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The wronged Duke of Milan, Prospero:
A hearty welcome.
Whe'r thou beest he, or no,
Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me,
As late I have been, I not know thy pulse
Beats, as of flesh and blood; and, since I saw thee,
I fear, a madness held me: this must crave
(And if this be at all) a most strange story.
Thou pardon me my wrongs:-But how should Prospero
First, noble friend,
Let me embrace thine age; whose honor cannot
Be measur'd, or confin'd.
You do yet taste
Some subtilties o' the isle, that will not let you
[Aside to SEB and ANT.
I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you,
I'll tell no tales.
Seb. The devil speaks in him.
For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother
If thou beest Prospero,
Give us particulars of thy preservation:
How thou hast met us here, who three hours since
My dear son Ferdinand.
I am woe for't, sir.
Alon. Irreparable is the loss; and patience Says it is past her cure.
I rather think,
You have not sought her help; of whose soft grace
And rest myself content.
Pro. As great to me, as late; and, supportable
O heavens! that they were living both in Naples,
Where my son lies. When did you lose your daughter?
At this encounter do so much admire,
That they devour their reason; and scarce think
Are natural breath: but, howsoe'er you have
Been jostled from your senses, know for certain,
That I am Prospero, and that very duke
Which was thrust forth of Milan; who most strangely,
Not a relation for a breakfast, nor
Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, sir;
At least bring forth a wonder, to content ye,
The entrance of the Cell opens, and discovers FERDINAND and MIRANDA,
playing at chess.
Mira. Sweet lord, you play me false.
I would not for the world.
No, my dearest love,
Mira. Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, And I would call it fair play.
If this prove
A vision of this island, one dear son
A most high miracle!
Fer. Though the seas threaten, they are merciful:
I have curs'd them without cause.
[FERD. kneels to ALON
Now all the blessings
How many goodly creatures are there here!
Pro. "Tis new to thee.
Alon. What is this maid, with whom thou wast at play? Your eld'st acquaintance cannot be three hours:
Is she the goddess that hath sever'd us,
And brought us thus together?
I am hers: But O, how oddly will it sound, that I Must ask my child forgiveness!
There, sir, stop;
Let us not burden our remembrances
I have inly wept,
Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you gods,
For it is you, that have chalk'd forth the way
Which brought us hither!
Give me your hands:
I say, Amen, Gonzalo !
[To FER. and MIR.
Be't so! Amen!
Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart,
That doth not wish you joy!
Re-enter ARIEL, with the Master and Boatswain amazedly following.
O look, sir, look, sir; here are more of us!
I prophesied, if a gallows were on land,
This fellow could not drown: Now, blasphemy,
Hast thou no mouth by land? What is the news?
Boats. The best news is, that we have safely found
Our king, and company; the next our ship,—
Have I done since I went.
Sir, all this service
My tricksy spirit!
Alon. These are not natural events; they strengthen,
I'd strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep,
Where, but even now, with strange and several noises
Ari. Was't well done?
Pro. Bravely, my diligence. Thou shalt be free.
Must rectify our knowledge.
Sir, my liege,
Do not infest your mind with beating on
The strangeness of this business: at pick'd leisure,
And think of each thing well.-Come hither, spirit;
Untie the spell.
Sir, I invite your highness, and your train,
To my poor cell where you shall take your rest
With such discourse, as, I not doubt, shall make it
I long To hear the story of your life, which must Take the ear strangely.
I'll deliver all;
Your royal fleet far off.-My Ariel ;—chick,—
ROMEO AND JULIET.
The story of Romeo and Juliet is considered to be historically true; the Veronese fix the date of this tragedy as 1303.
"The history of the fair Capulet and her loved Montague," furnished themes for novelists, and had inspired the muse of the Poets, previous to Shakspeare's time: He has availed himself of these labors to construct his exquisite Drama; the inimitable character of Mercutio, however, is an entirely original creation of the Dramatist.
ESCALUS, Prince of Verona.
PARIS, a young nobleman, kinsman to the Prince.
heads of two houses, at variance with each other.
An old man, uncle to Capulet.
ROMEO, son to Montague.
MERCUTIO, kinsman to the Prince, and friend to Romeo.
TYBALT, nephew to Lady Capulet.
Friar LAURENCE, a Franciscan.
Friar JOHN, of the same order.
BALTHAZAR, servant to Romeo.
SAMPSON, GREGORY, servants to Capulet.
ABRAM, servant to Montague.
An Apothecary. Three Musicians.
Chorus. Boy. Page to Paris.
PETER. An Officer.
Lady MONTAGUE, wife to Montague.
Lady CAPULET, wife to Capulet.
JULIET, daughter to Capulet.
Nurse to Juliet.
Citizens of Verona; several Men and Women, relations to both houses; Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants.
SCENE,-during the greater part of the Play, in VERONA; once, in the Fifth Act, at MANTUA.