Internet Shakespeare Editions

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,