Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • 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)

    1235Enter Ferdinand, bearing a log.
    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.
    Enter Miranda and Prospero[, he, at a distance, unseen].
    Alas, now pray you,
    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.
    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?
    Miranda. [Aside] 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?
    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?
    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?
    Ay, with a heart as willing
    As bondage ere of freedom: here's my hand.
    And mine, with my heart in't; and now, farewell
    Till half an hour hence.
    A thousand, thousand.
    Exit [Miranda and Ferdinand].
    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.