Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Tempest (Modern)
  • Editors: Brent Whitted, Paul Yachnin
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-370-0

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: Brent Whitted, Paul Yachnin
    Peer Reviewed

    The Tempest (Modern)

    Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Adrian, Francisco, and others.
    675Gonzalo [To Alonso] Beseech you, sir: be merry. You have cause --
    So have we all -- of joy, for our escape
    Is much beyond our loss. Our hint of woe
    Is common: every day, some sailor's wife,
    The masters of some merchant, and the merchant
    680Have just our theme of woe -- but for the miracle
    (I mean our preservation), few in millions
    Can speak like us. Then wisely, good sir, weigh
    Our sorrow with our comfort.
    Prithee, peace.
    685Sebastian [To Antonio] He receives comfort like cold porridge.
    Antonio The visitor will not give him o'er so.
    Sebastian Look, he's winding up the watch of his wit;
    By and by it will strike.
    Sir --
    One. Tell.
    When every grief is entertained
    That's offered, comes to th'entertainer --
    A dollar.
    Gonzalo Dolor comes to him indeed -- you have spoken 695truer than you purposed.
    Sebastian You have taken it wiselier than I meant you should.
    Gonzalo Therefore, my Lord --
    Antonio Fie, what a spendthrift is he of his tongue.
    700Alonso [To Gonzalo] I prithee, spare.
    Gonzalo Well, I have done. But yet --
    Sebastian He will be talking.
    Antonio Which of he or Adrian, for a good wager, first begins to crow?
    705Sebastian The old cock.
    Antonio The cockerel.
    Sebastian Done. The wager?
    Antonio A laughter.
    Sebastian A match!
    710Adrian Though this island seem to be desert --
    Antonio Ha, ha, ha!
    Sebastian [To Antonio] So, you're paid.
    Adrian Uninhabitable and almost inaccessible --
    Sebastian Yet --
    715Adrian Yet --
    Antonio He could not miss it.
    Adrian It must needs be of subtle, tender, and delicate temperance.
    Antonio Temperance was a delicate wench.
    720Sebastian Ay, and a subtle, as he most learnedly delivered.
    Adrian The air breathes upon us here most sweetly.
    Sebastian As if it had lungs -- and rotten ones.
    Antonio Or as 'twere perfumed by a fen.
    Gonzalo Here is everything advantageous to life.
    725Antonio True, save means to live.
    Sebastian Of that there's none or little.
    Gonzalo How lush and lusty the grass looks. How green!
    Antonio The ground indeed is tawny.
    730Sebastian With an eye of green in it.
    Antonio He misses not much.
    Sebastian No, he doth but mistake the truth totally.
    Gonzalo But the rarity of it is, which is indeed almost beyond credit.
    735Sebastian As many vouched rarities are.
    Gonzalo That our garments, being as they were drenched in the sea, hold notwithstanding their freshness and glosses, being rather new-dyed than stained with salt water.
    740Antonio If but one of his pockets could speak, would it not say he lies?
    Sebastian Ay, or very falsely pocket up his report.
    Gonzalo Methinks our garments are now as fresh as when we put them on first in Africa at the marriage 745of the King's fair daughter Claribel to the King of Tunis.
    Sebastian 'Twas a sweet marriage, and we prosper well in our return.
    Adrian Tunis was never graced before with such a paragon to their queen.
    750Gonzalo Not since widow Dido's time.
    Antonio Widow? A pox on that! How came that widow in? Widow Dido!
    Sebastian What if he had said "widower Aeneas", too? Good Lord, how you take it!
    755Adrian "Widow Dido", said you? You make me study of that: she was of Carthage, not of Tunis.
    Gonzalo This Tunis, sir, was Carthage.
    Adrian Carthage?
    Gonzalo I assure you -- Carthage.
    Antonio His word is more than the miraculous harp.
    760Sebastian He hath raised the wall and houses too.
    Antonio What impossible matter will he make easy next?
    Sebastian I think he will carry this island home in his pocket and give it his son for an apple.
    Antonio And sowing the kernels of it in the sea, bring 765forth more islands.
    Gonzalo Ay --
    Antonio Why, in good time.
    Gonzalo [To Alonso] 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.
    770Antonio And the rarest that e'er came there.
    Sebastian Bate, I beseech you, widow Dido.
    Antonio Oh, widow Dido? Ay, widow Dido!
    Gonzalo [To Alonso] Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as the first day I wore it -- I mean, in a sort?
    775Antonio That sort was well fished for.
    Gonzalo When I wore it at your daughter's marriage?
    Alonso You cram these words into mine ears against
    The stomach of my sense. Would I had never
    Married my daughter there, for coming thence
    780My son is lost; and, in my rate, she too,
    Who is so far from Italy removed,
    I ne'er again shall see her. O thou mine heir
    Of Naples and of Milan, what strange fish
    Hath made his meal on thee?
    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 brested
    The surge most swoll'n that met him. His bold head
    790'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oared
    Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
    To th'shore that o'er his wave-worn basis bowed
    As stooping to relieve him -- I not doubt
    He came alive to land.
    No, no, he's gone!
    Sebastian Sir, you may thank yourself for this great loss,
    That would not bless our Europe with your daughter,
    But rather loose her to an African,
    Where she at least is banished from your eye,
    800Who hath cause to wet the grief on't.
    Prithee, peace.
    Sebastian You were kneeled to and importuned otherwise
    By all of us, and the fair soul herself
    Weighed between loathness and obedience, at
    805Which end o'th'beam should bow. We have lost your son,
    I fear, forever; Milan and Naples have
    More widows in them of this business' making
    Than we bring men to comfort them --
    The fault's your own.
    So is the dear'st o'th'loss.
    Gonzalo My Lord Sebastian,
    The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness
    And time to speak it in; you rub the sore
    When you should bring the plaster.
    Very well.
    Antonio And most chirurgeonly.
    Gonzalo [To Alonso] It is foul weather in us all, good sir,
    When you are cloudy.
    Foul weather?
    Very foul.
    Gonzalo Had I plantation of this isle, my Lord --
    He'd sow't with nettle-seed.
    Or docks or mallows.
    Gonzalo And were the King on't, what would I do?
    Sebastian 'Scape being drunk for want of wine.
    Gonzalo I'th'commonwealth I would by contraries
    825Execute all things, for no kind of traffic
    Would I admit: no name of magistrate;
    Letters should not be known; riches, poverty,
    And use of service, none; contract, succession,
    Bourne, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
    830No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;
    No occupation -- all men idle all,
    And women too, but innocent and pure;
    No sovereignty --
    Yet he would be King on't!
    835Antonio The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning.
    Gonzalo All things in common nature should produce
    Without sweat or endeavor. Treason, felony,
    Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine
    840Would I not have; but nature should bring forth
    Of its own kind all foison, all abundance,
    To feed my innocent people.
    Sebastian No marrying 'mong his subjects?
    Antonio None, man, all idle -- whores and knaves.
    845Gonzalo I would, with such perfection, govern, sir,
    T'excel the Golden Age.
    'Save his majesty.
    Long live Gonzalo!
    [To Alonso] And -- do you mark me, sir?
    Alonso Prithee, no more: thou dost talk nothing to me.
    850Gonzalo 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.
    Antonio 'Twas you we laughed at.
    855Gonzalo Who, in this kind of merry fooling, am nothing to you; so you may continue and laugh at nothing still!
    Antonio What a blow was there given!
    Sebastian And it had not fallen flat-long.
    Gonzalo You are gentlemen of brave metal; you would 860lift the moon out of her sphere if she would continue in it five weeks without changing.
    Enter Ariel [invisible], playing solemn music.
    Sebastian We would so, and then go a-bat-fowling.
    Antonio Nay, good my lord, be not angry.
    865Gonzalo No, I warrant you; I will not adventure my discretion so weakly. Will you laugh me asleep, for I am very heavy?
    Antonio Go sleep, and hear us.
    [All sleep, except Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio.]
    Alonso What, all so soon asleep? I wish mine eyes
    870Would with themselves shut up my thoughts;
    I find they are inclined to do so.
    Sebastian Please you, sir,
    Do not omit the heavy offer of it.
    It seldom visits sorrow; when it doth, it is a comforter.
    875Antonio We two, my Lord, will guard your person
    While you take your rest, and watch your safety.
    Alonso Thank you -- wondrous heavy --
    [Alonso sleeps. Exit Ariel.]
    Sebastian What a strange drowsiness possesses them.
    It is the quality o'th'climate.
    Doth it not then our eyelids sink? I find
    Not myself disposed to sleep.
    Antonio Nor I. My spirits are nimble.
    They fell together all, as by consent.
    885They dropped as by a thunder-stroke. What might,
    Worthy Sebastian? Oh, what might -- ? No more --
    And yet methinks I see it in thy face,
    What thou shouldst be -- th'occasion speaks thee, and
    My strong imagination sees a crown
    890Dropping upon thy head.
    What, art thou waking?
    Do you not hear me speak?
    I do, and surely
    It is a sleepy language, and thou speak'st
    895Out of thy sleep. What is it thou didst say?
    This is a strange repose, to be asleep
    With eyes wide open -- standing, speaking, moving,
    And yet so fast asleep.
    Noble Sebastian,
    900Thou let'st thy fortune sleep (die rather); wink'st
    Whiles thou art waking.
    Thou dost snore distinctly --
    There's meaning in thy snores.
    Antonio I am more serious than my custom; you
    905Must be so too, if heed me, which to do
    Trebles thee o'er.
    Well, I am standing water.
    I'll teach you how to flow.
    Do so; to ebb
    910Hereditary sloth instructs me.
    If you but knew how you the purpose cherish
    Whiles thus you mock it, how in stripping it
    You more invest it! Ebbing men indeed
    915Most often do so near the bottom run
    By their own fear or sloth.
    Prithee, say on --
    The setting of thine eye and cheek proclaim
    A matter from thee and a birth indeed,
    920Which throws thee much to yield.
    Antonio Thus, Sir,
    Although this Lord of weak remembrance, this
    Who shall be of as little memory
    When he is earthed, hath here almost persuaded
    925(For he's a spirit of persuasion, only
    Professes to persuade) the King his son's alive,
    'Tis as impossible that he's undrowned
    As he that sleeps here, swims.
    I have no hope
    930That he's undrowned.
    Oh, out of that "no hope"
    What great hope have you! No hope that way is,
    Another way, so high a hope that even
    Ambition cannot pierce a wink beyond
    935But doubt discovery there. Will you grant with me
    That Ferdinand is drowned?
    Sebastian He's gone.
    Antonio Then tell me, who's the next heir of Naples?
    Sebastian Claribel.
    940Antonio She that is Queen of Tunis, she that dwells
    Ten leagues beyond man's life, she that from Naples
    Can have no note unless the sun were post
    (The man i'th'moon's too slow) till newborn chins
    Be rough and razorable; she that from whom
    945We all were sea-swallowed, though some cast again,
    And by that destiny to perform an act
    Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come
    In yours and my discharge.
    Sebastian What stuff is this? How say you?
    950'Tis true my brother's daughter's Queen of Tunis;
    So is she heir of Naples, 'twixt which regions
    There is some space.
    A space whose every cubit
    Seems to cry out, "how shall that Claribel
    955Measure us back to Naples? Keep in Tunis,
    And let Sebastian wake." Say this were death
    That now hath seized them -- why, they were no worse
    Than now they are. There be that can rule Naples
    As well as he that sleeps, lords that can prate
    960As amply and unnecessarily
    As this Gonzalo. I myself could make
    A chough of as deep chat. Oh, that you bore
    The mind that I do -- what a sleep were this
    For your advancement. Do you understand me?
    Methinks I do.
    And how does your content
    Tender your own good fortune?
    I remember
    You did supplant your brother Prospero.
    And look how well my garments sit upon me
    Much feater than before. My brother's servants
    Were then my fellows, now they are my men.
    Sebastian But for your conscience?
    975Antonio Ay, sir, where lies that? If 'twere a kibe,
    'Twould put me to my slipper. But I feel not
    This deity in my bosom. Twenty consciences
    That stand 'twixt me and Milan, candied be they
    And melt ere they molest. Here lies your brother,
    980No better than the earth he lies upon.
    If 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 forever), whiles you, doing thus,
    To the perpetual wink for aye, might put
    985This ancient morsel, this Sir Prudence, who
    Should 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 that
    We say befits the hour.
    Thy case, dear friend,
    Shall be my precedent. As thou got'st Milan,
    I'll come by Naples. Draw thy sword: one stroke
    Shall free thee from the tribute which thou payest,
    And I, the King, shall love thee.
    Draw together,
    And when I rear my hand, do you the like
    To fall it on Gonzalo.
    Oh, but one word --
    [They talk apart.] Enter Ariel, invisible, with music and song.
    1000Ariel My master, through his art, foresees the danger
    That 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,
    1005Open-eyed conspiracy
    His time doth take.
    If of life you keep a care,
    Shake off slumber, and beware:
    Awake, awake!
    1010Antonio Then let us both be sudden.
    Gonzalo Now, good angels, preserve the King!
    Alonso Why, how now, ho! Awake! Why are you drawn?
    Wherefore this ghastly looking?
    What's the matter?
    1015Sebastian Whiles we stood here securing your repose,
    Even now we heard a hollow burst of bellowing
    Like bulls, or rather lions -- did't not wake you?
    It struck mine ear most terribly.
    I heard nothing.
    1020Antonio Oh, 'twas a din to fright a monster's ear,
    To make an earthquake! Sure it was the roar
    Of a whole herd of lions.
    Heard you this, Gonzalo?
    Gonzalo Upon mine honor, sir, I heard a humming,
    1025And that a strange one too, which did awake me.
    I shook you, sir, and cried. As mine eyes opened,
    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.
    1030Alonso Lead off this ground, and let's make further search
    For my poor son.
    Heavens keep him from these beasts,
    For he is sure i'th'island.
    Lead away.
    1035Ariel Prospero my Lord shall know what I have done:
    So, King, go safely on to seek thy son.