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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Tempest.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene I


[Before Prospero’s cell]
Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log

Fer.There be some sports are painful, and their labourDelight in them sets off; some kinds of basenessAre nobly undergone, and most poor mattersPoint to rich ends. This my mean taskWould be as heavy to me as odious, butThe mistress which I serve quickens what’s deadAnd makes my labours pleasures. O, she isTen times more gentle than her father’s crabbed,And he’s compos’d of harshness. I must removeSome thousands of these logs and pile them up,Upon a sore injunction. My sweet mistressWeeps when she sees me work, and says such basenessHad never like executor. I forget;But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours,Most busy least, when I do it.
Enter MIRANDA; and PROSPERO[at a distance, unseen]

Mir.Alas, now, pray you,Work not so hard. I would the lightning hadBurnt 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 fatherIs hard at study; pray now, rest yourself;He’s safe for these three hours.Fer.O most dear mistress,The sun will set before I shall dischargeWhat I must strive to do.Mir.If you’ll sit down,I’ll bear your logs the while. Pray, give me that;I’ll carry it to the pile.Fer.No, precious creature;I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,Than you should such dishonour undergo,While I sit lazy by.Mir.It would become meAs well as it does you; and I should do itWith much more ease, for my good will is to it,And yours it is against.Pros.Poor worm, thou art infected!This visitation shows it.Mir.You look wearily.Fer.No, noble mistress; ’tis fresh morning with meWhen you are by at night. I do beseech you—Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers—What is your name?Mir.Miranda.—O my father,I have broke your hest to say so!Fer.Admir’d Miranda!Indeed the top of admiration! worthWhat’s dearest to the world! Full many a ladyI have ey’d with best regard, and many a timeThe harmony of their tongues hath into bondageBrought my too diligent ear; for several virtuesHave I lik’d several women, never anyWith so full soul, but some defect in herDid quarrel with the noblest grace she ow’dAnd put it to the foil; but you, O you,So perfect and so peerless, are createdOf every creature’s best!Mir.I do not knowOne of my sex; no woman’s face remember,Save, from my glass, mine own; nor have I seenMore that I may call men than you, good friend,And my dear father. How features are abroad,I am skilless of; but, by my modesty,The jewel in my dower, I would not wishAny companion in the world but you,Nor can imagination form a shape,Besides yourself, to like of. But I prattleSomething too wildly, and my father’s preceptsI therein do forget.Fer.I am in my conditionA prince, Miranda; I do think, a king;I would, not so!—and would no more endureThis wooden slavery than to sufferThe flesh-fly blow my mouth. Hear my soul speak.The very instant that I saw you, didMy heart fly to your service; there resides,To make me slave to it; and for your sakeAm I this patient log-man.Mir.Do you love me?Fer.O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound,And crown what I profess with kind eventIf I speak true! if hollowly, invertWhat best is boded me to mischief! IBeyond all limit of what else i’ the worldDo love, prize, honour you.Mir.I am a foolTo weep at what I am glad of.Pros.Fair encounterOf two most rare affections! Heavens rain graceOn that which breeds between ’em!Fer.Wherefore weep you?Mir.At mine unworthiness, that dare not offerWhat I desire to give, and much less takeWhat 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 fellowYou may deny me; but I’ll be your servant,Whether you will or no.Fer.My mistress, dearest;And I thus humble ever.Mir.My husband, then?Fer.Ay, with a heart as willingAs bondage e’er of freedom. Here’s my hand.Mir.And mine, with my heart in ’t. And now farewellTill half an hour hence.Fer.A thousand thousand!Exeunt [FER. and MIR. severally].Pros.So glad of this as they I cannot be,Who are surpris’d withal; but my rejoicingAt nothing can be more. I’ll to my book,For yet ere supper-time must I performMuch business appertaining.Exit.