The Tempest: Act 4, Scene 1






           Enter PROSPERO, FERDINAND,

           and MIRANDA.

      PROSPERO
  1   If I have too austerely punish'd you,
  2   Your compensation makes amends, for I
  3   Have given you here a third of mine own life,
3. a third of mine own life: Why is Miranda only a third of Prospero's life? It's a topic worth discussing.

  4   Or that for which I live; who once again
  5   I tender to thy hand: all thy vexations
5. thy vexations: i.e., my hostile treatment of you.

  6   Were but my trials of thy love and thou
  7   Hast strangely stood the test. Here, afore heaven,
7. strangely: wonderfully well, extraordinarily.

  8   I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand,
  9   Do not smile at me that I boast her off,
9. boast her off: i.e., praise her so highly.

 10   For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise
 11   And make it halt behind her.
11. halt: limp.


      FERDINAND
 11                                               I do believe it
 12   Against an oracle.
12. Against an oracle: even if an oracle should declare otherwise.


      PROSPERO
 13   Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition
 14   Worthily purchased take my daughter: but
 15   If thou dost break her virgin-knot before
 16   All sanctimonious ceremonies may
16. sanctimonious: sacred, holy.

 17   With full and holy rite be minister'd,
 18   No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall
18. aspersion: dew, shower that promotes fertility and growth.

 19   To make this contract grow: but barren hate,
19. grow: be fruitful.

 20   Sour-eyed disdain and discord shall bestrew
 21   The union of your bed with weeds so loathly
21. weeds: Instead of the flowers with which the marriage bed was supposed to be strewn. loathly: loathsome.

 22   That you shall hate it both: therefore take heed,
 23   As Hymen's lamps shall light you.
23. As Hymen's lamps shall light you: as you shall be guided by Hymen's torches; i.e., as you desire happiness in your marriage. >>>


      FERDINAND
 23                                                       As I hope
 24   For quiet days, fair issue and long life,
24. fair issue: beautiful children.

 25   With such love as 'tis now, the murkiest den,
 26   The most opportune place, the strong'st suggestion
 27   Our worser genius can, shall never melt
26-27. the strong'st suggestion / Our worser genius can: the strongest temptation our evil genius is capable of.

 28   Mine honour into lust, to take away
 29   The edge of that day's celebration
29. that day's celebration: i.e., the celebration of the wedding of himself and Miranda.

 30   When I shall think or Phoebus' steeds are founder'd,
 31   Or Night kept chain'd below.
30-31. or Phoebus' . . . below: either the sun-god's horses have broken down and gone lame or Night has been chained in the underworld.


      PROSPERO
 31                                               Fairly spoke.
 32   Sit then and talk with her; she is thine own.
 33   What, Ariel! my industrious servant, Ariel!
Prospero and Ariel


           Enter ARIEL.

      ARIEL
 34   What would my potent master? here I am.

      PROSPERO
 35   Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service
 36   Did worthily perform; and I must use you
 37   In such another trick. Go bring the rabble,
37. trick: ingenious stage effect. rabble: gang, band of people; i.e., the lesser spirits that help Ariel carry out his illusions.

 38   O'er whom I give thee power, here to this place:
 39   Incite them to quick motion; for I must
 40   Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple
 41   Some vanity of mine art: it is my promise,
 42   And they expect it from me.
41. vanity: show, illusion.


      ARIEL
 42                                             Presently?
42. Presently: immediately.


      PROSPERO
 43   Ay, with a twink.
43. with a twink: in a twinkling.


      ARIEL
 44         Before you can say 'come' and 'go,'
 45        And breathe twice and cry 'so, so,'
 46        Each one, tripping on his toe,
 47        Will be here with mop and mow.
47. mop and mow: gesture and grimace.

 48        Do you love me, master? no?

      PROSPERO
 49   Dearly my delicate Ariel. Do not approach
 50   Till thou dost hear me call.

      ARIEL
 50                                               Well, I conceive.
50. conceive: understand.


           Exit.

      PROSPERO
 51   Look thou be true; do not give dalliance
51. true: honest, true to your word.

 52   Too much the rein: the strongest oaths are straw
 53   To the fire i' the blood: be more abstemious,
 54   Or else, good night your vow!

      FERDINAND
 54                                               I warrant you sir;
 55   The white cold virgin snow upon my heart
 56   Abates the ardour of my liver.
56. liver: Thought to be the seat of the passions.


      PROSPERO
 56                                                   Well.
 57   Now come, my Ariel! bring a corollary,
57. corollary: extra, supernumerary.

 58   Rather than want a spirit: appear and pertly!
58. want: lack. pertly: briskly.

Painting of Iris by Tricia Newell


           [To Ferdinand and Miranda.]

 59   No tongue! all eyes! be silent.

           Soft music.

           Enter IRIS.

      IRIS
 60   Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas
60. Ceres: goddess of agriculture. leas: farmland.

 61   Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats and peas;
61. vetches: fodder plants. >>>

 62   Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,
 63   And flat meads thatch'd with stover, them to keep;
63. stover: the leaves and stems left in fields after harvest of grain crops. them to keep: i.e., used to feed the sheep.

 64   Thy banks with pioned and twilled brims,
64. pioned . . . brims: ???; see A New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare: The tempest.

 65   Which spongy April at thy hest betrims,
 66   To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy
65. spongy: i.e., wet.
66. cold: chaste. broom: a yellow-flowered shrub.

           broom-groves,
 67   Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,
67. dismissed bachelor: rejected suitor.

 68   Being lass-lorn: thy pole-clipt vineyard;
68. pole-clipt: embraced with supporting poles.

 69   And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky-hard,
69. sea-marge: sea shore.

 70   Where thou thyself dost air;—the queen o' the sky,
70. queen o' the sky: Juno.

 71   Whose watery arch and messenger am I,
71. watery arch: rainbow.

 72   Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace,
 73   Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,
 74   To come and sport: her peacocks fly amain:
74. peacocks: Juno's sacred birds. >>>
amain: swiftly, with full force or speed.


           Juno descends.

 75   Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.
75. rich: bountiful. entertain: receive as a guest.

Painting of Ceres by Watteau


           Enter CERES.

      CERES
 76   Hail, many-colour'd messenger, that ne'er
 77   Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
 78   Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
 79   Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers,
 80   And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
 81   My bosky acres and my unshrubb'd down,
81. bosky: wooded, covered with shrub. unshrubb'd down: shrubless upland.

 82   Rich scarf to my proud earth; why hath thy queen
 83   Summon'd me hither, to this short-grass'd green?

      IRIS
 84   A contract of true love to celebrate;
 85   And some donation freely to estate
85. donation: gift. estate: bestow.

 86   On the blest lovers.

      CERES
 86                                   Tell me, heavenly bow,
86. bow: i.e., rainbow.

 87   If Venus or her son, as thou dost know,
87. son: Cupid.

 88   Do now attend the queen? Since they did plot
 89   The means that dusky Dis my daughter got,
89. The means . . . got: the means by which dark Pluto kidnapped my daughter Proserpine.

 90   Her and her blind boy's scandal'd company
90. blind boy: Cupid. scandal'd: scandalous.

 91   I have forsworn.

      IRIS
 91                             Of her society
 92   Be not afraid: I met her deity
 93   Cutting the clouds towards Paphos and her son
93. Paphos: a town on the island of Cyprus, sacred to Venus.

 94   Dove-drawn with her. Here thought they to have done
94-95. Dove-drawn: Venus' chariot was drawn by her sacred doves. Here . . . maid: They meant to cast a lust-charm on Ferdinand and Miranda.

 95   Some wanton charm upon this man and maid,
 96   Whose vows are, that no bed-right shall be paid
 97   Till Hymen's torch be lighted: but in vain;
97. Hymen: God of marriage.

 98   Mars's hot minion is returned again;
98. Mars's hot minion: lustful mistress. Venus and Mars were lovers. returned: i.e., to Paphos.

 99   Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows,
99. waspish-headed: peevish.

100   Swears he will shoot no more but play with sparrows
100. sparrows: Like doves, sacred to Venus.

101   And be a boy right out.
101. right out: outright.


           [JUNO alights.]

      CERES
101                                     High'st queen of state,
101. High'st queen of state: most majestic queen.

102   Great Juno, comes; I know her by her gait.
102. her gait: her manner of walking; i.e., her queenly bearing.

Ceres, Iris, Juno


      JUNO
103   How does my bounteous sister? Go with me
104   To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be
105   And honour'd in their issue.

           They sing:

      JUNO
106        Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,
107        Long continuance, and increasing,
108        Hourly joys be still upon you!
108. still: always.

109        Juno sings her blessings upon you.

      CERES
110        Earth's increase, foison plenty,
110. foison plenty: plentiful harvest, abundance.

111        Barns and garners never empty,
112        Vines with clustering bunches growing,
113        Plants with goodly burden bowing;
114        Spring come to you at the farthest
115        In the very end of harvest!
114-115. Spring . . . harvest: i.e., For you, the latest that spring will come is at the very end of harvest, so that you will never experience winter at all.

116        Scarcity and want shall shun you;
117        Ceres' blessing so is on you.

      FERDINAND
118   This is a most majestic vision, and
119   Harmonious charmingly. May I be bold
119. charmingly: magically.

120   To think these spirits?

      PROSPERO
120                                         Spirits, which by mine art
121   I have from their confines call'd to enact
122   My present fancies.

      FERDINAND
122                                   Let me live here ever;
123   So rare a wonder'd father and a wife
124   Makes this place Paradise.
123. wonder'd: Prospero is "wonder'd" because he perfroms wonders; Miranda is "wonder'd" because she is herself a wonder.


           Juno and Ceres whisper, and send Iris on
           employment.

      PROSPERO
124                                               Sweet, now, silence!
124. Sweet, now, silence: Probably addressed to Miranda.

125   Juno and Ceres whisper seriously;
126   There's something else to do: hush, and be mute,
127   Or else our spell is marr'd.

      IRIS
128   You nymphs, call'd Naiads, of the windring brooks,
128. windring: winding and wandering? Either Shakespeare made up this word or it's a misprint for 'winding'.

129   With your sedged crowns and ever-harmless looks,
129. ever-harmless: ever-innocent.

130   Leave your crisp channels and on this green land
130. crisp: curled, rippling.

131   Answer your summons; Juno does command:
132   Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate
132. temperate: chaste.

133   A contract of true love; be not too late.

           Enter certain NYMPHS.

134   You sunburnt sicklemen, of August weary,
135   Come hither from the furrow and be merry:
136   Make holiday; your rye-straw hats put on
137   And these fresh nymphs encounter every one
137. fresh: young and beautiful. encounter: meet.

138   In country footing.
138.
The Dance of the Nymphs and the Reapers by Walter Craneproperly habited: in the traditional garb of harvesters.


starts: makes an agitated movement.

heavily: sadly, gracelessly.
country footing: country dancing.


           Enter certain REAPERS, properly habited:
           they join with the Nymphs in a graceful
           dance, towards the end whereof Prospero
           starts suddenly, and speaks; after which,
           to a strange, hollow, and confused noise,
           they heavily vanish.

      PROSPERO [Aside.]
139   I had forgot that foul conspiracy
140   Of the beast Caliban and his confederates
141   Against my life: the minute of their plot
142   Is almost come.

           [To the Spirits.]

142                           Well done! avoid; no more!
142. avoid: depart, withdraw, be gone.


      FERDINAND
143   This is strange: your father's in some passion
144   That works him strongly.
144. works: affects, agitates.


      MIRANDA
144                                         Never till this day
145   Saw I him touch'd with anger so distemper'd.
145. distemper'd: unrestrained.


      PROSPERO
146   You do look, my son, in a mov'd sort,
146. mov'd sort: troubled state.

147   As if you were dismay'd: be cheerful, sir.
148   Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
148. revels: festivity, entertainment.

149   As I foretold you, were all spirits and
150   Are melted into air, into thin air:
151   And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
151. baseless fabric: structure without a physical foundation.

152   The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
153   The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
153. the great globe itself: all the world. >>>

154   Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
154. all which it inherit: all who live on it.

155   And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
155. insubstantial: without material substance.

156   Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
156. rack: wisp of cloud driven before the wind.

157   As dreams are made on, and our little life
158   Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex'd;
158. rounded: surrounded.

159   Bear with my weakness; my old brain is troubled.
160   Be not disturb'd with my infirmity:
161   If you be pleased, retire into my cell
162   And there repose: a turn or two I'll walk,
163   To still my beating mind.

      FERDINAND, MIRANDA
163                                   We wish your peace.

      PROSPERO

           [To Ariel.]

164   Come with a thought.
164. Come with a thought: i.e., Let my thinking of you make you come to me at once.


           [To Ferdinand and Miranda.]

164                                   I thank thee.

           Exeunt [Ferdinand and Miranda.]

164                                                       Ariel! come.

           Enter ARIEL.
Miles Anderson as Prospero, Ben Diskant as Ariel


      ARIEL
165   Thy thoughts I cleave to. What's thy pleasure?

      PROSPERO
165                                                                           Spirit,
166   We must prepare to meet with Caliban.

      ARIEL
167   Ay, my commander: when I presented Ceres,
168   I thought to have told thee of it, but I fear'd
169   Lest I might anger thee.

      PROSPERO
170   Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?
170. varlets: ruffians, rascals.


      ARIEL
171   I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;
172   So full of valor that they smote the air
173   For breathing in their faces; beat the ground
174   For kissing of their feet; yet always bending
175   Towards their project. Then I beat my tabour;
174-175. bending / Towards their project: pursuing their purpose (which was the murder of Prospero).

176   At which, like unback'd colts, they prick'd their ears,
176. unback'd: never ridden.

177   Advanc'd their eyelids, lifted up their noses
177. Advanc'd: raised.

178   As they smelt music: so I charm'd their ears
178. As: as if.

179   That calf-like they my lowing follow'd through
180   Tooth'd briers, sharp furzes, pricking goss and thorns,
180. goss: gorse, a prickly shrub

181   Which entered their frail shins: at last I left them
182   I' the filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell,
182. filthy-mantled: covered with dirty scum.

183   There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lake
184   O'erstunk their feet.

      PROSPERO
184                                     This was well done, my bird.
184. bird: A term of endearment.

185   Thy shape invisible retain thou still:
186   The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither,
186. trumpery: cheap, showy finery (the "glistering apparel" of the stage direction following line 193).

187   For stale to catch these thieves.
187. stale: decoy, bait.


      ARIEL
187                                                           I go, I go.

           Exit.

      PROSPERO
188   A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
188. A devil, a born devil: Prospero is describing Caliban.

189   Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains,
190   Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost;
191   And as with age his body uglier grows,
192   So his mind cankers. I will plague them all,
192. cankers: becomes malignant.

Ariel hanging apparel on a line

193   Even to roaring.

           Enter ARIEL, loaden with glistering
           apparel, etc.

193                               Come, hang them on this line.

            Enter CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and
           TRINCULO, all wet.

      CALIBAN
194   Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not
194. mole: Moles were thought to have sensitive hearing.

195   Hear a foot fall: we now are near his cell.

      STEPHANO
196   Monster, your fairy, which you say is
197   a harmless fairy, has done little better than
198   played the Jack with us.
198. played the Jack: done a mean trick.


      TRINCULO
199   Monster, I do smell all horse-piss; at
199. I do smell all horse-piss: I smell like horse-piss. (There are horses on the island?)

200   which my nose is in great indignation.

      STEPHANO
201   So is mine. Do you hear, monster? If I should take
202   a displeasure against you, look you,—

      TRINCULO
203   Thou wert but a lost monster.

      CALIBAN
204   Good my lord, give me thy favour still.
205   Be patient, for the prize I'll bring thee to
206   Shall hoodwink this mischance: therefore speak softly.
206. hoodwink: make you blind to (a hawking term); i.e., make up for.

207   All's hush'd as midnight yet.

      TRINCULO
208   Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool,—

      STEPHANO
209   There is not only disgrace and dishonour in that,
210   monster, but an infinite loss.

      TRINCULO
211   That's more to me than my wetting: yet this is your
212   harmless fairy, monster.

      STEPHANO
213   I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o'er ears
214   for my labor.

      CALIBAN
Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo at the mouth of Prospero's cell.

215   Prithee, my king, be quiet. Seest thou here,
216   This is the mouth o' the cell: no noise, and enter.
217   Do that good mischief which may make this island
218   Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban,
219   For aye thy foot-licker.

      STEPHANO
220   Give me thy hand. I do begin to have bloody
221   thoughts.

      TRINCULO
222   O king Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! look
222. peer: a noble, a member of the peerage.

223   what a wardrobe here is for thee!

      CALIBAN
224   Let it alone, thou fool; it is but trash.

      TRINCULO
225   O, ho, monster! we know what belongs to a frippery.
225. frippery: a collection of fancy clothes.

Trinculo and Stephano fight over a gown as Caliban tries to stop them

226   O king Stephano!

      STEPHANO
227   Put off that gown, Trinculo; by this hand, I'll have
228   that gown.

      TRINCULO
229   Thy grace shall have it.

      CALIBAN
230   The dropsy drown this fool! What do you mean
230. dropsy: a morbid condition characterized by the accumulation of watery fluid in the body.

231   To dote thus on such luggage? Let's alone
231. luggage: heavy trash to be lugged away. Let's alone: let it alone.

232   And do the murder first: if he awake,
233   From toe to crown he'll fill our skins with pinches,
234   Make us strange stuff.

      STEPHANO
235   Be you quiet, monster. Mistress line, is not
236   this my jerkin?
236. jerkin: a kind of jacket made of leather.


           [Takes the jerkin down from the line.]

236                           Now is the jerkin under the line: now,
under the line: Sailors who went "under the line," south of the equator, could lose their hair from scurvy, which was caused by lack of fresh food on the long voyage.

237   jerkin, you are like to lose your hair and prove a bald
238   jerkin.

      TRINCULO
239   Do, do: we steal by line and level, an't like
239. Do, do: i.e., "bravo." by line and level: with plumb-line and carpenter's level; i.e., with professional skill. an't like: if it please.

240   your grace.

      STEPHANO
241   I thank thee for that jest;

           [Takes a garment from the line and
           hands it to Trinculo.]

241                                                   here's a garment for't:
242   wit shall not go unrewarded while I am king of this
243   country. 'Steal by line and level' is an excellent
244   pass of pate; there's another garment for't.
244. pass of pate: witty thrust.


      TRINCULO
245   Monster, come, put some lime upon your fingers,
245. lime: birdlime, a sticky substance; thieves were jokingly said to have lime on their fingers.

246   and away with the rest.

      CALIBAN
247   I will have none on't: we shall lose our time,
248   And all be turn'd to barnacles, or to apes
249   With foreheads villanous low.

      STEPHANO
250   Monster, lay-to your fingers: help to bear this
251   away where my hogshead of wine is, or I'll turn you
252   out of my kingdom: go to, carry this.
252. go to: i.e., stop being stupid, let's go. carry this: Stephano hands Caliban some shiny piece of clothing that he has just taken off the clothes line.

Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban chased by hounds


      TRINCULO
253   And this.

      STEPHANO
254   Ay, and this.

           A noise of hunters heard. Enter diverse
           SPIRITS, in shape of dogs and hounds,
           hunting them about; Prospero and Ariel
           setting them on.

      PROSPERO
255   Hey, Mountain, hey!

      ARIEL
256   Silver! there it goes, Silver!

      PROSPERO
257   Fury, Fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark! hark!
255-257. Mountain . . . Silver . . . Fury . . . Tyrant: These are typical names of ferocious hounds.


           [Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo are
           driven out.]

258   Go charge my goblins that they grind their joints
259   With dry convulsions, shorten up their sinews
259. dry convulsions: dry heaves?

260   With aged cramps, and more pinch-spotted make them
260. aged cramps: cramps like old people have.

261   Than pard or cat o' mountain.
261. pard: panther or leopard. cat o' mountain: catamount, wildcat.


      ARIEL
261                                               Hark, they roar!

      PROSPERO
262   Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour
263   Lie at my mercy all mine enemies:
264   Shortly shall all my labors end, and thou
265   Shalt have the air at freedom: for a little
266   Follow, and do me service.

           Exeunt.