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THE STORM AT SEA 1

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

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
Who saved the English tongue from fear of death.”

See also:

Halleck's New English Literature, pp. 174-198, 218.
Lee's A Life of William Shakespeare.
Raleigh's Shakespeare.
MacCracken, Pierce, and Durham's An Introduction to Shakespeare.
Dowden's Shakespeare, His Mind and Art.
Brandes's William Shakespeare.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Alonso, King of Naples.
Sebastian, his brother.
Prospero, the right Duke of Milan.
Antonio, his brother.
Gonzalo, an old counselor of Naples.
Miranda, Prospero's daughter.
Ferdinand, son of the King of Naples.
Ariel, an airy spirit.

ACT I. SCENE I: On a Ship at Sea. A tempestuous noise of thunder

and lightning heard.

Enter a Shipmaster and a Boatswain.
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 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.
Ant. Where is the master, boatswain ?

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.

1 Briskly.

2 In Shakespeare's time the wind was often represented in pictures by the figure of a man blowing with his cheeks puffed.

3 Waves.

(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.
Mariners. All lost! to prayers, to prayers ! all lost !

[Exeunt.
Boatswain. What, must our mouths be cold?
Gon. The king and prince at prayers ! let us assist them,
For our case is as theirs.
Seb.

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.
Seb. Let's take leave of him.
Gon. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an

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.
Mir. If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them:
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's 1 cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer! a brave vessel,
Who had no doubt some noble creatures in her,
Dashed all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart! Poor souls! they perished.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or ere
It should the good ship so have swallowed, and
The fraughting souls within her.
Pros.

Be collected;
No more amazement:? tell your piteous heart,
There's no harm done.

O, woe the day!
Pros.

No harm.
I have done nothing but in care of thee,
Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am; nor that I am more better
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,
And thy no greater father.
Mir.

More to know
Did never meddle with my thoughts.
1 Sky.

2 Distress of mind.

Mir.

Pros.

'Tis time I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magic garment from me. — So;

[Lays down his mantle.
Lie there, my art. — Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort.
The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touched
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art
So safely ordered, that there is no soul —
No, not so much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the vessel
Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink. Sit down;
For thou must now know further.
Mir.

You have often
Begun to tell me what I am, but stopped
And left me to a bootless inquisition;
Concluding, “Stay, not yet.” —
Pros.

The hour's now come;
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
Obey and be attentive. Canst thou remember
A time before we came unto this cell?

Out three years old.
Mir.

Certainly, sir, I can.
Pros. By what? by any other house, or person?
Of any thing the image tell me that
Hath kept with thy remembrance.
Mir.

'Tis far off,
And rather like a dream than an assurance
That my remembrance warrants. Had I not
Four or five women once that tended me?

Pros. Thou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is it,
That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else
In the dark backward and abysm of time?

H. & B. READINGS - 15

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