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SCENE I. Before PROSPERO's cell.

Prospero. If I have too austerely punish'd you,
Your compensation makes amends; for I
Have given you here a thread of mine own life,


Or that for which I live: who once again
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,

For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise,

And make it halt behind her.


Against an oracle.

I do believe it

Prospero. Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter: but

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,
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,

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

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.

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

Prospero. 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

Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple
Some vanity of mine art: it is my promise,
And they expect it from me.

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Prospero. Dearly, my delicate Ariel. Do not approach Till thou dost hear me call.


Well, I conceive.

Prospero. Look thou be true; do not give dalliance
Too much the rein: the strongest oaths are straw
To th' fire i' th' blood; be more abstemious,

Or else, good night your vow!


I warrant you, sir ;

The white-cold virgin snow upon my heart
Abates the ardour of my liver.

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Now come, my Ariel! bring a corollary,

Rather than want a spirit: appear, and pertly !—

No tongue! all eyes! be silent.

Enter IRIS.

Iris. Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas


[Soft music.

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 lilied brims,

Which spongy April at thy hest 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,
Where thou thyself dost air;-the queen o' th' 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:
Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.

Enter CERES.

Ceres. 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;

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;

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,

Her and her blind boy's scandal'd company

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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
Some wanton charm upon this man and maici,
Whose vows are, that no bed-right shall be paid
Till Hymen's torch be lighted: but in vain ;

Mars's hot minion is return'd again;

Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows,

Swears he will shoot no more, but play with sparrows,

And be a boy right out.


Highest queen of state,

Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait.

Enter JUNO.

Funo. How does my bounteous sister? Go with me

To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be,

And honour'd in their issue.

[They sing:


Honour, riches, marriage, blessing,


Long continuance, and increasing,
Hourly joys be still upon you!
Funo sings her blessings on you.
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
In the very end of harvest!

Scarcity and want shall shun you;
Ceres' blessing so is on you.

Ferdinand. This is a most majestic vision, and
Harmonious charmingly. May I be bold

To think these spirits?


Spirits, which by mine art.

I have from their confines call'd to enact

My present fancies.

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