Page images
PDF
EPUB

A confidence sans' bound. He being thus lorded,
Not only with what my revenue yielded,
But what my power might else exact,-like one,
Who having, unto truth, by telling of it,
Made such a sinner of his memory,
To credit his own lie,-he did believe
He was the duke; out of the substitution,
And executing the outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative :-Hence his ambition
Growing, -Dost hear?

Mira. Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
Pro. To have no screen between this part he

play'd, And him he play'd 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 (So dry2 he was for sway) with the king of Naples, To give him annual tribute, do him homage; Subject his coronet to his crown, and bend The dukedom, yet unbow'd (alas, poor Milan!) To most ignoble stooping. Mira.

O the heavens! Pro. Mark his condition, and the event; then

tell me,

If this might be a brother.
Mira.

I should sin
To think but nobly of my grandmother:
Good wombs have borne bad sons.
Pro.

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' the premises,
Of 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 honours, on my brother: whereon,
A treacherous army levied, one midnight

(1) Without. (2) Thirsty. (3) Consideration.

Fated to the purpose, did Antonio open
The gates of Milan; and, i' the dead of darkness,
The ministers for the purpose hurried thence
Me, and thy crying self.
Mira.

Alaek, for pity!
I, not rememb’ring how I cried out then,
Will cry it o'er again ; it is a hint,
That wrings mine eyes.
Pro.

Hear a little further,
And then I'll bring thee to the present business
Which now's upon us; without the which, this story
Were most impertinent.
Mira.

Wherefore did they not That hour destroy us? Pro.

Well demanded, wench; My 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 colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark ;
Bore us some leagues to sea ; where they prepar'd
A rotten carcase of a boat, not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it: there they hoist us,
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us; to sigh
To the winds, whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.
Mira.

Alack ! what trouble
Was I then to you!
Pro.

O!a cherubim
Thou wast, that did preserve me? Thou didst smile,
Infused with a fortitude from heaven,
When I have deck'd2 the sea with drops full salt;
Under my burden groan'd; which rais'd in me
An undergoing stomach3, to bear up
Against what should ensue.

(1) Suggestion. (2) Sprinkled.

Stubborn resolution.

Mira.

How came we ashore?
Pro. By Providence divine.
Some food we had, and some fresh water, that
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,
Out 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 gentle-

ness,
Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me,
From my own library, with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.
Mira.

'Would I might
But ever see that man!
Pro.

Now I arise : Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow. Here in this island we arriv'd; and here Have I, thy school-master, made thee more profit Than other princes can, that have more time For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful. Mira. 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? Pro.

Know thus far forth. By accident most strange, bountiful fortune, 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 Will ever after droop.-Here cease more questions; Thou art inclin'd to sleep; 'tis a good dulness, And give it way ;-I know thou canst not choose.

(Miranda sleeps. Come away, servant, come: I am ready now; Approach, my Ariel ; come.

Enter Ariel. Ari. All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I

come

cursors

To answer thy best pleasure; be't to fly,
To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
On the curl'd clouds ; to thy strong bidding, task
Ariel, and all his quality.
Pro.

Hast thou, spirit, Perform'd to point the tempest that I bade thee?

Ari. To every article. I boarded the king's ship; now on the beak, Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin, I fam'd amazement: sometimes, I'd divide, And burn in many places; on the top-mast, The yards, and bowsprit, would I same distinctly; Then meet, and join : Jove's lightnings, the preO’ the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary And sight-outrunning were not : the fire, and cracks Of sulphurous roaring, the most mighty Neptune Seem'd to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble; Yea, his dread trident shake. Pro.

My brave spirit! Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil2 Would not infect his reason? Ari.

Not a soul But felt a fever of the mad, and play'd Some tricks of desperation : all, but mariners, Plung’d in the foaming brine, and quit the vessel, Then all a-fire with me: the king's son, Ferdinand, With hair upstaring (then like reeds, not hair,) Was the first man that leap'd; cried, Hell is empty, And all the devils are here. Pro.

Why, that's my spirit! But was not this nigh shore? Ari.

Close by, my master. Pro. But are they, Ariel, safe? Ari.

Not a hair perish'd; On their sustaining garments not a blemish, But fresher than before: and, as thou bad'st me, In troops I have dispers'd them 'bout the isle: (1) The minutest article. (2) Bustle, tumult.

The king's son have I landed by himself;
Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs,
In an odd angle of the isle, and sitting,
His arms in this sad knot.
Pro.

Of the king's ship,
The mariners, say, how thou hast dispos'd,
And all the rest o' the fleet?
Ari.

Safely in harbour
Is the king's ship; in the deep nook, where once
Thou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew
From the still-vex'd Bermoothes, there she's hid :
The mariners all under hatches stowed;
Whom, with a charm join'd to their suffer'd la-

bour, I have left asleep: and for the rest o' the fleet, Which I dispers’d, they all have met again; And are upon the Mediterranean fotez, Bound sadly home for Naples; Supposing that they saw the king's ship wreck'd, And his great person perish. Pro.

Ariel, thy charge Exactly is perform'd; but there's more work: What is the time o' the day? Ari.

Past the mid season. Pro. At least two glasses : the time 'twixt six Muist by us both be spent most preciously. Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou dost give

me pains, Let me remember thee what thou hast promis'd, Which is not yet perform'd me. Pro.

How now? moody? What is't thou canst demand? Ari.

My liberty.
Pro. Before the time be out? no more.
Ari.

I
pray

thee Remember, I have done thee worthy service; Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, serv'd

and now,

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »