Fiction > Harvard Classics > William Shakespeare > The Tempest
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tempest.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act III
 
Scene III
 
 
[Another part of the island]
Enter ALONZO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, GONZALO, ADRIAN, FRANCISCO, etc.

  Gon.  By ’r lakin, 1 I can go no further, sir;
My old bones ache. Here’s a maze trod indeed
Through forth-rights and meanders! 2 By your patience,
I needs must rest me.        4
  Alon.        Old lord, I cannot blame thee,
Who am myself attach’d 3 with weariness
To the dulling of my spirits. Sit down, and rest.
Even here I will put off my hope and keep it        8
No longer for my flatterer. He is drown’d
Whom thus we stray to find, and the sea mocks
Our frustrate search on land. Well, let him go.
  Ant.  [Aside to SEB.]  I am right glad that he’s so out of hope.        12
Do not, for one repulse, forego the purpose
That you resolv’d to effect.
  Seb.      [Aside to ANT.]  The next advantage
Will we take throughly.        16
  Ant.    [Aside to SEB.]  Let it be to-night;
For, now they are oppress’d with travel, they
Will not, cannot, use such vigilance
As when they are fresh.        20
 
Solemn and strange music; and PROSPERO on the top invisible, Enter several strange shapes, bringing in a banquet; and dance about it with gentle actions of salutation; and, inviting the King, etc., to eat, they depart.

  Seb.  [Aside to ANT.]  I say, to-night. No more.
  Alon.  What harmony is this? My good friends, hark!
  Gon.  Marvellous sweet music!
  Alon.  Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?        24
  Seb.  A living drollery. 4 Now I will believe
That there are unicorns, that in Arabia
There is one tree, the phœnix’ throne, one phœnix
At this hour reigning there.        28
  Ant.        I’ll believe both;
And what does else want credit, come to me,
And I’ll be sworn ’tis true. Travellers ne’er did lie,
Though fools at home condemn ’em.        32
  Gon.        If in Naples
I should report this now, would they believe me?
If I should say, I saw such islanders—
For, certes, these are people of the island—        36
Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet, note,
Their manners are more gentle, kind, than of
Our human generation you shall find
Many, nay, almost any.        40
  Pros.        [Aside.]  Honest lord,
Thou hast said well; for some of you there present
Are worse than devils.
  Alon.        I cannot too much muse 5        44
Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound, expressing,
Although they want the use of tongue, a kind
Of excellent dumb discourse.
  Pros.        [Aside.]  Praise in departing.        48
  Fran.  They vanish’d strangely.
  Seb.        No matter, since
They have left their viands behind, for we have stomachs.
Will ’t please you taste of what is here?        52
  Alon.        Not I.
  Gon.  Faith, sir, you need not fear. When we were boys,
Who would believe that there were mountaineers
Dew-lapp’d like bulls, 6 whose throats had hanging at ’em        56
Wallets of flesh? or that there were such men
Whose heads stood in their breasts? which now we find
Each putter-out of five for one 7 will bring us
Good warrant of.        60
  Alon.        I will stand to and feed,
Although my last. No matter, since I feel
The best is past. Brother, my lord the Duke,
Stand to and do as we.        64
 
Thunder and lightning. Enter ARIEL, like a harpy; claps his wings upon the table; and, with a quaint device, 8 the banquet vanishes.

  Ari.  You are three men of sin, whom Destiny,
That hath to instrument 9 this lower world
And what is in ’t, the never-surfeited sea
Hath caus’d to belch up you; and on this island        68
Where man doth not inhabit; you ’mongst men
Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad;
And even with such-like valour men hang and drown
Their proper selves.  [ALON., SEB., etc., draw their swords.]        72
        You fools! I and my fellows
Are ministers of Fate. The elements, 10
Of whom your swords are temper’d, 11 may as well
Wound the loud winds, or with bemock’d-at stabs        76
Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish
One dowle 12 that’s in my plume. My fellow-ministers
Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt,
Your swords are now too massy for your strengths        80
And will not be uplifted. But remember—
For that’s my business to you—that you three
From Milan did supplant good Prospero;
Expos’d unto the sea, which hath requit it,        84
Him and his innocent child; for which foul deed
The powers, delaying, not forgetting, have
Incens’d the seas and shores, yea, all the creatures,
Against your peace. Thee of thy son, Alonso,        88
They have bereft; and do pronounce by me
Ling’ring perdition, worse than any death
Can be at once, shall step by step attend
You and your ways; whose wraths to guard you from—        92
Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls
Upon your heads—is nothing but heart’s sorrow
And a clear life ensuing.
 
He vanishes in thunder; then, to soft music, enter the shapes again, and dance with mocks and mows, and carrying out the table

  Pros.  Bravely the figure of this harpy hast thou
        96
Perform’d, my Ariel; a grace it had, devouring.
Of my instruction hast thou nothing bated 13
In what thou hadst to say; so, with good life 14
And observation 15 strange, my meaner ministers        100
Their several kinds have done. My high charms work,
And these mine enemies are all knit up
In their distractions. They now are in my power;
And in these fits I leave them, while I visit        104
Young Ferdinand, whom they suppose is drown’d,
And his and mine lov’d darling.  [Exit above.]
  Gon.  I’ the name of something holy, sir, why stand you
In this strange stare?        108
  Alon.        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, pronounc’d        112
The name of Prosper; it did bass 16 my trespass.
Therefore my son i’ the ooze is bedded, and
I’ll seek him deeper than e’er plummet sounded
And with him there lie mudded.  [Exit.]        116
  Seb.        But one fiend at a time,
I’ll fight their legions o’er.
  Ant.        I’ll be thy second.  Exeunt [SEB. and ANT.]
  Gon.  All three of them are desperate: their great guilt,        120
Like poison given to work a great time after,
Now gins to bite the spirits. I do beseech you
That are of suppler joints, follow them swiftly
And hinder them from what this ecstasy 17        124
May now provoke them to.
  Adr.        Follow, I pray you.  Exeunt.
 
Note 1. Little lady (the Virgin). [back]
Note 2. Straight and winding paths. [back]
Note 3. Seized. [back]
Note 4. Puppet-show. [back]
Note 5. Wonder at. [back]
Note 6. I. e., with the goitre. [back]
Note 7. Traveler who insured himself at the rate of five for one. [back]
Note 8. Ingenious contrivance. [back]
Note 9. In its control. [back]
Note 10. Materials. [back]
Note 11. Composed. [back]
Note 12. Downy feather. [back]
Note 13. Omitted. [back]
Note 14. Lifelikeness. [back]
Note 15. Attention. [back]
Note 16. Pronounce in deep tones. [back]
Note 17. Excitement. [back]
 

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