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Home » Quotes » The Tempest » What harmony is this? My good friends, hark.

What harmony is this? My good friends, hark.

Solemn and strange music, and
enter Prospero on the top invisible.

Alonso
What harmony is this? My good friends, hark.
Gonzalo
Marvelous sweet music!

Enter several strange shapes, bringing in a banquet, and
dance about it with gentle actions of salutations.

Alonso
Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?
Sebastian
A living drollery! Now I will believe
That there are unicorns, that in Arabia
There is one tree, the phoenix’ throne, one phoenix
At this hour reigning there.

Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet note
Their manners are more gentle, kind, than of
Our human generation you shall find

Antonio
I’ll believe both;
And what does else want credit, come to me
And I’ll be sworn ’tis true. Travelers ne’er did lie,
Though fools at home condemn ’em.
Gonzalo
If in Naples
I should report this now, would they believe me?
If I should say I saw such islanders—
For, certes, these are people of the island—
Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet note
Their manners are more gentle, kind, than of
Our human generation you shall find
Many, nay, almost any.
Prospero, aside
Honest lord,
Thou hast said well, for some of you there present
Are worse than devils.
Alonso
I cannot too much muse
Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound, expressing—
Although they want the use of tongue—a kind
Of excellent dumb discourse.
Prospero, aside
Praise in departing.
 Inviting the King, etc., to eat, the shapes depart.
Francisco
They vanished strangely.
Sebastian
No matter, since
They have left their viands behind, for we have stomachs.
Will ’t please you taste of what is here?
Alonso
Not I.
Gonzalo
Faith, sir, you need not fear. When we were boys,
Who would believe that there were mountaineers
Dewlapped like bulls, whose throats had hanging at ’em
Wallets of flesh? Or that there were such men
Whose heads stood in their breasts? Which now we find
Each putter-out of five for one will bring us
Good warrant of.
Alonso
I will stand to and feed.
Although my last, no matter, since I feel
The best is past. Brother, my lord the Duke,
Stand to, and do as we.

Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio move toward the table.
 Thunder and lightning.
Enter Ariel, like a Harpy, claps
 his wings upon the table,
and with a quaint device the
 banquet vanishes.

Ariel as Harpy
You are three men of sin, whom Destiny,
That hath to instrument this lower world
And what is in ’t, the never-surfeited sea
Hath caused to belch up you, and on this island,
Where man doth not inhabit, you ’mongst men
Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad;
And even with such-like valor, men hang and drown
Their proper selves.
 Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio draw their swords.
You fools, I and my fellows
Are ministers of Fate. The elements
Of whom your swords are tempered may as well
Wound the loud winds or with bemocked-at stabs
Kill the still-closing waters as diminish
One dowl that’s in my plume. My fellow ministers
Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt,
Your swords are now too massy for your strengths
And will not be uplifted. But remember—
For that’s my business to you—that you three
From Milan did supplant good Prospero,
Exposed unto the sea, which hath requit it,
Him and his innocent child, for which foul deed,
The powers—delaying, not forgetting—have
Incensed the seas and shores, yea, all the creatures
Against your peace. Thee of thy son, Alonso,
They have bereft; and do pronounce by me
Ling’ring perdition, worse than any death
Can be at once, shall step by step attend
You and your ways, whose wraths to guard you from—
Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls
Upon your heads—is nothing but heart’s sorrow
And a clear life ensuing.
 He vanishes in thunder.

Source:
Act 3
Scene 3
Line 23

Source Type:

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