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THE STORM AT SEA 1
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in the little town of Stratford-on-Avon, England. Little is known of his life, but people of every civilized nation on the globe read his plays and marvel at his genius. No more beautiful tribute has been paid him than that which some unknown admirer wrote with a pencil upon the mantelpiece in the room where Shakespeare was born. It is:
"In this poor place his spirit first drew breath
Halleck's New English Literature, pp. 174-198, 218.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Alonso, King of Naples.
ACT I. SCENE I: On a Ship at Sea. A tempestuous noise of thunder
and lightning heard.
Enter a Shipmaster and a Boatswain.
Master. Good, speak to the mariners; fall to't yarely,' or we run ourselves aground; bestir, bestir !
Enter Mariners. Boatswain. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts; yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the master's whistle. — Blow till thou burst thy wind ? if room enough!
Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO,
and others. Alon. Good boatswain, have care. Where's the master ? Play the men.
Boatswain. I pray now, keep below.
Boatswain. Do you not hear him? You mar our labor; keep your cabins: you do assist the storm.
Gon. Nay, good, be patient.
Boatswain. When the sea is. Hence! What care these roarers 3 for the name of king? To cabin: silence: trouble us not.
Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
Boatswain. None that I more love than myself. You are a counselor; 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.
2 In Shakespeare's time the wind was often represented in pictures by the figure of a man blowing with his cheeks puffed.
(Exit. Gon. 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 hanged, our case is miserable.
Enter Mariners, wet.
I'm out of patience. Ant. We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards. — This wide-chapped rascal; — Would thou mightst lie
drowning The washing of ten tides ! Gon.
He'll be hanged yet, Though every drop of water swear against it, And gape at widest to glut 1 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 !”]
Ant. Let's all sink with the king.
1 To swallow up.
acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing: The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.
SCENE 2: The Island; before the Cell of PROSPERO.
Enter PROSPERO and MIRANDA.
O, woe the day!
More to know
2 Distress of mind.
'Tis time I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magic garment from me. — So;
[Lays down his mantle.
You have often
The hour's now come;
Out three years old.
Certainly, sir, I can.
'Tis far off,
Pros. Thou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is it,
H. & B. READINGS - 15