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Behold, sir king,
The wronged Duke of Milan, Prospero:
For more assurance that a living prince
Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body;
And to thee, and thy company,
A hearty welcome.
Whe'r thou beest he, or no,
Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me,
As late I have been, I not know: thy pulse
Beats, as of flesh and blood; and, since I saw thee,
The affliction of my mind amends, with which,
I fear, a madness held me: this must crave
(And if this be at all) a most strange story.
Thy dukedom I resign; and I do entreat
Thou pardon me my wrongs :—But how should Prospero
Be living, and be here?
First, noble friend,
Let me embrace thine age; whose honor cannot
Be measur'd, or confin'd.
Whether this be,
Or be not, I'll not swear.
You do yet taste
Some subtilties o’the isle, that will not let you
Believe things certain :—Welcome, my friends all :-
But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,
[Aside to SEB und Ant.
I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you,
And justify you traitors; at this time
I'll tell no tales.
Seb. The devil speaks in him.
For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother
Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive
Thy rankest fault; all of them; and require
My' dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know,
Thou must restore.
If thou beest Prospero,
Give us particulars of thy preservation :
How thou hast met us here, who three hours since
Were wreck'd upon this shore; where I have lost,
How sharp the point of this remembrance is !
My dear son Ferdinand.
I am woe for't, sir.
Alon. Irreparable is the loss; and patience
Says it is past her cure.
I rather think,
You have not sought her help; of whose soft grace
For the like loss, I have her sovereign aid,
And rest myself content.
You the like loss ?
Pro. As great to me, as late ; and, supportable
To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker
Than you may call to comfort you; for I
Have lost my daughter.
A daughter ?
O heavens! that they were living both in Naples,
The king and queen there! that they were, I wish
Myself were mudded in that oozy bed
Where my son lies. When did you lose your daughter ?
Pro. In this last tempest. I perceive, these lords
At this encounter do so much admire,
That they devour their reason; and scarce think
Their eyes do offices of truth, their words
Are natural breath : but, howsoe'er you have
Been jostled from your senses, know for certain,
That I am Prospero, and that very
Which was thrust forth of Milan ; who most strangely,
Upon this shore, where you were wreck’d, was landed,
To be the lord on't. No more yet of this;
For 'tis a chronicle of day by day,
Not a relation for a breakfast, nor
Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, sir;
This cell's my court: here have I few attendants,
And subjects none abroad: pray you, look in.
My dukedom since you have given me again,
I will requite you with as good a thing ;
At least bring forth a wonder, to content ye,
As much as me my dukedom.
The entrance of the Cell opens, and discovers FERDINAND and MIRANDA,
playing at chess. Mira. Sweet lord, you play me false. Fer.
No, my dearest love, I would not for the world.
Mira. Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
And I would call it fair play.
A vision of this island, one dear son
Shall I twice lose.
A most high miracle !
Fer. Though the seas threaten, they are merciful :
I have curs'd them without cause.
[F kneels to ALON. Alon.
Now all the blessings
Of a glad father compass thee about !
Arise, and say how thou cam'st here.
How many goodly creatures are there here !
How beauteous mankind is ! O brave new world,
That has such people in't !
Pro. 'Tis new to thee.
Alon. What is this maid, with whom thou wast at play?
Your eld'st acquaintance cannot be three hours:
Is she the goddess that hath sever'd us,
And brought us thus together?
Sir, she's mortal;
But, by immortal providence, she's mine;
I chose her, when I could not ask my father
For his advice; nor thought I had one: she
Is daughter to this famous Duke of Milan.
Of whom so often I have heard renown,
But never saw before; of whom I have
Received a second life, and second father
This lady makes him to me.
I am hers:
But O, how oddly will it sound, that I
Must ask my child forgiveness !
There, sir, stop ;
Let us not burden our remembrances
With a heaviness that's gone.
I have inly wept,
Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you gods,
And on this couple drop a blessed crown;
For it is you, that have chalk'd forth the way
Which brought us hither!
I say, Amen, Gonzalo !
[To FER. and MIR. Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart, That doth not wish you joy! Gon.
Be't so! Amen!
K-cnter ARIEL, with the Master and Boatswain amazedly following.
O look, sir, look, sir; here are more of us!
I prophesied, if a gallows were on land,
This fellow could not drown: Now, blasphemy,
Hast thou no mouth by land ? What is the news ?
Boats. The best news is, that we have safely found
Our king, and company; the next our ship,
Which, but three glasses since, we gave out split,
Is tight, and yare, and bravely rigg’d, as when
We first put out to sea.
Sir, all this service
Have I done since I went.
My tricksy spirit !
Alon. These are not natural events; they strengthen,
From strange to stranger :-Say, how came you hither ?
Boats. If I did think, sir, I were well awake,
I'd strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep,
And (how, we knor not) all clapp'd under hatches,
Where, but even now, with strange and several noises
Of roaring, shrieking, howling, gingling chains,
And more diversity of sounds all horrible,
We were awak’d; straightway, at liberty:
Where we, in all her trim, freshly beheld
Our royal, good, and gallant ship; our master
Capering to eye her: On a trice, so please you,
Even in a dream, we were divided from them,
And were brought moping hither.
Ari. Was't well done ?
[Aside Pro. Bravely, my diligence. Thou shalt be free.
Alon. This is as strange a maze as e'er men trod:
And there is in this business more than nature
Was ever conduct of: some oracle
Must rectify our knowledge.
Sir, my liege,
Do not infest your mind with beating on
The strangeness of this business : at pick'd leisure,
Which shall be shortly, single I'll resolve you
(Which to you shall seem probable), of every
These happen'd accidents ; till when, be cheerful,
And think of each thing well.—Come hither, spirit; (Aside
Set Caliban and his companions free:
Untie the spell.
Sir, I invite your highness, and your train,
To my poor cell : where you shall take your rest
For this one night; which (part of it) I'll waste
With such discourse, as, I not doubt, shall make it
Go quick away: the story of my life,
And the particular accidents, gone by,
Since I came to this isle: And in the morn
I'll bring you to your ship, and so to Naples,
Where I have hope to see the nuptial
Of these our dear-beloved solemniz'd;
And thence retire me to my Milan, where
Every third thought shall be my grave.
To hear the story of your life, which must
Take the ear strangely.
I'll deliver all ;
And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales,
And sail so expeditious, that shall catch
Your royal fleet far off.—My Ariel ;-chick,
That is thy charge; then to the elements
Be free, and fare thou well!
The story of Romeo and Juliet is considered to be historically true; the Veronese fix the date of this tragedy as 1303.
“The history of the fair Capulet and her loved Montague,” furnished themes for novelists, and had inspired the muse of the Poets, previous to Shakspeare's time: He
availed himself of these labors to construct his exquisite Drama; the inimitable character of Mercutio, however, is an entirely original creation of the Dramatist.
ESCALUS, Prince of Verona.
Paris, a young nobleman, kinsman to the Prince.
heads of two houses, at variance with each other.
An old man, uncle to Capulet.
ROMEO, son to Montague.
MERCUTIO, kinsman to the Prince, and friend to Romeo.
BENVOLIO, nephew to Montague, and friend to Romeo.
TYBALT, nephew to Lady Capulet.
Friar LAURENCE, a Franciscan.
Friar John, of the same order.
BALTHAZAR, servant to Romeo.
SAMPSON, GREGORY, servants to Capulet.
ABRAM, servant to Montague.
An Apothecary. Three Musicians.
Chorus Boy. Page to Paris.
PETER. An Officer.
Lady MONTAGUE, wife to Montague.
Lady CAPULET, wife to Capulet.
JULIET, daughter to Capulet.
Nurse to Juliet.
Citizens of Verona ; several Men and Women, relations to both houses ;
Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants. SCENE,-during the greater part of the Play, in VERONA ; once, in the
Fifth Act, at MANTUA.