Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardin Aasand
Peer Reviewed

The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)


1
Actus Primus. Scœna Prima.
Enter Camillo and Archidamus.
Arch.
IF you shall chance (Camillo) to visit Bohemia, on
5the like occasion whereon my seruices are now
on-foot, you shall see (as I haue said) great dif-
ference betwixt our Bohemia, and your Sicilia.
Cam. I thinke, this comming Summer, the King of
Sicilia meanes to pay Bohemia the Visitation, which hee
10iustly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our Entertainment shall shame vs: we
will be iustified in our Loues: for indeed---
Cam. 'Beseech you---
Arch. Verely I speake it in the freedome of my know-
15ledge: we cannot with such magnificence--- in so rare---
I know not what to say--- Wee will giue you sleepie
Drinkes, that your Sences (vn-intelligent of our insuffi-
cience) may, though they cannot prayse vs, as little ac-
cuse vs.
20Cam. You pay a great deale to deare, for what's giuen
freely.
Arch. 'Beleeue me, I speake as my vnderstanding in-
structs me, and as mine honestie puts it to vtterance.
Cam. Sicilia cannot shew himselfe ouer-kind to Bohe-
25mia: They were trayn'd together in their Child-hoods;
and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection,
which cannot chuse but braunch now. Since their more
mature Dignities, and Royall Necessities, made seperati-
on of their Societie, their Encounters (though not Perso-
30nall) hath been Royally attornyed with enter-change of
Gifts, Letters, louing Embassies, that they haue seem'd to
be together, though absent: shooke hands, as ouer a Vast;
and embrac'd as it were from the ends of opposed Winds.
The Heauens continue their Loues.
35Arch. I thinke there is not in the World, either Malice
or Matter, to alter it. You haue an vnspeakable comfort
of your young Prince Mamillius: it is a Gentleman of the
greatest Promise, that euer came into my Note.
Cam. I very well agree with you, in the hopes of him:
40it is a gallant Child; one, that (indeed) Physicks the Sub-
iect, makes old hearts fresh: they that went on Crutches
ere he was borne, desire yet their life, to see him a Man.
Arch. Would they else be content to die?
Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse, why they should
45desire to liue.
Arch. If the King had no Sonne, they would desire to
liue on Crutches till he had one.
Exeunt.