Fiction > Harvard Classics > William Shakespeare > The Tempest
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tempest.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act IV
Scene I

Enter certain Nymphs
You sunburnt sicklemen, of August weary,

[Before Prospero’s cell]

  Pros.  If I have too austerely punish’d you,
Your compensation makes amends, for I
Have given you here a third of mine own life,
Or that for which I live; who once again        4
I tender 1 to thy hand. All thy vexations
Were but my trials of thy love, and thou
Hast strangely stood the test. Here, afore Heaven,
I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand,        8
Do not smile at me that I boast her off,
For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise
And make it halt behind her.
  Fer.        I do believe it        12
Against an oracle.
  Pros.  Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition
Worthily purchas’d, take my daughter. But
If thou dost break her virgin-knot before        16
All sanctimonious ceremonies may
With full and holy rite be minist’red,
No sweet aspersion 2 shall the heavens let fall
To make this contract grow; but barren Hate,        20
Sour-eyed Disdain and Discord shall bestrew
The union of your bed with weeds so loathly
That you shall hate it both. Therefore take heed,
As Hymen’s lamps shall light you.        24
  Fer.        As I hope
For quiet days, fair issue, and long life,
With such love as ’tis now, the murkiest den,
The most opportune place, the strong’st suggestion 3        28
Our worser genius can, shall never melt
Mine honour into lust, to take away
The edge of that day’s celebration
When I shall think or Phœbus’ steeds are founder’d        32
Or Night kept chain’d below.
  Pros.        Fairly spoke.
Sit then and talk with her; she is thine own.
What, Ariel! my industrious servant, Ariel!        36

  Ari.  What would my potent master? Here I am.
  Pros.  Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service
Did worthily perform; and I must use you
In such another trick. Go bring the rabble,        40
O’er whom I give thee power, here to this place.
Incite them to quick motion; for I must
Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple
Some vanity of mine art. It is my promise,        44
And they expect it from me.
  Ari.        Presently?
  Pros.  Ay, with a twink.
        Before you can say “come” and “go,”
And breathe twice and cry “so, so,”
Each one, tripping on his toe,
Will be here with mop 4 and mow.
Do you love me, master? No?
  Pros.  Dearly, my delicate Ariel. Do not approach
Till thou dost hear me call.
  Ari.        Well, I conceive. 5  Exit.
  Pros.  Look thou be true; do not give dalliance        52
Too much the rein. The strongest oaths are straw
To the fire i’ the blood. Be more abstemious,
Or else, good night your vow!
  Fer.        I warrant you, sir;        56
The white cold virgin snow upon my heart
Abates the ardour of my liver. 6
  Pros.        Well.
Now come, my Ariel! bring a corollary, 7        60
Rather than want a spirit. Appear, and pertly!
No tongue! all eyes! Be silent.  Soft music.
Enter IRIS

  Iris.  Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas
Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and pease;        64
Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,
And flat meads thatch’d with stover, 8 them to keep;
Thy banks with pioned 9 and twilled 10 brims,
Which spongy April at thy hest betrims        68
To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy brown groves,
Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,
Being lass-lorn; thy pole-clipp’d 11 vineyard;
And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky-hard,        72
Where thou thyself dost air;—the queen o’ the sky,
Whose watery arch and messenger am I,
Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace,  JUNO descends.
Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,        76
To come and sport; here peacocks fly amain.
Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.

  Cer.  Haií, many-coloured messenger, that ne’er
Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;        80
Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers,
And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
My bosky 12 acres and my unshrubb’d down,        84
Rich scarf to my proud earth; why hath thy queen
Summon’d me hither, to this short-grass’d green?
  Iris.  A contract of true love to celebrate;
And some donation freely to estate 13        88
On the blest lovers.
  Cer.        Tell me, heavenly bow,
If Venus or her son, as thou dost know,
Do now attend the Queen? Since they did plot        92
The means that dusky Dis my daughter got,
Her and her blind boy’s scandal’d 14 company
I have forsworn.
  Iris.        Of her society        96
Be not afraid. I met her deity
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son
Dove-drawn with her. Here thought they to have done
Some wanton charm upon this man and maid,        100
Whose vows are, that no bed-right shall be paid
Till Hymen’s torch be lighted; but in vain.
Mars’s hot minion 15 is return’d again;
Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows,        104
Swears he will shoot no more, but play with sparrows
And be a boy right out.
  Cer.        Highest queen of state,
Great Juno, comes; I know her by her gait.        108
[Enter JUNO]

  Juno.  How does my bounteous sister? Go with me
To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be
And honour’d in their issue.  They sing.
        Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,
Long continuance, and increasing,
Hourly joys be still upon you!
Juno sings her blessings on you.
        Earth’s increase, foison 16 plenty,
Barns and garners never empty,
Vines with clustering bunches growing,
Plants with goodly burden bowing.
Spring come to you at the farthest
In the very end of harvest!
Scarcity and want shall shun you;
Ceres’ blessing so is on you.
  Fer.  This is a most majestic vision, and
Harmonious charmingly. May I be bold
To think these spirits?        116
  Pros.        Spirits, which by mine art
I have from their confines call’d to enact
My present fancies.
  Fer.        Let me live here ever;        120
So rare a wond’red 17 father and a wise
Makes this place Paradise.
  Pros.        Sweet, now, silence!
Juno and Ceres whisper seriously.        124
There’s something else to do; hush, and be mute,
Or else our spell is marr’d.  JUNO and CERES whisper, and send IRIS on employment.
  Iris.  You nymphs, call’d Naiads, of the winding brooks,
With your sedg’d crowns and ever-harmless looks,        128
Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land
Answer your summons; Juno does command.
Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate
A contract of true love; be not too late.        132
Come hither from the furrow and be merry.
Make holiday; your rye-straw hats put on
And these fresh nymphs encounter every one
In country footing.        136
Enter certain Reapers, properly habited: they join with the Nymphs in a graceful dance; towards the end where of PROSPERO starts suddenly, and speaks; after which, to a strange, hollow, and confused noise, they heavily vanish

  Pros.  [Aside.]  I had forgot that foul conspiracy
Of the beast Caliban and his confederates
Against my life. The minute of their plot
Is almost come. [To the Spirits.] Well done! avoid. No more!        140
  Fer.  This is strange. Your father’s in some passion 18
That works him strongly.
  Mir.        Never till this day
Saw I him touch’d with anger, so distemper’d. 19        144
  Pros.  You do look, my son, in a mov’d sort,
As if you were dismay’d. Be cheerful, sir,
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and        148
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,        152
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack 20 behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life        156
Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex’d,—
Bear with my weakness—my old brain is troubled.
Be not disturb’d with my infirmity.
If you be pleas’d, retire into my cell        160
And there repose. A turn or two I’ll walk,
To still my beating mind.
  Fer. Mir.        We wish your peace.
  Pros.  Come with a thought. I thank thee, Ariel; come.  Exeunt.        164

  Ari.  Thy thoughts I cleave to. What’s thy pleasure?
  Pros.        Spirit,
We must prepare to meet with Caliban.
  Ari.  Ay, my commander. When I presented Ceres,        168
I thought to have told thee of it, but I fear’d
Lest I might anger thee.
  Pros.  Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?
  Ari.  I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;        172
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;        176
At which, like unback’d colts, they prick’d their ears,
Advanc’d 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        180
Tooth’d briers, sharp furzes, pricking gorse, and thorns,
Which ent’red their frail shins. At last I left them
I’ the filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell,
There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lake        184
O’erstunk their feet.
  Pros.        This was well done, my bird.
Thy shape invisible retain thou still.
The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither,        188
For stale 21 to catch these thieves.
  Ari.        I go, I go.
  Pros.  A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains,        192
Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost;
And as with age his body uglier grows,
So his mind cankers. I will plague them all,
Even to roaring.  Exit.        196
Re-enter ARIEL, loaden with glittering apparel, etc.

      Come, hang them on this line. 22
[PROSPERO and ARIEL remain, invisible.] Enter CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and TRINCULO, all wet

  Cal.  Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not
Hear a foot fall; we now are near his cell.
  Ste.  Monster, your fairy, which you say is a harmless fairy, has done little better than play’d the Jack 23 with us.        200
  Trin.  Monster, I do smell all horse-piss, at which my nose is in great indignation.
  Ste.  So is mine. Do you hear, monster? If I should take a displeasure against you, look you,—
  Trin.  Thou wert but a lost monster.
  Cal.  Good my lord, give me thy favour still.        204
Be patient, for the prize I’ll bring thee to
Shall hoodwink 24 this mischance; therefore speak softly.
All’s hush’d as midnight yet.
  Trin.  Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,—        208
  Ste.  There is not only disgrace and dishonour in that, monster, but an infinite loss.
  Trin.  That’s more to me than my wetting; yet this is your harmless fairy, monster!
  Ste.  I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o’er ears for my labour.
  Cal.  Prithee, my king, be quiet. See’st thou here,        212
This is the mouth o’ the cell. No noise, and enter.
Do that good mischief which may make this island
Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban,
For aye thy foot-licker.        216
  Ste.  Give me thy hand. I do begin to have bloody thoughts.
  Trin.  O King Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! look what a wardrobe here is for thee!
  Cal.  Let it alone, thou fool; it is but trash.
  Trin.  O, ho, monster! we know what belongs to a frippery. 25 O King Stephano!        220
  Ste.  Put off that gown, Trinculo; by this hand, I’ll have that gown.
  Trin.  Thy grace shall have it.
  Cal.  The dropsy drown this fool! what do you mean
To dote thus on such luggage? Let’s alone        224
And do the murder first. If he awake,
From toe to crown he’ll fill our skins with pinches,
Make us strange stuff.
  Ste.  Be you quiet, monster. Mistress line, is not this my jerkin? Now is the jerkin under the line. 26 Now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair and prove a bald jerkin.        228
  Trin.  Do, do; we steal by line and level, an ’t like your Grace.
  Ste.  I thank thee for that jest; here’s a garment for ’t. Wit shall not go unrewarded while I am king of this country. “Steal by line and level” is an excellent pass of pate; 27 there’s another garment for ’t.
  Trin.  Monster, come, put some line upon your fingers, and away with the rest.
  Cal.  I will have none on ’t. We shall lose our time,        232
And all be turn’d to barnacles, or to apes
With foreheads villainous low.
  Ste.  Monster, lay-to your fingers. Help to bear this away where my hogshead of wine is, or I’ll turn you out of my kingdom. Go to, carry this.
  Trin.  And this.        236
  Ste.  Ay, and this.
A noise of hunters heard. Enter divers Spirits, in shape of dogs and hounds, hunting them about, PROSPERO and ARIEL setting them on

  Pros.  Mountain, hey!
  Ari.  Silver! there it goes, Silver!
  Pros.  Fury, Fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark! hark!  [CAL., STE., and TRIN. are driven out.]        240
Go charge my goblins that they grind their joints
With dry convulsions, shorten up their sinews
With aged cramps, and more pinch-spotted make them
Than pard or cat o’ mountain. 28        244
  Ari.        Hark, they roar!
  Pros.  Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour
Lies at my mercy all mine enemies.
Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou        248
Shalt have the air of freedom. For a little
Follow, and do me service.  Exeunt.
Note 1. Offer. [back]
Note 2. Sprinkling. [back]
Note 3. Temptation. [back]
Note 4. Grimace. [back]
Note 5. Understand. [back]
Note 6. Supposed to be the seat of passion. [back]
Note 7. Overplus. [back]
Note 8. Hay. [back]
Note 9. Overgrown with peony (?). [back]
Note 10. Reedy (?). [back]
Note 11. The poles embraced by the vines. [back]
Note 12. Covered with bushes. [back]
Note 13. Bestow. [back]
Note 14. Scandalous. [back]
Note 15. I. e., Venus. [back]
Note 16. Abundance. [back]
Note 17. Wonder-working. [back]
Note 18. Emotion. [back]
Note 19. Perturbed. [back]
Note 20. Shred of cloud. [back]
Note 21. Lure. [back]
Note 22. Probably, lime-tree. [back]
Note 23. Knave. [back]
Note 24. Make you forget. [back]
Note 25. Old-clothes shop. [back]
Note 26. Punning on line=lime-tree, and line=equinoctial line. [back]
Note 27. Sally to wit. [back]
Note 28. Wild-cat. [back]


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