Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

The Tempest: Act 3, Scene 1

           Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log.

  1   There be some sports are painful, and their labor
1-2. There . . . sets off: Some sports require much effort, but the pleasure we get more than makes up for the effort.
2. baseness: lowly service, menial tasks.

  2   Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness
  3   Are nobly undergone and most poor matters
3. undergone: undertaken. most poor: poorest.

  4   Point to rich ends. This my mean task
4. mean: lowly.  5. but: were it not that.

  5   Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
  6   The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead
6. quickens: brings to life.

  7   And makes my labors pleasures: O, she is
  8   Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed,
  9   And he's composed of harshness. I must remove
 10   Some thousands of these logs and pile them up,
 11   Upon a sore injunction: my sweet mistress
11. sore injunction: harsh command.

 12   Weeps when she sees me work, and says, such baseness
 13   Had never like executor. I forget:
13. Had never like executor: was never before undertaken by so noble a being. I forget: i.e., I'm forgetting that I'm supposed to be working.

 14   But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labors,
 15   Most busy lest, when I do it.
15. Most busy lest, when I do it: when I am working hardest.

           Enter MIRANDA; and PROSPERO
           [at a distance, unseen].

 15                                           Alas, now, pray you,
 16   Work not so hard: I would the lightning had
 17   Burnt up those logs that you are enjoin'd to pile!
17. enjoin'd: commanded.

 18   Pray, set it down and rest you: when this burns,
18. this: i.e., the log.

 19   'Twill weep for having wearied you. My father
19. weep: i.e., ooze pitch. Miranda is making a small joke.

 20   Is hard at study; pray now, rest yourself;
 21   He's safe for these three hours.
21. He's . . . hours. i.e., He is safely out of the way for the next three hours.

 21                                                     O most dear mistress,
 22   The sun will set before I shall discharge
22. discharge: complete.

 23   What I must strive to do.

Miranda trying to take a log from Ferdinand
John Tufts as Ferdinand; Nell Geisslinger as Miranda
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2007

 23                                         If you'll sit down,
 24   I'll bear your logs the while: pray, give me that;
 25   I'll carry it to the pile.

 25                                           No, precious creature;
 26   I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
 27   Than you should such dishonour undergo,
 28   While I sit lazy by.

 28                                 It would become me
 29   As well as it does you: and I should do it
 30   With much more ease; for my good will is to it,
 31   And yours it is against.

      PROSPERO [Aside].
 31                                         Poor worm, thou art infected!
31. infected: i.e., love-sick.

 32   This visitation shows it.
32. visitation: comforting visit.

 32                                             You look wearily.

 33   No, noble mistress;'tis fresh morning with me
 34   When you are by at night. I do beseech you—
34. by: nearby.

 35   Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers—
 36   What is your name?

 36                               Miranda.—O my father,
 37   I have broke your hest to say so!
37. hest: command.

 37                                                     Admired Miranda!
Admired Miranda: Shakespeare invented the name "Miranda," and he probably derived it from the Latin word mirandus, meaning "admirable, wonderful."

 38   Indeed the top of admiration! worth
 39   What's dearest to the world! Full many a lady
39. dearest: most treasured.

 40   I have eyed with best regard and many a time
40. best regard: highest approval.

 41   The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
 42   Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues
42. diligent: attentive. several: various.

 43   Have I liked several women; never any
 44   With so full soul, but some defect in her
 45   Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd
45. ow'd: owned.

 46   And put it to the foil: but you, O you,
46. put it to the foil: i.e., overshadowed it.

 47   So perfect and so peerless, are created
 48   Of every creature's best!
48. Of: out of.

 48                                           I do not know
 49   One of my sex; no woman's face remember,
 50   Save, from my glass, mine own; nor have I seen
 51   More that I may call men than you, good friend,
 52   And my dear father: how features are abroad,
52-53. how features . . . skilless of: I don't know what people in other places look like.

 53   I am skilless of; but, by my modesty,
53. modesty: virginity.

 54   The jewel in my dower, I would not wish
54. dower: the property a bride brings to her groom.

 55   Any companion in the world but you,
 56   Nor can imagination form a shape,
 57   Besides yourself, to like of. But I prattle
57. like of: to be pleased with, be fond of.

 58   Something too wildly and my father's precepts
58. Something: Somewhat.

 59   I therein do forget.

 59                                   I am in my condition
59. condition: rank.

 60   A prince, Miranda; I do think, a king;
60. I do think, a king: Ferdinand thinks he is a king because he thinks his father, who is king of Naples, is dead.

 61   I would, not so!—and would no more endure
61. I would: I wish it were.

 62   This wooden slavery than to suffer
62. wooden slavery: being compelled to carry wood.

 63   The flesh-fly blow my mouth. Hear my soul speak:
63. flesh-fly: a fly which deposits its eggs in dead flesh. blow my mouth: hatch in my mouth.

 64   The very instant that I saw you, did
 65   My heart fly to your service; there resides,
 66   To make me slave to it; and for your sake
 67   Am I this patient log-man.

 67                                           Do you love me?

 68   O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound
 69   And crown what I profess with kind event
69. kind event: favorable outcome.

 70   If I speak true! if hollowly, invert
70. hollowly: insincerely. invert: turn.

 71   What best is boded me to mischief! I
71. boded: in store for. mischief: harm.

 72   Beyond all limit of what else i' the world
72. what: whatever.

 73   Do love, prize, honor you.

 73                                         I am a fool
 74   To weep at what I am glad of.

      PROSPERO [Aside.]
 74                                             Fair encounter
 75   Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace
 76   On that which breeds between 'em!

 76                                                       Wherefore weep you?

 77   At mine unworthiness that dare not offer
 78   What I desire to give, and much less take
 79   What I shall die to want. But this is trifling;
79. to want: through lacking.

 80   And all the more it seeks to hide itself,
 81   The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning!
81. bashful cunning: coyness.

 82   And prompt me, plain and holy innocence!
2. prompt me: give me guidance.

 83   I am your wife, if you will marry me;
 84   If not, I'll die your maid: to be your fellow
84. maid: handmaiden, servant. fellow: mate.
 85   You may deny me; but I'll be your servant,
 86   Whether you will or no.
86. will: desire it.

 86                                       My mistress, dearest;
My mistress: i.e., You are the woman I adore and serve.

 87   And I thus humble ever.
87. thus: I think this word indicates that he kneels to her.
Ferdinand kneels to Miranda

 87                                       My husband, then?

 88   Ay, with a heart as willing
 89   As bondage e'er of freedom: here's my hand.
88-89. a heart . . . freedom: a heart as desirous (of service to you) as slavery ever was desirous of freedom.

 90   And mine, with my heart in't; and now farewell
 91   Till half an hour hence.

 91                                         A thousand thousand!
91. A thousand thousand: A thousand thousand farewells.

           Exeunt [FERDINAND, MIRANDA].

 92   So glad of this as they I cannot be,
 93   Who are surprised withal; but my rejoicing
93. withal: by it.

 94   At nothing can be more. I'll to my book,
 95   For yet ere supper-time must I perform
 96   Much business appertaining.
96. appertaining: related to this.