The Tempest

Page 03

Mira. You haue often Begun to tell me what I am, but stopt And left me to a bootelesse Inquisition, Concluding, stay: not yet

Pros. The howr's now come The very minute byds thee ope thine eare, Obey, and be attentiue. Canst thou remember A time before we came vnto this Cell? I doe not thinke thou canst, for then thou was't not Out three yeeres old

Mira. Certainely Sir, I can

Pros. By what? by any other house, or person? Of any thing the Image, tell me, that Hath kept with thy remembrance

Mira. 'Tis farre off: And rather like a dreame, then an assurance That my remembrance warrants: Had I not Fowre, or fiue women once, that tended me?

Pros. Thou hadst; and more Miranda: But how is it That this liues in thy minde? What seest thou els In the dark-backward and Abisme of Time? Yf thou remembrest ought ere thou cam'st here, How thou cam'st here thou maist

Mira. But that I doe not

Pros. Twelue yere since (Miranda) twelue yere since, Thy father was the Duke of Millaine and A Prince of power:

Mira. Sir, are not you my Father?

Pros. Thy Mother was a peece of vertue, and She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father Was Duke of Millaine, and his onely heire, And Princesse; no worse Issued

Mira. O the heauens, What fowle play had we, that we came from thence? Or blessed was't we did?

Pros. Both, both my Girle. By fowle-play (as thou saist) were we heau'd thence, But blessedly holpe hither

Mira. O my heart bleedes To thinke oth' teene that I haue turn'd you to, Which is from my remembrance, please you, farther;

Pros. My brother and thy vncle, call'd Anthonio: I pray thee marke me, that a brother should Be so perfidious: he, whom next thy selfe Of all the world I lou'd, and to him put The mannage of my state, as at that time Through all the signories it was the first, And Prospero, the prime Duke, being so reputed In dignity; and for the liberall Artes, Without a paralell; those being all my studie, The Gouernment I cast vpon my brother, And to my State grew stranger, being transported And rapt in secret studies, thy false vncle (Do'st thou attend me?)

Mira. Sir, most heedefully

Pros. Being once perfected how to graunt suites, how to deny them: who t' aduance, and who To trash for ouer-topping; new created The creatures that were mine, I say, or chang'd 'em, Or els new form'd 'em; hauing both the key, Of Officer, and office, set all hearts i'th state To what tune pleas'd his eare, that now he was The Iuy which had hid my princely Trunck, And suckt my verdure out on't: Thou attend'st not?

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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