Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardin Aasand
Peer Reviewed

The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

The Winters Tale.
1Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
Enter Camillo and Archidamus.
IF you shall chance (Camillo) to visit Bohemia, on
5the like occasion whereon my seruices are now
on-foot, you shall see (as I haue said) great dif-
ference betwixt our Bohemia, and your Sicilia.
Cam. I thinke, this comming Summer, the King of
Sicilia meanes to pay Bohemia the Visitation, which hee
10iustly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our Entertainment shall shame vs: we
will be iustified in our Loues: for indeed---
Cam. 'Beseech you---
Arch. Verely I speake it in the freedome of my know-
15ledge: we cannot with such magnificence--- in so rare---
I know not what to say--- Wee will giue you sleepie
Drinkes, that your Sences (vn-intelligent of our insuffi-
cience) may, though they cannot prayse vs, as little ac-
cuse vs.
20Cam. You pay a great deale to deare, for what's giuen
Arch. 'Beleeue me, I speake as my vnderstanding in-
structs me, and as mine honestie puts it to vtterance.
Cam. Sicilia cannot shew himselfe ouer-kind to Bohe-
25mia: They were trayn'd together in their Child-hoods;
and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection,
which cannot chuse but braunch now. Since their more
mature Dignities, and Royall Necessities, made seperati-
on of their Societie, their Encounters (though not Perso-
30nall) hath been Royally attornyed with enter-change of
Gifts, Letters, louing Embassies, that they haue seem'd to
be together, though absent: shooke hands, as ouer a Vast;
and embrac'd as it were from the ends of opposed Winds.
The Heauens continue their Loues.
35Arch. I thinke there is not in the World, either Malice
or Matter, to alter it. You haue an vnspeakable comfort
of your young Prince Mamillius: it is a Gentleman of the
greatest Promise, that euer came into my Note.
Cam. I very well agree with you, in the hopes of him:
40it is a gallant Child; one, that (indeed) Physicks the Sub-
iect, makes old hearts fresh: they that went on Crutches
ere he was borne, desire yet their life, to see him a Man.
Arch. Would they else be content to die?
Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse, why they should
45desire to liue.
Arch. If the King had no Sonne, they would desire to
liue on Crutches till he had one. Exeunt.
Scoena Secunda.
Enter Leontes, Hermione, Mamillius, Polixenes, Camillo.
50Pol. Nine Changes of the Watry-Starre hath been
The Shepheards Note, since we haue left our Throne
Without a Burthen: Time as long againe
Would be fill'd vp (my Brother) with our Thanks,
And yet we should, for perpetuitie,
55Goe hence in debt: And therefore, like a Cypher
(Yet standing in rich place) I multiply
With one we thanke you, many thousands moe,
That goe before it.
Leo. Stay your Thanks a while,
60And pay them when you part.
Pol. Sir, that's to morrow:
I am question'd by my feares, of what may chance,
Or breed vpon our absence, that may blow
No sneaping Winds at home, to make vs say,
65This is put forth too truly: besides, I haue stay'd
To tyre your Royaltie.
Leo. We are tougher (Brother)
Then you can put vs to't.
Pol. No longer stay.
70Leo. One Seue' night longer.
Pol. Very sooth, to morrow.
Leo. Wee'le part the time betweene's then: and in that
Ile no gaine-saying.
Pol. Presse me not ('beseech you) so:
75There is no Tongue that moues; none, none i'th' World
So soone as yours, could win me: so it should now,
Were there necessitie in your request, although
'Twere needfull I deny'd it. My Affaires
Doe euen drag me home-ward: which to hinder,
80Were (in your Loue) a Whip to me; my stay,
To you a Charge, and Trouble: to saue both,
Farewell (our Brother.)
Leo. Tongue-ty'd our Queene? speake you.
Her. I had thought (Sir) to haue held my peace, vntill
85You had drawne Oathes from him, not to stay: you (Sir)
Charge him too coldly. Tell him, you are sure
All in Bohemia's well: this satisfaction,
The by-gone-day proclaym'd, say this to him,
He's beat from his best ward.
90Leo. Well said, Hermione.
Her. To tell, he longs to see his Sonne, were strong:
But let him say so then, and let him goe;
But let him sweare so, and he shall not stay,
Wee'l thwack him hence with Distaffes.
95Yet of your Royall presence, Ile aduenture
The borrow of a Weeke. When at Bohemia
You take my Lord, Ile giue him my Commission,
To let him there a Moneth, behind the Gest
Prefix'd for's parting: yet (good-deed) Leontes,
100I loue thee not a Iarre o'th' Clock, behind
278The Winters Tale.
What Lady she her Lord. You'le stay?
Pol. No, Madame.
Her. Nay, but you will?
Pol. I may not verely.
105Her. Verely?
You put me off with limber Vowes: but I,
Though you would seek t' vnsphere the Stars with Oaths,
Should yet say, Sir, no going: Verely
You shall not goe; a Ladyes Verely 'is
110As potent as a Lords. Will you goe yet?
Force me to keepe you as a Prisoner,
Not like a Guest: so you shall pay your Fees
When you depart, and saue your Thanks. How say you?
My Prisoner? or my Guest? by your dread Verely,
115One of them you shall be.
Pol. Your Guest then, Madame:
To be your Prisoner, should import offending;
Which is for me, lesse easie to commit,
Then you to punish.
120Her. Not your Gaoler then,
But your kind Hostesse. Come, Ile question you
Of my Lords Tricks, and yours, when you were Boyes:
You were pretty Lordings then?
Pol. We were (faire Queene)
125Two Lads, that thought there was no more behind,
But such a day to morrow, as to day,
And to be Boy eternall.
Her. Was not my Lord
The veryer Wag o'th' two?
130Pol. We were as twyn'd Lambs, that did frisk i'th' Sun,
And bleat the one at th' other: what we chang'd,
Was Innocence, for Innocence: we knew not
The Doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd
That any did: Had we pursu'd that life,
135And our weake Spirits ne're been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should haue answer'd Heauen
Boldly, not guilty; the Imposition clear'd,
Hereditarie ours.
Her. By this we gather
140You haue tript since.
Pol. O my most sacred Lady,
Temptations haue since then been borne to's: for
In those vnfledg'd dayes, was my Wife a Girle;
Your precious selfe had then not cross'd the eyes
145Of my young Play-fellow.
Her. Grace to boot:
Of this make no conclusion, least you say
Your Queene and I are Deuils: yet goe on,
Th' offences we haue made you doe, wee'le answere,
150If you first sinn'd with vs: and that with vs
You did continue fault; and that you slipt not
With any, but with vs.
Leo. Is he woon yet?
Her. Hee'le stay (my Lord.)
155Leo. At my request, he would not:
Hermione (my dearest) thou neuer spoak'st
To better purpose.
Her. Neuer?
Leo. Neuer, but once.
160Her.What? haue I twice said well? when was't before?
I prethee tell me: cram's with prayse, and make's
As fat as tame things: One good deed, dying tonguelesse,
Slaughters a thousand, wayting vpon that.
Our prayses are our Wages. You may ride's
165With one soft Kisse a thousand Furlongs, ere
With Spur we heat an Acre. But to th' Goale:
My last good deed, was to entreat his stay.
What was my first? it ha's an elder Sister,
Or I mistake you: O, would her Name were Grace.
170But once before I spoke to th' purpose? when?
Nay, let me haue't: I long.
Leo. Why, that was when
Three crabbed Moneths had sowr'd themselues to death,
Ere I could make thee open thy white Hand:
175A clap thy selfe, my Loue; then didst thou vtter,
I am yours for euer.
Her. 'Tis Grace indeed.
Why lo-you now; I haue spoke to th' purpose twice:
The one, for euer earn'd a Royall Husband;
180Th' other, for some while a Friend.
Leo. Too hot, too hot:
To mingle friendship farre, is mingling bloods.
I haue Tremor Cordis on me: my heart daunces,
But not for ioy; not ioy. This Entertainment
185May a free face put on: deriue a Libertie
From Heartinesse, from Bountie, fertile Bosome,
And well become the Agent: 't may; I graunt:
But to be padling Palmes, and pinching Fingers,
As now they are, and making practis'd Smiles
190As in a Looking-Glasse; and then to sigh, as 'twere
The Mort o'th' Deere: oh, that is entertainment
My Bosome likes not, nor my Browes. Mamillius,
Art thou my Boy?
Mam. I, my good Lord.
195Leo. I'fecks:
Why that's my Bawcock: what? has't smutch'd thy Nose?
They say it is a Coppy out of mine. Come Captaine,
We must be neat; not neat, but cleanly, Captaine:
And yet the Steere, the Heycfer, and the Calfe,
200Are all call'd Neat. Still Virginalling
Vpon his Palme? How now (you wanton Calfe)
Art thou my Calfe?
Mam. Yes, if you will (my Lord.)
Leo. Thou want'st a rough pash, & the shoots that I haue
205To be full, like me: yet they say we are
Almost as like as Egges; Women say so,
(That will say any thing.) But were they false
As o're-dy'd Blacks, as Wind, as Waters; false
As Dice are to be wish'd, by one that fixes
210No borne 'twixt his and mine; yet were it true,
To say this Boy were like me. Come (Sir Page)
Looke on me with your Welkin eye: sweet Villaine,
Most dear'st, my Collop: Can thy Dam, may't be
Affection? thy Intention stabs the Center.
215Thou do'st make possible things not so held,
Communicat'st with Dreames (how can this be?)
With what's vnreall: thou coactiue art,
And fellow'st nothing. Then 'tis very credent,
Thou may'st co-ioyne with something, and thou do'st,
220(And that beyond Commission) and I find it,
(And that to the infection of my Braines,
And hardning of my Browes.)
Pol. What meanes Sicilia?
Her. He something seemes vnsetled.
225Pol. How? my Lord?
Leo. What cheere? how is't with you, best Brother?
Her. You look as if you held a Brow of much distraction:
Are you mou'd (my Lord?)
Leo. No, in good earnest.
230How sometimes Nature will betray it's folly?
It's tendernesse? and make it selfe a Pastime
To harder bosomes? Looking on the Lynes
The Winters Tale. 279
Of my Boyes face, me thoughts I did requoyle
Twentie three yeeres, and saw my selfe vn-breech'd,
235In my greene Veluet Coat; my Dagger muzzel'd,
Least it should bite it's Master, and so proue
(As Ornaments oft do's) too dangerous:
How like (me thought) I then was to this Kernell,
This Squash, this Gentleman. Mine honest Friend,
240Will you take Egges for Money?
Mam. No (my Lord) Ile fight.
Leo. You will: why happy man be's dole. My Brother
Are you so fond of your young Prince, as we
Doe seeme to be of ours?
245Pol. If at home (Sir)
He's all my Exercise, my Mirth, my Matter;
Now my sworne Friend, and then mine Enemy;
My Parasite, my Souldier: States-man; all:
He makes a Iulyes day, short as December,
250And with his varying child-nesse, cures in me
Thoughts, that would thick my blood.
Leo. So stands this Squire
Offic'd with me: We two will walke (my Lord)
And leaue you to your grauer steps. Hermione,
255How thou lou'st vs, shew in our Brothers welcome;
Let what is deare in Sicily, be cheape:
Next to thy selfe, and my young Rouer, he's
Apparant to my heart.
Her. If you would seeke vs,
260We are yours i'th' Garden: shall's attend you there?
Leo. To your owne bents dispose you: you'le be found,
Be you beneath the Sky: I am angling now,
(Though you perceiue me not how I giue Lyne)
Goe too, goe too.
265How she holds vp the Neb? the Byll to him?
And armes her with the boldnesse of a Wife
To her allowing Husband. Gone already,
Ynch-thick, knee-deepe; ore head and eares a fork'd one.
Goe play (Boy) play: thy Mother playes, and I
270Play too; but so disgrac'd a part, whose issue
Will hisse me to my Graue: Contempt and Clamor
Will be my Knell. Goe play (Boy) play, there haue been
(Or I am much deceiu'd) Cuckolds ere now,
And many a man there is (euen at this present,
275Now, while I speake this) holds his Wife by th' Arme,
That little thinkes she ha's been sluyc'd in's absence,
And his Pond fish'd by his next Neighbor (by
Sir Smile, his Neighbor:) nay, there's comfort in't,
Whiles other men haue Gates, and those Gates open'd
280(As mine) against their will. Should all despaire
That haue reuolted Wiues, the tenth of Mankind
Would hang themselues. Physick for't, there's none:
It is a bawdy Planet, that will strike
Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powrefull: thinke 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
Haue the Disease, and feele't not. How now Boy?
290Mam. I am like you say.
Leo. Why, that's some comfort.
What? Camillo there?
Cam. I, my good Lord.
Leo. Goe play (Mamillius) thou'rt an honest man:
295Camillo, this great Sir will yet stay longer.
Cam. You had much adoe to make his Anchor hold,
When you cast out, it still came home.
Leo. Didst note it?
Cam. He would not stay at your Petitions, made
300His Businesse more materiall.
Leo. Didst perceiue it?
They're here with me already; whisp'ring, rounding:
Sicilia is a so-forth: 'tis farre gone,
When I shall gust it last. How cam't (Camillo)
305That he did stay?
Cam. At the good Queenes entreatie.
Leo. At the Queenes be't: Good should be pertinent,
But so it is, it is not. Was this taken
By any vnderstanding Pate but thine?
310For thy Conceit is soaking, will draw in
More then the common Blocks. Not noted, is't,
But of the finer Natures? by some Seueralls
Of Head-peece extraordinarie? Lower Messes
Perchance are to this Businesse purblind? say.
315Cam.Businesse, my Lord? I thinke most vnderstand
Bohemia stayes here longer.
Leo. Ha?
Cam. Stayes here longer.
Leo. I, but why?
320 Cam. To satisfie your Highnesse, and the Entreaties
Of our most gracious Mistresse.
Leo. Satisfie?
Th' entreaties of your Mistresse? Satisfie?
Let that suffice. I haue trusted thee (Camillo)
325With all the neerest things to my heart, as well
My Chamber-Councels, wherein (Priest-like) thou
Hast cleans'd my Bosome: I, from thee departed
Thy Penitent reform'd: but we haue been
Deceiu'd in thy Integritie, deceiu'd
330In that which seemes so.
Cam. Be it forbid (my Lord.)
Leo. To bide vpon't: thou art not honest: or
If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a Coward,
Which hoxes honestie behind, restrayning
335From Course requir'd: or else thou must be counted
A Seruant, grafted in my serious Trust,
And therein negligent: or else a Foole,
That seest a Game play'd home, the rich Stake drawne,
And tak'st it all for ieast.
340Cam. My gracious Lord,
I may be negligent, foolish, and fearefull,
In euery one of these, no man is free,
But that his negligence, his folly, feare,
Among the infinite doings of the World,
345Sometime puts forth in your affaires (my Lord.)
If euer I were wilfull-negligent,
It was my folly: if industriously
I play'd the Foole, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end: if euer fearefull
350To doe a thing, where I the issue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 'twas a feare
Which oft infects the wisest: these (my Lord)
Are such allow'd Infirmities, that honestie
355Is neuer free of. But beseech your Grace
Be plainer with me, let me know my Trespas
By it's owne visage; if I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.
Leo. Ha' not you seene Camillo?
360(But that's past doubt: you haue, or your eye-glasse
Is thicker then a Cuckolds Horne) or heard?
(For to a Vision so apparant, Rumor
Cannot be mute) or thought? (for Cogitation
Resides not in that man, that do's not thinke)
Aa2 My
280The Winters Tale.
365My Wife is slipperie? If thou wilt confesse,
Or else be impudently negatiue,
To haue nor Eyes, nor Eares, nor Thought, then say
My Wife's a Holy-Horse, deserues a Name
As ranke as any Flax-Wench, that puts to
370Before her troth-plight: say't, and iustify't.
Cam. I would not be a stander-by, to heare
My Soueraigne Mistresse clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken: 'shrew my heart,
You neuer spoke what did become you lesse
375Then this; which to reiterate, were sin
As deepe as that, though true.
Leo. Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning Cheeke to Cheeke? is meating Noses?
Kissing with in-side Lip? stopping the Cariere
380Of Laughter, with a sigh? (a Note infallible
Of breaking Honestie) horsing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wishing Clocks more swift?
Houres, Minutes? Noone, Mid-night? and all Eyes
Blind with the Pin and Web, but theirs; theirs onely,
385That would vnseene be wicked? Is this nothing?
Why then the World, and all that's in't, is nothing,
The couering Skie is nothing, Bohemia nothing,
My Wife is nothing, nor Nothing haue these Nothings,
If this be nothing.
390Cam. Good my Lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas'd Opinion, and betimes,
For 'tis most dangerous.
Leo. Say it be, 'tis true.
Cam. No, no, my Lord.
395Leo. It is: you lye, you lye:
I say thou lyest Camillo, and I hate thee,
Pronounce thee a grosse Lowt, a mindlesse Slaue,
Or else a houering Temporizer, that
Canst with thine eyes at once see good and euill,
400Inclining to them both: were my Wiues Liuer
Infected (as her life) she would not liue
The running of one Glasse.
Cam. Who do's infect her?
Leo. Why he that weares her like her Medull, hanging
405About his neck (Bohemia) who, if I
Had Seruants true about me, that bare eyes
To see alike mine Honor, as their Profits,
(Their owne particular Thrifts) they would doe that
Which should vndoe more doing: I, and thou
410His Cup-bearer, whom I from meaner forme
Haue Bench'd, and rear'd to Worship, who may'st see
Plainely, as Heauen sees Earth, and Earth sees Heauen,
How I am gall'd, might'st be-spice a Cup,
To giue mine Enemy a lasting Winke:
415Which Draught to me, were cordiall.
Cam. Sir (my Lord)
I could doe this, and that with no rash Potion,
But with a lingring Dram, that should not worke
Maliciously, like Poyson: But I cannot
420Beleeue this Crack to be in my dread Mistresse
(So soueraignely being Honorable.)
I haue lou'd thee,
Leo. Make that thy question, and goe rot:
Do'st thinke I am so muddy, so vnsetled,
425To appoint my selfe in this vexation?
Sully the puritie and whitenesse of my Sheetes
(Which to preserue, is Sleepe; which being spotted,
Is Goades, Thornes, Nettles, Tayles of Waspes)
Giue scandall to the blood o'th' Prince, my Sonne,
430(Who I doe thinke is mine, and loue as mine)
Without ripe mouing to't? Would I doe this?
Could man so blench?
Cam. I must beleeue you (Sir)
I doe, and will fetch off Bohemia for't:
435Prouided, that when hee's remou'd, your Highnesse
Will take againe your Queene, as yours at first,
Euen for your Sonnes sake, and thereby for sealing
The Iniurie of Tongues, in Courts and Kingdomes
Knowne, and ally'd to yours.
440Leo. Thou do'st aduise me,
Euen so as I mine owne course haue set downe:
Ile giue no blemish to her Honor, none.
Cam. My Lord,
Goe then; and with a countenance as cleare
445As Friendship weares at Feasts, keepe with Bohemia,
And with your Queene: I am his Cup-bearer,
If from me he haue wholesome Beueridge,
Account me not your Seruant.
Leo. This is all:
450Do't, and thou hast the one halfe of my heart;
Do't not, thou splitt'st thine owne.
Cam. Ile do't, my Lord.
Leo. I wil seeme friendly, as thou hast aduis'd me.
Cam. O miserable Lady. But for me,
455What case stand I in? I must be the poysoner
Of good Polixenes, and my ground to do't,
Is the obedience to a Master; one,
Who in Rebellion with himselfe, will haue
All that are his, so too. To doe this deed,
460Promotion followes: If I could find example
Of thousand's that had struck anoynted Kings,
And flourish'd after, Il'd not do't: But since
Nor Brasse, nor Stone, nor Parchment beares not one,
Let Villanie it selfe forswear't. I must
465Forsake the Court: to do't, or no, is certaine
To me a breake-neck. Happy Starre raigne now,
Here comes Bohemia. Enter Polixenes.
Pol. This is strange: Me thinkes
My fauor here begins to warpe. Not speake?
470Good day Camillo.
Cam. Hayle most Royall Sir.
Pol. What is the Newes i'th' Court?
Cam. None rare (my Lord.)
Pol. The King hath on him such a countenance,
475As he had lost some Prouince, and a Region
Lou'd, as he loues himselfe: euen now I met him
With customarie complement, when hee
Wafting his eyes to th' contrary, and falling
A Lippe of much contempt, speedes from me, and
480So leaues me, to consider what is breeding,
That changes thus his Manners.
Cam. I dare not know (my Lord.)
Pol. How, dare not? doe not? doe you know, and dare not?
Be intelligent to me, 'tis thereabouts:
485For to your selfe, what you doe know, you must,
And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your chang'd complexions are to me a Mirror,
Which shewes me mine chang'd too: for I must be
A partie in this alteration, finding
490My selfe thus alter'd with't.
Cam. There is a sicknesse
Which puts some of vs in distemper, but
I cannot name the Disease, and it is caught
Of you, that yet are well.
495Pol. How caught of me?
Make me not sighted like the Basilisque.
I haue
The Winters Tale. 281
I haue look'd on thousands, who haue sped the better
By my regard, but kill'd none so: Camillo,
As you are certainely a Gentleman, thereto
500Clerke-like experienc'd, which no lesse adornes
Our Gentry, then our Parents Noble Names,
In whose successe we are gentle: I beseech you,
If you know ought which do's behoue my knowledge,
Thereof to be inform'd, imprison't not
505In ignorant concealement.
Cam. I may not answere.
Pol. A Sicknesse caught of me, and yet I well?
I must be answer'd. Do'st thou heare Camillo,
I coniure thee, by all the parts of man,
510Which Honor do's acknowledge, whereof the least
Is not this Suit of mine, that thou declare
What incidencie thou do'st ghesse of harme
Is creeping toward me; how farre off, how neere,
Which way to be preuented, if to be:
515If not, how best to beare it.
Cam. Sir, I will tell you,
Since I am charg'd in Honor, and by him
That I thinke Honorable: therefore marke my counsaile,
Which must be eu'n as swiftly followed, as
520I meane to vtter it; or both your selfe, and me,
Cry lost, and so good night.
Pol. On, good Camillo.
Cam. I am appointed him to murther you.
Pol. By whom, Camillo?
525Cam. By the King.
Pol. For what?
Cam. He thinkes, nay with all confidence he sweares,
As he had seen't, or beene an Instrument
To vice you to't, that you haue toucht his Queene
Pol. Oh then, my best blood turne
To an infected Gelly, and my Name
Be yoak'd with his, that did betray the Best:
Turne then my freshest Reputation to
535A sauour, that may strike the dullest Nosthrill
Where I arriue, and my approch be shun'd,
Nay hated too, worse then the great'st Infection
That ere was heard, or read.
Cam. Sweare his thought ouer
540By each particular Starre in Heauen, and
By all their Influences; you may as well
Forbid the Sea for to obey the Moone,
As (or by Oath) remoue, or (Counsaile) shake
The Fabrick of his Folly, whose foundation
545Is pyl'd vpon his Faith, and will continue
The standing of his Body.
Pol. How should this grow?
Cam. I know not: but I am sure 'tis safer to
Auoid what's growne, then question how 'tis borne.
550If therefore you dare trust my honestie,
That lyes enclosed in this Trunke, which you
Shall beare along impawnd, away to Night,
Your Followers I will whisper to the Businesse,
And will by twoes, and threes, at seuerall Posternes,
555Cleare them o'th' Citie: For my selfe, Ile put
My fortunes to your seruice (which are here
By this discouerie lost.) Be not vncertaine,
For by the honor of my Parents, I
Haue vttred Truth: which if you seeke to proue,
560I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer,
Then one condemnd by the Kings owne mouth:
Thereon his Execution sworne.
Pol. I doe beleeue thee:
I saw his heart in's face. Giue me thy hand,
565Be Pilot to me, and thy places shall
Still neighbour mine. My Ships are ready, and
My people did expect my hence departure
Two dayes agoe. This Iealousie
Is for a precious Creature: as shee's rare,
570Must it be great; and, as his Person's mightie,
Must it be violent: and, as he do's conceiue,
He is dishonor'd by a man, which euer
Profess'd to him: why his Reuenges must
In that be made more bitter. Feare ore-shades me:
575Good Expedition be my friend, and comfort
The gracious Queene, part of his Theame; but nothing
Of his ill-ta'ne suspition. Come Camillo,
I will respect thee as a Father, if
Thou bear'st my life off, hence: Let vs auoid.
580Cam. It is in mine authoritie to command
The Keyes of all the Posternes: Please your Highnesse
To take the vrgent houre. Come Sir, away. Exeunt.
Actus Secundus. Scena Prima.
Enter Hermione, Mamillius, Ladies: Leontes,
585Antigonus, Lords.
Her. Take the Boy to you: he so troubles me,
'Tis past enduring.
Lady. Come (my gracious Lord)
Shall I be your play-fellow?
590Mam. No, Ile none of you.
Lady. Why (my sweet Lord?)
Mam. You'le kisse me hard, and speake to me, as if
I were a Baby still. I loue you better.
2. Lady. And why so (my Lord?)
595Mam. Not for because
Your Browes are blacker (yet black-browes they say
Become some Women best, so that there be not
Too much haire there, but in a Cemicircle,
Or a halfe-Moone, made with a Pen.)
6002. Lady. Who taught 'this?
Mam. I learn'd it out of Womens faces: pray now,
What colour are your eye-browes?
Lady. Blew (my Lord.)
Mam. Nay, that's a mock: I haue seene a Ladies Nose
605That ha's beene blew, but not her eye-browes.
Lady. Harke ye,
The Queene (your Mother) rounds apace: we shall
Present our seruices to a fine new Prince
One of these dayes, and then youl'd wanton with vs,
610If we would haue you.
2. Lady. She is spread of late
Into a goodly Bulke (good time encounter her.)
Her. What wisdome stirs amongst you? Come Sir, now
I am for you againe: 'Pray you sit by vs,
615And tell's a Tale.
Mam. Merry, or sad, shal't be?
Her. As merry as you will.
Mam. A sad Tale's best for Winter:
I haue one of Sprights, and Goblins.
620Her. Let's haue that (good Sir.)
Come-on, sit downe, come-on, and doe your best,
To fright me with your Sprights: you're powrefull at it.
Aa3 Mam. There
282The Winters Tale.
Mam. There was a man.
Her. Nay, come sit downe: then on.
625Mam. Dwelt by a Church-yard: I will tell it softly,
Yond Crickets shall not heare it.
Her. Come on then, and giu't me in mine eare.
Leon. Was hee met there? his Traine? Camillo with
630Lord. Behind the tuft of Pines I met them, neuer
Saw I men scowre so on their way: I eyed them
Euen to their Ships.
Leo. How blest am I
In my iust Censure? in my true Opinion?
635Alack, for lesser knowledge, how accurs'd,
In being so blest? There may be in the Cup
A Spider steep'd, and one may drinke; depart,
And yet partake no venome: (for his knowledge
Is not infected) but if one present
640Th' abhor'd Ingredient to his eye, make knowne
How he hath drunke, he cracks his gorge, his sides
With violent Hefts: I haue drunke, and seene the Spider.
Camillo was his helpe in this, his Pandar:
There is a Plot against my Life, my Crowne;
645All's true that is mistrusted: that false Villaine,
Whom I employ'd, was pre-employ'd by him:
He ha's discouer'd my Designe, and I
Remaine a pinch'd Thing; yea, a very Trick
For them to play at will: how came the Posternes
650So easily open?
Lord. By his great authority,
Which often hath no lesse preuail'd, then so,
On your command.
Leo. I know't too well.
655Giue me the Boy, I am glad you did not nurse him:
Though he do's beare some signes of me, yet you
Haue too much blood in him.
Her. What is this? Sport?
Leo. Beare the Boy hence, he shall not come about her,
660Away with him, and let her sport her selfe
With that shee's big-with, for 'tis Polixenes
Ha's made thee swell thus.
Her. But Il'd say he had not;
And Ile be sworne you would beleeue my saying,
665How e're you leane to th' Nay-ward.
Leo. You (my Lords)
Looke on her, marke her well: be but about
To say she is a goodly Lady, and
The iustice of your hearts will thereto adde
670'Tis pitty shee's not honest: Honorable;
Prayse her but for this her without-dore-Forme,
(Which on my faith deserues high speech) and straight
The Shrug, the Hum, or Ha, (these Petty-brands
That Calumnie doth vse; Oh, I am out,
675That Mercy do's, for Calumnie will seare
Vertue it selfe) these Shrugs, these Hum's, and Ha's,
When you haue said shee's goodly, come betweene,
Ere you can say shee's honest: But be't knowne
(From him that ha's most cause to grieue it should be)
680Shee's an Adultresse.
Her. Should a Villaine say so,
(The most replenish'd Villaine in the World)
He were as much more Villaine: you (my Lord)
Doe but mistake.
685Leo. You haue mistooke (my Lady)
Polixenes for Leontes: O thou Thing,
(Which Ile not call a Creature of thy place,
Least Barbarisme (making me the precedent)
Should a like Language vse to all degrees,
690And mannerly distinguishment leaue out,
Betwixt the Prince and Begger:) I haue said
Shee's an Adultresse, I haue said with whom:
More; shee's a Traytor, and Camillo is
A Federarie with her, and one that knowes
695What she should shame to know her selfe,
But with her most vild Principall: that shee's
A Bed-swaruer, euen as bad as those
That Vulgars giue bold'st Titles; I, and priuy
To this their late escape.
700Her. No (by my life)
Priuy to none of this: how will this grieue you,
When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that
You thus haue publish'd me? Gentle my Lord,
You scarce can right me throughly, then, to say
705You did mistake.
Leo. No: if I mistake
In those Foundations which I build vpon,
The Centre is not bigge enough to beare
A Schoole-Boyes Top. Away with her, to Prison:
710He who shall speake for her, is a farre-off guiltie,
But that he speakes.
Her. There's some ill Planet raignes:
I must be patient, till the Heauens looke
With an aspect more fauorable. Good my Lords,
715I am not prone to weeping (as our Sex
Commonly are) the want of which vaine dew
Perchance shall dry your pitties: but I haue
That honorable Griefe lodg'd here, which burnes
Worse then Teares drowne: 'beseech you all (my Lords)
720With thoughts so qualified, as your Charities
Shall best instruct you, measure me; and so
The Kings will be perform'd.
Leo. Shall I be heard?
Her. Who is't that goes with me? 'beseech your Highnes
725My Women may be with me, for you see
My plight requires it. Doe not weepe (good Fooles)
There is no cause: When you shall know your Mistris
Ha's deseru'd Prison, then abound in Teares,
As I come out; this Action I now goe on,
730Is for my better grace. Adieu (my Lord)
I neuer wish'd to see you sorry, now
I trust I shall: my Women come, you haue leaue.
Leo. Goe, doe our bidding: hence.
Lord. Beseech your Highnesse call the Queene againe.
735Antig. Be certaine what you do (Sir) least your Iustice
Proue violence, in the which three great ones suffer,
Your Selfe, your Queene, your Sonne.
Lord. For her (my Lord)
I dare my life lay downe, and will do't (Sir)
740Please you t' accept it, that the Queene is spotlesse
I'th' eyes of Heauen, and to you (I meane
In this, which you accuse her.)
Antig. If it proue
Shee's otherwise, Ile keepe my Stables where
745I lodge my Wife, Ile goe in couples with her:
Then when I feele, and see her, no farther trust her:
For euery ynch of Woman in the World,
I, euery dram of Womans flesh is false,
If she be.
750Leo. Hold your peaces.
Lord. Good my Lord.
Antig. It is for you we speake, not for our selues:
You are abus'd, and by some putter on,
That will be damn'd for't: would I knew the Villaine,
I would
The Winters Tale. 283
755I would Land-damne him: be she honor-flaw'd,
I haue three daughters: the eldest is eleuen;
The second, and the third, nine: and some fiue:
If this proue true, they'l pay for't. By mine Honor
Ile gell'd em all: fourteene they shall not see
760To bring false generations: they are co-heyres,
And I had rather glib my selfe, then they
Should not produce faire issue.
Leo. Cease, no more:
You smell this businesse with a sence as cold
765As is a dead-mans nose: but I do see't, and feel't,
As you feele doing thus: and see withall
The Instruments that feele.
Antig. If it be so,
We neede no graue to burie honesty,
770There's not a graine of it, the face to sweeten
Of the whole dungy-earth.
Leo. What? lacke I credit?
Lord. I had rather you did lacke then I (my Lord)
Vpon this ground: and more it would content me
775To haue her Honor true, then your suspition
Be blam'd for't how you might.
Leo. Why what neede we
Commune with you of this? but rather follow
Our forcefull instigation? Our prerogatiue
780Cals not your Counsailes, but our naturall goodnesse
Imparts this: which, if you, or stupified,
Or seeming so, in skill, cannot, or will not
Rellish a truth, like vs: informe your selues,
We neede no more of your aduice: the matter,
785The losse, the gaine, the ord'ring on't,
Is all properly ours.
Antig. And I wish (my Liege)
You had onely in your silent iudgement tride it,
Without more ouerture.
790Leo. How could that be?
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wer't borne a foole: Camillo's flight
Added to their Familiarity
(Which was as grosse, as euer touch'd coniecture,
795That lack'd sight onely, nought for approbation
But onely seeing, all other circumstances
Made vp to'th deed) doth push-on this proceeding.
Yet, for a greater confirmation
(For in an Acte of this importance, 'twere
800Most pitteous to be wilde) I haue dispatch'd in post,
To sacred Delphos, to Appollo's Temple,
Cleomines and Dion, whom you know
Of stuff'd-sufficiency: Now, from the Oracle
They will bring all, whose spirituall counsaile had
805Shall stop, or spurre me. Haue I done well?
Lord. Well done (my Lord.)
Leo. Though I am satisfide, and neede no more
Then what I know, yet shall the Oracle
Giue rest to th' mindes of others; such as he
810Whose ignorant credulitie, will not
Come vp to th' truth. So haue we thought it good
From our free person, she should be confinde,
Least that the treachery of the two, fled hence,
Be left her to performe. Come follow vs,
815We are to speake in publique: for this businesse
Will raise vs all.
Antig. To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth, were knowne. Exeunt
Scena Secunda.
820Enter Paulina, a Gentleman, Gaoler, Emilia.
Paul. The Keeper of the prison, call to him:
Let him haue knowledge who I am. Good Lady,
No Court in Europe is too good for thee,
What dost thou then in prison? Now good Sir,
825You know me, do you not?
Gao. For a worthy Lady,
And one, who much I honour.
Pau. Pray you then,
Conduct me to the Queene.
830Gao. I may not (Madam)
To the contrary I haue expresse commandment.
Pau. Here's a-do, to locke vp honesty & honour from
Th' accesse of gentle visitors. Is't lawfull pray you
To see her Women? Any of them? Emilia?
835Gao. So please you (Madam)
To put a-part these your attendants, I
Shall bring Emilia forth.
Pau. I pray now call her:
With-draw your selues.
840Gao. And Madam,
I must be present at your Conference.
Pau. Well: be't so: prethee.
Heere's such a-doe, to make no staine, a staine,
As passes colouring. Deare Gentlewoman,
845How fares our gracious Lady?
Emil. As well as one so great, and so forlorne
May hold together: On her frights, and greefes
(Which neuer tender Lady hath borne greater)
She is, something before her time, deliuer'd.
850Pau. A boy?
Emil. A daughter, and a goodly babe,
Lusty, and like to liue: the Queene receiues
Much comfort in't: Sayes, my poore prisoner,
I am innocent as you,
855Pau. I dare be sworne:
These dangerous, vnsafe Lunes i'th' King, beshrew them:
He must be told on't, and he shall: the office
Becomes a woman best. Ile take't vpon me,
If I proue hony-mouth'd, let my tongue blister.
860And neuer to my red-look'd Anger bee
The Trumpet any more: pray you (Emilia)
Commend my best obedience to the Queene,
If she dares trust me with her little babe,
I'le shew't the King, and vndertake to bee
865Her Aduocate to th' lowd'st. We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o'th' Childe:
The silence often of pure innocence
Perswades, when speaking failes.
Emil. Most worthy Madam,
870Your honor, and your goodnesse is so euident,
That your free vndertaking cannot misse
A thriuing yssue: there is no Lady liuing
So meete for this great errand; please your Ladiship
To visit the next roome, Ile presently
875Acquaint the Queene of your most noble offer,
Who, but to day hammered of this designe,
But durst not tempt a minister of honour
Least she should be deny'd.
284The Winters Tale.
Paul. Tell her (Emilia)
880Ile vse that tongue I haue: If wit flow from't
As boldnesse from my bosome, le't not be doubted
I shall do good,
Emil. Now be you blest for it.
Ile to the Queene: please you come something neerer.
885Gao. Madam, if't please the Queene to send the babe,
I know not what I shall incurre, to passe it,
Hauing no warrant.
Pau. You neede not feare it (sir)
This Childe was prisoner to the wombe, and is
890By Law and processe of great Nature, thence
Free'd, and enfranchis'd, not a partie to
The anger of the King, nor guilty of
(If any be) the trespasse of the Queene.
Gao. I do beleeue it.
895Paul. Do not you feare: vpon mine honor, I
Will stand betwixt you, and danger. Exeunt
Scaena Tertia.
Enter Leontes, Seruants, Paulina, Antigonus,
and Lords.
900Leo. Nor night, nor day, no rest: It is but weaknesse
To beare the matter thus: meere weaknesse, if
The cause were not in being: part o'th cause,
She, th' Adultresse: for the harlot-King
Is quite beyond mine Arme, out of the blanke
905And leuell of my braine: plot-proofe: but shee,
I can hooke to me: say that she were gone,
Giuen to the fire, a moity of my rest
Might come to me againe. Whose there?
Ser. My Lord.
910Leo. How do's the boy?
Ser. He tooke good rest to night: 'tis hop'd
His sicknesse is discharg'd.
Leo. To see his Noblenesse,
Conceyuing the dishonour of his Mother.
915He straight declin'd, droop'd, tooke it deeply,
Fasten'd, and fix'd the shame on't in himselfe:
Threw-off his Spirit, his Appetite, his Sleepe,
And down-right languish'd. Leaue me solely: goe,
See how he fares: Fie, fie, no thought of him,
920The very thought of my Reuenges that way
Recoyle vpon me: in himselfe too mightie,
And in his parties, his Alliance; Let him be,
Vntill a time may serue. 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 powre.
Enter Paulina.
Lord. You must not enter.
930Paul. Nay rather (good my Lords) be second to me:
Feare you his tyrannous passion more (alas)
Then the Queenes life? A gracious innocent soule,
More free, then he is iealous.
Antig. That's enough.
935Ser. Madam; he hath not slept to night, commanded
None should come at him.
Pau. Not so hot (good Sir)
I come to bring him sleepe. 'Tis such as you
That creepe like shadowes by him, and do sighe
940At each his needlesse heauings: such as you
Nourish the cause of his awaking. I
Do come with words, as medicinall, as true;
(Honest, as either;) to purge him of that humor,
That presses him from sleepe.
945Leo. Who noyse there, hoe?
Pau. No noyse (my Lord) but needfull conference,
About some Gossips for your Highnesse.
Leo. How?
Away with that audacious Lady. Antigonus,
950I charg'd thee that she should not come about me,
I knew she would.
Ant. I told her so (my Lord)
On your displeasures perill, and on mine,
She should not visit you.
955Leo. What? canst not rule her?
Paul. From all dishonestie he can: in this
(Vnlesse he take the course that you haue done)
Commit me, for committing honor, trust it,
He shall not rule me:
960Ant. La-you now, you heare,
When she will take the raine, I let her run,
But shee'l not stumble.
Paul. Good my Liege, I come:
And I beseech you heare me, who professes
965My selfe your loyall Seruant, your Physitian,
Your most obedient Counsailor: yet that dares
Lesse appeare so, in comforting your Euilles,
Then such as most seeme yours. I say, I come
From your good Queene.
970Leo. Good Queene?
Paul. Good Queene (my Lord) good Queene,
I say good Queene,
And would by combate, make her good so, were I
A man, the worst about you.
975Leo. Force her hence.
Pau. Let him that makes but trifles of his eyes
First hand me: on mine owne accord, Ile off,
But first, Ile do my errand. The good Queene
(For she is good) hath brought you forth a daughter,
980Heere 'tis. Commends it to your blessing.
Leo. Out:
A mankinde Witch? Hence with her, out o' dore:
A most intelligencing bawd.
Paul. Not so:
985I am as ignorant in that, as you,
In so entit'ling me: and no lesse honest
Then you are mad: which is enough, Ile warrant
(As this world goes) to passe for honest:
Leo. Traitors;
990Will you not push her out? Giue her the Bastard,
Thou dotard, thou art woman-tyr'd: vnroosted
By thy dame Partlet heere. Take vp the Bastard,
Take't vp, I say: giue't to thy Croane.
Paul. For euer
995Vnvenerable be thy hands, if thou
Tak'st vp the Princesse, by that forced basenesse
Which he ha's put vpon't.
Leo. He dreads his Wife.
Paul. So I would you did: then 'twere past all dout
1000Youl'd call your children, yours.
Leo. A nest of Traitors.
Ant. I am none, by this good light.
Pau. Nor I: nor any
But one that's heere: and that's himselfe: for he,
The Winters Tale. 285
1005The sacred Honor of himselfe, his Queenes,
His hopefull Sonnes, his Babes, betrayes to Slander,
Whose sting is sharper then the Swords; and will not
(For as the case now stands, it is a Curse
He cannot be compell'd too't) once remoue
1010The Root of his Opinion, which is rotten,
As euer Oake, or Stone was sound.
Leo. A Callat
Of boundlesse tongue, who late hath beat her Husband,
And now bayts 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.
Paul. It is yours:
And might we lay th' old Prouerb to your charge,
1020So like you, 'tis the worse. Behold (my Lords)
Although the Print be little, the whole Matter
And Coppy of the Father: (Eye, Nose, Lippe,
The trick of's Frowne, his Fore-head, nay, the Valley,
The pretty dimples of his Chin, and Cheeke; his Smiles:
1025The very Mold, and frame of Hand, Nayle, Finger.)
And thou good Goddesse Nature, which hast made it
So like to him that got it, if thou hast
The ordering of the Mind too, 'mongst all Colours
No Yellow in't, least she suspect, as he do's,
1030Her Children, not her Husbands.
Leo. A grosse Hagge:
And Lozell, thou art worthy to be hang'd,
That wilt not stay her Tongue.
Antig. Hang all the Husbands
1035That cannot doe that Feat, you'le leaue your selfe
Hardly one Subiect.
Leo. Once more take her hence.
Paul. A most vnworthy, and vnnaturall Lord
Can doe no more.
1040Leo. Ile ha' thee burnt.
Paul. I care not:
It is an Heretique that makes the fire,
Not she which burnes in't. Ile not call you Tyrant:
But this most cruell vsage of your Queene
1045(Not able to produce more accusation
Then your owne weake-hindg'd Fancy) something sauors
Of Tyrannie, and will ignoble make you,
Yea, scandalous to the World.
Leo. On your Allegeance,
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.
Paul. I pray you doe not push me, Ile be gone.
Looke to your Babe (my Lord) 'tis yours: Ioue send her
1055A better guiding Spirit. What needs these hands?
You that are thus so tender o're his Follyes,
Will neuer doe him good, not one of you.
So, so: Farewell, we are gone. Exit.
Leo. Thou (Traytor) hast set on thy Wife to this.
1060My Child? away with't? euen thou, that hast
A heart so tender o're it, take it hence,
And see it instantly consum'd with fire.
Euen thou, and none but thou. Take it vp straight:
Within this houre bring me word 'tis done,
1065(And by good testimonie) or Ile seize thy life,
With what thou else call'st thine: if thou refuse,
And wilt encounter with my Wrath, say so;
The Bastard-braynes with these my proper hands
Shall I dash out. Goe, take it to the fire,
1070For thou sett'st on thy Wife.
Antig. I did not, Sir:
These Lords, my Noble Fellowes, if they please,
Can cleare me in't.
Lords. We can: my Royall Liege,
1075He is not guiltie of her comming hither.
Leo. You're lyers all.
Lord. Beseech your Highnesse, giue vs better credit:
We haue alwayes truly seru'd you, and beseech'
So to esteeme of vs: and on our knees we begge,
1080(As recompence of our deare seruices
Past, and to come) that you doe change this purpose,
Which being so horrible, so bloody, must
Lead on to some foule Issue. We all kneele.
Leo. I am a Feather for each Wind that blows:
1085Shall I liue on, to see this Bastard kneele,
And call me Father? better burne it now,
Then curse it then. But be it: let it liue.
It shall not neyther. You Sir, come you hither:
You that haue beene so tenderly officious
1090With Lady Margerie, your Mid-wife there,
To saue this Bastards life; for 'tis a Bastard,
So sure as this Beard's gray. What will you aduenture,
To saue this Brats life?
Antig. Any thing (my Lord)
1095That my abilitie may vndergoe,
And Noblenesse impose: at least thus much;
Ile pawne the little blood which I haue left,
To saue the Innocent: any thing possible.
Leo. It shall be possible: Sweare by this Sword
1100Thou wilt performe my bidding.
Antig. I will (my Lord.)
Leo. Marke, and performe it: seest thou? for the faile
Of any point in't, shall not onely be
Death to thy selfe, but to thy lewd-tongu'd Wife,
1105(Whom for this time we pardon) We enioyne thee,
As thou art Liege-man to vs, that thou carry
This female Bastard hence, and that thou beare it
To some remote and desart place, quite out
Of our Dominions; and that there thou leaue it
1110(Without more mercy) to it owne protection,
And fauour of the Climate: as by strange fortune
It came to vs, I doe in Iustice charge thee,
On thy Soules perill, and thy Bodyes torture,
That thou commend it strangely to some place,
1115Where Chance may nurse, or end it: take it vp.
Antig. I sweare to doe this: though a present death
Had beene more mercifull. Come on (poore Babe)
Some powerfull Spirit instruct the Kytes and Rauens
To be thy Nurses. Wolues and Beares, they say,
1120(Casting their sauagenesse aside) haue done
Like offices of Pitty. Sir, be prosperous
In more then this deed do's require; and Blessing
Against this Crueltie, fight on thy side
(Poore Thing, condemn'd to losse.) Exit.
1125Leo. No: Ile not reare
Anothers Issue. Enter a Seruant.
Seru. Please' your Highnesse, Posts
From those you sent to th' Oracle, are come
An houre since: Cleomines and Dion,
1130Being well arriu'd from Delphos, are both landed,
Hasting to th' Court.
Lord. So please you (Sir) their speed
Hath beene beyond accompt.
Leo. Twentie three dayes
1135They haue beene absent: 'tis good speed: fore-tells
The great Apollo suddenly will haue
286The Winters Tale.
The truth of this appeare: Prepare you Lords,
Summon a Session, that we may arraigne
Our most disloyall Lady: for as she hath
1140Been publikely accus'd, so shall she haue
A iust and open Triall. While she liues,
My heart will be a burthen to me. Leaue me,
And thinke vpon my bidding. Exeunt.
Actus Tertius. Scoena Prima.
1145Enter Cleomines and Dion.
Cleo. The Clymat's delicate, the Ayre most sweet,
Fertile the Isle, the Temple much surpassing
The common prayse it beares.
Dion. I shall report,
1150For most it caught me, the Celestiall Habits,
(Me thinkes I so should terme them) and the reuerence
Of the graue Wearers. O, the Sacrifice,
How ceremonious, solemne, and vn-earthly
It was i'th' Offring?
1155Cleo. But of all, the burst
And the eare-deaff'ning Voyce o'th' Oracle,
Kin to Ioues Thunder, so surpriz'd my Sence,
That I was nothing.
Dio. If th' euent o'th' Iourney
1160Proue as successefull to the Queene (O be't so)
As it hath beene to vs, rare, pleasant, speedie,
The time is worth the vse on't.
Cleo. Great Apollo
Turne all to th' best: these Proclamations,
1165So forcing faults vpon Hermione,
I little like.
Dio. The violent carriage of it
Will cleare, or end the Businesse, when the Oracle
(Thus by Apollo's great Diuine seal'd vp)
1170Shall the Contents discouer: something rare
Euen then will rush to knowledge. Goe: fresh Horses,
And gracious be the issue. Exeunt.
Scoena Secunda.
Enter Leontes, Lords, Officers: Hermione (as to her
1175Triall) Ladies: Cleomines, Dion.
Leo. This Sessions (to our great griefe we pronounce)
Euen pushes 'gainst our heart. The partie try'd,
The Daughter of a King, our Wife, and one
Of vs too much belou'd. Let vs be clear'd
1180Of being tyrannous, since we so openly
Proceed in Iustice, which shall haue due course,
Euen to the Guilt, or the Purgation:
Produce the Prisoner.
Officer. It is his Highnesse pleasure, that the Queene
1185Appeare in person, here in Court. Silence.
Leo. Reade the Indictment.
Officer. Hermione, Queene to the worthy Leontes, King
of Sicilia, thou art here accused and arraigned of High Trea-
son, in committing Adultery with Polixenes King of Bohemia,
1190and conspiring with Camillo to take away the Life of our Soue-
raigne Lord the King, thy Royall Husband: the pretence whereof
being by circumstances partly layd open, thou (Hermione) con-
trary to the Faith and Allegeance of a true Subiect, didst coun-
saile and ayde them, for their better safetie, to flye away by
Her. Since what I am to say, must be but that
Which contradicts my Accusation, and
The testimonie on my part, no other
But what comes from my selfe, it shall scarce boot me
1200To say, Not guiltie: mine Integritie
Being counted Falsehood, shall (as I expresse it)
Be so receiu'd. But thus, if Powres Diuine
Behold our humane Actions (as they doe)
I doubt not then, but Innocence shall make
1205False Accusation blush, and Tyrannie
Tremble at Patience. You (my Lord) best know
(Whom least will seeme to doe so) my past life
Hath beene as continent, as chaste, as true,
As I am now vnhappy; which is more
1210Then Historie can patterne, though deuis'd,
And play'd, to take Spectators. For behold me,
A Fellow of the Royall Bed, which owe
A Moitie of the Throne: a great Kings Daughter,
The Mother to a hopefull Prince, here standing
1215To prate and talke for Life, and Honor, fore
Who please to come, and heare. For Life, I prize it
As I weigh Griefe (which I would spare:) For Honor,
'Tis a deriuatiue from me to mine,
And onely that I stand for. I appeale
1220To your owne 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 vncurrant, I
Haue strayn'd t' appeare thus; if one iot beyond
1225The bound of Honor, or in act, or will
That way enclining, hardned be the hearts
Of all that heare me, and my neer'st of Kin
Cry fie vpon my Graue.
Leo. I ne're heard yet,
1230That any of these bolder Vices wanted
Lesse Impudence to gaine-say what they did,
Then to performe it first.
Her. That's true enough,
Though 'tis a saying (Sir) not due to me.
1235Leo. You will not owne it.
Her. More then Mistresse of,
Which comes to me in name of Fault, I must not
At all acknowledge. For Polixenes
(With whom I am accus'd) I doe confesse
1240I lou'd him, as in Honor he requir'd:
With such a kind of Loue, as might become
A Lady like me; with a Loue, euen such,
So, and no other, as your selfe commanded:
Which, not to haue done, I thinke had been in me
1245Both Disobedience, and Ingratitude
To you, and toward your Friend, whose Loue had spoke,
Euen since it could speake, from an Infant, freely,
That it was yours. Now for Conspiracie,
I know not how it tastes, though it be dish'd
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 themselues
(Wotting no more then I) are ignorant.
Leo. You knew of his departure, as you know
1255What you haue vnderta'ne to doe in's absence.
Her. Sir
The Winters Tale. 287
Her. Sir,
You speake a Language that I vnderstand not:
My Life stands in the leuell of your Dreames,
Which Ile lay downe.
1260Leo. Your Actions are my Dreames.
You had a Bastard by Polixenes,
And I but dream'd it: As you were past all shame,
(Those of your Fact are so) so past all truth;
Which to deny, concernes more then auailes: for as
1265Thy Brat hath been cast out, like to it selfe,
No Father owning it (which is indeed
More criminall in thee, then it) so thou
Shalt feele our Iustice; in whose easiest passage,
Looke for no lesse then death.
1270Her. Sir, spare your Threats:
The Bugge which you would fright me with, I seeke:
To me can Life be no commoditie;
The crowne and comfort of my Life (your Fauor)
I doe giue lost, for I doe feele it gone,
1275But know not how it went. My second Ioy,
And first Fruits of my body, from his presence
I am bar'd, like one infectious. My third comfort
(Star'd most vnluckily) is from my breast
(The innocent milke in it most innocent mouth)
1280Hal'd out to murther. My selfe on euery Post
Proclaym'd a Strumpet: With immodest hatred
The Child-bed priuiledge deny'd, which longs
To Women of all fashion. Lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i'th' open ayre, before
1285I haue got strength of limit. Now (my Liege)
Tell me what blessings I haue here aliue,
That I should feare to die? Therefore proceed:
But yet heare this: mistake me not: no Life,
(I prize it not a straw) but for mine Honor,
1290Which I would free: if I shall be condemn'd
Vpon surmizes (all proofes sleeping else,
But what your Iealousies awake) I tell you
'Tis Rigor, and not Law. Your Honors all,
I doe referre me to the Oracle:
1295Apollo be my Iudge.
Lord. This your request
Is altogether iust: therefore bring forth
(And in Apollo's Name) his Oracle.
Her. The Emperor of Russia was my Father.
1300Oh that he were aliue, and here beholding
His Daughters Tryall: that he did but see
The flatnesse of my miserie; yet with eyes
Of Pitty, not Reuenge.
Officer. You here shal sweare vpon this Sword of Iustice,
1305That you (Cleomines and Dion) haue
Been both at Delphos, and from thence haue brought
This seal'd-vp Oracle, by the Hand deliuer'd
Of great Apollo's Priest; and that since then,
You haue not dar'd to breake the holy Seale,
1310Nor read the Secrets in't.
Cleo. Dio. All this we sweare.
Leo. Breake vp the Seales, and read.
Officer. Hermione is chast, Polixenes blamelesse, Camillo
a true Subiect, Leontes a iealous Tyrant, his innocent Babe
1315truly begotten, and the King shall liue without an Heire, if that
which is lost, be not found.
Lords. Now blessed be the great Apollo.
Her. Praysed.
Leo. Hast thou read truth?
1320Offic. I (my Lord) euen so as it is here set downe.
Leo. There is no truth at all i'th' Oracle:
The Sessions shall proceed: this is meere falsehood.
Ser. My Lord the King: the King?
Leo. What is the businesse?
1325Ser. O Sir, I shall be hated to report it.
The Prince your Sonne, with meere conceit, and feare
Of the Queenes speed, is gone.
Leo. How? gone?
Ser. Is dead.
1330Leo. Apollo's angry, and the Heauens themselues
Doe strike at my Iniustice. How now there?
Paul. This newes is mortall to the Queene: Look downe
And see what Death is doing.
Leo. Take her hence:
1335Her heart is but o're-charg'd: she will recouer.
I haue too much beleeu'd mine owne suspition:
'Beseech you tenderly apply to her
Some remedies for life. Apollo pardon
My great prophanenesse 'gainst thine Oracle.
1340Ile reconcile me to Polixenes,
New woe my Queene, recall the good Camillo
(Whom I proclaime a man of Truth, of Mercy:)
For being transported by my Iealousies
To bloody thoughts, and to reuenge, I chose
1345Camillo for the minister, to poyson
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 fill'd with Honor) to my Kingly Guest
Vnclasp'd my practise, quit his fortunes here
(Which you knew great) and to the hazard
Of all Incertainties, himselfe commended,
1355No richer then his Honor: How he glisters
Through my Rust? and how his Pietie
Do's my deeds make the blacker?
Paul. Woe the while:
O cut my Lace, least my heart (cracking it)
1360Breake too.
Lord. What fit is this? good Lady?
Paul. What studied torments (Tyrant) hast for me?
What Wheeles? Racks? Fires? What flaying? boyling?
In Leads, or Oyles? What old, or newer Torture
1365Must I receiue? whose euery word deserues
To taste of thy most worst. Thy Tyranny
(Together working with thy Iealousies,
Fancies too weake for Boyes, too greene and idle
For Girles of Nine) O thinke what they haue done,
1370And then run mad indeed: starke-mad: for all
Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it.
That thou betrayed'st Polixenes, 'twas nothing,
(That did but shew thee, of a Foole, inconstant,
And damnable ingratefull:) Nor was't much.
1375Thou would'st haue poyson'd good Camillo's Honor,
To haue him kill a King: poore Trespasses,
More monstrous standing by: whereof I reckon
The casting forth to Crowes, thy Baby-daughter,
To be or none, or little; though a Deuill
1380Would haue shed water out of fire, ere don't;
Nor is't directly layd to thee, the death
Of the young Prince, whose honorable thoughts
(Thoughts high for one so tender) cleft the heart
That could conceiue a grosse and foolish Sire
1385Blemish'd his gracious Dam: this is not, no,
Layd to thy answere: but the last: O Lords,
When I haue said, cry woe: the Queene, the Queene,
288The Winters Tale.
The sweet'st, deer'st creature's dead: & vengeance for't
Not drop'd downe yet.
1390Lord. The higher powres forbid.
Pau. I say she's dead: Ile swear't. If word, nor oath
Preuaile not, go and see: if you can bring
Tincture, or lustre in her lip, her eye
Heate outwardly, or breath within, Ile serue you
1395As I would do the Gods. But, O thou Tyrant,
Do not repent these things, for they are heauier
Then all thy woes can stirre: therefore betake thee
To nothing but dispaire. A thousand knees,
Ten thousand yeares together, naked, fasting,
1400Vpon a barren Mountaine, and still Winter
In storme perpetuall, could not moue the Gods
To looke that way thou wer't.
Leo. Go on, go on:
Thou canst not speake too much, I haue deseru'd
1405All tongues to talke their bittrest.
Lord. Say no more;
How ere the businesse goes, you haue made fault
I'th boldnesse of your speech.
Pau. I am sorry for't;
1410All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
I do repent: Alas, I haue shew'd too much
The rashnesse of a woman: he is toucht
To th' Noble heart. What's gone, and what's past helpe
Should be past greefe: Do not receiue affliction
1415At my petition; I beseech you, rather
Let me be punish'd, that haue minded you
Of what you should forget. Now (good my Liege)
Sir, Royall Sir, forgiue a foolish woman:
The loue I bore your Queene (Lo, foole againe)
1420Ile speake of her no more, nor of your Children:
Ile not remember you of my owne Lord,
(Who is lost too:) take your patience to you,
And Ile say nothing.
Leo. Thou didst speake but well,
1425When most the truth: which I receyue much better,
Then to be pittied of thee. Prethee bring me
To the dead bodies of my Queene, and Sonne,
One graue shall be for both: Vpon them shall
The causes of their death appeare (vnto
1430Our shame perpetuall) once a day, Ile visit
The Chappell where they lye, and teares shed there
Shall be my recreation. So long as Nature
Will beare vp with this exercise, so long
I dayly vow to vse it. Come, and leade me
1435To these sorrowes. Exeunt
Scaena Tertia.
Enter Antigonus, a Marriner, Babe, Sheepe-
heard, and Clowne.
Ant. Thou art perfect then, our ship hath toucht vpon
1440The Desarts of Bohemia.
Mar. I (my Lord) and feare
We haue Landed in ill time: the skies looke grimly,
And threaten present blusters. In my conscience
The heauens with that we haue in hand, are angry,
1445And frowne vpon's.
Ant. Their sacred wil's be done: go get a-boord,
Looke to thy barke, Ile not be long before
I call vpon thee.
Mar. Make your best haste, and go not
1450Too-farre i'th Land: 'tis like to be lowd weather,
Besides this place is famous for the Creatures
Of prey, that keepe vpon't.
Antig. Go thou away,
Ile follow instantly.
1455Mar. I am glad at heart
To be so ridde o'th businesse. Exit
Ant. Come, poore babe;
I haue heard (but not beleeu'd) the Spirits o'th' dead
May walke againe: if such thing be, thy Mother
1460Appear'd to me last night: for ne're was dreame
So like a waking. To me comes a creature,
Sometimes her head on one side, some another,
I neuer saw a vessell of like sorrow
So fill'd, and so becomming: in pure white Robes
1465Like very sanctity she did approach
My Cabine where I lay: thrice bow'd before me,
And (gasping to begin some speech) her eyes
Became two spouts; the furie spent, anon
Did this breake from her. Good Antigonus,
1470Since Fate (against thy better disposition)
Hath made thy person for the Thrower-out
Of my poore babe, according to thine oath,
Places remote enough are in Bohemia,
There weepe, and leaue it crying: and for the babe
1475Is counted lost for euer, Perdita
I prethee call't: For this vngentle businesse
Put on thee, by my Lord, thou ne're shalt see
Thy Wife Paulina more: and so, with shriekes
She melted into Ayre. Affrighted much,
1480I did in time collect my selfe, and thought
This was so, and no slumber: Dreames, are toyes,
Yet for this once, yea superstitiously,
I will be squar'd by this. I do beleeue
Hermione hath suffer'd death, and that
1485Apollo would (this being indeede the issue
Of King Polixenes) it should heere be laide
(Either for life, or death) vpon the earth
Of it's right Father. Blossome, speed thee well,
There lye, and there thy charracter: there these,
1490Which may if Fortune please, both breed thee (pretty)
And still rest thine. The storme beginnes, poore wretch,
That for thy mothers fault, art thus expos'd
To losse, and what may follow. Weepe I cannot,
But my heart bleedes: and most accurst am I
1495To be by oath enioyn'd to this. Farewell,
The day frownes more and more: thou'rt like to haue
A lullabie too rough: I neuer saw
The heauens so dim, by day. A sauage clamor?
Well may I get a-boord: This is the Chace,
1500I am gone for euer. Exit pursued by a Beare.
Shep. I would there were no age betweene ten and
three and twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest:
for there is nothing (in the betweene) but getting wen-
ches with childe, wronging the Auncientry, stealing,
1505fighting, hearke you now: would any but these boylde-
braines of nineteene, and two and twenty hunt this wea-
ther? They haue scarr'd away two of my best Sheepe,
which I feare the Wolfe will sooner finde then the Mai-
ster; if any where I haue them, 'tis by the sea-side, brou-
1510zing of Iuy. Good-lucke (and't be thy will) what haue
we heere? Mercy on's, a Barne? A very pretty barne; A
boy, or a Childe I wonder? (A pretty one, a verie prettie
one) sure some Scape; Though I am not bookish, yet I
The Winters Tale. 289
can reade Waiting-Gentlewoman in the scape: this has
1515beene some staire-worke, some Trunke-worke, some be-
hinde-doore worke: they were warmer that got this,
then the poore Thing is heere. Ile take it vp for pity, yet
Ile tarry till my sonne come: he hallow'd but euen now.
1520Enter Clowne.
Clo. Hilloa, loa.
Shep. What? art so neere? If thou'lt see a thing to
talke on, when thou art dead and rotten, come hither:
what ayl'st thou, man?
1525Clo. I haue seene two such sights, by Sea & by Land:
but I am not to say it is a Sea, for it is now the skie, be-
twixt the Firmament and it, you cannot thrust a bodkins
Shep. Why boy, how is it?
1530Clo. I would you did but see how it chafes, how it ra-
ges, how it takes vp the shore, but that's not to the point:
Oh, the most pitteous cry of the poore soules, sometimes
to see 'em, and not to see 'em: Now the Shippe boaring
the Moone with her maine Mast, and anon swallowed
1535with yest and froth, as you'ld thrust a Corke into a hogs-
head. And then for the Land-seruice, to see how the
Beare tore out his shoulder-bone, how he cride to mee
for helpe, and said his name was Antigonus, a Nobleman:
But to make an end of the Ship, to see how the Sea flap-
1540dragon'd it: but first, how the poore soules roared, and
the sea mock'd them: and how the poore Gentleman roa-
red, and the Beare mock'd him, both roaring lowder
then the sea, or weather.
Shep. Name of mercy, when was this boy?
1545Clo. Now, now: I haue not wink'd since I saw these
sights: the men are not yet cold vnder water, nor the
Beare halfe din'd on the Gentleman: he's at it now.
Shep. Would I had bin by, to haue help'd the olde
1550Clo. I would you had beene by the ship side, to haue
help'd her; there your charity would haue lack'd footing.
Shep. Heauy matters, heauy matters: but looke thee
heere boy. Now blesse thy selfe: thou met'st with things
dying, I with things new borne. Here's a sight for thee:
1555Looke thee, a bearing-cloath for a Squires childe: looke
thee heere, take vp, take vp (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?
Clo. You're a mad olde man: If the sinnes of your
1560youth are forgiuen you, you're well to liue. Golde, all
Shep. This is Faiery Gold boy, and 'twill proue so: vp
with't, keepe it close: home, home, the next way. We
are luckie (boy) and to bee so still requires nothing but
1565secrecie. Let my sheepe go: Come (good boy) the next
way home.
Clo. Go you the next way with your Findings, Ile go
see if the Beare bee gone from the Gentleman, and how
much he hath eaten: they are neuer curst but when they
1570are hungry: if there be any of him left, Ile bury it.
Shep. That's a good deed: if thou mayest discerne by
that which is left of him, what he is, fetch me to th' sight
of him.
Clowne. 'Marry will I: and you shall helpe to put him
1575i'th' ground.
Shep. 'Tis a lucky day, boy, and wee'l do good deeds
on't. Exeunt
Actus Quartus. Scena Prima.
Enter Time, the Chorus.
1580Time. I that please some, try all: both ioy and terror
Of good, and bad: that makes, and vnfolds error,
Now take vpon me (in the name of Time)
To vse my wings: Impute it not a crime
To me, or my swift passage, that I slide
1585Ore sixteene yeeres, and leaue the growth vntride
Of that wide gap, since it is in my powre
To orethrow Law, and in one selfe-borne howre
To plant, and ore-whelme Custome. Let me passe
The same I am, ere ancient'st Order was,
1590Or what is now receiu'd. I witnesse 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 seemes to it: your patience this allowing,
1595I turne my glasse, and giue my Scene such growing
As you had slept betweene: Leontes leauing
Th' effects of his fond iealousies, so greeuing
That he shuts vp himselfe. Imagine me
(Gentle Spectators) that I now may be
1600In faire Bohemia, and remember well,
I mentioned a sonne o'th' Kings, which Florizell
I now name to you: and with speed so pace
To speake of Perdita, now growne in grace
Equall with wond'ring. What of her insues
1605I list not prophesie: but let Times newes
Be knowne when 'tis brought forth. A shepherds daugh-(ter
And what to her adheres, which followes after,
Is th' argument of Time: of this allow,
If euer you haue spent time worse, ere now:
1610If neuer, yet that Time himselfe doth say,
He wishes earnestly, you neuer may. Exit.
Scena Secunda.
Enter Polixenes, and Camillo.
Pol. I pray thee (good Camillo) be no more importu-
1615nate: 'tis a sicknesse denying thee any thing: a death to
grant this.
Cam. It is fifteene yeeres since I saw my Countrey:
though I haue (for the most part) bin ayred abroad, I de-
sire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent King
1620(my Master) hath sent for me, to whose feeling sorrowes
I might be some allay, or I oreweene to thinke so) which
is another spurre to my departure.
Pol. As thou lou'st me (Camillo) wipe not out the rest
of thy seruices, by leauing me now: the neede I haue of
1625thee, thine owne goodnesse hath made: better not to
haue had thee, then thus to want thee, thou hauing made
me Businesses, (which none (without thee) can suffici-
ently manage) must either stay to execute them thy selfe,
or take away with thee the very seruices thou hast done:
1630which if I haue not enough considered (as too much I
cannot) to bee more thankefull to thee, shall bee my stu-
die, and my profite therein, the heaping friendshippes.
Of that fatall Countrey Sicillia, prethee speake no more,
whose very naming, punnishes me with the remembrance
Bb of
290The Winters Tale.
1635of that penitent (as thou calst him) and reconciled King
my brother, whose losse of his most precious Queene &
Children, are euen now to be a-fresh lamented. Say to
me, when saw'st thou the Prince Florizell my son? Kings
are no lesse vnhappy, their issue, not being gracious, then
1640they are in loosing them, when they haue approued their
Cam. Sir, it is three dayes since I saw the Prince: what
his happier affayres may be, are to me vnknowne: but I
haue (missingly) noted, he is of late much retyred from
1645Court, and is lesse frequent to his Princely exercises then
formerly he hath appeared.
Pol. I haue considered so much (Camillo) and with
some care, so farre, that I haue eyes vnder my seruice,
which looke vpon his remouednesse: from whom I haue
1650this Intelligence, that he is seldome from the house of a
most homely shepheard: a man (they say) that from very
nothing, and beyond the imagination of his neighbors,
is growne into an vnspeakable estate.
Cam. I haue heard (sir) of such a man, who hath a
1655daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended
more, then can be thought to begin from such a cottage
Pol. That's likewise part of my Intelligence: but (I
feare) the Angle that pluckes our sonne thither. Thou
shalt accompany vs to the place, where we will (not ap-
1660pearing what we are) haue some question with the shep-
heard; from whose simplicity, I thinke it not vneasie to
get the cause of my sonnes resort thether. 'Prethe be my
present partner in this busines, and lay aside the thoughts
of Sicillia.
1665Cam. I willingly obey your command.
Pol. My best Camillo, we must disguise our selues. Exit
Scena Tertia.
Enter Autolicus singing.
When Daffadils begin to peere,
1670 With heigh the Doxy ouer the dale,
Why then comes in the sweet o'the yeere,
For the red blood raigns in ye winters pale.
The white sheete bleaching on the hedge,
With hey the sweet birds, O how they sing:
1675 Doth set my pugging tooth an edge,
For a quart of Ale is a dish for a King.
The Larke, that tirra Lyra chaunts,
With heigh, the Thrush and the Iay:
Are Summer songs for me and my Aunts
1680 While we lye tumbling in the hay.
I haue seru'd Prince Florizell, and in my time wore three
pile, but now I am out of seruice.
But shall I go mourne for that (my deere)
the pale Moone shines by night:
1685 And when I wander here, and there
I then do most go right.
If Tinkers may haue leaue to liue,
and beare the Sow-skin Bowget,
Then my account I well may giue,
1690 and in the Stockes auouch-it.
My Trafficke is sheetes: when the Kite builds, looke to
lesser Linnen. My Father nam'd me Autolicus, who be-
ing (as I am) lytter'd vnder Mercurie, was likewise a
snapper-vp of vnconsidered trifles: With Dye and drab,
1695I purchas'd this Caparison, and my Reuennew is the silly
Cheate. Gallowes, and Knocke, are too powerfull on
the Highway. Beating and hanging are terrors to mee:
For the life to come, I sleepe out the thought of it. A
prize, a prize.
1700Enter Clowne.
Clo. Let me see, euery Leauen-weather toddes, euery
tod yeeldes pound and odde shilling: fifteene hundred
shorne, what comes the wooll too?
Aut. If the sprindge hold, the Cocke's mine.
1705Clo. I cannot do't without Compters. Let mee see,
what am I to buy for our Sheepe-shearing-Feast? Three
pound of Sugar, fiue pound of Currence, Rice: What
will this sister of mine do with Rice? But my father hath
made her Mistris of the Feast, and she layes it on. Shee
1710hath made-me four and twenty Nose-gayes for the shea-
rers (three-man song-men, all, and very good ones) but
they are most of them Meanes and Bases; but one Puri-
tan amongst them, and he sings Psalmes to horne-pipes.
I must haue Saffron to colour the Warden Pies, Mace:
1715Dates, none: that's out of my note: Nutmegges, seuen;
a Race or two of Ginger, but that I may begge: Foure
pound of Prewyns, and as many of Reysons o'th Sun.
Aut. Oh, that euer I was borne.
Clo. I'th' name of me.
1720Aut. Oh helpe me, helpe mee: plucke but off these
ragges: and then, death, death.
Clo. Alacke poore soule, thou hast need of more rags
to lay on thee, rather then haue these off.
Aut. Oh sir, the loathsomnesse of them offend mee,
1725more then the stripes I haue receiued, which are mightie
ones and millions.
Clo. Alas poore man, a million of beating may come
to a great matter.
Aut. I am rob'd sir, and beaten: my money, and ap-
1730parrell tane from me, and these detestable things put vp-
on me.
Clo. What, by a horse-man, or a foot-man?
Aut. A footman (sweet sir) a footman.
Clo. Indeed, he should be a footman, by the garments
1735he has left with thee: If this bee a horsemans Coate, it
hath seene very hot seruice. Lend me thy hand, Ile helpe
thee. Come, lend me thy hand.
Aut. Oh good sir, tenderly, oh.
Clo. Alas poore soule.
1740Aut. Oh good sir, softly, good sir: I feare (sir) my
shoulder-blade is out.
Clo. How now? Canst stand?
Aut. Softly, deere sir: good sir, softly: you ha done
me a charitable office.
1745Clo. Doest lacke any mony? I haue a little mony for
Aut. No, good sweet sir: no, I beseech you sir: I haue
a Kinsman not past three quarters of a mile hence, vnto
whome I was going: I shall there haue money, or anie
1750thing I want: Offer me no money I pray you, that killes
my heart.
Clow. What manner of Fellow was hee that robb'd
Aut. A fellow (sir) that I haue knowne to goe about
1755with Troll-my-dames: I knew him once a seruant of the
Prince: I cannot tell good sir, for which of his Ver-
tues it was, but hee was certainely Whipt out of the
The Winters Tale. 291
Clo. His vices you would say: there's no vertue whipt
1760out of the Court: they cherish it to make it stay there;
and yet it will no more but abide.
Aut. Vices I would say (Sir.) I know this man well,
he hath bene since an Ape-bearer, then a Processe-seruer
(a Bayliffe) then hee compast a Motion of the Prodigall
1765sonne, and married a Tinkers wife, within a Mile where
my Land and Liuing lyes; and (hauing flowne ouer ma-
ny knauish professions) he setled onely in Rogue: some
call him Autolicus.
Clo. Out vpon him: Prig, for my life Prig: he haunts
1770Wakes, Faires, and Beare-baitings.
Aut. Very true sir: he sir hee: that's the Rogue that
put me into this apparrell.
Clo. Not a more cowardly Rogue in all Bohemia; If
you had but look'd bigge, and spit at him, hee'ld haue
Aut. I must confesse to you (sir) I am no fighter: I am
false of heart that way, & that he knew I warrant him.
Clo. How do you now?
Aut. Sweet sir, much better then I was: I can stand,
1780and walke: I will euen take my leaue of you, & pace soft-
ly towards my Kinsmans.
Clo. Shall I bring thee on the way?
Aut. No, good fac'd sir, no sweet sir.
Clo. Then fartheewell, I must go buy Spices for our
1785sheepe-shearing. Exit.
Aut. Prosper you sweet sir. Your purse is not hot e-
nough to purchase your Spice: Ile be with you at your
sheepe-shearing too: If I make not this Cheat bring out
another, and the sheere
rs proue sheepe, let me be vnrold,
1790and my name put in the booke of Vertue.
Song. Iog-on, Iog-on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the Stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tyres in a Mile-a.
1795Scena Quarta.
Enter Florizell, Perdita, Shepherd, Clowne, Polixenes, Ca-
millo, Mopsa, Dorcas, Seruants, Autolicus.
Flo. These your vnvsuall weeds, to each part of you
Do's giue a life: no Shepherdesse, but Flora
1800Peering in Aprils front. This your sheepe-shearing,
Is as a meeting of the petty Gods,
And you the Queene on't.
Perd. Sir: my gracious Lord,
To chide at your extreames, it not becomes me:
1805(Oh pardon, that I name them:) your high selfe
The gracious marke o'th' Land, you haue obscur'd
With a Swaines wearing: and me (poore lowly Maide)
Most Goddesse-like prank'd vp: But that our Feasts
In euery Messe, haue folly; and the Feeders
1810Digest with a Custome, I should blush
To see you so attyr'd: sworne I thinke,
To shew my selfe a glasse.
Flo. I blesse the time
When my good Falcon, made her flight a-crosse
1815Thy Fathers ground.
Perd. Now Ioue affoord you cause:
To me the difference forges dread (your Greatnesse
Hath not beene vs'd to feare:) euen now I tremble
To thinke your Father, by some accident
1820Should passe this way, as you did: Oh the Fates,
How would he looke, to see his worke, so noble,
Vildely bound vp? What would he say? Or how
Should I (in these my borrowed Flaunts) behold
The sternnesse of his presence?
1825Flo. Apprehend
Nothing but iollity: the Goddes themselues
(Humbling their Deities to loue) haue taken
The shapes of Beasts vpon them. Iupiter,
Became a Bull, and bellow'd: the greene Neptune
1830A Ram, and bleated: and the Fire-roab'd-God
Golden Apollo, a poore humble Swaine,
As I seeme now. Their transformations,
Were neuer for a peece of beauty, rarer,
Nor in a way so chaste: since my desires
1835Run not before mine honor: nor my Lusts
Burne hotter then my Faith.
Perd. O but Sir,
Your resolution cannot hold, when 'tis
Oppos'd (as it must be) by th' powre of the King:
1840One of these two must be necessities,
Which then will speake, that you must change this pur-(pose,
Or I my life.
Flo. Thou deer'st Perdita,
With these forc'd thoughts, I prethee darken not
1845The Mirth o'th' Feast: Or Ile be thine (my Faire)
Or not my Fathers. For I cannot be
Mine owne, nor any thing 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 any thing
That you behold the while. Your guests are comming:
Lift vp your countenance, as it were the day
Of celebration of that nuptiall, which
We two haue sworne shall come.
1855Perd. O Lady Fortune,
Stand you auspicious.
Flo. See, your Guests approach,
Addresse your selfe to entertaine them sprightly,
And let's be red with mirth.
1860Shep. Fy (daughter) when my old wife liu'd: vpon
This day, she was both Pantler, Butler, Cooke,
Both Dame and Seruant: Welcom'd all: seru'd all,
Would sing her song, and dance her turne: now heere
At vpper end o'th Table; now, i'th middle:
1865On his shoulder, and his: her face o' fire
With labour, and the thing she tooke to quench it
She would to each one sip. You are retyred,
As if you were a feasted one: and not
The Hostesse of the meeting: Pray you bid
1870These vnknowne friends to's welcome, for it is
A way to make vs better Friends, more knowne.
Come, quench your blushes, and present your selfe
That which you are, Mistris o'th' Feast. Come on,
And bid vs welcome to your sheepe-shearing,
1875As your good flocke shall prosper.
Perd. Sir, welcome:
It is my Fathers will, I should take on mee
The Hostesseship o'th' day: you're welcome sir.
Giue me those Flowres there (Dorcas.) Reuerend Sirs,
1880For you, there's Rosemary, and Rue, these keepe
Seeming, and sauour all the Winter long:
Grace, and Remembrance be to you both,
And welcome to our Shearing.
Bb2 Pol.
292The Winters Tale.
Pol. Shepherdesse,
1885(A faire one are you:) well you fit our ages
With flowres of Winter.
Perd. Sir, the yeare growing ancient,
Not yet on summers death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fayrest flowres o'th season
1890Are our Carnations, and streak'd Gilly-vors,
(Which some call Natures bastards) of that kind
Our rusticke Gardens barren, and I care not
To get slips of them.
Pol. Wherefore (gentle Maiden)
1895Do you neglect them.
Perd. For I haue heard it said,
There is an Art, which in their pidenesse shares
With great creating-Nature.
Pol. Say there be:
1900Yet Nature is made better by no meane,
But Nature makes that Meane: so ouer that Art,
(Which you say addes to Nature) is an Art
That Nature makes: you see (sweet Maid) we marry
A gentler Sien, to the wildest Stocke,
1905And make conceyue a barke of baser kinde
By bud of Nobler race. This is an Art
Which do's mend Nature: change it rather, but
The Art it selfe, is Nature.
Perd. So it is.
1910Pol. Then make you Garden rich in Gilly' vors,
And do not call them bastards.
Perd. Ile not put
The Dible in earth, to set one slip of them:
No more then were I painted, I would wish
1915This youth should say 'twer well: and onely therefore
Desire to breed by me. Here's flowres for you:
Hot Lauender, Mints, Sauory, Mariorum,
The Mary-gold, that goes to bed with' Sun,
And with him rises, weeping: These are flowres
1920Of middle summer, and I thinke they are giuen
To men of middle age. Y'are very welcome.
Cam. I should leaue grasing, were I of your flocke,
And onely liue by gazing.
Perd. Out alas:
1925You'ld be so leane, that blasts of Ianuary
Would blow you through and through. Now (my fairst (Friend,
I would I had some Flowres o'th Spring, that might
Become your time of day: and yours, and yours,
That weare vpon your Virgin-branches yet
1930Your Maiden-heads growing: O Proserpina,
For the Flowres now, that (frighted) thou let'st fall
From Dysses Waggon: Daffadils,
That come before the Swallow dares, and take
The windes of March with beauty: Violets (dim,
1935But sweeter then the lids of Iuno's eyes,
Or Cytherea's breath) pale Prime-roses,
That dye vnmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phoebus in his strength (a Maladie
Most incident to Maids:) bold Oxlips, and
1940The Crowne Imperiall: Lillies of all kinds,
(The Flowre-de-Luce being one.) O, these I lacke,
To make you Garlands of) and my sweet friend,
To strew him o're, and ore.
Flo. What? like a Coarse?
1945Perd. No, like a banke, for Loue to lye, and play on:
Not like a Coarse: or if: not to be buried,
But quicke, and in mine armes. Come, take your flours,
Me thinkes I play as I haue seene them do
In Whitson-Pastorals: Sure this Robe of mine
1950Do's change my disposition:
Flo. What you do,
Still betters what is done. When you speake (Sweet)
I'ld haue you do it euer: When you sing,
I'ld haue you buy, and sell so: so giue Almes,
1955Pray so: and for the ord'ring your Affayres,
To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you
A waue o'th Sea, that you might euer do
Nothing but that: moue still, still so:
And owne no other Function. Each your doing,
1960(So singular, in each particular)
Crownes what you are doing, in the present deeds,
That all your Actes, are Queenes.
Perd. O Doricles,
Your praises are too large: but that your youth
1965And the true blood which peepes fairely through't,
Do plainly giue you out an vnstain'd Shepherd
With wisedome, I might feare (my Doricles)
You woo'd me the false way.
Flo. I thinke you haue
1970As little skill to feare, as I haue purpose
To put you to't. But come, our dance I pray,
Your hand (my Perdita:) so Turtles paire
That neuer meane to part.
Perd. Ile sweare for 'em.
1975Pol. This is the prettiest Low-borne Lasse, that euer
Ran on the greene-sord: Nothing she do's, or seemes
But smackes of something greater then her selfe,
Too Noble for this place.
Cam. He tels her something
1980That makes her blood looke on't: Good sooth she is
The Queene of Curds and Creame.
Clo. Come on: strike vp.
Dorcas. Mopsa must be your Mistris: marry Garlick
to mend her kissing with.
1985Mop. Now in good time.
Clo. Not a word, a word, we stand vpon our manners,
Come, strike vp.
Heere a Daunce of Shepheards and
1990Pol. Pray good Shepheard, what faire Swaine is this,
Which dances with your daughter?
Shep. They call him Doricles, and boasts himselfe
To haue a worthy Feeding; but I haue it
Vpon his owne report, and I beleeue it:
1995He lookes like sooth: he sayes he loues my daughter,
I thinke so too; for neuer gaz'd the Moone
Vpon the water, as hee'l stand and reade
As 'twere my daughters eyes: and to be plaine,
I thinke there is not halfe a kisse to choose
2000Who loues another best.
Pol. She dances featly.
Shep. So she do's any thing, though I report it
That should be silent: If yong Doricles
Do light vpon her, she shall bring him that
2005Which he not dreames of. Enter Seruant.
Ser. O Master: if you did but heare the Pedler at the
doore, you would neuer dance againe after a Tabor and
Pipe: no, the Bag-pipe could not moue you: hee singes
seuerall Tunes, faster then you'l tell money: hee vtters
2010them as he had eaten ballads, and all mens eares grew to
his Tunes.
Clo. He could neuer come better: hee shall come in:
I loue a ballad but euen too well, if it be dolefull matter
merrily set downe: or a very pleasant thing indeede, and
2015sung lamentably.
The Winters Tale. 293
Ser. He hath songs for man, or woman, of all sizes:
No Milliner can so fit his customers with Gloues: he has
the prettiest Loue-songs for Maids, so without bawdrie
(which is strange,) with such delicate burthens of Dil-
2020do's and Fadings: Iump-her, and thump-her; and where
some stretch-mouth'd Rascall, would (as it were) meane
mischeefe, and breake a fowle gap into the Matter, hee
makes the maid to answere, Whoop, doe me no harme good
man: put's him off, slights him, with Whoop, doe mee no
2025harme good man.
Pol. This is a braue fellow.
Clo. Beleeue mee, thou talkest of an admirable con-
ceited fellow, has he any vnbraided Wares?
Ser. Hee hath Ribbons of all the colours i'th Raine-
2030bow; Points, more then all the Lawyers in Bohemia, can
learnedly handle, though they come to him by th' grosse:
Inckles, Caddysses, Cambrickes, Lawnes: why he sings
em ouer, as they were Gods, or Goddesses: you would
thinke a Smocke were a shee-Angell, he so chauntes to
2035the sleeue-hand, and the worke about the square on't.
Clo. Pre'thee bring him in, and let him approach sin-
Perd. Forewarne him, that he vse no scurrilous words
in's tunes.
2040Clow. You haue of these Pedlers, that haue more in
them, then youl'd thinke (Sister.)
Perd. I, good brother, or go about to thinke.
Enter Autolicus singing.
Lawne as white as driuen Snow,
2045 Cypresse blacke as ere was Crow,
Gloues as sweete as Damaske Roses,
Maskes for faces, and for noses:
Bugle-bracelet, Necke-lace Amber,
Perfume for a Ladies Chamber:
2050 Golden Quoifes, and Stomachers
For my Lads, to giue their deers:
Pins, and poaking-stickes of steele.
What Maids lacke from head to heele:
Come buy of me, come: come buy, come buy,
2055 Buy Lads, or else your Lasses cry: Come buy.
Clo. If I were not in loue with Mopsa, thou shouldst
take no money of me, but being enthrall'd as I am, it will
also be the bondage of certaine Ribbons and Gloues.
Mop. I was promis'd them against the Feast, but they
2060come not too late now.
Dor. He hath promis'd you more then that, or there
be lyars.
Mop. He hath paid you all he promis'd you: 'May be
he has paid you more, which will shame you to giue him
Clo. Is there no manners left among maids? Will they
weare their plackets, where they should bear their faces?
Is there not milking-time? When you are going to bed?
Or kill-hole? To whistle of these secrets, but you must
2070be tittle-tatling before all our guests? 'Tis well they are
whispring: clamor your tongues, and not a word more.
Mop. I haue done; Come you promis'd me a tawdry-
lace, and a paire of sweet Gloues.
Clo. Haue I not told thee how I was cozen'd by the
2075way, and lost all my money.
Aut. And indeed Sir, there are Cozeners abroad, ther-
fore it behooues men to be wary.
Clo. Feare not thou man, thou shalt lose nothing here
Aut. I hope so sir, for I haue about me many parcels
2080of charge.
Clo. What hast heere? Ballads?
Mop. Pray now buy some: I loue a ballet in print, a
life, for then we are sure they are true.
Aut. Here's one, to a very dolefull tune, how a Vsu-
2085rers wife was brought to bed of twenty money baggs at
a burthen, and how she long'd to eate Adders heads, and
Toads carbonado'd.
Mop. Is it true, thinke you?
Aut. Very true, and but a moneth old..
2090Dor. Blesse me from marrying a Vsurer.
Aut. Here's the Midwiues name to't: one Mist. Tale-
Porter, and fiue or six honest Wiues, that were present.
Why should I carry lyes abroad?
Mop. 'Pray you now buy it.
2095Clo. Come-on, lay it by: and let's first see moe Bal-
lads: Wee'l buy the other things anon.
Aut. Here's another ballad of a Fish, that appeared
vpon the coast, on wensday the fourescore of April, fortie
thousand fadom aboue water, & sung this ballad against
2100the hard hearts of maids: it was thought she was a Wo-
man, and was turn'd into a cold fish, for she wold not ex-
change flesh with one that lou'd her: The Ballad is very
pittifull, and as true.
Dor. Is it true too, thinke you.
2105Autol. Fiue Iustices hands at it, and witnesses more
then my packe will hold.
Clo. Lay it by too; another.
Aut. This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.
Mop. Let's haue some merry ones.
2110Aut. Why this is a passing merry one, and goes to the
tune of two maids wooing a man: there's scarse a Maide
westward but she sings it: 'tis in request, I can tell you.
Mop. We can both sing it: if thou'lt beare a part, thou
shalt heare, 'tis in three parts.
2115Dor. We had the tune on't, a month agoe.
Aut. I can beare my part, you must know 'tis my oc-
cupation: Haue at it with you:
SongGet you hence, for I must goe
Aut. Where it fits not you to know.
2120Dor. Whether?
Mop. O whether?
Dor. Whether?
Mop. It becomes thy oath full well,
Thou to me thy secrets tell.
2125Dor: Me too: Let me go thether:
Mop: Or thou goest to th' Grange, or Mill,
Dor: If to either thou dost ill,
Aut: Neither.
Dor: What neither?
2130Aut: Neither:
Dor: Thou hast sworne my Loue to be,
Mop: Thou hast sworne it more to mee.
Then whether goest? Say whether?
Clo. Wee'l haue this song out anon by our selues: My
2135Father, and the Gent. are in sad talke, & wee'll not trouble
them: Come bring away thy pack after me, Wenches Ile
buy for you both: Pedler let's haue the first choice; folow
me girles. Aut. And you shall pay well for 'em.
Song. Will you buy any Tape, or Lace for your Cape?
2140 My dainty Ducke, my deere-a?
Any Silke, any Thred, any Toyes for your head
Of the news't, and fins't, fins't weare-a.
Come to the Pedler, Money's a medler,
That doth vtter all mens ware-a.
2145Seruant. Mayster, there is three Carters, three Shep-
herds, three Neat-herds, three Swine-herds yt haue made
Bb3 them
294The Winters Tale.
themselues all men of haire, they cal themselues Saltiers,
and they haue a Dance, which the Wenches say is a gal-
ly-maufrey of Gambols, because they are not in't: but
2150they themselues are o'th' minde (if it bee not too rough
for some, that know little but bowling) it will please
Shep. Away: Wee'l none on't; heere has beene too
much homely foolery already. I know (Sir) wee wea-
2155rie you.
Pol. You wearie those that refresh vs: pray let's see
these foure-threes of Heardsmen.
Ser. One three of them, by their owne report (Sir,)
hath danc'd before the King: and not the worst of the
2160three, but iumpes twelue foote and a halfe by th' squire.
Shep. Leaue your prating, since these good men are
pleas'd, let them come in: but quickly now.
Ser. Why, they stay at doore Sir.
Heere a Dance of twelue Satyres.
2165Pol. O Father, you'l know more of that heereafter:
Is it not too farre gone? 'Tis time to part them,
He's simple, and tels much. How now (faire shepheard)
Your heart is full of something, that do's take
Your minde from feasting. Sooth, when I was yong,
2170And handed loue, as you do; I was wont
To load my Shee with knackes: I would haue ransackt
The Pedlers silken Treasury, and haue powr'd it
To her acceptance: you haue let him go,
And nothing marted with him. If your Lasse
2175Interpretation should abuse, and call this
Your lacke of loue, or bounty, you were straited
For a reply at least, if you make a care
Of happie holding her.
Flo. Old Sir, I know
2180She prizes not such trifles as these are:
The gifts she lookes from me, are packt and lockt
Vp in my heart, which I haue giuen already,
But not deliuer'd. O heare me breath my life
Before this ancient Sir, whom (it should seeme)
2185Hath sometime lou'd: I take thy hand, this hand,
As soft as Doues-downe, and as white as it,
Or Ethyopians tooth, or the fan'd snow, that's bolted
By th' Northerne blasts, twice ore.
Pol. What followes this?
2190How prettily th' yong Swaine seemes to wash
The hand, was faire before? I haue put you out,
But to your protestation: Let me heare
What you professe.
Flo. Do, and be witnesse too't.
2195Pol. And this my neighbour too?
Flo. And he, and more
Then he, and men: the earth, the heauens, and all;
That were I crown'd the most Imperiall Monarch
Thereof most worthy: were I the fayrest youth
2200That euer made eye swerue, had force and knowledge
More then was euer mans, I would not prize them
Without her Loue; for her, employ them all,
Commend them, and condemne them to her seruice,
Or to their owne perdition.
2205Pol. Fairely offer'd.
Cam. This shewes a sound affection.
Shep. But my daughter,
Say you the like to him.
Per. I cannot speake
2210So well, (nothing so well) no, nor meane better
By th' patterne of mine owne thoughts, I cut out
The puritie of his.
Shep. Take hands, a bargaine;
And friends vnknowne, you shall beare witnesse to't:
2215I giue my daughter to him, and will make
Her Portion, equall his.
Flo. O, that must bee
I'th Vertue of your daughter: One being dead,
I shall haue more then you can dreame of yet,
2220Enough then for your wonder: but come-on,
Contract vs fore these Witnesses.
Shep. Come, your hand:
And daughter, yours.
Pol. Soft Swaine a-while, beseech you,
2225Haue you a Father?
Flo. I haue: but what of him?
Pol. Knowes he of this?
Flo. He neither do's, nor shall.
Pol. Me-thinkes a Father,
2230Is at the Nuptiall of his sonne, a guest
That best becomes the Table: Pray you once more
Is not your Father growne incapeable
Of reasonable affayres? Is he not stupid
With Age, and altring Rheumes? Can he speake? heare?
2235Know man, from man? Dispute his owne estate?
Lies he not bed-rid? And againe, do's nothing
But what he did, being childish?
Flo. No good Sir:
He has his health, and ampler strength indeede
2240Then most haue of his age.
Pol. By my white beard,
You offer him (if this be so) a wrong
Something vnfilliall: Reason my sonne
Should choose himselfe a wife, but as good reason
2245The Father (all whose ioy is nothing else
But faire posterity) should hold some counsaile
In such a businesse.
Flo. I yeeld all this;
But for some other reasons (my graue Sir)
2250Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
My Father of this businesse.
Pol. Let him know't.
Flo. He shall not.
Pol. Prethee let him.
2255Flo. No, he must not.
Shep. Let him (my sonne) he shall not need to greeue
At knowing of thy choice.
Flo. Come, come, he must not:
Marke our Contract.
2260Pol. Marke your diuorce (yong sir)
Whom sonne I dare not call: Thou art too base
To be acknowledge. Thou a Scepters heire,
That thus affects a sheepe-hooke? Thou, old Traitor,
I am sorry, that by hanging thee, I can
2265But shorten thy life one weeke. And thou, fresh peece
Of excellent Witchcraft, whom of force must know
The royall Foole thou coap'st with.
Shep. Oh my heart.
Pol. Ile haue thy beauty scratcht with briers & made
2270More homely then thy state. For thee (fond boy)
If I may euer know thou dost but sigh,
That thou no more shalt neuer see this knacke (as neuer
I meane thou shalt) wee'l barre thee from succession,
Not hold thee of our blood, no not our Kin,
2275Farre then Deucalion off: (marke thou my words)
Follow vs to the Court. Thou Churle, for this time
(Though full of our displeasure) yet we free thee
From the dead blow of it. And you Enchantment,
The Winters Tale. 295
Worthy enough a Heardsman: yea him too,
2280That makes himselfe (but for our Honor therein)
Vnworthy thee. If euer henceforth, thou
These rurall Latches, to his entrance open,
Or hope his body more, with thy embraces,
I will deuise a death, as cruell for thee
2285As thou art tender to't. Exit.
Perd. Euen heere vndone:
I was not much a-fear'd: for once, or twice
I was about to speake, and tell him plainely,
The selfe-same Sun, that shines vpon his Court,
2290Hides not his visage from our Cottage, but
Lookes on alike. Wilt please you (Sir) be gone?
I told you what would come of this: Beseech you
Of your owne state take care: This dreame of mine
Being now awake, Ile Queene it no inch farther,
2295But milke my Ewes, and weepe.
Cam. Why how now Father,
Speake ere thou dyest.
Shep. I cannot speake, nor thinke,
Nor dare to know, that which I know: O Sir,
2300You haue vndone a man of fourescore three,
That thought to fill his graue in quiet: yea,
To dye vpon the bed my father dy'de,
To lye close by his honest bones; but now
Some Hangman must put on my shrowd, and lay me
2305Where no Priest shouels-in dust. Oh cursed wretch,
That knew'st this was the Prince, and wouldst aduenture
To mingle faith with him. Vndone, vndone:
If I might dye within this houre, I haue liu'd
To die when I desire. Exit.
2310Flo. Why looke you so vpon me?
I am but sorry, not affear'd: delaid,
But nothing altred: What I was, I am:
More straining on, for plucking backe; not following
My leash vnwillingly.
2315Cam. Gracious my Lord,
You know my Fathers temper: at this time
He will allow no speech: (which I do ghesse
You do not purpose to him:) and as hardly
Will he endure your sight, as yet I feare;
2320Then till the fury of his Highnesse settle
Come not before him.
Flo. I not purpose it:
I thinke Camillo.
Cam. Euen he, my Lord.
2325Per. How often haue I told you 'twould be thus?
How often said my dignity would last
But till 'twer knowne?
Flo. It cannot faile, but by
The violation of my faith, and then
2330Let Nature crush the sides o'th earth together,
And marre the seeds within. Lift vp thy lookes:
From my succession wipe me (Father) I
Am heyre to my affection.
Cam. Be aduis'd.
2335Flo. I am: and by my fancie, if my Reason
Will thereto be obedient: I haue reason:
If not, my sences better pleas'd with madnesse,
Do bid it welcome.
Cam. This is desperate (sir.)
2340Flo. So call it: but it do's fulfill my vow:
I needs must thinke it honesty. Camillo,
Not for Bohemia, nor the pompe that may
Be thereat gleaned: for all the Sun sees, or
The close earth wombes, or the profound seas, hides
2345In vnknowne fadomes, will I breake my oath
To this my faire belou'd: Therefore, I pray you,
As you haue euer bin my Fathers honour'd friend,
When he shall misse me, as (in faith I meane not
To see him any more) cast your good counsailes
2350Vpon his passion: Let my selfe, and Fortune
Tug for the time to come. This you may know,
And so deliuer, I am put to Sea
With her, who heere I cannot hold on shore:
And most opportune to her neede, I haue
2355A Vessell rides fast by, but not prepar'd
For this designe. What course I meane to hold
Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
Concerne me the reporting.
Cam. O my Lord,
2360I would your spirit were easier for aduice,
Or stronger for your neede.
Flo. Hearke Perdita,
Ile heare you by and by.
Cam. Hee's irremoueable,
2365Resolu'd for flight: Now were I happy if
His going, I could frame to serue my turne,
Saue him from danger, do him loue and honor,
Purchase the sight againe of deere Sicillia,
And that vnhappy King, my Master, whom
2370I so much thirst to see.
Flo. Now good Camillo,
I am so fraught with curious businesse, that
I leaue out ceremony.
Cam. Sir, I thinke
2375You haue heard of my poore seruices, i'th loue
That I haue borne your Father?
Flo. Very nobly
Haue you deseru'd: It is my Fathers Musicke
To speake your deeds: not little of his care
2380To haue them recompenc'd, as thought on.
Cam. Well (my Lord)
If you may please to thinke I loue the King,
And through him, what's neerest to him, which is
Your gracious selfe; embrace but my direction,
2385If your more ponderous and setled proiect
May suffer alteration. On mine honor,
Ile point you where you shall haue such receiuing
As shall become your Highnesse, where you may
Enioy your Mistris; from the whom, I see
2390There's no disiunction to be made, but by
(As heauens forefend) your ruine: Marry her,
And with my best endeuours, in your absence,
Your discontenting Father, striue to qualifie
And bring him vp to liking.
2395Flo. How Camillo
May this (almost a miracle) be done?
That I may call thee something more then man,
And after that trust to thee.
Cam. Haue you thought on
2400A place whereto you'l go?
Flo. Not any yet:
But as th' vnthought-on accident is guiltie
To what we wildely do, so we professe
Our selues to be the slaues of chance, and flyes
2405Of euery winde that blowes.
Cam. Then list to me:
This followes, if you will not change your purpose
But vndergo this flight: make for Sicillia,
And there present your selfe, and your fayre Princesse,
2410(For so I see she must be) 'fore Leontes;
296The Winters Tale.
She shall be habited, as it becomes
The partner of your Bed. Me thinkes I see
Leontes opening his free Armes, and weeping
His Welcomes forth: asks thee there Sonne forgiuenesse,
2415As 'twere i'th' Fathers person: kisses the hands
Of your fresh Princesse; ore and ore diuides him,
'Twixt his vnkindnesse, and his Kindnesse: th' one
He chides to Hell, and bids the other grow
Faster then Thought, or Time.
2420Flo. Worthy Camillo,
What colour for my Visitation, shall I
Hold vp before him?
Cam. Sent by the King your Father
To greet him, and to giue him comforts. Sir,
2425The manner of your bearing towards him, with
What you (as from your Father) shall deliuer,
Things knowne betwixt vs three, Ile write you downe,
The which shall point you forth at euery sitting
What you must say: that he shall not perceiue,
2430But that you haue your Fathers Bosome there,
And speake his very Heart.
Flo. I am bound to you:
There is some sappe in this.
Cam. A Course more promising,
2435Then a wild dedication of your selues
To vnpath'd Waters, vndream'd Shores; most certaine,
To Miseries enough: no hope to helpe you,
But as you shake off one, to take another:
Nothing so certaine, as your Anchors, who
2440Doe their best office, if they can but stay you,
Where you'le be loth to be: besides you know,
Prosperitie's the very bond of Loue,
Whose fresh complexion, and whose heart together,
Affliction alters.
2445Perd. One of these is true:
I thinke Affliction may subdue the Cheeke,
But not take-in the Mind.
Cam. Yea? say you so?
There shall not, at your Fathers House, these seuen yeeres
2450Be borne another such.
Flo. My good Camillo,
She's as forward, of her Breeding, as
She is i'th' reare' our Birth.
Cam. I cannot say, 'tis pitty
2455She lacks Instructions, for she seemes a Mistresse
To most that teach.
Perd. Your pardon Sir, for this,
Ile blush you Thanks.
Flo. My prettiest Perdita.
2460But O, the Thornes we stand vpon: (Camillo)
Preseruer of my Father, now of me,
The Medicine of our House: how shall we doe?
We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's Sonne,
Nor shall appeare in Sicilia.
2465Cam. My Lord,
Feare none of this: I thinke you know my fortunes
Doe all lye there: it shall be so my care,
To haue you royally appointed, as if
The Scene you play, were mine. For instance Sir,
2470That you may know you shall not want: one word.
Enter Autolicus.
Aut. Ha, ha, what a Foole Honestie is? and Trust (his
sworne brother) a very simple Gentleman. I haue sold
all my Tromperie: not a counterfeit Stone, not a Ribbon,
2475Glasse, Pomander, Browch, Table-booke, Ballad, Knife,
Tape, Gloue, Shooe-tye, Bracelet, Horne-Ring, to keepe
my Pack from fasting: they throng who should buy first,
as if my Trinkets had beene hallowed, and brought a be-
nediction to the buyer: by which meanes, I saw whose
2480Purse was best in Picture; and what I saw, to my good
vse, I remembred. My Clowne (who wants but some-
thing to be a reasonable man) grew so in loue with the
Wenches Song, that hee would not stirre his Petty-toes,
till he had both Tune and Words, which so drew the rest
2485of the Heard to me, that all their other Sences stucke in
Eares: you might haue pinch'd a Placket, it was sence-
lesse; 'twas nothing to gueld a Cod-peece of a Purse: I
would haue fill'd Keyes of that hung in Chaynes: no
hearing, no feeling, but my Sirs Song, and admiring the
2490Nothing of it. So that in this time of Lethargie, I pickd
and cut most of their Festiuall Purses: And had not the
old-man come in with a Whoo-bub against his Daugh-
ter, and the Kings Sonne, and scar'd my Chowghes from
the Chaffe, I had not left a Purse aliue in the whole
Cam. Nay, but my Letters by this meanes being there
So soone as you arriue, shall cleare that doubt.
Flo. And those that you'le procure from King Leontes?
Cam. Shall satisfie your Father.
2500Perd. Happy be you:
All that you speake, shewes faire.
Cam. Who haue we here?
Wee'le make an Instrument of this: omit
Nothing may giue vs aide.
2505Aut. If they haue ouer-heard me now: why hanging.
Cam. How now (good Fellow)
Why shak'st thou so? Feare not (man)
Here's no harme intended to thee.
Aut. I am a poore Fellow, Sir.
2510Cam. Why, be so still: here's no body will steale that
from thee: yet for the out-side of thy pouertie, we must
make an exchange; therefore dis-case thee instantly (thou
must thinke there's a necessitie in't) and change Garments
with this Gentleman: Though the penny-worth (on his
2515side) be the worst, yet hold thee, there's some boot.
Aut. I am a poore Fellow, Sir: (I know ye well
Cam. Nay prethee dispatch: the Gentleman is halfe
fled already.
2520Aut. Are you in earnest, Sir? (I smell the trick on't.)
Flo. Dispatch, I prethee.
Aut. Indeed I haue had Earnest, but I cannot with
conscience take it.
Cam. Vnbuckle, vnbuckle.
2525Fortunate Mistresse (let my prophecie
Come home to ye:) you must retire your selfe
Into some Couert; take your sweet-hearts Hat
And pluck it ore your Browes, muffle your face,
Dis-mantle you, and (as you can) disliken
2530The truth of your owne seeming, that you may
(For I doe feare eyes ouer) to Ship-boord
Get vndescry'd.
Perd. I see the Play so lyes,
That I must beare a part.
2535Cam. No remedie:
Haue you done there?
Flo. Should I now meet my Father,
He would not call me Sonne.
Cam. Nay, you shall haue no Hat:
2540Come Lady, come: Farewell (my friend.)
Aut. Adieu, Sir.
Flo. O Perdita: what haue we twaine forgot?
The Winters Tale. 297
'Pray you a word.
Cam. What I doe next, shall be to tell the King
2545Of this escape, and whither they are bound;
Wherein, my hope is, I shall so preuaile,
To force him after: in whose company
I shall re-view Sicilia; for whose sight,
I haue a Womans Longing.
2550Flo. Fortune speed vs:
Thus we set on (Camillo) to th' Sea-side.
Cam. The swifter speed, the better. Exit.
Aut. I vnderstand the businesse, I heare it: to haue an
open eare, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary for
2555a Cut-purse; a good Nose is requisite also, to smell out
worke for th' other Sences. I see this is the time that the
vniust man doth thriue. What an exchange had this been,
without boot? What a boot is here, with this exchange?
Sure the Gods doe this yeere conniue at vs, and we may
2560doe any thing extempore. The Prince himselfe is about
a peece of Iniquitie (stealing away from his Father, with
his Clog at his heeles:) if I thought it were a peece of ho-
nestie to acquaint the King withall, I would not do't: I
hold it the more knauerie to conceale it; and therein am
2565I constant to my Profession.
Enter Clowne and Shepheard.
Aside, aside, here is more matter for a hot braine: Euery
Lanes end, euery Shop, Church, Session, Hanging, yeelds
a carefull man worke.
2570Clowne. 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.
Shep. Nay, but heare me.
Clow. Nay; but heare me.
2575Shep. Goe too then.
Clow. She being none of your flesh and blood, your
flesh and blood ha's not offended the King, and so your
flesh and blood is not to be punish'd by him. Shew those
things you found about her (those secret things, all but
2580what she ha's with her:) This being done, let the Law goe
whistle: I warrant you.
Shep. I will tell the King all, euery word, yea, and his
Sonnes prancks too; who, I may say, is no honest man,
neither to his Father, nor to me, to goe about to make me
2585the Kings Brother in Law.
Clow. Indeed Brother in Law was the farthest off you
could haue beene to him, and then your Blood had beene
the dearer, by I know how much an ounce.
Aut. Very wisely (Puppies.)
2590Shep. Well: let vs to the King: there is that in this
Farthell, will make him scratch his Beard.
Aut. I know not what impediment this Complaint
may be to the flight of my Master.
Clo. 'Pray heartily he be at' Pallace.
2595Aut. Though I am not naturally honest, I am so some-
times by chance: Let me pocket vp my Pedlers excre-
ment. How now (Rustiques) whither are you bound?
Shep. To th' Pallace (and it like your Worship.)
Aut. Your Affaires there? what? with whom? the
2600Condition of that Farthell? the place of your dwelling?
your names? your ages? of what hauing? breeding, and
any thing that is fitting to be knowne, discouer?
Clo. We are but plaine fellowes, Sir.
Aut. A Lye; you are rough, and hayrie: Let me haue
2605no lying; it becomes none but Trades-men, and they of-
ten giue vs (Souldiers) the Lye, but wee pay them for it
with stamped Coyne, not stabbing Steele, therefore they
doe not giue vs the Lye.
Clo. Your Worship had like to haue giuen vs one, if
2610you had not taken your selfe with the manner.
Shep. Are you a Courtier, and't like you Sir?
Aut. Whether it like me, or no, I am a Courtier. Seest
thou not the ayre of the Court, in these enfoldings? Hath
not my gate in it, the measure of the Court? Receiues not
2615thy Nose Court-Odour from me? Reflect I not on thy
Basenesse, Court-Contempt? Think'st thou, for that I
insinuate, at toaze from thee thy Businesse, I am there-
fore no Courtier? I am Courtier Cap-a-pe; and one that
will eyther push-on, or pluck-back, thy Businesse there:
2620whereupon I command thee to open thy Affaire.
Shep. My Businesse, Sir, is to the King.
Aut. What Aduocate ha'st thou to him?
Shep. I know not (and't like you.)
Clo. Aduocate's the Court-word for a Pheazant: say
2625you haue none.
Shep. None, Sir: I haue no Pheazant Cock, nor Hen.
Aut. How blessed are we, that are not simple men?
Yet Nature might haue made me as these are,
Therefore I will not disdaine.
2630Clo. This cannot be but a great Courtier.
Shep. His Garments are rich, but he weares them not
Clo. He seemes to be the more Noble, in being fanta-
sticall: A great man, Ile warrant; I know by the picking
2635on's Teeth.
Aut. The Farthell there? What's i'th' Farthell?
Wherefore that Box?
Shep. Sir, there lyes such Secrets in this Farthell and
Box, which none must know but the King, and which hee
2640shall know within this houre, if I may come to th' speech
of him.
Aut. Age, thou hast lost thy labour.
Shep. Why Sir?
Aut. The King is not at the Pallace, he is gone aboord
2645a new Ship, to purge Melancholy, and ayre himselfe: for
if thou bee'st capable of things serious, thou must know
the King is full of griefe.
Shep. So 'tis said (Sir:) about his Sonne, that should
haue marryed a Shepheards Daughter.
2650Aut. If that Shepheard be not in hand-fast, let him
flye; the Curses he shall haue, the Tortures he shall feele,
will breake the back of Man, the heart of Monster.
Clo. Thinke you so, Sir?
Aut. Not hee alone shall suffer what Wit can make
2655heauie, and Vengeance bitter; but those that are Iermaine
to him (though remou'd fiftie times) shall all come vnder
the Hang-man: which, though it be great pitty, yet it is
necessarie. An old Sheepe-whistling Rogue, a Ram-ten-
der, to offer to haue his Daughter come into grace? Some
2660say hee shall be ston'd: but that death is too soft for him
(say I:) Draw our Throne into a Sheep-Coat? all deaths
are too few, the sharpest too easie.
Clo. Ha's the old-man ere a Sonne Sir (doe you heare)
and't like you, Sir?
2665Aut. Hee ha's a Sonne: who shall be flayd aliue, then
'noynted ouer with Honey, set on the head of a Waspes
Nest, then stand till he be three quarters and a dram dead:
then recouer'd againe with Aquavite, or some other hot
Infusion: then, raw as he is (and in the hotest day Progno-
2670stication proclaymes) shall he be set against a Brick-wall,
(the Sunne looking with a South-ward eye vpon him;
where hee is to behold him, with Flyes blown to death.)
But what talke we of these Traitorly-Rascals, whose mi-
series are to be smil'd at, their offences being so capitall?
298The Winters Tale.
2675Tell me (for you seeme to be honest plaine men) what you
haue to the King: being something gently consider'd, Ile
bring you where he is aboord, tender your persons to his
presence, whisper him in your behalfes; and if it be in
man, besides the King, to effect your Suites, here is man
2680shall doe it.
Clow. He seemes to be of great authoritie: close with
him, giue him Gold; and though Authoritie be a stub-
borne Beare, yet hee is oft led by the Nose with Gold:
shew the in-side of your Purse to the out-side of his
2685hand, and no more adoe. Remember ston'd, and flay'd
Shep. And't please you (Sir) to vndertake the Businesse
for vs, here is that Gold I haue: Ile make it as much
more, and leaue this young man in pawne, till I bring it
Aut. After I haue done what I promised?
Shep. I Sir.
Aut. Well, giue me the Moitie: Are you a partie in
this Businesse?
2695Clow. In some sort, Sir: but though my case be a pit-
tifull one, I hope I shall not be flayd out of it.
Aut. Oh, that's the case of the Shepheards Sonne:
hang him, hee'le be made an example.
Clow. Comfort, good comfort: We must to the King,
2700and shew our strange sights: he must know 'tis none of
your Daughter, nor my Sister: wee are gone else. Sir, I
will giue you as much as this old man do's, when the Bu-
sinesse is performed, and remaine (as he sayes) your pawne
till it be brought you.
2705Aut. I will trust you. Walke before toward the Sea-
side, goe on the right hand, I will but looke vpon the
Hedge, and follow you.
Clow. We are bless'd, in this man: as I may say, euen
2710Shep. Let's before, as he bids vs: he was prouided to
doe vs good.
Aut. If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune would
not suffer mee: shee drops Booties in my mouth. I am
courted now with a double occasion: (Gold, and a means
2715to doe the Prince my Master good; which, who knowes
how that may turne backe to my aduancement?) I will
bring these two Moales, these blind-ones, aboord him: if
he thinke it fit to shoare them againe, and that the Com-
plaint they haue to the King, concernes him nothing, let
2720him call me Rogue, for being so farre officious, for I am
proofe against that Title, and what shame else belongs
to't: To him will I present them, there may be matter in
it. Exeunt.
Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.
2725Enter Leontes, Cleomines, Dion, Paulina, Seruants:
Florizel, Perdita.
Cleo. Sir, you haue done enough, and haue perform'd
A Saint-like Sorrow: No fault could you make,
Which you haue not redeem'd; indeed pay'd downe
2730More penitence, then done trespas: At the last
Doe, as the Heauens haue done; forget your euill,
With them, forgiue your selfe.
Leo. Whilest I remember
Her, and her Vertues, I cannot forget
2735My blemishes in them, and so still thinke of
The wrong I did my selfe: which was so much,
That Heire-lesse it hath made my Kingdome, and
Destroy'd the sweet'st Companion, that ere man
Bred his hopes out of, true.
2740Paul. Too true (my Lord:)
If one by one, you wedded all the World,
Or from the All that are, tooke something good,
To make a perfect Woman; she you kill'd,
Would be vnparallell'd.
2745Leo. I thinke so. Kill'd?
She I kill'd? I did so: but thou strik'st me
Sorely, to say I did: it is as bitter
Vpon thy Tongue, as in my Thought. Now, good now,
Say so but seldome.
2750Cleo. Not at all, good Lady:
You might haue spoken a thousand things, that would
Haue done the time more benefit, and grac'd
Your kindnesse better.
Paul. You are one of those
2755Would haue him wed againe.
Dio. If you would not so,
You pitty not the State, nor the Remembrance
Of his most Soueraigne Name: Consider little,
What Dangers, by his Highnesse faile of Issue,
2760May drop vpon his Kingdome, and deuoure
Incertaine lookers on. What were more holy,
Then to reioyce the former Queene is well?
What holyer, then for Royalties repayre,
For present comfort, and for future good,
2765To blesse the Bed of Maiestie againe
With a sweet Fellow to't?
Paul. There is none worthy,
(Respecting her that's gone:) besides the Gods
Will haue fulfill'd their secret purposes:
2770For ha's not the Diuine Apollo said?
Is't not the tenor of his Oracle,
That King Leontes shall not haue an Heire,
Till his lost Child be found? Which, that it shall,
Is all as monstrous to our humane reason,
2775As my Antigonus to breake his Graue,
And come againe to me: who, on my life,
Did perish with the Infant. 'Tis your councell,
My Lord should to the Heauens be contrary,
Oppose against their wills. Care not for Issue,
2780The Crowne will find an Heire. Great Alexander
Left his to th' Worthiest: so his Successor
Was like to be the best.
Leo. Good Paulina,
Who hast the memorie of Hermione
2785I know in honor: O, that euer I
Had squar'd me to thy councell: then, euen now,
I might haue look'd vpon my Queenes full eyes,
Haue taken Treasure from her Lippes.
Paul. And left them
2790More rich, for what they yeelded.
Leo. Thou speak'st truth:
No more such Wiues, therefore no Wife: one worse,
And better vs'd, would make her Sainted Spirit
Againe possesse her Corps, and on this Stage
2795(Where we Offendors now appeare) Soule-vext,
And begin, why to me?
Paul. Had she such power,
She had iust such cause.
Leo. She had, and would incense me
2800To murther her I marryed.
Paul. I
The Winters Tale. 299
Paul. I should so:
Were I the Ghost that walk'd, Il'd bid you marke
Her eye, and tell me for what dull part in't
You chose her: then Il'd shrieke, that euen your eares
2805Should rift to heare me, and the words that follow'd,
Should be, Remember mine.
Leo. Starres, Starres,
And all eyes else, dead coales: feare thou no Wife;
Ile haue no Wife, Paulina.
2810Paul. Will you sweare
Neuer to marry, but by my free leaue?
Leo. Neuer (Paulina) so be bless'd my Spirit.
Paul. Then good my Lords, beare witnesse to his Oath.
Cleo. You tempt him ouer-much.
2815Paul. Vnlesse another,
As like Hermione, as is her Picture,
Affront his eye.
Cleo. Good Madame, I haue done.
Paul. Yet if my Lord will marry: if you will, Sir;
2820No remedie but you will: Giue me the Office
To chuse you a Queene: she shall not be so young
As was your former, but she shall be such
As (walk'd your first Queenes Ghost) it should take ioy
To see her in your armes.
2825Leo. My true Paulina,
We shall not marry, till thou bidst vs.
Paul. That
Shall be when your first Queene's againe in breath:
Neuer till then.
2830Enter a Seruant.
Ser. One that giues out himselfe Prince Florizell,
Sonne of Polixenes, with his Princesse (she
The fairest I haue yet beheld) desires accesse
To your high presence.
2835Leo. What with him? he comes not
Like to his Fathers Greatnesse: his approach
(So out of circumstance, and suddaine) tells vs,
'Tis not a Visitation fram'd, but forc'd
By need, and accident. What Trayne?
2840Ser. But few,
And those but meane.
Leo. His Princesse (say you) with him?
Ser. I: the most peerelesse peece of Earth, I thinke,
That ere the Sunne shone bright on.
2845Paul. Oh Hermione,
As euery present Time doth boast it selfe
Aboue a better, gone; so must thy Graue
Giue way to what's seene now. Sir, you your selfe
Haue said, and writ so; but your writing now
2850Is colder then that Theame: she had not beene,
Nor was not to be equall'd, thus your Verse
Flow'd with her Beautie once; 'tis shrewdly ebb'd,
To say you haue seene a better.
Ser. Pardon, Madame:
2855The one, I haue almost forgot (your pardon:)
The other, when she ha's obtayn'd your Eye,
Will haue your Tongue too. This is a Creature,
Would she begin a Sect, might quench the zeale
Of all Professors else; make Proselytes
2860Of who she but bid follow.
Paul. How? not women?
Ser. Women will loue her, that she is a Woman
More worth then any Man: Men, that she is
The rarest of all Women.
2865Leo. Goe Cleomines,
Your selfe (assisted with your honor'd Friends)
Bring them to our embracement. Still 'tis strange,
He thus should steale vpon vs. Exit.
Paul. Had our Prince
2870(Iewell of Children) seene this houre, he had payr'd
Well with this Lord; there was not full a moneth
Betweene their births.
Leo. 'Prethee no more; cease: thou know'st
He dyes to me againe, when talk'd-of: sure
2875When I shall see this Gentleman, thy speeches
Will bring me to consider that, which may
Vnfurnish me of Reason. They are come.
Enter Florizell, Perdita, Cleomines, and others.
Your Mother was most true to Wedlock, Prince,
2880For she did print your Royall Father off,
Conceiuing you. Were I but twentie one,
Your Fathers Image is so hit in you,
(His very ayre) that I should call you Brother,
As I did him, and speake of something wildly
2885By vs perform'd before. Most dearely welcome,
And your faire Princesse (Goddesse) oh: alas,
I lost a couple, that 'twixt Heauen and Earth
Might thus haue stood, begetting wonder, as
You (gracious Couple) doe: and then I lost
2890(All mine owne Folly) the Societie,
Amitie too of your braue Father, whom
(Though bearing Miserie) I desire my life
Once more to looke on him.
Flo. By his command
2895Haue I here touch'd Sicilia, and from him
Giue you all greetings, that a King (at friend)
Can send his Brother: and but Infirmitie
(Which waits vpon worne times) hath something seiz'd
His wish'd Abilitie, he had himselfe
2900The Lands and Waters, 'twixt your Throne and his,
Measur'd, to looke vpon you; whom he loues
(He bad me say so) more then all the Scepters,
And those that beare them, liuing.
Leo. Oh my Brother,
2905(Good Gentleman) the wrongs I haue done thee, stirre
Afresh within me: and these thy offices
(So rarely kind) are as Interpreters
Of my behind-hand slacknesse. Welcome hither,
As is the Spring to th' Earth. And hath he too
2910Expos'd this Paragon to th' fearefull vsage
(At least vngentle) of the dreadfull Neptune,
To greet a man, not worth her paines; much lesse,
Th' aduenture of her person?
Flo. Good my Lord,
2915She came from Libia.
Leo. Where the Warlike Smalus,
That Noble honor'd Lord, is fear'd, and lou'd?
Flo. Most Royall Sir,
From thence: from him, whose Daughter
2920His Teares proclaym'd his parting with her: thence
(A prosperous South-wind friendly) we haue cross'd,
To execute the Charge my Father gaue me,
For visiting your Highnesse: My best Traine
I haue from your Sicilian Shores dismiss'd;
2925Who for Bohemia bend, to signifie
Not onely my successe in Libia (Sir)
But my arriuall, and my Wifes, in safetie
Here, where we are.
Leo. The blessed Gods
2930Purge all Infection from our Ayre, whilest you
Doe Clymate here: you haue a holy Father,
A graceful Gentleman, against whose person
300The Winters Tale.
(So sacred as it is) I haue done sinne,
For which, the Heauens (taking angry note)
2935Haue left me Issue-lesse: and your Father's bless'd
(As he from Heauen merits it) with you,
Worthy his goodnesse. What might I haue been,
Might I a Sonne and Daughter now haue look'd on,
Such goodly things as you?
2940Enter a Lord.
Lord. Most Noble Sir,
That which I shall report, will beare no credit,
Were not the proofe so nigh. Please you (great Sir)
Bohemia greets you from himselfe, by me:
2945Desires you to attach his Sonne, who ha's
(His Dignitie, and Dutie both cast off)
Fled from his Father, from his Hopes, and with
A Shepheards Daughter.
Leo. Where's Bohemia? speake:
2950Lord. Here, in your Citie: I now came from him.
I speake amazedly, and it becomes
My meruaile, and my Message. To your Court
Whiles he was hastning (in the Chase, it seemes,
Of this faire Couple) meetes he on the way
2955The Father of this seeming Lady, and
Her Brother, hauing both their Countrey quitted,
With this young Prince.
Flo. Camillo ha's betray'd me;
Whose honor, and whose honestie till now,
2960Endur'd all Weathers.
Lord. Lay't so to his charge:
He's with the King your Father.
Leo. Who? Camillo?
Lord. Camillo (Sir:) I spake with him: who now
2965Ha's these poore men in question. Neuer saw I
Wretches so quake: they kneele, they kisse the Earth;
Forsweare themselues as often as they speake:
Bohemia stops his eares, and threatens them
With diuers deaths, in death.
2970Perd. Oh my poore Father:
The Heauen sets Spyes vpon vs, will not haue
Our Contract celebrated.
Leo. You are marryed?
Flo. We are not (Sir) nor are we like to be:
2975The Starres (I see) will kisse the Valleyes first:
The oddes for high and low's alike.
Leo. My Lord,
Is this the Daughter of a King?
Flo. She is,
2980When once she is my Wife.
Leo. That once (I see) by your good Fathers speed,
Will come-on very slowly. I am sorry
(Most sorry) you haue broken from his liking,
Where you were ty'd in dutie: and as sorry,
2985Your Choice is not so rich in Worth, as Beautie,
That you might well enioy her.
Flo. Deare, looke vp:
Though Fortune, visible an Enemie,
Should chase vs, with my Father; powre no iot
2990Hath she to change our Loues. Beseech you (Sir)
Remember, since you ow'd no more to Time
Then I doe now: with thought of such Affections,
Step forth mine Aduocate: at your request,
My Father will graunt precious things, as Trifles.
2995Leo. Would he doe so, I'ld beg your precious Mistris,
Which he counts but a Trifle.
Paul. Sir (my Liege)
Your eye hath too much youth in't: not a moneth
'Fore your Queene dy'd, she was more worth such gazes,
3000Then what you looke on now.
Leo. I thought of her,
Euen in these Lookes I made. But your Petition
Is yet vn-answer'd: I will to your Father:
Your Honor not o're-throwne by your desires,
3005I am friend to them, and you: Vpon which Errand
I now goe toward him: therefore follow me,
And marke what way I make: Come good my Lord.
Scoena Secunda.
3010Enter Autolicus, and a Gentleman.
Aut. Beseech you (Sir) were you present at this Re-
Gent.1. I was by at the opening of the Farthell, heard
the old Shepheard deliuer the manner how he found it:
3015Whereupon (after a little amazednesse) we were all com-
manded out of the Chamber: onely this (me thought) I
heard the Shepheard say, he found the Child.
Aut. I would most gladly know the issue of it.
Gent.1. I make a broken deliuerie of the Businesse;
3020but the changes I perceiued in the King, and Camillo, were
very Notes of admiration: they seem'd almost, with sta-
ring on one another, to teare the Cases of their Eyes.
There was speech in their dumbnesse, Language in their
very gesture: they look'd as they had heard of a World
3025ransom'd, or one destroyed: a notable passion of Won-
der appeared in them: but the wisest beholder, that knew
no more but seeing, could not say, if th' importance were
Ioy, or Sorrow; but in the extremitie of the one, it must
needs be. Enter another Gentleman.
3030Here comes a Gentleman, that happily knowes more:
The Newes, Rogero.
Gent.2. Nothing but Bon-fires: the Oracle is fulfill'd:
the Kings Daughter is found: such a deale of wonder is
broken out within this houre, that Ballad-makers cannot
3035be able to expresse it. Enter another Gentleman.
Here comes the Lady Paulina's Steward, hee can deliuer
you more. How goes it now (Sir.) This Newes (which
is call'd true) is so like an old Tale, that the veritie of it is
in strong suspition: Ha's the King found his Heire?
3040Gent.3. Most true, if euer Truth were pregnant by
Circumstance: That which you heare, you'le sweare
you see, there is such vnitie in the proofes. The Mantle
of Queene Hermiones: her Iewell about the Neck of it:
the Letters of Antigonus found with it, which they know
3045to be his Character: the Maiestie of the Creature, in re-
semblance of the Mother: the Affection of Noblenesse,
which Nature shewes aboue her Breeding, and many o-
ther Euidences, proclayme her, with all certaintie, to be
the Kings Daughter. Did you see the meeting of the
3050two Kings?
Gent.2. No.
Gent.3. Then haue you lost a Sight which was to bee
seene, cannot bee spoken of. There might you haue be-
held one Ioy crowne another, so and in such manner, that
3055it seem'd Sorrow wept to take leaue of them: for their
Ioy waded in teares. There was casting vp of Eyes, hol-
ding vp of Hands, with Countenance of such distraction,
that they were to be knowne by Garment, not by Fauor.
The Winters Tale. 301
Our King being ready to leape out of himselfe, for ioy of
3060his found Daughter; as if that Ioy were now become a
Losse, cryes, Oh, thy Mother, thy Mother: then askes
Bohemia forgiuenesse, then embraces his Sonne-in-Law:
then againe worryes he his Daughter, with clipping her.
Now he thanks the old Shepheard (which stands by, like
3065a Weather-bitten Conduit, of many Kings Reignes.) I
neuer heard of such another Encounter; which lames Re-
port to follow it, and vndo's description to doe it.
Gent.2. What, 'pray you, became of Antigonus, that
carryed hence the Child?
3070Gent.3. Like an old Tale still, which will haue matter
to rehearse, though Credit be asleepe, and not an eare o-
pen; he was torne to pieces with a Beare: This auouches
the Shepheards Sonne; who ha's not onely his Innocence
(which seemes much) to iustifie him, but a Hand-kerchief
3075and Rings of his, that Paulina knowes.
Gent.1. What became of his Barke, and his Fol-
Gent.3. Wrackt the same instant of their Masters
death, and in the view of the Shepheard: so that all the
3080Instruments which ayded to expose the Child, were euen
then lost, when it was found. But oh the Noble Combat,
that 'twixt Ioy and Sorrow was fought in Paulina. Shee
had one Eye declin'd for the losse of her Husband, ano-
ther eleuated, that the Oracle was fulfill'd: Shee lifted the
3085Princesse from the Earth, and so locks her in embracing,
as if shee would pin her to her heart, that shee might no
more be in danger of loosing.
Gent.1. The Dignitie of this Act was worth the au-
dience of Kings and Princes, for by such was it acted.
3090Gent.3. One of the prettyest touches of all, and that
which angl'd for mine Eyes (caught the Water, though
not the Fish) was, when at the Relation of the Queenes
death (with the manner how shee came to't, brauely con-
fess'd, and lamented by the King) how attentiuenesse
3095wounded his Daughter, till (from one signe of dolour to
another) shee did (with an Alas) I would faine say, bleed
Teares; for I am sure, my heart wept blood. Who was
most Marble, there changed colour: some swownded, all
sorrowed: if all the World could haue seen't, the Woe
3100had beene vniuersall.
Gent.1. Are they returned to the Court?
Gent.3. No: The Princesse hearing of her Mothers
Statue (which is in the keeping of Paulina) a Peece many
yeeres in doing, and now newly perform'd, by that rare
3105Italian Master, Iulio Romano, who (had he himselfe Eter-
nitie, and could put Breath into his Worke) would be-
guile Nature of her Custome, so perfectly he is her Ape:
He so neere to Hermione, hath done Hermione, that they
say one would speake to her, and stand in hope of answer.
3110Thither (with all greedinesse of affection) are they gone,
and there they intend to Sup.
Gent.2. I thought she had some great matter there in
hand, for shee hath priuately, twice or thrice a day, euer
since the death of Hermione, visited that remoued House.
3115Shall wee thither, and with our companie peece the Re-
Gent.1. Who would be thence, that ha's the benefit
of Accesse? euery winke of an Eye, some new Grace
will be borne: our Absence makes vs vnthriftie to our
3120Knowledge. Let's along. Exit.
Aut. Now (had I not the dash of my former life in
me) would Preferment drop on my head. I brought the
old man and his Sonne aboord the Prince; told him, I
heard them talke of a Farthell, and I know not what: but
3125he at that time ouer-fond of the Shepheards Daughter (so
he then tooke her to be) who began to be much Sea-sick,
and himselfe little better, extremitie of Weather conti-
nuing, this Mysterie remained vndiscouer'd. But 'tis all
one to me: for had I beene the finder-out of this Secret,
3130it would not haue rellish'd among my other discredits.
Enter Shepheard and Clowne.
Here come those I haue done good to against my will,
and alreadie appearing in the blossomes of their For-
3135Shep. Come Boy, I am past moe Children: but thy
Sonnes and Daughters will be all Gentlemen borne.
Clow. You are well met (Sir:) you deny'd to fight
with mee this other day, because I was no Gentleman
borne. See you these Clothes? say you see them not,
3140and thinke me still no Gentleman borne: You were best
say these Robes are not Gentlemen borne. Giue me the
Lye: doe: and try whether I am not now a Gentleman
Aut. I know you are now (Sir) a Gentleman borne.
3145Clow. I, and haue been so any time these foure houres.
Shep. And so haue I, Boy.
Clow. So you haue: but I was a Gentleman borne be-
fore my Father: for the Kings Sonne tooke me by the
hand, and call'd mee Brother: and then the two Kings
3150call'd my Father Brother: and then the Prince (my Bro-
ther) and the Princesse (my Sister) call'd my Father, Father;
and so wee wept: and there was the first Gentleman-like
teares that euer we shed.
Shep. We may liue (Sonne) to shed many more.
3155Clow. I: or else 'twere hard luck, being in so preposte-
rous estate as we are.
Aut. I humbly beseech you (Sir) to pardon me all the
faults I haue committed to your Worship, and to giue
me your good report to the Prince my Master.
3160Shep. 'Prethee Sonne doe: for we must be gentle, now
we are Gentlemen.
Clow. Thou wilt amend thy life?
Aut. I, and it like your good Worship.
Clow. Giue me thy hand: I will sweare to the Prince,
3165thou art as honest a true Fellow as any is in Bohemia.
Shep. You may say it, but not sweare it.
Clow. Not sweare it, now I am a Gentleman? Let
Boores and Francklins say it, Ile sweare it.
Shep. How if it be false (Sonne?)
3170Clow. If it be ne're so false, a true Gentleman may
sweare it, in the behalfe of his Friend: And Ile sweare to
the Prince, thou art a tall Fellow of thy hands, and that
thou wilt not be drunke: but I know thou art no tall Fel-
low of thy hands, and that thou wilt be drunke: but Ile
3175sweare it, and I would thou would'st be a tall Fellow of
thy hands.
Aut. I will proue so (Sir) to my power.
Clow. I, by any meanes proue a tall Fellow: if I do not
wonder, how thou dar'st venture to be drunke, not being
3180a tall Fellow, trust me not. Harke, the Kings and Prin-
ces (our Kindred) are going to see the Queenes Picture.
Come, follow vs: wee'le be thy good Masters. Exeunt.
Scaena Tertia.
Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Florizell, Perdita, Camillo,
3185Paulina: Hermione (like a Statue:) Lords, &c.
Leo. O graue and good Paulina, the great comfort
That I haue had of thee?
Cc Paul. What
302The Winters Tale.
Paul. What (Soueraigne Sir)
I did not well, I meant well: all my Seruices
3190You haue pay'd home. But that you haue vouchsaf'd
(With your Crown'd Brother, and these your contracted
Heires of your Kingdomes) my poore House to visit;
It is a surplus of your Grace, which neuer
My life may last to answere.
3195Leo. O Paulina,
We honor you with trouble: but we came
To see the Statue of our Queene. Your Gallerie
Haue we pass'd through, not without much content
In many singularities; but we saw not
3200That which my Daughter came to looke vpon,
The Statue of her Mother.
Paul. As she liu'd peerelesse,
So her dead likenesse I doe well beleeue
Excells what euer yet you look'd vpon,
3205Or hand of Man hath done: therefore I keepe it
Louely, apart. But here it is: prepare
To see the Life as liuely mock'd, as euer
Still Sleepe mock'd Death: behold, and say 'tis well.
I like your silence, it the more shewes-off
3210Your wonder: but yet speake, first you (my Liege)
Comes it not something neere?
Leo. Her naturall Posture.
Chide me (deare Stone) that I may say indeed
Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she,
3215In thy not chiding: for she was as tender
As Infancie, and Grace. But yet (Paulina)
Hermione was not so much wrinckled, nothing
So aged as this seemes.
Pol. Oh, not by much.
3220Paul. So much the more our Caruers excellence,
Which lets goe-by some sixteene yeeres, and makes her
As she liu'd now.
Leo. As now she might haue done,
So much to my good comfort, as it is
3225Now piercing to my Soule. Oh, thus she stood,
Euen with such Life of Maiestie (warme Life,
As now it coldly stands) when first I woo'd her.
I am asham'd: Do's not the Stone rebuke me,
For being more Stone then it? Oh Royall Peece:
3230There's Magick in thy Maiestie, which ha's
My Euils coniur'd to remembrance; and
From thy admiring Daughter tooke the Spirits,
Standing like Stone with thee.
Perd. And giue me leaue,
3235And doe not say 'tis Superstition, that
I kneele, and then implore her Blessing. Lady,
Deere Queene, that ended when I but began,
Giue me that hand of yours, to kisse.
Paul. O, patience:
3240The Statue is but newly fix'd; the Colour's
Not dry.
Cam. My Lord, your Sorrow was too sore lay'd-on,
Which sixteene Winters cannot blow away,
So many Summers dry: scarce any Ioy
3245Did euer so long liue; no Sorrow,
But kill'd it selfe much sooner.
Pol. Deere my Brother,
Let him, that was the cause of this, haue powre
To take-off so much griefe from you, as he
3250Will peece vp in himselfe.
Paul. Indeed my Lord,
If I had thought the sight of my poore Image
Would thus haue wrought you (for the Stone is mine)
Il'd not haue shew'd it.
3255Leo. Doe not draw the Curtaine.
Paul. No longer shall you gaze on't, least your Fancie
May thinke anon, it moues.
Leo. Let be, let be:
Would I were dead, but that me thinkes alreadie.
3260(What was he that did make it?) See (my Lord)
Would you not deeme it breath'd? and that those veines
Did verily beare blood?
Pol. 'Masterly done:
The very Life seemes warme vpon her Lippe.
3265Leo. The fixure of her Eye ha's motion in't,
As we are mock'd with Art.
Paul. Ile draw the Curtaine:
My Lord's almost so farre transported, that
Hee'le thinke anon it liues.
3270Leo. Oh sweet Paulina,
Make me to thinke so twentie yeeres together:
No setled Sences of the World can match
The pleasure of that madnesse. Let't alone.
Paul. I am sorry (Sir) I haue thus farre stir'd you: but
3275I could afflict you farther.
Leo. Doe Paulina:
For this Affliction ha's a taste as sweet
As any Cordiall comfort. Still me thinkes
There is an ayre comes from her. What fine Chizzell
3280Could euer yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,
For I will kisse her.
Paul. Good my Lord, forbeare:
The ruddinesse vpon her Lippe, is wet:
You'le marre it, if you kisse it; stayne your owne
3285With Oyly Painting: shall I draw the Curtaine.
Leo. No: not these twentie yeeres.
Perd. So long could I
Stand-by, a looker-on.
Paul. Either forbeare,
3290Quit presently the Chappell, or resolue you
For more amazement: if you can behold it,
Ile make the Statue moue indeed; descend,
And take you by the hand: but then you'le thinke
(Which I protest against) I am assisted
3295By wicked Powers.
Leo. What you can make her doe,
I am content to looke on: what to speake,
I am content to heare: for 'tis as easie
To make her speake, as moue.
3300Paul. It is requir'd
You doe awake your Faith: then, all stand still:
On: those that thinke it is vnlawfull Businesse
I am about, let them depart.
Leo. Proceed:
3305No foot shall stirre.
Paul. Musick; awake her: Strike:
'Tis time: descend: be Stone no more: approach:
Strike all that looke vpon with meruaile: Come:
Ile fill your Graue vp: stirre: nay, come away:
3310Bequeath to Death your numnesse: (for from him,
Deare Life redeemes you) you perceiue she stirres:
Start not: her Actions shall be holy, as
You heare my Spell is lawfull: doe not shun her,
Vntill you see her dye againe; for then
3315You kill her double: Nay, present your Hand:
When she was young, you woo'd her: now, in age,
Is she become the Suitor?
Leo. Oh, she's warme:
If this be Magick, let it be an Art
The Winters Tale. 303
3320Lawfull as Eating.
Pol. She embraces him.
Cam. She hangs about his necke,
If she pertaine to life, let her speake too.
Pol. I, and make it manifest where she ha's liu'd,
3325Or how stolne from the dead?
Paul. That she is liuing,
Were it but told you, should be hooted at
Like an old Tale: but it appeares she liues,
Though yet she speake not. Marke a little while:
3330Please you to interpose (faire Madam) kneele,
And pray your Mothers blessing: turne good Lady,
Our Perdita is found.
Her. You Gods looke downe,
And from your sacred Viols poure your graces
3335Vpon my daughters head: Tell me (mine owne)
Where hast thou bin preseru'd? Where liu'd? How found
Thy Fathers Court? For thou shalt heare that I
Knowing by Paulina, that the Oracle
Gaue hope thou wast in being, haue preseru'd
3340My selfe, to see the yssue.
Paul. There's time enough for that,
Least they desire (vpon this push) to trouble
Your ioyes, with like Relation. Go together
You precious winners all: your exultation
3345Partake to euery one: I (an old Turtle)
Will wing me to some wither'd bough, and there
My Mate (that's neuer to be found againe)
Lament, till I am lost.
Leo. O peace Paulina:
3350Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent,
As I by thine a Wife. This is a Match,
And made betweene's by Vowes. Thou hast found mine,
But how, is to be question'd: for I saw her
(As I thought) dead: and haue (in vaine) said many
3355A prayer vpon her graue. Ile not seeke farre
(For him, I partly know his minde) to finde thee
An honourable husband. Come Camillo,
And take her by the hand: whose worth, and honesty
Is richly noted: and heere iustified
3360By Vs, a paire of Kings. Let's from this place.
What? looke vpon my Brother: both your pardons,
That ere I put betweene your holy lookes
My ill suspition: This your Son-in-law,
And Sonne vnto the King, whom heauens directing
3365Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,
Leade vs from hence, where we may leysurely
Each one demand, and answere to his part
Perform'd in this wide gap of Time, since first
We were disseuer'd: Hastily lead away. Exeunt.
3369.1The Names of the Actors.
Leontes, King of Sicillia.
Mamillus, yong Prince of Sicillia.
Camillo. }
3369.5Antigonus. } Foure
Cleomines. } Lords of Sicillia.
Dion. }
Hermione, Queene to Leontes.
Perdita, Daughter to Leontes and Hermione.
3369.10Paulina, wife to Antigonus.
Emilia, a Lady.
Polixenes, King of Bohemia.
Florizell, Prince of Bohemia.
Old Shepheard, reputed Father of Perdita.
3369.15Clowne, his Sonne.
Autolicus, a Rogue.
Archidamus, a Lord of Bohemia.
Other Lords, and Gentlemen, and Seruants.
Shepheards, and Shephearddesses.
3369.20 FINIS.