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it to minister occasion to these gentlemen, who are of such sensible and nimble lungs, that they always use to laugh at nothing.
Ant. 'Twas you we laugh’d at.
Gon. Who, in this kind of merry fooling, am nothing to you: so you may continue, and laugh at nothing still.
Ant. What a blow was there given!
Gon. You are gentlemen of brave mettle: you would lift the moon out of her sphere, if she would continue in it five weeks without changing.
Enter ARIEL invisible, playing solemn music. Seb. We would so, and then go a bat-fowling. Ant. Nay, good my lord, be not angry. ·
Gon. No, I warrant you ; I will not adventure my discretion so weakly. Will you laugh me asleep, for I am very heavy! Ant. Go sleep, and hear us.
[All sleep but ALON. SEB. and ANT. Alon. What! all so soon asleep? I wish mine
eyes Would, with themselves, shut up my thoughts: I
Please you, sir,
We two, my lord,
Thank you: Wondrous heavy. [ALONZO sleeps. Exit ARIEL.
Seb. What a strange drowsiness possesses them!
Nor I: my spirits are nimble.
more :And yet, methinks, I see it in thy face, What thou should'st be: The occasion speaks
What! art thou waking ?
I do; and, surely,
Noble Sebastian, Thou let'st thy fortune sleep — die rather; wink'st Whiles thou art waking.
Thou dost snore distinctly : There's meaning in thy snores.
Ant. I am more serious than my custom: you Must be so too, if heed me; which to do, Trebles thee o'er.14 Seb.
Well; I am standing water. Ant. I'll teach you how to flow.
13 Understand be after Sebastian.
Do so: to ebb, Hereditary sloth instructs thee. Ant.
You more invest it! Ebbing men, indeed,
Pr’ythee, say on:
Thus, sir : Although this lord of weak remembrance, this, (Who shall be of as little memory, When he is earth’d,) hath here almost persuaded, (For he's a spirit of persuasion, only Professes to persuade,) the king, his son's alive; 'Tis as impossible that he's undrown'd, As he, that sleeps here, swims. Seb.
I have no hope That he's undrown'd. Ant.
O! out of that no hope, What great hope have you ! no hope, that way, is Another way so high a hope, that even Ambition cannot pierce a wink beyond, But doubts discovery there. Will you grant, with
Then tell me,
Claribel. Ant. She that is queen of Tunis; she that dwells Ten leagues beyond man's life; she that from Naples
Can have no note, unless the sun were post,
Seb. What stuff is this !– How say you?
A space whose every cubit Seems to cry out, “How shall that Claribel Measure us back to Naples?” – Keep in Tunis, And let Sebastian wake ! — Say, this were death That now hath seiz'd them; why they were no
Seb. Methinks, I do.
And how does your content Tender your own good fortune ?
15 i. e. by their being cast ashore again.
16 This passage has given commentators a fine opportunity of showing their superiority to the Poet in the knowledge of geography. But, besides that in Shakespeare's time a voyage from Milan to Tunis was not so easy as it has been since, could they not see that he purposely makes Antonio exaggerate the distance, to persuade Sebastian into his plans? So that in showing their knowledge of what the Poet did not aim at, they but showed their ignorance of his proper business. As usual. 17 A chough is a bird of the jackdaw kind.
True : And look how well my garments sit upon me; Much feater than before : My brother's servants Were then my fellows, now they are my men.
Seb. But, for your conscience —
Ant. Ay, sir ; where lies that ? if it were a kybe, 'Twould put me to my slipper ; but I feel not This deity in my bosom : twenty consciences, That 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, Can lay to bed for ever : whiles you, doing thus, To the perpetual wink for aye might put This ancient morsel, this sir Prudence, who Should not upbraid our course. For all the rest, They'll take suggestion,18 as a cat laps milk; They'll tell the clock to any business that We say befits the hour. Seb.
Thy case, dear friend, Shall be my precedent : as thou got’st Milan, I'll come by Naples. Draw thy sword: one stroke Shall free thee from the tribute which thou pay'st ; And I the king shall love thee. Ant.
Draw together : And when I rear my hand, do you the like, To fall it on Gonzalo. Seb.
O! but one word.
[They converse apart.
18 Suggestion is frequently used in the sense of temptation, or seduction, by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.