The Winter’s Tale
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Navigate this workThe Winter’s Tale
The “tale” of The Winter’s Tale unfolds in scenes set sixteen years apart. In the first part of the play, Leontes, king of Sicilia, plays host to his friend Polixenes, king of Bohemia. Suddenly, Leontes becomes unreasonably jealous of Polixenes and Leontes’s pregnant wife, Hermione. Leontes calls for Polixenes to be killed, but he escapes.
Hermione, under arrest, gives birth to a daughter; Leontes orders the baby to be taken overseas and abandoned. The death of the couple’s young son, Mamillius, brings Leontes to his senses, too late. Word arrives that Hermione, too, has died. In Bohemia, a shepherd finds and adopts the baby girl, Perdita.
Sixteen years later, the story resumes. Polixenes’s son, Florizell, loves Perdita. When Polixenes forbids the unequal match, the couple flees to Sicilia, where the tale reaches its conclusion. Perdita’s identity as a princess is revealed, allowing her and Florizell to marry; Leontes and Polixenes reconcile; and Hermione returns in the form of a statue, steps down from its pedestal, and reunites with her family.
ARCHIDAMUS 0001 If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia
0002 on the like occasion whereon my services
0003 are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great
0004 difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia.
CAMILLO 0005 5I think this coming summer the King of
0006 Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which
0007 he justly owes him.
ARCHIDAMUS 0008 Wherein our entertainment shall shame
0009 us; we will be justified in our loves. For indeed—
CAMILLO 0010 10Beseech you—
ARCHIDAMUS 0011 Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my
0012 knowledge. We cannot with such magnificence—in
0013 so rare—I know not what to say. We will give you
0014 sleepy drinks, that your senses, unintelligent of our
0015 15 insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as
0016 little accuse us.
CAMILLO 0017 You pay a great deal too dear for what’s given
ARCHIDAMUS 0019 Believe me, I speak as my understanding
0020 20 instructs me and as mine honesty puts it to
CAMILLO 0022 Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia.
0023 They were trained together in their childhoods,
0024 and there rooted betwixt them then such an
0026 Since their more mature dignities and royal necessities
0027 made separation of their society, their encounters,
0028 though not personal, hath been royally
0029 attorneyed with interchange of gifts, letters, loving
0030 30 embassies, that they have seemed to be together
0031 though absent, shook hands as over a vast, and
0032 embraced as it were from the ends of opposed
0033 winds. The heavens continue their loves.
ARCHIDAMUS 0034 I think there is not in the world either
0035 35 malice or matter to alter it. You have an unspeakable
0036 comfort of your young Prince Mamillius. It is a
0037 gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came
0038 into my note.
CAMILLO 0039 I very well agree with you in the hopes of
0040 40 him. It is a gallant child—one that indeed physics
0041 the subject, makes old hearts fresh. They that went
0042 on crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to
0043 see him a man.
ARCHIDAMUS 0044 Would they else be content to die?
CAMILLO 0045 45Yes, if there were no other excuse why they
0046 should desire to live.
ARCHIDAMUS 0047 If the King had no son, they would desire
0048 to live on crutches till he had one.
0049 Nine changes of the wat’ry star hath been
0050 The shepherd’s note since we have left our throne
0051 Without a burden. Time as long again
0053 5 And yet we should for perpetuity
0054 Go hence in debt. And therefore, like a cipher,
0055 Yet standing in rich place, I multiply
0056 With one “We thank you” many thousands more
0057 That go before it.
LEONTES 0058 10 Stay your thanks awhile,
0059 And pay them when you part.
POLIXENES 0060 Sir, that’s tomorrow.
0061 I am questioned by my fears of what may chance
0062 Or breed upon our absence, that may blow
0063 15 No sneaping winds at home to make us say
0064 “This is put forth too truly.” Besides, I have stayed
0065 To tire your Royalty.
LEONTES 0066 We are tougher, brother,
0067 Than you can put us to ’t.
POLIXENES 0068 20 No longer stay.
0069 One sev’nnight longer.
POLIXENES 0070 Very sooth, tomorrow.
0071 We’ll part the time between ’s, then, and in that
0072 I’ll no gainsaying.
POLIXENES 0073 25 Press me not, beseech you, so.
0074 There is no tongue that moves, none, none i’ th’
0076 So soon as yours could win me. So it should now,
0077 Were there necessity in your request, although
0078 30 ’Twere needful I denied it. My affairs
0079 Do even drag me homeward, which to hinder
0080 Were in your love a whip to me, my stay
0081 To you a charge and trouble. To save both,
0082 Farewell, our brother.
LEONTES 0083 35 Tongue-tied, our queen?
0084 Speak you.
0085 I had thought, sir, to have held my peace until
0086 You had drawn oaths from him not to stay. You, sir,
0087 Charge him too coldly. Tell him you are sure
0088 40 All in Bohemia’s well. This satisfaction
0089 The bygone day proclaimed. Say this to him,
0090 He’s beat from his best ward.
LEONTES 0091 Well said, Hermione.
0092 To tell he longs to see his son were strong.
0093 45 But let him say so then, and let him go.
0094 But let him swear so and he shall not stay;
0095 We’ll thwack him hence with distaffs.
0096 ⌜To Polixenes.⌝ Yet of your royal presence I’ll
0098 50 The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
0099 You take my lord, I’ll give him my commission
0100 To let him there a month behind the gest
0101 Prefixed for ’s parting.—Yet, good deed, Leontes,
0102 I love thee not a jar o’ th’ clock behind
0103 55 What lady she her lord.—You’ll stay?
POLIXENES 0104 No, madam.
0105 Nay, but you will?
POLIXENES 0106 I may not, verily.
HERMIONE 0107 Verily?
0108 60 You put me off with limber vows. But I,
0109 Though you would seek t’ unsphere the stars with
0111 Should yet say “Sir, no going.” Verily,
0112 You shall not go. A lady’s “verily” is
0113 65 As potent as a lord’s. Will you go yet?
0114 Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
0115 Not like a guest, so you shall pay your fees
0116 When you depart and save your thanks. How say you?
0118 70 One of them you shall be.
POLIXENES 0119 Your guest, then, madam.
0120 To be your prisoner should import offending,
0121 Which is for me less easy to commit
0122 Than you to punish.
HERMIONE 0123 75 Not your jailer, then,
0124 But your kind hostess. Come, I’ll question you
0125 Of my lord’s tricks and yours when you were boys.
0126 You were pretty lordings then?
POLIXENES 0127 We were, fair queen,
0128 80 Two lads that thought there was no more behind
0129 But such a day tomorrow as today,
0130 And to be boy eternal.
HERMIONE 0131 Was not my lord
0132 The verier wag o’ th’ two?
0133 85 We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i’ th’ sun
0134 And bleat the one at th’ other. What we changed
0135 Was innocence for innocence. We knew not
0136 The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dreamed
0137 That any did. Had we pursued that life,
0138 90 And our weak spirits ne’er been higher reared
0139 With stronger blood, we should have answered
0141 Boldly “Not guilty,” the imposition cleared
0142 Hereditary ours.
HERMIONE 0143 95 By this we gather
0144 You have tripped since.
POLIXENES 0145 O my most sacred lady,
0146 Temptations have since then been born to ’s, for
0147 In those unfledged days was my wife a girl;
0148 100 Your precious self had then not crossed the eyes
0149 Of my young playfellow.
HERMIONE 0150 Grace to boot!
0151 Of this make no conclusion, lest you say
0153 105 Th’ offenses we have made you do we’ll answer,
0154 If you first sinned with us, and that with us
0155 You did continue fault, and that you slipped not
0156 With any but with us.
LEONTES 0157 Is he won yet?
0158 110 He’ll stay, my lord.
LEONTES 0159 At my request he would not.
0160 Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok’st
0161 To better purpose.
HERMIONE 0162 Never?
LEONTES 0163 115 Never but once.
0164 What, have I twice said well? When was ’t before?
0165 I prithee tell me. Cram ’s with praise, and make ’s
0166 As fat as tame things. One good deed dying
0168 120 Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that.
0169 Our praises are our wages. You may ride ’s
0170 With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs ere
0171 With spur we heat an acre. But to th’ goal:
0172 My last good deed was to entreat his stay.
0173 125 What was my first? It has an elder sister,
0174 Or I mistake you. O, would her name were Grace!
0175 But once before I spoke to th’ purpose? When?
0176 Nay, let me have ’t; I long.
LEONTES 0177 Why, that was when
0178 130 Three crabbèd months had soured themselves to
0180 Ere I could make thee open thy white hand
0181 ⌜And⌝ clap thyself my love; then didst thou utter
0182 “I am yours forever.”
HERMIONE 0183 135 ’Tis grace indeed.
0184 Why, lo you now, I have spoke to th’ purpose twice.
0186 Th’ other for some while a friend.
⌜She gives Polixenes her hand.⌝
LEONTES, ⌜aside⌝ 0187 Too hot, too hot!
0188 140 To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.
0189 I have tremor cordis on me. My heart dances,
0190 But not for joy, not joy. This entertainment
0191 May a free face put on, derive a liberty
0192 From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
0193 145 And well become the agent. ’T may, I grant.
0194 But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,
0195 As now they are, and making practiced smiles
0196 As in a looking glass, and then to sigh, as ’twere
0197 The mort o’ th’ deer—O, that is entertainment
0198 150 My bosom likes not, nor my brows.—Mamillius,
0199 Art thou my boy?
MAMILLIUS 0200 Ay, my good lord.
LEONTES 0201 I’ fecks!
0202 Why, that’s my bawcock. What, hast smutched thy
0203 155 nose?
0204 They say it is a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
0205 We must be neat—not neat, but cleanly, captain.
0206 And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf
0207 Are all called neat.—Still virginalling
0208 160 Upon his palm?—How now, you wanton calf?
0209 Art thou my calf?
MAMILLIUS 0210 Yes, if you will, my lord.
0211 Thou want’st a rough pash and the shoots that I
0213 165 To be full like me; yet they say we are
0214 Almost as like as eggs. Women say so,
0215 That will say anything. But were they false
0216 As o’erdyed blacks, as wind, as waters, false
0217 As dice are to be wished by one that fixes
0219 To say this boy were like me. Come, sir page,
0220 Look on me with your welkin eye. Sweet villain,
0221 Most dear’st, my collop! Can thy dam?—may ’t
0223 175 Affection, thy intention stabs the center.
0224 Thou dost make possible things not so held,
0225 Communicat’st with dreams—how can this be?
0226 With what’s unreal thou coactive art,
0227 And fellow’st nothing. Then ’tis very credent
0228 180 Thou may’st co-join with something; and thou dost,
0229 And that beyond commission, and I find it,
0230 And that to the infection of my brains
0231 And hard’ning of my brows.
POLIXENES 0232 What means Sicilia?
0233 185 He something seems unsettled.
POLIXENES 0234 How, my lord?
0235 What cheer? How is ’t with you, best brother?
HERMIONE 0236 You look
0237 As if you held a brow of much distraction.
0238 190 Are you moved, my lord?
LEONTES 0239 No, in good earnest.
0240 How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
0241 Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime
0242 To harder bosoms! Looking on the lines
0243 195 Of my boy’s face, methoughts I did recoil
0244 Twenty-three years, and saw myself unbreeched,
0245 In my green velvet coat, my dagger muzzled
0246 Lest it should bite its master and so prove,
0247 As ornaments oft ⌜do,⌝ too dangerous.
0248 200 How like, methought, I then was to this kernel,
0249 This squash, this gentleman.—Mine honest friend,
0250 Will you take eggs for money?
MAMILLIUS 0251 No, my lord, I’ll fight.
0252 You will? Why, happy man be ’s dole!—My brother,
0253 205 Are you so fond of your young prince as we
0254 Do seem to be of ours?
POLIXENES 0255 If at home, sir,
0256 He’s all my exercise, my mirth, my matter,
0257 Now my sworn friend and then mine enemy,
0258 210 My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all.
0259 He makes a July’s day short as December,
0260 And with his varying childness cures in me
0261 Thoughts that would thick my blood.
LEONTES 0262 So stands this
0263 215 squire
0264 Officed with me. We two will walk, my lord,
0265 And leave you to your graver steps.—Hermione,
0266 How thou lov’st us show in our brother’s welcome.
0267 Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap.
0268 220 Next to thyself and my young rover, he’s
0269 Apparent to my heart.
HERMIONE 0270 If you would seek us,
0271 We are yours i’ th’ garden. Shall ’s attend you there?
0272 To your own bents dispose you. You’ll be found,
0273 225 Be you beneath the sky. ⌜Aside.⌝ I am angling now,
0274 Though you perceive me not how I give line.
0275 Go to, go to!
0276 How she holds up the neb, the bill to him,
0277 And arms her with the boldness of a wife
0278 230 To her allowing husband!
⌜Exit Hermione, Polixenes, and Attendants.⌝
0279 Gone already.
0280 Inch thick, knee-deep, o’er head and ears a forked
0282 Go play, boy, play. Thy mother plays, and I
0283 235 Play too, but so disgraced a part, whose issue
0285 Will be my knell. Go play, boy, play.—There have
0287 Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now;
0288 240 And many a man there is, even at this present,
0289 Now while I speak this, holds his wife by th’ arm,
0290 That little thinks she has been sluiced in ’s absence,
0291 And his pond fished by his next neighbor, by
0292 Sir Smile, his neighbor. Nay, there’s comfort in ’t
0293 245 Whiles other men have gates and those gates
0295 As mine, against their will. Should all despair
0296 That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
0297 Would hang themselves. Physic for ’t there’s none.
0298 250 It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
0299 Where ’tis predominant; and ’tis powerful, think it,
0300 From east, west, north, and south. Be it concluded,
0301 No barricado for a belly. Know ’t,
0302 It will let in and out the enemy
0303 255 With bag and baggage. Many thousand on ’s
0304 Have the disease and feel ’t not.—How now, boy?
0305 I am like you, ⌜they⌝ say.
LEONTES 0306 Why, that’s some comfort.—
0307 What, Camillo there?
CAMILLO, ⌜coming forward⌝ 0308 260 Ay, my good lord.
0309 Go play, Mamillius. Thou ’rt an honest man.
0310 Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.
0311 You had much ado to make his anchor hold.
0312 When you cast out, it still came home.
LEONTES 0313 265 Didst note it?
0314 He would not stay at your petitions, made
0315 His business more material.
LEONTES 0316 Didst perceive it?
0317 ⌜Aside.⌝ They’re here with me already, whisp’ring,
0318 270 rounding:
0319 “Sicilia is a so-forth.” ’Tis far gone
0320 When I shall gust it last.—How came ’t, Camillo,
0321 That he did stay?
CAMILLO 0322 At the good queen’s entreaty.
0323 275 “At the queen’s” be ’t. “Good” should be pertinent,
0324 But so it is, it is not. Was this taken
0325 By any understanding pate but thine?
0326 For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in
0327 More than the common blocks. Not noted, is ’t,
0328 280 But of the finer natures, by some severals
0329 Of headpiece extraordinary? Lower messes
0330 Perchance are to this business purblind? Say.
0331 Business, my lord? I think most understand
0332 Bohemia stays here longer.
0333 285 Ha?
CAMILLO 0334 Stays here longer.
LEONTES 0335 Ay, but why?
0336 To satisfy your Highness and the entreaties
0337 Of our most gracious mistress.
LEONTES 0338 290 Satisfy?
0339 Th’ entreaties of your mistress? Satisfy?
0340 Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Camillo,
0341 With all the nearest things to my heart, as well
0342 My chamber-counsels, wherein, priestlike, thou
0343 295 Hast cleansed my bosom; I from thee departed
0344 Thy penitent reformed. But we have been
0346 In that which seems so.
CAMILLO 0347 Be it forbid, my lord!
0348 300 To bide upon ’t: thou art not honest; or,
0349 If thou inclin’st that way, thou art a coward,
0350 Which hoxes honesty behind, restraining
0351 From course required; or else thou must be
0353 305 A servant grafted in my serious trust
0354 And therein negligent; or else a fool
0355 That seest a game played home, the rich stake
0357 And tak’st it all for jest.
CAMILLO 0358 310 My gracious lord,
0359 I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful.
0360 In every one of these no man is free,
0361 But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
0362 Among the infinite doings of the world,
0363 315 Sometime puts forth. In your affairs, my lord,
0364 If ever I were willful-negligent,
0365 It was my folly; if industriously
0366 I played the fool, it was my negligence,
0367 Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
0368 320 To do a thing where I the issue doubted,
0369 Whereof the execution did cry out
0370 Against the non-performance, ’twas a fear
0371 Which oft infects the wisest. These, my lord,
0372 Are such allowed infirmities that honesty
0373 325 Is never free of. But, beseech your Grace,
0374 Be plainer with me; let me know my trespass
0375 By its own visage. If I then deny it,
0376 ’Tis none of mine.
LEONTES 0377 Ha’ not you seen, Camillo—
0378 330 But that’s past doubt; you have, or your eyeglass
0380 For to a vision so apparent, rumor
0381 Cannot be mute—or thought—for cogitation
0382 Resides not in that man that does not think—
0383 335 My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess—
0384 Or else be impudently negative
0385 To have nor eyes nor ears nor thought—then say
0386 My wife’s a ⌜hobby-horse,⌝ deserves a name
0387 As rank as any flax-wench that puts to
0388 340 Before her troth-plight. Say ’t, and justify ’t.
0389 I would not be a stander-by to hear
0390 My sovereign mistress clouded so without
0391 My present vengeance taken. ’Shrew my heart,
0392 You never spoke what did become you less
0393 345 Than this, which to reiterate were sin
0394 As deep as that, though true.
LEONTES 0395 Is whispering nothing?
0396 Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses?
0397 Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career
0398 350 Of laughter with a sigh?—a note infallible
0399 Of breaking honesty. Horsing foot on foot?
0400 Skulking in corners? Wishing clocks more swift?
0401 Hours minutes? Noon midnight? And all eyes
0402 Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,
0403 355 That would unseen be wicked? Is this nothing?
0404 Why, then the world and all that’s in ’t is nothing,
0405 The covering sky is nothing, Bohemia nothing,
0406 My wife is nothing, nor nothing have these nothings,
0407 If this be nothing.
CAMILLO 0408 360 Good my lord, be cured
0409 Of this diseased opinion, and betimes,
0410 For ’tis most dangerous.
LEONTES 0411 Say it be, ’tis true.
0412 No, no, my lord.
LEONTES 0413 365 It is. You lie, you lie.
0414 I say thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee,
0415 Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave,
0416 Or else a hovering temporizer that
0417 Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
0418 370 Inclining to them both. Were my wife’s liver
0419 Infected as her life, she would not live
0420 The running of one glass.
CAMILLO 0421 Who does infect her?
0422 Why, he that wears her like her medal, hanging
0423 375 About his neck—Bohemia, who, if I
0424 Had servants true about me, that bare eyes
0425 To see alike mine honor as their profits,
0426 Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
0427 Which should undo more doing. Ay, and thou,
0428 380 His cupbearer—whom I from meaner form
0429 Have benched and reared to worship, who mayst see
0430 Plainly as heaven sees Earth and Earth sees heaven
0431 How I am galled—mightst bespice a cup
0432 To give mine enemy a lasting wink,
0433 385 Which draft to me were cordial.
CAMILLO 0434 Sir, my lord,
0435 I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
0436 But with a ling’ring dram that should not work
0437 Maliciously like poison. But I cannot
0438 390 Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
0439 So sovereignly being honorable. I have loved thee—
LEONTES 0440 Make that thy question, and go rot!
0441 Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled,
0442 To appoint myself in this vexation, sully
0443 395 The purity and whiteness of my sheets—
0444 Which to preserve is sleep, which being spotted
0446 Give scandal to the blood o’ th’ Prince, my son,
0447 Who I do think is mine and love as mine,
0448 400 Without ripe moving to ’t? Would I do this?
0449 Could man so blench?
CAMILLO 0450 I must believe you, sir.
0451 I do, and will fetch off Bohemia for ’t—
0452 Provided that, when he’s removed, your Highness
0453 405 Will take again your queen as yours at first,
0454 Even for your son’s sake, and thereby for sealing
0455 The injury of tongues in courts and kingdoms
0456 Known and allied to yours.
LEONTES 0457 Thou dost advise me
0458 410 Even so as I mine own course have set down.
0459 I’ll give no blemish to her honor, none.
CAMILLO 0460 My lord,
0461 Go then, and with a countenance as clear
0462 As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia
0463 415 And with your queen. I am his cupbearer.
0464 If from me he have wholesome beverage,
0465 Account me not your servant.
LEONTES 0466 This is all.
0467 Do ’t and thou hast the one half of my heart;
0468 420 Do ’t not, thou splitt’st thine own.
CAMILLO 0469 I’ll do ’t, my lord.
0470 I will seem friendly, as thou hast advised me.
0471 O miserable lady! But, for me,
0472 What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner
0473 425 Of good Polixenes, and my ground to do ’t
0474 Is the obedience to a master, one
0475 Who in rebellion with himself will have
0476 All that are his so too. To do this deed,
0478 430 Of thousands that had struck anointed kings
0479 And flourished after, I’d not do ’t. But since
0480 Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment bears not one,
0481 Let villainy itself forswear ’t. I must
0482 Forsake the court. To do ’t or no is certain
0483 435 To me a breakneck. Happy star reign now!
0484 Here comes Bohemia.
POLIXENES, ⌜aside⌝ 0485 This is strange. Methinks
0486 My favor here begins to warp. Not speak?—
0487 Good day, Camillo.
CAMILLO 0488 440 Hail, most royal sir.
0489 What is the news i’ th’ court?
CAMILLO 0490 None rare, my lord.
0491 The King hath on him such a countenance
0492 As he had lost some province and a region
0493 445 Loved as he loves himself. Even now I met him
0494 With customary compliment, when he,
0495 Wafting his eyes to th’ contrary and falling
0496 A lip of much contempt, speeds from me, and
0497 So leaves me to consider what is breeding
0498 450 That changes thus his manners.
CAMILLO 0499 I dare not know, my
0501 How, dare not? Do not? Do you know and dare not?
0502 Be intelligent to me—’tis thereabouts;
0503 455 For to yourself what you do know, you must,
0504 And cannot say you dare not. Good Camillo,
0505 Your changed complexions are to me a mirror
0506 Which shows me mine changed too, for I must be
0508 460 Myself thus altered with ’t.
CAMILLO 0509 There is a sickness
0510 Which puts some of us in distemper, but
0511 I cannot name the disease, and it is caught
0512 Of you that yet are well.
POLIXENES 0513 465 How caught of me?
0514 Make me not sighted like the basilisk.
0515 I have looked on thousands who have sped the
0517 By my regard, but killed none so. Camillo,
0518 470 As you are certainly a gentleman, thereto
0519 Clerklike experienced, which no less adorns
0520 Our gentry than our parents’ noble names,
0521 In whose success we are gentle, I beseech you,
0522 If you know aught which does behoove my
0523 475 knowledge
0524 Thereof to be informed, imprison ’t not
0525 In ignorant concealment.
CAMILLO 0526 I may not answer.
0527 A sickness caught of me, and yet I well?
0528 480 I must be answered. Dost thou hear, Camillo?
0529 I conjure thee by all the parts of man
0530 Which honor does acknowledge, whereof the least
0531 Is not this suit of mine, that thou declare
0532 What incidency thou dost guess of harm
0533 485 Is creeping toward me; how far off, how near;
0534 Which way to be prevented, if to be;
0535 If not, how best to bear it.
CAMILLO 0536 Sir, I will tell you,
0537 Since I am charged in honor and by him
0538 490 That I think honorable. Therefore mark my counsel,
0539 Which must be e’en as swiftly followed as
0540 I mean to utter it, or both yourself and me
0541 Cry lost, and so goodnight.
0543 495 I am appointed him to murder you.
0544 By whom, Camillo?
CAMILLO 0545 By the King.
POLIXENES 0546 For what?
0547 He thinks, nay with all confidence he swears,
0548 500 As he had seen ’t or been an instrument
0549 To vice you to ’t, that you have touched his queen
POLIXENES 0551 O, then my best blood turn
0552 To an infected jelly, and my name
0553 505 Be yoked with his that did betray the Best!
0554 Turn then my freshest reputation to
0555 A savor that may strike the dullest nostril
0556 Where I arrive, and my approach be shunned,
0557 Nay, hated too, worse than the great’st infection
0558 510 That e’er was heard or read.
CAMILLO 0559 Swear his thought over
0560 By each particular star in heaven and
0561 By all their influences, you may as well
0562 Forbid the sea for to obey the moon
0563 515 As or by oath remove or counsel shake
0564 The fabric of his folly, whose foundation
0565 Is piled upon his faith and will continue
0566 The standing of his body.
POLIXENES 0567 How should this grow?
0568 520 I know not. But I am sure ’tis safer to
0569 Avoid what’s grown than question how ’tis born.
0570 If therefore you dare trust my honesty,
0571 That lies enclosèd in this trunk which you
0572 Shall bear along impawned, away tonight!
0574 And will by twos and threes at several posterns
0575 Clear them o’ th’ city. For myself, I’ll put
0576 My fortunes to your service, which are here
0577 By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain,
0578 530 For, by the honor of my parents, I
0579 Have uttered truth—which if you seek to prove,
0580 I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer
0581 Than one condemned by the King’s own mouth,
0583 535 His execution sworn.
POLIXENES 0584 I do believe thee.
0585 I saw his heart in ’s face. Give me thy hand.
0586 Be pilot to me and thy places shall
0587 Still neighbor mine. My ships are ready and
0588 540 My people did expect my hence departure
0589 Two days ago. This jealousy
0590 Is for a precious creature. As she’s rare,
0591 Must it be great; and as his person’s mighty,
0592 Must it be violent; and as he does conceive
0593 545 He is dishonored by a man which ever
0594 Professed to him, why, his revenges must
0595 In that be made more bitter. Fear o’ershades me.
0596 Good expedition be my friend, and comfort
0597 The gracious queen, part of his theme, but nothing
0598 550 Of his ill-ta’en suspicion. Come, Camillo,
0599 I will respect thee as a father if
0600 Thou bear’st my life off hence. Let us avoid.
0601 It is in mine authority to command
0602 The keys of all the posterns. Please your Highness
0603 555 To take the urgent hour. Come, sir, away.
0604 Take the boy to you. He so troubles me
0605 ’Tis past enduring.
FIRST LADY 0606 Come, my gracious lord,
0607 Shall I be your playfellow?
0608 5 No, I’ll none of you.
FIRST LADY 0609 Why, my sweet lord?
0610 You’ll kiss me hard and speak to me as if
0611 I were a baby still.—I love you better.
0612 And why so, my lord?
MAMILLIUS 0613 10 Not for because
0614 Your brows are blacker—yet black brows, they say,
0615 Become some women best, so that there be not
0616 Too much hair there, but in a semicircle,
0617 Or a half-moon made with a pen.
SECOND LADY 0618 15 Who taught this?
0619 I learned it out of women’s faces.—Pray now,
0620 What color are your eyebrows?
FIRST LADY 0621 Blue, my lord.
0622 Nay, that’s a mock. I have seen a lady’s nose
0623 20 That has been blue, but not her eyebrows.
FIRST LADY 0624 Hark ye,
0625 The Queen your mother rounds apace. We shall
0626 Present our services to a fine new prince
0627 One of these days, and then you’d wanton with us
0628 25 If we would have you.
SECOND LADY 0629 She is spread of late
0630 Into a goodly bulk. Good time encounter her!
0631 What wisdom stirs amongst you?—Come, sir, now
0632 I am for you again. Pray you sit by us,
0633 30 And tell ’s a tale.
MAMILLIUS 0634 Merry or sad shall ’t be?
HERMIONE 0635 As merry as you will.
0636 A sad tale’s best for winter. I have one
0637 Of sprites and goblins.
HERMIONE 0638 35 Let’s have that, good sir.
0639 Come on, sit down. Come on, and do your best
0640 To fright me with your sprites. You’re powerful at it.
0641 There was a man—
HERMIONE 0642 Nay, come sit down, then on.
0643 40 Dwelt by a churchyard. I will tell it softly,
0644 Yond crickets shall not hear it.
0645 Come on then, and give ’t me in mine ear.
⌜They talk privately.⌝
⌜Enter⌝ Leontes, Antigonus, ⌜and⌝ Lords.
0646 Was he met there? His train? Camillo with him?
0647 Behind the tuft of pines I met them. Never
0648 45 Saw I men scour so on their way. I eyed them
0649 Even to their ships.
LEONTES 0650 How blest am I
0651 In my just censure, in my true opinion!
0652 Alack, for lesser knowledge! How accursed
0653 50 In being so blest! There may be in the cup
0654 A spider steeped, and one may drink, depart,
0655 And yet partake no venom, for his knowledge
0656 Is not infected; but if one present
0657 Th’ abhorred ingredient to his eye, make known
0658 55 How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
0659 With violent hefts. I have drunk, and seen the spider.
0660 Camillo was his help in this, his pander.
0661 There is a plot against my life, my crown.
0662 All’s true that is mistrusted. That false villain
0663 60 Whom I employed was pre-employed by him.
0664 He has discovered my design, and I
0665 Remain a pinched thing, yea, a very trick
0666 For them to play at will. How came the posterns
0667 So easily open?
LORD 0668 65 By his great authority,
0669 Which often hath no less prevailed than so
0670 On your command.
LEONTES 0671 I know ’t too well.
0672 ⌜To Hermione.⌝ Give me the boy. I am glad you did
0673 70 not nurse him.
0674 Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you
0675 Have too much blood in him.
HERMIONE 0676 What is this? Sport?
LEONTES, ⌜to the Ladies⌝
0677 Bear the boy hence. He shall not come about her.
0678 75 Away with him, and let her sport herself
0681 Has made thee swell thus.
⌜A Lady exits with Mamillius.⌝
HERMIONE 0682 But I’d say he had not,
0683 80 And I’ll be sworn you would believe my saying,
0684 Howe’er you lean to th’ nayward.
LEONTES 0685 You, my lords,
0686 Look on her, mark her well. Be but about
0687 To say “She is a goodly lady,” and
0688 85 The justice of your hearts will thereto add
0689 “’Tis pity she’s not honest, honorable.”
0690 Praise her but for this her without-door form,
0691 Which on my faith deserves high speech, and
0693 90 The shrug, the “hum,” or “ha,” these petty brands
0694 That calumny doth use—O, I am out,
0695 That mercy does, for calumny will sear
0696 Virtue itself—these shrugs, these “hum”s and “ha”s,
0697 When you have said she’s goodly, come between
0698 95 Ere you can say she’s honest. But be ’t known,
0699 From him that has most cause to grieve it should be,
0700 She’s an adult’ress.
HERMIONE 0701 Should a villain say so,
0702 The most replenished villain in the world,
0703 100 He were as much more villain. You, my lord,
0704 Do but mistake.
LEONTES 0705 You have mistook, my lady,
0706 Polixenes for Leontes. O thou thing,
0707 Which I’ll not call a creature of thy place
0708 105 Lest barbarism, making me the precedent,
0709 Should a like language use to all degrees,
0710 And mannerly distinguishment leave out
0711 Betwixt the prince and beggar.—I have said
0712 She’s an adult’ress; I have said with whom.
0713 110 More, she’s a traitor, and Camillo is
0714 A federary with her, and one that knows
0716 But with her most vile principal: that she’s
0717 A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
0718 115 That vulgars give bold’st titles; ay, and privy
0719 To this their late escape.
HERMIONE 0720 No, by my life,
0721 Privy to none of this. How will this grieve you,
0722 When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that
0723 120 You thus have published me! Gentle my lord,
0724 You scarce can right me throughly then to say
0725 You did mistake.
LEONTES 0726 No. If I mistake
0727 In those foundations which I build upon,
0728 125 The center is not big enough to bear
0729 A schoolboy’s top.—Away with her to prison.
0730 He who shall speak for her is afar off guilty
0731 But that he speaks.
HERMIONE 0732 There’s some ill planet reigns.
0733 130 I must be patient till the heavens look
0734 With an aspect more favorable. Good my lords,
0735 I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
0736 Commonly are, the want of which vain dew
0737 Perchance shall dry your pities. But I have
0738 135 That honorable grief lodged here which burns
0739 Worse than tears drown. Beseech you all, my lords,
0740 With thoughts so qualified as your charities
0741 Shall best instruct you, measure me; and so
0742 The King’s will be performed.
LEONTES 0743 140 Shall I be heard?
0744 Who is ’t that goes with me? Beseech your Highness
0745 My women may be with me, for you see
0746 My plight requires it.—Do not weep, good fools;
0747 There is no cause. When you shall know your
0748 145 mistress
0749 Has deserved prison, then abound in tears
0750 As I come out. This action I now go on
0752 I never wished to see you sorry; now
0753 150 I trust I shall.—My women, come; you have leave.
LEONTES 0754 Go, do our bidding. Hence!
⌜Hermione exits, under guard, with her Ladies.⌝
0755 Beseech your Highness, call the Queen again.
0756 Be certain what you do, sir, lest your justice
0757 Prove violence, in the which three great ones suffer:
0758 155 Yourself, your queen, your son.
LORD 0759 For her, my lord,
0760 I dare my life lay down—and will do ’t, sir,
0761 Please you t’ accept it—that the Queen is spotless
0762 I’ th’ eyes of heaven, and to you—I mean
0763 160 In this which you accuse her.
ANTIGONUS 0764 If it prove
0765 She’s otherwise, I’ll keep my stables where
0766 I lodge my wife. I’ll go in couples with her;
0767 Than when I feel and see her, no farther trust her.
0768 165 For every inch of woman in the world,
0769 Ay, every dram of woman’s flesh, is false,
0770 If she be.
LEONTES 0771 Hold your peaces.
LORD 0772 Good my lord—
0773 170 It is for you we speak, not for ourselves.
0774 You are abused, and by some putter-on
0775 That will be damned for ’t. Would I knew the
0777 I would land-damn him. Be she honor-flawed,
0778 175 I have three daughters—the eldest is eleven;
0779 The second and the third, nine and some five;
0780 If this prove true, they’ll pay for ’t. By mine honor,
0781 I’ll geld ’em all; fourteen they shall not see
0782 To bring false generations. They are co-heirs,
0784 Should not produce fair issue.
LEONTES 0785 Cease. No more.
0786 You smell this business with a sense as cold
0787 As is a dead man’s nose. But I do see ’t and feel ’t,
0788 185 As you feel doing thus, and see withal
0789 The instruments that feel.
ANTIGONUS 0790 If it be so,
0791 We need no grave to bury honesty.
0792 There’s not a grain of it the face to sweeten
0793 190 Of the whole dungy Earth.
LEONTES 0794 What? Lack I credit?
0795 I had rather you did lack than I, my lord,
0796 Upon this ground. And more it would content me
0797 To have her honor true than your suspicion,
0798 195 Be blamed for ’t how you might.
LEONTES 0799 Why, what need we
0800 Commune with you of this, but rather follow
0801 Our forceful instigation? Our prerogative
0802 Calls not your counsels, but our natural goodness
0803 200 Imparts this, which if you—or stupefied
0804 Or seeming so in skill—cannot or will not
0805 Relish a truth like us, inform yourselves
0806 We need no more of your advice. The matter,
0807 The loss, the gain, the ord’ring on ’t is all
0808 205 Properly ours.
ANTIGONUS 0809 And I wish, my liege,
0810 You had only in your silent judgment tried it,
0811 Without more overture.
LEONTES 0812 How could that be?
0813 210 Either thou art most ignorant by age,
0814 Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo’s flight,
0815 Added to their familiarity—
0816 Which was as gross as ever touched conjecture,
0817 That lacked sight only, naught for approbation
0819 Made up to th’ deed—doth push on this
0821 Yet, for a greater confirmation—
0822 For in an act of this importance ’twere
0823 220 Most piteous to be wild—I have dispatched in post
0824 To sacred Delphos, to Apollo’s temple,
0825 Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
0826 Of stuffed sufficiency. Now from the oracle
0827 They will bring all, whose spiritual counsel had
0828 225 Shall stop or spur me. Have I done well?
LORD 0829 Well done,
0830 my lord.
0831 Though I am satisfied and need no more
0832 Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
0833 230 Give rest to th’ minds of others, such as he
0834 Whose ignorant credulity will not
0835 Come up to th’ truth. So have we thought it good
0836 From our free person she should be confined,
0837 Lest that the treachery of the two fled hence
0838 235 Be left her to perform. Come, follow us.
0839 We are to speak in public, for this business
0840 Will raise us all.
ANTIGONUS, ⌜aside⌝ 0841 To laughter, as I take it,
0842 If the good truth were known.
PAULINA, ⌜to Gentleman⌝
0843 The keeper of the prison, call to him.
0844 Let him have knowledge who I am.
0845 Good lady,
0847 5 What dost thou then in prison?
⌜Enter⌝ Jailer, ⌜with the Gentleman.⌝
0848 Now, good sir,
0849 You know me, do you not?
JAILER 0850 For a worthy lady
0851 And one who much I honor.
PAULINA 0852 10 Pray you then,
0853 Conduct me to the Queen.
JAILER 0854 I may not, madam.
0855 To the contrary I have express commandment.
0856 Here’s ado, to lock up honesty and honor from
0857 15 Th’ access of gentle visitors. Is ’t lawful, pray you,
0858 To see her women? Any of them? Emilia?
JAILER 0859 So please you, madam,
0860 To put apart these your attendants, I
0861 Shall bring Emilia forth.
PAULINA 0862 20 I pray now, call her.—
0863 Withdraw yourselves.
⌜Attendants and Gentleman exit.⌝
0864 And, madam, I must be present at your conference.
PAULINA 0865 Well, be ’t so, prithee.⌜Jailer exits.⌝
0866 Here’s such ado to make no stain a stain
0867 25 As passes coloring.
⌜Enter⌝ Emilia ⌜with Jailer.⌝
0868 Dear gentlewoman,
0869 How fares our gracious lady?
0870 As well as one so great and so forlorn
0871 May hold together. On her frights and griefs,
0872 30 Which never tender lady hath borne greater,
0873 She is something before her time delivered.
0874 A boy?
EMILIA 0875 A daughter, and a goodly babe,
0876 Lusty and like to live. The Queen receives
0877 35 Much comfort in ’t, says “My poor prisoner,
0878 I am innocent as you.”
PAULINA 0879 I dare be sworn.
0880 These dangerous unsafe lunes i’ th’ King, beshrew
0882 40 He must be told on ’t, and he shall. The office
0883 Becomes a woman best. I’ll take ’t upon me.
0884 If I prove honey-mouthed, let my tongue blister
0885 And never to my red-looked anger be
0886 The trumpet anymore. Pray you, Emilia,
0887 45 Commend my best obedience to the Queen.
0888 If she dares trust me with her little babe,
0889 I’ll show ’t the King and undertake to be
0890 Her advocate to th’ loud’st We do not know
0891 How he may soften at the sight o’ th’ child.
0892 50 The silence often of pure innocence
0893 Persuades when speaking fails.
EMILIA 0894 Most worthy madam,
0895 Your honor and your goodness is so evident
0896 That your free undertaking cannot miss
0897 55 A thriving issue. There is no lady living
0898 So meet for this great errand. Please your Ladyship
0899 To visit the next room, I’ll presently
0900 Acquaint the Queen of your most noble offer,
0901 Who but today hammered of this design,
0902 60 But durst not tempt a minister of honor
0903 Lest she should be denied.
PAULINA 0904 Tell her, Emilia,
0905 I’ll use that tongue I have. If wit flow from ’t
0906 As boldness from my bosom, let ’t not be doubted
0907 65 I shall do good.
0909 I’ll to the Queen. Please you come something
JAILER, ⌜to Paulina⌝
0911 Madam, if ’t please the Queen to send the babe,
0912 70 I know not what I shall incur to pass it,
0913 Having no warrant.
PAULINA 0914 You need not fear it, sir.
0915 This child was prisoner to the womb, and is
0916 By law and process of great nature thence
0917 75 Freed and enfranchised, not a party to
0918 The anger of the King, nor guilty of,
0919 If any be, the trespass of the Queen.
JAILER 0920 I do believe it.
0921 Do not you fear. Upon mine honor, I
0922 80 Will stand betwixt you and danger.
0923 Nor night nor day no rest. It is but weakness
0924 To bear the matter thus, mere weakness. If
0925 The cause were not in being—part o’ th’ cause,
0926 She th’ adult’ress, for the harlot king
0927 5 Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
0928 And level of my brain, plot-proof. But she
0929 I can hook to me. Say that she were gone,
0930 Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
0931 Might come to me again.—Who’s there?
⌜Enter a⌝ Servant.
SERVANT 0932 10 My lord.
SERVANT 0934 He took good rest tonight. ’Tis hoped
0935 His sickness is discharged.
LEONTES 0936 To see his nobleness,
0937 15 Conceiving the dishonor of his mother.
0938 He straight declined, drooped, took it deeply,
0939 Fastened and fixed the shame on ’t in himself,
0940 Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
0941 And downright languished. Leave me solely. Go,
0942 20 See how he fares.⌜Servant exits.⌝
0943 Fie, fie, no thought of him.
0944 The very thought of my revenges that way
0945 Recoil upon me—in himself too mighty,
0946 And in his parties, his alliance. Let him be
0947 25 Until a time may serve. For present vengeance,
0948 Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
0949 Laugh at me, make their pastime at my sorrow.
0950 They should not laugh if I could reach them, nor
0951 Shall she within my power.
Enter Paulina, ⌜carrying the baby, with⌝ Servants,
Antigonus, and Lords.
LORD 0952 30 You must not enter.
0953 Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me.
0954 Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
0955 Than the Queen’s life? A gracious innocent soul,
0956 More free than he is jealous.
ANTIGONUS 0957 35 That’s enough.
0958 Madam, he hath not slept tonight, commanded
0959 None should come at him.
PAULINA 0960 Not so hot, good sir.
0961 I come to bring him sleep. ’Tis such as you
0962 40 That creep like shadows by him and do sigh
0964 Nourish the cause of his awaking. I
0965 Do come with words as medicinal as true,
0966 Honest as either, to purge him of that humor
0967 45 That presses him from sleep.
LEONTES 0968 ⌜What⌝ noise there, ho?
0969 No noise, my lord, but needful conference
0970 About some gossips for your Highness.
LEONTES 0971 How?—
0972 50 Away with that audacious lady. Antigonus,
0973 I charged thee that she should not come about me.
0974 I knew she would.
ANTIGONUS 0975 I told her so, my lord,
0976 On your displeasure’s peril and on mine,
0977 55 She should not visit you.
LEONTES 0978 What, canst not rule her?
0979 From all dishonesty he can. In this,
0980 Unless he take the course that you have done—
0981 Commit me for committing honor—trust it,
0982 60 He shall not rule me.
ANTIGONUS 0983 La you now, you hear.
0984 When she will take the rein I let her run,
0985 But she’ll not stumble.
PAULINA 0986 Good my liege, I come—
0987 65 And I beseech you hear me, who professes
0988 Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
0989 Your most obedient counselor, yet that dares
0990 Less appear so in comforting your evils
0991 Than such as most seem yours—I say I come
0992 70 From your good queen.
LEONTES 0993 Good queen?
0994 Good queen, my lord, good queen, I say “good
0997 75 A man, the worst about you.
LEONTES 0998 Force her hence.
0999 Let him that makes but trifles of his eyes
1000 First hand me. On mine own accord I’ll off,
1001 But first I’ll do my errand.—The good queen,
1002 80 For she is good, hath brought you forth a
1004 Here ’tis—commends it to your blessing.
⌜She lays down the baby.⌝
LEONTES 1005 Out!
1006 A mankind witch! Hence with her, out o’ door.
1007 85 A most intelligencing bawd.
PAULINA 1008 Not so.
1009 I am as ignorant in that as you
1010 In so entitling me, and no less honest
1011 Than you are mad—which is enough, I’ll warrant,
1012 90 As this world goes, to pass for honest.
LEONTES 1013 Traitors,
1014 Will you not push her out? ⌜To Antigonus.⌝ Give her
1015 the bastard,
1016 Thou dotard; thou art woman-tired, unroosted
1017 95 By thy Dame Partlet here. Take up the bastard,
1018 Take ’t up, I say. Give ’t to thy crone.
PAULINA, ⌜to Antigonus⌝ 1019 Forever
1020 Unvenerable be thy hands if thou
1021 Tak’st up the Princess by that forced baseness
1022 100 Which he has put upon ’t.
LEONTES 1023 He dreads his wife.
1024 So I would you did. Then ’twere past all doubt
1025 You’d call your children yours.
LEONTES 1026 A nest of traitors!
1027 105 I am none, by this good light.
1029 But one that’s here, and that’s himself. For he
1030 The sacred honor of himself, his queen’s,
1031 His hopeful son’s, his babe’s, betrays to slander,
1032 110 Whose sting is sharper than the sword’s; and will
1034 For, as the case now stands, it is a curse
1035 He cannot be compelled to ’t—once remove
1036 The root of his opinion, which is rotten
1037 115 As ever oak or stone was sound.
LEONTES 1038 A callet
1039 Of boundless tongue, who late hath beat her
1041 And now baits me! This brat is none of mine.
1042 120 It is the issue of Polixenes.
1043 Hence with it, and together with the dam
1044 Commit them to the fire.
PAULINA 1045 It is yours,
1046 And, might we lay th’ old proverb to your charge,
1047 125 So like you ’tis the worse.—Behold, my lords,
1048 Although the print be little, the whole matter
1049 And copy of the father—eye, nose, lip,
1050 The trick of ’s frown, his forehead, nay, the valley,
1051 The pretty dimples of his chin and cheek, his
1052 130 smiles,
1053 The very mold and frame of hand, nail, finger.
1054 And thou, good goddess Nature, which hast made it
1055 So like to him that got it, if thou hast
1056 The ordering of the mind too, ’mongst all colors
1057 135 No yellow in ’t, lest she suspect, as he does,
1058 Her children not her husband’s.
LEONTES 1059 A gross hag!—
1060 And, losel, thou art worthy to be hanged
1061 That wilt not stay her tongue.
ANTIGONUS 1062 140 Hang all the husbands
1063 That cannot do that feat, you’ll leave yourself
1064 Hardly one subject.
1066 A most unworthy and unnatural lord
1067 145 Can do no more.
LEONTES 1068 I’ll ha’ thee burnt.
PAULINA 1069 I care not.
1070 It is an heretic that makes the fire,
1071 Not she which burns in ’t. I’ll not call you tyrant;
1072 150 But this most cruel usage of your queen,
1073 Not able to produce more accusation
1074 Than your own weak-hinged fancy, something
1076 Of tyranny, and will ignoble make you,
1077 155 Yea, scandalous to the world.
LEONTES, ⌜to Antigonus⌝ 1078 On your allegiance,
1079 Out of the chamber with her! Were I a tyrant,
1080 Where were her life? She durst not call me so
1081 If she did know me one. Away with her!
PAULINA, ⌜to Lords⌝
1082 160 I pray you do not push me; I’ll be gone.—
1083 Look to your babe, my lord; ’tis yours. Jove send her
1084 A better guiding spirit.—What needs these hands?
1085 You that are thus so tender o’er his follies
1086 Will never do him good, not one of you.
1087 165 So, so. Farewell, we are gone.She exits.
LEONTES, ⌜to Antigonus⌝
1088 Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this.
1089 My child? Away with ’t! Even thou, that hast
1090 A heart so tender o’er it, take it hence,
1091 And see it instantly consumed with fire.
1092 170 Even thou, and none but thou. Take it up straight.
1093 Within this hour bring me word ’tis done,
1094 And by good testimony, or I’ll seize thy life,
1095 With what thou else call’st thine. If thou refuse
1096 And wilt encounter with my wrath, say so.
1098 Shall I dash out. Go, take it to the fire,
1099 For thou sett’st on thy wife.
ANTIGONUS 1100 I did not, sir.
1101 These lords, my noble fellows, if they please,
1102 180 Can clear me in ’t.
LORDS 1103 We can, my royal liege.
1104 He is not guilty of her coming hither.
LEONTES 1105 You’re liars all.
1106 Beseech your Highness, give us better credit.
1107 185 We have always truly served you, and beseech
1108 So to esteem of us. And on our knees we beg,
1109 As recompense of our dear services
1110 Past and to come, that you do change this purpose,
1111 Which being so horrible, so bloody, must
1112 190 Lead on to some foul issue. We all kneel.
1113 I am a feather for each wind that blows.
1114 Shall I live on to see this bastard kneel
1115 And call me father? Better burn it now
1116 Than curse it then. But be it; let it live.
1117 195 It shall not neither. ⌜To Antigonus.⌝ You, sir, come
1118 you hither,
1119 You that have been so tenderly officious
1120 With Lady Margery, your midwife there,
1121 To save this bastard’s life—for ’tis a bastard,
1122 200 So sure as this beard’s gray. What will you
1124 To save this brat’s life?
ANTIGONUS 1125 Anything, my lord,
1126 That my ability may undergo
1127 205 And nobleness impose. At least thus much:
1128 I’ll pawn the little blood which I have left
1129 To save the innocent. Anything possible.
1130 It shall be possible. Swear by this sword
1131 Thou wilt perform my bidding.
ANTIGONUS, ⌜his hand on the hilt⌝ 1132 210 I will, my lord.
1133 Mark, and perform it, seest thou; for the fail
1134 Of any point in ’t shall not only be
1135 Death to thyself but to thy lewd-tongued wife,
1136 Whom for this time we pardon. We enjoin thee,
1137 215 As thou art liegeman to us, that thou carry
1138 This female bastard hence, and that thou bear it
1139 To some remote and desert place quite out
1140 Of our dominions, and that there thou leave it,
1141 Without more mercy, to it own protection
1142 220 And favor of the climate. As by strange fortune
1143 It came to us, I do in justice charge thee,
1144 On thy soul’s peril and thy body’s torture,
1145 That thou commend it strangely to some place
1146 Where chance may nurse or end it. Take it up.
1147 225 I swear to do this, though a present death
1148 Had been more merciful.—Come on, poor babe.
⌜He picks up the baby.⌝
1149 Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens
1150 To be thy nurses! Wolves and bears, they say,
1151 Casting their savageness aside, have done
1152 230 Like offices of pity. ⌜To Leontes.⌝ Sir, be prosperous
1153 In more than this deed does require.—And blessing
1154 Against this cruelty fight on thy side,
1155 Poor thing, condemned to loss.
He exits, ⌜carrying the baby.⌝
LEONTES 1156 No, I’ll not rear
1157 235 Another’s issue.
Enter a Servant.
SERVANT 1158 Please your Highness, posts
1160 An hour since. Cleomenes and Dion,
1161 Being well arrived from Delphos, are both landed,
1162 240 Hasting to th’ court.
LORD, ⌜to Leontes⌝ 1163 So please you, sir, their speed
1164 Hath been beyond account.
LEONTES 1165 Twenty-three days
1166 They have been absent. ’Tis good speed, foretells
1167 245 The great Apollo suddenly will have
1168 The truth of this appear. Prepare you, lords.
1169 Summon a session, that we may arraign
1170 Our most disloyal lady; for, as she hath
1171 Been publicly accused, so shall she have
1172 250 A just and open trial. While she lives,
1173 My heart will be a burden to me. Leave me,
1174 And think upon my bidding.
1175 The climate’s delicate, the air most sweet,
1176 Fertile the isle, the temple much surpassing
1177 The common praise it bears.
DION 1178 I shall report,
1179 5 For most it caught me, the celestial habits—
1180 Methinks I so should term them—and the reverence
1181 Of the grave wearers. O, the sacrifice,
1182 How ceremonious, solemn, and unearthly
1183 It was i’ th’ off’ring!
CLEOMENES 1184 10 But of all, the burst
1185 And the ear-deaf’ning voice o’ th’ oracle,
1186 Kin to Jove’s thunder, so surprised my sense
1187 That I was nothing.
DION 1188 If th’ event o’ th’ journey
1189 15 Prove as successful to the Queen—O, be ’t so!—
1190 As it hath been to us rare, pleasant, speedy,
1191 The time is worth the use on ’t.
CLEOMENES 1192 Great Apollo
1193 Turn all to th’ best! These proclamations,
1194 20 So forcing faults upon Hermione,
1195 I little like.
DION 1196 The violent carriage of it
1197 Will clear or end the business when the oracle,
1199 25 Shall the contents discover. Something rare
1200 Even then will rush to knowledge. Go. Fresh horses;
1201 And gracious be the issue.
1202 This sessions, to our great grief we pronounce,
1203 Even pushes ’gainst our heart: the party tried
1204 The daughter of a king, our wife, and one
1205 Of us too much beloved. Let us be cleared
1206 5 Of being tyrannous, since we so openly
1207 Proceed in justice, which shall have due course
1208 Even to the guilt or the purgation.
1209 Produce the prisoner.
1210 It is his Highness’ pleasure that the Queen
1211 10 Appear in person here in court.
⌜Enter⌝ Hermione, as to her trial, ⌜Paulina, and⌝ Ladies.
LEONTES 1213 Read the indictment.
OFFICER ⌜reads⌝ 1214 Hermione, queen to the worthy Leontes,
1215 King of Sicilia, thou art here accused and arraigned
1216 15 of high treason, in committing adultery with Polixenes,
1217 King of Bohemia, and conspiring with Camillo
1218 to take away the life of our sovereign lord the King, thy
1219 royal husband; the pretense whereof being by circumstances
1220 partly laid open, thou, Hermione, contrary to
1221 20 the faith and allegiance of a true subject, didst counsel
1222 and aid them, for their better safety, to fly away by
1224 Since what I am to say must be but that
1225 Which contradicts my accusation, and
1226 25 The testimony on my part no other
1227 But what comes from myself, it shall scarce boot me
1228 To say “Not guilty.” Mine integrity,
1229 Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
1230 Be so received. But thus: if powers divine
1231 30 Behold our human actions, as they do,
1232 I doubt not then but innocence shall make
1233 False accusation blush and tyranny
1234 Tremble at patience. You, my lord, best know,
1235 Whom least will seem to do so, my past life
1236 35 Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
1237 As I am now unhappy; which is more
1238 Than history can pattern, though devised
1239 And played to take spectators. For behold me,
1240 A fellow of the royal bed, which owe
1241 40 A moiety of the throne, a great king’s daughter,
1242 The mother to a hopeful prince, here standing
1243 To prate and talk for life and honor fore
1244 Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
1245 As I weigh grief, which I would spare. For honor,
1246 45 ’Tis a derivative from me to mine,
1247 And only that I stand for. I appeal
1248 To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
1249 Came to your court, how I was in your grace,
1250 How merited to be so; since he came,
1251 50 With what encounter so uncurrent I
1252 Have strained t’ appear thus; if one jot beyond
1253 The bound of honor, or in act or will
1254 That way inclining, hardened be the hearts
1255 Of all that hear me, and my near’st of kin
1256 55 Cry fie upon my grave.
1258 That any of these bolder vices wanted
1259 Less impudence to gainsay what they did
1260 Than to perform it first.
HERMIONE 1261 60 That’s true enough,
1262 Though ’tis a saying, sir, not due to me.
1263 You will not own it.
HERMIONE 1264 More than mistress of
1265 Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not
1266 65 At all acknowledge. For Polixenes,
1267 With whom I am accused, I do confess
1268 I loved him as in honor he required,
1269 With such a kind of love as might become
1270 A lady like me, with a love even such,
1271 70 So and no other, as yourself commanded,
1272 Which not to have done, I think, had been in me
1273 Both disobedience and ingratitude
1274 To you and toward your friend, whose love had
1276 75 Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely
1277 That it was yours. Now, for conspiracy,
1278 I know not how it tastes, though it be dished
1279 For me to try how. All I know of it
1280 Is that Camillo was an honest man;
1281 80 And why he left your court, the gods themselves,
1282 Wotting no more than I, are ignorant.
1283 You knew of his departure, as you know
1284 What you have underta’en to do in ’s absence.
HERMIONE 1285 Sir,
1286 85 You speak a language that I understand not.
1287 My life stands in the level of your dreams,
1288 Which I’ll lay down.
LEONTES 1289 Your actions are my dreams.
1291 90 And I but dreamed it. As you were past all shame—
1292 Those of your fact are so—so past all truth,
1293 Which to deny concerns more than avails; for as
1294 Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
1295 No father owning it—which is indeed
1296 95 More criminal in thee than it—so thou
1297 Shalt feel our justice, in whose easiest passage
1298 Look for no less than death.
HERMIONE 1299 Sir, spare your threats.
1300 The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
1301 100 To me can life be no commodity.
1302 The crown and comfort of my life, your favor,
1303 I do give lost, for I do feel it gone,
1304 But know not how it went. My second joy
1305 And first fruits of my body, from his presence
1306 105 I am barred like one infectious. My third comfort,
1307 Starred most unluckily, is from my breast,
1308 The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth,
1309 Haled out to murder; myself on every post
1310 Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
1311 110 The childbed privilege denied, which longs
1312 To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
1313 Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
1314 I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
1315 Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
1316 115 That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
1317 But yet hear this (mistake me not: no life,
1318 I prize it not a straw, but for mine honor,
1319 Which I would free), if I shall be condemned
1320 Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
1321 120 But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
1322 ’Tis rigor, and not law. Your Honors all,
1323 I do refer me to the oracle.
1324 Apollo be my judge.
LORD 1325 This your request
1327 And in Apollo’s name, his oracle.⌜Officers exit.⌝
1328 The Emperor of Russia was my father.
1329 O, that he were alive and here beholding
1330 His daughter’s trial, that he did but see
1331 130 The flatness of my misery, yet with eyes
1332 Of pity, not revenge.
⌜Enter⌝ Cleomenes, Dion, ⌜with Officers.⌝
OFFICER, ⌜presenting a sword⌝
1333 You here shall swear upon this sword of justice
1334 That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have
1335 Been both at Delphos, and from thence have
1336 135 brought
1337 This sealed-up oracle, by the hand delivered
1338 Of great Apollo’s priest, and that since then
1339 You have not dared to break the holy seal
1340 Nor read the secrets in ’t.
CLEOMENES, DION 1341 140All this we swear.
LEONTES 1342 Break up the seals and read.
OFFICER ⌜reads⌝ 1343 Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless,
1344 Camillo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant,
1345 his innocent babe truly begotten; and the King shall
1346 145 live without an heir if that which is lost be not
1348 Now blessèd be the great Apollo!
HERMIONE 1349 Praised!
LEONTES 1350 Hast thou read truth?
1351 150 Ay, my lord, even so as it is here set down.
1352 There is no truth at all i’ th’ oracle.
1353 The sessions shall proceed. This is mere falsehood.
1354 My lord the King, the King!
LEONTES 1355 What is the business?
1356 155 O sir, I shall be hated to report it.
1357 The Prince your son, with mere conceit and fear
1358 Of the Queen’s speed, is gone.
LEONTES 1359 How? Gone?
SERVANT 1360 Is dead.
1361 160 Apollo’s angry, and the heavens themselves
1362 Do strike at my injustice.
1363 How now there?
1364 This news is mortal to the Queen. Look down
1365 And see what death is doing.
LEONTES 1366 165 Take her hence.
1367 Her heart is but o’ercharged. She will recover.
1368 I have too much believed mine own suspicion.
1369 Beseech you, tenderly apply to her
1370 Some remedies for life.
⌜Paulina exits with Officers carrying Hermione.⌝
1371 170 Apollo, pardon
1372 My great profaneness ’gainst thine oracle.
1373 I’ll reconcile me to Polixenes,
1374 New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo,
1375 Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy;
1376 175 For, being transported by my jealousies
1377 To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose
1378 Camillo for the minister to poison
1380 But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
1381 180 My swift command, though I with death and with
1382 Reward did threaten and encourage him,
1383 Not doing it and being done. He, most humane
1384 And filled with honor, to my kingly guest
1385 Unclasped my practice, quit his fortunes here,
1386 185 Which you knew great, and to the hazard
1387 Of all incertainties himself commended,
1388 No richer than his honor. How he glisters
1389 Through my rust, and how his piety
1390 Does my deeds make the blacker!
PAULINA 1391 190 Woe the while!
1392 O, cut my lace, lest my heart, cracking it,
1393 Break too!
LORD 1394 What fit is this, good lady?
PAULINA, ⌜to Leontes⌝
1395 What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me?
1396 195 What wheels, racks, fires? What flaying? Boiling
1397 In leads or oils? What old or newer torture
1398 Must I receive, whose every word deserves
1399 To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny,
1400 Together working with thy jealousies,
1401 200 Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle
1402 For girls of nine, O, think what they have done,
1403 And then run mad indeed, stark mad, for all
1404 Thy bygone fooleries were but spices of it.
1405 That thou betrayedst Polixenes, ’twas nothing;
1406 205 That did but show thee of a fool, inconstant
1407 And damnable ingrateful. Nor was ’t much
1408 Thou wouldst have poisoned good Camillo’s honor,
1409 To have him kill a king: poor trespasses,
1410 More monstrous standing by, whereof I reckon
1412 To be or none or little, though a devil
1413 Would have shed water out of fire ere done ’t.
1414 Nor is ’t directly laid to thee the death
1415 Of the young prince, whose honorable thoughts,
1416 215 Thoughts high for one so tender, cleft the heart
1417 That could conceive a gross and foolish sire
1418 Blemished his gracious dam. This is not, no,
1419 Laid to thy answer. But the last—O lords,
1420 When I have said, cry woe!—the Queen, the Queen,
1421 220 The sweet’st, dear’st creature’s dead, and vengeance
1422 for ’t
1423 Not dropped down yet.
LORD 1424 The higher powers forbid!
1425 I say she’s dead. I’ll swear ’t. If word nor oath
1426 225 Prevail not, go and see. If you can bring
1427 Tincture or luster in her lip, her eye,
1428 Heat outwardly or breath within, I’ll serve you
1429 As I would do the gods.—But, O thou tyrant,
1430 Do not repent these things, for they are heavier
1431 230 Than all thy woes can stir. Therefore betake thee
1432 To nothing but despair. A thousand knees
1433 Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting,
1434 Upon a barren mountain, and still winter
1435 In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
1436 235 To look that way thou wert.
LEONTES 1437 Go on, go on.
1438 Thou canst not speak too much. I have deserved
1439 All tongues to talk their bitt’rest.
LORD, ⌜to Paulina⌝ 1440 Say no more.
1441 240 Howe’er the business goes, you have made fault
1442 I’ th’ boldness of your speech.
PAULINA 1443 I am sorry for ’t.
1444 All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
1446 245 The rashness of a woman. He is touched
1447 To th’ noble heart.—What’s gone and what’s past
1449 Should be past grief. Do not receive affliction
1450 At my petition. I beseech you, rather
1451 250 Let me be punished, that have minded you
1452 Of what you should forget. Now, good my liege,
1453 Sir, royal sir, forgive a foolish woman.
1454 The love I bore your queen—lo, fool again!—
1455 I’ll speak of her no more, nor of your children.
1456 255 I’ll not remember you of my own lord,
1457 Who is lost too. Take your patience to you,
1458 And I’ll say nothing.
LEONTES 1459 Thou didst speak but well
1460 When most the truth, which I receive much better
1461 260 Than to be pitied of thee. Prithee, bring me
1462 To the dead bodies of my queen and son.
1463 One grave shall be for both. Upon them shall
1464 The causes of their death appear, unto
1465 Our shame perpetual. Once a day I’ll visit
1466 265 The chapel where they lie, and tears shed there
1467 Shall be my recreation. So long as nature
1468 Will bear up with this exercise, so long
1469 I daily vow to use it. Come, and lead me
1470 To these sorrows.
1471 Thou art perfect, then, our ship hath touched upon
1472 The deserts of Bohemia?
1474 We have landed in ill time. The skies look grimly
1475 5 And threaten present blusters. In my conscience,
1476 The heavens with that we have in hand are angry
1477 And frown upon ’s.
1478 Their sacred wills be done. Go, get aboard.
1479 Look to thy bark. I’ll not be long before
1480 10 I call upon thee.
MARINER 1481 Make your best haste, and go not
1482 Too far i’ th’ land. ’Tis like to be loud weather.
1483 Besides, this place is famous for the creatures
1484 Of prey that keep upon ’t.
ANTIGONUS 1485 15 Go thou away.
1486 I’ll follow instantly.
MARINER 1487 I am glad at heart
1488 To be so rid o’ th’ business.He exits.
ANTIGONUS 1489 Come, poor babe.
1490 20 I have heard, but not believed, the spirits o’ th’ dead
1491 May walk again. If such thing be, thy mother
1492 Appeared to me last night, for ne’er was dream
1493 So like a waking. To me comes a creature,
1494 Sometimes her head on one side, some another.
1495 25 I never saw a vessel of like sorrow,
1496 So filled and so becoming. In pure white robes,
1497 Like very sanctity, she did approach
1498 My cabin where I lay, thrice bowed before me,
1499 And, gasping to begin some speech, her eyes
1500 30 Became two spouts. The fury spent, anon
1501 Did this break from her: “Good Antigonus,
1502 Since fate, against thy better disposition,
1503 Hath made thy person for the thrower-out
1504 Of my poor babe, according to thine oath,
1505 35 Places remote enough are in Bohemia.
1506 There weep, and leave it crying. And, for the babe
1507 Is counted lost forever, Perdita
1509 Put on thee by my lord, thou ne’er shalt see
1510 40 Thy wife Paulina more.” And so, with shrieks,
1511 She melted into air. Affrighted much,
1512 I did in time collect myself and thought
1513 This was so and no slumber. Dreams are toys,
1514 Yet for this once, yea, superstitiously,
1515 45 I will be squared by this. I do believe
1516 Hermione hath suffered death, and that
1517 Apollo would, this being indeed the issue
1518 Of King Polixenes, it should here be laid,
1519 Either for life or death, upon the earth
1520 50 Of its right father.—Blossom, speed thee well.
1521 There lie, and there thy character; there these,
⌜He lays down the baby, a bundle, and a box.⌝
1522 Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee, pretty,
1523 And still rest thine. ⌜Thunder.⌝ The storm begins.
1524 Poor wretch,
1525 55 That for thy mother’s fault art thus exposed
1526 To loss and what may follow. Weep I cannot,
1527 But my heart bleeds, and most accurst am I
1528 To be by oath enjoined to this. Farewell.
1529 The day frowns more and more. Thou ’rt like to have
1530 60 A lullaby too rough. I never saw
1531 The heavens so dim by day.
⌜Thunder, and sounds of hunting.⌝
1532 A savage clamor!
1533 Well may I get aboard! This is the chase.
1534 I am gone forever!He exits, pursued by a bear.
SHEPHERD 1535 65I would there were no age between ten and
1536 three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the
1537 rest, for there is nothing in the between but getting
1538 wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing,
1540 70 boiled brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty hunt
1541 this weather? They have scared away two of my best
1542 sheep, which I fear the wolf will sooner find than
1543 the master. If anywhere I have them, ’tis by the
1544 seaside, browsing of ivy. Good luck, an ’t be thy will,
1545 75 what have we here? Mercy on ’s, a bairn! A very
1546 pretty bairn. A boy or a child, I wonder? A pretty
1547 one, a very pretty one. Sure some scape. Though I
1548 am not bookish, yet I can read waiting-gentlewoman
1549 in the scape. This has been some stair-work,
1550 80 some trunk-work, some behind-door work. They
1551 were warmer that got this than the poor thing is
1552 here. I’ll take it up for pity. Yet I’ll tarry till my son
1553 come. He halloed but even now.—Whoa-ho-ho!
Enter ⌜Shepherd’s Son.⌝
SHEPHERD’S SON 1554 Hilloa, loa!
SHEPHERD 1555 85What, art so near? If thou ’lt see a thing to
1556 talk on when thou art dead and rotten, come hither.
1557 What ail’st thou, man?
SHEPHERD’S SON 1558 I have seen two such sights, by sea
1559 and by land—but I am not to say it is a sea, for it is
1560 90 now the sky; betwixt the firmament and it, you
1561 cannot thrust a bodkin’s point.
SHEPHERD 1562 Why, boy, how is it?
SHEPHERD’S SON 1563 I would you did but see how it chafes,
1564 how it rages, how it takes up the shore. But that’s
1565 95 not to the point. O, the most piteous cry of the poor
1566 souls! Sometimes to see ’em, and not to see ’em.
1567 Now the ship boring the moon with her mainmast,
1568 and anon swallowed with yeast and froth, as you’d
1569 thrust a cork into a hogshead. And then for the land
1570 100 service, to see how the bear tore out his shoulder-bone,
1571 how he cried to me for help, and said his
1573 end of the ship: to see how the sea flap-dragoned it.
1574 But, first, how the poor souls roared and the sea
1575 105 mocked them, and how the poor gentleman roared
1576 and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than
1577 the sea or weather.
SHEPHERD 1578 Name of mercy, when was this, boy?
SHEPHERD’S SON 1579 Now, now. I have not winked since I
1580 110 saw these sights. The men are not yet cold under
1581 water, nor the bear half dined on the gentleman.
1582 He’s at it now.
SHEPHERD 1583 Would I had been by to have helped the old
SHEPHERD’S SON 1585 115I would you had been by the ship side,
1586 to have helped her. There your charity would have
1587 lacked footing.
SHEPHERD 1588 Heavy matters, heavy matters. But look
1589 thee here, boy. Now bless thyself. Thou met’st with
1590 120 things dying, I with things newborn. Here’s a sight
1591 for thee. Look thee, a bearing cloth for a squire’s
1592 child. Look thee here. Take up, take up, boy. Open
1593 ’t. So, let’s see. It was told me I should be rich by
1594 the fairies. This is some changeling. Open ’t. What’s
1595 125 within, boy?
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜opening the box⌝ 1596 You’re a made old
1597 man. If the sins of your youth are forgiven you,
1598 you’re well to live. Gold, all gold.
SHEPHERD 1599 This is fairy gold, boy, and ’twill prove so.
1600 130 Up with ’t, keep it close. Home, home, the next way.
1601 We are lucky, boy, and to be so still requires
1602 nothing but secrecy. Let my sheep go. Come, good
1603 boy, the next way home.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1604 Go you the next way with your
1605 135 findings. I’ll go see if the bear be gone from the
1606 gentleman and how much he hath eaten. They are
1608 any of him left, I’ll bury it.
SHEPHERD 1609 That’s a good deed. If thou mayest discern
1610 140 by that which is left of him what he is, fetch me to
1611 th’ sight of him.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1612 Marry, will I, and you shall help to
1613 put him i’ th’ ground.
SHEPHERD 1614 ’Tis a lucky day, boy, and we’ll do good
1615 145 deeds on ’t.
1616 I, that please some, try all—both joy and terror
1617 Of good and bad, that makes and unfolds error—
1618 Now take upon me, in the name of Time,
1619 To use my wings. Impute it not a crime
1620 5 To me or my swift passage that I slide
1621 O’er sixteen years, and leave the growth untried
1622 Of that wide gap, since it is in my power
1623 To o’erthrow law and in one self-born hour
1624 To plant and o’erwhelm custom. Let me pass
1625 10 The same I am ere ancient’st order was
1626 Or what is now received. I witness to
1627 The times that brought them in. So shall I do
1628 To th’ freshest things now reigning, and make stale
1629 The glistering of this present, as my tale
1630 15 Now seems to it. Your patience this allowing,
1631 I turn my glass and give my scene such growing
1632 As you had slept between. Leontes leaving,
1633 Th’ effects of his fond jealousies so grieving
1634 That he shuts up himself, imagine me,
1635 20 Gentle spectators, that I now may be
1636 In fair Bohemia. And remember well
1637 I mentioned a son o’ th’ King’s, which Florizell
1638 I now name to you, and with speed so pace
1640 25 Equal with wond’ring. What of her ensues
1641 I list not prophesy; but let Time’s news
1642 Be known when ’tis brought forth. A shepherd’s
1644 And what to her adheres, which follows after,
1645 30 Is th’ argument of Time. Of this allow,
1646 If ever you have spent time worse ere now.
1647 If never, yet that Time himself doth say
1648 He wishes earnestly you never may.
POLIXENES 1649 I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more
1650 importunate. ’Tis a sickness denying thee anything,
1651 a death to grant this.
CAMILLO 1652 It is fifteen years since I saw my country.
1653 5 Though I have for the most part been aired abroad,
1654 I desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent
1655 king, my master, hath sent for me, to whose feeling
1656 sorrows I might be some allay—or I o’erween to
1657 think so—which is another spur to my departure.
POLIXENES 1658 10As thou lov’st me, Camillo, wipe not out the
1659 rest of thy services by leaving me now. The need I
1660 have of thee thine own goodness hath made. Better
1661 not to have had thee than thus to want thee. Thou,
1662 having made me businesses which none without
1663 15 thee can sufficiently manage, must either stay to
1664 execute them thyself or take away with thee the very
1665 services thou hast done, which if I have not enough
1666 considered, as too much I cannot, to be more
1667 thankful to thee shall be my study, and my profit
1668 20 therein the heaping friendships. Of that fatal country
1670 naming punishes me with the remembrance of that
1671 penitent, as thou call’st him, and reconciled king
1672 my brother, whose loss of his most precious queen
1673 25 and children are even now to be afresh lamented.
1674 Say to me, when sawst thou the Prince Florizell, my
1675 son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue not
1676 being gracious, than they are in losing them when
1677 they have approved their virtues.
CAMILLO 1678 30Sir, it is three days since I saw the Prince.
1679 What his happier affairs may be are to me unknown,
1680 but I have missingly noted he is of late
1681 much retired from court and is less frequent to his
1682 princely exercises than formerly he hath appeared.
POLIXENES 1683 35I have considered so much, Camillo, and
1684 with some care, so far that I have eyes under my
1685 service which look upon his removedness, from
1686 whom I have this intelligence: that he is seldom
1687 from the house of a most homely shepherd, a man,
1688 40 they say, that from very nothing, and beyond the
1689 imagination of his neighbors, is grown into an
1690 unspeakable estate.
CAMILLO 1691 I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a
1692 daughter of most rare note. The report of her is
1693 45 extended more than can be thought to begin from
1694 such a cottage.
POLIXENES 1695 That’s likewise part of my intelligence, but,
1696 I fear, the angle that plucks our son thither. Thou
1697 shalt accompany us to the place, where we will, not
1698 50 appearing what we are, have some question with
1699 the shepherd, from whose simplicity I think it not
1700 uneasy to get the cause of my son’s resort thither.
1701 Prithee be my present partner in this business, and
1702 lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.
CAMILLO 1703 55I willingly obey your command.
1706 When daffodils begin to peer,
1707 With heigh, the doxy over the dale,
1708 Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year,
1709 For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.
1710 5 The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
1711 With heigh, the sweet birds, O how they sing!
1712 Doth set my pugging tooth an edge,
1713 For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
1714 The lark, that tirralirra chants,
1715 10 With heigh, ⌜with heigh,⌝ the thrush and the jay,
1716 Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
1717 While we lie tumbling in the hay.
1718 I have served Prince Florizell and in my time wore
1719 three-pile, but now I am out of service.
1720 15 But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?
1721 The pale moon shines by night,
1722 And when I wander here and there,
1723 I then do most go right.
1724 If tinkers may have leave to live,
1725 20 And bear the sow-skin budget,
1726 Then my account I well may give,
1727 And in the stocks avouch it.
1729 lesser linen. My father named me Autolycus, who,
1730 25 being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise
1731 a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles. With die and
1732 drab I purchased this caparison, and my revenue is
1733 the silly cheat. Gallows and knock are too powerful
1734 on the highway. Beating and hanging are terrors to
1735 30 me. For the life to come, I sleep out the thought of
1736 it. A prize, a prize!
Enter ⌜Shepherd’s Son.⌝
SHEPHERD’S SON 1737 Let me see, every ’leven wether tods,
1738 every tod yields pound and odd shilling; fifteen
1739 hundred shorn, what comes the wool to?
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜aside⌝ 1740 35If the springe hold, the cock’s
1741 mine.⌜He lies down.⌝
SHEPHERD’S SON 1742 I cannot do ’t without counters. Let
1743 me see, what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing
1744 feast? (⌜He reads a paper.⌝) Three pound of sugar,
1745 40 five pound of currants, rice—what will this sister of
1746 mine do with rice? But my father hath made her
1747 mistress of the feast, and she lays it on. She hath
1748 made me four-and-twenty nosegays for the shearers,
1749 three-man song men all, and very good ones;
1750 45 but they are most of them means and basses, but
1751 one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to
1752 hornpipes. I must have saffron to color the warden
1753 pies; mace; dates, none, that’s out of my note;
1754 nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger, but that I
1755 50 may beg; four pound of prunes, and as many of
1756 raisins o’ th’ sun.
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜writhing as if in pain⌝ 1757 O, that ever I was
SHEPHERD’S SON 1759 I’ th’ name of me!
1761 rags, and then death, death.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1762 Alack, poor soul, thou hast need of
1763 more rags to lay on thee rather than have these off.
AUTOLYCUS 1764 O sir, the loathsomeness of them ⌜offends⌝
1765 60 me more than the stripes I have received, which are
1766 mighty ones and millions.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1767 Alas, poor man, a million of beating
1768 may come to a great matter.
AUTOLYCUS 1769 I am robbed, sir, and beaten, my money
1770 65 and apparel ta’en from me, and these detestable
1771 things put upon me.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1772 What, by a horseman, or a footman?
AUTOLYCUS 1773 A footman, sweet sir, a footman.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1774 Indeed, he should be a footman by
1775 70 the garments he has left with thee. If this be a
1776 horseman’s coat, it hath seen very hot service. Lend
1777 me thy hand; I’ll help thee. Come, lend me thy
AUTOLYCUS 1779 O, good sir, tenderly, O!
SHEPHERD’S SON 1780 75Alas, poor soul.
AUTOLYCUS 1781 O, good sir, softly, good sir. I fear, sir, my
1782 shoulder blade is out.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1783 How now? Canst stand?
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜stealing the Shepherd’s Son’s purse⌝ 1784 Softly,
1785 80 dear sir, good sir, softly. You ha’ done me a charitable
SHEPHERD’S SON 1787 Dost lack any money? I have a little
1788 money for thee.
AUTOLYCUS 1789 No, good sweet sir, no, I beseech you, sir. I
1790 85 have a kinsman not past three-quarters of a mile
1791 hence, unto whom I was going. I shall there have
1792 money or anything I want. Offer me no money, I
1793 pray you; that kills my heart.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1794 What manner of fellow was he that
1795 90 robbed you?
1797 with troll-my-dames. I knew him once a servant of
1798 the Prince. I cannot tell, good sir, for which of his
1799 virtues it was, but he was certainly whipped out of
1800 95 the court.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1801 His vices, you would say. There’s no
1802 virtue whipped out of the court. They cherish it to
1803 make it stay there, and yet it will no more but abide.
AUTOLYCUS 1804 Vices, I would say, sir. I know this man
1805 100 well. He hath been since an ape-bearer, then a
1806 process-server, a bailiff. Then he compassed a motion
1807 of the Prodigal Son, and married a tinker’s wife
1808 within a mile where my land and living lies, and,
1809 having flown over many knavish professions, he
1810 105 settled only in rogue. Some call him Autolycus.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1811 Out upon him! Prig, for my life, prig!
1812 He haunts wakes, fairs, and bearbaitings.
AUTOLYCUS 1813 Very true, sir: he, sir, he. That’s the rogue
1814 that put me into this apparel.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1815 110Not a more cowardly rogue in all
1816 Bohemia. If you had but looked big and spit at him,
1817 he’d have run.
AUTOLYCUS 1818 I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter. I
1819 am false of heart that way, and that he knew, I
1820 115 warrant him.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1821 How do you now?
AUTOLYCUS 1822 Sweet sir, much better than I was. I can
1823 stand and walk. I will even take my leave of you and
1824 pace softly towards my kinsman’s.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1825 120Shall I bring thee on the way?
AUTOLYCUS 1826 No, good-faced sir, no, sweet sir.
SHEPHERD’S SON 1827 Then fare thee well. I must go buy
1828 spices for our sheep-shearing.
AUTOLYCUS 1829 Prosper you, sweet sir.
⌜Shepherd’s Son⌝ exits.
1830 125 Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your
1832 I make not this cheat bring out another, and the
1833 shearers prove sheep, let me be unrolled and my
1834 name put in the book of virtue.
⌜Sings.⌝ 1835 130 Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
1836 And merrily hent the stile-a.
1837 A merry heart goes all the day,
1838 Your sad tires in a mile-a.
1839 These your unusual weeds to each part of you
1840 Does give a life—no shepherdess, but Flora
1841 Peering in April’s front. This your sheep-shearing
1842 Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
1843 5 And you the queen on ’t.
PERDITA 1844 Sir, my gracious lord,
1845 To chide at your extremes it not becomes me;
1846 O, pardon that I name them! Your high self,
1847 The gracious mark o’ th’ land, you have obscured
1848 10 With a swain’s wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
1849 Most goddesslike pranked up. But that our feasts
1850 In every mess have folly, and the feeders
1851 Digest ⌜it⌝ with a custom, I should blush
1852 To see you so attired, ⌜swoon,⌝ I think,
1853 15 To show myself a glass.
FLORIZELL 1854 I bless the time
1855 When my good falcon made her flight across
1856 Thy father’s ground.
PERDITA 1857 Now Jove afford you cause.
1858 20 To me the difference forges dread. Your greatness
1860 To think your father by some accident
1861 Should pass this way as you did. O the Fates,
1862 How would he look to see his work, so noble,
1863 25 Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how
1864 Should I, in these my borrowed flaunts, behold
1865 The sternness of his presence?
FLORIZELL 1866 Apprehend
1867 Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
1868 30 Humbling their deities to love, have taken
1869 The shapes of beasts upon them. Jupiter
1870 Became a bull, and bellowed; the green Neptune
1871 A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god,
1872 Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,
1873 35 As I seem now. Their transformations
1874 Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,
1875 Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires
1876 Run not before mine honor, nor my lusts
1877 Burn hotter than my faith.
PERDITA 1878 40 O, but sir,
1879 Your resolution cannot hold when ’tis
1880 Opposed, as it must be, by th’ power of the King.
1881 One of these two must be necessities,
1882 Which then will speak: that you must change this
1883 45 purpose
1884 Or I my life.
FLORIZELL 1885 Thou dear’st Perdita,
1886 With these forced thoughts I prithee darken not
1887 The mirth o’ th’ feast. Or I’ll be thine, my fair,
1888 50 Or not my father’s. For I cannot be
1889 Mine own, nor anything to any, if
1890 I be not thine. To this I am most constant,
1891 Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle.
1892 Strangle such thoughts as these with anything
1893 55 That you behold the while. Your guests are coming.
1895 Of celebration of that nuptial which
1896 We two have sworn shall come.
PERDITA 1897 O Lady Fortune,
1898 60 Stand you auspicious!
FLORIZELL 1899 See, your guests approach.
1900 Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
1901 And let’s be red with mirth.
⌜Enter⌝ Shepherd, ⌜Shepherd’s Son,⌝ Mopsa, Dorcas,
⌜Shepherds and Shepherdesses,⌝ Servants, ⌜Musicians,
and⌝ Polixenes ⌜and⌝ Camillo ⌜in disguise.⌝
1902 Fie, daughter, when my old wife lived, upon
1903 65 This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
1904 Both dame and servant; welcomed all; served all;
1905 Would sing her song and dance her turn, now here
1906 At upper end o’ th’ table, now i’ th’ middle;
1907 On his shoulder, and his; her face afire
1908 70 With labor, and the thing she took to quench it
1909 She would to each one sip. You are retired
1910 As if you were a feasted one and not
1911 The hostess of the meeting. Pray you bid
1912 These unknown friends to ’s welcome, for it is
1913 75 A way to make us better friends, more known.
1914 Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
1915 That which you are, mistress o’ th’ feast. Come on,
1916 And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
1917 As your good flock shall prosper.
PERDITA, ⌜to Polixenes⌝ 1918 80 Sir, welcome.
1919 It is my father’s will I should take on me
1920 The hostess-ship o’ th’ day. ⌜To Camillo.⌝ You’re
1921 welcome, sir.—
1922 Give me those flowers there, Dorcas.—Reverend
1923 85 sirs,
1925 Seeming and savor all the winter long.
1926 Grace and remembrance be to you both,
1927 And welcome to our shearing.
POLIXENES 1928 90 Shepherdess—
1929 A fair one are you—well you fit our ages
1930 With flowers of winter.
PERDITA 1931 Sir, the year growing ancient,
1932 Not yet on summer’s death nor on the birth
1933 95 Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o’ th’ season
1934 Are our carnations and streaked gillyvors,
1935 Which some call nature’s bastards. Of that kind
1936 Our rustic garden’s barren, and I care not
1937 To get slips of them.
POLIXENES 1938 100 Wherefore, gentle maiden,
1939 Do you neglect them?
PERDITA 1940 For I have heard it said
1941 There is an art which in their piedness shares
1942 With great creating nature.
POLIXENES 1943 105 Say there be;
1944 Yet nature is made better by no mean
1945 But nature makes that mean. So, over that art
1946 Which you say adds to nature is an art
1947 That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
1948 110 A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
1949 And make conceive a bark of baser kind
1950 By bud of nobler race. This is an art
1951 Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
1952 The art itself is nature.
PERDITA 1953 115 So it is.
1954 Then make ⌜your⌝ garden rich in gillyvors,
1955 And do not call them bastards.
PERDITA 1956 I’ll not put
1957 The dibble in earth to set one slip of them,
1959 This youth should say ’twere well, and only
1961 Desire to breed by me. Here’s flowers for you:
1962 Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram,
1963 125 The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ th’ sun
1964 And with him rises weeping. These are flowers
1965 Of middle summer, and I think they are given
1966 To men of middle age. You’re very welcome.
1967 I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,
1968 130 And only live by gazing.
PERDITA 1969 Out, alas!
1970 You’d be so lean that blasts of January
1971 Would blow you through and through. (⌜To
Florizell.⌝) 1972 Now, my fair’st friend,
1973 135 I would I had some flowers o’ th’ spring, that might
1974 Become your time of day, (⌜to the Shepherdesses⌝)
1975 and yours, and yours,
1976 That wear upon your virgin branches yet
1977 Your maidenheads growing. O Proserpina,
1978 140 For the flowers now that, frighted, thou let’st fall
1979 From Dis’s wagon! Daffodils,
1980 That come before the swallow dares, and take
1981 The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
1982 But sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes
1983 145 Or Cytherea’s breath; pale primroses,
1984 That die unmarried ere they can behold
1985 Bright Phoebus in his strength—a malady
1986 Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and
1987 The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,
1988 150 The flower-de-luce being one—O, these I lack
1989 To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
1990 To strew him o’er and o’er.
FLORIZELL 1991 What, like a corse?
1992 No, like a bank for love to lie and play on,
1993 155 Not like a corse; or if, not to be buried,
1994 But quick and in mine arms. Come, take your
1996 Methinks I play as I have seen them do
1997 In Whitsun pastorals. Sure this robe of mine
1998 160 Does change my disposition.
FLORIZELL 1999 What you do
2000 Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet,
2001 I’d have you do it ever. When you sing,
2002 I’d have you buy and sell so, so give alms,
2003 165 Pray so; and for the ord’ring your affairs,
2004 To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you
2005 A wave o’ th’ sea, that you might ever do
2006 Nothing but that, move still, still so,
2007 And own no other function. Each your doing,
2008 170 So singular in each particular,
2009 Crowns what you are doing in the present deeds,
2010 That all your acts are queens.
PERDITA 2011 O Doricles,
2012 Your praises are too large. But that your youth
2013 175 And the true blood which peeps fairly through ’t
2014 Do plainly give you out an unstained shepherd,
2015 With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
2016 You wooed me the false way.
FLORIZELL 2017 I think you have
2018 180 As little skill to fear as I have purpose
2019 To put you to ’t. But come, our dance, I pray.
2020 Your hand, my Perdita. So turtles pair
2021 That never mean to part.
PERDITA 2022 I’ll swear for ’em.
POLIXENES, ⌜to Camillo⌝
2023 185 This is the prettiest lowborn lass that ever
2024 Ran on the greensward. Nothing she does or seems
2025 But smacks of something greater than herself,
2026 Too noble for this place.
2028 190 That makes her blood look ⌜out.⌝ Good sooth, she is
2029 The queen of curds and cream.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Musicians⌝ 2030 Come on, strike up.
2031 Mopsa must be your mistress? Marry, garlic
2032 To mend her kissing with.
MOPSA 2033 195 Now, in good time!
2034 Not a word, a word. We stand upon our manners.—
2035 Come, strike up. ⌜Music begins.⌝
Here a Dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses.
2036 Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
2037 Which dances with your daughter?
2038 200 They call him Doricles, and boasts himself
2039 To have a worthy feeding. But I have it
2040 Upon his own report, and I believe it.
2041 He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter.
2042 I think so too, for never gazed the moon
2043 205 Upon the water as he’ll stand and read,
2044 As ’twere, my daughter’s eyes. And, to be plain,
2045 I think there is not half a kiss to choose
2046 Who loves another best.
POLIXENES 2047 She dances featly.
2048 210 So she does anything, though I report it
2049 That should be silent. If young Doricles
2050 Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
2051 Which he not dreams of.
Enter ⌜a⌝ Servant.
SERVANT 2052 O, master, if you did but hear the peddler at
2053 215 the door, you would never dance again after a tabor
2054 and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you. He
2056 utters them as he had eaten ballads and all men’s
2057 ears grew to his tunes.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2058 220He could never come better. He shall
2059 come in. I love a ballad but even too well if it be
2060 doleful matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant
2061 thing indeed and sung lamentably.
SERVANT 2062 He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes.
2063 225 No milliner can so fit his customers with gloves. He
2064 has the prettiest love songs for maids, so without
2065 bawdry, which is strange, with such delicate burdens
2066 of dildos and fadings, “Jump her and thump
2067 her.” And where some stretch-mouthed rascal
2068 230 would, as it were, mean mischief and break a foul
2069 gap into the matter, he makes the maid to answer
2070 “Whoop, do me no harm, good man”; puts him off,
2071 slights him, with “Whoop, do me no harm, good
POLIXENES 2073 235This is a brave fellow.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2074 Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable
2075 conceited fellow. Has he any unbraided
SERVANT 2077 He hath ribbons of all the colors i’ th’ rainbow;
2078 240 points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia
2079 can learnedly handle, though they come to him by
2080 th’ gross; inkles, caddises, cambrics, lawns—why,
2081 he sings ’em over as they were gods or goddesses.
2082 You would think a smock were a she-angel, he so
2083 245 chants to the sleeve-hand and the work about the
2084 square on ’t.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2085 Prithee bring him in, and let him
2086 approach singing.
PERDITA 2087 Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words
2088 250 in ’s tunes.⌜Servant exits.⌝
SHEPHERD’S SON 2089 You have of these peddlers that have
2090 more in them than you’d think, sister.
Enter Autolycus, ⌜wearing a false beard,⌝ singing.
2092 Lawn as white as driven snow,
2093 255 Cypress black as e’er was crow,
2094 Gloves as sweet as damask roses,
2095 Masks for faces and for noses,
2096 Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
2097 Perfume for a lady’s chamber,
2098 260 Golden coifs and stomachers
2099 For my lads to give their dears,
2100 Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
2101 What maids lack from head to heel,
2102 Come buy of me, come. Come buy, come buy.
2103 265 Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry.
2104 Come buy.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2105 If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou
2106 shouldst take no money of me; but being enthralled
2107 as I am, it will also be the bondage of certain
2108 270 ribbons and gloves.
MOPSA 2109 I was promised them against the feast, but they
2110 come not too late now.
DORCAS 2111 He hath promised you more than that, or there
2112 be liars.
MOPSA 2113 275He hath paid you all he promised you. Maybe
2114 he has paid you more, which will shame you to give
2115 him again.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2116 Is there no manners left among
2117 maids? Will they wear their plackets where they
2118 280 should bear their faces? Is there not milking time,
2119 when you are going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle
2120 of these secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling
2121 before all our guests? ’Tis well they are whisp’ring.
2122 Clamor your tongues, and not a word more.
2124 lace and a pair of sweet gloves.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2125 Have I not told thee how I was cozened
2126 by the way and lost all my money?
AUTOLYCUS 2127 And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad;
2128 290 therefore it behooves men to be wary.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2129 Fear not thou, man. Thou shalt lose
2130 nothing here.
AUTOLYCUS 2131 I hope so, sir, for I have about me many
2132 parcels of charge.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2133 295What hast here? Ballads?
MOPSA 2134 Pray now, buy some. I love a ballad in print
2135 alife, for then we are sure they are true.
AUTOLYCUS 2136 Here’s one to a very doleful tune, how a
2137 usurer’s wife was brought to bed of twenty moneybags
2138 300 at a burden, and how she longed to eat adders’
2139 heads and toads carbonadoed.
MOPSA 2140 Is it true, think you?
AUTOLYCUS 2141 Very true, and but a month old.
DORCAS 2142 Bless me from marrying a usurer!
AUTOLYCUS 2143 305Here’s the midwife’s name to ’t, one Mistress
2144 Taleporter, and five or six honest wives that
2145 were present. Why should I carry lies abroad?
MOPSA, ⌜to Shepherd’s Son⌝ 2146 Pray you now, buy it.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Autolycus⌝ 2147 Come on, lay it by, and
2148 310 let’s first see more ballads. We’ll buy the other
2149 things anon.
AUTOLYCUS 2150 Here’s another ballad, of a fish that appeared
2151 upon the coast on Wednesday the fourscore
2152 of April, forty thousand fathom above water, and
2153 315 sung this ballad against the hard hearts of maids. It
2154 was thought she was a woman, and was turned into
2155 a cold fish for she would not exchange flesh with
2156 one that loved her. The ballad is very pitiful, and as
DORCAS 2158 320Is it true too, think you?
2160 more than my pack will hold.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2161 Lay it by too. Another.
AUTOLYCUS 2162 This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty
2163 325 one.
MOPSA 2164 Let’s have some merry ones.
AUTOLYCUS 2165 Why, this is a passing merry one and goes
2166 to the tune of “Two Maids Wooing a Man.” There’s
2167 scarce a maid westward but she sings it. ’Tis in
2168 330 request, I can tell you.
MOPSA 2169 We can both sing it. If thou ’lt bear a part, thou
2170 shalt hear; ’tis in three parts.
DORCAS 2171 We had the tune on ’t a month ago.
AUTOLYCUS 2172 I can bear my part. You must know ’tis my
2173 335 occupation. Have at it with you.
AUTOLYCUS 2174 Get you hence, for I must go
2175 Where it fits not you to know.
DORCAS 2176 Whither?
MOPSA 2177 O, whither?
DORCAS 2178 340 Whither?
MOPSA 2179 It becomes thy oath full well
2180 Thou to me thy secrets tell.
DORCAS 2181 Me too. Let me go thither.
MOPSA 2182 Or thou goest to th’ grange or mill.
DORCAS 2183 345 If to either, thou dost ill.
AUTOLYCUS 2184 Neither.
DORCAS 2185 What, neither?
AUTOLYCUS 2186 Neither.
DORCAS 2187 Thou hast sworn my love to be.
MOPSA 2188 350 Thou hast sworn it more to me.
2189 Then whither goest? Say whither.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2190 We’ll have this song out anon by
2191 ourselves. My father and the gentlemen are in sad
2193 355 thy pack after me.—Wenches, I’ll buy for you
2194 both.—Peddler, let’s have the first choice.—Follow
2195 me, girls.
⌜He exits with Mopsa, Dorcas, Shepherds and
AUTOLYCUS 2196 And you shall pay well for ’em.
2197 Will you buy any tape,
2198 360 Or lace for your cape,
2199 My dainty duck, my dear-a?
2200 Any silk, any thread,
2201 Any toys for your head,
2202 Of the new’st and fin’st, fin’st wear-a?
2203 365 Come to the peddler.
2204 Money’s a meddler
2205 That doth utter all men’s ware-a.
⌜Enter a Servant.⌝
SERVANT, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2206 Master, there is three carters,
2207 three shepherds, three neatherds, three swineherds,
2208 370 that have made themselves all men of hair.
2209 They call themselves saultiers, and they have a
2210 dance which the wenches say is a gallimaufry of
2211 gambols, because they are not in ’t, but they themselves
2212 are o’ th’ mind, if it be not too rough for
2213 375 some that know little but bowling, it will please
SHEPHERD 2215 Away! We’ll none on ’t. Here has been too
2216 much homely foolery already.—I know, sir, we
2217 weary you.
POLIXENES 2218 380You weary those that refresh us. Pray, let’s
2219 see these four threes of herdsmen.
2221 hath danced before the King, and not the worst of
2222 the three but jumps twelve foot and a half by th’
2223 385 square.
SHEPHERD 2224 Leave your prating. Since these good men
2225 are pleased, let them come in—but quickly now.
SERVANT 2226 Why, they stay at door, sir.
⌜He admits the herdsmen.⌝
Here a Dance of twelve ⌜herdsmen, dressed as⌝ Satyrs.
⌜Herdsmen, Musicians, and Servants exit.⌝
POLIXENES, ⌜to Shepherd⌝
2227 O father, you’ll know more of that hereafter.
2228 390 ⌜Aside to Camillo.⌝ Is it not too far gone? ’Tis time to
2229 part them.
2230 He’s simple, and tells much. ⌜To Florizell.⌝ How now,
2231 fair shepherd?
2232 Your heart is full of something that does take
2233 395 Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
2234 And handed love, as you do, I was wont
2235 To load my she with knacks. I would have ransacked
2236 The peddler’s silken treasury and have poured it
2237 To her acceptance. You have let him go
2238 400 And nothing marted with him. If your lass
2239 Interpretation should abuse and call this
2240 Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
2241 For a reply, at least if you make a care
2242 Of happy holding her.
FLORIZELL 2243 405 Old sir, I know
2244 She prizes not such trifles as these are.
2245 The gifts she looks from me are packed and locked
2246 Up in my heart, which I have given already,
2247 But not delivered. ⌜To Perdita.⌝ O, hear me breathe
2248 410 my life
2249 Before this ancient sir, ⌜who,⌝ it should seem,
2251 As soft as dove’s down and as white as it,
2252 Or Ethiopian’s tooth, or the fanned snow that’s
2253 415 bolted
2254 By th’ northern blasts twice o’er.
POLIXENES 2255 What follows this?—
2256 How prettily th’ young swain seems to wash
2257 The hand was fair before.—I have put you out.
2258 420 But to your protestation. Let me hear
2259 What you profess.
FLORIZELL 2260 Do, and be witness to ’t.
2261 And this my neighbor too?
FLORIZELL 2262 And he, and more
2263 425 Than he, and men—the Earth, the heavens, and
2265 That were I crowned the most imperial monarch,
2266 Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth
2267 That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge
2268 430 More than was ever man’s, I would not prize them
2269 Without her love; for her employ them all,
2270 Commend them and condemn them to her service
2271 Or to their own perdition.
POLIXENES 2272 Fairly offered.
2273 435 This shows a sound affection.
SHEPHERD 2274 But my daughter,
2275 Say you the like to him?
PERDITA 2276 I cannot speak
2277 So well, nothing so well, no, nor mean better.
2278 440 By th’ pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
2279 The purity of his.
SHEPHERD 2280 Take hands, a bargain.—
2281 And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to ’t:
2282 I give my daughter to him and will make
2283 445 Her portion equal his.
2285 I’ th’ virtue of your daughter. One being dead,
2286 I shall have more than you can dream of yet,
2287 Enough then for your wonder. But come on,
2288 450 Contract us fore these witnesses.
SHEPHERD 2289 Come, your hand—
2290 And daughter, yours.
POLIXENES, ⌜To Florizell⌝ 2291 Soft, swain, awhile, beseech
2293 455 Have you a father?
FLORIZELL 2294 I have, but what of him?
2295 Knows he of this?
FLORIZELL 2296 He neither does nor shall.
POLIXENES 2297 Methinks a father
2298 460 Is at the nuptial of his son a guest
2299 That best becomes the table. Pray you once more,
2300 Is not your father grown incapable
2301 Of reasonable affairs? Is he not stupid
2302 With age and alt’ring rheums? Can he speak? Hear?
2303 465 Know man from man? Dispute his own estate?
2304 Lies he not bedrid, and again does nothing
2305 But what he did being childish?
FLORIZELL 2306 No, good sir.
2307 He has his health and ampler strength indeed
2308 470 Than most have of his age.
POLIXENES 2309 By my white beard,
2310 You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
2311 Something unfilial. Reason my son
2312 Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason
2313 475 The father, all whose joy is nothing else
2314 But fair posterity, should hold some counsel
2315 In such a business.
FLORIZELL 2316 I yield all this;
2317 But for some other reasons, my grave sir,
2319 My father of this business.
POLIXENES 2320 Let him know ’t.
2321 He shall not.
POLIXENES 2322 Prithee let him.
FLORIZELL 2323 485 No, he must not.
2324 Let him, my son. He shall not need to grieve
2325 At knowing of thy choice.
FLORIZELL 2326 Come, come, he must not.
2327 Mark our contract.
POLIXENES, ⌜removing his disguise⌝ 2328 490 Mark your divorce,
2329 young sir,
2330 Whom son I dare not call. Thou art too base
2331 To be ⌜acknowledged.⌝ Thou a scepter’s heir
2332 That thus affects a sheep-hook!—Thou, old traitor,
2333 495 I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
2334 But shorten thy life one week.—And thou, fresh
2336 Of excellent witchcraft, whom of force must know
2337 The royal fool thou cop’st with—
SHEPHERD 2338 500 O, my heart!
2339 I’ll have thy beauty scratched with briers and made
2340 More homely than thy state.—For thee, fond boy,
2341 If I may ever know thou dost but sigh
2342 That thou no more shalt see this knack—as never
2343 505 I mean thou shalt—we’ll bar thee from succession,
2344 Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
2345 ⌜Far’r⌝ than Deucalion off. Mark thou my words.
2346 Follow us to the court. ⌜To Shepherd.⌝ Thou, churl,
2347 for this time,
2348 510 Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
2349 From the dead blow of it.—And you, enchantment,
2350 Worthy enough a herdsman—yea, him too,
2352 Unworthy thee—if ever henceforth thou
2353 515 These rural latches to his entrance open,
2354 Or ⌜hoop⌝ his body more with thy embraces,
2355 I will devise a death as cruel for thee
2356 As thou art tender to ’t.He exits.
PERDITA 2357 Even here undone.
2358 520 I was not much afeard, for once or twice
2359 I was about to speak and tell him plainly
2360 The selfsame sun that shines upon his court
2361 Hides not his visage from our cottage but
2362 Looks on alike. ⌜To Florizell.⌝ Will ’t please you, sir,
2363 525 be gone?
2364 I told you what would come of this. Beseech you,
2365 Of your own state take care. This dream of mine—
2366 Being now awake, I’ll queen it no inch farther,
2367 But milk my ewes and weep.
CAMILLO, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2368 530 Why, how now, father?
2369 Speak ere thou diest.
SHEPHERD 2370 I cannot speak, nor think,
2371 Nor dare to know that which I know. ⌜To Florizell.⌝
2372 O sir,
2373 535 You have undone a man of fourscore three,
2374 That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea,
2375 To die upon the bed my father died,
2376 To lie close by his honest bones; but now
2377 Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me
2378 540 Where no priest shovels in dust. ⌜To Perdita.⌝ O
2379 cursèd wretch,
2380 That knew’st this was the Prince, and wouldst
2382 To mingle faith with him!—Undone, undone!
2383 545 If I might die within this hour, I have lived
2384 To die when I desire.He exits.
FLORIZELL, ⌜to Perdita⌝ 2385 Why look you so upon me?
2386 I am but sorry, not afeard; delayed,
2388 550 More straining on for plucking back, not following
2389 My leash unwillingly.
CAMILLO 2390 Gracious my lord,
2391 You know ⌜your⌝ father’s temper. At this time
2392 He will allow no speech, which I do guess
2393 555 You do not purpose to him; and as hardly
2394 Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear.
2395 Then, till the fury of his Highness settle,
2396 Come not before him.
FLORIZELL 2397 I not purpose it.
2398 560 I think Camillo?
CAMILLO, ⌜removing his disguise⌝ 2399 Even he, my lord.
PERDITA, ⌜to Florizell⌝
2400 How often have I told you ’twould be thus?
2401 How often said my dignity would last
2402 But till ’twere known?
FLORIZELL 2403 565 It cannot fail but by
2404 The violation of my faith; and then
2405 Let nature crush the sides o’ th’ Earth together
2406 And mar the seeds within. Lift up thy looks.
2407 From my succession wipe me, father. I
2408 570 Am heir to my affection.
CAMILLO 2409 Be advised.
2410 I am, and by my fancy. If my reason
2411 Will thereto be obedient, I have reason.
2412 If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,
2413 575 Do bid it welcome.
CAMILLO 2414 This is desperate, sir.
2415 So call it; but it does fulfill my vow.
2416 I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
2417 Not for Bohemia nor the pomp that may
2418 580 Be thereat gleaned, for all the sun sees or
2419 The close earth wombs or the profound seas hides
2421 To this my fair beloved. Therefore, I pray you,
2422 As you have ever been my father’s honored friend,
2423 585 When he shall miss me, as in faith I mean not
2424 To see him anymore, cast your good counsels
2425 Upon his passion. Let myself and fortune
2426 Tug for the time to come. This you may know
2427 And so deliver: I am put to sea
2428 590 With her who here I cannot hold on shore.
2429 And most opportune to ⌜our⌝ need I have
2430 A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared
2431 For this design. What course I mean to hold
2432 Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
2433 595 Concern me the reporting.
CAMILLO 2434 O my lord,
2435 I would your spirit were easier for advice
2436 Or stronger for your need.
FLORIZELL 2437 Hark, Perdita.—
2438 600 I’ll hear you by and by.
⌜Florizell and Perdita walk aside.⌝
CAMILLO 2439 He’s irremovable,
2440 Resolved for flight. Now were I happy if
2441 His going I could frame to serve my turn,
2442 Save him from danger, do him love and honor,
2443 605 Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia
2444 And that unhappy king, my master, whom
2445 I so much thirst to see.
FLORIZELL, ⌜coming forward⌝ 2446 Now, good Camillo,
2447 I am so fraught with curious business that
2448 610 I leave out ceremony.
CAMILLO 2449 Sir, I think
2450 You have heard of my poor services i’ th’ love
2451 That I have borne your father?
FLORIZELL 2452 Very nobly
2453 615 Have you deserved. It is my father’s music
2455 To have them recompensed as thought on.
CAMILLO 2456 Well, my
2458 620 If you may please to think I love the King
2459 And, through him, what’s nearest to him, which is
2460 Your gracious self, embrace but my direction,
2461 If your more ponderous and settled project
2462 May suffer alteration. On mine honor,
2463 625 I’ll point you where you shall have such receiving
2464 As shall become your Highness, where you may
2465 Enjoy your mistress—from the whom I see
2466 There’s no disjunction to be made but by,
2467 As heavens forfend, your ruin—marry her,
2468 630 And with my best endeavors in your absence,
2469 Your discontenting father strive to qualify
2470 And bring him up to liking.
FLORIZELL 2471 How, Camillo,
2472 May this, almost a miracle, be done,
2473 635 That I may call thee something more than man,
2474 And after that trust to thee?
CAMILLO 2475 Have you thought on
2476 A place whereto you’ll go?
FLORIZELL 2477 Not any yet.
2478 640 But as th’ unthought-on accident is guilty
2479 To what we wildly do, so we profess
2480 Ourselves to be the slaves of chance, and flies
2481 Of every wind that blows.
CAMILLO 2482 Then list to me.
2483 645 This follows: if you will not change your purpose
2484 But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia,
2485 And there present yourself and your fair princess,
2486 For so I see she must be, ’fore Leontes.
2487 She shall be habited as it becomes
2488 650 The partner of your bed. Methinks I see
2490 His welcomes forth, asks thee, ⌜the⌝ son, forgiveness,
2491 As ’twere i’ th’ father’s person; kisses the hands
2492 Of your fresh princess; o’er and o’er divides him
2493 655 ’Twixt his unkindness and his kindness. Th’ one
2494 He chides to hell and bids the other grow
2495 Faster than thought or time.
FLORIZELL 2496 Worthy Camillo,
2497 What color for my visitation shall I
2498 660 Hold up before him?
CAMILLO 2499 Sent by the King your father
2500 To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,
2501 The manner of your bearing towards him, with
2502 What you, as from your father, shall deliver,
2503 665 Things known betwixt us three, I’ll write you down,
2504 The which shall point you forth at every sitting
2505 What you must say, that he shall not perceive
2506 But that you have your father’s bosom there
2507 And speak his very heart.
FLORIZELL 2508 670 I am bound to you.
2509 There is some sap in this.
CAMILLO 2510 A course more promising
2511 Than a wild dedication of yourselves
2512 To unpathed waters, undreamed shores, most
2513 675 certain
2514 To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
2515 But as you shake off one to take another;
2516 Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
2517 Do their best office if they can but stay you
2518 680 Where you’ll be loath to be. Besides, you know
2519 Prosperity’s the very bond of love,
2520 Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
2521 Affliction alters.
PERDITA 2522 One of these is true.
2523 685 I think affliction may subdue the cheek
2524 But not take in the mind.
2526 There shall not at your father’s house these seven
2528 690 Be born another such.
FLORIZELL 2529 My good Camillo,
2530 She’s as forward of her breeding as she is
2531 I’ th’ rear our birth.
CAMILLO 2532 I cannot say ’tis pity
2533 695 She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress
2534 To most that teach.
PERDITA 2535 Your pardon, sir. For this
2536 I’ll blush you thanks.
FLORIZELL 2537 My prettiest Perdita.
2538 700 But O, the thorns we stand upon!—Camillo,
2539 Preserver of my father, now of me,
2540 The medicine of our house, how shall we do?
2541 We are not furnished like Bohemia’s son,
2542 Nor shall appear in Sicilia.
CAMILLO 2543 705 My lord,
2544 Fear none of this. I think you know my fortunes
2545 Do all lie there. It shall be so my care
2546 To have you royally appointed as if
2547 The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,
2548 710 That you may know you shall not want, one word.
⌜They step aside and talk.⌝
AUTOLYCUS 2549 Ha, ha, what a fool Honesty is! And Trust,
2550 his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I have
2551 sold all my trumpery. Not a counterfeit stone, not a
2552 ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table book, ballad,
2553 715 knife, tape, glove, shoe tie, bracelet, horn ring,
2554 to keep my pack from fasting. They throng who
2555 should buy first, as if my trinkets had been hallowed
2556 and brought a benediction to the buyer; by which
2557 means I saw whose purse was best in picture, and
2559 clown, who wants but something to be a reasonable
2560 man, grew so in love with the wenches’ song that he
2561 would not stir his pettitoes till he had both tune and
2562 words, which so drew the rest of the herd to me that
2563 725 all their other senses stuck in ears. You might have
2564 pinched a placket, it was senseless; ’twas nothing to
2565 geld a codpiece of a purse. I ⌜could⌝ have ⌜filed⌝
2566 keys off that hung in chains. No hearing, no feeling,
2567 but my sir’s song and admiring the nothing of it. So
2568 730 that in this time of lethargy I picked and cut most of
2569 their festival purses. And had not the old man come
2570 in with a hubbub against his daughter and the
2571 King’s son, and scared my choughs from the chaff, I
2572 had not left a purse alive in the whole army.
⌜Camillo, Florizell, and Perdita come forward.⌝
CAMILLO, ⌜to Florizell⌝
2573 735 Nay, but my letters, by this means being there
2574 So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.
2575 And those that you’ll procure from King Leontes—
2576 Shall satisfy your father.
PERDITA 2577 Happy be you!
2578 740 All that you speak shows fair.
CAMILLO, ⌜noticing Autolycus⌝ 2579 Who have we here?
2580 We’ll make an instrument of this, omit
2581 Nothing may give us aid.
2582 If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.
CAMILLO 2583 745How now, good fellow? Why shak’st thou so?
2584 Fear not, man. Here’s no harm intended to thee.
AUTOLYCUS 2585 I am a poor fellow, sir.
CAMILLO 2586 Why, be so still. Here’s nobody will steal that
2587 from thee. Yet for the outside of thy poverty we
2589 instantly—thou must think there’s a necessity in
2590 ’t—and change garments with this gentleman.
2591 Though the pennyworth on his side be the worst,
2592 yet hold thee, there’s some boot.
⌜He hands Autolycus money.⌝
AUTOLYCUS 2593 755I am a poor fellow, sir. ⌜Aside.⌝ I know you
2594 well enough.
CAMILLO 2595 Nay, prithee, dispatch. The gentleman is half
2596 flayed already.
AUTOLYCUS 2597 Are you in earnest, sir? ⌜Aside.⌝ I smell the
2598 760 trick on ’t.
FLORIZELL 2599 Dispatch, I prithee.
AUTOLYCUS 2600 Indeed, I have had earnest, but I cannot
2601 with conscience take it.
CAMILLO 2602 Unbuckle, unbuckle.
⌜Florizell and Autolycus exchange garments.⌝
2603 765 Fortunate mistress—let my prophecy
2604 Come home to you!—you must retire yourself
2605 Into some covert. Take your sweetheart’s hat
2606 And pluck it o’er your brows, muffle your face,
2607 Dismantle you, and, as you can, disliken
2608 770 The truth of your own seeming, that you may—
2609 For I do fear eyes over—to shipboard
2610 Get undescried.
PERDITA 2611 I see the play so lies
2612 That I must bear a part.
CAMILLO 2613 775 No remedy.—
2614 Have you done there?
FLORIZELL 2615 Should I now meet my father,
2616 He would not call me son.
CAMILLO 2617 Nay, you shall have no hat.
⌜He gives Florizell’s hat to Perdita.⌝
2618 780 Come, lady, come.—Farewell, my friend.
AUTOLYCUS 2619 Adieu, sir.
2620 O Perdita, what have we twain forgot?
2621 Pray you, a word.⌜They talk aside.⌝
2622 What I do next shall be to tell the King
2623 785 Of this escape, and whither they are bound;
2624 Wherein my hope is I shall so prevail
2625 To force him after, in whose company
2626 I shall re-view Sicilia, for whose sight
2627 I have a woman’s longing.
FLORIZELL 2628 790 Fortune speed us!—
2629 Thus we set on, Camillo, to th’ seaside.
CAMILLO 2630 The swifter speed the better.
⌜Camillo, Florizell, and Perdita⌝ exit.
AUTOLYCUS 2631 I understand the business; I hear it. To have
2632 an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand is
2633 795 necessary for a cutpurse; a good nose is requisite
2634 also, to smell out work for th’ other senses. I see this
2635 is the time that the unjust man doth thrive. What an
2636 exchange had this been without boot! What a boot
2637 is here with this exchange! Sure the gods do this
2638 800 year connive at us, and we may do anything extempore.
2639 The Prince himself is about a piece of iniquity,
2640 stealing away from his father with his clog at his
2641 heels. If I thought it were a piece of honesty to
2642 acquaint the King withal, I would not do ’t. I hold it
2643 805 the more knavery to conceal it, and therein am I
2644 constant to my profession.
Enter ⌜Shepherd’s Son⌝ and Shepherd, ⌜carrying the
bundle and the box.⌝
2645 Aside, aside! Here is more matter for a hot brain.
2646 Every lane’s end, every shop, church, session, hanging,
2647 yields a careful man work.⌜He moves aside.⌝
2649 you are now! There is no other way but to tell the
2650 King she’s a changeling and none of your flesh and
SHEPHERD 2652 Nay, but hear me.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2653 815Nay, but hear me!
SHEPHERD 2654 Go to, then.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2655 She being none of your flesh and
2656 blood, your flesh and blood has not offended the
2657 King, and so your flesh and blood is not to be
2658 820 punished by him. Show those things you found
2659 about her, those secret things, all but what she has
2660 with her. This being done, let the law go whistle, I
2661 warrant you.
SHEPHERD 2662 I will tell the King all, every word, yea, and
2663 825 his son’s pranks too; who, I may say, is no honest
2664 man, neither to his father nor to me, to go about to
2665 make me the King’s brother-in-law.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2666 Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest
2667 off you could have been to him, and then your
2668 830 blood had been the dearer by I know how much an
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜aside⌝ 2670 Very wisely, puppies.
SHEPHERD 2671 Well, let us to the King. There is that in this
2672 fardel will make him scratch his beard.
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜aside⌝ 2673 835I know not what impediment this
2674 complaint may be to the flight of my master.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2675 Pray heartily he be at’ palace.
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜aside⌝ 2676 Though I am not naturally honest,
2677 I am so sometimes by chance. Let me pocket up my
2678 840 peddler’s excrement. (⌜He removes his false beard.⌝)
2679 How now, rustics, whither are you bound?
SHEPHERD 2680 To th’ palace, an it like your Worship.
AUTOLYCUS 2681 Your affairs there? What, with whom, the
2682 condition of that fardel, the place of your dwelling,
2684 and anything that is fitting to be known, discover!
SHEPHERD’S SON 2685 We are but plain fellows, sir.
AUTOLYCUS 2686 A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me have
2687 no lying. It becomes none but tradesmen, and they
2688 850 often give us soldiers the lie, but we pay them for it
2689 with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; therefore
2690 they do not give us the lie.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2691 Your Worship had like to have given
2692 us one, if you had not taken yourself with the
2693 855 manner.
SHEPHERD 2694 Are you a courtier, an ’t like you, sir?
AUTOLYCUS 2695 Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier.
2696 Seest thou not the air of the court in these enfoldings?
2697 Hath not my gait in it the measure of the
2698 860 court? Receives not thy nose court odor from me?
2699 Reflect I not on thy baseness court contempt?
2700 Think’st thou, for that I insinuate ⌜and⌝ toze from
2701 thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier? I am
2702 courtier cap-a-pie; and one that will either push on
2703 865 or pluck back thy business there. Whereupon I
2704 command thee to open thy affair.
SHEPHERD 2705 My business, sir, is to the King.
AUTOLYCUS 2706 What advocate hast thou to him?
SHEPHERD 2707 I know not, an ’t like you.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜aside to Shepherd⌝ 2708 870Advocate’s the
2709 court word for a pheasant. Say you have none.
SHEPHERD, ⌜to Autolycus⌝ 2710 None, sir. I have no pheasant,
2711 cock nor hen.
2712 How blest are we that are not simple men!
2713 875 Yet Nature might have made me as these are.
2714 Therefore I will not disdain.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2715 This cannot be but a
2716 great courtier.
2718 880 not handsomely.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2719 He seems to be the more noble in
2720 being fantastical. A great man, I’ll warrant. I know
2721 by the picking on ’s teeth.
AUTOLYCUS 2722 The fardel there. What’s i’ th’ fardel?
2723 885 Wherefore that box?
SHEPHERD 2724 Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and
2725 box which none must know but the King, and
2726 which he shall know within this hour if I may come
2727 to th’ speech of him.
AUTOLYCUS 2728 890Age, thou hast lost thy labor.
SHEPHERD 2729 Why, sir?
AUTOLYCUS 2730 The King is not at the palace. He is gone
2731 aboard a new ship to purge melancholy and air
2732 himself, for, if thou beest capable of things serious,
2733 895 thou must know the King is full of grief.
SHEPHERD 2734 So ’tis said, sir—about his son, that should
2735 have married a shepherd’s daughter.
AUTOLYCUS 2736 If that shepherd be not in handfast, let him
2737 fly. The curses he shall have, the tortures he shall
2738 900 feel, will break the back of man, the heart of
SHEPHERD’S SON 2740 Think you so, sir?
AUTOLYCUS 2741 Not he alone shall suffer what wit can
2742 make heavy and vengeance bitter; but those that are
2743 905 germane to him, though removed fifty times, shall
2744 all come under the hangman—which, though it be
2745 great pity, yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling
2746 rogue, a ram tender, to offer to have his daughter
2747 come into grace! Some say he shall be stoned, but
2748 910 that death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne
2749 into a sheepcote? All deaths are too few, the sharpest
2750 too easy.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2751 Has the old man e’er a son, sir, do you
2752 hear, an ’t like you, sir?
2754 ’nointed over with honey, set on the head of a
2755 wasps’-nest; then stand till he be three-quarters and
2756 a dram dead, then recovered again with aqua vitae
2757 or some other hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and
2758 920 in the hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall
2759 he be set against a brick wall, the sun looking with a
2760 southward eye upon him, where he is to behold him
2761 with flies blown to death. But what talk we of these
2762 traitorly rascals, whose miseries are to be smiled at,
2763 925 their offenses being so capital? Tell me—for you
2764 seem to be honest plain men—what you have to the
2765 King. Being something gently considered, I’ll bring
2766 you where he is aboard, tender your persons to his
2767 presence, whisper him in your behalfs; and if it be
2768 930 in man besides the King to effect your suits, here is
2769 man shall do it.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2770 He seems to be of
2771 great authority. Close with him, give him gold; and
2772 though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft
2773 935 led by the nose with gold. Show the inside of your
2774 purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado.
2775 Remember: “stoned,” and “flayed alive.”
SHEPHERD, ⌜to Autolycus⌝ 2776 An ’t please you, sir, to
2777 undertake the business for us, here is that gold I
2778 940 have. I’ll make it as much more, and leave this
2779 young man in pawn till I bring it you.
AUTOLYCUS 2780 After I have done what I promised?
SHEPHERD 2781 Ay, sir.
AUTOLYCUS 2782 Well, give me the moiety. ⌜Shepherd hands
him money.⌝ 2783 945Are you a party in this business?
SHEPHERD’S SON 2784 In some sort, sir; but though my case
2785 be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.
AUTOLYCUS 2786 O, that’s the case of the shepherd’s son!
2787 Hang him, he’ll be made an example.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2788 950Comfort, good comfort.
2790 sights. He must know ’tis none of your daughter nor
2791 my sister. We are gone else.—Sir, I will give you as
2792 much as this old man does when the business is
2793 955 performed, and remain, as he says, your pawn till it
2794 be brought you.
AUTOLYCUS 2795 I will trust you. Walk before toward the
2796 seaside. Go on the right hand. I will but look upon
2797 the hedge, and follow you.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2798 960We are blessed in this
2799 man, as I may say, even blessed.
SHEPHERD 2800 Let’s before, as he bids us. He was provided
2801 to do us good.⌜Shepherd and his son exit.⌝
AUTOLYCUS 2802 If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune
2803 965 would not suffer me. She drops booties in my
2804 mouth. I am courted now with a double occasion:
2805 gold, and a means to do the Prince my master good;
2806 which who knows how that may turn back to my
2807 advancement? I will bring these two moles, these
2808 970 blind ones, aboard him. If he think it fit to shore
2809 them again and that the complaint they have to the
2810 King concerns him nothing, let him call me rogue
2811 for being so far officious, for I am proof against that
2812 title and what shame else belongs to ’t. To him will I
2813 975 present them. There may be matter in it.
2814 Sir, you have done enough, and have performed
2815 A saintlike sorrow. No fault could you make
2816 Which you have not redeemed—indeed, paid down
2817 More penitence than done trespass. At the last,
2818 5 Do as the heavens have done: forget your evil;
2819 With them forgive yourself.
LEONTES 2820 Whilst I remember
2821 Her and her virtues, I cannot forget
2822 My blemishes in them, and so still think of
2823 10 The wrong I did myself, which was so much
2824 That heirless it hath made my kingdom and
2825 Destroyed the sweet’st companion that e’er man
2826 Bred his hopes out of.
PAULINA 2827 True, too true, my lord.
2828 15 If one by one you wedded all the world,
2829 Or from the all that are took something good
2830 To make a perfect woman, she you killed
2831 Would be unparalleled.
LEONTES 2832 I think so. Killed?
2833 20 She I killed? I did so, but thou strik’st me
2834 Sorely to say I did. It is as bitter
2836 Say so but seldom.
CLEOMENES 2837 Not at all, good lady.
2838 25 You might have spoken a thousand things that
2840 Have done the time more benefit and graced
2841 Your kindness better.
PAULINA 2842 You are one of those
2843 30 Would have him wed again.
DION 2844 If you would not so,
2845 You pity not the state nor the remembrance
2846 Of his most sovereign name, consider little
2847 What dangers by his Highness’ fail of issue
2848 35 May drop upon his kingdom and devour
2849 Incertain lookers-on. What were more holy
2850 Than to rejoice the former queen is well?
2851 What holier than, for royalty’s repair,
2852 For present comfort, and for future good,
2853 40 To bless the bed of majesty again
2854 With a sweet fellow to ’t?
PAULINA 2855 There is none worthy,
2856 Respecting her that’s gone. Besides, the gods
2857 Will have fulfilled their secret purposes.
2858 45 For has not the divine Apollo said,
2859 Is ’t not the tenor of his oracle,
2860 That King Leontes shall not have an heir
2861 Till his lost child be found? Which that it shall
2862 Is all as monstrous to our human reason
2863 50 As my Antigonus to break his grave
2864 And come again to me—who, on my life,
2865 Did perish with the infant. ’Tis your counsel
2866 My lord should to the heavens be contrary,
2867 Oppose against their wills. Care not for issue.
2868 55 The crown will find an heir. Great Alexander
2869 Left his to th’ worthiest; so his successor
2870 Was like to be the best.
2872 Who hast the memory of Hermione,
2873 60 I know, in honor, O, that ever I
2874 Had squared me to thy counsel! Then even now
2875 I might have looked upon my queen’s full eyes,
2876 Have taken treasure from her lips—
PAULINA 2877 And left them
2878 65 More rich for what they yielded.
LEONTES 2879 Thou speak’st truth.
2880 No more such wives, therefore no wife. One worse,
2881 And better used, would make her sainted spirit
2882 Again possess her corpse, and on this stage,
2883 70 Where we offenders now appear, soul-vexed,
2884 And begin “Why to me?”
PAULINA 2885 Had she such power,
2886 She had just cause.
LEONTES 2887 She had, and would incense me
2888 75 To murder her I married.
PAULINA 2889 I should so.
2890 Were I the ghost that walked, I’d bid you mark
2891 Her eye, and tell me for what dull part in ’t
2892 You chose her. Then I’d shriek, that even your ears
2893 80 Should rift to hear me, and the words that followed
2894 Should be “Remember mine.”
LEONTES 2895 Stars, stars,
2896 And all eyes else dead coals! Fear thou no wife;
2897 I’ll have no wife, Paulina.
PAULINA 2898 85 Will you swear
2899 Never to marry but by my free leave?
2900 Never, Paulina, so be blest my spirit.
2901 Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.
2902 You tempt him over-much.
2904 As like Hermione as is her picture
2905 Affront his eye.
CLEOMENES 2906 Good madam—
PAULINA 2907 I have done.
2908 95 Yet if my lord will marry—if you will, sir,
2909 No remedy but you will—give me the office
2910 To choose you a queen. She shall not be so young
2911 As was your former, but she shall be such
2912 As, walked your first queen’s ghost, it should take
2913 100 joy
2914 To see her in your arms.
LEONTES 2915 My true Paulina,
2916 We shall not marry till thou bid’st us.
PAULINA 2917 That
2918 105 Shall be when your first queen’s again in breath,
2919 Never till then.
Enter a Servant.
2920 One that gives out himself Prince Florizell,
2921 Son of Polixenes, with his princess—she
2922 The fairest I have yet beheld—desires access
2923 110 To your high presence.
LEONTES 2924 What with him? He comes not
2925 Like to his father’s greatness. His approach,
2926 So out of circumstance and sudden, tells us
2927 ’Tis not a visitation framed, but forced
2928 115 By need and accident. What train?
SERVANT 2929 But few,
2930 And those but mean.
LEONTES 2931 His princess, say you, with him?
2932 Ay, the most peerless piece of earth, I think,
2933 120 That e’er the sun shone bright on.
2935 As every present time doth boast itself
2936 Above a better gone, so must thy grave
2937 Give way to what’s seen now. ⌜To Servant.⌝ Sir, you
2938 125 yourself
2939 Have said and writ so—but your writing now
2940 Is colder than that theme—she had not been
2941 Nor was not to be equalled. Thus your verse
2942 Flowed with her beauty once. ’Tis shrewdly ebbed
2943 130 To say you have seen a better.
SERVANT 2944 Pardon, madam.
2945 The one I have almost forgot—your pardon;
2946 The other, when she has obtained your eye,
2947 Will have your tongue too. This is a creature,
2948 135 Would she begin a sect, might quench the zeal
2949 Of all professors else, make proselytes
2950 Of who she but bid follow.
PAULINA 2951 How, not women?
2952 Women will love her that she is a woman
2953 140 More worth than any man; men, that she is
2954 The rarest of all women.
LEONTES 2955 Go, Cleomenes.
2956 Yourself, assisted with your honored friends,
2957 Bring them to our embracement.
⌜Cleomenes and others⌝ exit.
2958 145 Still, ’tis strange
2959 He thus should steal upon us.
PAULINA 2960 Had our prince,
2961 Jewel of children, seen this hour, he had paired
2962 Well with this lord. There was not full a month
2963 150 Between their births.
LEONTES 2964 Prithee, no more; cease. Thou
2966 He dies to me again when talked of. Sure,
2967 When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches
2969 Unfurnish me of reason. They are come.
Enter Florizell, Perdita, Cleomenes, and others.
2970 Your mother was most true to wedlock, prince,
2971 For she did print your royal father off,
2972 Conceiving you. Were I but twenty-one,
2973 160 Your father’s image is so hit in you,
2974 His very air, that I should call you brother,
2975 As I did him, and speak of something wildly
2976 By us performed before. Most dearly welcome,
2977 And your fair princess—goddess! O, alas,
2978 165 I lost a couple that ’twixt heaven and Earth
2979 Might thus have stood, begetting wonder, as
2980 You, gracious couple, do. And then I lost—
2981 All mine own folly—the society,
2982 Amity too, of your brave father, whom,
2983 170 Though bearing misery, I desire my life
2984 Once more to look on him.
FLORIZELL 2985 By his command
2986 Have I here touched Sicilia, and from him
2987 Give you all greetings that a king, at friend,
2988 175 Can send his brother. And but infirmity,
2989 Which waits upon worn times, hath something
2991 His wished ability, he had himself
2992 The lands and waters ’twixt your throne and his
2993 180 Measured to look upon you, whom he loves—
2994 He bade me say so—more than all the scepters
2995 And those that bear them living.
LEONTES 2996 O my brother,
2997 Good gentleman, the wrongs I have done thee stir
2998 185 Afresh within me, and these thy offices,
2999 So rarely kind, are as interpreters
3000 Of my behindhand slackness. Welcome hither,
3001 As is the spring to th’ earth. And hath he too
3003 190 At least ungentle, of the dreadful Neptune,
3004 To greet a man not worth her pains, much less
3005 Th’ adventure of her person?
FLORIZELL 3006 Good my lord,
3007 She came from Libya.
LEONTES 3008 195 Where the warlike Smalus,
3009 That noble honored lord, is feared and loved?
3010 Most royal sir, from thence, from him, whose
3012 His tears proclaimed his, parting with her. Thence,
3013 200 A prosperous south wind friendly, we have crossed
3014 To execute the charge my father gave me
3015 For visiting your Highness. My best train
3016 I have from your Sicilian shores dismissed,
3017 Who for Bohemia bend, to signify
3018 205 Not only my success in Libya, sir,
3019 But my arrival and my wife’s in safety
3020 Here where we are.
LEONTES 3021 The blessèd gods
3022 Purge all infection from our air whilst you
3023 210 Do climate here! You have a holy father,
3024 A graceful gentleman, against whose person,
3025 So sacred as it is, I have done sin,
3026 For which the heavens, taking angry note,
3027 Have left me issueless. And your father’s blest,
3028 215 As he from heaven merits it, with you,
3029 Worthy his goodness. What might I have been
3030 Might I a son and daughter now have looked on,
3031 Such goodly things as you?
Enter a Lord.
LORD 3032 Most noble sir,
3033 220 That which I shall report will bear no credit,
3035 Bohemia greets you from himself by me,
3036 Desires you to attach his son, who has—
3037 His dignity and duty both cast off—
3038 225 Fled from his father, from his hopes, and with
3039 A shepherd’s daughter.
LEONTES 3040 Where’s Bohemia? Speak.
3041 Here in your city. I now came from him.
3042 I speak amazedly, and it becomes
3043 230 My marvel and my message. To your court
3044 Whiles he was hast’ning—in the chase, it seems,
3045 Of this fair couple—meets he on the way
3046 The father of this seeming lady and
3047 Her brother, having both their country quitted
3048 235 With this young prince.
FLORIZELL 3049 Camillo has betrayed me,
3050 Whose honor and whose honesty till now
3051 Endured all weathers.
LORD 3052 Lay ’t so to his charge.
3053 240 He’s with the King your father.
LEONTES 3054 Who? Camillo?
3055 Camillo, sir. I spake with him, who now
3056 Has these poor men in question. Never saw I
3057 Wretches so quake. They kneel, they kiss the earth,
3058 245 Forswear themselves as often as they speak.
3059 Bohemia stops his ears and threatens them
3060 With divers deaths in death.
PERDITA 3061 O my poor father!
3062 The heaven sets spies upon us, will not have
3063 250 Our contract celebrated.
LEONTES 3064 You are married?
3065 We are not, sir, nor are we like to be.
3067 The odds for high and low’s alike.
LEONTES 3068 255 My lord,
3069 Is this the daughter of a king?
FLORIZELL 3070 She is
3071 When once she is my wife.
3072 That “once,” I see, by your good father’s speed
3073 260 Will come on very slowly. I am sorry,
3074 Most sorry, you have broken from his liking,
3075 Where you were tied in duty, and as sorry
3076 Your choice is not so rich in worth as beauty,
3077 That you might well enjoy her.
FLORIZELL, ⌜to Perdita⌝ 3078 265 Dear, look up.
3079 Though Fortune, visible an enemy,
3080 Should chase us with my father, power no jot
3081 Hath she to change our loves.—Beseech you, sir,
3082 Remember since you owed no more to time
3083 270 Than I do now. With thought of such affections,
3084 Step forth mine advocate. At your request,
3085 My father will grant precious things as trifles.
3086 Would he do so, I’d beg your precious mistress,
3087 Which he counts but a trifle.
PAULINA 3088 275 Sir, my liege,
3089 Your eye hath too much youth in ’t. Not a month
3090 ’Fore your queen died, she was more worth such
3092 Than what you look on now.
LEONTES 3093 280 I thought of her
3094 Even in these looks I made. ⌜To Florizell.⌝ But your
3096 Is yet unanswered. I will to your father.
3097 Your honor not o’erthrown by your desires,
3098 285 I am friend to them and you. Upon which errand
3100 And mark what way I make. Come, good my lord.
AUTOLYCUS 3101 Beseech you, sir, were you present at this
FIRST GENTLEMAN 3103 I was by at the opening of the fardel,
3104 heard the old shepherd deliver the manner how he
3105 5 found it, whereupon, after a little amazedness, we
3106 were all commanded out of the chamber. Only this,
3107 methought, I heard the shepherd say: he found the
AUTOLYCUS 3109 I would most gladly know the issue of it.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 3110 10I make a broken delivery of the
3111 business, but the changes I perceived in the King
3112 and Camillo were very notes of admiration. They
3113 seemed almost, with staring on one another, to tear
3114 the cases of their eyes. There was speech in their
3115 15 dumbness, language in their very gesture. They
3116 looked as they had heard of a world ransomed, or
3117 one destroyed. A notable passion of wonder appeared
3118 in them, but the wisest beholder that knew
3119 no more but seeing could not say if th’ importance
3120 20 were joy or sorrow; but in the extremity of the one it
3121 must needs be.
Enter another Gentleman.
3122 Here comes a gentleman that happily knows more.—
3123 The news, Rogero?
SECOND GENTLEMAN 3124 Nothing but bonfires. The oracle
3125 25 is fulfilled: the King’s daughter is found! Such a
3127 ballad makers cannot be able to express it.
Enter another Gentleman.
3128 Here comes the Lady Paulina’s steward. He can
3129 deliver you more.—How goes it now, sir? This news
3130 30 which is called true is so like an old tale that the
3131 verity of it is in strong suspicion. Has the King
3132 found his heir?
THIRD GENTLEMAN 3133 Most true, if ever truth were pregnant
3134 by circumstance. That which you hear you’ll
3135 35 swear you see, there is such unity in the proofs. The
3136 mantle of Queen Hermione’s, her jewel about the
3137 neck of it, the letters of Antigonus found with it,
3138 which they know to be his character, the majesty of
3139 the creature in resemblance of the mother, the
3140 40 affection of nobleness which nature shows above
3141 her breeding, and many other evidences proclaim
3142 her with all certainty to be the King’s daughter. Did
3143 you see the meeting of the two kings?
SECOND GENTLEMAN 3144 No.
THIRD GENTLEMAN 3145 45Then have you lost a sight which
3146 was to be seen, cannot be spoken of. There might
3147 you have beheld one joy crown another, so and in
3148 such manner that it seemed sorrow wept to take
3149 leave of them, for their joy waded in tears. There
3150 50 was casting up of eyes, holding up of hands, with
3151 countenance of such distraction that they were to
3152 be known by garment, not by favor. Our king, being
3153 ready to leap out of himself for joy of his found
3154 daughter, as if that joy were now become a loss,
3155 55 cries “O, thy mother, thy mother!” then asks Bohemia
3156 forgiveness, then embraces his son-in-law, then
3157 again worries he his daughter with clipping her.
3158 Now he thanks the old shepherd, which stands by
3160 60 I never heard of such another encounter, which
3161 lames report to follow it and undoes description to
3162 do it.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 3163 What, pray you, became of Antigonus,
3164 that carried hence the child?
THIRD GENTLEMAN 3165 65Like an old tale still, which will
3166 have matter to rehearse though credit be asleep and
3167 not an ear open: he was torn to pieces with a bear.
3168 This avouches the shepherd’s son, who has not only
3169 his innocence, which seems much, to justify him,
3170 70 but a handkerchief and rings of his that Paulina
FIRST GENTLEMAN 3172 What became of his bark and his
THIRD GENTLEMAN 3174 Wracked the same instant of their
3175 75 master’s death and in the view of the shepherd, so
3176 that all the instruments which aided to expose the
3177 child were even then lost when it was found. But O,
3178 the noble combat that ’twixt joy and sorrow was
3179 fought in Paulina. She had one eye declined for the
3180 80 loss of her husband, another elevated that the
3181 oracle was fulfilled. She lifted the Princess from the
3182 earth, and so locks her in embracing as if she would
3183 pin her to her heart that she might no more be in
3184 danger of losing.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 3185 85The dignity of this act was worth the
3186 audience of kings and princes, for by such was it
THIRD GENTLEMAN 3188 One of the prettiest touches of all,
3189 and that which angled for mine eyes—caught the
3190 90 water, though not the fish—was when at the relation
3191 of the Queen’s death—with the manner how
3192 she came to ’t bravely confessed and lamented by
3193 the King—how attentiveness wounded his daughter,
3195 95 with an “Alas,” I would fain say bleed tears, for I am
3196 sure my heart wept blood. Who was most marble
3197 there changed color; some swooned, all sorrowed.
3198 If all the world could have seen ’t, the woe had been
FIRST GENTLEMAN 3200 100Are they returned to the court?
THIRD GENTLEMAN 3201 No. The Princess hearing of her
3202 mother’s statue, which is in the keeping of
3203 Paulina—a piece many years in doing and now
3204 newly performed by that rare Italian master, Julio
3205 105 Romano, who, had he himself eternity and could
3206 put breath into his work, would beguile Nature of
3207 her custom, so perfectly he is her ape; he so near to
3208 Hermione hath done Hermione that they say one
3209 would speak to her and stand in hope of answer.
3210 110 Thither with all greediness of affection are they
3211 gone, and there they intend to sup.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 3212 I thought she had some great
3213 matter there in hand, for she hath privately twice or
3214 thrice a day, ever since the death of Hermione,
3215 115 visited that removed house. Shall we thither and
3216 with our company piece the rejoicing?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 3217 Who would be thence that has the
3218 benefit of access? Every wink of an eye some new
3219 grace will be born. Our absence makes us unthrifty
3220 120 to our knowledge. Let’s along.
⌜The Three Gentlemen⌝ exit.
AUTOLYCUS 3221 Now, had I not the dash of my former life
3222 in me, would preferment drop on my head. I
3223 brought the old man and his son aboard the Prince,
3224 told him I heard them talk of a fardel and I know
3225 125 not what. But he at that time, overfond of the
3226 shepherd’s daughter—so he then took her to be—
3227 who began to be much seasick, and himself little
3229 remained undiscovered. But ’tis all one to
3230 130 me, for had I been the finder-out of this secret, it
3231 would not have relished among my other
Enter Shepherd and ⌜Shepherd’s Son,
both dressed in rich clothing.⌝
3233 Here come those I have done good to against my
3234 will, and already appearing in the blossoms of their
3235 135 fortune.
SHEPHERD 3236 Come, boy, I am past more children, but thy
3237 sons and daughters will be all gentlemen born.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Autolycus⌝ 3238 You are well met, sir.
3239 You denied to fight with me this other day because I
3240 140 was no gentleman born. See you these clothes? Say
3241 you see them not and think me still no gentleman
3242 born. You were best say these robes are not gentlemen
3243 born. Give me the lie, do, and try whether I am
3244 not now a gentleman born.
AUTOLYCUS 3245 145I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.
SHEPHERD’S SON 3246 Ay, and have been so any time these
3247 four hours.
SHEPHERD 3248 And so have I, boy.
SHEPHERD’S SON 3249 So you have—but I was a gentleman
3250 150 born before my father. For the King’s son took me
3251 by the hand and called me brother, and then the
3252 two kings called my father brother, and then the
3253 Prince my brother and the Princess my sister called
3254 my father father; and so we wept, and there was the
3255 155 first gentlemanlike tears that ever we shed.
SHEPHERD 3256 We may live, son, to shed many more.
SHEPHERD’S SON 3257 Ay, or else ’twere hard luck, being in
3258 so preposterous estate as we are.
AUTOLYCUS 3259 I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all
3261 give me your good report to the Prince my master.
SHEPHERD 3262 Prithee, son, do, for we must be gentle now
3263 we are gentlemen.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Autolycus⌝ 3264 Thou wilt amend thy
3265 165 life?
AUTOLYCUS 3266 Ay, an it like your good Worship.
SHEPHERD’S SON 3267 Give me thy hand. I will swear to the
3268 Prince thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in
SHEPHERD 3270 170You may say it, but not swear it.
SHEPHERD’S SON 3271 Not swear it, now I am a gentleman?
3272 Let boors and franklins say it; I’ll swear it.
SHEPHERD 3273 How if it be false, son?
SHEPHERD’S SON 3274 If it be ne’er so false, a true gentleman
3275 175 may swear it in the behalf of his friend.—And
3276 I’ll swear to the Prince thou art a tall fellow of thy
3277 hands and that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know
3278 thou art no tall fellow of thy hands and that thou
3279 wilt be drunk. But I’ll swear it, and I would thou
3280 180 wouldst be a tall fellow of thy hands.
AUTOLYCUS 3281 I will prove so, sir, to my power.
SHEPHERD’S SON 3282 Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow. If
3283 I do not wonder how thou dar’st venture to be
3284 drunk, not being a tall fellow, trust me not. Hark,
3285 185 the Kings and Princes, our kindred, are going to see
3286 the Queen’s picture. Come, follow us. We’ll be thy
3287 good masters.
Paulina, ⌜and⌝ Lords.
3288 O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
3289 That I have had of thee!
PAULINA 3290 What, sovereign sir,
3291 I did not well, I meant well. All my services
3292 5 You have paid home. But that you have vouchsafed,
3293 With your crowned brother and these your contracted
3294 Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
3295 It is a surplus of your grace which never
3296 My life may last to answer.
LEONTES 3297 10 O Paulina,
3298 We honor you with trouble. But we came
3299 To see the statue of our queen. Your gallery
3300 Have we passed through, not without much content
3301 In many singularities; but we saw not
3302 15 That which my daughter came to look upon,
3303 The statue of her mother.
PAULINA 3304 As she lived peerless,
3305 So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
3306 Excels whatever yet you looked upon
3307 20 Or hand of man hath done. Therefore I keep it
3308 ⌜Lonely,⌝ apart. But here it is. Prepare
3309 To see the life as lively mocked as ever
3310 Still sleep mocked death. Behold, and say ’tis well.
⌜She draws a curtain
to reveal⌝ Hermione (like a statue).
3311 I like your silence. It the more shows off
3312 25 Your wonder. But yet speak. First you, my liege.
3313 Comes it not something near?
LEONTES 3314 Her natural posture!—
3315 Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
3316 Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
3318 As infancy and grace.—But yet, Paulina,
3319 Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
3320 So agèd as this seems.
POLIXENES 3321 O, not by much!
3322 35 So much the more our carver’s excellence,
3323 Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
3324 As she lived now.
LEONTES 3325 As now she might have done,
3326 So much to my good comfort as it is
3327 40 Now piercing to my soul. O, thus she stood,
3328 Even with such life of majesty—warm life,
3329 As now it coldly stands—when first I wooed her.
3330 I am ashamed. Does not the stone rebuke me
3331 For being more stone than it?—O royal piece,
3332 45 There’s magic in thy majesty, which has
3333 My evils conjured to remembrance and
3334 From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
3335 Standing like stone with thee.
PERDITA 3336 And give me leave,
3337 50 And do not say ’tis superstition, that
3338 I kneel, and then implore her blessing.⌜She kneels.⌝
3340 Dear queen, that ended when I but began,
3341 Give me that hand of yours to kiss.
PAULINA 3342 55 O, patience!
3343 The statue is but newly fixed; the color’s
3344 Not dry.
CAMILLO, ⌜to Leontes, who weeps⌝
3345 My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
3346 Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
3347 60 So many summers dry. Scarce any joy
3348 Did ever so long live; no sorrow
3349 But killed itself much sooner.
3351 Let him that was the cause of this have power
3352 65 To take off so much grief from you as he
3353 Will piece up in himself.
PAULINA 3354 Indeed, my lord,
3355 If I had thought the sight of my poor image
3356 Would thus have wrought you—for the stone is
3357 70 mine—
3358 I’d not have showed it.
LEONTES 3359 Do not draw the curtain.
3360 No longer shall you gaze on ’t, lest your fancy
3361 May think anon it moves.
LEONTES 3362 75 Let be, let be.
3363 Would I were dead but that methinks already—
3364 What was he that did make it?—See, my lord,
3365 Would you not deem it breathed? And that those
3367 80 Did verily bear blood?
POLIXENES 3368 Masterly done.
3369 The very life seems warm upon her lip.
3370 The fixture of her eye has motion in ’t,
3371 As we are mocked with art.
PAULINA 3372 85 I’ll draw the curtain.
3373 My lord’s almost so far transported that
3374 He’ll think anon it lives.
LEONTES 3375 O sweet Paulina,
3376 Make me to think so twenty years together!
3377 90 No settled senses of the world can match
3378 The pleasure of that madness. Let ’t alone.
3379 I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirred you, but
3380 I could afflict you farther.
LEONTES 3381 Do, Paulina,
3382 95 For this affliction has a taste as sweet
3384 There is an air comes from her. What fine chisel
3385 Could ever yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,
3386 For I will kiss her.
PAULINA 3387 100 Good my lord, forbear.
3388 The ruddiness upon her lip is wet.
3389 You’ll mar it if you kiss it, stain your own
3390 With oily painting. Shall I draw the curtain?
3391 No, not these twenty years.
PERDITA, ⌜rising⌝ 3392 105 So long could I
3393 Stand by, a looker-on.
PAULINA 3394 Either forbear,
3395 Quit presently the chapel, or resolve you
3396 For more amazement. If you can behold it,
3397 110 I’ll make the statue move indeed, descend
3398 And take you by the hand. But then you’ll think—
3399 Which I protest against—I am assisted
3400 By wicked powers.
LEONTES 3401 What you can make her do
3402 115 I am content to lo