Fiction > Harvard Classics > William Shakespeare > The Tempest
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tempest.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act I
 
Scene I
 
 
[On a ship at sea:] a tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard
Enter a Ship-Master and a Boatswain

  Master  BOATSWAIN!
  Boats.  Here, master; what cheer?
  Mast.  Good; speak to the mariners. Fall to ’t, yarely, 1 or we run ourselves aground. Bestir, bestir.  Exit.
 
Enter Mariners

  Boats.  Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! yare, 2 yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the master’s whistle.—Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enough!
        4
 
Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO, and others

  Alon.  Good boatswain, have care. Where’s the master? Play the men.
  Boats.  I pray now, keep below.
  Ant.  Where is the master, boatswain?
  Boats.  Do you not hear him? You mar our labour. Keep your cabins; you do assist the storm.        8
  Gon.  Nay, good, be patient.
  Boats.  When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers for the name of king? To cabin! silence! trouble us not.
  Gon.  Good, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
  Boats.  None that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor; if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more; use your authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have liv’d so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap.—Cheerly, good hearts!—Out of our way, I say.  Exit.        12
  Gon.  I have great comfort from this fellow. Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good Fate, to his hanging; make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage. If he be not born to be hang’d, our case is miserable.  Exeunt.
 
Re-enter Boatswain

  Boats.  Down with the topmast! yare! lower, lower! Bring her to try 3 wi’ the main-course. A plague  A cry within.
 
Enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO

upon this howling! They are louder than the weather or our office.—Yet again! What do you here? Shall we give o’er and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
  Seb.  A pox o’ your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!        16
  Boats.  Work you, then.
  Ant.  Hang, cur! hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker! We are less afraid to be drown’d than thou art.
  Gon.  I’ll warrant him for drowning though the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell and as leaky as an unstanched wench.
  Boats.  Lay her a-hold, 4 a-hold! Set her two courses 5 off to sea again! Lay her off.        20
 
Enter Mariners wet

  Mariners.  All lost! To prayers, to prayers! All lost!
  Boats.  What, must our mouths be cold?
  Gon.  The King and Prince at prayers! Let’s assist them, For our case is as theirs.
  Seb.        I’m out of patience.        24
  Ant.  We are merely 6 cheated of our lives by drunkards.
This wide-chapp’d rascal—would thou mightst lie drowning
The washing of ten tides!
  Gon.        He’ll be hang’d yet,        28
Though every drop of water swear against it
And gape at wid’st to glut him.  A confused noise within.
Mercy on us!
We split, we split! Farewell, my wife and children!        32
Farewell, brother! We split, we split, we split!
  Ant.  Let’s all sink wi’ the King.
  Seb.  Let’s take leave of him.  Exit.
  Gon.  Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground, long heath, brown furze, anything. The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.  Exeunt.        36
 
Note 1. Smartly. [back]
Note 2. Smartly. [back]
Note 3. Close to the wind. [back]
Note 4. Bring her close to the wind. [back]
Note 5. The mainsail and foresail. [back]
Note 6. Absolutely. [back]
 

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