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The Tempest
Act 3, scene 1

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Scene 1
Enter Ferdinand bearing a log.

FERDINAND 
 There be some sports are painful, and their labor
 Delight in them sets off; some kinds of baseness
 Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters
 Point to rich ends. This my mean task
5 Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
 The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead
 And makes my labors pleasures. O, she is
 Ten times more gentle than her father’s crabbed,
 And he’s composed of harshness. I must remove
10 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
 baseness
 Had never like executor. I forget;
15 But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labors,
 Most busiest when I do it.

Enter Miranda; and Prospero at a distance, unobserved.

MIRANDA  Alas now, pray you,
 Work not so hard. I would the lightning had
 Burnt up those logs that you are enjoined to pile.
20 Pray, set it down and rest you. When this burns
91

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ACT 3. SC. 1

 ’Twill weep for having wearied you. My father
 Is hard at study. Pray now, rest yourself.
 He’s safe for these three hours.
FERDINAND  O most dear mistress,
25 The sun will set before I shall discharge
 What I must strive to do.
MIRANDA  If you’ll sit down,
 I’ll bear your logs the while. Pray, give me that.
 I’ll carry it to the pile.
FERDINAND 30 No, precious creature,
 I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
 Than you should such dishonor undergo
 While I sit lazy by.
MIRANDA  It would become me
35 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.
PROSPERO, aside Poor worm, thou art infected.
 This visitation shows it.
MIRANDA 40 You look wearily.FERDINAND 
 No, noble mistress, ’tis fresh morning with me
 When you are by at night. I do beseech you,
 Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers,
 What is your name?
MIRANDA 45 Miranda.—O my father,
 I have broke your hest to say so!
FERDINAND  Admired Miranda!
 Indeed the top of admiration, worth
 What’s dearest to the world! Full many a lady
50 I have eyed with best regard, and many a time
 Th’ harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
 Brought my too diligent ear. For several virtues
 Have I liked several women, never any
 With so full soul but some defect in her
55 Did quarrel with the noblest grace she owed,

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ACT 3. SC. 1

 And put it to the foil. But you, O you,
 So perfect and so peerless, are created
 Of every creature’s best.
MIRANDA  I do not know
60 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 skilless of, but by my modesty,
65 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
70 I therein do forget.
FERDINAND 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
75 The flesh-fly blow my mouth. Hear my soul speak:
 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.
MIRANDA 80 Do you love me?
FERDINAND 
 O heaven, O Earth, bear witness to this sound,
 And crown what I profess with kind event
 If I speak true; if hollowly, invert
 What best is boded me to mischief. I,
85 Beyond all limit of what else i’ th’ world,
 Do love, prize, honor you.
MIRANDA  I am a fool
 To weep at what I am glad of.
PROSPERO, aside  Fair encounter

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ACT 3. SC. 1

90 Of two most rare affections. Heavens rain grace
 On that which breeds between ’em!
FERDINAND  Wherefore
 weep you?
MIRANDA 
 At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer
95 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 cunning,
 And prompt me, plain and holy innocence.
100 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.
FERDINAND 
 My mistress, dearest, and I thus humble ever.
MIRANDA 
105 My husband, then?
FERDINAND  Ay, with a heart as willing
 As bondage e’er of freedom. Here’s my hand.
MIRANDA, clasping his hand 
 And mine, with my heart in ’t. And now farewell
 Till half an hour hence.
FERDINAND 110 A thousand thousand.
They exit.
PROSPERO 
 So glad of this as they I cannot be,
 Who are surprised withal; but my rejoicing
 At nothing can be more. I’ll to my book,
 For yet ere suppertime must I perform
115 Much business appertaining.
He exits.