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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)

    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
    The Winters Tale. 289
    can reade Waiting-Gentlewoman in the scape: this has
    1515beene some staire-worke, some Trunke-worke, some be-
    hinde-doore worke: they were warmer that got this,
    then the poore Thing is heere. Ile take it vp for pity, yet
    Ile tarry till my sonne come: he hallow'd but euen now.
    1520Enter Clowne.
    Clo. Hilloa, loa.
    Shep. What? art so neere? If thou'lt see a thing to
    talke on, when thou art dead and rotten, come hither:
    what ayl'st thou, man?
    1525Clo. I haue seene two such sights, by Sea & by Land:
    but I am not to say it is a Sea, for it is now the skie, be-
    twixt the Firmament and it, you cannot thrust a bodkins
    Shep. Why boy, how is it?
    1530Clo. I would you did but see how it chafes, how it ra-
    ges, how it takes vp the shore, but that's not to the point:
    Oh, the most pitteous cry of the poore soules, sometimes
    to see 'em, and not to see 'em: Now the Shippe boaring
    the Moone with her maine Mast, and anon swallowed
    1535with yest and froth, as you'ld thrust a Corke into a hogs-
    head. And then for the Land-seruice, to see how the
    Beare tore out his shoulder-bone, how he cride to mee
    for helpe, and said his name was Antigonus, a Nobleman:
    But to make an end of the Ship, to see how the Sea flap-
    1540dragon'd it: but first, how the poore soules roared, and
    the sea mock'd them: and how the poore Gentleman roa-
    red, and the Beare mock'd him, both roaring lowder
    then the sea, or weather.
    Shep. Name of mercy, when was this boy?
    1545Clo. Now, now: I haue not wink'd since I saw these
    sights: the men are not yet cold vnder water, nor the
    Beare halfe din'd on the Gentleman: he's at it now.
    Shep. Would I had bin by, to haue help'd the olde
    1550Clo. I would you had beene by the ship side, to haue
    help'd her; there your charity would haue lack'd footing.
    Shep. Heauy matters, heauy matters: but looke thee
    heere boy. Now blesse thy selfe: thou met'st with things
    dying, I with things new borne. Here's a sight for thee:
    1555Looke thee, a bearing-cloath for a Squires childe: looke
    thee heere, take vp, take vp (Boy:) open't: so, let's see, it
    was told me I should be rich by the Fairies. This is some
    Changeling: open't: what's within, boy?
    Clo. You're a mad olde man: If the sinnes of your
    1560youth are forgiuen you, you're well to liue. Golde, all
    Shep. This is Faiery Gold boy, and 'twill proue so: vp
    with't, keepe it close: home, home, the next way. We
    are luckie (boy) and to bee so still requires nothing but
    1565secrecie. Let my sheepe go: Come (good boy) the next
    way home.
    Clo. Go you the next way with your Findings, Ile go
    see if the Beare bee gone from the Gentleman, and how
    much he hath eaten: they are neuer curst but when they
    1570are hungry: if there be any of him left, Ile bury it.
    Shep. That's a good deed: if thou mayest discerne by
    that which is left of him, what he is, fetch me to th' sight
    of him.
    Clowne. 'Marry will I: and you shall helpe to put him
    1575i'th' ground.
    Shep. 'Tis a lucky day, boy, and wee'l do good deeds
    on't. Exeunt