Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Hardin Aasand
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-367-0

    Copyright Hardin Aasand. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Hardin Aasand
    Peer Reviewed

    The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Winters Tale.
    The sweet'st, deer'st creature's dead: & vengeance for't
    Not drop'd downe yet.
    1390Lord. The higher powres forbid.
    Pau. I say she's dead: Ile swear't. If word, nor oath
    Preuaile not, go and see: if you can bring
    Tincture, or lustre in her lip, her eye
    Heate outwardly, or breath within, Ile serue you
    1395As I would do the Gods. But, O thou Tyrant,
    Do not repent these things, for they are heauier
    Then all thy woes can stirre: therefore betake thee
    To nothing but dispaire. A thousand knees,
    Ten thousand yeares together, naked, fasting,
    1400Vpon a barren Mountaine, and still Winter
    In storme perpetuall, could not moue the Gods
    To looke that way thou wer't.
    Leo. Go on, go on:
    Thou canst not speake too much, I haue deseru'd
    1405All tongues to talke their bittrest.
    Lord. Say no more;
    How ere the businesse goes, you haue made fault
    I'th boldnesse of your speech.
    Pau. I am sorry for't;
    1410All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
    I do repent: Alas, I haue shew'd too much
    The rashnesse of a woman: he is toucht
    To th' Noble heart. What's gone, and what's past helpe
    Should be past greefe: Do not receiue affliction
    1415At my petition; I beseech you, rather
    Let me be punish'd, that haue minded you
    Of what you should forget. Now (good my Liege)
    Sir, Royall Sir, forgiue a foolish woman:
    The loue I bore your Queene (Lo, foole againe)
    1420Ile speake of her no more, nor of your Children:
    Ile not remember you of my owne Lord,
    (Who is lost too:) take your patience to you,
    And Ile say nothing.
    Leo. Thou didst speake but well,
    1425When most the truth: which I receyue much better,
    Then to be pittied of thee. Prethee bring me
    To the dead bodies of my Queene, and Sonne,
    One graue shall be for both: Vpon them shall
    The causes of their death appeare (vnto
    1430Our shame perpetuall) once a day, Ile visit
    The Chappell where they lye, and teares shed there
    Shall be my recreation. So long as Nature
    Will beare vp with this exercise, so long
    I dayly vow to vse it. Come, and leade me
    1435To these sorrowes.

    Scæna Tertia.

    Enter Antigonus, a Marriner, Babe, Sheepe-
    heard, and Clowne.

    Ant. Thou art perfect then, our ship hath toucht vpon
    1440The Desarts of Bohemia.
    Mar. I (my Lord) and feare
    We haue Landed in ill time: the skies looke grimly,
    And threaten present blusters. In my conscience
    The heauens with that we haue in hand, are angry,
    1445And frowne vpon's.
    Ant. Their sacred wil's be done: go get a-boord,
    Looke to thy barke, Ile not be long before
    I call vpon thee.
    Mar. Make your best haste, and go not
    1450Too-farre i'th Land: 'tis like to be lowd weather,
    Besides this place is famous for the Creatures
    Of prey, that keepe vpon't.
    Antig. Go thou away,
    Ile follow instantly.
    1455Mar. I am glad at heart
    To be so ridde o'th businesse.
    Ant. Come, poore babe;
    I haue heard (but not beleeu'd) the Spirits o'th' dead
    May walke againe: if such thing be, thy Mother
    1460Appear'd to me last night: for ne're was dreame
    So like a waking. To me comes a creature,
    Sometimes her head on one side, some another,
    I neuer saw a vessell of like sorrow
    So fill'd, and so becomming: in pure white Robes
    1465Like very sanctity she did approach
    My Cabine where I lay: thrice bow'd before me,
    And (gasping to begin some speech) her eyes
    Became two spouts; the furie spent, anon
    Did this breake from her. Good Antigonus,
    1470Since Fate (against thy better disposition)
    Hath made thy person for the Thrower-out
    Of my poore babe, according to thine oath,
    Places remote enough are in Bohemia,
    There weepe, and leaue it crying: and for the babe
    1475Is counted lost for euer, Perdita
    I prethee call't: For this vngentle businesse
    Put on thee, by my Lord, thou ne're shalt see
    Thy Wife Paulina more: and so, with shriekes
    She melted into Ayre. Affrighted much,
    1480I did in time collect my selfe, and thought
    This was so, and no slumber: Dreames, are toyes,
    Yet for this once, yea superstitiously,
    I will be squar'd by this. I do beleeue
    Hermione hath suffer'd death, and that
    1485Apollo would (this being indeede the issue
    Of King Polixenes) it should heere be laide
    (Either for life, or death) vpon the earth
    Of it's right Father. Blossome, speed thee well,
    There lye, and there thy charracter: there these,
    1490Which may if Fortune please, both breed thee (pretty)
    And still rest thine. The storme beginnes, poore wretch,
    That for thy mothers fault, art thus expos'd
    To losse, and what may follow. Weepe I cannot,
    But my heart bleedes: and most accurst am I
    1495To be by oath enioyn'd to this. Farewell,
    The day frownes more and more: thou'rt like to haue
    A lullabie too rough: I neuer saw
    The heauens so dim, by day. A sauage clamor?
    Well may I get a-boord: This is the Chace,
    1500I am gone for euer.
    Exit pursued by a Beare.
    Shep. I would there were no age betweene ten and
    three and twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest:
    for there is nothing (in the betweene) but getting wen-
    ches with childe, wronging the Auncientry, stealing,
    1505fighting, hearke you now: would any but these boylde-
    braines of nineteene, and two and twenty hunt this wea-
    ther? They haue scarr'd away two of my best Sheepe,
    which I feare the Wolfe will sooner finde then the Mai-
    ster; if any where I haue them, 'tis by the sea-side, brou-
    1510zing of Iuy. Good-lucke (and't be thy will) what haue
    we heere? Mercy on's, a Barne? A very pretty barne; A
    boy, or a Childe I wonder? (A pretty one, a verie prettie
    one) sure some Scape; Though I am not bookish, yet I