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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Tempest.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene I

Act II

[Another part of the island]

Gon.Beseech you sir, be merry; you have cause,So have we all, of joy; for our escapeIs much beyond our loss. Our hint of woeIs common; every day some sailor’s wife,The masters of some merchant, and the merchantHave just our theme of woe; but for the miracle,I mean our preservation, few in millionsCan speak like us. Then wisely, good sir, weighOur sorrow with our comfort.Alon.Prithee, peace.Seb.He receives comfort like cold porridge.Ant.The visitor will not give him o’er so.Seb.Look, he’s winding up the watch of his wit; by and by it willstrike.Gon.Sir,—Seb.One. Tell.Gon.When every grief is entertain’d that’s offer’d,Comes to the entertainer—Seb.A dollar.Gon.Dolour comes to him, indeed; you have spoken truer than you purpos’d.Seb.You have taken it wiselier than I meant you should.Gon.Therefore, my lord,—Ant.Fie, what a spendthrift is he of his tongue!Alon.I prithee, spare.Gon.Well, I have done. But yet,—Seb.He will be talking.Ant.Which, of he or Adrian, for a good wager, first begins to crow?Seb.The old cock.Ant.The cockerel.Seb.Done. The wager?Ant.A laughter.Seb.A match!Adr.Though this island seem to be desert,—Seb.Ha, ha, ha! Antonio! So you’re paid.Adr.Uninhabitable and almost inaccessible,—Seb.Yet,—Adr.Yet,—Ant.He could not miss ’t.Adr.It must needs be of subtle, tender, and delicate temperance.Ant.Temperance was a delicate wench.Seb.Ay, and a subtle; as he most learnedly deliver’d.Adr.The air breathes upon us here most sweetly.Seb.As if it had lungs and rotten ones.Ant.Or as ’twere perfum’d by a fen.Gon.Here is everything advantageous to life.Ant.True; save means to live.Seb.Of that there’s none, or little.Gon.How lush and lusty the grass looks! How green!Ant.The ground indeed is tawny.Seb.With an eye of green in ’t.Ant.He misses not much.Seb.No; he doth but mistake the truth totally.Gon.But the rarity of it is,—which is indeed almost beyond credit,—Seb.As many vouch’d rarities are.Gon.That our garments, being, as they were, drench’d in the sea, hold notwithstanding their freshness and glosses, being rather newdy’d than stain’d with salt water.Ant.If but one of his pockets could speak, would it not say he lies?Seb.Ay, or very falsely pocket up his report.Gon.Methinks our garments are now as fresh as when we put them on first in Afric, at the marriage of the King’s fair daughter Claribel to the King of Tunis.Seb.’Twas a sweet marriage, and we prosper well in our return.Adr.Tunis was never grac’d before with such a paragon to their queen.Gon.Not since widow Dido’s time.Ant.Widow! a pox o’ that! How came that widow in? Widow Dido!Seb.What if he had said “widower Æneas” too? Good Lord, how you take it!Adr.“Widow Dido” said you? You make me study of that. She was of Carthage, not of Tunis.Gon.This Tunis, sir, was Carthage.Adr.Carthage?Gon.I assure you, Carthage.Ant.His word is more than the miraculous harp.Seb.He hath rais’d the wall and houses too.Ant.What impossible matter will he make easy next?Seb.I think he will carry this island home in his pocket and give it his son for an apple.Ant.And, sowing the kernels of it in the sea, bring forth more islands.Gon.Ay.Ant.Why, in good time.Gon.Sir, we were talking that our garments seem now as fresh as when we were at Tunis at the marriage of your daughter, who is now Queen.Ant.And the rarest that e’er came there.Seb.Bate, I beseech you, widow Dido.Ant.O, widow Dido! ay, widow Dido.Gon.Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as the first day I wore it? I mean, in a sort.Ant.That sort was well fish’d for.Gon.When I wore it at your daughter’s marriage?Alon.You cram these words into mine ears againstThe stomach of my sense. Would I had neverMarried my daughter there! for, coming thence,My son is lost and, in my rate, she too,Who is so far from Italy removedI ne’er again shall see her. O thou mine heirOf Naples and of Milan, what strange fishHath made his meal on thee?Fran.Sir, he may live.I saw him beat the surges under him,And ride upon their backs. He trod the water,Whose enmity he flung aside, and breastedThe surge most swoln that met him. His bold head’Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oaredHimself with his good arms in lusty strokeTo the shore, that o’er his wave-worn basis bowed,As stooping to relieve him. I not doubtHe came alive to land.Alon.No, no, he’s gone.Seb.Sir, you may thank yourself for this great loss,That would not bless our Europe with your daughter,But rather lose her to an African;Where she at least is banish’d from your eye,Who hath cause to wet the grief on ’t.Alon.Prithee, peace.Seb.You were kneel’d to and importun’d otherwiseBy all of us, and the fair soul herselfWeigh’d between loathness and obedience, atWhich end o’ the beam should bow. We have lost your son,I fear, for ever. Milan and Naples haveMoe widows in them of this business’ makingThan we bring men to comfort them.The fault’s your own.Alon.So is the dear’st o’ the loss.Gon.My lord Sebastian,The truth you speak doth lack some gentlenessAnd time to speak it in. You rub the sore,When you should bring the plaster.Seb.Very well.Ant.And most chirurgeonly.Gon.It is foul weather in us all, good sir,When you are cloudy.Seb.Foul weather?Ant.Very foul.Gon.Had I plantation of this isle, my lord,—Ant.He’d sow ’t with nettle-seed.Seb.Or docks, or mallows.Gon.And were the king on ’t, what would I do?Seb.Scape being drunk for want of wine.Gon.I’ the commonwealth I would by contrariesExecute all things; for no kind of trafficWould I admit; no name of magistrate;Letters should not be known; riches, poverty,And use of service, none; contract, succession,Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;No occupation; all men idle, all;And women too, but innocent and pure;No sovereignty;—Seb.Yet he would be king on ’t.Ant.The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning.Gon.All things in common nature should produceWithout sweat or endeavour: treason, felony,Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine,Would I not have; but nature should bring forth,Of it own kind, all foison, all abundance,To feed my innocent people.Seb.No marrying ’mong his subjects?Ant.None, man; all idle; whores and knaves.Gon.I would with such perfection govern, sir,To excel the golden age.Seb.Save his Majesty!Ant.Long live Gonzalo!Gon.And,—do you mark me, sir?Alon.Prithee, no more; thou dost talk nothing to me.Gon.I do well believe your Highness; and did it to minister occasion to these gentlemen, who are of such sensible and nimble lungs that they always use to laugh at nothing.Ant.’T was you we laugh’d at.Gon.Who in this kind of merry fooling am nothing to you. So you may continue and laugh at nothing still.Ant.What a blow was there given!Seb.An it had not fallen flatlong.Gon.You are gentlemen of brave mettle; you would lift the moon out of her sphere, if she would continue in it five weeks without changing.
Enter ARIEL[invisible], playing solemn music

Seb.We would so, and then go a bat-fowling.Ant.Nay, good my lord, be not angry.Gon.No, I warrant you; I will not adventure my discretion so weakly. Will you laugh me asleep, for I am very heavy?Ant.Go sleep, and hear us.[All sleep except ALON., SEB., and ANT.]Alon.What, all so soon asleep! I wish mine eyesWould, with themselves, shut up my thoughts. I findThey are inclin’d to do so.Seb.Please you, sir,Do not omit the heavy offer of it.It seldom visits sorrow; when it doth,It is a comforter.Ant.We two, my lord,Will guard your person while you take your rest,And watch your safety.Alon.Thank you. Wondrous heavy.[ALONSO sleeps. Exit ARIEL.]Seb.What a strange drowsiness possesses them!Ant.It is the quality o’ the climate.Seb.WhyDoth it not then our eyelids sink? I find notMyself dispos’d to sleep.Ant.Nor I; my spirits are nimble.They fell together all, as by consent;They dropp’d, as by a thunder-stroke. What might,Worthy Sebastian, O, what might—? No more:—And yet methinks I see it in thy face,What thou shouldst be. The occasion speaks thee, andMy strong imagination sees a crownDropping upon thy head.Seb.What, art thou waking?Ant.Do you not hear me speak?Seb.I do; and surelyIt is a sleepy language, and thou speak’stOut of thy sleep. What is it thou didst say?This is a strange repose, to be asleepWith eyes wide open; standing, speaking, moving,And yet so fast asleep.Ant.Noble Sebastian,Thou let’st thy fortune sleep—die, rather; wink’stWhiles thou art waking.Seb.Thou dost snore distinctly;There’s meaning in thy snores.Ant.I am more serious than my custom; youMust be so too, if heed me; which to doTrebles thee o’er.Seb.Well, I am standing water.Ant.I’ll teach you how to flow.Seb.Do so. To ebbHereditary sloth instructs me.Ant.O,If you but knew how you the purpose cherishWhiles thus you mock it! how, in stripping it,You more invest it! Ebbing men, indeed,Most often do so near the bottom runBy their own fear or sloth.Seb.Prithee, say on.The setting of thine eye and cheek proclaimA matter from thee, and a birth indeedWhich throes thee much to yield.Ant.Thus, sir:Although this lord of weak remembrance, this,Who shall be of as little memoryWhen he is earth’d, hath here almost persuaded—For he’s a spirit of persuasion, onlyProfesses to persuade—the King his son’s alive,’Tis as impossible that he’s undrown’dAs he that sleeps here swims.Seb.I have no hopeThat he’s undrown’d.Ant.O, out of that no hopeWhat great hope have you! No hope that way isAnother way so high a hope that evenAmbition cannot pierce a wink beyond,But doubt discovery there. Will you grant with meThat Ferdinand is drown’d?Seb.He’s gone.Ant.Then, tell me,Who’s the next heir of Naples?Seb.Claribel.Ant.She that is Queen of Tunis; she that dwellsTen leagues beyond man’s life; she that from NaplesCan have no note, unless the sun were post—The man i’ the moon’s too slow—till new-born chinsBe rough and razorable; she that—from whomWe all were sea-swallow’d, though some cast again,And by that destiny to perform an actWhereof what’s past is prologue, what to comeIn yours and my discharge.Seb.What stuff is this! How say you?’Tis true, my brother’s daughter’s Queen of Tunis;So is she heir of Naples; ’twixt which regionsThere is some space.Ant.A space whose every cubitSeems to cry out, “How shall that ClaribelMeasure us back to Naples? Keep in Tunis,And let Sebastian wake.” Say, this were deathThat now hath seiz’d them; why, they were no worseThan now they are. There be that can rule NaplesAs well as he that sleeps; lords that can prateAs amply and unnecessarilyAs this Gonzalo; I myself could makeA chough of as deep chat. O, that you boreThe mind that I do! what a sleep were thisFor your advancement! Do you understand me?Seb.Methinks I do.Ant.And how does your contentTender your own good fortune?Seb.I rememberYou did supplant your brother Prospero.Ant.True.And look how well my garments sit upon me;Much feater than before. My brother’s servantsWere then my fellows; now they are my men.Seb.But, for your conscience?Ant.Ay, sir, where lies that? If ’twere a kibe,’Twould put me to my slipper; but I feel notThis deity in my bosom. Twenty consciences,That stand ’twixt me and Milan, candied be theyAnd melt ere they molest! Here lies your brother,No better than the earth he lies uponIf he were that which now he’s like, that’s dead;Whom I, with this obedient steel, three inches of it,Can lay to bed for ever; whiles you, doing thus,To the perpetual wink for aye might putThis ancient morsel, this Sir Prudence, whoShould not upbraid our course. For all the rest,They’ll take suggestion as a cat laps milk;They’ll tell the clock to any business thatWe say befits the hour.Seb.Thy case, dear friend,Shall be my precedent; as thou got’st Milan,I’ll come by Naples. Draw thy sword. One strokeShall free thee from the tribute which thou payest,And I the King shall love thee.Ant.Draw together;And when I rear my hand, do you the like,To fall it on Gonzalo.Seb.O, but one word.[They talk apart.]
Re-enter ARIEL [invisible],with music and song

Ari.My master through his art foresees the dangerThat you, his friend, are in; and sends me forth—For else his project dies—to keep them living.Sings in GONZALO’S ear.
  • While you here do snoring lie,
  • Open-ey’d Conspiracy
  • His time doth take.
  • If of life you keep a care,
  • Shake off slumber, and beware;
  • Awake, awake!
  • Ant.Then let us both be sudden.Gon.Now, good angelsPreserve the King.[Wakes ALON.]Alon.Why, how now? Ho, awake! Why are you drawn?Wherefore this ghastly looking?Gon.What’s the matter?Seb.Whiles we stood here securing your repose,Even now, we heard a hollow burst of bellowingLike bulls, or rather lions. Did’t not wake you?It struck mine ear most terribly.Alon.I heard nothing.Ant.O, ’twas a din to fright a monster’s ear,To make an earthquake! Sure, it was the roarOf a whole herd of lions.Alon.Heard you this, Gonzalo?Gon.Upon mine honour, sir, I heard a humming,And that a strange one too, which did awake me.I shak’d you, sir, and cried. As mine eyes open’d,I saw their weapons drawn. There was a noise,That’s verily. ’Tis best we stand upon our guard,Or that we quit this place. Let’s draw our weapons.Alon.Lead off this ground; and let’s make further searchFor my poor son.Gon.Heavens keep him from these beasts!For he is, sure, i’ the island.Alon.Lead away.Ari.Prospero my lord shall know what I have done.So, King, go safely on to seek thy son.[Exeunt.]