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The Winter’s Tale - Act 1, scene 1
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Navigate this workThe Winter’s Tale - Act 1, scene 1
Act 1, scene 1
Archidamus, a Bohemian courtier, exclaims about the magnificent hospitality he has found in Sicilia. Camillo explains about the long friendship between the kings of the two countries. Both noblemen agree that Mamillius, Sicilia’s prince, shows promise of greatness.Enter Camillo and Archidamus.
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
p. 90025 25 affection which cannot choose but branch now.
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.