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(1.2.232-37)Strachey describes the storm as "roaring" and "beat[ing] all light from heaven; which like an hell of darknesse turned blacke upon us . In The Tempest, Miranda describes the waters as being in a "roar," and says that "The sky it seems would pour down stinking pitch, / But that the Sea, mounting to th' welkins cheek, / Dashes the fire out." (1.2.1-5) Strachey says that "Our clamours dround in the windes, and the windes in thunder. (1.2.26-31)Jourdain tells how they "had time and leasure to save some good part of our goods and provision, which the water had not spoyled" (7-8); Gonzalo mentions how "our garments, being (as they were) drench'd in the sea, hold notwithstanding their freshness and glosses, being rather new dy'd than stain'd with salt water" (2.1.62-65).Prayers might well be in the heart and lips, but drowned in the outcries of the officers" (7); in the play the boatswain says, "A plague upon this howling; they are louder than the weather, or our office" (1.1.36-7), and a few lines later the mariners cry, "To prayers! Strachey writes about how it had been thought that the Bermudas were "given over to Devils and wicked Spirits" (14); Jourdain calls it "the Ile of Divels" (title page) and "a most prodigious and enchanted place" (8); A True Declaration says that "these Islands of the Bermudos, have ever beene accounted as an enchaunted pile of rockes, and a desert inhabitation for Divels; but all the Fairies of the rocks were but flocks of birds, and all the Divels that haunted the woods, were but heards of swine" (10-11).This was edited together from various documents as a piece of pro-Virginia propaganda on behalf of the Virginia Company, the consortium of investors who had underwritten the trip; the subtitle indicated that it included "a confutation of such scandalous reports as have tended to the disgrace of so worthy an enterprise." [note2] Shakespeare almost certainly read the two above pamphlets and used them in writing The Tempest, but more important than either was William Strachey's True Reportory of the Wrack, and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates Knight.
(These are Shakespeare's only two uses of the word "thunder-stroke"; he usually--seven times--used "thunderbolt.") Strachey also writes of the "many scattering showers of Raine (which would passe swiftly over, and yet fall with such force and darknesse for the time as if it would never bee cleere again)" (16). Fens are mentioned twice more in The Tempest -- "from unwholesome fen" (1.2.322); "bogs, fens, flats" (2.2.2) -- but only twice more in the rest of the canon.
The "Sea-Venture" never showed up, and was presumed to be lost; word to that effect made it back to England by the fall and created a public sensation, since interest in the expedition was very high.
But unknown to the rest of the world, the battered ship had managed to reach Bermuda before running aground, with all aboard making it safely ashore.
[note3] I have grouped them according to general categories: Background, The storm, The Island, The Conspiracies, Other Events on the Island, and Miscellaneous Verbal Parallels. running sometimes along the Maine-yard to the very end, and then returning . Sometimes I'ld divide, And burn in many places; on the topmast, The yards and boresprit, would I flame distinctly, Then meet and join.
For completeness' sake, I have tried to include all the significant parallels I could find, even though not all of them are of equal importance. had an apparition of a little round light, like a faint Starre, trembling, and streaming along with a sparkeling blaze, halfe the height upon the Maine Mast, and shooting sometimes from Shroud to Shroud, tempting to settle as it were upon any of the foure Shrouds . Jove's lightning, the precursors O' th' dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary And sight-outrunning were not; (1.2.196-203)Jourdain says that "all our men, being utterly spent, tyred, and disabled for longer labour, were even resolved, without any hope of their lives, to shut up the hatches" (4-5) and "were fallen asleepe in corners" (6); Ariel describes "The mariners all under hatches stowed, / Who, with a charm joined to their suff'red labor / I have left asleep" (1.2.230-32).
For most of the voyage all went well, but on July 25 a violent storm (probably a hurricane) overtook the ships and raged for several days.