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Prospero, duke of Milan, being fond of study and retirement, entrusts the public business of the state to his younger brother Antonio, who secretly engages with Alonso, king of Naples, to hold Milan as a fief of the Neapolitan crown, in consideration of his assistance in dethroning his unsuspecting brother. Not daring to deprive Prospero of life, on account of his great popularity, the conspirators force him and his daughter Miranda, an infant three years old, into a crazy boat; and with a small supply of provisions abandon them to the fury of the elements. Being cast on a desert island, where no human creature is found but a savage named Caliban, Prospero studies the necromantic art with great success, and employs his leisure hours with the education of Miranda. About twelve years after these transactions, Alonso, having agreed to marry his daughter to the king of Tunis, conducts her to that country, accompanied by the usurping duke of Milan, and a numerous train. Having left the lady with her husband at Tunis, they embark on their return to Naples; and the drama commences with a great tempest raised by Prospero, who, by the agency of a spirit named Ariel, wrecks the king's ship in such a manner, that none of the passengers are lost. Ferdinand, the king's son, is separated from his father, who supposes him drowned; while Prospero conducts him to his cell, where he and Miranda become mutually enamored. In the mean time, Alonso, Antonio, and their immediate followers, terrified by spectral illusions raised by the injured Duke, run distracted, till at length, Prospero, satisfied with making them sensible of their former guilt, and with the resumption of his dignity, generously remits farther punishment; extends his mercy to Caliban and his drunken companions, who had conspired to murder him; and, having restored Ferdinand to his disconsolate parent, abjures for ever the magic art, and proceeds to Naples to solemnise the nuptials of the youthful pair.



ALONSO, king of Naples.

SEBASTIAN, his brother.

PROSPERO, the rightful duke of Milan.

ANTONIO, his brother, the usurping duke of Milan.

FERDINAND, Son to the king of Naples.

GONZALO, an honest old counsellor of Naples.

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TRINCULO, a jester.

STEPHANO, a drunken butler.


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SCENE, the sea, with a ship; afterwards an uninhabited


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Mast. Boatswain,

Boat. Here, master: what cheer?

Mast. Good: Speak to the mariners: fall to 't yarely,1 or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.



Boat. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts; yare, yare: Take in the top-sail; 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.2

'Readily, nimbly, quickly.

2 Act with spirit, behave like men.

So 2 Sam. x. 12. Be

of good courage, and let us play the men for our people.'




Boat. I pray now, keep below.

Ant. Where is the master, boatswain ?

Boat. Do you not hear him? You mar our labor keep your cabins: you do assist the storm.

Gon. Nay, good, be patient.

Boat. When the sea is. Hence!

What care

these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence: trouble us not.

Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast


Boat. 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.


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. [Exeunt.


Boat. Down with the top-mast; yare; lower,

1 Of the present instant. So in 1 Cor. xv. 6. Of whom the greater part remain unto this present.'

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.

Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO. 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, blasphemous, incharitable dog!

Boat. Work you, then.

Ant. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noise-maker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.

Gon. I'll warrant him from drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as leaky as an unstanched wench.

Boat. Lay her a-hold, a-hold ; 1 set her two courses; off to sea again, lay her off.

Enter MARINERS wet.

Mar. All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!

Boat. 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.

1 To lay a ship a-hold, is to bring her to lie as near the wind as she can, in order to keep clear of the land, and get her out to sea.

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