List iconThe Tempest:
Act 1, scene 1
List icon

The Tempest
Act 1, scene 1


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Scene 1
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 th’ mariners. Fall to ’t yarely,
 or we run ourselves aground. Bestir, bestir!
He exits.

Enter Mariners.

BOATSWAIN 5Heigh, my hearts! Cheerly, cheerly, my
 hearts! Yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to th’
 Master’s whistle.—Blow till thou burst thy wind, if
 room enough!

Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand, Gonzalo,
and others.

ALONSO Good boatswain, have care. Where’s the Master?
10 Play the men.
BOATSWAIN I pray now, keep below.
ANTONIO Where is the Master, boatswain?
BOATSWAIN Do you not hear him? You mar our labor.
 Keep your cabins. You do assist the storm.
GONZALO 15Nay, good, be patient.
BOATSWAIN When the sea is. Hence! What cares these

The Tempest
ACT 1. SC. 1

 roarers for the name of king? To cabin! Silence!
 Trouble us not.
GONZALO Good, yet remember whom thou hast
20 aboard.
BOATSWAIN None that I more love than myself. You are
 a councillor; 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
25 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!He exits.
GONZALO I have great comfort from this fellow. Methinks
30 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.
He exits with Alonso, Sebastian,
and the other courtiers.

Enter Boatswain.

BOATSWAIN 35Down with the topmast! Yare! Lower, lower!
 Bring her to try wi’ th’ main course. (A cry
A plague upon this howling! They are
 louder than the weather or our office.

Enter Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo.

 Yet again? What do you here? Shall we give o’er and
40 drown? Have you a mind to sink?
SEBASTIAN A pox o’ your throat, you bawling, blasphemous,
 incharitable dog!
BOATSWAIN Work you, then.
ANTONIO Hang, cur, hang, you whoreson, insolent
45 noisemaker! We are less afraid to be drowned than
 thou art.

The Tempest
ACT 1. SC. 1

GONZALO I’ll warrant him for drowning, though the
 ship were no stronger than a nutshell and as leaky
 as an unstanched wench.
BOATSWAIN 50Lay her ahold, ahold! Set her two courses.
 Off to sea again! Lay her off!

Enter more Mariners, wet.

MARINERS All lost! To prayers, to prayers! All lost!
Mariners exit.
BOATSWAIN What, must our mouths be cold?
GONZALO The King and Prince at prayers. Let’s assist
55 them, for our case is as theirs.
SEBASTIAN I am out of patience.
ANTONIO We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards.
 This wide-chopped rascal—would thou
 mightst lie drowning the washing of ten tides!
Boatswain exits.
GONZALO 60He’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 children!”—
 “Farewell, brother!”—“We split, we split, we
65 split!”

ANTONIO Let’s all sink wi’ th’ King.
SEBASTIAN Let’s take leave of him.
He exits with Antonio.
GONZALO Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea
 for an acre of barren ground: long heath, brown
70 furze, anything. The wills above be done, but I
 would fain die a dry death.
He exits.