List iconThe Tempest:
Act 4, scene 1
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The Tempest
Act 4, scene 1


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Scene 1
Enter Prospero, Ferdinand, and Miranda.

PROSPERO, to Ferdinand 
 If I have too austerely punished you,
 Your compensation makes amends, for I
 Have given you here a third of mine own life,
 Or that for which I live; who once again
5 I tender to thy hand. All thy vexations
 Were but my trials of thy love, and thou
 Hast strangely stood the test. Here afore heaven
 I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand,
 Do not smile at me that I boast of her,
10 For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise
 And make it halt behind her.
FERDINAND  I do believe it
 Against an oracle.
 Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition
15 Worthily purchased, take my daughter. But
 If thou dost break her virgin-knot before
 All sanctimonious ceremonies may
 With full and holy rite be ministered,
 No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall
20 To make this contract grow; but barren hate,
 Sour-eyed disdain, and discord shall bestrew

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ACT 4. SC. 1

 The union of your bed with weeds so loathly
 That you shall hate it both. Therefore take heed,
 As Hymen’s lamps shall light you.
FERDINAND 25 As I hope
 For quiet days, fair issue, and long life,
 With such love as ’tis now, the murkiest den,
 The most opportune place, the strong’st suggestion
 Our worser genius can shall never melt
30 Mine honor into lust to take away
 The edge of that day’s celebration
 When I shall think or Phoebus’ steeds are foundered
 Or night kept chained below.
PROSPERO  Fairly spoke.
35 Sit then and talk with her. She is thine own.
Ferdinand and Miranda move aside.
 What, Ariel, my industrious servant, Ariel!

Enter Ariel.

 What would my potent master? Here I am.
 Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service
 Did worthily perform, and I must use you
40 In such another trick. Go bring the rabble,
 O’er whom I give thee power, here to this place.
 Incite them to quick motion, for I must
 Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple
 Some vanity of mine art. It is my promise,
45 And they expect it from me.
ARIEL  Presently?
PROSPERO Ay, with a twink.
 Before you can say “Come” and “Go,”
 And breathe twice, and cry “So, so,”
50 Each one, tripping on his toe,
 Will be here with mop and mow.
 Do you love me, master? No?

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ACT 4. SC. 1

 Dearly, my delicate Ariel. Do not approach
 Till thou dost hear me call.
ARIEL 55 Well; I conceive.
He exits.
PROSPERO, to Ferdinand 
 Look thou be true; do not give dalliance
 Too much the rein. The strongest oaths are straw
 To th’ fire i’ th’ blood. Be more abstemious,
 Or else goodnight your vow.
FERDINAND 60 I warrant you, sir,
 The white cold virgin snow upon my heart
 Abates the ardor of my liver.
 Now come, my Ariel. Bring a corollary
65 Rather than want a spirit. Appear, and pertly.
Soft music.
 No tongue. All eyes. Be silent.

Enter Iris.

 Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas
 Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and peas;
 Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,
70 And flat meads thatched with stover, them to keep;
 Thy banks with pionèd and twillèd brims,
 Which spongy April at thy hest betrims
 To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy
 broom groves,
75 Whose shadow the dismissèd bachelor loves,
 Being lass-lorn; thy poll-clipped vineyard,
 And thy sea marge, sterile and rocky hard,
 Where thou thyself dost air—the Queen o’ th’ sky,
 Whose wat’ry arch and messenger am I,
80 Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace,
 Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,

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ACT 4. SC. 1

 To come and sport. Her peacocks fly amain.
 Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.

Enter Ceres.

 Hail, many-colored messenger, that ne’er
85 Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
 Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
 Diffusest honey drops, refreshing showers;
 And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
 My bosky acres and my unshrubbed down,
90 Rich scarf to my proud Earth. Why hath thy queen
 Summoned me hither to this short-grassed green?
 A contract of true love to celebrate,
 And some donation freely to estate
 On the blest lovers.
CERES 95 Tell me, heavenly bow,
 If Venus or her son, as thou dost know,
 Do now attend the Queen? Since they did plot
 The means that dusky Dis my daughter got,
 Her and her blind boy’s scandaled company
100 I have forsworn.
IRIS  Of her society
 Be not afraid. I met her deity
 Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son
 Dove-drawn with her. Here thought they to have
105 done
 Some wanton charm upon this man and maid,
 Whose vows are that no bed-right shall be paid
 Till Hymen’s torch be lighted—but in vain.
 Mars’s hot minion is returned again;
110 Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows,
 Swears he will shoot no more, but play with
 And be a boy right out.

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ACT 4. SC. 1

Juno descends.

CERES  Highest queen of state,
115 Great Juno, comes. I know her by her gait.
 How does my bounteous sister? Go with me
 To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be
 And honored in their issue.
They sing.
 Honor, riches, marriage-blessing,
120 Long continuance and increasing,
 Hourly joys be still upon you.
 Juno sings her blessings on you.

 Earth’s increase, foison plenty,
 Barns and garners never empty,
125 Vines with clust’ring bunches growing,
 Plants with goodly burden bowing;
 Spring come to you at the farthest
 In the very end of harvest.
 Scarcity and want shall shun you.
130 Ceres’ blessing so is on you.

 This is a most majestic vision, and
 Harmonious charmingly. May I be bold
 To think these spirits?
PROSPERO  Spirits, which by mine art
135 I have from their confines called to enact
 My present fancies.
FERDINAND  Let me live here ever.
 So rare a wondered father and a wise
 Makes this place paradise.
Juno and Ceres whisper,
and send Iris on employment.

PROSPERO 140 Sweet now, silence.

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ACT 4. SC. 1

 Juno and Ceres whisper seriously.
 There’s something else to do. Hush, and be mute,
 Or else our spell is marred.
 You nymphs, called naiads of the windring brooks,
145 With your sedged crowns and ever-harmless looks,
 Leave your crisp channels and on this green land
 Answer your summons, Juno does command.
 Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate
 A contract of true love. Be not too late.

Enter certain Nymphs.

150 You sunburned sicklemen, of August weary,
 Come hither from the furrow and be merry.
 Make holiday: your rye-straw hats put on,
 And these fresh nymphs encounter every one
 In country footing.

Enter certain Reapers, properly habited. They join with
the Nymphs in a graceful dance,
 towards the end
whereof Prospero starts suddenly and speaks.

155 I had forgot that foul conspiracy
 Of the beast Caliban and his confederates
 Against my life. The minute of their plot
 Is almost come.—Well done. Avoid. No more.
To a strange, hollow, and confused noise,
the spirits heavily vanish.

FERDINAND, to Miranda 
 This is strange. Your father’s in some passion
160 That works him strongly.
MIRANDA  Never till this day
 Saw I him touched with anger, so distempered.
PROSPERO, to Ferdinand 
 You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
 As if you were dismayed. Be cheerful, sir.

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ACT 4. SC. 1

165 Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
 As I foretold you, were all spirits and
 Are melted into air, into thin air;
 And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
 The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
170 The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
 Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
 And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
 Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
 As dreams are made on, and our little life
175 Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vexed.
 Bear with my weakness. My old brain is troubled.
 Be not disturbed with my infirmity.
 If you be pleased, retire into my cell
 And there repose. A turn or two I’ll walk
180 To still my beating mind.
FERDINAND/MIRANDA  We wish your peace.
They exit.

Enter Ariel.

 Come with a thought. I thank thee, Ariel. Come.
 Thy thoughts I cleave to. What’s thy pleasure?
185 We must prepare to meet with Caliban.
 Ay, my commander. When I presented Ceres,
 I thought to have told thee of it, but I feared
 Lest I might anger thee.
 Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?
190 I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking,
 So full of valor that they smote the air
 For breathing in their faces, beat the ground

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ACT 4. SC. 1

 For kissing of their feet; yet always bending
 Towards their project. Then I beat my tabor,
195 At which, like unbacked colts, they pricked their
 Advanced their eyelids, lifted up their noses
 As they smelt music. So I charmed their ears
 That, calf-like, they my lowing followed through
200 Toothed briers, sharp furzes, pricking gorse, and
 Which entered their frail shins. At last I left them
 I’ th’ filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell,
 There dancing up to th’ chins, that the foul lake
205 O’erstunk their feet.
PROSPERO  This was well done, my bird.
 Thy shape invisible retain thou still.
 The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither
 For stale to catch these thieves.
ARIEL 210 I go, I go.He exits.
 A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
 Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains,
 Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost;
 And as with age his body uglier grows,
215 So his mind cankers. I will plague them all
 Even to roaring.

Enter Ariel, loaden with glistering apparel, etc.

 Come, hang them on this line.

Enter Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo, all wet, as
Prospero and Ariel look on.

CALIBAN Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole
 may not hear a footfall. We now are near his cell.
STEPHANO 220Monster, your fairy, which you say is a
 harmless fairy, has done little better than played the
 jack with us.

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ACT 4. SC. 1

TRINCULO Monster, I do smell all horse piss, at which
 my nose is in great indignation.
STEPHANO 225So is mine.—Do you hear, monster. If I
 should take a displeasure against you, look you—
TRINCULO Thou wert but a lost monster.
 Good my lord, give me thy favor still.
 Be patient, for the prize I’ll bring thee to
230 Shall hoodwink this mischance. Therefore speak
 All’s hushed as midnight yet.
TRINCULO Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool!
STEPHANO There is not only disgrace and dishonor in
235 that, monster, but an infinite loss.
TRINCULO That’s more to me than my wetting. Yet this
 is your harmless fairy, monster!
STEPHANO I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o’er
 ears for my labor.
240 Prithee, my king, be quiet. Seest thou here,
 This is the mouth o’ th’ cell. No noise, and enter.
 Do that good mischief which may make this island
 Thine own forever, and I, thy Caliban,
 For aye thy foot-licker.
STEPHANO 245Give me thy hand. I do begin to have bloody
TRINCULO, seeing the apparel O King Stephano, O
 peer, O worthy Stephano, look what a wardrobe
 here is for thee!
250 Let it alone, thou fool. It is but trash.
TRINCULO Oho, monster, we know what belongs to a
 frippery. He puts on one of the gowns. O King
STEPHANO Put off that gown, Trinculo. By this hand,
255 I’ll have that gown.

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ACT 4. SC. 1

TRINCULO Thy Grace shall have it.
 The dropsy drown this fool! What do you mean
 To dote thus on such luggage? Let ’t alone,
 And do the murder first. If he awake,
260 From toe to crown he’ll fill our skins with pinches,
 Make us strange stuff.
STEPHANO Be you quiet, monster.—Mistress Line, is
 not this my jerkin?He takes a jacket from the tree.
 Now is the jerkin under the line.—Now, jerkin, you
265 are like to lose your hair and prove a bald jerkin.
TRINCULO Do, do. We steal by line and level, an ’t like
 your Grace.
STEPHANO I thank thee for that jest. Here’s a garment
 for ’t. Wit shall not go unrewarded while I am king
270 of this country. “Steal by line and level” is an excellent
 pass of pate. There’s another garment for ’t.
TRINCULO Monster, come, put some lime upon your
 fingers, and away with the rest.
 I will have none on ’t. We shall lose our time
275 And all be turned to barnacles or to apes
 With foreheads villainous low.
STEPHANO Monster, lay to your fingers. Help to bear
 this away where my hogshead of wine is, or I’ll turn
 you out of my kingdom. Go to, carry this.
TRINCULO 280And this.
STEPHANO Ay, and this.
A noise of hunters heard.

Enter divers spirits in shape of dogs and hounds,
hunting them about,
 Prospero and Ariel setting them on.

PROSPERO Hey, Mountain, hey!
ARIEL Silver! There it goes, Silver!
 Fury, Fury! There, Tyrant, there! Hark, hark!
Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo are driven off.

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ACT 4. SC. 1

285 Go, charge my goblins that they grind their joints
 With dry convulsions, shorten up their sinews
 With agèd cramps, and more pinch-spotted make
 Than pard or cat o’ mountain.
ARIEL 290 Hark, they roar.
 Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour
 Lies at my mercy all mine enemies.
 Shortly shall all my labors end, and thou
 Shalt have the air at freedom. For a little
295 Follow and do me service.
They exit.