William Shakespeare's The Tempest, tells the tale of an exiled Duke and his daughter marooned on the sandy, idyllic, mysterious shores of an island paradise in the Mediterranean sea.
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HOME > Plays > The Tempest > Act I. Scene I.

The Tempest

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Julius Caesar
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Merchant of Venice
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The Tempest
Twelfth Night

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Globe Theatre

Act I. Scene I.

Act I. Scene I.—On a Ship at Sea. A
tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.

Enter a Shipmaster and a Boatswain severally,

Mast. Boatswain!
Boats. Here, master: what cheer?
Mast. Good, speak to the mariners; fall to't
yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir,
bestir. [Exit.

Enter Mariners.
Boats. 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!

Alon. Good boatswain, have care. Where's
the master? Play the men.
Boats. I pray now, keep below.
Ant. Where is the master, boson?
Boats. Do you not hear him? You mar our
labour: keep your cabins: you do assist the
Gon. Nay, good, be patient.
Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What cares
these roarers for the name of king? To cabin:
silence! trouble us not.
Gon. Good, yet remember whom thou hast
Boats. None that I more love than myself.
You are a counsellor: 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. [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 ad
vantage! If he be not born to be hanged, our
case is miserable. [Exeunt.

Re-enter Boatswain.
Boats. Down with the topmast! yare! lower,
lower! Bring her to try with main-course. [A
cry within.] A plague upon this howling! they
are louder than the weather, or our office.—

Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give
o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
Seb. A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blas-
phemous, incharitable dog!
Boats. Work you, then.
Ant. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, inso-
lent noisemaker, we are less afraid to be
drowned than thou art.
Gon. I'll warrant him for drowning; though
the ship were no stronger than a nutshell, and
as leaky as an unstanched wench.
Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold! Set her two
courses; off to sea again; lay her off.
Enter Mariners, wet.
Mar. All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all
lost! [Exeunt.
Boats. 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 am out of patience.
Ant. We are merely cheated of our lives by
This wide-chapp'd rascal,—would thou might'st
lie drowning,
The washing of ten tides!
Gon. He'll be hanged yet,
Though every drop of water swear against it,
And gape at wid'st to glut him.
[A confused noise within,—' Mercy on us! '—
'We split, we split!'—'Farewell, my wife and
'Farewell, brother!'—'We split, we split, we
Ant. Let's all sink wi' the king. [Exit.
Seb. Let's take leave of him. [Exit.
Gon. Now would I give a thousand furlongs
of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath,
brown furze, any thing. The wills above be
done! but I would fain die a dry death. [Exit.
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