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Act 3 Scene 1

page Act 3 Scene 1 Page 1

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Enter FERDINAND bearing a log
FERDINAND enters, carrying a log.


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
5Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead
And makes my labors pleasures. Oh, she is
Ten times more gentle than her father’s crabbed,
And he’s composed of harshness. I must remove
10Some 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,
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labors,
15Most busiest when I do it.


Some games are painful, but their discomfort makes them more fun. Some kinds of lowly activities are done for noble reasons. And you can do poor things that lead to rich results. This hard work would be boring and nasty to me, but I’m working for a mistress who makes me enjoy my labor. Oh, she’s ten times nicer than her father is mean, and he’s the height of crabbiness. I have thousands of logs to take away and pile up, on strict orders from him. My sweet darling cries when she sees me work and tells me that such a wonderful man never performed such lowly tasks before. These sweet thoughts relieve me and refresh me, especially when I’m slaving away busily.
Enter MIRANDA, and PROSPERO unseen
MIRANDA enters, followed by PROSPERO at a distance, unobserved.


     Alas now, pray you,
Work not so hard. I would the lightning had
Burnt up those logs that you are enjoined to pile!
Pray, set it down and rest you. When this burns,
'Twill weep for having wearied you. My father
20Is hard at study. Pray now, rest yourself.
He’s safe for these three hours.


Now, please, I beg you, don’t work so hard. I wish the lightning had burned up all those logs that you’ve been ordered to stack! Please put that log down and rest a while. When this wood burns, it’ll weep for making you tired. My father’s studying hard, so he won’t see you. So please rest. We’re safe from my father for at least three hours.