The Tempest By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 1

A space whose every cubit
Seems to cry out 'How shall that Claribel
Measure us back to Naples? — Keep in Tunis,
And let Sebastian wake.' — Say this were death
That now hath seiz'd 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
As amply and unnecessarily
As this Gonzalo: I myself could make
A chough of as deep chat. O, 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.

But, for your conscience, —

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,
No 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 for ever; whiles you, doing thus,
To the perpetual wink for aye might put
This 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 pay'st,
And I the king shall love thee.

ANTONIO. Draw together:
And when I rear my hand, do you the like,
To fall it on Gonzalo.

O! but one word.

[They converse apart.]

[Music. Re-enter ARIEL, invisible.]

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 thee 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!

Then let us both be sudden.

Now, good angels
Preserve the King!

[They wake]

Why, how now! Ho, awake! Why are you drawn?
Wherefore this ghastly looking?

What's the matter?

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.

O! '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?

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.

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.

[Exit with the others.]

Prospero my lord shall know what I have done:
So, King, go safely on to seek thy son.


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