, with my heart in't: and now fare

Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslips bell I lie :
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly,

After summer, merrily:
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.


Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not
Hear a foot fall.


DRUNKARDS ENCHANTED BY ARIEL. I told you, sir, that 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 follow'd through Tooth'd briers, sharp furzes, pricking goss, and thorns, Which enter'd their frail shins : at last I left them l' the filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell, There dancing up to the chins.

« PreviousContinue »