Act III. Scene I.Before PROSPERO'S Cell.
Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log.
Fer. There be some sports are painful, and
Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone, and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task
Would be as heavy to me as odious; but
The mistress which I serve quickens what's
And makes my labours pleasures: O! she is
Ten times more gentle than her father's
And he's composed of harshness. I must remove
Some thousands of these logs and pile them up,
Upon a sore injunction: my sweet mistress
Weeps when she sees me work, and says such
Had never like executor. I forget:
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my
Most busiest when I do it.
Enter MIRANDA; and PROSPERO behind.
Mira. Alas! now, pray you,
Work not so hard: I would the lightning had
Burnt up those logs that you are enjoined to
Pray, set it down and rest you: when this burns,
'Twill weep for having wearied you. My father
Is hard at study; pray now, rest yourself;
He's safe for these three hours.
Fer. O most dear mistress,
The sun will set, before I shall discharge
What I must strive to do.
Mira. If you'll sit down,
I'll bear your logs the while. Pray, give me
I'll carry it to the pile.
Fer. No, precious creature:
I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
Than you should such dishonour undergo,
While I sit lazy by.
Mira. It would become me
As well as it does you: and I should do it
With much more ease; for my good will is to it,
And yours it is against.
Pro. [Aside.] Poor worm! thou art infected:
This-visitation shows it.
Mira. You look wearily.
Fer. No, noble mistress; 'tis fresh morning
When you are by at night. I do beseech you
Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers
What is your name?
Mira. Miranda.O my father!
I have broke your best to say so.
Fer. Admir'd Miranda!
Indeed, the top of admiration; worth
What's dearest to the world! Full many a
I have ey'd with best regard, and many a
The harmony of their tongues hath into bond-
Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues
Have I lik'd several women; never any
With so full soul but some defect in her
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd,
And put it to the foil: but you, O you!
So perfect and so peerless, are created
Of every creature's best.
Mira. I do not know
One of my sex; no woman's face remember,
Save, 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 skill-less of; but, by my modesty,
The jewel in my dower,I would not wish
Any 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.
Fer. 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
The 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.
Mira. Do you love me?
Fer. O heaven! O earth! bear witness to this
And crown what I profess with kind event
If I speak true: if hollowly, invert
What best is boded me to mischief! I,
Beyond all limit of what else i' the world,
Do love, prize, honour you.
Mira. I am a fool
To weep at what I am glad of.
Pro. [Aside.] Fair encounter
Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace
On that which breeds between 'em!
Fer. Wherefore weep you?
Mira. At mine unworthiness, that dare not
What I desire to give; and much less take
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling;
And all the more it seeks to hide itself
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cun-
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
You may deny me; but I'll be your servant
Whether you will or no.
Fer. My mistress, dearest;
And I thus humble ever.
Mira. My husband then?
Fer. Ay, with a heart as willing
As bondage e'er of freedom: here's my hand.
Mira. And mine, with my heart in't: and
Till half an hour hence.
Fer. A thousand thousand!
[Exeunt FER. and MIR. severally.
Pro. So glad of this as they, I cannot be,
Who are surpris'd withal; but my rejoicing
At nothing can be more. I'll to my book;
For yet, ere supper time, must I perform
Much business appertaining. [Exit.