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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.
    1635of that penitent (as thou calst him) and reconciled King
    my brother, whose losse of his most precious Queene &
    Children, are euen now to be a-fresh lamented. Say to
    me, when saw'st thou the Prince Florizell my son? Kings
    are no lesse vnhappy, their issue, not being gracious, then
    1640they are in loosing them, when they haue approued their
    Cam. Sir, it is three dayes since I saw the Prince: what
    his happier affayres may be, are to me vnknowne: but I
    haue (missingly) noted, he is of late much retyred from
    1645Court, and is lesse frequent to his Princely exercises then
    formerly he hath appeared.
    Pol. I haue considered so much (Camillo) and with
    some care, so farre, that I haue eyes vnder my seruice,
    which looke vpon his remouednesse: from whom I haue
    1650this Intelligence, that he is seldome from the house of a
    most homely shepheard: a man (they say) that from very
    nothing, and beyond the imagination of his neighbors,
    is growne into an vnspeakable estate.
    Cam. I haue heard (sir) of such a man, who hath a
    1655daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended
    more, then can be thought to begin from such a cottage
    Pol. That's likewise part of my Intelligence: but (I
    feare) the Angle that pluckes our sonne thither. Thou
    shalt accompany vs to the place, where we will (not ap-
    1660pearing what we are) haue some question with the shep-
    heard; from whose simplicity, I thinke it not vneasie to
    get the cause of my sonnes resort thether. 'Prethe be my
    present partner in this busines, and lay aside the thoughts
    of Sicillia.
    1665Cam. I willingly obey your command.
    Pol. My best Camillo, we must disguise our selues.

    Scena Tertia.

    Enter Autolicus singing.
    When Daffadils begin to peere,
    1670 With heigh the Doxy ouer the dale,
    Why then comes in the sweet o'the yeere,
    For the red blood raigns in y winters pale.

    The white sheete bleaching on the hedge,
    With hey the sweet birds, O how they sing:
    1675 Doth set my pugging tooth an edge,
    For a quart of Ale is a dish for a King.

    The Larke, that tirra Lyra chaunts,
    With heigh, the Thrush and the Iay:
    Are Summer songs for me and my Aunts
    1680 While we lye tumbling in the hay.
    I haue seru'd Prince Florizell, and in my time wore three
    pile, but now I am out of seruice.

    But shall I go mourne for that (my deere)
    the pale Moone shines by night:
    1685 And when I wander here, and there
    I then do most go right.
    If Tinkers may haue leaue to liue,
    and beare the Sow-skin Bowget,
    Then my account I well may giue,
    1690 and in the Stockes auouch-it.
    My Trafficke is sheetes: when the Kite builds, looke to
    lesser Linnen. My Father nam'd me Autolicus, who be-
    ing (as I am) lytter'd vnder Mercurie, was likewise a
    snapper-vp of vnconsidered trifles: With Dye and drab,
    1695I purchas'd this Caparison, and my Reuennew is the silly
    Cheate. Gallowes, and Knocke, are too powerfull on
    the Highway. Beating and hanging are terrors to mee:
    For the life to come, I sleepe out the thought of it. A
    prize, a prize.
    Enter Clowne.
    Clo. Let me see, euery Leauen-weather toddes, euery
    tod yeeldes pound and odde shilling: fifteene hundred
    shorne, what comes the wooll too?
    Aut. If the sprindge hold, the Cocke's mine.
    1705Clo. I cannot do't without Compters. Let mee see,
    what am I to buy for our Sheepe-shearing-Feast? Three
    pound of Sugar, fiue pound of Currence, Rice: What
    will this sister of mine do with Rice? But my father hath
    made her Mistris of the Feast, and she layes it on. Shee
    1710hath made-me four and twenty Nose-gayes for the shea-
    rers (three-man song-men, all, and very good ones) but
    they are most of them Meanes and Bases; but one Puri-
    tan amongst them, and he sings Psalmes to horne-pipes.
    I must haue Saffron to colour the Warden Pies, Mace:
    1715Dates, none: that's out of my note: Nutmegges, seuen;
    a Race or two of Ginger, but that I may begge: Foure
    pound of Prewyns, and as many of Reysons o'th Sun.
    Aut. Oh, that euer I was borne.
    Clo. I'th' name of me.
    1720Aut. Oh helpe me, helpe mee: plucke but off these
    ragges: and then, death, death.
    Clo. Alacke poore soule, thou hast need of more rags
    to lay on thee, rather then haue these off.
    Aut. Oh sir, the loathsomnesse of them offend mee,
    1725more then the stripes I haue receiued, which are mightie
    ones and millions.
    Clo. Alas poore man, a million of beating may come
    to a great matter.
    Aut. I am rob'd sir, and beaten: my money, and ap-
    1730parrell tane from me, and these detestable things put vp-
    on me.
    Clo. What, by a horse-man, or a foot-man?
    Aut. A footman (sweet sir) a footman.
    Clo. Indeed, he should be a footman, by the garments
    1735he has left with thee: If this bee a horsemans Coate, it
    hath seene very hot seruice. Lend me thy hand, Ile helpe
    thee. Come, lend me thy hand.
    Aut. Oh good sir, tenderly, oh.
    Clo. Alas poore soule.
    1740Aut. Oh good sir, softly, good sir: I feare (sir) my
    shoulder-blade is out.
    Clo. How now? Canst stand?
    Aut. Softly, deere sir: good sir, softly: you ha done
    me a charitable office.
    1745Clo. Doest lacke any mony? I haue a little mony for
    Aut. No, good sweet sir: no, I beseech you sir: I haue
    a Kinsman not past three quarters of a mile hence, vnto
    whome I was going: I shall there haue money, or anie
    1750thing I want: Offer me no money I pray you, that killes
    my heart.
    Clow. What manner of Fellow was hee that robb'd
    Aut. A fellow (sir) that I haue knowne to goe about
    1755with Troll-my-dames: I knew him once a seruant of the
    Prince: I cannot tell good sir, for which of his Ver-
    tues it was, but hee was certainely Whipt out of the