The Tempest By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 1

ACT I

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]

[Re-enter BOATSWAIN]

BOATSWAIN.
Down with the topmast! yare! lower, lower!
Bring her to try wi' th' maincourse. [A cry within] A
plague upon this howling! They are louder than the
weather or our office. —

[Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO]

Yet again! What do you here? Shall we give o'er, and
drown? Have you a mind to sink?

SEBASTIAN.
A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blasphemous,
incharitable dog!

BOATSWAIN.
Work you, then.

ANTONIO.
Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noisemaker,
we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.

GONZALO.
I'll warrant him for drowning, though the ship were
no stronger than a nutshell, and as leaky as an unstanched
wench.

BOATSWAIN.
Lay her a-hold, a-hold! set her two courses: off
to sea again: lay her off.

[Enter MARINERS, Wet]

MARINERS.
All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!

[Exeunt]

BOATSWAIN.
What, must our mouths be cold?

GONZALO.
The King and Prince at prayers! let us assist them,
For our case is as theirs.

SEBASTIAN.
I am out of patience.

ANTONIO.
We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards. —
This wide-chapp'd rascal — would thou might'st lie drowning
The washing of ten tides!

GONZALO.
He'll be hang'd yet,
Though every drop of water swear against it,
And gape at wid'st 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!' — ]

ANTONIO.
Let's all sink wi' the King.

[Exit]

SEBASTIAN.
Let's take leave of him.

[Exit]

GONZALO.
Now 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
dry death.

[Exit]

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