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Sebastian. Let's take leave of him.
[Exit. Gonzalo. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing. The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.
[Exit. 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 th’ 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.
No more amazement. Tell your piteous heart
There's no harm done.
O, woe the day!
I have done nothing but in care of thee
(Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter !), who
Art ignorant of what thou art, naught knowing
Of whence I am, nor that I am more better
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,
And thy no greater father.
More to know
Did never meddle with my thoughts.
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 wrack, which touch'd
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art
So safely order’d, 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.
You have often
Begun to tell me what I am ; but stopp’d,
And left me to a bootless inquisition,
Concluding,—“Stay, not yet."
The hour's now come ;
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
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.
'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 cam’st here, How thou cam'st here thou mayst.
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.
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 his only heir
And princess, no worse issued.
O the heavens!
What foul play had we, that we came from thence?
Or blessed was't we did ?
Both, both, my girl :
By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heav'd thence;
But blessedly holp hither.
O, my heart bleeds
To think o'th' 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 lov’d, and to him put
The manage of my State; as at that time
Through all the signiories 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?
Sir, most heedfully.
Prospero. Being once perfected how to grant suits,
How to deny them, who t advance, and who
To trash for over-topping, new created
The creatures that were mine, I say, or chang’d 'em,
Or else new form’d 'em ; having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts i' th' State
To what tune pleas'd 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!
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 retir'd,
O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother
Awak'd 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 unto 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'th' substitution,
And executing th' outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative :-hence his ambition
Growing,—dost thou hear?
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' th’ 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.
O the heavens !
Prospero. Mark his condition, and th' event; then tell me
If this might be a brother.
I should sin
To think but nobly of my grandmother :
Good wombs have borne bad sons.
Now the condition.
This King of Naples, being an enemy
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit;
Which was, that he, in lieu o'th' 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 th' purpose, did Antonio open
The gates of Milan; and, i'th' dead of darkness,
The ministers for th' purpose hurried thence
Me and thy crying self.
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.
Hear a little further,
And then I'll bring thee to the present ousiness
Which now's upon 's; without the which this story
Were most impertinent.
Wherefore did they not
That hour destroy us?
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