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  • 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.
    Our King being ready to leape out of himselfe, for ioy of
    3060his found Daughter; as if that Ioy were now become a
    Losse, cryes, Oh, thy Mother, thy Mother: then askes
    Bohemia forgiuenesse, then embraces his Sonne-in-Law:
    then againe worryes he his Daughter, with clipping her.
    Now he thanks the old Shepheard (which stands by, like
    3065a Weather-bitten Conduit, of many Kings Reignes.) I
    neuer heard of such another Encounter; which lames Re-
    port to follow it, and vndo's description to doe it.
    Gent.2. What, 'pray you, became of Antigonus, that
    carryed hence the Child?
    3070Gent.3. Like an old Tale still, which will haue matter
    to rehearse, though Credit be asleepe, and not an eare o-
    pen; he was torne to pieces with a Beare: This auouches
    the Shepheards Sonne; who ha's not onely his Innocence
    (which seemes much) to iustifie him, but a Hand-kerchief
    3075and Rings of his, that Paulina knowes.
    Gent.1. What became of his Barke, and his Fol-
    Gent.3. Wrackt the same instant of their Masters
    death, and in the view of the Shepheard: so that all the
    3080Instruments which ayded to expose the Child, were euen
    then lost, when it was found. But oh the Noble Combat,
    that 'twixt Ioy and Sorrow was fought in Paulina. Shee
    had one Eye declin'd for the losse of her Husband, ano-
    ther eleuated, that the Oracle was fulfill'd: Shee lifted the
    3085Princesse from the Earth, and so locks her in embracing,
    as if shee would pin her to her heart, that shee might no
    more be in danger of loosing.
    Gent.1. The Dignitie of this Act was worth the au-
    dience of Kings and Princes, for by such was it acted.
    3090Gent.3. One of the prettyest touches of all, and that
    which angl'd for mine Eyes (caught the Water, though
    not the Fish) was, when at the Relation of the Queenes
    death (with the manner how shee came to't, brauely con-
    fess'd, and lamented by the King) how attentiuenesse
    3095wounded his Daughter, till (from one signe of dolour to
    another) shee did (with an Alas) I would faine say, bleed
    Teares; for I am sure, my heart wept blood. Who was
    most Marble, there changed colour: some swownded, all
    sorrowed: if all the World could haue seen't, the Woe
    3100had beene vniuersall.
    Gent.1. Are they returned to the Court?
    Gent.3. No: The Princesse hearing of her Mothers
    Statue (which is in the keeping of Paulina) a Peece many
    yeeres in doing, and now newly perform'd, by that rare
    3105Italian Master, Iulio Romano, who (had he himselfe Eter-
    nitie, and could put Breath into his Worke) would be-
    guile Nature of her Custome, so perfectly he is her Ape:
    He so neere to Hermione, hath done Hermione, that they
    say one would speake to her, and stand in hope of answer.
    3110Thither (with all greedinesse of affection) are they gone,
    and there they intend to Sup.
    Gent.2. I thought she had some great matter there in
    hand, for shee hath priuately, twice or thrice a day, euer
    since the death of Hermione, visited that remoued House.
    3115Shall wee thither, and with our companie peece the Re-
    Gent.1. Who would be thence, that ha's the benefit
    of Accesse? euery winke of an Eye, some new Grace
    will be borne: our Absence makes vs vnthriftie to our
    3120Knowledge. Let's along. Exit.
    Aut. Now (had I not the dash of my former life in
    me) would Preferment drop on my head. I brought the
    old man and his Sonne aboord the Prince; told him, I
    heard them talke of a Farthell, and I know not what: but
    3125he at that time ouer-fond of the Shepheards Daughter (so
    he then tooke her to be) who began to be much Sea-sick,
    and himselfe little better, extremitie of Weather conti-
    nuing, this Mysterie remained vndiscouer'd. But 'tis all
    one to me: for had I beene the finder-out of this Secret,
    3130it would not haue rellish'd among my other discredits.
    Enter Shepheard and Clowne.
    Here come those I haue done good to against my will,
    and alreadie appearing in the blossomes of their For-
    3135Shep. Come Boy, I am past moe Children: but thy
    Sonnes and Daughters will be all Gentlemen borne.
    Clow. You are well met (Sir:) you deny'd to fight
    with mee this other day, because I was no Gentleman
    borne. See you these Clothes? say you see them not,
    3140and thinke me still no Gentleman borne: You were best
    say these Robes are not Gentlemen borne. Giue me the
    Lye: doe: and try whether I am not now a Gentleman
    Aut. I know you are now (Sir) a Gentleman borne.
    3145Clow. I, and haue been so any time these foure houres.
    Shep. And so haue I, Boy.
    Clow. So you haue: but I was a Gentleman borne be-
    fore my Father: for the Kings Sonne tooke me by the
    hand, and call'd mee Brother: and then the two Kings
    3150call'd my Father Brother: and then the Prince (my Bro-
    ther) and the Princesse (my Sister) call'd my Father, Father;
    and so wee wept: and there was the first Gentleman-like
    teares that euer we shed.
    Shep. We may liue (Sonne) to shed many more.
    3155Clow. I: or else 'twere hard luck, being in so preposte-
    rous estate as we are.
    Aut. I humbly beseech you (Sir) to pardon me all the
    faults I haue committed to your Worship, and to giue
    me your good report to the Prince my Master.
    3160Shep. 'Prethee Sonne doe: for we must be gentle, now
    we are Gentlemen.
    Clow. Thou wilt amend thy life?
    Aut. I, and it like your good Worship.
    Clow. Giue me thy hand: I will sweare to the Prince,
    3165thou art as honest a true Fellow as any is in Bohemia.
    Shep. You may say it, but not sweare it.
    Clow. Not sweare it, now I am a Gentleman? Let
    Boores and Francklins say it, Ile sweare it.
    Shep. How if it be false (Sonne?)
    3170Clow. If it be ne're so false, a true Gentleman may
    sweare it, in the behalfe of his Friend: And Ile sweare to
    the Prince, thou art a tall Fellow of thy hands, and that
    thou wilt not be drunke: but I know thou art no tall Fel-
    low of thy hands, and that thou wilt be drunke: but Ile
    3175sweare it, and I would thou would'st be a tall Fellow of
    thy hands.
    Aut. I will proue so (Sir) to my power.
    Clow. I, by any meanes proue a tall Fellow: if I do not
    wonder, how thou dar'st venture to be drunke, not being
    3180a tall Fellow, trust me not. Harke, the Kings and Prin-
    ces (our Kindred) are going to see the Queenes Picture.
    Come, follow vs: wee'le be thy good Masters. Exeunt.

    Scæna Tertia.

    Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Florizell, Perdita, Camillo,
    3185Paulina: Hermione (like a Statue:) Lords, &c.
    Leo. O graue and good Paulina, the great comfort
    That I haue had of thee?
    Paul. What