Act 1, Scene 1
On a ship at sea.
The play opens on board a ship having as passengers a king and his courtiers. The resources of the crew are taxed to the utmost in trying to cope with a storm which, evidently arising suddenly, eventually drives the vessel on a lee shore, apparently wrecked with loss of all hands. Alonso speaks to the boatswain kindly, Antonio and Sebastian with scorn and abuse, and Lord Gonzalo’ is cheerful and witty to the last.
- A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.
- Enter a Ship-Master and a Boatswain.
- Here, master; what cheer?
Master5 - 6
- Good; speak to th’ mariners. Fall to’t, yarely, or we run
- ourselves aground. Bestir, bestir.
- Enter Mariners.
Boatswain9 - 11
- Heigh, 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
- Good boatswain, have care. Where’s the master? Play the men.
- I pray now keep below.
- Where is the master, bos’n?
Boatswain17 - 18
- Do you not hear him? You mar our labor. Keep your cabins;
- you do assist the storm.
- Nay, good, be patient.
Boatswain20 - 21
- When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers for the
- name of king? To cabin! Silence! Trouble us not.
- Good, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
Boatswain23 - 29
- 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 you cannot, give thanks you have liv’d 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.
Gonzalo31 - 35
- 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 hang’d, our case is miserable.
- Enter Boatswain.
Boatswain38 - 45
- 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.
- Enter Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo.
- Yet again? What do you here? Shall we give o’er and drown?
- Have you a mind to sink?
Sebastian46 - 47
- A pox o’ your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable
- Work you then.
Antonio49 - 50
- Hang, cur! Hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker! We are
- less afraid to be drown’d than thou art.
Gonzalo51 - 53
- I’ll warrant him for drowning, though the ship were no
- stronger than a nutshell, and as leaky as an unstanch’d
Boatswain54 - 55
- Lay her a-hold, a-hold! Set her two courses off to sea
- again! Lay her off.
- Enter Mariners wet.
- All lost! To prayers, to prayers! All lost!
- What, must our mouths be cold?
Gonzalo60 - 61
- The King and Prince at prayers, let’s assist them,
- For our case is as theirs.
- I am out of patience.
Antonio63 - 65
- We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards.
- This wide-chopp’d rascal—would thou mightst lie drowning
- The washing of ten tides!
Gonzalo66 - 72
- He’ll be hang’d 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 split!”
- Exit Boatswain.
- Let’s all sink wi’ th’ King.
- Lee’s take leave of him.
- Exit with Antonio.
Gonzalo77 - 79
- 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.