The Shipwreck of liberal arts

Miranda_-_The_Tempest_JWW
Waterhouse: Miranda – The Tempest

 

From Shakespeare’s The Tempest,  Act 1, Scene 2:

MIRANDA

Sir, are not you my father?

PROSPERO

Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and
She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father
Was Duke of Milan; and thou his only heir
And princess no worse issued.

MIRANDA

O the heavens!
What foul play had we, that we came from thence?
Or blessed was’t we did?

PROSPERO

Both, both, my girl:
By foul play, as thou say’st, were we heaved thence,
But blessedly holp hither.

MIRANDA

O, my heart bleeds
To think o’ the teen that I have turn’d you to,
Which is from my remembrance! Please you, farther.

PROSPERO

My brother and thy uncle, call’d Antonio–
I pray thee, mark me–that a brother should
Be so perfidious!–he whom next thyself
Of all the world I loved and to him put
The manage of my state; as at that time
Through all the signories it was the first
And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed
In dignity, and for the liberal arts
Without a parallel; those being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother
And to my state grew stranger, being transported
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle–
Dost thou attend me?

MIRANDA

Sir, most heedfully.

PROSPERO

Being once perfected how to grant suits,
How to deny them, who to advance and who
To trash for over-topping, new created
The creatures that were mine, I say, or changed ’em,
Or else new form’d ’em; having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts i’ the state
To what tune pleased his ear; that now he was
The ivy which had hid my princely trunk,
And suck’d my verdure out on’t. Thou attend’st not.

MIRANDA

O, good sir, I do.

PROSPERO

I pray thee, mark me.
I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
To closeness and the bettering of my mind
With that which, but by being so retired,
O’er-prized all popular rate, in my false brother
Awaked an evil nature; and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
A falsehood in its contrary as great
As 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 one
Who having into truth, by telling of it,
Made such a sinner of his memory,
To credit his own lie, he did believe
He was indeed the duke; out o’ the substitution
And executing the outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative: hence his ambition growing–
Dost thou hear?

MIRANDA

Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.

PROSPERO

To have no screen between this part he play’d
And him he play’d it for, he needs will be
Absolute Milan. Me, poor man, my library
Was dukedom large enough: of temporal royalties
He thinks me now incapable; confederates–
So dry he was for sway–wi’ the King of Naples
To give him annual tribute, do him homage,
Subject his coronet to his crown and bend
The dukedom yet unbow’d–alas, poor Milan!–
To most ignoble stooping.

MIRANDA

O the heavens!

PROSPERO

Mark his condition and the event; then tell me
If this might be a brother.

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