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

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Hardin Aasand
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Winter's Tale (Modern)

    1[1.1]
    Enter Camillo and Archidamus.
    Archidamus
    If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia on the like occasion 5whereon my services are now on-foot, you shall see (as I have said) great difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia.
    Camillo
    I think this coming summer the King of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
    Archidamus
    Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves. For indeed --
    Camillo
    Beseech you --
    Archidamus
    Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge. We 15cannot with such magnificence -- in so rare -- I know not what to say. We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses (unintelligent of our insufficiency) may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.
    20Camillo
    You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.
    Archidamus
    Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
    CamilloSicilia cannot show himself overkind to 25Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods, and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities and royal necessities made separation of their society, their encounters (though not personal) hath been royally 30attornied with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies, that they have seemed to be together, though absent, shook hands as over a vast, and embraced as it were from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves.
    35Archidamus I think there is not in the world either malice or matter to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young Prince Mamillius. It is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into my note.
    Camillo
    I very well agree with you in the hopes of him. 40It is a gallant child, one that indeed physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh. They that went on crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to see him a man.
    Archidamus
    Would they else be content to die?
    Camillo
    Yes, if there were no other excuse why they should 45desire to live.
    Archidamus
    If the King had no son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one.
    Exeunt.
    [1.2]
    Enter Leontes, Hermione, Mamillius, Polixenes, Camillo.
    50Polixenes
    Nine changes of the watery star hath been
    The shepherds' note since we have left our throne
    Without a burden. Time as long again
    Would be filled up, my brother, with our thanks,
    And yet we should for perpetuity
    55Go hence in debt. And therefore, like a cipher,
    Yet standing in rich place I multiply
    With one "we thank you" many thousands more
    That go before it.
    Leontes
    Stay your thanks a while
    60And pay them when you part.
    Polixenes
    Sir, that's tomorrow.
    I am questioned by my fear of what may chance
    Or breed upon our absence that may blow
    No sneaping winds at home to make us say,
    65"This is put forth too truly." Besides, I have stayed
    To tire your royalty.
    Leontes
    We are tougher, brother,
    Than you can put us to it.
    Polixenes
    No longer stay.
    70Leontes
    One seven night longer.
    Polixenes
    Very sooth, tomorrow.
    Leontes
    We'll part the time between's then, and in that
    I'll no gainsaying.
    Polixenes
    Press me not, beseech you, so.
    75There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'th' world
    So soon as yours could win me. So it should now
    Were there necessity in your request, although
    'Twere needful I denied it. My affairs
    Do even drag me homeward, which to hinder
    80Were in your love a whip to me; my stay,
    To you a charge and trouble. To save both,
    Farewell, our brother.
    Leontes
    Tongue-tied, our Queen? Speak you.
    Hermione
    I had thought, sir, to have held my peace until
    85You had drawn oaths from him not to stay. You, sir,
    Charge him too coldly. Tell him you are sure
    All in Bohemia's well. This satisfaction,
    The bygone-day proclaimed, say this to him,
    He's beat from his best ward.
    90Leontes
    Well said, Hermione.
    Hermione
    To tell he longs to see his son were strong.
    But let him say so then and let him go,
    But let him swear so and he shall not stay.
    We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.
    95Yet of your royal presence I'll adventure
    The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
    You take my lord, I'll give him my commission
    To let him there a month behind the gest
    Prefixed for's parting. Yet, good deed, Leontes,
    100I love thee not a jar o'th' clock behind
    What lady she her lord. You'll stay?
    Polixenes
    No, madam.
    Hermione
    Nay, but you will?
    Polixenes
    I may not, verily.
    105Hermione
    Verily?
    You put me off with limber vows. But I,
    Though you would seek t'unsphere the stars with oaths,
    Should yet say "Sir, no going." Verily
    You shall not go; a lady's "Verily" is
    110As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?
    Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
    Not like a guest. So, you shall pay your fees
    When you depart and save your thanks. How say you?
    My prisoner? Or my guest? By your dread "Verily",
    115One of them you shall be.
    Polixenes
    Your guest then, madam:
    To be your prisoner should import offending,
    Which is for me less easy to commit
    Than you to punish.
    120Hermione
    Not your jailer then,
    But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you
    Of my lord's tricks and yours when you were boys.
    You were pretty lordings then?
    Polixenes
    We were, fair Queen.
    125Two lads that thought there was no more behind
    But such a day tomorrow as today,
    And to be boy eternal.
    Hermione
    Was not my Lord
    The verier wag o'th' two?
    130Polixenes
    We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i'th' sun
    And bleat the one at th' other. What we changed
    Was innocence for innocence. We knew not
    The doctrine of ill-doing nor dreamed
    That any did. Had we pursued that life
    135And our weak spirits ne'er been higher reared
    With stronger blood, we should have answered heaven
    Boldly, "Not guilty"; the imposition cleared,
    Hereditary ours.
    Hermione
    By this we gather
    140You have tripped since.
    Polixenes
    O my most sacred Lady,
    Temptations have since then been born to's, for
    In those unfledged days was my wife a girl.
    Your precious self had then not crossed the eyes
    145Of my young playfellow.
    Hermione
    Grace to boot!
    Of this make no conclusion, lest you say
    Your queen and I are devils. Yet go on.
    Th'offences we have made you do we'll answer,
    150If you first sinned with us and that with us
    You did continue fault, and that you slipped not
    With any but with us.
    Leontes
    Is he won yet?
    Hermione
    He'll stay, my Lord.
    155Leontes
    At my request, he would not.
    Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st
    To better purpose.
    Hermione
    Never?
    Leontes
    Never, but once.
    160Hermione
    What? Have I twice said well? When was't before?
    I prithee tell me; cram's with praise and make's
    As fat as tame things. One good deed dying tongueless
    Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that.
    Our praises are our wages. You may ride's
    165With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs ere
    With spur we heat an acre. But to th' goal:
    My last good deed was to entreat his stay.
    What was my first? It has an elder sister,
    Or I mistake you. Oh, would her name were Grace!
    170But once before I spoke to th' purpose? When?
    Nay, let me have't! I long.
    Leontes
    Why, that was when
    Three crabbèd months had soured themselves to death
    Ere I could make thee open thy white hand:
    175And clap thyself, my love; then didst thou utter,
    "I am yours for ever."
    Hermione
    'Tis Grace indeed.
    Why, lo you now, I have spoke to th' purpose twice:
    The one forever earned a royal husband,
    180Th' other for some while a friend.
    [Takes Polixenes by the hand]
    Leontes
    [Aside] Too hot, too hot!
    To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.
    I have tremor cordis on me. My heart dances,
    But not for joy, not joy. This entertainment
    185May a free face put on; derive a liberty
    From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
    And well become the agent. It may, I grant.
    But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,
    As now they are, and making practised smiles
    190As in a looking-glass, and then to sigh, as 'twere --,
    The mort o'th' deer -- Oh, that is entertainment
    My bosom likes not, nor my brows. Mamillius,
    Art thou my boy?
    Mamillius
    Ay, my good Lord.
    195Leontes
    I'fecks!
    Why, that's my bawcock. What? Has't smutched thy nose?
    They say it is a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
    We must be neat, not neat but cleanly, captain.
    And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf
    200Are all called neat -- still virginalling
    Upon his palm? -- [To Mamillius] How now, you wanton calf,
    Art thou my calf?
    Mamillius
    Yes, if you will, my Lord.
    Leontes
    Thou want'st a rough pash and the shoots that I have
    205To be full like me, yet they say we are
    Almost as like as egg -- women say so
    That will say anything. But were they false
    As o're-dyed blacks, as wind, as waters? False
    As dice are to be wished by one that fixes
    210No bourne 'twixt his and mine, yet were it true
    To say this boy were like me? Come, Sir Page,
    Look on me with your welkin eye, sweet villain,
    Most dearest, my collop. Can thy dam? May't be? --
    Affection, thy intention stabs the center.
    215Thou dost make possible things not so held,
    Communicat'st with dreams (how can this be?)
    With what's unreal thou coactive art
    And fellowst nothing. Then 'tis very credent,
    Thou mayst co-join with something and thou dost --
    220And that beyond commission -- and I find it --
    And that to the infection of my brains
    And hardening of my brows.
    Polixenes
    What means Sicilia?
    Hermione
    He something seems unsettled.
    225Polixenes
    How, my Lord?
    Leontes
    What cheer? How is't with you, best brother?
    Hermione
    You look as if you held a brow of much distraction.
    Are you moved, my Lord?
    Leontes
    No, in good earnest.
    230How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
    Its tenderness and make itself a pastime
    To harder bosoms? Looking on the lines
    Of my boy's face methoughts I did recoil
    Twenty-three years and saw myself unbreeched
    235In my green velvet coat, my dagger muzzled
    Lest it should bite its master and so prove,
    As ornaments oft do, too dangerous.
    How like, methought, I then was to this kernel,
    This squash, this gentleman -- [To Mamillius] Mine honest friend,
    240Will you take eggs for money?
    Mamillius
    No, my Lord, I'll fight.
    Leontes
    You will? Why, happy man be's dole! [To Polixenes] My brother,
    Are you so fond of your young prince as we
    Do seem to be of ours?
    245Polixenes
    If at home, sir,
    He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter;
    Now my sworn friend and then mine enemy;
    My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all.
    He makes a July's day short as December,
    250And with his varying childness cures in me
    Thoughts that would thick my blood.
    Leontes
    So stands this squire
    Officed with me. We two will walk, my Lord,
    And leave you to your graver steps. Hermione,
    255How thou lov'st us show in our brother's welcome.
    Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap.
    Next to thyself and my young rover, he's
    Apparent to my heart.
    Hermione
    If you would seek us,
    260We are yours i'th'garden. Shall's attend you there?
    Leontes
    To your own bents dispose you. You'll be found,
    Be you beneath the sky. [Aside] I am angling now,
    Though you perceive me not how I give line.
    Go to, go to!
    265How she holds up the neb, the bill to him,
    And arms her with the boldness of a wife
    To her allowing husband.
    [Exeunt Hermione and Polixenes.]
    Gone already!
    Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a forked one --
    [To Mamillius] Go play, boy, play. Thy mother plays, and I
    270Play too, but so disgraced a part, whose issue
    Will hiss me to my grave. Contempt and clamor
    Will be my knell -- [To Mamillius] Go play, boy, play -- [Aside] There have been,
    Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now,
    And many a man there is, even at this present,
    275Now, while I speak this, holds his wife by th' arm,
    That little thinks she has been sluiced in's absence,
    And his pond fished by his next neighbor, by
    Sir Smile, his neighbor. Nay, there's comfort in't
    Whiles other men have gates, and those gates opened
    280As mine against their will. Should all despair
    That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
    Would hang themselves. Physic for't there's none!
    It is a bawdy planet that will strike
    Where 'tis predominant. And 'tis powerful, think it
    285From east, west, north, and south. Be it concluded,
    No barricado for a belly. Know't,
    It will let in and out the enemy,
    With bag and baggage. Many thousand on's
    Have the disease and feel it not. [To Mamillius] How now, boy?
    290Mamillius
    I am like you, they say.
    Leontes
    Why, that's some comfort.
    What? Camillo, there?
    Camillo
    [Coming forward] Ay, my good Lord.
    Leontes
    Go play, Mamillius, thou'rt an honest man.
    [Exit Mamillius]
    295Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.
    Camillo
    You had much ado to make his anchor hold.
    When you cast out, it still came home.
    Leontes
    Didst note it?
    Camillo
    He would not stay at your petitions, made
    300His business more material.
    Leontes
    Didst perceive it?
    They're here with me already, whispering, rounding,
    "Sicilia is a so-forth." 'Tis far gone,
    When I shall gust it last. How cam't, Camillo,
    305That he did stay?
    Camillo
    At the good queen's entreaty.
    Leontes
    "At the queen's" be't. "Good" should be pertinent,
    But so it is, it is not. Was this taken
    By any understanding pate but thine?
    310For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in
    More than the common blocks. Not noted, is't,
    But of the finer natures, by some severals
    Of headpiece extraordinary? Lower messes
    Perchance are to this business purblind? Say.
    315Camillo
    Business, my lord? I think most understand
    Bohemia stays here longer.
    Leontes
    Ha?
    Camillo
    Stays here longer.
    Leontes
    Ay, but why?
    320Camillo
    To satisfy your Highness and the entreaties
    Of our most gracious mistress.
    Leontes
    "Satisfy"?
    "Th' entreaties of your mistress"? "Satisfy"?
    Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Camillo,
    325With all the nearest things to my heart, as well
    My chamber-counsels, wherein, priest-like, thou
    Hast cleansed my bosom. I from thee departed
    Thy penitent reformed, but we have been
    Deceived in thy integrity, deceived
    330In that which seems so.
    Camillo
    Be it forbid, my lord!
    Leontes
    To bide upon't: thou art not honest, or
    If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward,
    Which hoxes honesty behind, restraining
    335From course required, or else thou must be counted
    A servant grafted in my serious trust
    And therein negligent; or else a fool
    That see'st a game played home, the rich stake drawn,
    And tak'st it all for jest.
    340Camillo
    My gracious lord,
    I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful.
    In every one of these, no man is free,
    But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
    Among the infinite doings of the world,
    345Sometime puts forth. In your affairs, my Lord,
    If ever I were wilful-negligent,
    It was my folly; if industriously
    I played the fool, it was my negligence,
    Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
    350To do a thing where I the issue doubted,
    Whereof the execution did cry out
    Against the non-performance, 'twas a fear
    Which oft infects the wisest. These, my lord,
    Are such allowed infirmities that honesty
    355Is never free of. But beseech your grace
    Be plainer with me; let me know my trespass
    By its own visage. If I then deny it,
    'Tis none of mine.
    Leontes
    Have not you seen, Camillo --
    360But that's past doubt; you have or your eye-glass
    Is thicker than a cuckold's horn -- or heard --
    For to a vision so apparent, rumor
    Cannot be mute -- or thought -- for cogitation
    Resides not in that man that does not think
    365My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess,
    Or else be impudently negative
    To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought, then say
    My wife's a hobby-horse, deserves a name
    As rank as any flax-wench that puts to
    370Before her troth-plight. Say't, and justify't.
    Camillo
    I would not be a stander-by to hear
    My sovereign mistress clouded so without
    My present vengeance taken. 'Shrew my heart,
    You never spoke what did become you less
    375Than this, which to reiterate were sin
    As deep as that, though true.
    Leontes
    Is whispering nothing?
    Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses?
    Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career
    380Of laughter with a sigh? A note infallible
    Of breaking honesty, horsing foot on foot?
    Skulking in corners? Wishing clocks more swift?
    Hours, minutes? Noon, midnight? And all eyes
    Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,
    385That would unseen be wicked? Is this nothing?
    Why, then the world and all that's in't is nothing,
    The covering sky is nothing, Bohemia nothing,
    My wife is nothing, nor nothing have these nothings,
    If this be nothing.
    390Camillo
    Good my Lord, be cured
    Of this diseased opinion, and betimes,
    For 'tis most dangerous.
    Leontes
    Say it be, 'tis true.
    Camillo
    No, no, my Lord.
    395Leontes
    It is! You lie, you lie!
    I say thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee,
    Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave,
    Or else a hovering temporizer that
    Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
    400Inclining to them both; were my wife's liver
    Infected as her life, she would not live
    The running of one glass.
    Camillo
    Who does infect her?
    Leontes
    Why he that wears her like her medal, hanging
    405About his neck -- Bohemia who, if I
    Had servants true about me that bare eyes
    To see alike mine honor as their profits,
    Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
    Which should undo more doing. Ay, and thou
    410His cupbearer, whom I from meaner form
    Have benched and reared to worship, who mayst see
    Plainly as heaven sees earth and earth sees heaven,
    How I am galled, mightst bespice a cup
    To give mine enemy a lasting wink,
    415Which draught to me were cordial.
    Camillo
    Sir, my lord,
    I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
    But with a lingering dram that should not work
    Maliciously like poison, but I cannot
    420Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
    So sovereignly being honorable.
    I have loved thee--
    Leontes
    Make that thy question and go rot!
    Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled,
    425To appoint myself in this vexation?
    Sully the purity and whitenesse of my sheets --
    Which to preserve is sleep; which being spotted
    Is goads, thorns, nettles; tails of wasps --
    Give scandal to the blood o'th' prince, my son,
    430Who I do think is mine and love as mine,
    Without ripe moving to't? Would I do this?
    Could man so blench?
    Camillo
    I must believe you, sir,
    I do and will fetch off Bohemia for't,
    435Provided that when he's removed your Highness
    Will take again your Queen as yours at first,
    Even for your son's sake, and thereby for sealing
    The injury of tongues in courts and kingdoms
    Known and allied to yours.
    440Leontes
    Thou dost advise me,
    Even so as I mine own course have set down;
    I'll give no blemish to her honor, none.
    Camillo
    My Lord,
    Go then, and with a countenance as clear
    445As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia
    And with your Queen. I am his cupbearer
    If from me he have wholesome beverage.
    Account me not your servant.
    Leontes
    This is all.
    450Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
    Do't not, thou splitt'st thine own.
    Camillo
    I'll do't, my Lord.
    Leontes
    I will seem friendly, as thou hast advised me.
    Exit
    Camillo
    O miserable lady! But for me,
    455What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner
    Of good Polixenes, and my ground to do't
    Is the obedience to a master, one,
    Who in rebellion with himself, will have
    All that are his so too. To do this deed,
    460Promotion follows. If I could find example
    Of thousands that had struck anointed kings
    And flourished after, I'd not do't. But since
    Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment bears not one,
    Let villany itself forswear't. I must
    465Forsake the court: to do't or no is certain
    To me a breakneck. Happy star reign now!
    Here comes Bohemia.
    Enter Polixenes.
    Polixenes
    [Aside] This is strange. Methinks
    My favor here begins to warp. Not speak?
    470[To Camillo] Good day, Camillo.
    Camillo
    Hail, most royal sir.
    Polixenes
    What is the news i'th'court?
    Camillo
    None rare, my Lord.
    Polixenes
    The King hath on him such a countenance,
    475As he had lost some province, and a region
    Loved as he loves himself; even now I met him
    With customary compliment, when he,
    Wafting his eyes to th'contrary and falling
    A lip of much contempt, speeds from me and
    480So leaves me to consider what is breeding
    That changes thus his manners.
    Camillo
    I dare not know, my Lord.
    Polixenes
    How, dare not? Do not? Do you know, and dare not?
    Be intelligent to me, 'tis thereabouts;
    485For to yourself what you do know you must
    And cannot say you dare not. Good Camillo,
    Your changed complexions are to me a mirror
    Which shows me mine changed too, for I must be
    A party in this alteration, finding
    490Myself thus altered with't.
    Camillo
    There is a sickness
    Which puts some of us in distemper, but
    I cannot name the disease, and it is caught
    Of you that yet are well.
    495Polixenes
    How caught of me?
    Make me not sighted like the basilisk.
    I have looked on thousands who have sped the better
    By my regard, but killed none so. Camillo --
    As you are certainly a gentleman, thereto
    500Clerk-like experienced, which no less adorns
    Our gentry than our parents' noble names,
    In whose success we are gentle -- I beseech you,
    If you know ought which does behoove my knowledge
    Thereof to be informed, imprisoned not
    505In ignorant concealment.
    Camillo
    I may not answer.
    Polixenes
    A sickness caught of me, and yet I well?
    I must be answered. Dost thou hear, Camillo?
    I conjure thee, by all the parts of man
    510Which honor does acknowledge, whereof the least
    Is not this suit of mine, that thou declare
    What incidency thou dost guess of harm
    Is creeping toward me; how far off, how near,
    Which way to be prevented, if to be.
    515If not, how best to bear it.
    Camillo
    Sir, I will tell you,
    Since I am charged in honor, and by him
    That I think honorable; therefore mark my counsel,
    Which must be even as swiftly followed as
    520I mean to utter it, or both yourself and me,
    Cry lost, and so good night!
    Polixenes
    On, good Camillo.
    Camillo
    I am appointed him to murder you.
    Polixenes
    By whom, Camillo?
    525Camillo
    By the King!
    Polixenes
    For what?
    Camillo
    He thinks, nay with all confidence he swears
    As he had seen't, or been an instrument
    To vice you to't, that you have touched his Queen
    530Forbiddenly.
    Polixenes
    Oh then, my best blood turn
    To an infected jelly and my name
    Be yoked with his that did betray the best!
    Turn then my freshest reputation to
    535A savor that may strike the dullest nostril
    Where I arrive and my approach be shunned,
    Nay, hated too, worse then the greatest infection
    That ere was heard or read.
    Camillo
    Swear his thought over
    540By each particular star in heaven and
    By all their influences; you may as well
    Forbid the sea for to obey the moon
    As or by oath remove or counsel shake
    The fabric of his folly, whose foundation
    545Is piled upon his faith and will continue
    The standing of his body.
    Polixenes
    How should this grow?
    Camillo
    I know not, but I am sure 'tis safer to
    Avoid what's grown than question how 'tis born.
    550If therefore you dare trust my honesty
    That lies enclosèd in this trunk, which you
    Shall bear along impawned, away tonight!
    Your followers I will whisper to the business,
    And will by twos and threes at several posterns
    555Clear them o'th'city. For myself, I'll put
    My fortunes to your service, which are here
    By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain,
    For, by the honor of my parents, I
    Have uttered truth, which, if you seek to prove,
    560I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer,
    Than one condemned by the king's own mouth
    Thereon his execution sworn.
    Polixenes
    I do believe thee;
    I saw his heart in's face. Give me thy hand,
    565Be pilot to me, and thy places shall
    Still neighbor mine. My ships are ready, and
    My people did expect my hence departure
    Two days ago. This jealousy
    Is for a precious creature; as she's rare,
    570Must it be great; and, as his person's mighty,
    Must it be violent; and, as he does conceive
    He is dishonored by a man which ever
    Professed to him, why, his revenges must
    In that be made more bitter. Fear o'ershades me!
    575Good expedition be my friend, and comfort
    The gracious queen, part of his theme, but nothing
    Of his ill-ta'en suspicion. Come, Camillo,
    I will respect thee as a father if
    Thou bear'st my life off, hence. Let us avoid.
    580Camillo
    It is in mine authority to command
    The keys of all the posterns; please your highness
    To take the urgent hour. Come, sir, away.
    Exeunt.
    [2.1]
    Enter Hermione, Mamillius, Ladies. Leontes, 585Antigonus, Lords [stand aside].
    Hermione
    Take the boy to you; he so troubles me,
    'Tis past enduring.
    1 Lady
    Come, my gracious lord.
    Shall I be your playfellow?
    590Mamillius
    No, I'll none of you.
    1 Lady
    Why, my sweet lord?
    Mamillius
    [To 1 Lady] You'll kiss me hard and speak to me as if
    I were a baby still. [To 2 Lady] I love you better.
    2 Lady
    And why so, my lord?
    595Mamillius
    Not for because
    Your brows are blacker, yet black brows they say
    Become some women best, so that there be not
    Too much hair there, but in a semi-circle
    Or a half-moon made with a pen.
    6002 Lady
    Who taught this?
    Mamillius
    I learned it out of women's faces. Pray now,
    What color are your eyebrows?
    2 Lady
    Blue, my lord.
    Mamillius
    Nay, that's a mock! I have seen a lady's nose
    605That has been blue, but not her eyebrows.
    1 Lady
    Hark ye,
    The Queen your mother rounds apace. We shall
    Present our services to a fine new prince
    One of these days, and then you'd wanton with us,
    610If we would have you.
    2 Lady
    She is spread of late
    Into a goodly bulk -- good time encounter her!
    Hermione
    What wisdom stirs amongst you? Come, sir, now
    I am for you again. Pray you sit by us,
    615And tell's a tale.
    Mamillius
    Merry or sad shall't be?
    Hermione
    As merry as you will.
    Mamillius
    A sad tale's best for winter.
    I have one of sprites and goblins.
    620Hermione
    Let's have that, good sir.
    Come on, sit down, come on, and do your best,
    To fright me with your sprites; you're powerful at it.
    Mamillius
    There was a man --
    Hermione
    Nay, come sit down.
    [Gestures Mamillius to sit] Then on.
    625Mamillius
    -- Dwelt by a churchyard. I will tell it softly,
    Yond crickets shall not hear it.
    Hermione
    Come on then, and giv't me in mine ear.
    [Leontes, Antigonus, and Lords come forward].
    Leontes
    Was he met there? His train? Camillo with
    him?
    630Lord
    Behind the tuft of pines I met them; never
    Saw I men scour so on their way. I eyed them
    Even to their ships.
    Leontes
    How blest am I
    In my just censure, in my true opinion!
    635Alack, for lesser knowledge! How accursed
    In being so blest! There may be in the cup
    A spider steeped and one may drink, depart,
    And yet partake no venom, for his knowledge
    Is not infected, but if one present
    640Th' abhorred ingredient to his eye make known
    How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides
    With violent hefts. I have drunk and seen the spider.
    Camillo was his help in this, his pander.
    There is a plot against my life, my crown.
    645All's true that is mistrusted. That false villain
    Whom I employed was pre-employed by him.
    He has discovered my design, and I
    Remain a pinched thing, yea, a very trick
    For them to play at will. How came the posterns
    650So easily open?
    Lord
    By his great authority,
    Which often hath no less prevailed than so
    On your command.
    Leontes
    I know't too well.
    655[To Hermione] Give me the boy. I am glad you did not nurse him
    Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you
    Have too much blood in him.
    Hermione
    What is this? Sport?
    Leontes
    [To the Ladies] Bear the boy hence. He shall not come about her!
    660Away with him, [To Hermione] and let her sport herself
    With that she's big with, for 'tis Polixenes
    Has made thee swell thus.
    [Ladies exit with Mamillius.]
    Hermione
    But I'd say he had not,
    And I'll be sworn you would believe my saying,
    665Howe'er you lean to th'nayward.
    Leontes
    You, my lords,
    Look on her, mark her well. Be but about
    To say "She is a goodly lady," and
    The justice of your hearts will thereto add
    670"'Tis pity she's not honest" honorable.
    Praise her but for this her without-door-form,
    Which on my faith deserves high speech, and straight
    The shrug, the "Hum," or "ha," these petty-brands
    That calumny doth use. Oh, I am out,
    675That mercy does, for calumny will sear
    Virtue itself. These shrugs, these "hum's", and "ha's",
    When you have said she's goodly, come between
    Ere you can say she's honest. But be't known
    From him that has most cause to grieve it should be,
    680She's an adulteress!
    Hermione
    Should a villain say so,
    The most replenished villain in the world,
    He were as much more villain. You, my lord,
    Do but mistake.
    685Leontes
    You have mistook, my lady,
    Polixenes for Leontes. O thou thing,
    Which I'll not call a creature of thy place,
    Lest barbarism, making me the precedent,
    Should a like language use to all degrees
    690And mannerly distinguishment leave out
    Betwixt the prince and beggar. I have said
    She's an adulteress; I have said with whom.
    More, she's a traitor, and Camillo is
    A federary with her and one that knows
    695What she should shame to know herself,
    But with her most vile principal: that she's
    A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
    That vulgars give bold'st titles; ay, and privy
    To this their late escape.
    700Hermione
    No, by my life,
    Privy to none of this! How will this grieve you
    When you shall come to clearer knowledge that
    You thus have published me? Gentle, my Lord,
    You scarce can right me throughly than to say
    705You did mistake.
    Leontes
    No, if I mistake
    In those foundations which I build upon,
    The center is not big enough to bear
    A school-boy's top. [To the Lords] Away with her to prison!
    710He who shall speak for her is a far-off guilty,
    But that he speaks.
    Hermione
    There's some ill planet reigns.
    I must be patient till the heavens look
    With an aspect more favorable. Good, my lords,
    715I am not prone to weeping as our sex
    Commonly are, the want of which vain dew
    Perchance shall dry your pities, but I have
    That honorable grief lodged here which burns
    Worse than tears drown. Beseech you all, my lords,
    720With thoughts so qualified as your charities
    Shall best instruct you measure me; and so,
    The King's will be performed.
    [The guards delay removing Hermione.]
    Leontes
    Shall I be heard?
    Hermione
    Who is't that goes with me? Beseech your Highness
    725My women may be with me, for you see
    My plight requires it. [To the women] Do not weep, good fools,
    There is no cause. When you shall know your mistress
    Has deserved prison, then abound in tears
    As I come out; this action I now go on
    730Is for my better grace. [To Leontes] Adieu, my Lord,
    I never wished to see you sorry; now
    I trust I shall. My women, come, you have leave.
    [Exit Hermione under guard, with her women.]
    Leontes
    Go, do our bidding. Hence!
    Lord
    Beseech your Highness, call the Queen again.
    735Antigonus
    Be certain what you do, sir, lest your justice
    Prove violence, in the which three great ones suffer:
    Yourself, your Queen, your son.
    Lord
    For her, my Lord,
    I dare my life lay down, and will do't, sir,
    740Please you t' accept it, that the Queen is spotless
    I'th' eyes of heaven, and to you -- I mean
    In this which you accuse her.
    Antigonus
    If it prove
    She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where
    745I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her.
    Than when I feel and see her, no farther trust her;
    For every inch of woman in the world,
    Ay, every dram of woman's flesh, is false
    If she be.
    750Leontes
    Hold your peaces.
    Lord
    Good, my lord --
    Antigonus
    It is for you we speak, not for ourselves.
    You are abused, and by some putter-on
    That will be damned for't. Would I knew the villain,
    755I would land-damn him; be she honor-flawed,
    I have three daughters: the eldest is eleven;
    The second and the third nine and some five.
    If this prove true, they'll pay for't. By mine honor,
    I'll geld 'em all; fourteen they shall not see
    760To bring false generations. They are co-heirs,
    And I had rather glib myself then they
    Should not produce fair issue.
    Leontes
    Cease, no more!
    You smell this business with a sense as cold
    765As is a dead man's nose; but I do see't and feel't,
    As you feel doing thus [Grabbing Antigonus's beard] and see withal
    The instruments that feel.
    Antigonus
    If it be so,
    We need no grave to bury honesty.
    770There's not a grain of it the face to sweeten
    Of the whole dungy earth.
    Leontes
    What? Lack I credit?
    Lord
    I had rather you did lack than I, my Lord,
    Upon this ground, and more it would content me
    775To have her honor true than your suspicion
    Be blamed for't how you might.
    Leontes
    Why, what need we
    Commune with you of this, but rather follow
    Our forceful instigation? Our prerogative
    780Calls not your counsels, but our natural goodness
    Imparts this, which, if you, or stupified
    Or seeming so in skill, cannot or will not
    Relish a truth like us, inform yourselves
    We need no more of your advice; the matter,
    785The loss, the gain, the ordering on't
    Is all properly ours.
    Antigonus
    And I wish, my liege,
    You had only in your silent judgement tried it,
    Without more overture.
    790Leontes
    How could that be?
    Either thou art most ignorant by age,
    Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's flight,
    Added to their familiarity --
    Which was as gross as ever touched conjecture,
    795That lacked sight only, naught for approbation
    But only seeing, all other circumstances
    Made up to'th deed -- doth push-on this proceeding.
    Yet for a greater confirmation,
    For in an act of this importance 'twere
    800Most piteous to be wild, I have dispatched in post
    To sacred Delphos to Apollo's temple,
    Cleomines and Dion, whom you know
    Of stuffed-sufficiency; now, from the oracle
    They will bring all whose spiritual counsel had
    805Shall stop or spur me. Have I done well?
    Lord
    Well done, my Lord.
    Leontes
    Though I am satisfied and need no more
    Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
    Give rest to th' minds of others, such as he
    810Whose ignorant credulity will not
    Come up to th' truth. So have we thought it good
    From our free person she should be confined,
    Lest that the treachery of the two fled hence
    Be left her to perform. Come, follow us.
    815We are to speak in public; for this business
    Will raise us all.
    Antigonus
    [Aside] To laughter, as I take it,
    If the good truth were known.
    Exeunt.
    [2.2]
    820Enter Paulina, a Gentleman [and attendants]
    Paulina
    The keeper of the prison, call to him.
    Let him have knowledge who I am.
    [Exit Gentleman]
    Good lady,
    No court in Europe is too good for thee.
    What dost thou then in prison?
    [Enter Jailer and Gentleman]
    Now, good sir,
    825You know me, do you not?
    Jailer
    For a worthy lady,
    And one who much I honor.
    Paulina
    Pray you then,
    Conduct me to the queen.
    830Jailer
    I may not, madam.
    To the contrary I have express commandment.
    Paulina
    Here's ado, to lock up honesty and honor from
    Th' access of gentle visitors. Is't lawful pray you
    To see her women? Any of them? Emilia?
    835Jailer
    So please you, madam,
    To put apart these your attendants, I
    Shall bring Emilia forth.
    Paulina
    I pray now call her;
    Withdraw yourselves.
    [Exeunt Gentleman and attendants]
    840Jailer
    And, madam,
    I must be present at your conference.
    Paulina
    Well, be't so, prithee.
    [Exit Jailer]
    Here's such ado to make no stain a stain
    As passes coloring.
    [Enter Jailer and Emilia.]
    Dear gentlewoman,
    845How fares our gracious lady?
    Emilia
    As well as one so great and so forlorn
    May hold together; on her frights and griefs,
    Which never tender lady hath borne greater,
    She is something before her time delivered.
    850Paulina
    A boy?
    Emilia
    A daughter, and a goodly babe,
    Lusty and like to live; the Queen receives
    Much comfort in't, says, "my poor prisoner,
    I am innocent as you."
    855Paulina
    I dare be sworn,
    These dangerous, unsafe lunes i'th' King, beshrew them!
    He must be told on't, and he shall. The office
    Becomes a woman best. I'll take't upon me.
    If I prove honey-mouthed, let my tongue blister
    860And never to my red-looked anger be
    The trumpet any more. Pray you, Emilia,
    Commend my best obedience to the Queen;
    If she dares trust me with her little babe,
    I'll show't the King and undertake to be
    865Her advocate to th' loudest. We do not know
    How he may soften at the sight o'th'child.
    The silence often of pure innocence
    Persuades when speaking fails.
    Emilia
    Most worthy madam,
    870Your honor and your goodness is so evident
    That your free undertaking cannot miss
    A thriving issue; there is no lady living
    So meet for this great errand. Please your Ladyship
    To visit the next room, I'll presently
    875Acquaint the Queen of your most noble offer,
    Who but today hammered of this design,
    But durst not tempt a minister of honor
    Lest she should be denied.
    Paulina
    Tell her, Emilia,
    880I'll use that tongue I have; if wit flow from't
    As boldness from my bosom, le't not be doubted
    I shall do good.
    Emilia
    Now be you blest for it!
    I'll to the Queen. Please you come something nearer.
    885Jailer
    [To Paulina] Madam, if't please the Queen to send the babe,
    I know not what I shall incur to pass it,
    Having no warrant.
    Paulina
    You need not fear it, sir,
    This child was prisoner to the womb and is
    890By law and process of great nature thence
    Freed and enfranchised, not a party to
    The anger of the King, nor guilty of,
    If any be, the trespass of the Queen.
    Jailer
    I do believe it.
    895Paulina
    Do not you fear! Upon mine honor, I
    Will stand betwixt you and danger.
    Exeunt.
    [2.3]
    [Enter Leontes]
    900Leontes
    Nor night nor day no rest. It is but weakness
    To bear the matter thus, mere weakness. If
    The cause were not in being -- part o'th cause,
    She, th' adulteress; for the harlot-king
    Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
    905And level of my brain, plot-proof -- but she,
    I can hook to me. Say that she were gone,
    Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
    Might come to me again. Who's there?
    [Enter Servant]
    Servant
    My lord?
    910Leontes
    How does the boy?
    Servant
    He took good rest tonight. 'Tis hoped
    His sickness is discharged.
    Leontes
    To see his nobleness
    Conceiving the dishonor of his mother!
    915He straight declined, drooped, took it deeply,
    Fastened, and fixed the shame on't in himself;
    Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
    And downright languished. Leave me solely. Go,
    See how he fares.
    [Exit Servant.]
    Fie, fie, no thought of him.
    920The very thought of my revenges that way
    Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty,
    And in his parties, his alliance. Let him be
    Until a time may serve. For present vengeance
    Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
    925Laugh at me, make their pastime at my sorrow.
    They should not laugh if I could reach them, nor
    Shall she within my power.
    Enter Paulina [with baby], Antigonus, Lords and Servants.
    Lord
    You must not enter.
    930Paulina
    Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me.
    Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
    Than the Queen's life? A gracious innocent soul,
    More free than he is jealous.
    Antigonus
    That's enough.
    935Servant
    Madam, he hath not slept tonight, commanded
    None should come at him.
    Paulina
    Not so hot, good sir.
    I come to bring him sleep. 'Tis such as you
    That creep like shadows by him and do sigh
    940At each his needless heavings, such as you
    Nourish the cause of his awaking. I
    Do come with words as medicinal as true --
    Honest as either -- to purge him of that humor
    That presses him from sleep.
    945Leontes
    [To Paulina, taking notice of voice] What noise there, ho?
    Paulina
    No noise, my Lord, but needful conference
    About some gossips for your Highness.
    Leontes
    How?
    Away with that audacious lady! Antigonus,
    950I charged thee that she should not come about me.
    I knew she would.
    Antigonus
    I told her so, my lord,
    On your displeasure's peril and on mine
    She should not visit you.
    955Leontes
    What? Canst not rule her?
    Paulina
    From all dishonesty he can; in this --
    Unless he take the course that you have done,
    Commit me for committing honor -- trust it,
    He shall not rule me.
    960Antigonus
    La you now, you hear.
    When she will take the rein I let her run,
    But she'll not stumble.
    Paulina
    Good, my liege, I come,
    And I beseech you hear me, who professes
    965Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
    Your most obedient counselor yet that dares
    Less appear so in comforting your evils,
    Than such as most seem yours. I say, I come
    From your good queen.
    970Leontes
    "Good" queen?
    Paulina
    Good queen, my Lord, good queen,
    I say "good queen",
    And would by combat make her good, so were I
    A man, the worst about you.
    975Leontes
    Force her hence.
    Paulina
    Let him that makes but trifles of his eyes
    First hand me; on mine own accord, I'll off,
    But first I'll do my errand. The good queen --
    For she is good -- hath brought you forth a daughter.
    980Here 'tis. Commends it to your blessing.
    [Laying down the baby]
    Leontes
    Out!
    A mankind witch? Hence with her, out o'door!
    A most intelligencing bawd.
    Paulina
    Not so!
    985I am as ignorant in that as you
    In so entitling me and no less honest
    Than you are mad, which is enough I'll warrant
    As this world goes to pass for honest.
    Leontes
    Traitors!
    990Will you not push her out?
    [To Antigonus] Give her the bastard,
    Thou dotard! Thou art woman-tired, unroosted
    By thy dame Partlet here. Take up the bastard,
    Take't up, I say! Give't to thy crone.
    Paulina
    [To Antigonus] Forever
    995Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
    Tak'st up the princess by that forced baseness
    Which he has put upon't.
    Leontes
    He dreads his wife.
    Paulina
    So I would you did; then 'twere past all doubt
    1000You'd call your children yours.
    Leontes
    A nest of traitors!
    Antigonus
    I am none, by this good light.
    Paulina
    Nor I, nor any
    But one that's here, and that's himself. For he
    1005The sacred honor of himself, his queen's,
    His hopeful son's, his babe's, betrays to slander,
    Whose sting is sharper than the sword's and will not --
    For as the case now stands, it is a curse
    He cannot be compelled to't -- once remove
    1010The root of his opinion, which is rotten,
    As ever oak or stone was sound.
    Leontes
    A callet
    Of boundless tongue, who late hath beat her husband
    And now baits me. This brat is none of mine.
    1015It is the issue of Polixenes.
    Hence with it, and together with the dam
    Commit them to the fire!
    Paulina
    It is yours,
    And might we lay th'old proverb to your charge,
    1020So like you 'tis the worse. Behold, my lords,
    Although the print be little, the whole matter
    And copy of the father -- eye, nose, lip,
    The trick of's frown, his forehead, nay, the valley,
    The pretty dimples of his chin, and cheek, his smiles
    1025The very mold and frame of hand, nail, finger.
    And thou, good goddess Nature, which hast made it
    So like to him that got it, if thou hast
    The ordering of the mind too, 'mongst all colors
    No yellow in't, lest she suspect, as he does,
    1030Her children not her husband's.
    Leontes
    A gross hag!
    [To Antigonus] And, lozel, thou art worthy to be hanged
    That wilt not stay her tongue.
    Antigonus
    Hang all the husbands
    1035That cannot do that feat, you'll leave yourself
    Hardly one subject.
    Leontes
    Once more, take her hence!
    Paulina
    A most unworthy and unnatural lord
    Can do no more.
    1040Leontes
    I'll ha' thee burnt.
    Paulina
    I care not.
    It is an heretic that makes the fire,
    Not she which burns in't. I'll not call you tyrant.
    But this most cruel usage of your queen,
    1045Not able to produce more accusation
    Than your own weak-hinged fancy, something savors
    Of tyranny and will ignoble make you,
    Yea, scandalous to the world.
    Leontes
    [To Antigonus] On your allegiance,
    1050Out of the chamber with her. Were I a tyrant,
    Where were her life? She durst not call me so
    If she did know me one. Away with her!
    Paulina
    [To Lords] I pray you do not push me; I'll be gone.
    Look to your babe, my Lord, 'tis yours. Jove send her
    1055A better guiding spirit. What needs these hands?
    You that are thus so tender o'er his follies
    Will never do him good, not one of you.
    So, so. Farewell, we are gone.
    Exit.
    Leontes
    Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this.
    1060My child? Away with't! Even thou that hast
    A heart so tender o'er it, take it hence,
    And see it instantly consumed with fire.
    Even thou, and none but thou. Take it up straight;
    Within this hour bring me word 'tis done,
    1065And by good testimony, or I'll seize thy life
    With what thou else call'st thine. If thou refuse,
    And wilt encounter with my wrath, say so.
    The bastard-brains with these my proper hands
    Shall I dash out. Go, take it to the fire,
    1070For thou set'st on thy wife.
    Antigonus
    I did not, sir.
    These lords, my noble fellows, if they please,
    Can clear me in't.
    Lords
    We can, my royal liege.
    1075He is not guilty of her coming hither.
    Leontes
    You're liars all!
    Lords
    Beseech your Highness, give us better credit.
    We have always truly served you and beseech
    So to esteem of us, and on our knees we beg
    1080As recompense of our dear services
    Past and to come that you do change this purpose,
    Which being so horrible, so bloody, must
    Lead on to some foul issue. We all kneel.
    Leontes
    I am a feather for each wind that blows.
    1085Shall I live on to see this bastard kneel
    And call me father? Better burn it now
    Then curse it then. But be it; let it live.
    It shall not neither. You sir, come you hither,
    You that have been so tenderly officious
    1090With Lady Margerie, your midwife there,
    To save this bastard's life, for 'tis a bastard,
    So sure as this beard's gray. What will you adventure
    To save this brat's life?
    Antigonus
    Anything, my lord,
    1095That my ability may undergo
    And nobleness impose, at least thus much:
    I'll pawn the little blood which I have left
    To save the innocent. Anything possible.
    Leontes
    It shall be possible. Swear by this sword
    1100Thou wilt perform my bidding.
    Antigonus
    [Places hand on hilt of sword] I will, my lord.
    Leontes
    Mark, and perform it, seest thou? For the fail
    Of any point in't shall not only be
    Death to thyself, but to thy lewd-tongued wife,
    1105Whom for this time we pardon. We enjoin thee,
    As thou art liegeman to us, that thou carry
    This female bastard hence, and that thou bear it
    To some remote and desert place, quite out
    Of our dominions; and that there thou leave it
    1110Without more mercy, to it own protection
    And favor of the climate. As by strange fortune
    It came to us, I do in justice charge thee
    On thy soul's peril and thy body's torture
    That thou commend it strangely to some place
    1115Where chance may nurse or end it. Take it up.
    Antigonus
    I swear to do this, though a present death
    Had been more merciful. Come on, poor babe,
    [Takes up baby]
    Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens
    To be thy nurses. Wolves and bears, they say,
    1120Casting their savageness aside have done
    Like offices of pity-- [To Leontes] Sir, be prosperous
    In more than this deed does require -- [To baby] and blessing
    Against this cruelty fight on thy side,
    Poor thing, condemned to loss.
    Exit [with child]
    1125Leontes
    No, I'll not rear
    Another's issue.
    Enter a Servant.
    Servant
    Please your Highness, posts
    From those you sent to th'oracle are come
    An hour since. Cleomines and Dion,
    1130Being well arrived from Delphos, are both landed,
    Hasting to th'court.
    Servant
    So please you, sir, their speed
    Hath been beyond account.
    Leontes
    Twenty-three days
    1135They have been absent. 'Tis good speed, foretells
    The great Apollo suddenly will have
    The truth of this appear. Prepare you, lords,
    Summon a session that we may arraign
    Our most disloyal lady, for as she hath
    1140Been publicly accused, so shall she have
    A just and open trial. While she lives,
    My heart will be a burden to me. Leave me,
    And think upon my bidding.
    Exeunt.
    [3.1]
    1145Enter Cleomines and Dion.
    Cleomines
    The climate's delicate, the air most sweet,
    Fertile the isle, the temple much surpassing
    The common praise it bears.
    Dion
    I shall report,
    1150For most it caught me, the celestial habits,
    Methinks I so should term them, and the reverence
    Of the grave wearers. O, the sacrifice,
    How ceremonious, solemn, and unearthly
    It was i'th'offering!
    1155Cleomines
    But of all, the burst
    And the ear-deafening voice o'th'oracle,
    Kin to Jove's thunder, so surprised my sense
    That I was nothing.
    Dion
    If th' event o'th' journey
    1160Prove as successful to the queen--O, be't so--
    As it hath been to us, rare, pleasant, speedy,
    The time is worth the use on't.
    Cleomines
    Great Apollo,
    Turn all to th'best! These proclamations,
    1165So forcing faults upon Hermione
    I little like.
    Dion
    The violent carriage of it
    Will clear or end the business when the oracle
    Thus by Apollo's great divine sealed up
    1170Shall the contents discover, something rare
    Even then will rush to knowledge. Go. Fresh horses!
    And gracious be the issue.
    Exeunt.
    [3.2]
    Enter Leontes, Lords, [and] Officers.
    Leontes
    This sessions to our great grief we pronounce,
    Even pushes 'gainst our heart. The party tried,
    The daughter of a king, our wife, and one
    Of us too much beloved. Let us be cleared
    1180Of being tyrannous, since we so openly
    Proceed in justice, which shall have due course,
    Even to the guilt or the purgation.
    Produce the prisoner.
    Officer
    It is his Highness' pleasure that the queen
    1185Appear in person, here in court.
    [Enter Hermione for trial, with Paulina and Ladies]
    Silence!
    Leontes
    Read the indictment.
    Officer
    [Reads] Hermione, queen to the worthy Leontes, King
    of Sicilia, thou art here accused and arraigned of high treason,in committing adultery with Polixenes, King of Bohemia, 1190and conspiring with Camillo to take away the life of our soveraign lord the king, thy royal husband, the pretence whereof being by circumstances partly laid open, thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and allegiance of a true subject, didst counsel and aid them, for their better safety, to fly away by 1195night.
    Hermione
    Since what I am to say must be but that
    Which contradicts my accusation, and
    The testimony on my part no other
    But what comes from myself, it shall scarce boot me
    1200To say, "Not guilty". Mine integrity,
    Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
    Be so received. But thus, if powers divine
    Behold our humane actions, as they do,
    I doubt not then but innocence shall make
    1205False accusation blush and tyranny
    Tremble at patience. You, my lord, best know
    Whom least will seem to do so my past life
    Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
    As I am now unhappy, which is more
    1210Than history can pattern, though devised
    And played to take spectators. For behold me,
    A fellow of the royal bed, which owe
    A moiety of the throne, a great king's daughter,
    The mother to a hopeful prince, here standing
    1215To prate and talk for life and honor fore
    Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
    As I weigh grief, which I would spare. For honor,
    'Tis a derivative from me to mine,
    And only that I stand for. I appeal
    1220To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
    Came to your court how I was in your grace,
    How merited to be so. Since he came,
    With what encounter so uncurrent I
    Have strained t' appear thus; if one jot beyond
    1225The bound of honor or in act or will
    That way inclining, hardened be the hearts
    Of all that hear me, and my nearest of kin
    Cry fie upon my grave.
    Leontes
    I never heard yet
    1230That any of these bolder vices wanted
    Less impudence to gainsay what they did
    Than to perform it first.
    Hermione
    That's true enough,
    Though 'tis a saying, sir, not due to me.
    1235Leontes
    You will not own it.
    Hermione
    More than mistress of
    Which comes to me in name of fault I must not
    At all acknowledge. For Polixenes,
    With whom I am accused, I do confess
    1240I loved him as in honor he required,
    With such a kind of love as might become
    A lady like me; with a love, even such,
    So and no other, as yourself commanded,
    Which, not to have done, I think had been in me
    1245Both disobedience and ingratitude
    To you and toward your friend, whose love had spoke
    Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely,
    That it was yours. Now for conspiracy,
    I know not how it tastes, though it be dished
    1250For me to try how; all I know of it
    Is that Camillo was an honest man,
    And why he left your court the gods themselves,
    Wotting no more then I, are ignorant.
    Leontes
    You knew of his departure, as you know
    1255What you have underta'en to do in's absence.
    Hermione
    Sir,
    You speak a language that I understand not.
    My life stands in the level of your dreams,
    Which I'll lay down.
    1260Leontes
    Your actions are my dreams.
    You had a bastard by Polixenes,
    And I but dreamed it; as you were past all shame,
    Those of your fact are so, so past all truth,
    Which to deny concerns more then avails; for as
    1265Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
    No father owning it, which is indeed
    More criminal in thee than it, so thou
    Shalt feel our justice, in whose easiest passage
    Look for no less than death.
    1270Hermione
    Sir, spare your threats.
    The bug which you would fright me with I seek;
    To me can life be no commodity.
    The crown and comfort of my life, your favor,
    I do give lost, for I do feel it gone,
    1275But know not how it went. My second joy
    And first fruits of my body, from his presence
    I am barred, like one infectious. My third comfort
    Starred most unluckily, is from my breast --
    The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth --
    1280Hal'd out to murder. Myself on every post
    Proclaimed a strumpet, with immodest hatred
    The child-bed privilege denied, which longs
    To women of all fashion. Lastly, hurried
    Here, to this place, i'th' open air, before
    1285I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
    Tell me what blessings I have here alive
    That I should fear to die? Therefore, proceed,
    But yet hear this -- mistake me not -- no life,
    I prize it not a straw, but for mine honor,
    1290Which I would free. If I shall be condemned
    Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
    But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
    'Tis rigor and not law. Your honors all,
    I do refer me to the oracle:
    1295Apollo be my judge.
    Lord
    This your request
    Is altogether just. Therefore, bring forth,
    And in Apollo's name, his oracle.
    [Exeunt certain officers]
    Hermione
    The emperor of Russia was my father.
    1300Oh that he were alive and here beholding
    His daughter's trial, that he did but see
    The flatness of my misery; yet with eyes
    Of pity, not revenge.
    [Enter Cleomines and Dion with officers]
    Officer
    You here shall swear upon this sword of justice,
    1305That you, Cleomines and Dion, have
    Been both at Delphos and from thence have brought
    This sealed-up oracle by the hand delivered
    Of great Apollo's priest; and that since then,
    You have not dared to break the holy seal
    1310Nor read the secrets in't.
    Cleomines and Dion
    All this we swear.
    Leontes
    Break up the seals and read.
    Officer
    [Reads]
    Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant, his innocent babe 1315truly begotten, and the king shall live without an heir if that which is lost be not found.
    Lords
    Now blessed be the great Apollo.
    Hermione
    Praised!
    Leontes
    Hast thou read truth?
    1320Officer
    Ay, my lord, even so
    As it is here set down.
    Leontes
    There is no truth at all i'th'oracle!
    The sessions shall proceed. This is mere falsehood.
    [Enter Servant]
    Servant
    My lord, the King, the King!
    Leontes
    What is the business?
    1325Servant
    O, sir, I shall be hated to report it.
    The prince your son, with mere conceit and fear
    Of the queen's speed, is gone.
    Leontes
    How "gone"?
    Servant
    Is dead!
    1330Leontes
    Apollo's angry, and the heavens themselves
    Do strike at my injustice!
    [Hermione falls]
    How now there?
    Paulina
    This news is mortal to the Queen! Look down
    And see what death is doing.
    Leontes
    Take her hence!
    1335Her heart is but o'er-charged; she will recover.
    I have too much believed mine own suspicion.
    Beseech you tenderly apply to her
    Some remedies for life.
    [Paulia and Ladies exit with Hermione]
    Apollo, pardon
    My great profanenesse 'gainst thine oracle.
    1340I'll reconcile me to Polixenes,
    New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo,
    Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy;
    For being transported by my jealousies
    To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose
    1345Camillo for the minister to poison
    My friend Polixenes, which had been done,
    But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
    My swift command. Though I with death and with
    Reward did threaten and encourage him
    1350Not doing it and being done, he -- most humane,
    And filled with honor -- to my kingly guest
    Unclasped my practice, quit his fortunes here,
    Which you knew great, and to the hazard
    Of all incertainties himself commended,
    1355No richer than his honor. How he glisters
    Through my rust, and how his piety
    Does my deeds make the blacker!
    [Enter Paulina]
    Paulina
    Woe the while!
    Oh cut my lace, lest my heart, cracking it,
    1360Break too.
    Lord
    What fit is this? Good lady?
    Paulina
    What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me?
    What wheels, racks, fires? What flaying? Boiling
    In leads or oils? What old or newer torture
    1365Must I receive, whose every word deserves
    To taste of thy most worst! Thy tyranny
    Together working with thy jealousies --
    Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle
    For girls of nine -- Oh think what they have done,
    1370And then run mad indeed, stark-mad, for all
    Thy bygone fooleries were but spices of it.
    That thou betrayedst Polixenes, 'twas nothing.
    That did but show thee of a fool, inconstant,
    And damnable ingrateful. Nor was't much,
    1375Thou wouldst have poisoned good Camillo's honor
    To have him kill a king: poor trespasses,
    More monstrous standing by; whereof I reckon
    The casting forth to crows thy baby daughter
    To be or none, or little, though a devil
    1380Would have shed water out of fire ere done't.
    Nor is't directly laid to thee the death
    Of the young prince, whose honorable thoughts,
    Thoughts high for one so tender, cleft the heart
    That could conceive a gross and foolish sire
    1385Blemished his gracious dam. This is not, no,
    Laid to thy answer. But the last -- O lords,
    When I have said, "Cry woe!" -- the Queen, the Queen,
    The sweetest, dearest creature's dead, and vengeance for't
    Not dropped down yet.
    1390Lord
    The higher powers forbid!
    Paulina
    I say she's dead! I'll swear't! If word nor oath
    Prevail not, go and see. If you can bring
    Tincture or luster in her lip, her eye,
    Heat outwardly, or breath within, I'll serve you
    1395As I would do the gods. But, O thou tyrant,
    Do not repent these things, for they are heavier
    Than all thy woes can stir; therefore, betake thee
    To nothing but despair. A thousand knees
    Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting
    1400Upon a barren mountain and still winter
    In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
    To look that way thou wert.
    Leontes
    Go on, go on!
    Thou canst not speak too much. I have deserved
    1405All tongues to talk their bitt'rest.
    Lord
    [To Paulina] Say no more.
    Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault
    I'th'boldness of your speech.
    Paulina
    I am sorry for't.
    1410All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
    I do repent. Alas, I have showed too much
    The rashness of a woman. He is touched
    To th'noble heart. What's gone and what's past help
    Should be past grief. [To Leontes] Do not receive affliction
    1415At my petition; I beseech you, rather,
    Let me be punished that have minded you
    Of what you should forget. Now, good my liege,
    Sir, royal sir, forgive a foolish woman;
    The love I bore your queen -- lo, fool again!
    1420I'll speak of her no more, nor of your children;
    I'll not remember you of my own lord,
    Who is lost too. Take your patience to you,
    And I'll say nothing.
    Leontes
    Thou didst speak but well,
    1425When most the truth which I receive much better
    Than to be pitied of thee. Prithee bring me
    To the dead bodies of my queen and son;
    One grave shall be for both. Upon them shall
    The causes of their death appear, unto
    1430Our shame perpetual. Once a day I'll visit
    The chapel where they lie, and tears shed there
    Shall be my recreation. So long as nature
    Will bear up with this exercise, so long
    I daily vow to use it. Come and lead me
    1435To these sorrows.
    Exeunt.
    [3.3]
    [Enter Antigonus carrying baby, followed by a mariner]
    Antigonus
    Thou art perfect, then, our ship hath touched upon
    1440The deserts of Bohemia?
    Mariner
    Ay, my lord, and fear
    We have landed in ill time: the skies look grimly
    And threaten present blusters. In my conscience
    The heavens with that we have in hand are angry
    1445And frown upon's.
    Antigonus
    Their sacred wills be done. Go, get aboard,
    Look to thy bark. I'll not be long before
    I call upon thee.
    Mariner
    Make your best haste, and go not
    1450Too far i'th'land. 'Tis like to be loud weather.
    Besides, this place is famous for the creatures
    Of prey that keep upon't.
    Antigonus
    Go thou away,
    I'll follow instantly.
    1455Mariner
    I am glad at heart
    To be so rid o'th business.
    Exit
    Antigonus
    Come, poor babe.
    I have heard -- but not believed -- the spirits o'th'dead
    May walk again. If such thing be, thy mother
    1460Appeared to me last night, for never was dream
    So like a waking. To me comes a creature,
    Sometimes her head on one side, some another.
    I never saw a vessel of like sorrow,
    So filled and so becoming; in pure white robes
    1465Like very sanctity she did approach
    My cabin where I lay, thrice bowed before me,
    And, gasping to begin some speech, her eyes
    Became two spouts; the fury spent, anon
    Did this break from her: "Good Antigonus,
    1470Since Fate -- against thy better disposition --
    Hath made thy person for the thrower-out
    Of my poor babe according to thine oath,
    Places remote enough are in Bohemia.
    There weep, and leave it crying; and for the babe
    1475Is counted lost forever, Perdita
    I prithee call't. For this ungentle business
    Put on thee by my lord, thou never shalt see
    Thy wife Paulina more!" And so, with shrieks
    She melted into air. Affrighted much,
    1480I did in time collect myself and thought
    This was so and no slumber. Dreams are toys,
    Yet for this once, yea superstitiously,
    I will be squared by this. I do believe
    Hermione hath suffered death, and that
    1485Apollo would, this being indeed the issue
    Of King Polixenes, it should here be laid,
    Either for life or death, upon the earth
    Of its right father. Blossom, speed thee well!
    [Places the baby and a scroll upon the ground]
    There lie, and there thy character; there these,
    [He lays down a bundle]
    1490Which may, if Fortune please, both breed thee, pretty,
    And still rest thine.
    [Thunder]
    The storm begins, poor wretch,
    That for thy mother's fault art thus exposed
    To loss and what may follow. Weep I cannot,
    But my heart bleeds, and most accursed am I
    1495To be by oath enjoined to this. Farewell.
    The day frowns more and more. Thou'rt like to have
    A lullaby too rough. I never saw
    The heavens so dim by day.
    [The sound of a storm, with horns and dogs barking]
    A savage clamor!
    Well may I get aboard! This is the chase.
    1500I am gone forever!
    Exit pursued by a bear.
    [Enter Old Shepherd]
    Shepherd
    I would there were no age between ten and three and twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest, for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, 1505fighting -- hark you now! Would any but these boiled-brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty hunt this weather? They have scared away two of my best sheep, which I fear the wolf will sooner find then the master. If anywhere I have them, 'tis by the seaside, 1510browsing of ivy. Good luck, an't be thy will! What have we here? [Seeing the baby] Mercy on's, a bairn? A very pretty bairn! A boy or a child I wonder? A pretty one, a very pretty one, sure some scape. Though I am not bookish, yet I can read waiting-gentlewoman in the scape. This has 1515been some stair-work, some trunk-work, some behind-door work. They were warmer that got this than the poor thing is here. I'll take it up for pity, yet I'll tarry till my son come. He hallooed but even now. Whoa-ho-hoa!
    1520Enter Clown
    Clown
    Hilloa, loa!
    Shepherd
    What? Art so near? If thou'lt see a thing to talk on when thou art dead and rotten, come hither. What ailst thou, man?
    1525Clown
    I have seen two such sights by sea and by land, but I am not to say it is a sea, for it is now the sky; betwixt the firmament and it you cannot thrust a bodkin's point.
    Shepherd
    Why, boy, how is it?
    1530Clown
    I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes up the shore, but that's not to the point. Oh, the most piteous cry of the poor souls, sometimes to see 'em, and not to see 'em. Now the ship boring the moon with her main mast, and anon swallowed 1535with yeast and froth, as you'd thrust a cork into a hogshead. And then for the land-service, to see how the bear tore out his shoulderbone, how he cried to me for help, and said his name was Antigonus, a nobleman. But to make an end of the ship, to see how the sea 1540flap-dragoned it. But first, how the poor souls roared and the sea mocked them, and how the poor gentleman roared and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than the sea or weather.
    Shepherd
    Name of mercy, when was this, boy?
    1545Clown
    Now, now. I have not winked since I saw these sights. The men are not yet cold under water, nor the bear half dined on the gentleman; he's at it now.
    Shepherd
    Would I had been by to have helped the old man.
    1550Clown
    I would you had been by the ship side, to have helped her. There your charity would have lacked footing.
    Shepherd
    Heavy matters, heavy matters. But look thee here, boy. Now bless thyself. Thou meet'st with things dying, I with things newborn. Here's a sight for thee! 1555Look thee, a bearing-cloth for a squire's child. Look thee here. Take up, take up, boy. Open't! So, let's see, it was told me I should be rich by the fairies. This is some changeling. Open't! What's within, boy?
    Clown
    [Opens box] You're a made old man. If the sins of your 1560youth are forgiven you, you're well to live. Gold, all gold.
    Shepherd
    This is fairy gold boy, and 'twill prove so. Up with't, keep it close. Home, home, the next way. We are lucky, boy, and to be so still requires nothing but 1565secrecy. Let my sheep go. Come, good boy, the next way home.
    Clown
    Go you the next way with your findings. I'll go see if the bear be gone from the gentleman and how much he hath eaten. They are never curst but when they 1570are hungry. If there be any of him left, I'll bury it.
    Shepherd
    That's a good deed. If thou mayst discern by that which is left of him what he is, fetch me to th'sight of him.
    Clown
    'Marry, will I, and you shall help to put him 1575i'th' ground.
    Shepherd
    'Tis a lucky day, boy, and we'll do good deeds on't.
    Exeunt.
    [4.1]
    Enter Time, the Chorus.
    1580Time
    I, that please some, try all; both joy and terror
    Of good and bad, that makes and unfolds error,
    Now take upon me, in the name of Time,
    To use my wings. Impute it not a crime
    To me or my swift passage that I slide
    1585O'er sixteen years and leave the growth untried
    Of that wide gap, since it is in my power
    To o'erthrow law, and in one self-born hour
    To plant and o'erwhelm custom. Let me pass
    The same I am ere ancient'st order was
    1590Or what is now received. I witness to
    The times that brought them in. So shall I do
    To th' freshest things now reigning and make stale
    The glistering of this present, as my tale
    Now seems to it. Your patience this allowing,
    1595I turn my glass and give my scene such growing
    As you had slept between: Leontes leaving
    Th'effects of his fond jealousies, so grieving
    That he shuts up himself. Imagine me,
    Gentle spectators, that I now may be
    1600In fair Bohemia. And remember well,
    I mentioned a son o'th'king's, which Florizel
    I now name to you, and with speed so pace
    To speak of Perdita, now grown in grace
    Equal with wond'ring. What of her ensues
    1605I list not prophesy, but let Time's news
    Be known when 'tis brought forth. A shepherd's daughter
    And what to her adheres, which follows after,
    Is th'argument of Time; of this allow,
    If ever you have spent time worse, ere now.
    1610If never, yet that Time himself doth say
    He wishes earnestly you never may.
    Exit
    [4.2]
    Enter Polixenes and Camillo.
    Polixenes
    I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more 1615importunate. 'Tis a sickness denying thee anything, a death to grant this.
    Camillo
    It is fifteen years since I saw my country. Though I have for the most part been aired abroad, I desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent king, 1620my master, hath sent for me, to whose feeling sorrows I might be some allay, or I o'erween to think so, which is another spur to my departure.
    Polixenes
    As thou lov'st me, Camillo, wipe not out the rest of thy services by leaving me now. The need I have of 1625thee thine own goodness hath made. Better not to have had thee than thus to want thee. Thou, having made me businesses which none without thee can sufficiently manage, must either stay to execute them thyself, or take away with thee the very services thou hast done, 1630which if I have not enough considered -- as too much I cannot -- to be more thankful to thee shall be my study, and my profit therein the heaping friendships. Of that fatal country Sicilia, prithee speak no more,whose very naming punishes me with the remembrance 1635of that penitent, as thou callst him, and reconciled king my brother, whose loss of his most precious queen and children are even now to be afresh lamented. Say to me when saw'st thou the prince Florizel, my son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue not being gracious, than 1640they are in losing them when they have approved their virtues.
    Camillo
    Sir, it is three days since I saw the Prince. What his happier affairs may be are to me unknown, but I have missingly noted he is of late much retired from 1645court and is less frequent to his princely exercises than formerly he hath appeared.
    Polixenes
    I have considered so much, Camillo, and with some care, so far, that I have eyes under my service which look upon his removednesse, from whom I have 1650this intelligence: that he is seldom from the house of a most homely shepherd, a man, they say, that from very nothing and beyond the imagination of his neighbors is grown into an unspeakable estate.
    Camillo
    I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a 1655daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended more than can be thought to begin from such a cottage.
    Polixenes
    That's likewise part of my intelligence, but I fear the angle that plucks our son thither. Thou shalt accompany us to the place where we will, not 1660appearing what we are, have some question with the shepherd, from whose simplicity I think it not uneasy to get the cause of my son's resort thither. Prithee, be my present partner in this business and lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.
    1665Camillo
    I willingly obey your command.
    Polixenes
    My best Camillo, we must disguise ourselves.
    [Exeunt.]
    [4.3]
    Enter Autolycus singing
    Autolycus
    When daffodils begin to peer
    1670 With heigh, the doxy over the dale,
    Why then comes in the sweet o'the year,
    For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.
    The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
    With heigh, the sweet birds, O how they sing!
    1675Doth set my pugging tooth on edge,
    For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
    The lark that tirra lirra chants,
    With heigh, with heigh, the thrush and the jay,
    Are summer songs for me and my aunts
    1680 While we lie tumbling in the hay.
    I have served Prince Florizel, and in my time wore three-pile, but now I am out of service.
    But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?
    The pale moon shines by night,
    1685And when I wander here and there
    I then do most go right.
    If tinkers may have leave to live,
    And bear the sow-skin budget,
    Then my account I well may give,
    1690And in the stocks avouch it.
    My traffic is sheets. When the kite builds, look to lesser linen. My father named me Autolycus, who being as I am littered under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles. With die and drab, 1695I purchased this caparison, and my revenue is the silly cheat. Gallows and knock are too powerful on the highway. Beating and hanging are terrors to me. For the life to come, I sleep out the thought of it. A prize, a prize!
    1700Enter Clown.
    Clown
    Let me see, every 'leven wether tods, every tod yields pound and odd shilling. Fifteen hundred shorn, what comes the wool to?
    Autolycus
    [Aside] If the springe hold, the cock's mine.
    1705Clown
    I cannot do't without counters. [Taking out a list] Let me see,what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three pound of sugar, five pound of currants, rice. What will this sister of mine do with rice? But my father hath made her mistress of the feast, and she lays it on. She 1710hath made me four-and-twenty nosegays for the shearers -- three-man song men, all, and very good ones -- but they are most of them means and basses but one puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. I must have saffron to color the warden pies; mace; 1715dates, none -- that's out of my note; nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger, but that I may beg; four pound of prunes and as many of raisins o'th'sun.
    Autolycus
    [Groveling on the ground] Oh, that ever I was born.
    Clown
    I'th'name of me --
    1720Autolycus
    Oh, help me, help me! Pluck but off these rags, and then, death, death!
    Clown
    Alack, poor soul, thou hast need of more rags to lay on thee rather than have these off.
    Autolycus
    O sir, the loathsomeness of them offend me1725more than the stripes I have received, which are mighty ones and millions.
    Clown
    Alas, poor man, a million of beating may come to a great matter.
    Autolycus
    I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and 1730apparel ta'en from me, and these detestable things put upon me.
    Clown
    What, by a horseman or a footman?
    Autolycus
    A footman, sweet sir, a footman.
    Clown
    Indeed, he should be a footman by the garments 1735he has left with thee. If this be a horseman's coat, it hath seen very hot service. Lend me thy hand. I'll help thee. Come, lend me thy hand.
    [Helps Autolycus to stand]
    Autolycus
    Oh, good sir, tenderly, Oh!
    Clown
    Alas, poor soul!
    1740Autolycus
    Oh, good sir, softly, good sir! I fear, sir, my shoulder blade is out.
    Clown
    How now? Canst stand?
    Autolycus
    Softly, dear sir! Good sir, softly! [Picking Clown's pocket] You have done me a charitable office.
    1745Clown
    Dost lack any money? I have a little money for thee.
    Autolycus
    No, good sweet sir. No, I beseech you, sir. I have a kinsman not past three quarters of a mile hence, unto whom I was going. I shall there have money or any 1750thing I want. Offer me no money I pray you; that kills my heart.
    Clown
    What manner of fellow was he that robbed you?
    Autolycus
    A fellow, sir, that I have known to go about 1755with troll-my-dames. I knew him once a servant of the prince. I cannot tell, good sir, for which of his virtues it was, but he was certainly whipped out of the court.
    Clown
    His vices you would say. There's no virtue whipped 1760out of the court: they cherish it to make it stay there, and yet it will no more but abide.
    Autolycus
    Vices I would say, sir. I know this man well. He hath been since an ape-bearer, then a process-server -- a bailiff. Then he compassed a motion of the prodigal 1765son and married a tinker's wife within a mile where my land and living lies, and, having flown over many knavish professions, he settled only in rogue. Some call him Autolycus.
    Clown
    Out upon him! Prig, for my life, prig! He haunts 1770wakes, fairies, and bearbaitings.
    Autolycus
    Very true, sir, he, sir, he. That's the rogue that put me into this apparel.
    Clown
    Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia. If you had but looked big and spit at him, he'd have 1775run.
    Autolycus
    I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter. I am false of heart that way, and that he knew, I warrant him.
    Clown
    How do you now?
    Autolycus
    Sweet sir, much better than I was. I can stand 1780and walk. I will even take my leave of you and pace softly towards my kinsman's.
    Clown
    Shall I bring thee on the way?
    Autolycus
    No, good-faced sir, no, sweet sir.
    Clown
    Then fare thee well. I must go buy spices for our 1785sheep-shearing.
    Exit.
    Autolycus
    Prosper you, sweet sir. Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your spice. I'll be with you at your sheep-shearing too. If I make not this cheat bring out another and the shearers prove sheep, let me be unrolled 1790and my name put in the book of virtue!
    [Sings]
    Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
    And merrily hent the stile-a;
    A merry heart goes all the day,
    Your sad tires in a mile-a.
    Exit
    1795[4.4]
    [Enter Florizel and Perdita]
    Florizel
    These your unusual weeds to each part of you
    Does give a life -- no shepherdess, but Flora
    1800Peering in April's front. This your sheep-shearing
    Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
    And you the queen on't.
    Perdita
    Sir, my gracious lord,
    To chide at your extremes it not becomes me.
    1805Oh pardon that I name them! Your high self,
    The gracious mark o'th'land, you have obscured
    With a swain's wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
    Most goddess-like pranked up! But that our feasts
    In every mess have folly and the feeders
    1810Digest it with a custom, I should blush
    To see you so attired, swoon I think,
    To show myself a glass.
    Florizel
    I bless the time
    When my good falcon made her flight across
    1815Thy father's ground.
    Perdita
    Now Jove afford you cause!
    To me the difference forges dread; your greatness
    Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble
    To think your father by some accident
    1820Should pass this way, as you did. Oh, the Fates!
    How would he look to see his work, so noble,
    Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how
    Should I, in these my borrowed flaunts, behold
    The sternness of his presence?
    1825Florizel
    Apprehend
    Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
    Humbling their deities to love, have taken
    The shapes of beasts upon them. Jupiter
    Became a bull and bellowed; the green Neptune
    1830A ram and bleated; and the fire-robed god
    Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,
    As I seem now. Their transformations
    Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,
    Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires
    1835Run not before mine honor, nor my lusts
    Burn hotter than my faith.
    Perdita
    O but sir,
    Your resolution cannot hold when 'tis
    Opposed, as it must be, by th' power of the king.
    1840One of these two must be necessities
    Which then will speak that you must change this purpose,
    Or I my life.
    Florizel
    Thou dearest Perdita,
    With these forced thoughts I prithee darken not
    1845The mirth o'th'feast, or I'll be thine, my fair,
    Or not my father's. For I cannot be
    Mine own nor anything to any if
    I be not thine. To this I am most constant,
    Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle,
    1850Strangle such thoughts as these with anything
    That you behold the while. Your guests are coming.
    Lift up your countenance as it were the day
    Of celebration of that nuptial which
    We two have sworn shall come.
    1855Perdita
    O Lady Fortune,
    Stand you auspicious!
    [Enter the Old Shepherd, Clown, Mopsa, Dorcas, Servants, shepherds and shepherdesses, Polixenes and Camillo both disguised]
    Florizel
    See, your guests approach.
    Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
    And let's be red with mirth.
    1860Shepherd
    Fie, daughter, when my old wife lived, upon
    This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
    Both dame and servant: welcomed all; served all;
    Would sing her song, and dance her turn; now here
    At upper end o'th table; now, i'th middle;
    1865On his shoulder, and his; her face o' fire
    With labor, and the thing she took to quench it
    She would to each one sip. You are retired
    As if you were a feasted one and not
    The hostess of the meeting. Pray you, bid
    1870These unknown friends to's welcome, for it is
    A way to make us better friends, more known.
    Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
    That which you are, mistress o'th' feast. Come on,
    And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
    1875As your good flock shall prosper.
    Perdita
    [To Polixenes] Sir, welcome.
    It is my father's will I should take on me
    The hostess-ship o'th'day;
    [To Camillo] You're welcome, sir.
    Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
    1880For you, there's rosemary and rue; these keep
    Seeming and savor all the winter long.
    Grace and remembrance be to you both
    And welcome to our shearing.
    Polixenes
    Shepherdess,
    1885A fair one are you. Well you fit our ages
    With flowers of winter.
    Perdita
    Sir, the year growing ancient,
    Not yet on summer's death nor on the birth
    Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o'th' season
    1890Are our carnations and streaked gillyvors,
    Which some call nature's bastards. Of that kind
    Our rustic garden's barren, and I care not
    To get slips of them.
    Polixenes
    Wherefore, gentle maiden,
    1895Do you neglect them?
    Perdita
    For I have heard it said
    There is an art which in their piedness shares
    With great creating nature.
    Polixenes
    Say there be,
    1900Yet nature is made better by no mean
    But nature makes that mean. So over that art
    Which you say adds to nature is an art
    That nature makes; you see, sweet maid, we marry
    A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
    1905And make conceive a bark of baser kind
    By bud of nobler race. This is an art
    Which does mend nature; change it rather, but
    The art itself is nature.
    Perdita
    So it is.
    1910Polixenes
    Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,
    And do not call them bastards.
    Perdita
    I'll not put
    The dibble in earth to set one slip of them,
    No more than, were I painted, I would wish
    1915This youth should say 'twere well, and only therefore
    Desire to breed by me. Here's flowers for you:
    Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram,
    The marigold that goes to bed with' sun,
    And with him rises, weeping. These are flowers
    1920Of middle summer, and I think they are given
    To men of middle age. You're very welcome.
    Camillo
    I should leave grazing were I of your flock,
    And only live by gazing.
    Perdita
    Out, alas!
    1925You'd be so lean that blasts of January
    Would blow you through and through.
    [To Florizel] Now, my fair'st friend,
    I would I had some flowers o'th'spring that might
    Become your time of day; [To the sheperdesses] and yours, and yours,
    That wear upon your virgin branches yet
    1930Your maidenheads growing -- O Proserpina,
    For the flowers now that frighted, thou let'st fall
    From Dis's wagon! Daffodils,
    That come before the swallow dares, and take
    The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
    1935But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes
    Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses
    That die unmarried ere they can behold
    Bright Phoebus in his strength, a malady
    Most incident to maids; bold oxlips, and
    1940The crown imperial; lillies of all kinds,
    The flower-de-luce being one. Oh, these I lack
    To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
    To strew him o'er and o'er.
    Florizel
    What? like a corpse?
    1945Perdita
    No, like a bank for love to lie and play on,
    Not like a corpse; or if, not to be buried,
    But quick, and in mine arms. Come, take your flowers.
    Methinks I play as I have seen them do
    In Whitson pastorals. Sure this robe of mine
    1950Does change my disposition.
    Florizel
    What you do
    Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet,
    I'd have you do it ever; when you sing,
    I'd have you buy and sell so; so give alms,
    1955Pray so, and for the ordering your affairs,
    To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you
    A wave o'th sea that you might ever do
    Nothing but that; move still, still so,
    And own no other function. Each your doing,
    1960So singular in each particular,
    Crowns what you are doing in the present deeds,
    That all your acts are queen's.
    Perdita
    O Doricles,
    Your praises are too large, but that your youth
    1965And the true blood which peeps fairly through't
    Do plainly give you out an unstained shepherd,
    With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
    You wooed me the false way.
    Florizel
    I think you have
    1970As little skill to fear as I have purpose
    To put you to't. But come, our dance I pray.
    Your hand, my Perdita -- so turtles pair
    That never mean to part.
    Perdita
    I'll swear for 'em.
    [Perdita and Florizel dance]
    1975Polixenes
    [To Camillo This is the prettiest low-born lass that ever
    Ran on the greensward. Nothing she does or seems
    But smacks of something greater than herself,
    Too noble for this place.
    Camillo
    He tells her something
    1980That makes her blood look on't. Good sooth, she is
    The queen of curds and cream.
    Clown
    [To musicians] Come on! Strike up!
    Dorcas
    Mopsa must be your mistress? Marry, garlic to mend her kissing with!
    1985Mopsa
    Now, in good time!
    Clown
    Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners. Come, strike up!
    Here a dance of shepherds and shepherdesses
    1990Polixenes
    Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
    Which dances with your daughter?
    Shepherd
    They call him Doricles and boasts himself
    To have a worthy feeding. But I have it
    Upon his own report, and I believe it;
    1995He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter.
    I think so too; for never gazed the moon
    Upon the water as he'll stand and read
    As 'twere my daughter's eyes; And to be plain,
    I think there is not half a kiss to choose
    2000Who loves another best.
    Polixenes
    She dances featly.
    Shepherd
    So she does anything, though I report it
    That should be silent. If young Doricles
    Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
    2005Which he not dreams of.
    Enter Servant
    Servant
    O Master, if you did but hear the peddler at the door, you would never dance again after a tabor and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you. He sings several tunes, faster than you'll tell money. He utters 2010them as he had eaten ballads, and all men's ears grew to his tunes.
    Clown
    He could never come better; he shall come in. I love a ballad but even too well, if it be doleful matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant thing indeed and 2015sung lamentably.
    Servant
    He hath songs for man or woman of all sizes. No milliner can so fit his customers with gloves. He has the prettiest love songs for maids, so without bawdry , which is strange, with such delicate burdens of 2020dildos and fadings, "Jump her and thump her." And where some stretch-mouthed rascal would, as it were, mean mischief and break a foul gap into the matter, he makes the maid to answer, "Whoop, do me no harm, good man"; put's him off, slights him with "Whoop, do me no 2025harm, good man."
    Polixenes
    This is a brave fellow.
    Clown
    Believe me, thou talkst of an admirable conceited fellow. Has he any unbraided wares?
    Servant
    He hath ribbons of all the colors i'th 2030rainbow; points, more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can learnedly handle, though they come to him by th' gross; inkles, caddises, cambrics, lawn; why he sings 'em over as they were gods or goddesses. You would think a smock were a she-angel, he so chants to 2035the sleeve-hand and the work about the square on't.
    Clown
    Prithee bring him in, and let him approach singing.
    Perdita
    Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words in's tunes.
    [Exit Servant.]
    2040Clown
    You have of these peddlers that have more in them than you'd think, sister.
    Perdita
    Ay, good brother, or go about to think.
    Enter Autolycus [in disguise] singing.
    Lawn as white as driven snow,
    2045Cypress black as ere was crow,
    Gloves as sweet as damask roses,
    Masks for faces and for noses,
    Bugle-bracelet, necklace amber;
    Perfume for a lady's chamber,
    2050Golden coifs and stomachers
    For my lads to give their dears;
    Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
    What maids lack from head to heel.
    Come buy of me, come. Come buy, come buy,
    2055Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry. Come buy.
    Clown
    If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou shouldst take no money of me, but being enthralled as I am, it will also be the bondage of certain ribbons and gloves.
    Mopsa
    I was promised them against the feast, but they 2060come not too late now.
    Dorcas
    He hath promised you more than that, or there be liars.
    Mopsa
    He hath paid you all he promised you. Maybe he has paid you more, which will shame you to give him 2065again.
    Clown
    Is there no manners left among maids? Will they wear their plackets where they should bear their faces? Is there not milking-time, when you are going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle of these secrets, but you must 2070be tittle-tattling before all our guests? 'Tis well they are whispering. Clamor your tongues and not a word more.
    Mopsa
    I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry-lace and a pair of sweet gloves.
    Clown
    Have I not told thee how I was cozened by the 2075way and lost all my money?
    Autolycus
    And, indeed sir, there are cozeners abroad. Therefore, it behooves men to be wary.
    Clown
    Fear not, thou man. Thou shalt lose nothing here.
    Autolycus
    I hope so, sir, for I have about me many parcels 2080of charge.
    Clown
    What hast here? Ballads?
    Mopsa
    Pray now, buy some. I love a ballet in print, a-life, for then we are sure they are true.
    Autolycus
    Here's one to a very doleful tune, how a 2085usurer's wife was brought to bed of twenty money bags at a burden, and how she longed to eat adder's heads and toads carbonadoed.
    Mopsa
    Is it true, think you?
    Autolycus
    Very true, and but a month old.
    2090Dorcas
    Bless me from marrying a usurer!
    Autolycus
    Here's the midwife's name to't, one Mistress Taleporter, and five or six honest wives that were present. Why should I carry lies abroad?
    Mopsa
    Pray you now, buy it.
    2095Clown
    Come on, lay it by, and let's first see more ballads. We'll buy the other things anon.
    Autolycus
    Here's another ballad of a fish that appeared upon the coast on Wednesday the fourscore of April forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this ballad against 2100the hard hearts of maids. It was thought she was a woman and was turned into a cold fish, for she would not exchange flesh with one that loved her. The ballad is very pitiful and as true.
    Dorcas
    Is it true too, think you?
    2105Autolycus
    Five justices' hands at it, and witnesses more than my pack will hold.
    Clown
    Lay it by, too. Another.
    Autolycus
    This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.
    Mopsa
    Let's have some merry ones.
    2110Autolycus
    Why, this is a passing merry one, and goes to the tune of "Two Maids Wooing a Man". There's scarce a maid westward but she sings it;'tis in request I can tell you.
    Mopsa
    We can both sing it. If thou'lt bear a part thou shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.
    2115Dorcas
    We had the tune on't a month ago.
    Autolycus
    I can bear my part. You must know 'tis my occupation. Have at it with you.
    Get you hence, for I must go
    Autolycus
    Where it fits not you to know.
    2120Dorcas
    Whither?
    Mopsa
    Oh whither?
    Dorcas
    Whither?
    Mopsa
    It becomes thy oath full well,
    Thou to me thy secrets tell.
    2125Dorcas
    Me too. Let me go thither.
    Mopsa
    Or thou goest to th' grange or mill,
    Dorcas
    If to either thou dost ill.
    Autolycus
    Neither.
    Dorcas
    What neither?
    2130Autolycus
    Neither.
    Dorcas
    Thou hast sworn my love to be.
    Mopsa
    Thou hast sworn it more to me.
    Then whither goest? Say whither?
    Clown
    We'll have this song out anon by ourselves. My 2135father and the gentlemen are in sad talk, and we'll not trouble them. Come, bring away thy pack after me. Wenches, I'll buy for you both. Peddler, let's have the first choice. Follow me, girls.
    [Exit Clown with Dorcas and Mopsa.]
    Autolycus
    And you shall pay well for 'em.
    Song
    Will you buy any tape, or lace for your cape?
    2140My dainty duck, my dear-a?
    Any silk, any thread, any toys for your head
    Of the newest, and finest, finest wear-a.
    Come to the peddler, money's a meddler,
    That doth utter all men's ware-a.
    Exit
    [Enter a Servant]
    2145Servant
    [To Shepherd] Master, there is three carters, three shepherds, three neatherds, three swineherds that have made themselves all men of hair. They call themselves saltiers, and they have a dance which the wenches say is a galimaufry of gambols because they are not in't; but 2150they themselves are o'th' mind, if it be not too rough for some that know little but bowling, it will please plentifully.
    Shepherd
    Away! We'll none on't. Here has been too much homely foolery already. I know, sir, we 2155weary you.
    Polixenes
    You weary those that refresh us. Pray, let's see these four threes of herdsmen.
    Servant
    One three of them, by their own report, sir, hath danced before the king; and not the worst of the 2160three but jumps twelve foot and a half by th'square.
    Shepherd
    Leave your prating. Since these good men are pleased, let them come in, but quickly now.
    Servant
    Why, they stay at door, sir.
    [He brings in the dancers.]
    Here a dance of twelve satyrs.
    2165Polixenes
    [To the Old Shepherd] O father, you'll know more of that hereafter.
    [To Camillo] Is it not too far gone? 'Tis time to part them.
    He's simple and tells much.[To Florizel] How now, fair shepherd?
    Your heart is full of something that does take
    Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
    2170And handed love, as you do, I was wont
    To load my she with knacks. I would have ransacked
    The peddler's silken treasury and have poured it
    To her acceptance. You have let him go
    And nothing marted with him. If your lass
    2175Interpretation should abuse and call this
    Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
    For a reply, at least, if you make a care
    Of happy holding her.
    Florizel
    Old sir, I know
    2180She prizes not such trifles as these are
    The gifts she looks from me are packed and locked
    Up in my heart, which I have given already,
    But not delivered. [To Perdita] Oh hear me breathe my life
    Before this ancient sir, who, it should seem,
    2185Hath sometime loved. I take thy hand, this hand,
    As soft as dove's down, and as white as it,
    Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fanned snow that's bolted
    By th' northern blasts twice o'er --
    Polixenes
    What follows this?
    2190[To Camillo] How prettily th'young swain seems to wash
    The hand was fair before! [To Florizel] I have put you out.
    But to your protestation. Let me hear
    What you profess.
    Florizel
    Do, and be witness to't.
    2195Polixenes
    And this my neighbor too?
    Florizel
    And he, and more
    Than he and men -- the earth, the heavens, and all --
    That were I crowned the most imperial monarch,
    Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth
    2200That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge
    More than was ever man's, I would not prize them
    Without her love; for her, employ them all,
    Commend them and condemn them to her service
    Or to their own perdition.
    2205Polixenes
    Fairly offered.
    Camillo
    This shows a sound affection.
    Shepherd
    But, my daughter,
    Say you the like to him?
    Perdita
    I cannot speak
    2210So well, nothing so well, no, nor mean better.
    By th'pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
    The purity of his.
    Shepherd
    Take hands, a bargain --
    And friends unknown, you shall bear witness to't;
    2215I give my daughter to him and will make
    Her portion equal his.
    Florizel
    Oh, that must be
    I'th'virtue of your daughter. One being dead,
    I shall have more than you can dream of yet,
    2220Enough then for your wonder. But come on,
    Contract us 'fore these witnesses.
    Shepherd
    Come, your hand --
    And daughter, yours.
    Polixenes
    Soft, swain, awhile, beseech you.
    2225Have you a father?
    Florizel
    I have, but what of him?
    Polixenes
    Knows he of this?
    Florizel
    He neither does nor shall.
    Polixenes
    Methinks a father
    2230Is at the nuptial of his son a guest
    That best becomes the table. Pray you once more,
    Is not your father grown incapable
    Of reasonable affairs? Is he not stupid
    With age and altering rheums? Can he speak? Hear?
    2235Know man from man? Dispute his owne estate?
    Lies he not bed-rid, and again does nothing
    But what he did being childish?
    Florizel
    No, good sir.
    He has his health and ampler strength indeed
    2240Than most have of his age.
    Polixenes
    By my white beard,
    You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
    Something unfilial. Reason, my son,
    Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason
    2245The father, all whose joy is nothing else
    But fair posterity, should hold some counsel
    In such a business.
    Florizel
    I yield all this;
    But for some other reasons, my grave sir,
    2250Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
    My father of this business.
    Polixenes
    Let him know't.
    Florizel
    He shall not.
    Polixenes
    Prithee let him.
    2255Florizel
    No, he must not.
    Shepherd
    Let him, my son; he shall not need to grieve
    At knowing of thy choice.
    Florizel
    Come, come, he must not.
    Mark our contract.
    2260Polixenes
    [Removing disguise] Mark your divorce, young sir,
    Whom son I dare not call. Thou art too base
    To be acknowledged. Thou a scepter's heir
    That thus affects a sheep-hook? Thou, old traitor,
    I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
    2265But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece
    Of excellent witchcraft, whom of force must know
    The royal fool thou cop'st with --
    Shepherd
    Oh, my heart!
    Polixenes
    I'll have thy beauty scratched with briers and made
    2270More homely than thy state.[To Florizel] For thee, fond boy,
    If I may ever know thou dost but sigh,
    That thou no more shalt never see this knack, as never
    I mean thou shalt, we'll bar thee from succession,
    Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
    2275Far than Deucalion off. Mark thou my words.
    Follow us to the court. [To Old Shepherd] Thou, churl, for this time,
    Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
    From the dead blow of it. [To Perdita] And you, enchantment,
    Worthy enough a herdsman -- yea, him too
    2280That makes himself but for our honor therein
    Unworthy thee -- if ever henceforth thou
    These rural latches to his entrance open,
    Or hoop his body more with thy embraces,
    I will devise a death as cruel for thee
    2285As thou art tender to't.
    Exit
    Perdita
    Even here undone!
    I was not much afeared, for once or twice
    I was about to speak and tell him plainly,
    The selfsame sun that shines upon his court
    2290Hides not his visage from our cottage, but
    Looks on alike. [To Florizel] Wilt please you, sir, be gone?
    I told you what would come of this. Beseech you,
    Of your own state take care. This dream of mine,
    Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch farther,
    2295But milk my ewes and weep.
    Camillo
    Why, how now, father?
    Speak ere thou diest.
    Shepherd
    I cannot speak, nor think,
    Nor dare to know that which I know.[To Florizel] O sir,
    2300You have undone a man of fourscore-three,
    That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea,
    To die upon the bed my father died,
    To lie close by his honest bones; but now
    Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me
    2305Where no priest shovels in dust.[To Perdita] O, cursèd wretch,
    That knew'st this was the prince and wouldst adventure
    To mingle faith with him! Undone, undone!
    If I might die within this hour, I have lived
    To die when I desire.
    Exit.
    2310Florizel
    [To Camillo] Why look you so upon me?
    I am but sorry, not afeared; delayed,
    But nothing altered. What I was, I am,
    More straining on for plucking back, not following
    My leash unwillingly.
    2315Camillo
    Gracious, my lord,
    You know your father's temper; at this time
    He will allow no speech, which I do guess
    You do not purpose to him, and as hardly
    Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear.
    2320Then, till the fury of his highness settle,
    Come not before him.
    Florizel
    I not purpose it.
    I think, Camillo?
    Camillo
    [removing disguise] Even he, my lord.
    2325Perdita
    How often have I told you 'twould be thus?
    How often said my dignity would last
    But till 'twere known?
    Florizel
    It cannot fail but by
    The violation of my faith, and then
    2330Let nature crush the sides o'th earth together
    And mar the seeds within. Lift up thy looks.
    From my succession wipe me, father! I
    Am heir to my affection.
    Camillo
    Be advised.
    2335Florizel
    I am, and by my fancy; if my reason
    Will thereto be obedient, I have reason.
    If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,
    Do bid it welcome.
    Camillo
    This is desperate, sir.
    2340Florizel
    So call it, but it does fulfill my vow.
    I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
    Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may
    Be thereat gleaned, for all the sun sees or
    The close earth wombs or the profound seas hides
    2345In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath
    To this my fair beloved. Therefore, I pray you,
    As you have ever been my father's honored friend,
    When he shall miss me, as in faith I mean not
    To see him anymore, cast your good counsels
    2350Upon his passion. Let myself and Fortune
    Tug for the time to come. This you may know
    And so deliver: I am put to sea
    With her who here I cannot hold on shore,
    And most opportune to her need, I have
    2355A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared
    For this design. What course I mean to hold
    Shall nothing benefit your knowledge nor
    Concern me the reporting.
    Camillo
    O my lord,
    2360I would your spirit were easier for advice
    Or stronger for your need.
    Florizel
    Hark, Perdita --
    [To Camillo] I'll hear you by and by.
    [Florizel and Perdita walk together]
    Camillo
    He's irremoveable,
    2365Resolved for flight. Now were I happy if
    His going I could frame to serve my turn,
    Save him from danger, do him love and honor,
    Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia,
    And that unhappy king, my master, whom
    2370I so much thirst to see.
    Florizel
    [Florizel steps forward] Now, good Camillo,
    I am so fraught with curious business that
    I leave out ceremony.
    Camillo
    Sir, I think
    2375You have heard of my poor services i'th'love
    That I have borne your father?
    Florizel
    Very nobly
    Have you deserved. It is my father's music
    To speak your deeds, not little of his care
    2380To have them recompensed as thought on.
    Camillo
    Well, my lord,
    If you may please to think I love the king
    And through him, what's nearest to him, which is
    Your gracious self, embrace but my direction,
    2385If your more ponderous and settled project
    May suffer alteration. On mine honor,
    I'll point you where you shall have such receiving
    As shall become your highness, where you may
    Enjoy your mistress, from the whom I see
    2390There's no disjunction to be made but by --
    As heavens forfend -- your ruin. Marry her,
    And, with my best endeavors in your absence,
    Your discontenting father strive to qualify
    And bring him up to liking.
    2395Florizel
    How, Camillo,
    May this, almost a miracle, be done,
    That I may call thee something more than man,
    And after that trust to thee?
    Camillo
    Have you thought on
    2400A place whereto you'll go?
    Florizel
    Not any yet.
    But as th'unthought-on accident is guilty
    To what we wildly do, so we profess
    Ourselves to be the slaves of chance and flies
    2405Of every wind that blows.
    Camillo
    Then list to me!
    This follows, if you will not change your purpose
    But undergo this flight; make for Sicilia
    And there present yourself and your fair princess,
    2410For so I see she must be 'fore Leontes
    She shall be habited as it becomes
    The partner of your bed. Methinks I see
    Leontes opening his free arms and weeping
    His welcomes forth; asks thee there, "Son, forgiveness"
    2415As 'twere i'th' father's person; kisses the hands
    Of your fresh princess; o'er and o'er divides him
    'Twixt his unkindness and his kindness. Th'one
    He chides to hell and bids the other grow
    Faster than thought or time.
    2420Florizel
    Worthy Camillo,
    What color for my visitation shall I
    Hold up before him?
    Camillo
    Sent by the king your father
    To greet him, and to give him comforts. Sir,
    2425The manner of your bearing towards him, with
    What you, as from your father, shall deliver --
    Things known betwixt us three -- I'll write you down,
    The which shall point you forth at every sitting
    What you must say, that he shall not perceive
    2430But that you have your father's bosom there
    And speak his very heart.
    Florizel
    I am bound to you.
    There is some sap in this.
    Camillo
    A course more promising
    2435Than a wild dedication of yourselves
    To unpathed waters, undreamed shores; most certain
    To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
    But as you shake off one to take another;
    Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
    2440Do their best office if they can but stay you
    Where you'll be loath to be. Besides, you know
    Prosperity's the very bond of love,
    Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
    Affliction alters.
    2445Perdita
    One of these is true:
    I think affliction may subdue the cheek
    But not take in the mind.
    Camillo
    Yea? Say you so?
    There shall not at your father's house these seven years
    2450Be born another such.
    Florizel
    My good Camillo,
    She's as forward of her breeding as
    She is i'th'rear our birth.
    Camillo
    I cannot say 'tis pity
    2455She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress
    To most that teach.
    Perdita
    Your pardon, sir. For this,
    I'll blush you thanks.
    Florizel
    My prettiest Perdita!
    2460But, Oh, the thorns we stand upon! Camillo,
    Preserver of my father -- now of me --
    The medicine of our house, how shall we do?
    We are not furnished like Bohemia's son
    Nor shall appear in Sicilia.
    2465Camillo
    My lord,
    Fear none of this. I think you know my fortunes
    Do all lie there. It shall be so my care
    To have you royally appointed, as if
    The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,
    2470That you may know you shall not want, one word --
    [Camillo, Florizel, and Perdita talk together.]
    Enter Autolycus
    Autolycus
    Ha, ha! What a fool honesty is! And trust, his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman. I have sold all my trumpery. Not a counterfeit stone, not a ribbon, 2475glass, pomander, brooch, table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring, to keep my pack from fasting. They throng who should buy first, as if my trinkets had been hallowed and brought a benediction to the buyer, by which means I saw whose 2480purse was best in picture, and what I saw, to my good use I remembered. My clown, who wants but something to be a reasonable man, grew so in love with the wenches' song that he would not stir his pettitoes till he had both tune and words, which so drew the rest 2485of the herd to me that all their other senses stuck in ears. You might have pinched a placket, it was senseless;'twas nothing to geld a codpiece of a purse. I would have filed keys off that hung in chains. No hearing, no feeling, but my sir's song, and admiring the 2490nothing of it. So that in this time of lethargy, I picked and cut most of their festival purses and had not the old man come in with a hubbub against his daughter and the king's son, and scared my choughs from the chaff, I had not left a purse alive in the whole 2495army.
    [Camillo, Florizel, and Perdita come forward]
    Camillo
    [To Florizel and Perdita] Nay, but my letters, by this means being there
    So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.
    Florizel
    And those that you'll procure from King Leontes?
    Camillo
    Shall satisfy your father.
    2500Perdita
    Happy be you!
    All that you speak shows fair.
    Camillo
    [Noticing Autolycus] Who have we here?
    We'll make an instrument of this; omit
    Nothing may give us aide.
    2505Autolycus
    [Aside If they have overheard me now -- why, hanging!
    Camillo
    How now, good fellow! Why shak'st thou so? Fear not, man; Here's no harm intended to thee.
    Autolycus
    I am a poor fellow, sir.
    2510Camillo
    Why, be so still! Here's nobody will steal that from thee. Yet for the outside of thy poverty, we must make an exchange. Therefore, discase thee instantly -- thou must think there's a necessity 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. [Gives him money]
    Autolycus
    I am a poor fellow, sir; [Aside] I know ye well
    enough.
    Camillo
    Nay, prithee, dispatch -- the gentleman is half flayed already.
    2520Autolycus
    Are you in earnest, sir? [Aside] I smell the trick on't.
    Florizel
    Dispatch, I prithee.
    Autolycus
    Indeed, I have had earnest, but I cannot with conscience take it.
    Camillo
    Unbuckle, unbuckle.
    [Florizel and Autolycus exchange clothes.]
    2525Fortunate mistress -- let my prophecy
    Come home to ye! -- you must retire yourself
    Into some covert. Take your sweetheart's hat
    And pluck it o'er your brows, muffle your face,
    Dismantle you, and -- as you can -- disliken
    2530The truth of your own seeming that you may,
    For I do fear eyes over, to shipboard
    Get undescried.
    Perdita
    I see the play so lies
    That I must bear a part.
    2535Camillo
    No remedy.
    [To Florizel]Have you done there?
    Florizel
    Should I now meet my father,
    He would not call me son.
    Camillo
    Nay, you shall have no hat. [Giving hat to Perdita]
    2540Come, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.
    Autolycus
    Adieu, sir.
    Florizel
    O Perdita! What have we twain forgot?
    Pray you a word.
    [The two talk together.]
    Camillo
    What I do next shall be to tell the king
    2545Of this escape and whither they are bound;
    Wherein my hope is I shall so prevail
    To force him after, in whose company
    I shall review Sicilia, for whose sight
    I have a woman's longing.
    2550Florizel
    Fortune speed us!
    Thus we set on, Camillo, to th' seaside.
    Camillo
    The swifter speed the better.
    Exeunt [Florizel, Perdita, and Camillo]
    Autolycus
    I understand the business; I hear it. To have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand is necessary for 2555a cutpurse; a good nose is requisite also to smell out work for th' other senses. I see this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive. What an exchange had this been without boot? What a boot is here with this exchange! Sure the gods do this year connive at us, and we may 2560do anything extempore. The prince himself is about a piece of iniquity, stealing away from his father with his clog at his heels. If I thought it were a piece of honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would not do't. I hold it the more knavery to conceal it, and therein am 2565I constant to my profession.
    Enter Clown and Old Shepherd [carrying a bundle and a box]
    Aside, aside -- here is more matter for a hot brain; every lane's end, every shop, church, session, hanging, yields a careful man work.
    2570Clown
    See, see! What a man you are now! There is no other way but to tell the king she's a changeling, and none of your flesh and blood.
    Shepherd
    Nay, but hear me --
    Clown
    Nay, but hear me!
    2575Shepherd
    Go to, then.
    Clown
    She being none of your flesh and blood, your flesh and blood has not offended the king, and so your flesh and blood is not to be punished by him. Show those things you found about her, those secret things, all but 2580what she has with her. This being done, let the law go whistle, I warrant you.
    Shepherd
    I will tell the king all, every word, yea, and his son's pranks too, who -- I may say -- is no honest man, neither to his father nor to me, to go about to make me 2585the king's brother-in-law.
    Clown
    Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest off you could have been to him, and then your blood had been the dearer by I know how much an ounce.
    Autolycus
    [Aside] Very wisely, puppies!
    2590Shepherd
    Well! Let us to the king. There is that in this fardel will make him scratch his beard.
    Autolycus
    [Aside] I know not what impediment this complaint
    may be to the flight of my master.
    Clown
    Pray heartily he be at palace.
    2595Autolycus
    [Aside] Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance. Let me pocket up my peddler's excrement.
    [Removing false beard]
    [To the Clown and Shepherd] How now, rustics! Whither are you bound?
    Shepherd
    To th'palace, an it like your worship.
    Autolycus
    Your affairs there? What? With whom? The 2600condition of that fardel? The place of your dwelling? Your names? Your ages? Of what having, breeding, and anything that is fitting to be known, discover!
    Clown
    We are but plain fellows, sir.
    Autolycus
    A lie! You are rough and hairy! Let me have 2605no lying; it becomes none but tradesmen, and they often give us soldiers the lie, but we pay them for it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; therefore, they do not give us the lie.
    Clown
    Your worship had like to have given us one if 2610you had not taken yourself with the manner.
    Shepherd
    Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?
    Autolycus
    Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier. See'st thou not the air of the court in these enfoldings? Hath not my gait in it the measure of the court? Receives not 2615thy nose court odor from me? Reflect I not on thy baseness court-contempt? Think'st thou for that I insinuate to toze from thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier? I am courtier cap-á-pie, and one that will either push on or pluck back thy business there, 2620whereupon I command thee to open thy affair.
    Shepherd
    My business, sir, is to the king.
    Autolycus
    What advocate hast thou to him?
    Shepherd
    I know not, an't like you.
    Clown
    "Advocate"'s the court word for a pheasant. Say 2625you have none.
    Shepherd
    None, sir. I have no pheasant, cock, nor hen.
    Autolycus
    How blessed are we that are not simple men! Yet nature might have made me as these are. Therefore I will not disdain.
    2630Clown
    This cannot be but a great courtier.
    Shepherd
    His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomely.
    Clown
    He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical. A great man, I'll warrant. I know by the picking 2635on's teeth.
    Autolycus
    The fardel there? What's i'th'fardel? Wherefore that box?
    Shepherd
    Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and box which none must know but the king, and which he 2640shall know within this hour, if I may come to th'speech of him.
    Autolycus
    Age, thou hast lost thy labor.
    Shepherd
    Why, sir?
    Autolycus
    The king is not at the palace; he is gone aboard 2645a new ship to purge melancholy and air himself; for if thou be'st capable of things serious, thou must know the king is full of grief.
    Shepherd
    So, 'tis said, sir, about his son that should have married a shepherd's daughter.
    2650Autolycus
    If that shepherd be not in handfast, let him fly. The curses he shall have, the tortures he shall feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.
    Clown
    Think you so, sir?
    Autolycus
    Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make 2655heavy and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to him, though removed fifty times, shall all come under the hangman, which, though it be great pity, yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue, a ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into grace! Some 2660say he shall be stoned, but that death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne into a sheepcote? All deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.
    Clown
    Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an't like you, sir?
    2665Autolycus
    He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then 'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a wasp's nest; then stand till he be three quarters and a dram dead, then recovered again with aquavitae or some other hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and in the hottest day 2670prognostication proclaims, shall he be set against a brick wall, the sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he is to behold him with flies blown to death. But what talk we of these traitorly-rascals, whose miseries are to be smiled at, their offenses being so capital? 2675Tell me -- for you seem to be honest plain men -- what you have to the king; being something gently considered, I'll bring you where he is aboard, tender your persons to his presence, whisper him in your behalfs; and if it be in man besides the king to effect your suits, here is man 2680shall do it.
    Clown
    [To the Shepherd] He seems to be of great authority. Close with him, give him gold, and though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold. Show the inside of your purse to the outside of his 2685hand, and no more ado. Remember "stoned", and "flayed alive."
    Shepherd
    An't please you, sir, to undertake the business for us, here is that gold I have. I'll make it as much more and leave this young man in pawn till I bring it 2690you.
    Autolycus
    After I have done what I promised?
    Shepherd
    Ay, sir.
    Autolycus
    Well, give me the moiety. [To the Clown] Are you a party in this business?
    2695Clown
    In some sort, sir, but though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.
    Autolycus
    Oh, that's the case of the shepherd's son! Hang him, he'll be made an example.
    Clown
    Comfort, good comfort! [To the shepherd] We must to the king 2700and show our strange sights. He must know 'tis none of your daughter, nor my sister. We are gone else. Sir, I will give you as much as this old man does when the business is performed, and remain, as he says, your pawn till it be brought you.
    2705Autolycus
    I will trust you. Walk before toward the seaside. Go on the right hand. I will but look upon the hedge and follow you.
    Clown
    We are blessed in this man, as I may say, even blessed.
    2710Shepherd
    Let's before, as he bids us; he was provided to do us good.
    [Exeunt Clown and Shepherd]
    Autolycus
    If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune would not suffer me. She drops booties in my mouth. I am courted now with a double occasion; gold and a means 2715to do the prince my master good, which who knows how that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him. If he think it fit to shore them again, and that the complaint they have to the king concerns him nothing, let 2720him call me rogue for being so far officious, for I am proof against that title and what shame else belongs to't. To him will I present them. There may be matter in it.
    Exit.
    [5.1]
    2725Enter Leontes, Cleomines, Dion, Paulina, and Servants.
    Cleomines
    Sir, you have done enough and have performed
    A saint-like sorrow. No fault could you make
    Which you have not redeemed, indeed, paid down
    2730More penitence then done trespass. At the last,
    Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil;
    With them, forgive yourself.
    Leontes
    Whilst I remember
    Her and her virtues, I cannot forget
    2735My blemishes in them, and so still think of
    The wrong I did myself, which was so much
    That heirless it hath made my kingdom, and
    Destroyed the sweet'st companion that e'er man
    Bred his hopes out of. True?
    2740Paulina
    Too true, my lord.
    If one by one, you wedded all the world,
    Or from the all that are took something good
    To make a perfect woman, she you killed
    Would be unparalleled.
    2745Leontes
    I think so. Killed?
    She I killed? I did so, but thou strik'st me
    Sorely to say I did; it is as bitter
    Upon thy tongue as in my thought. Now, good now,
    Say so but seldom.
    2750Cleomines
    Not at all, good lady.
    You might have spoken a thousand things that would
    Have done the time more benefit and graced
    Your kindness better.
    Paulina
    You are one of those
    2755Would have him wed again.
    Dion
    If you would not so,
    You pity not the state nor the remembrance
    Of his most sovereign name, consider little
    What dangers by his highness fail of issue
    2760May drop upon his kingdom and devour
    Incertain lookers-on. What were more holy
    Than to rejoice the former queen is well?
    What holier than, for royalty's repair
    For present comfort and for future good,
    2765To bless the bed of majesty again
    With a sweet fellow to't?
    Paulina
    There is none worthy,
    Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
    Will have fulfilled their secret purposes.
    2770For has not the divine Apollo said?
    Is't not the tenor of his oracle
    That King Leontes shall not have an heir
    Till his lost child be found? Which that it shall
    Is all as monstrous to our humane reason
    2775As my Antigonus to break his grave
    And come again to me, who, on my life,
    Did perish with the infant. 'Tis your counsel
    My lord should to the heavens be contrary,
    Oppose against their wills. [To the king] Care not for issue.
    2780The crown will find an heir. Great Alexander
    Left his to th' worthiest, so his successor
    Was like to be the best.
    Leontes
    Good Paulina,
    Who hast the memory of Hermione,
    2785I know, in honor. Oh, that ever I
    Had squared me to thy counsel! Then, even now,
    I might have looked upon my queen's full eyes,
    Have taken treasure from her lips --
    Paulina
    And left them
    2790More rich for what they yielded.
    Leontes
    Thou speak'st truth!
    No more such wives, therefore no wife. One worse
    And better used would make her sainted spirit
    Again possess her corpse, and on this stage,
    2795Where we offenders now appear, soul-vexed,
    And begin, "Why to me?"
    Paulina
    Had she such power,
    She had just cause.
    Leontes
    She had, and would incense me
    2800To murder her I married.
    Paulina
    I should so.
    Were I the ghost that walked, I'd bid you mark
    Her eye and tell me for what dull part in't
    You chose her. Then I'd shriek that even your ears
    2805Should rift to hear me, and the words that followed
    Should be, "Remember mine."
    Leontes
    Stars, stars,
    And all eyes else, dead coals! Fear thou no wife;
    I'll have no wife, Paulina.
    2810Paulina
    Will you swear
    Never to marry but by my free leave?
    Leontes
    Never, Paulina, so be blessed my spirit.
    Paulina
    Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.
    Cleomines
    You tempt him over-much.
    2815Paulina
    Unless another
    As like Hermione as is her picture,
    Affront his eye --
    Cleomines
    Good madam, I have done.
    Paulina
    Yet if my lord will marry -- if you will, sir,
    2820No remedy but you will -- give me the office
    To choose you a queen. She shall not be so young
    As was your former, but she shall be such
    As, walked your first queen's ghost, it should take joy
    To see her in your arms.
    2825Leontes
    My true Paulina,
    We shall not marry till thou bidd'st us.
    Paulina
    That
    Shall be when your first queen's again in breath.
    Never till then.
    2830Enter a [Gentleman].
    1 Gentleman
    One that gives out himself Prince Florizel,
    Son of Polixenes, with his princess -- she
    The fairest I have yet beheld -- desires access
    To your high presence.
    2835Leontes
    What with him? He comes not
    Like to his father's greatness. His approach,
    So out of circumstance and sudden, tells us
    'Tis not a visitation framed, but forced
    By need and accident. What train?
    28401 Gentleman
    But few,
    And those but mean.
    Leontes
    His princess, say you, with him?
    1 Gentleman
    Ay, the most peerless piece of earth, I think,
    That ere the sun shone bright on.
    2845Paulina
    O Hermione,
    As every present time doth boast itself
    Above a better, gone, so must thy grave
    Give way to what's seen now. [To the Servant] Sir, you yourself
    Have said and writ so, but your writing now
    2850Is colder than that theme: she had not been,
    Nor was not to be equaled; thus your verse
    Flowed with her beauty once. 'Tis shrewdly ebbed
    To say you have seen a better.
    1 Gentleman
    Pardon, madam,
    2855The one I have almost forgot -- your pardon;
    The other, when she has obtained your eye,
    Will have your tongue too. This is a creature,
    Would she begin a sect, might quench the zeal
    Of all professors else, make proselytes
    2860Of who she but bid follow.
    Paulina
    How? Not women!
    1 Gentleman
    Women will love her that she is a woman
    More worth than any man; men, that she is
    The rarest of all women.
    2865Leontes
    Go, Cleomines,
    Yourself, assisted with your honored friends,
    Bring them to our embracement. Still 'tis strange
    He thus should steal upon us.
    [Exeunt Cleomines with others]
    Paulina
    Had our prince,
    2870Jewel of children, seen this hour, he had paired
    Well with this lord. There was not full a month
    Between their births.
    Leontes
    Prithee no more; cease! thou know'st
    He dies to me again when talked of. Sure
    2875When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches
    Will bring me to consider that which may
    Unfurnish me of reason. They are come.
    Enter Florizel, Perdita, Cleomines, and others.
    Your mother was most true to wedlock, prince,
    2880For she did print your royal father off,
    Conceiving you. Were I but twenty-one,
    Your father's image is so hit in you,
    His very air, that I should call you brother,
    As I did him, and speak of something wildly
    2885By us performed before. Most dearly welcome,
    And your fair princess -- goddess! Oh, alas!
    I lost a couple that 'twixt heaven and earth
    Might thus have stood, begetting wonder, as
    You, gracious couple, do; and then I lost --
    2890All mine own folly -- the society,
    Amity too of your brave father, whom,
    Though bearing misery, I desire my life
    Once more to look on him.
    Florizel
    By his command
    2895Have I here touched Sicilia, and from him
    Give you all greetings that a king at friend
    Can send his brother; and but infirmity,
    Which waits upon worn times hath something seized
    His wished ability, he had himself
    2900The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his
    Measured to look upon you, whom he loves --
    He bade me say so -- more than all the scepters,
    And those that bear them, living.
    Leontes
    O my brother!
    2905Good gentleman, the wrongs I have done thee stir
    Afresh within me, and these thy offices,
    So rarely kind, are as interpreters
    Of my behind-hand slackness. Welcome hither,
    As is the spring to th' earth. And hath he too
    2910Exposed this paragon to th' fearful usage
    At least ungentle, of the dreadful Neptune,
    To greet a man not worth her pains, much less
    Th' adventure of her person?
    Florizel
    Good my Lord,
    2915She came from Libya.
    Leontes
    Where the warlike Smalus,
    That noble honored lord, is feared and loved?
    Florizel
    Most royal sir, from thence; from him whose daughter
    2920His tears proclaimed his, parting with her. Thence,
    A prosperous south-wind friendly, we have crossed
    To execute the charge my father gave me
    For visiting your Highness. My best train
    I have from your Sicilian shores dismissed,
    2925Who for Bohemia bend to signify
    Not only my success in Libya, sir,
    But my arrival and my wife's in safety
    Here where we are.
    Leontes
    The blessèd gods
    2930Purge all infection from our air whilst you
    Do climate here! You have a holy father,
    A graceful gentleman, against whose person,
    So sacred as it is, I have done sin,
    For which the heavens, taking angry note,
    2935Have left me issueless. And your father's blessed,
    As he from heaven merits it, with you,
    Worthy his goodness. What might I have been
    Might I a son and daughter now have looked on,
    Such goodly things as you?
    2940Enter a Lord
    Lord
    Most noble sir,
    That which I shall report will bear no credit
    Were not the proof so nigh. Please you, great sir,
    Bohemia greets you from himself by me,
    2945Desires you to attach his son, who has
    His dignity and duty both cast off,
    Fled from his father, from his hopes, and with
    A shepherd's daughter.
    Leontes
    Where's Bohemia? Speak!
    2950Lord
    Here, in your city I now came from him.
    I speak amazedly, and it becomes
    My marvel and my message. To your court
    Whiles he was hastening -- in the chase, it seems,
    Of this fair couple -- meets he on the way
    2955The father of this seeming lady and
    Her brother, having both their country quitted
    With this young prince.
    Florizel
    Camillo has betrayed me,
    Whose honor and whose honesty till now
    2960Endured all weathers.
    Lord
    Lay't so to his charge.
    He's with the king your father.
    Leontes
    Who? Camillo?
    Lord
    Camillo, sir. I spake with him, who now
    2965Has these poor men in question. Never saw I
    Wretches so quake. They kneel, they kiss the earth,
    Forswear themselves as often as they speak.
    Bohemia stops his ears and threatens them
    With diverse deaths in death.
    2970Perdita
    O my poor father!
    The heaven sets spies upon us, will not have
    Our contract celebrated.
    Leontes
    You are married?
    Florizel
    We are not, sir, nor are we like to be.
    2975The stars, I see, will kiss the valleys first;
    The odds for high and low's alike.
    Leontes
    My lord,
    Is this the daughter of a king?
    Florizel
    She is,
    2980When once she is my wife.
    Leontes
    That "once", I see, by your good father's speed
    Will come-on very slowly. I am sorry,
    Most sorry, you have broken from his liking,
    Where you were tied in duty, and as sorry
    2985Your choice is not so rich in worth as beauty,
    That you might well enjoy her.
    Florizel
    Dear, look up,
    Though Fortune, visible an enemy,
    Should chase us with my father, power no jot
    2990Hath she to change our loves. Beseech you, sir,
    Remember since you owed no more to time
    Than I do now. With thought of such affections,
    Step forth mine advocate. At your request,
    My father will grant precious things as trifles.
    2995Leontes
    Would he do so, I'd beg your precious mistress,
    Which he counts but a trifle.
    Paulina
    Sir, my liege,
    Your eye hath too much youth in't. Not a month
    'Fore your queen died, she was more worth such gazes
    3000Than what you look on now.
    Leontes
    I thought of her,
    Even in these looks I made. [To Florizel] But your petition
    Is yet unanswered. I will to your father.
    Your honor not o'erthrown by your desires,
    3005I am friend to them and you; upon which errand
    I now go toward him. Therefore follow me,
    And mark what way I make. Come, good my lord.
    Exeunt.
    [5.2]
    3010Enter Autolycus and a Gentleman.
    Autolycus
    Beseech you, sir, were you present at this relation?
    First Gentleman
    I was by at the opening of the fardel, heard the old shepherd deliver the manner how he found it; 3015whereupon, after a little amazedness, we were all commanded out of the chamber. Only this, methought I heard the shepherd say he found the child.
    Autolycus
    I would most gladly know the issue of it.
    First Gentleman
    I make a broken delivery of the business, 3020but the changes I perceived in the King and Camillo were very notes of admiration; they seemed almost, with staring on one another, to tear the cases of their eyes. There was speech in their dumbness, language in their very gesture. They looked as they had heard of a world 3025ransomed, or one destroyed. A notable passion of wonder appeared in them, but the wisest beholder that knew no more but seeing could not say if th' importance were joy or sorrow. But in the extremity of the one, it must needs be.
    Enter another Gentleman [Ruggiero].
    3030Here comes a gentleman that happily knows more. The news, Ruggiero?
    2 Gentleman
    Nothing but bonfires, the oracle is fulfilled: the king's daughter is found! Such a deal of wonder is broken out within this hour that ballad makers cannot 3035be able to express it.
    Enter another Gentleman.
    Here comes the Lady Paulina's steward. He can deliver you more. How goes it now, sir? This news which is called true is so like an old tale, that the verity of it is in strong suspicion. Has the king found his heir?
    30403 Gentleman
    Most true, if ever truth were pregnant by circumstance. That which you hear you'll swear you see; there is such unity in the proofs. The mantle of Queen Hermione's, her jewel about the neck of it, the letters of Antigonus found with it, which they know 3045to be his character; the majesty of the creature in resemblance of the mother; the affection of nobleness, which nature shows above her breeding; and many other evidences proclaim her with all certainty to be the king's daughter. Did you see the meeting of the 3050two kings?
    2 Gentleman
    No.
    3 Gentleman
    Then have you lost a sight which was to be seen, cannot be spoken of. There might you have beheld one joy crown another, so and in such manner that 3055it seemed sorrow wept to take leave of them for their joy waded in tears. There was casting up of eyes, holding up of hands, with countenance of such distraction that they were to be known by garment, not by favor. Our king, being ready to leap out of himself for joy of 3060his found daughter, as if that joy were now become a loss, cries, "Oh, thy mother, thy mother," then asks Bohemia forgiveness; then embraces his son-in-law; then again worries he his daughter with clipping her. Now he thanks the old shepherd, which stands by like 3065a weather-bitten conduit of many kings' reigns. I never heard of such another encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undoes description to do it.
    2 Gentleman
    What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carried hence the child?
    30703 Gentleman
    Like an old tale still, which will have matter to rehearse, though credit be asleep and not an ear open -- he was torn to pieces with a bear. This avouches the shepherd's son, who has not only his innocence, which seems much to justify him, but a handkerchief 3075and rings of his that Paulina knows.
    First Gentleman
    What became of his bark and his followers?
    3 Gentleman
    Wrecked the same instant of their master's death, and in the view of the shepherd, so that all the 3080instruments which aided to expose the child were even then lost when it was found. But oh, the noble combat that 'twixt joy and sorrow was fought in Paulina! She had one eye declined for the loss of her husband, another elevated that the oracle was fulfilled. She lifted the 3085princess from the earth and so locks her in embracing, as if she would pin her to her heart, that she might no more be in danger of losing.
    First Gentleman
    The dignity of this act was worth the audience of kings and princes, for by such was it acted.
    30903 Gentleman
    One of the prettiest touches of all, and that which angled for mine eyes -- caught the water, though not the fish -- was, when at the relation of the queen's death, with the manner how she came to't, bravely confessed and lamented by the king, how attentiveness 3095wounded his daughter, till, from one sign of dolor to another, she did, with an "Alas!" I would fain say, bleed tears, for I am sure my heart wept blood. Who was most marble there changed color. Some swooned, all sorrowed. If all the world could have seen't, the woe 3100had been universal.
    First Gentleman
    Are they returned to the court?
    3 Gentleman
    No. The princess, hearing of her mother's statue which is in the keeping of Paulina, a piece many year's in doing and now newly performed by that rare 3105Italian master, Julio Romano, who -- had he himself eternity and could put breath into his work -- would beguile nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her ape. He so near to Hermione hath done Hermione that they say one would speak to her and stand in hope of answer. 3110Thither, with all greediness of affection are they gone, and there they intend to sup.
    2 Gentleman
    I thought she had some great matter there in hand, for she hath privately twice or thrice a day ever since the death of Hermione, visited that removed house. 3115Shall we thither and with our company piece the rejoicing?
    First Gentleman
    Who would be thence that has the benefit of access? Every wink of an eye, some new grace will be born. Our absence makes us unthrifty to our 3120knowledge. Let's along.
    [Exeunt the Gentlemen.]
    Autolycus
    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 son aboard the prince, told him I heard them talk of a fardel and I know not what, but 3125he at that time overfond of the shepherd's daughter -- so he then took her to be -- who began to be much seasick and himself little better, extremity of weather continuing, this mystery remained undiscovered. But 'tis all one to me, for had I been the finder-out of this secret, 3130it would not have relished among my other discredits.
    Enter Shepherd and Clown [ornately dressed]
    Here come those I have done good to against my will and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.
    3135Shepherd
    Come, boy, I am past more children, but thy sons and daughters will be all gentlemen born.
    Clown
    [To Autolycus] You are well met, sir. You denied to fight with me this other day because I was no gentleman born. See you these clothes? Say you see them not 3140and think me still no gentleman born; you were best say these robes are not gentlemen born. Give me the lie, do, and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.
    Autolycus
    I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.
    3145Clown
    Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.
    Shepherd
    And so have I, boy.
    Clown
    So you have, but I was a gentleman born before my father, for the king's son took me by the hand and called me "brother"; and then the two kings 3150called my father "brother" and then the prince my brother and the princess my sister called my father "father." and so we wept, and there was the first gentleman-like tears that ever we shed.
    Shepherd
    We may live, son, to shed many more.
    3155Clown
    Ay, or else 'twere hard luck being in so preposterous estate as we are.
    Autolycus
    I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the faults I have committed to your worship, and to give me your good report to the prince my master.
    3160Shepherd
    Prithee, son, do, for we must be gentle now we are gentlemen.
    Clown
    Thou wilt amend thy life?
    Autolycus
    Ay, and it like your good worship.
    Clown
    Give me thy hand. I will swear to the prince 3165thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.
    Shepherd
    You may say it, but not swear it.
    Clown
    Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and franklins say it. I'll swear it.
    Shepherd
    How if it be false, son?
    3170Clown
    If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear it in the behalf of his friend. And I'll swear to the prince thou art a tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt not be drunk, but I know thou art no tall fellow of thy hands and that thou wilt be drunk, but I'll 3175swear it, and I would thou wouldst be a tall fellow of thy hands.
    Autolycus
    I will prove so, sir, to my power.
    Clown
    Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow. If I do not wonder how thou dar'st venture to be drunk, not being 3180a tall fellow, trust me not. Hark, the kings and princes, our kindred, are going to see the queen's picture. Come, follow us. We'll be thy good masters.
    Exeunt.
    [5.3]
    Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Florizel, Perdita, Camillo, 3185Paulina, Lords, etc.
    Leontes
    O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
    That I have had of thee!
    Paulina
    What, sovereign sir,
    I did not well, I meant well. All my services
    3190You have paid home, but that you have vouchsafed
    With your crowned brother and these your contracted
    Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
    It is a surplus of your grace which never
    My life may last to answer.
    3195Leontes
    O Paulina,
    We honor you with trouble, but we came
    To see the statue of our queen. Your gallery
    Have we passed through, not without much content
    In many singularities, but we saw not
    3200That which my daughter came to look upon,
    The statue of her mother.
    Paulina
    As she lived peerless,
    So her dead likeness I do well believe
    Excels whatever yet you looked upon,
    3205Or hand of man hath done. Therefore I keep it
    Lonely, apart. But here it is; prepare
    To see the life as lively mocked as ever
    Still sleep mocked death.
    [Drawing aside curtain to reveal Hermione as a statue]
    Behold, and say 'tis well.
    I like your silence; it the more shows off
    3210Your wonder, but yet speak. First you, my liege,
    Comes it not something near?
    Leontes
    Her natural posture.
    Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
    Thou art Hermione -- or rather, thou art she
    3215In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
    As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina,
    Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
    So aged as this seems.
    Polixenes
    O, not by much.
    3220Paulina
    So much the more our carver's excellence,
    Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
    As she lived now.
    Leontes
    As now she might have done,
    So much to my good comfort as it is
    3225Now piercing to my soul. O, thus she stood,
    Even with such life of majesty -- warm life,
    As now it coldly stands -- when first I wooed her.
    I am ashamed; does not the stone rebuke me
    For being more stone than it? O royal piece!
    3230There's magic in thy majesty, which has
    My evils conjured to remembrance and
    From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
    Standing like stone with thee.
    Perdita
    And give me leave,
    3235And do not say 'tis superstition that
    I kneel and then implore her blessing. Lady,
    Dear Queen, that ended when I but began,
    Give me that hand of yours to kiss.
    Paulina
    O, patience!
    3240The statue is but newly fixed; the color's
    Not dry.
    Camillo
    My Lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
    Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
    So many summers dry; scarce any joy
    3245Did ever so long live; no sorrow,
    But killed itself much sooner.
    Polixenes
    Dear my brother,
    Let him that was the cause of this have power
    To take off so much grief from you as he
    3250Will piece up in himself.
    Paulina
    Indeed, my lord,
    If I had thought the sight of my poor image
    Would thus have wrought you -- for the stone is mine --
    I'd not have showed it.
    [Moves to draw curtain]
    3255Leontes
    Do not draw the curtain.
    Paulina
    No longer shall you gaze on't, lest your fancy
    May think anon it moves.
    Leontes
    Let be, let be!
    Would I were dead but that me thinks already --
    3260What was he that did make it? See, my lord,
    Would you not deem it breathed? And that those veins
    Did verily bear blood?
    Polixenes
    Masterly done.
    The very life seems warm upon her lip.
    3265Leontes
    The fixure of her eye has motion in't,
    As we are mocked with art.
    Paulina
    I'll draw the curtain.
    My Lord's almost so far transported that
    He'll think anon it lives.
    3270Leontes
    O sweet Paulina,
    Make me to think so twenty year together;
    No settled senses of the world can match
    The pleasure of that madness. Let't alone.
    Paulina
    I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirred you, but
    3275I could afflict you farther.
    Leontes
    Do, Paulina.
    For this affliction has a taste as sweet
    As any cordial comfort. Still methinks
    There is an air comes from her. What fine chisel
    3280Could ever yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,
    For I will kiss her.
    Paulina
    Good, my lord, forbear.
    The ruddiness upon her lip is wet;
    You'll mar it if you kiss it, stain your own
    3285With oily painting. Shall I draw the curtain?
    Leontes
    No, not these twenty years.
    Perdita
    So long could I
    Stand by, a looker-on.
    Paulina
    Either forbear,
    3290Quit presently the chapel, or resolve you
    For more amazement; if you can behold it,
    I'll make the statue move indeed, descend
    And take you by the hand; but then you'll think --
    Which I protest against -- I am assisted
    3295By wicked powers.
    Leontes
    What you can make her do,
    I am content to look on; what to speak,
    I am content to hear, for 'tis as easy
    To make her speak as move.
    3300Paulina
    It is required
    You do awake your faith; then, all stand still.
    Or those that think it is unlawful business
    I am about, let them depart.
    Leontes
    Proceed.
    3305No foot shall stir.
    Paulina
    Music! Awake her! Strike!
    [Music sounds]
    [To Hermione] 'Tis time! Descend! Be stone no more! Approach!
    Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come!
    I'll fill your grave up. Stir! Nay, come away;
    3310Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him
    Dear life redeems you.
    [To Leontes] You perceive she stirs.
    [Hermione descends]
    Start not; her actions shall be holy as
    You hear my spell is lawful; [To Leontes] do not shun her
    Until you see her die again, for then
    3315You kill her double. Nay, present your hand.
    When she was young, you wooed her; now, in age,
    Is she become the suitor?
    Leontes
    O, she's warm!
    If this be magic, let it be an art
    3320Lawful as eating.
    Polixenes
    She embraces him.
    Camillo
    She hangs about his neck --
    If she pertain to life, let her speak too.
    Polixenes
    Ay, and make it manifest where she has lived,
    3325Or how stolen from the dead?
    Paulina
    That she is living,
    Were it but told you, should be hooted at
    Like an old tale; but it appears she lives,
    Though yet she speak not. Mark a little while.
    3330[To Perdita] Please you to interpose, fair madam. Kneel,
    And pray your mother's blessing; [To Hermione] Turn, good lady;
    Our Perdita is found!
    Hermione
    You gods, look down,
    And from your sacred vials pour your graces
    3335Upon my daughter's head! Tell me, mine own,
    Where hast thou been preserved? Where lived? How found
    Thy father's court? For thou shalt hear that I,
    Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
    Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserved
    3340Myself to see the issue.
    Paulina
    There's time enough for that,
    Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
    Your joys with like relation. Go together,
    You precious winners all; your exultation
    3345Partake to everyone. I, an old turtle,
    Will wing me to some withered bough, and there
    My mate -- that's never to be found again --
    Lament, till I am lost.
    Leontes
    O peace, Paulina!
    3350Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent,
    As I by thine a wife. This is a match,
    And made between's by vows. Thou hast found mine --
    But how is to be questioned; for I saw her,
    As I thought, dead, and have in vain said many
    3355A prayer upon her grave. I'll not seek far,
    For him I partly know his mind, to find thee
    An honorable husband. Come, Camillo,
    And take her by the hand, whose worth and honesty
    Is richly noted, and here justified
    3360By us, a pair of kings. Let's from this place.
    [To Hermione] What? Look upon my brother. Both your pardons
    That ere I put between your holy looks
    My ill suspicion. This your son-in-law,
    And son unto the king, whom heavens directing,
    3365Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,
    Lead us from hence, where we may leisurely
    Each one demand and answer to his part
    Performed in this wide gap of time since first
    We were dissevered. Hastily lead away.
    Exeunt.