• Enter VIOLA, a CAPTAIN, and sailors

    VIOLA

    What country, friends, is this?

    CAPTAIN

         This is Illyria, lady.

    VIOLA

    And what should I do in Illyria?
    My brother he is in Elysium.
    Perchance he is not drown’d.—What think you, sailors?

    CAPTAIN

    5It is perchance that you yourself were saved.

    VIOLA

    O, my poor brother! And so perchance may he be.

    CAPTAIN

    True, madam. And, to comfort you with chance,
    Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
    When you and those poor number saved with you
    10Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
    Most provident in peril, bind himself,
    Courage and hope both teaching him the practice,
    To a strong mast that lived upon the sea,
    Where, like Arion on the dolphin’s back,
    15I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves
    So long as I could see.

    VIOLA

    (giving him money)
       For saying so, there’s gold.
    Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
    Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
    20The like of him. Know’st thou this country?

    CAPTAIN

    Ay, madam, well, for I was bred and born
    Not three hours' travel from this very place.
  • VIOLA, a CAPTAIN, and sailors enter.

    VIOLA

    What country is this, friends?

    CAPTAIN

    This is Illyria, lady.

    VIOLA

    And what am I supposed to do in Illyria? My brother is in heaven. Or maybe there’s a chance he didn’t drown.—What do you think, sailors?

    CAPTAIN

    It was a total fluke that you yourself were saved.

    VIOLA

    Oh, my poor brother! But maybe by some fluke he was saved too.

    CAPTAIN

    It’s possible, ma'am. Don’t give up yet. When our ship was wrecked and you and a few other survivors were clinging onto our lifeboat, I saw your brother tie himself to a big mast floating in the sea. He was acting resourcefully and courageously in a dangerous situation. For as long as I could see him, he stayed afloat on the waves like Arion on the dolphin’s back.

    Arion

    Arion was a Greek poet who was saved from drowning by a dolphin.

    VIOLA

    (giving him money) Thank you for saying that—here’s some money to express my gratitude. Since I survived, it’s easier for me to imagine he survived too, and what you say gives me a reason to hope for the best. Do you know this area we’re in?

    CAPTAIN

    Yes, ma'am, I know it well. I was born and raised less than three hours from here.