William Shakespeare's Works/Comedies/The Tempest/Act 1

1. SCENE I. On a ship at sea; a tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard

[Enter a SHIPMASTER and a BOATSWAIN severally]

MASTER. Boatswain!

BOATSWAIN. Here, master: what cheer?

MASTER. Good! Speak to the mariners: fall to't yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.

[Exit]

[Enter MARINERS]

BOATSWAIN. Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to th' master's whistle.--Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enough.

[Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO, and OTHERS]

ALONSO. Good boatswain, have care. Where's the master? Play the men.

BOATSWAIN. I pray now, keep below.

ANTONIO. Where is the master, boson?

BOATSWAIN. Do you not hear him? You mar our labour: keep your cabins: you do assist the storm.

GONZALO. Nay, good, be patient.

BOATSWAIN. When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers for the name of king? To cabin! silence! Trouble us not.

GONZALO. Good, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.

BOATSWAIN. None that I more love than myself. You are 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 lived 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]

GONZALO. 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]



2. SCENE II. The Island. Before the cell of PROSPERO

[Enter PROSPERO and MIRANDA]

MIRANDA. If by your art, my dearest father, you have Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them. The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch, But that the sea, mounting to th' welkin's cheek, Dashes the fire out. O! I have suffered With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel, Who had, no doubt, some noble creatures in her, Dash'd all to pieces. O! the cry did knock Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd. Had I been any god of power, I would Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er It should the good ship so have swallow'd and The fraughting souls within her.

PROSPERO. Be collected: No more amazement: tell your piteous heart There's no harm done.

MIRANDA. O! woe the day!

PROSPERO. No harm. I have done nothing but in care of thee, Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, who Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing Of whence I am: nor that I am more better Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell, And thy no greater father.

MIRANDA. More to know Did never meddle with my thoughts.

PROSPERO. 'Tis time I should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magic garment from me.--So:

[Lays down his mantle]

Lie there my art.--Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort. The direful spectacle of the wrack, which touch'd The very virtue of compassion in thee, I have with such provision in mine art So safely ordered that there is no soul-- No, not so much perdition as an hair Betid to any creature in the vessel Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink. Sit down; For thou must now know farther.

MIRANDA. You have often Begun to tell me what I am: but stopp'd, And left me to a bootless inquisition, Concluding 'Stay; not yet.'

PROSPERO. The hour's now come, The very minute bids thee ope thine ear; Obey, and be attentive. Canst thou remember A time before we came unto this cell? I do not think thou canst: for then thou wast not Out three years old.

Last modified on 29 July 2009, at 14:27