Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardin Aasand
Peer Reviewed

The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

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