ePub 版





The Tempest was probably written late in the year 1610. A few months previously had appeared an account of the wreck of Sir George Somers' ship in a tempest off the Bermudas, entitled A Discovery of the Bermudas, otherwise called the Ile of Divels, etc., written by Silvester Jourdan. Shakespeare (Act I., Sc. II., L. 229) makes mention of "the still-vexed Bermoothes;" and several points of resemblance render it probable that in writing the play he had Jourdan's tract before him. Beyond the suggestions obtained from this tract no source of the story of the play can be pointed out. Mention was made by the poet Collins of a tale called Aurelis and Isabella containing the same incidents, but in this point he was mistaken, though he may have seen some other Italian story which resembled The Tempest. The name Setebos (Sycorax's god) and perhaps other names of persons Shakespeare found in Eden's History of Travaile, published in 1577. The Tempest, although far from lacking dramatic or human interest, has something in its spirit of the nature of a clear and solemn vision. It expresses Shakespeare's highest and serenest view of life. Prospero, the great enchanter, is altogether the opposite of the vulgar magician. With command over the elemental powers, which study has brought to him, he possesses moral grandeur and a command over himself, in spite of occasional fits of involuntary abstraction and of intellectual impatience; he looks down on life, and sees through it, yet will not refuse to take his part in it. In Shakespeare's early play of supernatural agencies-A Midsummer Night's Dream-the "human mortals made the sport of the frolic-loving elves; here the supernatural powers attend on and obey their ruler, man. It has been suggested that Prospero, the great enchanter, is Shakespeare himself, and that when he breaks his staff, drowns his book, and dismisses his airy spirits, going back to the duties of hie dukedom, Shakespeare was thinking of his own resigning of his powers of imaginative enchantment, his parting from the theatre, where his attendant spirits had played their parts, and his return to Stratford. The persons in this play, while remaining real and living, are conceived in a more abstract way, more as types than those in any other work of Shakespeare. Prospero is the highest wisdom and moral attainment; Gonzalo is humorous common-sense incarnated; all that is meanest and most despicable appears in the wretched conspirators; Miranda, whose name seems to suggest wonder, is almost an elemental being, framed in the purest and simplest type of womanhood, yet made substantial by contrast with Ariel, who is an unbodied joy, too much a creature of light and air to know human affection or human sorrow; Caliban (the name formed from cannibal) stands at the other extreme, with all the elements in him-appetites, intellect, even imaginationout of which man emerges into early civilization, but with a moral nature that is still gross and malignant. Over all presides Prospero like a providence; and the spirit of reconciliation, of forgiveness, harmonizing the contentions of men, appears in The Tempest in the same noble manner as in The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, and Henry VIII. The action of the play is comprised within three hours.

ALONSO, King of Naples.

SEBASTIAN, his brother.



PROSPERO, the right Duke of Milan.

ANTONIO, his brother, the usurping Duke of MIRANDA, daughter to Prospero.


[blocks in formation]

ARIEL, an airy Spirit.



JUNO, presented by Spirits.



Other Spirits attending on Prospero.

SCENE-A ship at Sea: an island.

[blocks in formation]


Alon. Good boatswain, have care. Where's the master? Play the men. Boats. I pray now, keep below.

Ant. Where is the master, boatswain? Boats. Do you not hear him? You mar our labor: keep your cabins: you do assist the storm.

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 aboard.


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 advantage 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 maincourse. [A cry within.] A plague upon this howling they are louder than the weather or our office. 40 Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GON


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!

Boats. Work you then.

Ant. Hang, cur! hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker! We are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.

[blocks in formation]

I'm out of patience. Ant. We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards:

This wide-chapp'd rascal-would thou mightst lie drowning


The washing of ten tides !
He'll be hang'd yet,
Though every drop of water swear against it
And gape at widest 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!']

Ant. Let's all sink with the king.
Seb. Let's take leave of him.

[Exeunt Ant. and Seb. 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. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. The island. Before PROSPERO'S cell.


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 cheek,

Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in

Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


How thou camest here thou mayst.

But that I do not.
Pros. Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve
year since,

Thy father was the Duke of Milan and
A prince of power.
Sir, are not you my father?
Pros. Thy mother was a piece of virtue,

She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father

Was Duke of Milan; and thou his only heir And princess no worse issued.

Mir. O the heavens ! What foul play had we, that we came from


Or blessed was't we did? Pros.

Both, both, my girl: 61 By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heaved thence,

But blessedly holp hither.

Mir. O, my heart bleeds To think o' the teen that I have turn'd you to, Which is from my remembrance ! Please you, farther. [tonio

Pros. My brother and thy uncle, call'd An-
I pray thee, mark me-that a brother should
Be so perfidious-he whom next thyself
Of all the world I loved and to him put
The manage of my state; as at that time 70
Through all the signories it was the first
And Prospero the prime duke, being so re-

In dignity, and for the liberal arts
Without a parallel; those being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother
And to my state grew stranger, being trans-

And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle-
Dost thou attend me?

Sir, most heedfully.
Pros. Being once perfected how to grant

How to deny them, who to advance and who
To trash for over-topping, new created 81
The creatures that were mine, I say, or

changed 'em,

Or else new form'd 'em ; having both the key Of officer and office, set all hearts i' the state To what tune pleased his ear; that now he


The ivy which had hid my princely trunk, And suck'd my verdure out on't. Thou attend'st not.

Mir. O, good sir, I do.

I pray thee, mark me.
I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
To closeness and the bettering of my mind 90
With that which, but by being so retired,
O'er-prized all popular rate, in my false

Awaked an evil nature; and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
A falsehood in its contrary as great

As my trust was; which had indeed no limit, A confidence sans bound. He being thus lorded,

Not only with what my revenue yielded,
But what my power might else exact, like

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

To think but nobly of my grandmother:
Good wombs have borne bad sons.
Now the condition. 120
The King of Naples, being an enemy
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit;
Which was, that he, in lieu o' the premises
Of homage and I know not how much tribute,
Should presently extirpate me and mine
Out of the dukedom and confer fair Milan
With all the honors on my brother: whereon,
A treacherous army levied, one midnight
Fated to the purpose did Antonio open
The gates of Milan, and, i' the dead of dark-


130 The ministers for the purpose hurried thence Me and thy crying self.


Alack, for pity!

I, not remembering how I cried out then,
Will cry it o'er again: it is a hint
That wrings mine eyes to't.

Hear a little further And then I'll bring thee to the present buiness [story Which now's upon's; without the which this Were most impertinent. Mir.

That hour destroy us? Pros.

Wherefore did they not

Well demanded, wench: My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not,

So dear the love my people bore me, nor set
A mark so bloody on the business, but
With colors fairer painted their four ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,


Bore us some leagues to sea; Where they prepared

A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it: there they hoist us,
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us, to sigh
To the winds whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.

Was I then to you!


Alack, what trouble

O, a cherubin


[blocks in formation]

Thou wast that did preserve me. Thou didst And burn in many places; on the topmast,


Infused with a fortitude from heaven,

When I have deck'd the sea with drops full salt,

Under my burthen groan'd; which raised in


The yards and bowsprit, would I flame distinctly, 200

Then meet and join. Jove's lightnings, the precursors

Q' the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary

[blocks in formation]

Seem to besiege and make his bold waves tremble,

Yea, his dread trident shake.
My brave spirit!
Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil
Would not infect his reason?

Not a sou
But felt a fever of the mad and play'd
Some tricks of desperation. All but mariners
Plunged in the foaming brine and quit the


Then all afire with me: the king's son, Ferdinand,

With hair up-staring,-then like reeds, not hair,

Was the first man that leap'd; cried, 'Hell is empty,

And all the devils are here.'
Why, that's my spirit!
But was not this nigh shore?
Close by, my master.
Pros. But are they, Ariel, safe?
Not a hair perish'd;
On their sustaining garments not a blemish,
But fresher than before: and, as thou badest

[blocks in formation]


The mariners all under hatches stow'd;
Who, with a charm join'd to their suffer'd

I have left asleep; and for the rest o' the fleet
Which I dispersed, they all have met again
And are upon the Mediterranean flote,
Bound sadly home for Naples,

Supposing that they saw the king's ship wreck'd

And his great person perish.

Pros. Ariel, thy charge Exactly is perform'd: but there's more work. What is the time o' the day?

Ari. Past the mid season. Pros. At least two glasses. The time 'twixt six and now 240

Must by us both be spent most preciously. Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains,

Let me remember thee what thou hast promised,

Which is not yet perform'd me.


[blocks in formation]

The foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy

Was grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot
Ari. No, sir.


Thou hast. Where was she born? speak; tell me. Ari. Sir, in Argier. Pros. O, was she so? I must Once in a month recount what thou hast been, Which thou forget'st. This damn'd witch


For mischiefs manifold and sorceries terrible
To enter human hearing, from Argier,
Thou know'st, was banish'd: for one thing

she did

They would not take her life. Is not this true? Ari. Ay, sir.

Pros. This blue-eyed hag was hither brought with child

And here was left by the sailors. Thou, my slave,

As thou report'st thyself, wast then her servant;

And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate
To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands,
Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee,
By help of her more potent ministers
And in her most unmitigable rage,
Into a cloven pine; within which rift
Imprison'd thou didst painfully remain
A dozen years; within which space she died
And left thee there; where thou didst vent
thy groans
As fast as mill-wheels strike. Then was this

Save for the son that she did litter here,
A freckled whelp hag-born-not honor'd with
A human shape.


Yes, Caliban her son. Pros. Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban Whom now I keep in service. Thou best


« 上一頁繼續 »