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  • Title: The Tempest (Modern)
  • Editors: Brent Whitted, Paul Yachnin
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-370-0

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: Brent Whitted, Paul Yachnin
    Peer Reviewed

    The Tempest (Modern)

    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
    85But that the sea, mounting to th'welkin's cheek,
    Dashes the fire out. Oh! I have suffered
    With those that I saw suffer. A brave vessel
    (Who had no doubt some noble creature in her)
    Dashed all to pieces. Oh, the cry did knock
    90Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perished.
    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 swallowed and
    The fraughting souls within her.
    Be collected.
    No more amazement; tell your piteous heart
    There's no harm done.
    Oh, woe the day!
    No harm!
    100I have done nothing but in care of thee --
    Of thee my dear one, thee my daughter -- who
    Art ignorant of what thou art, not knowing
    Of whence I am, nor that I am more better
    Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,
    105And thy no greater father.
    More to know
    Did never meddle with my thoughts.
    'Tis time
    I should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand
    110And pluck my magic garment from me. So
    Lie there, my art. Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort.
    The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touched
    The very virtue of compassion in thee,
    I have, with such provision in mine art,
    115So safely ordered that there is no soul
    (No, not so much perdition as an hair!)
    Betide 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 stopped
    And left me to a bootless inquisition,
    Concluding, "Stay -- not yet."
    The hour's now come.
    125The very 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
    Out three years old.
    Certainly, sir, I can.
    Prospero By what? By any other house or person?
    Of anything the image tell me that
    Hath kept with thy remembrance.
    'Tis far off --
    135And rather like a dream than an assurance
    That my remembrance warrants. Had I not
    Four or five women once that tended me?
    Prospero Thou had'st, and more, Miranda. But how is it
    That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else
    140In 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 years since, Miranda, twelve years since,
    145Thy 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
    150Was Duke of Milan -- and his only heir
    And princess no worse issued.
    Oh, the heavens!
    What foul play had we that we came from thence --
    Or blessèd was't we did?
    Both, both, my girl.
    By foul play (as thou say'st) were we heaved thence,
    But blessedly holp hither.
    Oh, my heart bleeds
    To think o'th'teen that I have turned you to,
    160Which is from my remembrance. Please you, farther.
    Prospero My brother and thy uncle, called Antonio --
    I pray thee, mark me, that a brother should
    Be so perfidious! -- he whom, next thyself,
    Of all the world I loved, and to him put
    165The manage of my state as, at that time,
    Through all the seigniories, 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),
    170The 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 --
    175Prospero 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 changed'em,
    Or else new formed them; having both the key
    180Of officer and office, set all hearts i'th'state
    To what tune pleased his ear, that now he was
    The ivy which had hid my princely trunk
    And sucked my verdure out on't -- thou attend'st not.
    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 retired,
    O'er-prized all popular rate) in my false brother
    190Awaked 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,
    195Not only with what my revenue yielded
    But what my power might else exact like one
    Who, having into truth by telling of it,
    Made such a sinner of his memory
    To credit his own lie, he did believe
    200He was indeed the duke out o'th'substitution
    And executing the outward face of royalty
    With all prerogative; hence, his ambition growing --
    Dost thou hear?
    Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
    205Prospero To have no screen between this part he played
    And him he played 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
    210(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 unbowed (alas, poor Milan!),
    To most ignoble stooping.
    Oh, 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:
    220Good wombs have born 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
    225Of 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 honors, on my brother -- whereon,
    A treacherous army levied, one midnight
    230Fated to the purpose, did Antonio open
    The gates of Milan, and i'th'dead of darkness
    The ministers for the purpose hurried thence
    Me and thy crying self.
    Alack, for pity!
    235I, 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 business
    240Which now's upon's, without the which this story
    Were most impertinent.
    Wherefore did they not
    That hour destroy us?
    Well demanded, wench.
    245My 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
    With colors fairer, painted their foul ends.
    In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,
    250Bore us some leagues to sea, where they prepared
    A rotten carcass of a butt: not rigged,
    Nor tackle, sail, nor mast. The very rats
    Instinctively have quit it. There they hoist us
    To cry to th'sea that roared to us, to sigh
    255To th'winds, whose pity, sighing back again,
    Did us but loving wrong.
    Alack, what trouble
    Was I then to you?
    Oh, a cherubin
    260Thou wast that did preserve me. Thou didst smile,
    Infusèd with a fortitude from heaven
    (When I have decked the sea with drops full salt
    Under my burden groaned), which raised in me
    An undergoing stomach to bear up
    265Against what should ensue.
    How came we ashore?
    By providence divine.
    Some food we had and some fresh water that
    A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,
    270Out of his charity (who being then appointed
    Master of this design) did give us, with
    Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries,
    Which since have steaded much. So of his gentleness,
    Knowing I loved my books, he furnished me
    275From mine own library with volumes that
    I prize above my dukedom.
    Would I might
    But ever see that man.
    Now I arise.
    280Sit still and hear the last of our sea-sorrow.
    Here in this island we arrived, and here
    Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit
    Than other princes can that have more time
    For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.
    285Miranda Heavens thank you for't! And now I pray you, sir,
    For still 'tis beating in my mind: your reason
    For raising this sea-storm?
    Know thus far forth:
    By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune
    290(Now, my dear lady!) hath mine enemies
    Brought to this shore, and by my prescience
    I find my zenith doth depend upon
    A most auspicious star, whose influence
    If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes
    295Will ever after droop. Here cease more questions.
    Thou art inclined to sleep; 'tis a good dullness,
    And give it way. I know thou canst not choose.
    Come away, servant, come, I am ready now.
    Approach, my Ariel, come.
    Enter Ariel.
    300Ariel All hail, great master! Grave sir, hail! I come
    To answer thy best pleasure, be't to fly,
    To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
    On the curled clouds. To thy strong bidding, task
    Ariel and all his quality!
    Hast thou, spirit,
    Performed to point the tempest that I bade thee?
    Ariel To every article.
    I boarded the King's ship -- now on the beak,
    Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin,
    310I flamed amazement. Sometime I'ld divide
    And burn in many places. On the topmast,
    The yards and bowsprit would I flame distinctly,
    Then meet and join. Jove's lightning, the precursors
    O'th'dreadful thunderclaps, more momentary
    315And sight out-running were not. The fire and cracks
    Of sulphurous roaring, the most mighty Neptune
    Seemed to besiege and made his bold waves tremble --
    Yea, his dread trident shake!
    My brave spirit,
    320Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil
    Would not infect his reason?
    Not a soul
    But felt a fever of the mad, and played
    Some tricks of desperation. All but mariners
    325Plunged in the foaming brine and quit the vessel;
    Then all afire with me, the King's son, Ferdinand,
    With hair up-staring (then like reeds, not hair!)
    Was the first man that leapt, cried, "Hell is empty,
    And all the devils are here!"
    Why, that's my spirit!
    But was not this nigh shore?
    Close by, my master.
    But are they, Ariel, safe?
    Not a hair perished;
    335On their sustaining garments, not a blemish,
    But fresher than before. And as thou bad'st me,
    In troops I have dispersed them 'bout the isle.
    The King's son have I landed by himself,
    Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs
    340In an odd angle of the isle, and sitting,
    His arms in this sad knot.
    Of the King's ship,
    The mariners -- say how thou hast disposed,
    And all the rest o'th'fleet.
    Safely in harbor
    Is the King's ship, in the deep nook, where once
    Thou called me up at midnight to fetch dew
    From the still-vexed Bermudas, there she's hid.
    The mariners all under hatches stowed,
    350Who, with a charm joined to their suffered labor,
    I have left asleep; and for the rest o'th'fleet,
    Which I dispersed, they all have met again
    And are upon the Mediterranean float,
    Bound sadly home for Naples,
    355Supposing that they saw the King's ship wracked
    And his great person perish.
    Ariel, thy charge
    Exactly is performed -- but there's more work.
    What is the time o'th'day?
    Past the mid season.
    Prospero At least two glasses -- the time 'twixt six and now --
    Must by us both be spent most preciously.
    Ariel Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains,
    Let me remember thee what thou hast promised,
    365Which is not yet performed me.
    How now? Moody?
    What is't thou canst demand?
    My liberty.
    Before the time be out? No more!
    I prithee,
    Remember I have done thee worthy service,
    Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, served
    Without or grudge or grumblings. Thou did promise
    To bate me a full year.
    Dost thou forget
    From what a torment I did free thee?
    Prospero Thou dost, and think'st it much to tread the ooze
    Of the salt deep,
    To run upon the sharp wind of the north,
    380To do me business in the veins o'th'earth
    When it is baked with frost.
    I do not, sir.
    Prospero Thou liest, malignant thing! Hast thou forgot
    The foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy
    385Was grown into a hoop? Hast thou forgot her?
    Ariel No, sir.
    Prospero Thou hast. Where was she born? Speak: tell me.
    Sir, in Algiers.
    Oh, was she so? I must
    390Once in a month recount what thou hast been,
    Which thou forget'st. This damned witch Sycorax,
    For mischiefs manifold and sorceries terrible
    To enter human hearing, from Algiers
    Thou know'st was banished. For one thing she did,
    395They would not take her life. Is not this true?
    Ariel Ay, sir.
    Prospero This blue-eyed hag was hither brought, with child,
    And here was left by th'sailors. Thou, my slave,
    As thou report'st thyself, was then her servant;
    And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate
    400To act her earthy and abhorred commands,
    Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee,
    By help of her more potent ministers
    And her most unmitigable rage,
    Into a cloven pine, within which rift
    405Imprisoned, thou didst painfully remain
    A dozen years, within which space she died
    And left thee there, where thou didst vent thy groans
    As fast as millwheels strike. Then was this island
    (Save for the son that she did litter here,
    410A freckled whelp, hag-born) not honored with
    A human shape.
    Yes -- Caliban, her son.
    Prospero Dull thing, I say so -- he, that Caliban,
    Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st
    415What torment I did find thee in: thy groans
    Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts
    Of ever-angry bears; it was a torment
    To lay upon the damned, which Sycorax
    Could not again undo. It was mine art,
    420When I arrived and heard thee, that made gape
    The pine and let thee out.
    I thank thee, master.
    Prospero If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak
    And peg thee in his knotty entrails till
    425Thou hast howled away twelve winters.
    Pardon, master.
    I will be correspondent to command
    And do my spriting gently.
    Do so, and after two days
    430I will discharge thee.
    That's my noble master!
    What shall I do? Say what. What shall I do?
    Prospero Go make thyself like a nymph o'th'sea.
    Be subject to no sight but thine and mine, invisible
    435To every eyeball else. Go take this shape
    And hither come in't. Go hence
    With diligence.
    Exit [Ariel].
    Awake, dear heart, awake, thou hast slept well,
    The strangeness of your story put
    Heaviness in me.
    Shake it off. Come on,
    We'll visit Caliban, my slave, who never
    Yields us kind answer.
    445Miranda 'Tis a villain, sir, I do not love to look on.
    Prospero But as 'tis,
    We cannot miss him; he does make our fire,
    Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices
    That profit us. What ho! Slave Caliban!
    450Thou earth, thou, speak!
    (within) There's wood enough within.
    Prospero Come forth, I say, there's other business for thee.
    Come, thou tortoise, when!
    Enter Ariel like a water nymph.
    Fine apparition, my quaint Ariel:
    455Hark in thine ear.
    My Lord, it shall be done.
    Exit [Ariel].
    Prospero Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself
    Upon thy wicked dam, come forth!
    Enter Caliban.
    Caliban As wicked dew as e'er my mother brushed
    460With raven's feather from unwholesome fen
    Drop on you both! A southwest blow on ye
    And blister you all over.
    Prospero For this be sure: tonight thou shalt have cramps,
    Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins
    465Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
    All exercise on thee. Thou shalt be pinched
    As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
    Than bees that made them.
    I must eat my dinner.
    470This island's mine by Sycorax, my mother,
    Which thou tak'st from me. When thou cam'st first,
    Thou strok'st me and made much of me, wouldst give me
    Water with berries in't, and teach me how
    To name the bigger light and how the less
    475That burn by day and night. And then I loved thee
    And showed thee all the qualities o'th'isle:
    The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile.
    Cursed be I that did so! All the charms
    Of Sycorax -- toads, beetles, bats light on you!
    480For I am all the subjects that you have,
    Which first was mine own King; and here you sty me
    In this hard rock whiles you do keep from me
    The rest o'th'island.
    Thou most lying slave,
    485Whom stripes may move, not kindness -- I have used thee
    (Filth as thou art) with human care, and lodged thee
    In mine own cell till thou didst seek to violate
    The honor of my child.
    Caliban Oh ho! Oh ho! Would't had been done!
    490Thou didst prevent me. I had peopled else
    This isle with Calibans.
    Abhorrèd slave,
    Which any print of goodness wilt not take,
    Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
    495Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
    One thing or other when thou didst not, savage,
    Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
    A thing most brutish. I endowed thy purposes
    With words that made them known, but thy wild race
    500(Though thou didst learn) had that in't which good natures
    Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou
    Deservedly confined into this rock,
    Who hadst deserved more than a prison.
    Caliban You taught me language, and my profit on't
    505Is -- I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
    For learning me your language.
    Hag-seed, hence!
    Fetch us in fuel, and be quick. Thou'rt best
    To answer other business. Shrug'st thou, malice?
    510If thou neglect'st or dost unwillingly
    What I command, I'll rack thee with old cramps,
    Fill all thy bones with aches, make thee roar
    That beasts shall tremble at thy din.
    No, pray thee.
    515[Aside] I must obey; his art is of such power
    It would control my dam's god Setebos
    And make a vassal of him.
    So, slave, hence.
    Exit Caliban.
    Enter Ferdinand, and Ariel invisible, playing [music] and singing.
    520Ariel Song.
    Come unto these yellow sands,
    And then take hands;
    Curtsied when you have, and kissed,
    The wild waves whist;
    Foot it featly here and there,
    And, sweet sprites, 525bear the burden.
    Hark, hark!
    525Burden, dispersedly[, within]. Bow-wow.
    The watchdogs bark!
    525[Burden, dispersedly, within.] Bow-wow.
    Hark, hark! I hear
    The strain of strutting chanticleer:
    Cry [within]. Cock-a-diddle-dow!
    530Ferdinand Where should this music be? I'th'air or th'earth?
    It sounds no more, and sure it waits upon
    Some god o'th'island. Sitting on a bank,
    Weeping again the King my father's wrack,
    This music crept by me upon the waters,
    535Allaying both their fury and my passion
    With its sweet air; thence I have followed it
    (Or it hath drawn me, rather), but 'tis gone.
    No, it begins again!
    Ariel Song.
    Full fathom five thy father lies,
    540Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes.
    Nothing of him that doth fade
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    545Sea nymphs hourly ring his knell.
    Hark, now I hear them, ding-dong bell!
    Ferdinand The ditty does remember my drowned father.
    This is no mortal business, nor no sound
    550That the earth owes. I hear it now above me.
    Prospero [To Miranda] The fringèd curtains of thine eye advance,
    And say what thou seest yond.
    What is't, a spirit?
    Lord, how it looks about. Believe me, sir,
    555It carries a brave form, but 'tis a spirit.
    Prospero No, wench, it eats and sleeps, and hath such senses
    As we have such. This gallant which thou seest
    Was in the wrack, and but he's something stained
    With grief (that's beauty's canker), thou mightst call him
    560A goodly person. He hath lost his fellows,
    And strays about to find'em.
    I might call him
    A thing divine, for nothing natural
    I ever saw so noble.
    [Aside] It goes on, I see,
    As my soul prompts it. [To Ariel] Spirit, fine spirit, I'll free thee
    Within two days for this.
    Most sure, the goddess
    On whom these airs attend. [To Miranda] Vouchsafe my prayer
    570May know if you remain upon this island,
    And that you will some good instruction give
    How I may bear me here. My prime request,
    Which I do last pronounce, is (O you wonder!)
    If you be maid or no?
    No wonder, sir,
    But certainly a maid.
    My language! Heavens!
    I am the best of them that speak this speech,
    Were I but where 'tis spoken.
    How? The best?
    What wert thou if the King of Naples heard thee?
    Ferdinand A single thing, as I am now, that wonders
    To hear thee speak of Naples; he does hear me,
    And that he does, I weep. Myself am Naples,
    585Who with mine eyes (never since at ebb) beheld
    The King my father wracked.
    Alack, for mercy!
    Ferdinand Yes, faith, and all his lords, the Duke of Milan
    And his brave son being twain.
    [Aside] The Duke of Milan
    And his more braver daughter could control thee
    If now 'twere fit to do't. At the first sight
    They have changed eyes. [To Ariel] Delicate Ariel,
    I'll set thee free for this. [To Ferdinand] A word good, sir --
    595I fear you have done yourself some wrong. A word.
    Miranda [Aside] Why speaks my father so ungently? This
    Is the third man that e'er I saw, the first
    That e'er I sighed for; pity move my father
    To be inclined my way.
    Oh, if a virgin
    And your affection not gone forth, I'll make you
    The Queen of Naples!
    Soft, sir, one word more.
    [Aside] They are both in either's powers, but this swift business
    605I must uneasy make, lest too light winning
    Make the prize light. [To Ferdinand] One word more: I charge thee
    That thou attend me. Thou dost here usurp
    The name thou ow'st not, and hast put thyself
    Upon this island as a spy to win it
    610From me, the Lord on't.
    No, as I am a man.
    Miranda There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple.
    If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
    Good things will strive to dwell with't.
    [To Ferdinand] Follow me.
    [To Miranda] Speak not you for him; he's a traitor. [To Ferdinand] Come,
    I'll manacle thy neck and feet together;
    Sea water shalt thou drink; thy food shall be
    The fresh-brook mussels, withered roots, and husks
    620Wherein the acorn cradled. Follow.
    I will resist such entertainment till
    Mine enemy has more power.
    He draws [a sword], and is charmed from moving.
    O dear father,
    Make not too rash a trial of him, for
    He's gentle and not fearful.
    What, I say?
    My foot, my tutor? [To Ferdinand] Put thy sword up, traitor,
    630Who mak'st a show, but dar'st not strike. Thy conscience
    Is so possessed with guilt. Come from thy ward,
    For I can here disarm thee with this stick
    And make thy weapon drop.
    Beseech you, father!
    Hence! Hang not on my garments.
    Sir, have pity --
    I'll be his surety.
    Silence! One word more
    Shall make me chide thee if not hate thee. What,
    640An advocate for an impostor? Hush.
    Thou think'st there is no more such shapes as he,
    Having seen but him and Caliban. Foolish wench,
    To th'most of men this is a Caliban,
    And they to him are angels.
    My affections
    Are then most humble; I have no ambition
    To see a goodlier man.
    [To Ferdinand] Come on, obey!
    Thy nerves are in their infancy again
    650And have no vigor in them.
    So they are.
    My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up:
    My father's loss, the weakness which I feel,
    The wrack of all my friends, nor this man's threats
    655To whom I am subdued, are but light to me.
    Might I, but through my prison, once a day
    Behold this maid, all corners else o'th'earth
    Let liberty make use of -- space enough
    Have I in such a prison.
    [Aside] It works!
    [To Ferdinand]
    Come on!
    [To Ariel] Thou hast done well, fine Ariel; follow me:
    Hark what thou else shalt do me.
    [To Ferdinand] Be of comfort --
    My father's of a better nature, sir,
    665Than he appears by speech. This is unwonted
    Which now came from him.
    [To Ariel] Thou shalt be as free
    As mountain winds, but then exactly do
    All points of my command.
    To th'syllable.
    Prospero [To Ferdinand] Come, follow. [To Miranda] Speak not for him!