The Tempest By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 1

GONZALO.
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.
An it had not fallen flat-long.

GONZALO.
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]

SEBASTIAN.
We would so, and then go a-bat-fowling.

ANTONIO.
Nay, good my lord, be not angry.

GONZALO.
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 but ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, and ANTONIO]

ALONSO.
What! all so soon asleep! I wish mine eyes
Would, with themselves, shut up my thoughts: I find
They are inclin'd 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.

ANTONIO.
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!

ANTONIO.
It is the quality o' th' climate.

SEBASTIAN.
Why
Doth it not then our eyelids sink? I find not
Myself dispos'd to sleep.

ANTONIO.
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 should'st be: The occasion speaks thee; and
My strong imagination sees a crown
Dropping upon thy head.

SEBASTIAN.
What! art thou waking?

ANTONIO.
Do you not hear me speak?

SEBASTIAN.
I do: and surely
It is a sleepy language, and thou speak'st
Out 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.

ANTONIO.
Noble Sebastian,
Thou let'st thy fortune sleep — die rather: wink'st
Whiles thou art waking.

SEBASTIAN.
Thou dost snore distinctly:
There's meaning in thy snores.

ANTONIO.
I am more serious than my custom; you
Must be so too, if heed me: which to do
Trebles thee o'er.

SEBASTIAN.
Well, I am standing water.

ANTONIO.
I'll teach you how to flow.

SEBASTIAN.
Do so: to ebb,
Hereditary sloth instructs me.

ANTONIO.
O!
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,
Most often, do so near the bottom run
By their own fear or sloth.

SEBASTIAN.
Prithee, say on:
The setting of thine eye and cheek proclaim
A matter from thee, and a birth, indeed
Which throes thee much to yield.

ANTONIO.
Thus, sir:
Although this lord of weak remembrance, this
Who shall be of as little memory
When he is earth'd, hath here almost persuaded, —
For he's a spirit of persuasion, only
Professes to persuade, — the King his son's alive,
'Tis as impossible that he's undrown'd
As he that sleeps here swims.

SEBASTIAN.
I have no hope
That he's undrown'd.

ANTONIO.
O! 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,
But doubts discovery there. Will you grant with me
That Ferdinand is drown'd?

SEBASTIAN.
He's gone.

ANTONIO.
Then tell me,
Who's the next heir of Naples?

SEBASTIAN.
Claribel.

ANTONIO.
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
We all were sea-swallow'd, 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?
'Tis true, my brother's daughter's Queen of Tunis;
So is she heir of Naples; 'twixt which regions
There is some space.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

Caliban warns Stefano that he must possess what before killing Prospero?




Quiz