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 Caliban with a burden of wood; a noise of thunder heard.
    All the infections that the sun sucks up
    From bogs, fens, flats on Prosper fall and make him
    By inchmeal a disease! His spirits hear me,
    And yet I needs must curse. But they'll nor pinch,
    Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i'th'mire,
    1045Nor lead me like a firebrand in the dark
    Out of my way, unless he bid 'em; but
    For every trifle are they set upon me --
    Sometimes like apes that mow and chatter at me
    And after bite me; then like hedgehogs, which
    1050Lie tumbling in my barefoot way and mount
    Their pricks at my foot-fall. Sometime am I
    All wound with adders, who with cloven tongues
    Do hiss me into madness. Lo, now lo --
    Enter Trinculo.
    Here comes a spirit of his, and to torment me
    1055For bringing wood in slowly. I'll fall flat;
    Perchance he will not mind me.
    Here's neither bush nor shrub to bear off any weather at all -- and another storm brewing! I hear it sing in the wind. Yon same black cloud, yon huge 1060one, looks like a foul bombard that would shed his liquor. If it should thunder as it did before, I know not where to hide my head; yon same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls. What have we here -- a man or a fish? Dead or alive? A fish. He smells like a fish -- a 1065very ancient and fish-like smell, a kind of not-of-the-newest poor-John. A strange fish. Were I in England now, as once I was, and had but this fish painted, not a holiday-fool there but would give a piece of silver. There would this monster make a man. Any strange 1070beast there makes a man. When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. Legged like a man, and his fins like arms. Warm o'my troth -- I do now let loose my opinion, hold it no longer: this is no fish but an 1075islander that hath lately suffered by a thunderbolt. Alas, the storm is come again -- my best way is to creep under his gaberdine; there is no other shelter hereabout. Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the dregs of the storm 1080be past.
    [TRICULO crawls under Caliban's cloak.] Enter Stephano, singing [and drinking].
    I shall no more to sea, to sea; here shall I die ashore. This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man's funeral. Well, here's my comfort.
    The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,
    The gunner, and his mate,
    Loved Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
    But none of us cared for Kate;
    For she had a tongue with a tang,
    1090Would cry to a sailor, "go hang!"
    She loved not the savor of tar nor of pitch,
    Yet a tailor might scratch her where'er she did itch:
    Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang!
    This is a scurvy tune too, 1095but here's my comfort.
    [To Stephano] Do not torment me, oh!
    What's the matter? Have we devils here? Do you put tricks upon us with savages and men of 1100Ind? Ha! I have not escaped drowning to be afeard now of your four legs, for it hath been said, "As proper a man as ever went on four legs cannot make him give ground", and it shall be said so again while Stephano breathes at' nostrils.
    The spirit torments me, oh!
    This is some monster of the isle with four legs, who hath got, as I take it, an ague. Where the devil should he learn our language? I will give him some relief if it be but for that. If I can recover him, and keep 1110him tame, and get to Naples with him, he's a present for any emperor that ever trod on neat's-leather.
    Do not torment me, prithee. I'll bring my wood home faster!
    He's in his fit now and does not talk after the wisest. He shall taste of my bottle; if he have never drunk wine afore, it will go near to remove his fit. If I can recover him and keep him tame, I will not take too much for him -- he shall pay for him that hath him, 1120and that soundly.
    Thou dost me yet but little hurt; thou wilt anon -- I know it by thy trembling. Now Prosper works upon thee.
    Come on your ways. Open your mouth -- here 1125is that which will give language to you, cat. Open your mouth -- this will shake your shaking, I can tell you, and that soundly. You cannot tell who's your friend. Open your chops again.
    [Caliban drinks.]
    I should know that voice. 1130It should be -- but he is drowned, and these are devils. O defend me!
    Four legs and two voices? -- a most delicate monster! His forward voice now is to speak well of 1135his friend; his backward voice is to utter foul speeches and to detract. If all the wine in my bottle will recover him, I will help his ague. Come: amen, I will pour some in thy other mouth.
    Doth thy other mouth call me? Mercy, mercy! This is a devil and no monster! I will leave him -- I have no long spoon.
    Stephano, if thou be'st Stephano, touch me and speak to me, for I am Trinculo. Be not afeard, thy 1145good friend Trinculo.
    If thou be'st Trinculo, come forth. I'll pull thee by the lesser legs. If any be Trinculo's legs, these are they. Thou art very Trinculo indeed! How cam'st thou to be the siege of this mooncalf? Can 1150he vent Trinculos?
    I took him to be killed with a thunderstroke -- but art thou not drowned, Stephano? I hope now thou art not drowned. Is the storm overblown? I hid me under the dead mooncalf's gaberdine for fear of 1155the storm. And art thou living, Stephano? O Stephano, two Neapolitans 'scaped!
    Prithee, do not turn me about; my stomach is not constant.
    [Aside] These be fine things, an if they be not sprites. 1160That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor. I will kneel to him.
    How didst thou 'scape? How cam'st thou hither? Swear by this bottle how thou cam'st hither -- I escaped 1165upon a butt of sack which the sailors heaved o'erboard -- by this bottle, which I made of the bark of a tree with mine own hands since I was cast ashore.
    I'll swear upon that bottle to be thy true 1170subject, for the liquor is not earthly.
    Here: swear then how thou escaped.
    Swam ashore, man, like a duck; I can swim like a duck, I'll be sworn.
    Here, kiss the book. 1175Though thou canst swim like a duck, thou art made like a goose.
    O Stephano, hast any more of this?
    The whole butt, man! My cellar is in a rock by the seaside, where my wine is hid. 1180[To Caliban] How now mooncalf? How does thine ague?
    Hast thou not dropped from heaven?
    Out of the moon, I do assure thee. I was the man in the moon when time was.
    I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee! 1185My mistress showed me thee, and thy dog and thy bush.
    Come, swear to that: kiss the book. I will furnish it anon with new contents. Swear!
    [To Stephano] By this good light, this is a very shallow monster. I afeared of him? A very weak monster. 1190The man in the moon? A most poor, credulous monster. [To Caliban, who is drinking] Well drawn, monster, in good sooth.
    [To Stephano]I'll show thee every fertile inch of the island, and I will kiss thy foot. I prithee be my god.
    By this light, a most perfidious and drunken monster -- when his god's asleep, he'll rob his bottle.
    I'll kiss thy foot; I'll swear myself thy subject.
    Come on then: down and swear.
    I shall laugh myself to death at this 1200puppy-headed monster, a most scurvy monster. I could find in my heart to beat him.
    Come, kiss.
    But that the poor monster's in drink. An abominable monster.
    I'll show thee the best springs, I'll pluck thee berries, I'll fish for thee and get thee wood enough! A plague upon the tyrant that I serve! I'll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee, thou wondrous man.
    A most ridiculous monster, to make a wonder of a poor drunkard.
    I prithee let me bring thee where crabs grow, and I with my long nails will dig thee pignuts, show thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how to snare 1215the nimble marmoset. I'll bring thee to clustering filberts, and sometimes I'll get thee young scamels from the rock. Wilt thou go with me?
    Ay prithee now lead the way without any more talking. Trinculo, the King and all our company else 1220being drowned, we will inherit here. Here, bear my bottle, fellow Trinculo; we'll fill him by and by again.
    Caliban sings drunkenly.
    Farewell, master, farewell, farewell!
    A howling monster, a drunken monster!
    No more dams I'll make for fish,
    Nor fetch in firing at requiring,
    Nor scrape trenchering, nor wash dish:
    'Ban 'Ban Ca-Caliban
    1230Has a new master. Get a new man!
    Freedom, high-day, high-day, freedom, freedom, high-day, freedom!
    O brave monster, lead the way!