The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

And let Sebastian wake.” Say this were death
That now hath seized them. Why, they were no worse
Than now they are. There be that can rule Naples
As well as he that sleeps, lords that can prate
230As amply and unnecessarily
As this Gonzalo. I myself could make
A chough of as deep chat. Oh, that you bore
The mind that I do, what a sleep were this
For your advancement! Do you understand me?
chance to start living.” If these sleeping men were dead instead of sleeping, they’d be no worse off than they are now. There are a lot of men who can rule Naples just as well as this sleeping guy here can. There are a lot of men who babble nonsense as well as Gonzalo. I could do it myself. Oh, I wish you understood what I’m saying—you’d see how you’re missing out on a great opportunity for yourself! Do you even get what I’m saying?

SEBASTIAN

235Methinks I do.

SEBASTIAN

I think I do.

ANTONIO

  And how does your content
Tender your own good fortune?

ANTONIO

And does this prospect of good fortune make you happy?

SEBASTIAN

    I remember
You did supplant your brother Prospero.

SEBASTIAN

I remember you took the throne from your brother Prospero.

ANTONIO

      True.
And look how well my garments sit upon me,
Much feater than before. My brother’s servants
240Were then my fellows. Now they are my men.

ANTONIO

Yes I did, and look how good I look in my new role—much better than before. My brother’s servants used to be my equals. Now they work for me.

SEBASTIAN

But, for your conscience?

SEBASTIAN

But what about your guilty conscience?

ANTONIO

Ay, sir. Where lies that? If ’twere a kibe,
'Twould put me to my slipper. But I feel not
This deity in my bosom. Twenty consciences,
245That stand ’twixt me and Milan, candied be they
And melt ere they molest! Here lies your brother,
No better than the earth he lies upon,
If he were that which now he’s like—that’s dead—
Whom I, with this obedient steel, three inches of it,
250Can lay to bed for ever; whiles you, doing thus,
To the perpetual wink for aye might put
This ancient morsel, this Sir Prudence, who

ANTONIO

Yes. What guilty conscience? I don’t feel anything. If my feet were cold, I’d put my slippers on, but I don’t feel any pangs of guilt. If there were twenty guilty consciences between me and the dukedom, they’d melt away to nothing before they caused me any trouble. Here’s your brother sleeping, worth no more than the dirt he’s lying on. If he were as dead as he appears to be now—and I could quickly make him dead with this sword of mine—he wouldn’t stand in our way. As