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.
    She shall be habited, as it becomes
    The partner of your Bed. Me thinkes I see
    Leontes opening his free Armes, and weeping
    His Welcomes forth: asks thee there Sonne forgiuenesse,
    2415As 'twere i'th' Fathers person: kisses the hands
    Of your fresh Princesse; ore and ore diuides him,
    'Twixt his vnkindnesse, and his Kindnesse: th' one
    He chides to Hell, and bids the other grow
    Faster then Thought, or Time.
    2420Flo. Worthy Camillo,
    What colour for my Visitation, shall I
    Hold vp before him?
    Cam. Sent by the King your Father
    To greet him, and to giue him comforts. Sir,
    2425The manner of your bearing towards him, with
    What you (as from your Father) shall deliuer,
    Things knowne betwixt vs three, Ile write you downe,
    The which shall point you forth at euery sitting
    What you must say: that he shall not perceiue,
    2430But that you haue your Fathers Bosome there,
    And speake his very Heart.
    Flo. I am bound to you:
    There is some sappe in this.
    Cam. A Course more promising,
    2435Then a wild dedication of your selues
    To vnpath'd Waters, vndream'd Shores; most certaine,
    To Miseries enough: no hope to helpe you,
    But as you shake off one, to take another:
    Nothing so certaine, as your Anchors, who
    2440Doe their best office, if they can but stay you,
    Where you'le be loth to be: besides you know,
    Prosperitie's the very bond of Loue,
    Whose fresh complexion, and whose heart together,
    Affliction alters.
    2445Perd. One of these is true:
    I thinke Affliction may subdue the Cheeke,
    But not take-in the Mind.
    Cam. Yea? say you so?
    There shall not, at your Fathers House, these seuen yeeres
    2450Be borne another such.
    Flo. My good Camillo,
    She's as forward, of her Breeding, as
    She is i'th' reare' our Birth.
    Cam. I cannot say, 'tis pitty
    2455She lacks Instructions, for she seemes a Mistresse
    To most that teach.
    Perd. Your pardon Sir, for this,
    Ile blush you Thanks.
    Flo. My prettiest Perdita.
    2460But O, the Thornes we stand vpon: (Camillo)
    Preseruer of my Father, now of me,
    The Medicine of our House: how shall we doe?
    We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's Sonne,
    Nor shall appeare in Sicilia.
    2465Cam. My Lord,
    Feare none of this: I thinke you know my fortunes
    Doe all lye there: it shall be so my care,
    To haue you royally appointed, as if
    The Scene you play, were mine. For instance Sir,
    2470That you may know you shall not want: one word.
    Enter Autolicus.
    Aut. Ha, ha, what a Foole Honestie is? and Trust (his
    sworne brother) a very simple Gentleman. I haue sold
    all my Tromperie: not a counterfeit Stone, not a Ribbon,
    2475Glasse, Pomander, Browch, Table-booke, Ballad, Knife,
    Tape, Gloue, Shooe-tye, Bracelet, Horne-Ring, to keepe
    my Pack from fasting: they throng who should buy first,
    as if my Trinkets had beene hallowed, and brought a be-
    nediction to the buyer: by which meanes, I saw whose
    2480Purse was best in Picture; and what I saw, to my good
    vse, I remembred. My Clowne (who wants but some-
    thing to be a reasonable man) grew so in loue with the
    Wenches Song, that hee would not stirre his Petty-toes,
    till he had both Tune and Words, which so drew the rest
    2485of the Heard to me, that all their other Sences stucke in
    Eares: you might haue pinch'd a Placket, it was sence-
    lesse; 'twas nothing to gueld a Cod-peece of a Purse: I
    would haue fill'd Keyes of that hung in Chaynes: no
    hearing, no feeling, but my Sirs Song, and admiring the
    2490Nothing of it. So that in this time of Lethargie, I pickd
    and cut most of their Festiuall Purses: And had not the
    old-man come in with a Whoo-bub against his Daugh-
    ter, and the Kings Sonne, and scar'd my Chowghes from
    the Chaffe, I had not left a Purse aliue in the whole
    Cam. Nay, but my Letters by this meanes being there
    So soone as you arriue, shall cleare that doubt.
    Flo. And those that you'le procure from King Leontes?
    Cam. Shall satisfie your Father.
    2500Perd. Happy be you:
    All that you speake, shewes faire.
    Cam. Who haue we here?
    Wee'le make an Instrument of this: omit
    Nothing may giue vs aide.
    2505Aut. If they haue ouer-heard me now: why hanging.
    Cam. How now (good Fellow)
    Why shak'st thou so? Feare not (man)
    Here's no harme intended to thee.
    Aut. I am a poore Fellow, Sir.
    2510Cam. Why, be so still: here's no body will steale that
    from thee: yet for the out-side of thy pouertie, we must
    make an exchange; therefore dis-case thee instantly (thou
    must thinke there's a necessitie in't) and change Garments
    with this Gentleman: Though the penny-worth (on his
    2515side) be the worst, yet hold thee, there's some boot.
    Aut. I am a poore Fellow, Sir: (I know ye well
    Cam. Nay prethee dispatch: the Gentleman is halfe
    fled already.
    2520Aut. Are you in earnest, Sir? (I smell the trick on't.)
    Flo. Dispatch, I prethee.
    Aut. Indeed I haue had Earnest, but I cannot with
    conscience take it.
    Cam. Vnbuckle, vnbuckle.
    2525Fortunate Mistresse (let my prophecie
    Come home to ye:) you must retire your selfe
    Into some Couert; take your sweet-hearts Hat
    And pluck it ore your Browes, muffle your face,
    Dis-mantle you, and (as you can) disliken
    2530The truth of your owne seeming, that you may
    (For I doe feare eyes ouer) to Ship-boord
    Get vndescry'd.
    Perd. I see the Play so lyes,
    That I must beare a part.
    2535Cam. No remedie:
    Haue you done there?
    Flo. Should I now meet my Father,
    He would not call me Sonne.
    Cam. Nay, you shall haue no Hat:
    2540Come Lady, come: Farewell (my friend.)
    Aut. Adieu, Sir.
    Flo. O Perdita: what haue we twaine forgot?