The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

PROSPERO

    Well demanded, wench.
140My 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 foul ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,
145Bore us some leagues to sea, where they prepared
A rotten carcass of a butt, not rigged,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast. The very rats
Instinctively had quit it. There they hoist us
To cry to th' sea that roared to us, to sigh
150To th' winds whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.

PROSPERO

Good question, my girl. My story does raise that question. The answer, my dear, is that they didn’t dare, because the people of Milan loved me too much. The had to disguise their bloody intentions. So, to make a long story short, they hurried us onto a ship and carried us a number of miles out to sea, where they prepared a rotten carcass of a boat, with no sails or masts or ropes, which even the rats had abandoned. They tossed us in the water to cry to the sea that roared back at us, to sigh into the winds that sighed right back at us in pity.

MIRANDA

    Alack, what trouble
Was I then to you!

MIRANDA

God, what a burden on you I must have been!

PROSPERO

    Oh, a cherubim
Thou wast that did preserve me. Thou didst smile
Infusèd with a fortitude from heaven,
155When I have decked the sea with drops full salt,
Under my burthen groaned; which raised in me
An undergoing stomach to bear up
Against what should ensue.

PROSPERO

No, my dear, you were a little angel who kept me going. You smiled with a strength you must have gotten from heaven, while I cried salty tears into the salty sea, and groaned at our situation. Your smile sustained my spirits against whatever would come our way.

MIRANDA

How came we ashore?

MIRANDA

How did we manage to get ashore?