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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act II. Scene II.

The Tempest

Another Part of the Island.

Enter CALIBAN, with a burden of wood.

A noise of thunder heard.

Cal.All the infections that the sun sucks up

From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him

By inch-meal a disease! His spirits hear me,

And yet I needs must curse. But they’ll nor pinch,

Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i’ the mire,

Nor lead me, like a firebrand, in the dark

Out of my way, unless he bid ’em; but

For every trifle are they set upon me:

Sometime like apes, that mow and chatter at me

And after bite me; then like hedge-hogs, which

Lie tumbling in my bare-foot way and mount

Their pricks at my foot-fall; sometime am I

All wound with adders, who with cloven tongues

Do hiss me into madness.—


Lo now! lo!

Here comes a spirit of his, and to torment me

For bringing wood in slowly: I’ll fall flat;

Perchance he will not mind me.

Trin.Here’s neither bush nor shrub to bear off any weather at all, and another storm brewing; I hear it sing i’ the wind: yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombard that would shed his liquor. If it should thunder as it did before, I know not where to hide my head: yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls.—What have we here? a man or a fish? Dead or alive? A fish: he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of not of the newest Poor-John. A strange fish! Were I in England now,—as once I was,—and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver: there would this monster make a man; any strange beast there makes a man. When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. Legg’d like a man! and his fins like arms! Warm, o’ my troth! I do now let loose my opinion, hold it no longer; this is no fish, but an islander, that hath lately suffered by a thunderbolt.[Thunder.]Alas! the storm is come again: my best way is to creep under his gaberdine; there is no other shelter hereabout: misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the dregs of the storm be past.

Enter STEPHANO, singing; a bottle in his hand.


  • I shall no more to sea, to sea,
  • Here shall I die a-shore:—
  • This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man’s funeral:

    Well, here’s my comfort.[Drinks.

  • The master, the swabber, the boatswain and I,
  • The gunner and his mate,
  • Lov’d Mall, Meg, and Marian and Margery,
  • But none of us car’d for Kate;
  • For she had a tongue with a tang,
  • Would cry to a sailor, ‘Go hang!’
  • She lov’d not the savour of tar nor of pitch,
  • Yet a tailor might scratch her where-e’er she did itch:
  • Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang.
  • This is a scurvy tune too: but here’s my comfort.[Drinks.

    Cal.Do not torment me: O!

    Ste.What’s the matter?

    Have we devils here? Do you put tricks upon us with savages and men of Ind? Ha! I have not ’scaped drowning, to be afeard now of your four legs; for it hath been said, As proper a man as ever went on four legs cannot make him give ground: and it shall be said so again while Stephano breathes at’s nostrils.

    Cal.The spirit torments me: O!

    Ste.This is some monster of the isle with four legs, who hath got, as I take it, an ague. Where the devil should he learn our language? I will give him some relief, if it be but for that: if I can recover him and keep him tame and get to Naples with him, he’s a present for any emperor that ever trod on neat’s-leather.

    Cal.Do not torment me, prithee: I’ll bring my wood home faster.

    Ste.He’s in his fit now and does not talk after the wisest. He shall taste of my bottle: if he have never drunk wine afore it will go near to remove his fit. If I can recover him, and keep him tame, I will not take too much for him: he shall pay for him that hath him, and that soundly.

    Cal.Thou dost me yet but little hurt; thou wilt anon, I know it by thy trembling: now Prosper works upon thee.

    Ste.Come on your ways: open your mouth; here is that which will give language to you, cat. Open your mouth: this will shake your shaking, I can tell you, and that soundly[gives CALIBAN drink]: you cannot tell who’s your friend; open your chaps again.

    Trin.I should know that voice: it should be—but he is drowned, and these are devils. O! defend me.

    Ste.Four legs and two voices; a most delicate monster! His forward voice now is to speak well of his friend; his backward voice is to utter foul speeches, and to detract. If all the wine in my bottle will recover him, I will help his ague. Come. Amen! I will pour some in thy other mouth.


    Ste.Doth thy other mouth call me? Mercy! mercy! This is a devil, and no monster: I will leave him; I have no long spoon.

    Trin.Stephano!—if thou beest Stephano, touch me, and speak to me; for I am Trinculo:—be not afeard—thy good friend Trinculo.

    Ste.If thou beest Trinculo, come forth. I’ll pull thee by the lesser legs: if any be Trinculo’s legs, these are they. Thou art very Trinculo indeed! How cam’st thou to be the siege of this moon-calf? Can he vent Trinculos?

    Trin.I took him to be killed with a thunder-stroke. But art thou not drowned, Stephano? I hope now thou art not drowned. Is the storm overblown? I hid me under the dead moon-calf’s gaberdine for fear of the storm. And art thou living, Stephano? O Stephano! two Neapolitans ’scaped!

    Ste.Prithee, do not turn me about: my stomach is not constant.

    Cal.[Aside.]These be fine things an if they be not sprites.

    That’s a brave god and bears celestial liquor:

    I will kneel to him.

    Ste.How didst thou ’scape? How cam’st thou hither? swear by this bottle, how thou cam’st hither. I escaped upon a butt of sack, which the sailors heaved overboard, by this bottle! which I made of the bark of a tree with mine own hands, since I was cast ashore.

    Cal.I’ll swear upon that bottle, to be thy true subject; for the liquor is not earthly.

    Ste.Here: swear then, how thou escapedst.

    Trin.Swam ashore, man, like a duck: I can swim like a duck, I’ll be sworn.

    Ste.Here, kiss the book[gives TRINCULO drink].Though thou canst swim like a duck, thou art made like a goose.

    Trin.O Stephano! hast any more of this?

    Ste.The whole butt, man: my cellar is in a rock by the seaside, where my wine is hid. How now, moon-calf! how does thine ague?

    Cal.Hast thou not dropped from heaven?

    Ste.Out o’ the moon, I do assure thee: I was the man in the moon, when time was.

    Cal.I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee; my mistress showed me thee, and thy dog, and thy bush.

    Ste.Come, swear to that; kiss the book; I will furnish it anon with new contents; swear.

    Trin.By this good light, this is a very shallow monster.—I afeard of him!—a very weak monster.—The man i’ the moon! a most poor credulous monster!—Well drawn, monster, in good sooth.

    Cal.I’ll show thee every fertile inch o’ the island;

    And I will kiss thy foot. I prithee, be my god.

    Trin.By this light, a most perfidious and drunken monster: when his god’s asleep, he’ll rob his bottle.

    Cal.I’ll kiss thy foot: I’ll swear myself thy subject.

    Ste.Come on then; down, and swear.

    Trin.I shall laugh myself to death at this puppy-headed monster. A most scurvy monster! I could find in my heart to beat him,—

    Ste.Come, kiss.

    Trin.But that the poor monster’s in drink: an abominable monster!

    Cal.I’ll shew thee the best springs; I’ll pluck thee berries;

    I’ll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough.

    A plague upon the tyrant that I serve!

    I’ll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee,

    Thou wondrous man.

    Trin.A most ridiculous monster, to make a wonder of a poor drunkard!

    Cal.I prithee, let me bring thee where crabs grow;

    And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts;

    Show thee a jay’s nest and instruct thee how

    To snare the nimble marmozet; I’ll bring thee

    To clust’ring filberts, and sometimes I’ll get thee

    Young scamels from the rock. Wilt thou go with me?

    Ste.I prithee now, lead the way, without any more talking.—Trinculo, the king and all our company else being drowned, we will inherit here.—Here; bear my bottle.—Fellow Trinculo, we’ll fill him by and by again.

    Cal.Farewell, master; farewell, farewell.[Sings drunkenly.

    Trin.A howling monster, a drunken monster.


  • No more dams I’ll make for fish;
  • Nor fetch in firing
  • At requiring,
  • Nor scrape trenchering, nor wash dish;
  • ’Ban, ’Ban, Ca—Caliban,
  • Has a new master—Get a new man.
  • Freedom, high-day! high-day, freedom! freedom! high-day, freedom!

    Ste.O brave monster! lead the way.[Exeunt.