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)


    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.