The Tempest

by William Shakespeare

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Act IV

Scene I. Before Prospero’s cell.

Enter Prospero, Ferdinand, and Miranda.

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

5 I tender 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,

Do not smile at me that I boast her off,

10 For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise,

And make it halt behind her.


I do believe it

Against an oracle.

Pros. Then, as my gift, and thine own acquisition

Worthily purchased, take my daughter: but

15 If thou dost break her virgin-knot before

All sanctimonious ceremonies may

With full and holy rite be minister’d,

No sweet aspersion 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.


As I hope

For quiet days, fair issue and long life,


IV. 1. 25 With such love as ’tis now, the murkiest den,

The most opportune place, the strong’st suggestion

Our worser Genius can, shall never melt

Mine honour into lust, to take away

The edge of that day’s celebration

30 When I shall think, or Phœbus’ steeds are founder’d,

Or Night kept chain’d below.


Fairly spoke.

Sit, then, and talk with her; she is thine own.

What, Ariel! my industrious servant, Ariel!

Enter Ariel.

Ari. What would my potent master? here I am.

35Pros. Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service

Did worthily perform; and I must use you

In such another trick. Go bring the rabble,

O’er whom I give thee power, here to this place:

Incite them to quick motion; for I must

40 Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple

Some vanity of mine art: it is my promise,

And they expect it from me.



Pros. Ay, with a twink.

Ari. Before you can say, ‘come,’ and ‘go,’

45 And breathe twice, and cry, ‘so, so,’

Each one, tripping on his toe,

Will be here with mop and mow.

Do you love me, master? no?

Pros. Dearly, my delicate Ariel. Do not approach

Till thou dost hear me call.


IV. 1. 50 Well, I conceive. Exit.

Pros. Look thou be true; do not give dalliance

Too much the rein: the strongest oaths are straw

To the fire i’ the blood: be more abstemious,


Or else, good night your vow!


I warrant you, sir;

55 The white cold virgin snow upon my heart

Abates the ardour of my liver.



Now come, my Ariel! bring a corollary,

Rather than want a spirit: appear, and pertly!

No tongue! all eyes! be silent. Soft music.

Enter Iris.

60Iris. Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas

Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and pease;

Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,

And flat meads thatch’d with stover, them to keep;

Thy banks with pioned and twilled brims,

65 Which spongy April at thy best betrims,

To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom-groves,

Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,

Being lass-lorn; thy pole-clipt vineyard;

And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky-hard,

70 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,

Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,

To come and sport:—her peacocks fly amain:

IV. 1. 75 Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.

Enter Ceres.

Cer. Hail, many-colour’d messenger, that ne’er

Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;

Who, with thy saffron wings, upon my flowers

Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers;

80 And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown

My bosky acres and my unshrubb’d down,

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;

85 And some donation freely to estate

On the blest lovers.


Tell me, heavenly bow,

If Venus or her son, as thou dost know,

Do now attend the queen? Since they did plot

The means that dusky Dis my daughter got,

90 Her and her blind boy’s scandal’d company

I have forsworn.


Of her society

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

95 Some wanton charm upon this man and maid,

Whose vows are, that no bed-right shall be paid

Till Hymen’s torch be lighted: but in vain;

Mars’s hot minion is returned again;

Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows,

IV. 1. 100 Swears he will shoot no more, but play with sparrows,

And be a boy right out.


High’st queen of state,

Great Juno, comes; I know her by her gait.

Enter Juno.

Juno. How does my bounteous sister? Go with me

To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be,

105 And honour’d in their issue. They sing:

Juno. Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,

Long continuance, and increasing,

Hourly joys be still upon you!

Juno sings her blessings on you.

110Cer. Earth’s increase, foison plenty,

Barns and garners never empty;

Vines with clustering bunches growing;

Plants with goodly burthen bowing;

Spring come to you at the farthest

115 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?


120 Spirits, which by mine art

I have from their confines call’d to enact

My present fancies.


Let me live here ever;

So rare a wonder’d father and a wife

Makes this place Paradise.

Juno and Ceres whisper, and send Iris on employment.


Sweet, now, silence!

IV. 1. 125 Juno and Ceres whisper seriously;

There’s something else to do: hush, and be mute,

Or else our spell is marr’d.

Iris. You nymphs, call’d Naiads, of the windring brooks,

With your sedged crowns and ever-harmless looks,

130 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.

Enter certain Nymphs.

You sunburnt sicklemen, of August weary,

135 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.

Enter certain Reapers, properly habited: they join with the Nymphs in a graceful dance; towards the end whereof Prospero starts 59 suddenly, and speaks; after which, to a strange, hollow, and confused noise, they heavily vanish.

Pros. [Aside] I had forgot that foul conspiracy

140 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!

Fer. This is strange: your father’s in some passion

That works him strongly.


Never till this day

145 Saw I him touch’d with anger so distemper’d.

Pros. You do look, my son, in a moved 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

IV. 1. 150 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,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,

155 And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff

As dreams are made on; and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex’d;

Bear with my weakness; my old brain is troubled:

160 Be not disturb’d with my infirmity:

If you be pleased, retire into my cell,

And there repose: a turn or two I’ll walk,

To still my beating mind.

Fer. Mir.

We wish your peace. Exeunt.

Pros. Come with a thought. I thank thee, Ariel: come.


Enter Ariel.

165Ari. Thy thoughts I cleave to. What’s thy pleasure?



We must prepare to meet with Caliban.

Ari. Ay, my commander: when I presented Ceres,

I thought to have told thee of it; but I fear’d

Lest I might anger thee.

170Pros. Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?

Ari. I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;

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

IV. 1. 175 Towards their project. Then I beat my tabor;

At which, like unback’d colts, they prick’d their ears,

Advanced 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 goss, and thorns,

Which enter’d 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

O’erstunk their feet.


This was well done, my bird.

185 Thy shape invisible retain thou still:

The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither,

For stale to catch these thieves.


I go, I go. Exit.

Pros. A devil, a born devil, on whose nature

Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains,

190 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.


Re-enter Ariel, loaden with glistering apparel, &c.

Come, hang them on this line.

Prospero and Ariel remain, invisible. Enter Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo, all wet.

Cal. Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not

195 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 played the Jack with us.

Trin. Monster, I do smell all horse-piss; at which my nose is in great indignation.

IV. 1. 200Ste. 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.

Be patient, for the prize I’ll bring thee to

205 Shall hoodwink this mischance: therefore speak softly.

All’s hush’d as midnight yet.

Trin. Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,—

Ste. There is not only disgrace and dishonour in that, monster, but an infinite loss.

210Trin. 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,

215 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.

Ste. Give me thy hand. I do begin to have bloody 220 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. IV. 1. 225 O King Stephano!


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

230 To dote thus on such luggage? Let’s alone,

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 235 my jerkin? Now is the jerkin under the line: now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair, and prove a bald jerkin.

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: 240 wit shall not go unrewarded while I am king of this country. ‘Steal by line and level’ is an excellent pass of pate; there’s another garment for’t.

Trin. Monster, come, put some lime upon your fingers, and away with the rest.

245Cal. I will have none on’t: we shall lose our time,

And all be turn’d to barnacles, or to apes

With foreheads villanous low.

Ste. Monster, lay-to your fingers: help to bear this away where my hogshead of wine is, or I’ll turn you out IV. 1. 250 of my kingdom: go to, carry this.

Trin. And this.

Ste. Ay, and this.

A noise of hunters heard. Enter divers Spirits, in shape of dogs and hounds, and hunt them about, Prospero and Ariel setting them on.

Pros. Hey, Mountain, hey!

Ari. Silver! there it goes, Silver!

255Pros. Fury, fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark, hark!

Cal., Ste., and Trin. are driven out.

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

Then pard or cat o’ mountain.


Hark, they roar!

260Pros. Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour

Lie at my mercy all mine enemies:

Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou

Shalt have the air at freedom: for a little

Follow, and do me service.



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