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About this text

  • Title: The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Hardin Aasand
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-367-0

    Copyright Hardin Aasand. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Hardin Aasand
    Peer Reviewed

    The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

    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,