SCENE II. The Island. Before the cell of PROSPERO.
[Enter PROSPERO and MIRANDA]
If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to th' welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O! I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creatures in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O! the cry did knock
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er
It should the good ship so have swallow'd and
The fraughting souls within her.
No more amazement: tell your piteous heart
There's no harm done.
O! woe the day!
I have done nothing but in care of thee,
Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am: nor that I am more better
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,
And thy no greater father.
More to know
Did never meddle with my thoughts.
I should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand,
And pluck my magic garment from me. — So:
[Lays down his mantle]
Lie there my art. — Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort.
The direful spectacle of the wrack, which touch'd
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art
So safely ordered that there is no soul —
No, not so much perdition as an hair
Betid to any creature in the vessel
Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink. Sit down;
For thou must now know farther.
You have often
Begun to tell me what I am: but stopp'd,
And left me to a bootless inquisition,
Concluding 'Stay; not yet.'
The hour's now come,
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
Obey, and be attentive. Canst thou remember
A time before we came unto this cell?
I do not think thou canst: for then thou wast not
Out three years old.
Certainly, sir, I can.
By what? By any other house, or person?
Of any thing the image, tell me, that
Hath kept with thy remembrance.
'Tis far off,
And rather like a dream than an assurance
That my remembrance warrants. Had I not
Four, or five, women once, that tended me?
Thou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is it
That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else
In the dark backward and abysm of time?
If thou rememb'rest aught ere thou cam'st here,
How thou cam'st here, thou mayst.
But that I do not.
Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since,
Thy father was the Duke of Milan, and
A prince of power.
Sir, are not you my father?
Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and
She said thou wast my daughter: and thy father
Was Duke of Milan, and his only heir
And princess, — no worse issued.
O, the heavens!
What foul play had we that we came from thence?
Or blessed was't we did?
Both, both, my girl.
By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heav'd thence;
But blessedly holp hither.
O! my heart bleeds
To think o' th' teen that I have turn'd you to,
Which is from my remembrance. Please you, further.
My brother and thy uncle, call'd Antonio —
I pray thee, mark me, — that a brother should
Be so perfidious! — he, whom next thyself,
Of all the world I lov'd, and to him put
The manage of my state; as at that time
Through all the signories it was the first,
And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed
In dignity, and for the liberal arts,
Without a parallel: those being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother,
And to my state grew stranger, being transported
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle —
Dost thou attend me?
Sir, most heedfully.