| The Tempest
| Act 2, Scene 1
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Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, GONZALO, ADRIAN, FRANCISCO, and othersGONZALO
Beseech you, sir, be merry; you have cause,ALONSO
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
Have 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.
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;GONZALO
by and by it will strike.
When every grief is entertain'd that's offer'd,SEBASTIAN
Comes to the entertainer--
Dolour comes to him, indeed: youSEBASTIAN
have spoken truer than you purposed.
You have taken it wiselier than I meant you should.GONZALO
Therefore, my lord,--ANTONIO
Fie, what a spendthrift is he of his tongue!ALONSO
I prithee, spare.GONZALO
Well, I have done: but yet,--SEBASTIAN
He will be talking.ANTONIO
Which, of he or Adrian, for a goodSEBASTIAN
wager, first begins to crow?
The old cock.ANTONIO
Done. The wager?ANTONIO
Though this island seem to be desert,--SEBASTIAN
Ha, ha, ha! So, you're paid.ADRIAN
Uninhabitable and almost inaccessible,--SEBASTIAN
He could not miss't.ADRIAN
It must needs be of subtle, tender and delicateANTONIO
Temperance was a delicate wench.SEBASTIAN
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.ANTONIO
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.SEBASTIAN
With an eye of green in't.ANTONIO
He misses not much.SEBASTIAN
No; he doth but mistake the truth totally.GONZALO
But the rarity of it is,--which is indeed almostSEBASTIAN
As many vouched rarities are.GONZALO
That our garments, being, as they were, drenched inANTONIO
the sea, hold notwithstanding their freshness and
glosses, being rather new-dyed than stained with
If but one of his pockets could speak, would it notSEBASTIAN
say he lies?
Ay, or very falsely pocket up his reportGONZALO
Methinks our garments are now as fresh as when weSEBASTIAN
put them on first in Afric, at the marriage of
the king's fair daughter Claribel to the King of Tunis.
'Twas a sweet marriage, and we prosper well in our return.ADRIAN
Tunis was never graced before with such a paragon toGONZALO
Not since widow Dido's time.ANTONIO
Widow! a pox o' that! How came that widow in?SEBASTIAN
What if he had said 'widower AEneas' too? Good Lord,ADRIAN
how you take it!
'Widow Dido' said you? you make me study of that:GONZALO
she was of Carthage, not of Tunis.
This Tunis, sir, was Carthage.ADRIAN
I assure you, Carthage.SEBASTIAN
His word is more than the miraculous harp; he hathANTONIO
raised the wall and houses too.
What impossible matter will he make easy next?SEBASTIAN
I think he will carry this island home in his pocketANTONIO
and give it his son for an apple.
And, sowing the kernels of it in the sea, bringGONZALO
forth more islands.
Why, in good time.GONZALO
Sir, we were talking that our garments seem nowANTONIO
as fresh as when we were at Tunis at the marriage
of your daughter, who is now queen.
And the rarest that e'er came there.SEBASTIAN
Bate, I beseech you, widow Dido.ANTONIO
O, widow Dido! ay, widow Dido.GONZALO
Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as the first day IANTONIO
wore it? I mean, in a sort.
That sort was well fished for.GONZALO
When I wore it at your daughter's marriage?ALONSO
You cram these words into mine ears againstFRANCISCO
The stomach of my sense. Would I had never
Married my daughter there! for, coming thence,
My 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:ALONSO
I saw him beat the surges under him,
And ride upon their backs; he trod the water,
Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted
The surge most swoln that met him; his bold head
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oar'd
Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
To the shore, that o'er his wave-worn basis bow'd,
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,ALONSO
That would not bless our Europe with your daughter,
But rather lose her to an African;
Where she at least is banish'd from your eye,
Who hath cause to wet the grief on't.
You were kneel'd to and importuned otherwiseALONSO
By all of us, and the fair soul herself
Weigh'd between loathness and obedience, at
Which end o' the beam should bow. We have lost your
I fear, for ever: 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' the loss.GONZALO
My lord Sebastian,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.
And most chirurgeonly.GONZALO
It is foul weather in us all, good sir,SEBASTIAN
When you are cloudy.
Had I plantation of this isle, my lord,--ANTONIO
He'ld sow't with nettle-seed.SEBASTIAN
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' the commonwealth I would by contrariesSEBASTIAN
Execute 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,
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;
No occupation; all men idle, all;
And women too, but innocent and pure;
Yet he would be king on't.ANTONIO
The latter end of his commonwealth forgets theGONZALO
All things in common nature should produceSEBASTIAN
Without sweat or endeavour: treason, felony,
Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine,
Would I not have; but nature should bring forth,
Of its own kind, all foison, all abundance,
To feed my innocent people.
No marrying 'mong his subjects?ANTONIO
None, man; all idle: whores and knaves.GONZALO
I would with such perfection govern, sir,SEBASTIAN
To excel the golden age.
God save his majesty!ANTONIO
Long live Gonzalo!GONZALO
And,--do you mark me, sir?ALONSO
Prithee, no more: thou dost talk nothing to me.GONZALO
I do well believe your highness; andANTONIO
did it to minister occasion to these gentlemen,
who are of such sensible and nimble lungs that
they always use to laugh at nothing.
'Twas you we laughed at.GONZALO
Who in this kind of merry fooling am nothingANTONIO
to you: so you may continue and laugh at
What a blow was there given!SEBASTIAN
An it had not fallen flat-long.GONZALO
You are gentlemen of brave metal; you would liftSEBASTIAN
the moon out of her sphere, if she would continue
in it five weeks without changing.
Enter ARIEL, invisible, playing solemn music
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 adventureANTONIO
my discretion so weakly. Will you laugh
me asleep, for I am very heavy?
Go sleep, and hear us.ALONSO
All sleep except ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, and ANTONIO
What, all so soon asleep! I wish mine eyesSEBASTIAN
Would, with themselves, shut up my thoughts: I find
They are inclined to do so.
Please you, sir,ANTONIO
Do not omit the heavy offer of it:
It seldom visits sorrow; when it doth,
It is a comforter.
We two, my lord,ALONSO
Will guard your person while you take your rest,
And watch your safety.
Thank you. Wondrous heavy.SEBASTIAN
ALONSO sleeps. Exit ARIEL
What a strange drowsiness possesses them!ANTONIO
It is the quality o' the climate.SEBASTIAN
Doth it not then our eyelids sink? I find not
Myself disposed to sleep.
Nor I; my spirits are nimble.SEBASTIAN
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 me thinks I see it in thy face,
What thou shouldst be: the occasion speaks thee, and
My strong imagination sees a crown
Dropping upon thy head.
What, art thou waking?ANTONIO
Do you not hear me speak?SEBASTIAN
I do; and surelyANTONIO
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.
Thou let'st thy fortune sleep--die, rather; wink'st
Whiles thou art waking.
Thou dost snore distinctly;ANTONIO
There's meaning in thy snores.
I am more serious than my custom: youSEBASTIAN
Must be so too, if heed me; which to do
Trebles thee o'er.
Well, I am standing water.ANTONIO
I'll teach you how to flow.SEBASTIAN
Do so: to ebbANTONIO
Hereditary 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,
Most often do so near the bottom run
By their own fear or sloth.
Prithee, say on:ANTONIO
The setting of thine eye and cheek proclaim
A matter from thee, and a birth indeed
Which throes thee much to yield.
Although this lord of weak remembrance, this,
Who shall be of as little memory
When he is earth'd, hath here almost persuade,--
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
And he that sleeps here swims.
I have no hopeANTONIO
That he's undrown'd.
O, out of that 'no hope'SEBASTIAN
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 doubt discovery there. Will you grant with me
That Ferdinand is drown'd?
Then, tell me,SEBASTIAN
Who's the next heir of Naples?
She that is queen of Tunis; she that dwellsSEBASTIAN
Ten leagues beyond man's life; she that from Naples
Can have no note, unless the sun were post--
The man i' the moon's too slow--till new-born 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.
What stuff is this! how say you?ANTONIO
'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 cubitSEBASTIAN
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 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
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.ANTONIO
And how does your contentSEBASTIAN
Tender your own good fortune?
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?ANTONIO
Ay, sir; where lies that? if 'twere a kibe,SEBASTIAN
'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,ANTONIO
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.
And when I rear my hand, do you the like,
To fall it on Gonzalo.
O, but one word.ARIEL
They talk apart
Re-enter ARIEL, invisible
My master through his art foresees the dangerANTONIO
That you, his friend, are in; and sends me forth--
For else his project dies--to keep them living.
Sings in GONZALO's earWhile you here do snoring lie,
His time doth take.
If of life you keep a care,
Shake off slumber, and beware:
Then let us both be sudden.GONZALO
Now, good angelsALONSO
Preserve the king.
Why, how now? ho, awake! Why are you drawn?GONZALO
Wherefore this ghastly looking?
What's the matter?SEBASTIAN
Whiles we stood here securing your repose,ALONSO
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.ANTONIO
O, 'twas a din to fright a monster's ear,ALONSO
To make an earthquake! sure, it was the roar
Of a whole herd of lions.
Heard you this, Gonzalo?GONZALO
Upon mine honour, sir, I heard a humming,ALONSO
And that a strange one too, which did awake me:
I shaked 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 searchGONZALO
For my poor son.
Heavens keep him from these beasts!ALONSO
For he is, sure, i' the island.
Prospero my lord shall know what I have done:
So, king, go safely on to seek thy son.
| The Tempest
| Act 2, Scene 1
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