The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

MIRANDA

    I might call him
A thing divine, for nothing natural
I ever saw so noble.

MIRANDA

I could imagine he’s divine, since I never saw anything so noble-looking on earth before.

PROSPERO

(aside)    It goes on, I see,
As my soul prompts it.—Spirit, fine spirit! I’ll free thee
415Within two days for this.

PROSPERO

(to himself) It’s all happening according to plan, just as my soul wanted it to happen. (to ARIEL) Spirit, you fine spirit, I’ll set you free in two days for doing such a good job here.

FERDINAND

(seeing MIRANDA)  Most sure, the goddess
On whom these airs attend!—Vouchsafe my prayer
May know if you remain upon this island,
And that you will some good instruction give
420How I may bear me here. My prime request,
Which I do last pronounce, is—O you wonder!—
If you be maid or no.

FERDINAND

(seeing MIRANDA) This must surely be the goddess that the music is being played for!—Please, I beg you to answer me, tell me if you live on this island, and tell me how I should behave here. My main question, which I save for the last, is—Oh, you marvelous creature!—are you a maiden or a goddess?

MIRANDA

  No wonder, sir,
But certainly a maid.

MIRANDA

I’m not marvelous, sir, but I’m certainly a maiden.

FERDINAND

  My language! Heavens,
I am the best of them that speak this speech,
425Were I but where ’tis spoken.

FERDINAND

She speaks my language! My God, I’m the highest-ranking person who speaks this language—if only we were back where it’s spoken.

PROSPERO

   How? The best?
What wert thou if the King of Naples heard thee?

PROSPERO

What’s that? The highest-ranking? What would the King of Naples do if he heard you say that?

FERDINAND

A single thing, as I am now, that wonders
To hear thee speak of Naples. He does hear me,
And that he does I weep. Myself am Naples,
430Who with mine eyes, never since at ebb, beheld
The king my father wracked.

FERDINAND

He would just see me for what I am, a person amazed to hear you talking about Naples. He does hear me, and that makes me cry. I myself am the King of Naples, since I saw with my own eyes—these eyes that haven’t been dry since—my father killed in a shipwreck.

MIRANDA

   Alack, for mercy!

MIRANDA

Ah, how pitiful!