Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: Brent Whitted, Paul Yachnin
Peer Reviewed

The Tempest (Modern)

Enter Ferdinand, bearing a log.
Ferdinand There be some sports are painful, and their labor
Delight in them set off. Some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone, and most poor matters
Point to rich ends; this, my mean task,
1240Would be as heavy to me, as odious, but
The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead
And makes my labors pleasures. Oh, she is
Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed,
And he's composed of harshness. I must remove
1245Some thousands of these logs and pile them up
Upon a sore injunction. My sweet mistress
Weeps when she sees me work, and says such baseness
Had never like executor. I forget --
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labors
1250Most busiliest when I do it.
Alas, now pray you,
Enter Miranda and Prospero[, he, at a distance, unseen].
Work not so hard. I would the lightning had
Burnt up those logs that you are enjoined to pile.
Pray, set it down and rest you -- when this burns,
1255'Twill weep for having wearied you. My father
Is hard at study; pray now, rest yourself.
He's safe for these three hours.
O most dear mistress,
The sun will set before I shall discharge
1260What I must strive to do.
If you'll sit down,
I'll bear your logs the while. Pray, give me that;
I'll carry it to the pile.
No, precious creature;
1265I had rather crack my sinews, break my back
Than you should such dishonor undergo
While I sit lazy by.
It would become me
As well as it does you, and I should do it
1270With much more ease, for my good will is to it,
And yours it is against.
[Aside] Poor worm, thou art infected;
This visitation shows it.
You look wearily.
1275Ferdinand 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 my prayers),
What is your name?
O my father,
1280I 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
I have eyed with best regard, and many a time
1285Th'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
1290And 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 --
1295Save, 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 skilless of, but by my modesty
(The jewel in my dower), I would not wish
1300Any 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
I therein do 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 to suffer
The flesh-fly blow my mouth. Hear my soul speak:
1310The 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?
1315Ferdinand O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound,
And crown what I profess with kind event
If I speak true; if hollowly, invert
What best is boaded me to mischief. I,
Beyond all limit of what else i'th'world,
1320Do love, prize, honor you.
I am a fool
To weep at what I am glad of.
[Aside] Fair encounter
Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace
1325On that which breeds between 'em.
Wherefore weep you?
Miranda 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,
1330And 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
1335You 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?
1340Ferdinand Ay, with a heart as willing
As bondage ere of freedom: here's my hand.
Miranda And mine, with my heart in't; and now, farewell
Till half an hour hence.
A thousand, thousand.
Exit [Miranda and Ferdinand].
1345Prospero So glad of this as they I cannot be,
Who are surprised with all, but my rejoicing
At nothing can be more. I'll to my book,
For yet ere suppertime must I perform
Much business appertaining.