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The Tempest


ACT I SCENE IOn a ship at sea: a tempestuous noise
[Enter a Master and a Boatswain]
BoatswainHere, master: what cheer?
MasterGood, speak to the mariners: fall to’t, yarely,
or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
[Enter Mariners]
BoatswainHeigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts!5
yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the
master’s whistle. Blow, till thou burst thy wind,
if room enough!
ALONSOGood boatswain, have care. Where’s the master?
Play the men.10
BoatswainI pray now, keep below.
ANTONIOWhere is the master, boatswain?
BoatswainDo you not hear him? You mar our labour: keep your
cabins: you do assist the storm.
GONZALONay, good, be patient.15
BoatswainWhen the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers
for the name of king? To cabin: silence! trouble us not.
GONZALOGood, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
BoatswainNone that I more love than myself. You are a
counsellor; if you can command these elements to20
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! Out25
of our way, I say.
GONZALOI 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,30
for our own doth little advantage. If he be not
born to be hanged, our case is miserable.
[Re-enter Boatswain]
BoatswainDown with the topmast! yare! lower, lower! Bring
her to try with main-course.
[A cry within]
A plague upon this howling! they are louder than35
the weather or our office.
Yet again! what do you here? Shall we give o’er
and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
SEBASTIANA pox o’ your throat, you bawling, blasphemous,
incharitable dog!40
BoatswainWork you then.
ANTONIOHang, cur! hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker!
We are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.
GONZALOI’ll warrant him for drowning; though the ship were
no stronger than a nutshell and as leaky as an45
unstanched wench.
BoatswainLay her a-hold, a-hold! set her two courses off to
sea again; lay her off.
[Enter Mariners wet]
MarinersAll lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!
BoatswainWhat, must our mouths be cold?50
GONZALOThe king and prince at prayers! let’s assist them,
For our case is as theirs.
SEBASTIANI’m out of patience.
ANTONIOWe are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards:
This wide-chapp’d rascal–would thou mightst lie drowning55
The washing of ten tides!
GONZALOHe’ll be hang’d yet,
Though every drop of water swear against it
And gape at widest to glut him.
[ A confused noise within: ‘Mercy on us!’– ‘We split, we split!’–‘Farewell, my wife and children!’– ‘Farewell, brother!’–‘We split, we split, we split!’ ]
ANTONIOLet’s all sink with the king.60
SEBASTIANLet’s take leave of him.
GONZALONow would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an
acre of barren ground, long heath, brown furze, any
thing. The wills above be done! but I would fain
die a dry death.65

The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2