Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardin Aasand
Peer Reviewed

The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

Scena Secunda.
Enter Polixenes, and Camillo.
Pol. I pray thee (good Camillo) be no more importu-
1615nate: 'tis a sicknesse denying thee any thing: a death to
grant this.
Cam. It is fifteene yeeres since I saw my Countrey:
though I haue (for the most part) bin ayred abroad, I de-
sire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent King
1620(my Master) hath sent for me, to whose feeling sorrowes
I might be some allay, or I oreweene to thinke so) which
is another spurre to my departure.
Pol. As thou lou'st me (Camillo) wipe not out the rest
of thy seruices, by leauing me now: the neede I haue of
1625thee, thine owne goodnesse hath made: better not to
haue had thee, then thus to want thee, thou hauing made
me Businesses, (which none (without thee) can suffici-
ently manage) must either stay to execute them thy selfe,
or take away with thee the very seruices thou hast done:
1630which if I haue not enough considered (as too much I
cannot) to bee more thankefull to thee, shall bee my stu-
die, and my profite therein, the heaping friendshippes.
Of that fatall Countrey Sicillia, prethee speake no more,
whose very naming, punnishes me with the remembrance
Bb of
290The Winters Tale.
1635of that penitent (as thou calst him) and reconciled King
my brother, whose losse of his most precious Queene &
Children, are euen now to be a-fresh lamented. Say to
me, when saw'st thou the Prince Florizell my son? Kings
are no lesse vnhappy, their issue, not being gracious, then
1640they are in loosing them, when they haue approued their
Cam. Sir, it is three dayes since I saw the Prince: what
his happier affayres may be, are to me vnknowne: but I
haue (missingly) noted, he is of late much retyred from
1645Court, and is lesse frequent to his Princely exercises then
formerly he hath appeared.
Pol. I haue considered so much (Camillo) and with
some care, so farre, that I haue eyes vnder my seruice,
which looke vpon his remouednesse: from whom I haue
1650this Intelligence, that he is seldome from the house of a
most homely shepheard: a man (they say) that from very
nothing, and beyond the imagination of his neighbors,
is growne into an vnspeakable estate.
Cam. I haue heard (sir) of such a man, who hath a
1655daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended
more, then can be thought to begin from such a cottage
Pol. That's likewise part of my Intelligence: but (I
feare) the Angle that pluckes our sonne thither. Thou
shalt accompany vs to the place, where we will (not ap-
1660pearing what we are) haue some question with the shep-
heard; from whose simplicity, I thinke it not vneasie to
get the cause of my sonnes resort thether. 'Prethe be my
present partner in this busines, and lay aside the thoughts
of Sicillia.
1665Cam. I willingly obey your command.
Pol. My best Camillo, we must disguise our selues. Exit