Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardin Aasand
Peer Reviewed

The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

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;