The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 8

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SEBASTIAN

    Foul weather?

SEBASTIAN

Bad times?

ANTONIO

      Very foul.

ANTONIO

Yes, very bad.

GONZALO

Had I plantation of this isle, my lord—

GONZALO

If I could colonize this island, my lord—

ANTONIO

120He’d sow ’t with nettle seed.

ANTONIO

He’d cultivate weeds on it.

SEBASTIAN

     Or docks, or mallows.

SEBASTIAN

Or thorn-bushes.

GONZALO

And were the king on ’t, what would I do?

GONZALO

And if I were king of it, you know what I’d do?

SEBASTIAN

'Scape being drunk for want of wine.

SEBASTIAN

He wouldn’t get drunk much, since there’s no wine here.

GONZALO

I' th' commonwealth I would by contraries
Execute all things. For no kind of traffic
125Would I admit. No name of magistrate.
Letters should not be known. Riches, poverty,
And use of service—none. Contract, succession,
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard—none.
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil.
130No occupation. All men idle, all.
And women too, but innocent and pure.
No sovereignty—

GONZALO

In my kingdom I’d do everything differently from the way it’s usually done. I wouldn’t allow any commerce. There’d be no officials or administrators. There’d be no schooling or literature. There’d be no riches, no poverty, and no servants—none. No contracts or inheritance laws; no division of the land into private farms, no metal-working, agriculture, or vineyards.
There’d be no work. Men would have nothing to do, and women also—but they’d be innocent and pure. There’d be no kingship—

SEBASTIAN

    Yet he would be king on ’t.

SEBASTIAN

He wants to be king in a place with no kingship.

ANTONIO

The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning.

ANTONIO

Yes, he’s getting a bit confused.

GONZALO

All things in common nature should produce
135Without sweat or endeavor. Treason, felony,
Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine,
Would I not have. But nature should bring forth
Of its own kind all foison, all abundance,
To feed my innocent people.

GONZALO

Everything would be produced without labor, and would be shared by all. There’d be no treason, crimes, or weapons. Nature would produce its harvests in abundance, to feed my innocent people.