Whe'er thou be'st 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,
Th' affliction of my mind amends, with which,
I fear, a madness held me: this must crave, —
An if this be at all — a most strange story.
Thy dukedom I resign, and 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 honour cannot
Be measur'd or confin'd.
Whether this be
Or be not, I'll not swear.
You do yet taste
Some subtleties o' the isle, that will not let you
Believe things certain. — Welcome, my friends all: —
[Aside to SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO] But you, my brace of
lords, were I so minded,
I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you,
And justify you traitors: at this time
I will tell no tales.
[Aside] 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, whom three hours since
Were wrack'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.
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!
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.
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?
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 justled from your senses, know for certain
That I am Prospero, and that very duke
Which was thrust forth of Milan; who most strangely
Upon this shore, where you were wrack'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.]
Sweet lord, you play me false.
No, my dearest love,
I would not for the world.
Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
And I would call it fair play.
If this prove
A vision of the island, one dear son
Shall I twice lose.
A most high miracle!
Though the seas threaten, they are merciful:
I have curs'd them without cause.
[Kneels to ALONSO.]
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!
'Tis new to thee.
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 is 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
Receiv'd 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.