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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)

    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,