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Subject: English, asked on on 7/2/12

Can you explain me this part of Shakespeare play 'The Tempest' :-

MIRANDAIf by your art, my dearest father, you havePut the wild waters in this roar, allay them.The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek,Dashes the fire out. O, I have sufferedWith those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knockAgainst my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.Had I been any god of power, I wouldHave sunk the sea within the earth or ereIt should the good ship so have swallow'd andThe fraughting souls within her.PROSPEROBe collected:No more amazement: tell your piteous heartThere's no harm done.MIRANDAO, woe the day!PROSPERONo harm.I have done nothing but in care of thee,Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, whoArt ignorant of what thou art, nought knowingOf whence I am, nor that I am more betterThan Prospero, master of a full poor cell,And thy no greater father.MIRANDAMore to knowDid never meddle with my thoughts.PROSPERO'Tis timeI should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand,And pluck my magic garment from me. So:Lays down his mantleLie there, my art. Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort.The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'dThe very virtue of compassion in thee,I have with such provision in mine artSo safely ordered that there is no soul--No, not so much perdition as an hairBetid to any creature in the vesselWhich thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink. Sit down;For thou must now know farther.MIRANDAYou have oftenBegun to tell me what I am, but stopp'dAnd left me to a bootless inquisition,Concluding 'Stay: not yet.'PROSPEROThe hour's now come;The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;Obey and be attentive. Canst thou rememberA time before we came unto this cell?I do not think thou canst, for then thou wast notOut three years old.MIRANDACertainly, sir, I can.PROSPEROBy what? by any other house or person?Of any thing the image tell me thatHath kept with thy remembrance.MIRANDA'Tis far offAnd rather like a dream than an assuranceThat my remembrance warrants. Had I notFour or five women once that tended me?PROSPEROThou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is itThat this lives in thy mind? What seest thou elseIn the dark backward and abysm of time?If thou remember'st aught ere thou camest here,How thou camest here thou mayst.MIRANDABut that I do not.PROSPEROTwelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since,Thy father was the Duke of Milan andA prince of power.MIRANDASir, are not you my father?PROSPEROThy mother was a piece of virtue, andShe said thou wast my daughter; and thy fatherWas Duke of Milan; and thou his only heirAnd princess no worse issued.MIRANDAO the heavens!What foul play had we, that we came from thence?Or blessed was't we did?PROSPEROBoth, both, my girl:By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heaved thence,But blessedly holp hither.MIRANDAO, my heart bleedsTo think o' the teen that I have turn'd you to,Which is from my remembrance! Please you, farther.PROSPEROMy brother and thy uncle, call'd Antonio--I pray thee, mark me--that a brother shouldBe so perfidious!--he whom next thyselfOf all the world I loved and to him putThe manage of my state; as at that timeThrough all the signories it was the firstAnd Prospero the prime duke, being so reputedIn dignity, and for the liberal artsWithout a parallel; those being all my study,The government I cast upon my brotherAnd to my state grew stranger, being transportedAnd rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle--Dost thou attend me?MIRANDASir, most heedfully.PROSPEROBeing once perfected how to grant suits,How to deny them, who to advance and whoTo trash for over-topping, new createdThe creatures that were mine, I say, or changed 'em,Or else new form'd 'em; having both the keyOf officer and office, set all hearts i' the stateTo what tune pleased his ear; that now he wasThe ivy which had hid my princely trunk,And suck'd my verdure out on't. Thou attend'st not.MIRANDAO, good sir, I do.PROSPEROI pray thee, mark me.I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicatedTo closeness and the bettering of my mindWith that which, but by being so retired,O'er-prized all popular rate, in my false brotherAwaked an evil nature; and my trust,Like a good parent, did beget of himA falsehood in its contrary as greatAs my trust was; which had indeed no limit,A confidence sans bound. He being thus lorded,Not only with what my revenue yielded,But what my power might else exact, like oneWho having into truth, by telling of it,Made such a sinner of his memory,To credit his own lie, he did believeHe was indeed the duke; out o' the substitutionAnd executing the outward face of royalty,With all prerogative: hence his ambition growing--Dost thou hear?MIRANDAYour tale, sir, would cure deafness.PROSPEROTo have no screen between this part he play'dAnd him he play'd it for, he needs will beAbsolute Milan. Me, poor man, my libraryWas dukedom large enough: of temporal royaltiesHe thinks me now incapable; confederates--So dry he was for sway--wi' the King of NaplesTo give him annual tribute, do him homage,Subject his coronet to his crown and bendThe dukedom yet unbow'd--alas, poor Milan!--To most ignoble stooping.MIRANDAO the heavens!PROSPEROMark his condition and the event; then tell meIf this might be a brother.MIRANDAI should sinTo think but nobly of my grandmother:Good wombs have borne bad sons.PROSPERONow the condition.The King of Naples, being an enemyTo me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit;Which was, that he, in lieu o' the premisesOf homage and I know not how much tribute,Should presently extirpate me and mineOut of the dukedom and confer fair MilanWith all the honours on my brother: whereon,A treacherous army levied, one midnightFated to the purpose did Antonio openThe gates of Milan, and, i' the dead of darkness,The ministers for the purpose hurried thenceMe and thy crying self.MIRANDAAlack, for pity!I, not remembering how I cried out then,Will cry it o'er again: it is a hintThat wrings mine eyes to't.PROSPEROHear a little furtherAnd then I'll bring thee to the present businessWhich now's upon's; without the which this storyWere most impertinent.MIRANDAWherefore did they notThat hour destroy us?PROSPEROWell demanded, wench:My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not,So dear the love my people bore me, nor setA mark so bloody on the business, butWith colours fairer painted their foul ends.In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,Bore us some leagues to sea; where they preparedA rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very ratsInstinctively had quit it: there they hoist us,To cry to the sea that roar'd to us, to sighTo the winds whose pity, sighing back again,Did us but loving wrong.MIRANDAAlack, what troubleWas I then to you!PROSPEROO, a cherubimThou wast that did preserve me. Thou didst smile.Infused with a fortitude from heaven,When I have deck'd the sea with drops full salt,Under my burthen groan'd; which raised in meAn undergoing stomach, to bear upAgainst what should ensue.MIRANDAHow came we ashore?PROSPEROBy Providence divine.Some food we had and some fresh water thatA noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,Out of his charity, being then appointedMaster of this design, did give us, withRich garments, linens, stuffs and necessaries,Which since have steaded much; so, of his gentleness,Knowing I loved my books, he furnish'd meFrom mine own library with volumes thatI prize above my dukedom.MIRANDAHeavens thank you for't! And now, I pray you, sir,For still 'tis beating in my mind, your reasonFor raising this sea-storm?PROSPEROKnow thus far forth.By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune,Now my dear lady, hath mine enemiesBrought to this shore; and by my prescienceI find my zenith doth depend uponA most auspicious star, whose influenceIf now I court not but omit, my fortunesWill ever after droop. Here cease more questions:Thou art inclined to sleep; 'tis a good dulness,And give it way: I know thou canst not choose.

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