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Winter's Tale-

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Winter's Tale Shakespeare homepage | Winter's Tale | Entire play ACT I SCENE I. Antechamber in LEONTES' palace.

   Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS 

ARCHIDAMUS

   If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on
   the like occasion whereon my services are now on
   foot, you shall see, as I have said, great
   difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia.

CAMILLO

   I think, this coming summer, the King of Sicilia
   means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.

ARCHIDAMUS

   Wherein our entertainment shall shame us we will be
   justified in our loves; for indeed--

CAMILLO

   Beseech you,--

ARCHIDAMUS

   Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge:
   we cannot with such magnificence--in so rare--I know
   not what to say. We will give you sleepy drinks,
   that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience,
   may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse
   us.

CAMILLO

   You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.

ARCHIDAMUS

   Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me
   and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.

CAMILLO

   Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia.
   They were trained together in their childhoods; and
   there rooted betwixt them then such an affection,
   which cannot choose but branch now. Since their
   more mature dignities and royal necessities made
   separation of their society, their encounters,
   though not personal, have been royally attorneyed
   with interchange of gifts, letters, loving
   embassies; that they have seemed to be together,
   though absent, shook hands, as over a vast, and
   embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed
   winds. The heavens continue their loves!

ARCHIDAMUS

   I think there is not in the world either malice or
   matter to alter it. You have an unspeakable
   comfort of your young prince Mamillius: it is a
   gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came
   into my note.

CAMILLO

   I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: it
   is a gallant child; one that indeed physics the
   subject, makes old hearts fresh: they that went on
   crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to
   see him a man.

ARCHIDAMUS

   Would they else be content to die?

CAMILLO

   Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should
   desire to live.

ARCHIDAMUS

   If the king had no son, they would desire to live
   on crutches till he had one.
   Exeunt

SCENE II. A room of state in the same.

   Enter LEONTES, HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, POLIXENES, CAMILLO, and Attendants 

POLIXENES

   Nine changes of the watery star hath been
   The shepherd's note since we have left our throne
   Without a burthen: time as long again
   Would be find up, my brother, with our thanks;
   And yet we should, for perpetuity,
   Go hence in debt: and therefore, like a cipher,
   Yet standing in rich place, I multiply
   With one 'We thank you' many thousands moe
   That go before it.

LEONTES

   Stay your thanks a while;
   And pay them when you part.

POLIXENES

   Sir, that's to-morrow.
   I am question'd by my fears, of what may chance
   Or breed upon our absence; that may blow
   No sneaping winds at home, to make us say
   'This is put forth too truly:' besides, I have stay'd
   To tire your royalty.

LEONTES

   We are tougher, brother,
   Than you can put us to't.

POLIXENES

   No longer stay.

LEONTES

   One seven-night longer.

POLIXENES

   Very sooth, to-morrow.

LEONTES

   We'll part the time between's then; and in that
   I'll no gainsaying.

POLIXENES

   Press me not, beseech you, so.
   There is no tongue that moves, none, none i' the world,
   So soon as yours could win me: so it should now,
   Were there necessity in your request, although
   'Twere needful I denied it. My affairs
   Do even drag me homeward: which to hinder
   Were in your love a whip to me; my stay
   To you a charge and trouble: to save both,
   Farewell, our brother.

LEONTES

   Tongue-tied, our queen?
   speak you.

HERMIONE

   I had thought, sir, to have held my peace until
   You have drawn oaths from him not to stay. You, sir,
   Charge him too coldly. Tell him, you are sure
   All in Bohemia's well; this satisfaction
   The by-gone day proclaim'd: say this to him,
   He's beat from his best ward.

LEONTES

   Well said, Hermione.

HERMIONE

   To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong:
   But let him say so then, and let him go;
   But let him swear so, and he shall not stay,
   We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.
   Yet of your royal presence I'll adventure
   The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
   You take my lord, I'll give him my commission
   To let him there a month behind the gest
   Prefix'd for's parting: yet, good deed, Leontes,
   I love thee not a jar o' the clock behind
   What lady-she her lord. You'll stay?

POLIXENES

   No, madam.

HERMIONE

   Nay, but you will?

POLIXENES

   I may not, verily.

HERMIONE

   Verily!
   You put me off with limber vows; but I,
   Though you would seek to unsphere the
   stars with oaths,
   Should yet say 'Sir, no going.' Verily,
   You shall not go: a lady's 'Verily' 's
   As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?
   Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
   Not like a guest; so you shall pay your fees
   When you depart, and save your thanks. How say you?
   My prisoner? or my guest? by your dread 'Verily,'
   One of them you shall be.

POLIXENES

   Your guest, then, madam:
   To be your prisoner should import offending;
   Which is for me less easy to commit
   Than you to punish.

HERMIONE

   Not your gaoler, then,
   But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you
   Of my lord's tricks and yours when you were boys:
   You were pretty lordings then?

POLIXENES

   We were, fair queen,
   Two lads that thought there was no more behind
   But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
   And to be boy eternal.

HERMIONE

   Was not my lord
   The verier wag o' the two?

POLIXENES

   We were as twinn'd lambs that did frisk i' the sun,
   And bleat the one at the other: what we changed
   Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
   The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd
   That any did. Had we pursued that life,
   And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd
   With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
   Boldly 'not guilty;' the imposition clear'd
   Hereditary ours.

HERMIONE

   By this we gather
   You have tripp'd since.

POLIXENES

   O my most sacred lady!
   Temptations have since then been born to's; for
   In those unfledged days was my wife a girl;
   Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
   Of my young play-fellow.

HERMIONE

   Grace to boot!
   Of this make no conclusion, lest you say
   Your queen and I are devils: yet go on;
   The offences we have made you do we'll answer,
   If you first sinn'd with us and that with us
   You did continue fault and that you slipp'd not
   With any but with us.

LEONTES

   Is he won yet?

HERMIONE

   He'll stay my lord.

LEONTES

   At my request he would not.
   Hermione, my dearest, thou never spokest
   To better purpose.

HERMIONE

   Never?

LEONTES

   Never, but once.

HERMIONE

   What! have I twice said well? when was't before?
   I prithee tell me; cram's with praise, and make's
   As fat as tame things: one good deed dying tongueless
   Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that.
   Our praises are our wages: you may ride's
   With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs ere
   With spur we beat an acre. But to the goal:
   My last good deed was to entreat his stay:
   What was my first? it has an elder sister,
   Or I mistake you: O, would her name were Grace!
   But once before I spoke to the purpose: when?
   Nay, let me have't; I long.

LEONTES

   Why, that was when
   Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to death,
   Ere I could make thee open thy white hand
   And clap thyself my love: then didst thou utter
   'I am yours for ever.'

HERMIONE

   'Tis grace indeed.
   Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice:
   The one for ever earn'd a royal husband;
   The other for some while a friend.

LEONTES

   [Aside] Too hot, too hot!
   To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.
   I have tremor cordis on me: my heart dances;
   But not for joy; not joy. This entertainment
   May a free face put on, derive a liberty
   From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
   And well become the agent; 't may, I grant;
   But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,
   As now they are, and making practised smiles,
   As in a looking-glass, and then to sigh, as 'twere
   The mort o' the deer; O, that is entertainment
   My bosom likes not, nor my brows! Mamillius,
   Art thou my boy?

MAMILLIUS

   Ay, my good lord.

LEONTES

   I' fecks!
   Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast
   smutch'd thy nose?
   They say it is a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
   We must be neat; not neat, but cleanly, captain:
   And yet the steer, the heifer and the calf
   Are all call'd neat.--Still virginalling
   Upon his palm!--How now, you wanton calf!
   Art thou my calf?

MAMILLIUS

   Yes, if you will, my lord.

LEONTES

   Thou want'st a rough pash and the shoots that I have,
   To be full like me: yet they say we are
   Almost as like as eggs; women say so,
   That will say anything but were they false
   As o'er-dyed blacks, as wind, as waters, false
   As dice are to be wish'd by one that fixes
   No bourn 'twixt his and mine, yet were it true
   To say this boy were like me. Come, sir page,
   Look on me with your welkin eye: sweet villain!
   Most dear'st! my collop! Can thy dam?--may't be?--
   Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:
   Thou dost make possible things not so held,
   Communicatest with dreams;--how can this be?--
   With what's unreal thou coactive art,
   And fellow'st nothing: then 'tis very credent
   Thou mayst co-join with something; and thou dost,
   And that beyond commission, and I find it,
   And that to the infection of my brains
   And hardening of my brows.

POLIXENES

   What means Sicilia?

HERMIONE

   He something seems unsettled.

POLIXENES

   How, my lord!
   What cheer? how is't with you, best brother?

HERMIONE

   You look as if you held a brow of much distraction
   Are you moved, my lord?

LEONTES

   No, in good earnest.
   How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
   Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime
   To harder bosoms! Looking on the lines
   Of my boy's face, methoughts I did recoil
   Twenty-three years, and saw myself unbreech'd,
   In my green velvet coat, my dagger muzzled,
   Lest it should bite its master, and so prove,
   As ornaments oft do, too dangerous:
   How like, methought, I then was to this kernel,
   This squash, this gentleman. Mine honest friend,
   Will you take eggs for money?

MAMILLIUS

   No, my lord, I'll fight.

LEONTES

   You will! why, happy man be's dole! My brother,
   Are you so fond of your young prince as we
   Do seem to be of ours?

POLIXENES

   If at home, sir,
   He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter,
   Now my sworn friend and then mine enemy,
   My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all:
   He makes a July's day short as December,
   And with his varying childness cures in me
   Thoughts that would thick my blood.

LEONTES

   So stands this squire
   Officed with me: we two will walk, my lord,
   And leave you to your graver steps. Hermione,
   How thou lovest us, show in our brother's welcome;
   Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap:
   Next to thyself and my young rover, he's
   Apparent to my heart.

HERMIONE

   If you would seek us,
   We are yours i' the garden: shall's attend you there?

LEONTES

   To your own bents dispose you: you'll be found,
   Be you beneath the sky.
   Aside
   I am angling now,
   Though you perceive me not how I give line.
   Go to, go to!
   How she holds up the neb, the bill to him!
   And arms her with the boldness of a wife
   To her allowing husband!
   Exeunt POLIXENES, HERMIONE, and Attendants
   Gone already!
   Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and
   ears a fork'd one!
   Go, play, boy, play: thy mother plays, and I
   Play too, but so disgraced a part, whose issue
   Will hiss me to my grave: contempt and clamour
   Will be my knell. Go, play, boy, play.
   There have been,
   Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now;
   And many a man there is, even at this present,
   Now while I speak this, holds his wife by the arm,
   That little thinks she has been sluiced in's absence
   And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour, by
   Sir Smile, his neighbour: nay, there's comfort in't
   Whiles other men have gates and those gates open'd,
   As mine, against their will. Should all despair
   That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
   Would hang themselves. Physic for't there is none;
   It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
   Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful, think it,
   From east, west, north and south: be it concluded,
   No barricado for a belly; know't;
   It will let in and out the enemy
   With bag and baggage: many thousand on's
   Have the disease, and feel't not. How now, boy!

MAMILLIUS

   I am like you, they say.

LEONTES

   Why that's some comfort. What, Camillo there?

CAMILLO

   Ay, my good lord.

LEONTES

   Go play, Mamillius; thou'rt an honest man.
   Exit MAMILLIUS
   Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.

CAMILLO

   You had much ado to make his anchor hold:
   When you cast out, it still came home.

LEONTES

   Didst note it?

CAMILLO

   He would not stay at your petitions: made
   His business more material.

LEONTES

   Didst perceive it?
   Aside
   They're here with me already, whispering, rounding
   'Sicilia is a so-forth:' 'tis far gone,
   When I shall gust it last. How came't, Camillo,
   That he did stay?

CAMILLO

   At the good queen's entreaty.

LEONTES

   At the queen's be't: 'good' should be pertinent
   But, so it is, it is not. Was this taken
   By any understanding pate but thine?
   For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in
   More than the common blocks: not noted, is't,
   But of the finer natures? by some severals
   Of head-piece extraordinary? lower messes
   Perchance are to this business purblind? say.

CAMILLO

   Business, my lord! I think most understand
   Bohemia stays here longer.

LEONTES

   Ha!

CAMILLO

   Stays here longer.

LEONTES

   Ay, but why?

CAMILLO

   To satisfy your highness and the entreaties
   Of our most gracious mistress.

LEONTES

   Satisfy!
   The entreaties of your mistress! satisfy!
   Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Camillo,
   With all the nearest things to my heart, as well
   My chamber-councils, wherein, priest-like, thou
   Hast cleansed my bosom, I from thee departed
   Thy penitent reform'd: but we have been
   Deceived in thy integrity, deceived
   In that which seems so.

CAMILLO

   Be it forbid, my lord!

LEONTES

   To bide upon't, thou art not honest, or,
   If thou inclinest that way, thou art a coward,
   Which hoxes honesty behind, restraining
   From course required; or else thou must be counted
   A servant grafted in my serious trust
   And therein negligent; or else a fool
   That seest a game play'd home, the rich stake drawn,
   And takest it all for jest.

CAMILLO

   My gracious lord,
   I may be negligent, foolish and fearful;
   In every one of these no man is free,
   But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
   Among the infinite doings of the world,
   Sometime puts forth. In your affairs, my lord,
   If ever I were wilful-negligent,
   It was my folly; if industriously
   I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
   Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
   To do a thing, where I the issue doubted,
   Where of the execution did cry out
   Against the non-performance, 'twas a fear
   Which oft infects the wisest: these, my lord,
   Are such allow'd infirmities that honesty
   Is never free of. But, beseech your grace,
   Be plainer with me; let me know my trespass
   By its own visage: if I then deny it,
   'Tis none of mine.

LEONTES

   Ha' not you seen, Camillo,--
   But that's past doubt, you have, or your eye-glass
   Is thicker than a cuckold's horn,--or heard,--
   For to a vision so apparent rumour
   Cannot be mute,--or thought,--for cogitation
   Resides not in that man that does not think,--
   My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess,
   Or else be impudently negative,
   To have nor eyes nor ears nor thought, then say
   My wife's a hobby-horse, deserves a name
   As rank as any flax-wench that puts to
   Before her troth-plight: say't and justify't.

CAMILLO

   I would not be a stander-by to hear
   My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
   My present vengeance taken: 'shrew my heart,
   You never spoke what did become you less
   Than this; which to reiterate were sin
   As deep as that, though true.

LEONTES

   Is whispering nothing?
   Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
   Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
   Of laughing with a sigh?--a note infallible
   Of breaking honesty--horsing foot on foot?
   Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
   Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes
   Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,
   That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
   Why, then the world and all that's in't is nothing;
   The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
   My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
   If this be nothing.

CAMILLO

   Good my lord, be cured
   Of this diseased opinion, and betimes;
   For 'tis most dangerous.

LEONTES

   Say it be, 'tis true.

CAMILLO

   No, no, my lord.

LEONTES

   It is; you lie, you lie:
   I say thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee,
   Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave,
   Or else a hovering temporizer, that
   Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
   Inclining to them both: were my wife's liver
   Infected as her life, she would not live
   The running of one glass.

CAMILLO

   Who does infect her?

LEONTES

   Why, he that wears her like a medal, hanging
   About his neck, Bohemia: who, if I
   Had servants true about me, that bare eyes
   To see alike mine honour as their profits,
   Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
   Which should undo more doing: ay, and thou,
   His cupbearer,--whom I from meaner form
   Have benched and reared to worship, who mayst see
   Plainly as heaven sees earth and earth sees heaven,
   How I am galled,--mightst bespice a cup,
   To give mine enemy a lasting wink;
   Which draught to me were cordial.

CAMILLO

   Sir, my lord,
   I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
   But with a lingering dram that should not work
   Maliciously like poison: but I cannot
   Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
   So sovereignly being honourable.
   I have loved thee,--

LEONTES

   Make that thy question, and go rot!
   Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled,
   To appoint myself in this vexation, sully
   The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
   Which to preserve is sleep, which being spotted
   Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wasps,
   Give scandal to the blood o' the prince my son,
   Who I do think is mine and love as mine,
   Without ripe moving to't? Would I do this?
   Could man so blench?

CAMILLO

   I must believe you, sir:
   I do; and will fetch off Bohemia for't;
   Provided that, when he's removed, your highness
   Will take again your queen as yours at first,
   Even for your son's sake; and thereby for sealing
   The injury of tongues in courts and kingdoms
   Known and allied to yours.

LEONTES

   Thou dost advise me
   Even so as I mine own course have set down:
   I'll give no blemish to her honour, none.

CAMILLO

   My lord,
   Go then; and with a countenance as clear
   As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia
   And with your queen. I am his cupbearer:
   If from me he have wholesome beverage,
   Account me not your servant.

LEONTES

   This is all:
   Do't and thou hast the one half of my heart;
   Do't not, thou split'st thine own.

CAMILLO

   I'll do't, my lord.

LEONTES

   I will seem friendly, as thou hast advised me.
   Exit

CAMILLO

   O miserable lady! But, for me,
   What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner
   Of good Polixenes; and my ground to do't
   Is the obedience to a master, one
   Who in rebellion with himself will have
   All that are his so too. To do this deed,
   Promotion follows. If I could find example
   Of thousands that had struck anointed kings
   And flourish'd after, I'ld not do't; but since
   Nor brass nor stone nor parchment bears not one,
   Let villany itself forswear't. I must
   Forsake the court: to do't, or no, is certain
   To me a break-neck. Happy star, reign now!
   Here comes Bohemia.
   Re-enter POLIXENES

POLIXENES

   This is strange: methinks
   My favour here begins to warp. Not speak?
   Good day, Camillo.

CAMILLO

   Hail, most royal sir!

POLIXENES

   What is the news i' the court?

CAMILLO

   None rare, my lord.

POLIXENES

   The king hath on him such a countenance
   As he had lost some province and a region
   Loved as he loves himself: even now I met him
   With customary compliment; when he,
   Wafting his eyes to the contrary and falling
   A lip of much contempt, speeds from me and
   So leaves me to consider what is breeding
   That changeth thus his manners.

CAMILLO

   I dare not know, my lord.

POLIXENES

   How! dare not! do not. Do you know, and dare not?
   Be intelligent to me: 'tis thereabouts;
   For, to yourself, what you do know, you must.
   And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo,
   Your changed complexions are to me a mirror
   Which shows me mine changed too; for I must be
   A party in this alteration, finding
   Myself thus alter'd with 't.

CAMILLO

   There is a sickness
   Which puts some of us in distemper, but
   I cannot name the disease; and it is caught
   Of you that yet are well.

POLIXENES

   How! caught of me!
   Make me not sighted like the basilisk:
   I have look'd on thousands, who have sped the better
   By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo,--
   As you are certainly a gentleman, thereto
   Clerk-like experienced, which no less adorns
   Our gentry than our parents' noble names,
   In whose success we are gentle,--I beseech you,
   If you know aught which does behove my knowledge
   Thereof to be inform'd, imprison't not
   In ignorant concealment.

CAMILLO

   I may not answer.

POLIXENES

   A sickness caught of me, and yet I well!
   I must be answer'd. Dost thou hear, Camillo,
   I conjure thee, by all the parts of man
   Which honour does acknowledge, whereof the least
   Is not this suit of mine, that thou declare
   What incidency thou dost guess of harm
   Is creeping toward me; how far off, how near;
   Which way to be prevented, if to be;
   If not, how best to bear it.

CAMILLO

   Sir, I will tell you;
   Since I am charged in honour and by him
   That I think honourable: therefore mark my counsel,
   Which must be even as swiftly follow'd as
   I mean to utter it, or both yourself and me
   Cry lost, and so good night!

POLIXENES

   On, good Camillo.

CAMILLO

   I am appointed him to murder you.

POLIXENES

   By whom, Camillo?

CAMILLO

   By the king.

POLIXENES

   For what?

CAMILLO

   He thinks, nay, with all confidence he swears,
   As he had seen't or been an instrument
   To vice you to't, that you have touch'd his queen
   Forbiddenly.

POLIXENES

   O, then my best blood turn
   To an infected jelly and my name
   Be yoked with his that did betray the Best!
   Turn then my freshest reputation to
   A savour that may strike the dullest nostril
   Where I arrive, and my approach be shunn'd,
   Nay, hated too, worse than the great'st infection
   That e'er was heard or read!

CAMILLO

   Swear his thought over
   By each particular star in heaven and
   By all their influences, you may as well
   Forbid the sea for to obey the moon
   As or by oath remove or counsel shake
   The fabric of his folly, whose foundation
   Is piled upon his faith and will continue
   The standing of his body.

POLIXENES

   How should this grow?

CAMILLO

   I know not: but I am sure 'tis safer to
   Avoid what's grown than question how 'tis born.
   If therefore you dare trust my honesty,
   That lies enclosed in this trunk which you
   Shall bear along impawn'd, away to-night!
   Your followers I will whisper to the business,
   And will by twos and threes at several posterns
   Clear them o' the city. For myself, I'll put
   My fortunes to your service, which are here
   By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain;
   For, by the honour of my parents, I
   Have utter'd truth: which if you seek to prove,
   I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer
   Than one condemn'd by the king's own mouth, thereon
   His execution sworn.

POLIXENES

   I do believe thee:
   I saw his heart in 's face. Give me thy hand:
   Be pilot to me and thy places shall
   Still neighbour mine. My ships are ready and
   My people did expect my hence departure
   Two days ago. This jealousy
   Is for a precious creature: as she's rare,
   Must it be great, and as his person's mighty,
   Must it be violent, and as he does conceive
   He is dishonour'd by a man which ever
   Profess'd to him, why, his revenges must
   In that be made more bitter. Fear o'ershades me:
   Good expedition be my friend, and comfort
   The gracious queen, part of his theme, but nothing
   Of his ill-ta'en suspicion! Come, Camillo;
   I will respect thee as a father if
   Thou bear'st my life off hence: let us avoid.

CAMILLO

   It is in mine authority to command
   The keys of all the posterns: please your highness
   To take the urgent hour. Come, sir, away.
   Exeunt

ACT II SCENE I. A room in LEONTES' palace.

   Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies 

HERMIONE

   Take the boy to you: he so troubles me,
   'Tis past enduring.

First Lady

   Come, my gracious lord,
   Shall I be your playfellow?

MAMILLIUS

   No, I'll none of you.

First Lady

   Why, my sweet lord?

MAMILLIUS

   You'll kiss me hard and speak to me as if
   I were a baby still. I love you better.

Second Lady

   And why so, my lord?

MAMILLIUS

   Not for because
   Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they say,
   Become some women best, so that there be not
   Too much hair there, but in a semicircle
   Or a half-moon made with a pen.

Second Lady

   Who taught you this?

MAMILLIUS

   I learnt it out of women's faces. Pray now
   What colour are your eyebrows?

First Lady

   Blue, my lord.

MAMILLIUS

   Nay, that's a mock: I have seen a lady's nose
   That has been blue, but not her eyebrows.

First Lady

   Hark ye;
   The queen your mother rounds apace: we shall
   Present our services to a fine new prince
   One of these days; and then you'ld wanton with us,
   If we would have you.

Second Lady

   She is spread of late
   Into a goodly bulk: good time encounter her!

HERMIONE

   What wisdom stirs amongst you? Come, sir, now
   I am for you again: pray you, sit by us,
   And tell 's a tale.

MAMILLIUS

   Merry or sad shall't be?

HERMIONE

   As merry as you will.

MAMILLIUS

   A sad tale's best for winter: I have one
   Of sprites and goblins.

HERMIONE

   Let's have that, good sir.
   Come on, sit down: come on, and do your best
   To fright me with your sprites; you're powerful at it.

MAMILLIUS

   There was a man--

HERMIONE

   Nay, come, sit down; then on.

MAMILLIUS

   Dwelt by a churchyard: I will tell it softly;
   Yond crickets shall not hear it.

HERMIONE

   Come on, then,
   And give't me in mine ear.
   Enter LEONTES, with ANTIGONUS, Lords and others

LEONTES

   Was he met there? his train? Camillo with him?

First Lord

   Behind the tuft of pines I met them; never
   Saw I men scour so on their way: I eyed them
   Even to their ships.

LEONTES

   How blest am I
   In my just censure, in my true opinion!
   Alack, for lesser knowledge! how accursed
   In being so blest! There may be in the cup
   A spider steep'd, and one may drink, depart,
   And yet partake no venom, for his knowledge
   Is not infected: but if one present
   The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known
   How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
   With violent hefts. I have drunk,
   and seen the spider.
   Camillo was his help in this, his pander:
   There is a plot against my life, my crown;
   All's true that is mistrusted: that false villain
   Whom I employ'd was pre-employ'd by him:
   He has discover'd my design, and I
   Remain a pinch'd thing; yea, a very trick
   For them to play at will. How came the posterns
   So easily open?

First Lord

   By his great authority;
   Which often hath no less prevail'd than so
   On your command.

LEONTES

   I know't too well.
   Give me the boy: I am glad you did not nurse him:
   Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you
   Have too much blood in him.

HERMIONE

   What is this? sport?

LEONTES

   Bear the boy hence; he shall not come about her;
   Away with him! and let her sport herself
   With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes
   Has made thee swell thus.

HERMIONE

   But I'ld say he had not,
   And I'll be sworn you would believe my saying,
   Howe'er you lean to the nayward.

LEONTES

   You, my lords,
   Look on her, mark her well; be but about
   To say 'she is a goodly lady,' and
   The justice of your bearts will thereto add
   'Tis pity she's not honest, honourable:'
   Praise her but for this her without-door form,
   Which on my faith deserves high speech, and straight
   The shrug, the hum or ha, these petty brands
   That calumny doth use--O, I am out--
   That mercy does, for calumny will sear
   Virtue itself: these shrugs, these hums and ha's,
   When you have said 'she's goodly,' come between
   Ere you can say 'she's honest:' but be 't known,
   From him that has most cause to grieve it should be,
   She's an adulteress.

HERMIONE

   Should a villain say so,
   The most replenish'd villain in the world,
   He were as much more villain: you, my lord,
   Do but mistake.

LEONTES

   You have mistook, my lady,
   Polixenes for Leontes: O thou thing!
   Which I'll not call a creature of thy place,
   Lest barbarism, making me the precedent,
   Should a like language use to all degrees
   And mannerly distinguishment leave out
   Betwixt the prince and beggar: I have said
   She's an adulteress; I have said with whom:
   More, she's a traitor and Camillo is
   A federary with her, and one that knows
   What she should shame to know herself
   But with her most vile principal, that she's
   A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
   That vulgars give bold'st titles, ay, and privy
   To this their late escape.

HERMIONE

   No, by my life.
   Privy to none of this. How will this grieve you,
   When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that
   You thus have publish'd me! Gentle my lord,
   You scarce can right me throughly then to say
   You did mistake.

LEONTES

   No; if I mistake
   In those foundations which I build upon,
   The centre is not big enough to bear
   A school-boy's top. Away with her! to prison!
   He who shall speak for her is afar off guilty
   But that he speaks.

HERMIONE

   There's some ill planet reigns:
   I must be patient till the heavens look
   With an aspect more favourable. Good my lords,
   I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
   Commonly are; the want of which vain dew
   Perchance shall dry your pities: but I have
   That honourable grief lodged here which burns
   Worse than tears drown: beseech you all, my lords,
   With thoughts so qualified as your charities
   Shall best instruct you, measure me; and so
   The king's will be perform'd!

LEONTES

   Shall I be heard?

HERMIONE

   Who is't that goes with me? Beseech your highness,
   My women may be with me; for you see
   My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools;
   There is no cause: when you shall know your mistress
   Has deserved prison, then abound in tears
   As I come out: this action I now go on
   Is for my better grace. Adieu, my lord:
   I never wish'd to see you sorry; now
   I trust I shall. My women, come; you have leave.

LEONTES

   Go, do our bidding; hence!
   Exit HERMIONE, guarded; with Ladies

First Lord

   Beseech your highness, call the queen again.

ANTIGONUS

   Be certain what you do, sir, lest your justice
   Prove violence; in the which three great ones suffer,
   Yourself, your queen, your son.

First Lord

   For her, my lord,
   I dare my life lay down and will do't, sir,
   Please you to accept it, that the queen is spotless
   I' the eyes of heaven and to you; I mean,
   In this which you accuse her.

ANTIGONUS

   If it prove
   She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where
   I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her;
   Than when I feel and see her no farther trust her;
   For every inch of woman in the world,
   Ay, every dram of woman's flesh is false, If she be.

LEONTES

   Hold your peaces.

First Lord

   Good my lord,--

ANTIGONUS

   It is for you we speak, not for ourselves:
   You are abused and by some putter-on
   That will be damn'd for't; would I knew the villain,
   I would land-damn him. Be she honour-flaw'd,
   I have three daughters; the eldest is eleven
   The second and the third, nine, and some five;
   If this prove true, they'll pay for't:
   by mine honour,
   I'll geld 'em all; fourteen they shall not see,
   To bring false generations: they are co-heirs;
   And I had rather glib myself than they
   Should not produce fair issue.

LEONTES

   Cease; no more.
   You smell this business with a sense as cold
   As is a dead man's nose: but I do see't and feel't
   As you feel doing thus; and see withal
   The instruments that feel.

ANTIGONUS

   If it be so,
   We need no grave to bury honesty:
   There's not a grain of it the face to sweeten
   Of the whole dungy earth.

LEONTES

   What! lack I credit?

First Lord

   I had rather you did lack than I, my lord,
   Upon this ground; and more it would content me
   To have her honour true than your suspicion,
   Be blamed for't how you might.

LEONTES

   Why, what need we
   Commune with you of this, but rather follow
   Our forceful instigation? Our prerogative
   Calls not your counsels, but our natural goodness
   Imparts this; which if you, or stupefied
   Or seeming so in skill, cannot or will not
   Relish a truth like us, inform yourselves
   We need no more of your advice: the matter,
   The loss, the gain, the ordering on't, is all
   Properly ours.

ANTIGONUS

   And I wish, my liege,
   You had only in your silent judgment tried it,
   Without more overture.

LEONTES

   How could that be?
   Either thou art most ignorant by age,
   Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's flight,
   Added to their familiarity,
   Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture,
   That lack'd sight only, nought for approbation
   But only seeing, all other circumstances
   Made up to the deed, doth push on this proceeding:
   Yet, for a greater confirmation,
   For in an act of this importance 'twere
   Most piteous to be wild, I have dispatch'd in post
   To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's temple,
   Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
   Of stuff'd sufficiency: now from the oracle
   They will bring all; whose spiritual counsel had,
   Shall stop or spur me. Have I done well?

First Lord

   Well done, my lord.

LEONTES

   Though I am satisfied and need no more
   Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
   Give rest to the minds of others, such as he
   Whose ignorant credulity will not
   Come up to the truth. So have we thought it good
   From our free person she should be confined,
   Lest that the treachery of the two fled hence
   Be left her to perform. Come, follow us;
   We are to speak in public; for this business
   Will raise us all.

ANTIGONUS

   [Aside]
   To laughter, as I take it,
   If the good truth were known.
   Exeunt

SCENE II. A prison.

   Enter PAULINA, a Gentleman, and Attendants 

PAULINA

   The keeper of the prison, call to him;
   let him have knowledge who I am.
   Exit Gentleman
   Good lady,
   No court in Europe is too good for thee;
   What dost thou then in prison?
   Re-enter Gentleman, with the Gaoler
   Now, good sir,
   You know me, do you not?

Gaoler

   For a worthy lady
   And one whom much I honour.

PAULINA

   Pray you then,
   Conduct me to the queen.

Gaoler

   I may not, madam:
   To the contrary I have express commandment.

PAULINA

   Here's ado,
   To lock up honesty and honour from
   The access of gentle visitors!
   Is't lawful, pray you,
   To see her women? any of them? Emilia?

Gaoler

   So please you, madam,
   To put apart these your attendants, I
   Shall bring Emilia forth.

PAULINA

   I pray now, call her.
   Withdraw yourselves.
   Exeunt Gentleman and Attendants

Gaoler

   And, madam,
   I must be present at your conference.

PAULINA

   Well, be't so, prithee.
   Exit Gaoler
   Here's such ado to make no stain a stain
   As passes colouring.
   Re-enter Gaoler, with EMILIA
   Dear gentlewoman,
   How fares our gracious lady?

EMILIA

   As well as one so great and so forlorn
   May hold together: on her frights and griefs,
   Which never tender lady hath born greater,
   She is something before her time deliver'd.

PAULINA

   A boy?

EMILIA

   A daughter, and a goodly babe,
   Lusty and like to live: the queen receives
   Much comfort in't; says 'My poor prisoner,
   I am innocent as you.'

PAULINA

   I dare be sworn
   These dangerous unsafe lunes i' the king,
   beshrew them!
   He must be told on't, and he shall: the office
   Becomes a woman best; I'll take't upon me:
   If I prove honey-mouth'd let my tongue blister
   And never to my red-look'd anger be
   The trumpet any more. Pray you, Emilia,
   Commend my best obedience to the queen:
   If she dares trust me with her little babe,
   I'll show't the king and undertake to be
   Her advocate to the loud'st. We do not know
   How he may soften at the sight o' the child:
   The silence often of pure innocence
   Persuades when speaking fails.

EMILIA

   Most worthy madam,
   Your honour and your goodness is so evident
   That your free undertaking cannot miss
   A thriving issue: there is no lady living
   So meet for this great errand. Please your ladyship
   To visit the next room, I'll presently
   Acquaint the queen of your most noble offer;
   Who but to-day hammer'd of this design,
   But durst not tempt a minister of honour,
   Lest she should be denied.

PAULINA

   Tell her, Emilia.
   I'll use that tongue I have: if wit flow from't
   As boldness from my bosom, let 't not be doubted
   I shall do good.

EMILIA

   Now be you blest for it!
   I'll to the queen: please you,
   come something nearer.

Gaoler

   Madam, if't please the queen to send the babe,
   I know not what I shall incur to pass it,
   Having no warrant.

PAULINA

   You need not fear it, sir:
   This child was prisoner to the womb and is
   By law and process of great nature thence
   Freed and enfranchised, not a party to
   The anger of the king nor guilty of,
   If any be, the trespass of the queen.

Gaoler

   I do believe it.

PAULINA

   Do not you fear: upon mine honour,
   I will stand betwixt you and danger.
   Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in LEONTES' palace.

   Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and Servants 

LEONTES

   Nor night nor day no rest: it is but weakness
   To bear the matter thus; mere weakness. If
   The cause were not in being,--part o' the cause,
   She the adulteress; for the harlot king
   Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
   And level of my brain, plot-proof; but she
   I can hook to me: say that she were gone,
   Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
   Might come to me again. Who's there?

First Servant

   My lord?

LEONTES

   How does the boy?

First Servant

   He took good rest to-night;
   'Tis hoped his sickness is discharged.

LEONTES

   To see his nobleness!
   Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
   He straight declined, droop'd, took it deeply,
   Fasten'd and fix'd the shame on't in himself,
   Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
   And downright languish'd. Leave me solely: go,
   See how he fares.
   Exit Servant
   Fie, fie! no thought of him:
   The thought of my revenges that way
   Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty,
   And in his parties, his alliance; let him be
   Until a time may serve: for present vengeance,
   Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
   Laugh at me, make their pastime at my sorrow:
   They should not laugh if I could reach them, nor
   Shall she within my power.
   Enter PAULINA, with a child

First Lord

   You must not enter.

PAULINA

   Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me:
   Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
   Than the queen's life? a gracious innocent soul,
   More free than he is jealous.

ANTIGONUS

   That's enough.

Second Servant

   Madam, he hath not slept tonight; commanded
   None should come at him.

PAULINA

   Not so hot, good sir:
   I come to bring him sleep. 'Tis such as you,
   That creep like shadows by him and do sigh
   At each his needless heavings, such as you
   Nourish the cause of his awaking: I
   Do come with words as medicinal as true,
   Honest as either, to purge him of that humour
   That presses him from sleep.

LEONTES

   What noise there, ho?

PAULINA

   No noise, my lord; but needful conference
   About some gossips for your highness.

LEONTES

   How!
   Away with that audacious lady! Antigonus,
   I charged thee that she should not come about me:
   I knew she would.

ANTIGONUS

   I told her so, my lord,
   On your displeasure's peril and on mine,
   She should not visit you.

LEONTES

   What, canst not rule her?

PAULINA

   From all dishonesty he can: in this,
   Unless he take the course that you have done,
   Commit me for committing honour, trust it,
   He shall not rule me.

ANTIGONUS

   La you now, you hear:
   When she will take the rein I let her run;
   But she'll not stumble.

PAULINA

   Good my liege, I come;
   And, I beseech you, hear me, who profess
   Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
   Your most obedient counsellor, yet that dare
   Less appear so in comforting your evils,
   Than such as most seem yours: I say, I come
   From your good queen.

LEONTES

   Good queen!

PAULINA

   Good queen, my lord,
   Good queen; I say good queen;
   And would by combat make her good, so were I
   A man, the worst about you.

LEONTES

   Force her hence.

PAULINA

   Let him that makes but trifles of his eyes
   First hand me: on mine own accord I'll off;
   But first I'll do my errand. The good queen,
   For she is good, hath brought you forth a daughter;
   Here 'tis; commends it to your blessing.
   Laying down the child

LEONTES

   Out!
   A mankind witch! Hence with her, out o' door:
   A most intelligencing bawd!

PAULINA

   Not so:
   I am as ignorant in that as you
   In so entitling me, and no less honest
   Than you are mad; which is enough, I'll warrant,
   As this world goes, to pass for honest.

LEONTES

   Traitors!
   Will you not push her out? Give her the bastard.
   Thou dotard! thou art woman-tired, unroosted
   By thy dame Partlet here. Take up the bastard;
   Take't up, I say; give't to thy crone.

PAULINA

   For ever
   Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
   Takest up the princess by that forced baseness
   Which he has put upon't!

LEONTES

   He dreads his wife.

PAULINA

   So I would you did; then 'twere past all doubt
   You'ld call your children yours.

LEONTES

   A nest of traitors!

ANTIGONUS

   I am none, by this good light.

PAULINA

   Nor I, nor any
   But one that's here, and that's himself, for he
   The sacred honour of himself, his queen's,
   His hopeful son's, his babe's, betrays to slander,
   Whose sting is sharper than the sword's;
   and will not--
   For, as the case now stands, it is a curse
   He cannot be compell'd to't--once remove
   The root of his opinion, which is rotten
   As ever oak or stone was sound.

LEONTES

   A callat
   Of boundless tongue, who late hath beat her husband
   And now baits me! This brat is none of mine;
   It is the issue of Polixenes:
   Hence with it, and together with the dam
   Commit them to the fire!

PAULINA

   It is yours;
   And, might we lay the old proverb to your charge,
   So like you, 'tis the worse. Behold, my lords,
   Although the print be little, the whole matter
   And copy of the father, eye, nose, lip,
   The trick of's frown, his forehead, nay, the valley,
   The pretty dimples of his chin and cheek,
   His smiles,
   The very mould and frame of hand, nail, finger:
   And thou, good goddess Nature, which hast made it
   So like to him that got it, if thou hast
   The ordering of the mind too, 'mongst all colours
   No yellow in't, lest she suspect, as he does,
   Her children not her husband's!

LEONTES

   A gross hag
   And, lozel, thou art worthy to be hang'd,
   That wilt not stay her tongue.

ANTIGONUS

   Hang all the husbands
   That cannot do that feat, you'll leave yourself
   Hardly one subject.

LEONTES

   Once more, take her hence.

PAULINA

   A most unworthy and unnatural lord
   Can do no more.

LEONTES

   I'll ha' thee burnt.

PAULINA

   I care not:
   It is an heretic that makes the fire,
   Not she which burns in't. I'll not call you tyrant;
   But this most cruel usage of your queen,
   Not able to produce more accusation
   Than your own weak-hinged fancy, something savours
   Of tyranny and will ignoble make you,
   Yea, scandalous to the world.

LEONTES

   On your allegiance,
   Out of the chamber with her! Were I a tyrant,
   Where were her life? she durst not call me so,
   If she did know me one. Away with her!

PAULINA

   I pray you, do not push me; I'll be gone.
   Look to your babe, my lord; 'tis yours:
   Jove send her
   A better guiding spirit! What needs these hands?
   You, that are thus so tender o'er his follies,
   Will never do him good, not one of you.
   So, so: farewell; we are gone.
   Exit

LEONTES

   Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this.
   My child? away with't! Even thou, that hast
   A heart so tender o'er it, take it hence
   And see it instantly consumed with fire;
   Even thou and none but thou. Take it up straight:
   Within this hour bring me word 'tis done,
   And by good testimony, or I'll seize thy life,
   With what thou else call'st thine. If thou refuse
   And wilt encounter with my wrath, say so;
   The bastard brains with these my proper hands
   Shall I dash out. Go, take it to the fire;
   For thou set'st on thy wife.

ANTIGONUS

   I did not, sir:
   These lords, my noble fellows, if they please,
   Can clear me in't.

Lords

   We can: my royal liege,
   He is not guilty of her coming hither.

LEONTES

   You're liars all.

First Lord

   Beseech your highness, give us better credit:
   We have always truly served you, and beseech you
   So to esteem of us, and on our knees we beg,
   As recompense of our dear services
   Past and to come, that you do change this purpose,
   Which being so horrible, so bloody, must
   Lead on to some foul issue: we all kneel.

LEONTES

   I am a feather for each wind that blows:
   Shall I live on to see this bastard kneel
   And call me father? better burn it now
   Than curse it then. But be it; let it live.
   It shall not neither. You, sir, come you hither;
   You that have been so tenderly officious
   With Lady Margery, your midwife there,
   To save this bastard's life,--for 'tis a bastard,
   So sure as this beard's grey,
   --what will you adventure
   To save this brat's life?

ANTIGONUS

   Any thing, my lord,
   That my ability may undergo
   And nobleness impose: at least thus much:
   I'll pawn the little blood which I have left
   To save the innocent: any thing possible.

LEONTES

   It shall be possible. Swear by this sword
   Thou wilt perform my bidding.

ANTIGONUS

   I will, my lord.

LEONTES

   Mark and perform it, see'st thou! for the fail
   Of any point in't shall not only be
   Death to thyself but to thy lewd-tongued wife,
   Whom for this time we pardon. We enjoin thee,
   As thou art liege-man to us, that thou carry
   This female bastard hence and that thou bear it
   To some remote and desert place quite out
   Of our dominions, and that there thou leave it,
   Without more mercy, to its own protection
   And favour of the climate. As by strange fortune
   It came to us, I do in justice charge thee,
   On thy soul's peril and thy body's torture,
   That thou commend it strangely to some place
   Where chance may nurse or end it. Take it up.

ANTIGONUS

   I swear to do this, though a present death
   Had been more merciful. Come on, poor babe:
   Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens
   To be thy nurses! Wolves and bears, they say
   Casting their savageness aside have done
   Like offices of pity. Sir, be prosperous
   In more than this deed does require! And blessing
   Against this cruelty fight on thy side,
   Poor thing, condemn'd to loss!
   Exit with the child

LEONTES

   No, I'll not rear
   Another's issue.
   Enter a Servant

Servant

   Please your highness, posts
   From those you sent to the oracle are come
   An hour since: Cleomenes and Dion,
   Being well arrived from Delphos, are both landed,
   Hasting to the court.

First Lord

   So please you, sir, their speed
   Hath been beyond account.

LEONTES

   Twenty-three days
   They have been absent: 'tis good speed; foretells
   The great Apollo suddenly will have
   The truth of this appear. Prepare you, lords;
   Summon a session, that we may arraign
   Our most disloyal lady, for, as she hath
   Been publicly accused, so shall she have
   A just and open trial. While she lives
   My heart will be a burthen to me. Leave me,
   And think upon my bidding.
   Exeunt

ACT III SCENE I. A sea-port in Sicilia.

   Enter CLEOMENES and DION 

CLEOMENES

   The climate's delicate, the air most sweet,
   Fertile the isle, the temple much surpassing
   The common praise it bears.

DION

   I shall report,
   For most it caught me, the celestial habits,
   Methinks I so should term them, and the reverence
   Of the grave wearers. O, the sacrifice!
   How ceremonious, solemn and unearthly
   It was i' the offering!

CLEOMENES

   But of all, the burst
   And the ear-deafening voice o' the oracle,
   Kin to Jove's thunder, so surprised my sense.
   That I was nothing.

DION

   If the event o' the journey
   Prove as successful to the queen,--O be't so!--
   As it hath been to us rare, pleasant, speedy,
   The time is worth the use on't.

CLEOMENES

   Great Apollo
   Turn all to the best! These proclamations,
   So forcing faults upon Hermione,
   I little like.

DION

   The violent carriage of it
   Will clear or end the business: when the oracle,
   Thus by Apollo's great divine seal'd up,
   Shall the contents discover, something rare
   Even then will rush to knowledge. Go: fresh horses!
   And gracious be the issue!
   Exeunt

SCENE II. A court of Justice.

   Enter LEONTES, Lords, and Officers 

LEONTES

   This sessions, to our great grief we pronounce,
   Even pushes 'gainst our heart: the party tried
   The daughter of a king, our wife, and one
   Of us too much beloved. Let us be clear'd
   Of being tyrannous, since we so openly
   Proceed in justice, which shall have due course,
   Even to the guilt or the purgation.
   Produce the prisoner.

Officer

   It is his highness' pleasure that the queen
   Appear in person here in court. Silence!
   Enter HERMIONE guarded; PAULINA and Ladies attending

LEONTES

   Read the indictment.

Officer

   [Reads] Hermione, queen to the worthy
   Leontes, king of Sicilia, thou art here accused and
   arraigned of high treason, in committing adultery
   with Polixenes, king of Bohemia, and conspiring
   with Camillo to take away the life of our sovereign
   lord the king, thy royal husband: the pretence
   whereof being by circumstances partly laid open,
   thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and allegiance
   of a true subject, didst counsel and aid them, for
   their better safety, to fly away by night.

HERMIONE

   Since what I am to say must be but that
   Which contradicts my accusation and
   The testimony on my part no other
   But what comes from myself, it shall scarce boot me
   To say 'not guilty:' mine integrity
   Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
   Be so received. But thus: if powers divine
   Behold our human actions, as they do,
   I doubt not then but innocence shall make
   False accusation blush and tyranny
   Tremble at patience. You, my lord, best know,
   Who least will seem to do so, my past life
   Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
   As I am now unhappy; which is more
   Than history can pattern, though devised
   And play'd to take spectators. For behold me
   A fellow of the royal bed, which owe
   A moiety of the throne a great king's daughter,
   The mother to a hopeful prince, here standing
   To prate and talk for life and honour 'fore
   Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
   As I weigh grief, which I would spare: for honour,
   'Tis a derivative from me to mine,
   And only that I stand for. I appeal
   To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
   Came to your court, how I was in your grace,
   How merited to be so; since he came,
   With what encounter so uncurrent I
   Have strain'd to appear thus: if one jot beyond
   The bound of honour, or in act or will
   That way inclining, harden'd be the hearts
   Of all that hear me, and my near'st of kin
   Cry fie upon my grave!

LEONTES

   I ne'er heard yet
   That any of these bolder vices wanted
   Less impudence to gainsay what they did
   Than to perform it first.

HERMIONE

   That's true enough;
   Through 'tis a saying, sir, not due to me.

LEONTES

   You will not own it.

HERMIONE

   More than mistress of
   Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not
   At all acknowledge. For Polixenes,
   With whom I am accused, I do confess
   I loved him as in honour he required,
   With such a kind of love as might become
   A lady like me, with a love even such,
   So and no other, as yourself commanded:
   Which not to have done I think had been in me
   Both disobedience and ingratitude
   To you and toward your friend, whose love had spoke,
   Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely
   That it was yours. Now, for conspiracy,
   I know not how it tastes; though it be dish'd
   For me to try how: all I know of it
   Is that Camillo was an honest man;
   And why he left your court, the gods themselves,
   Wotting no more than I, are ignorant.

LEONTES

   You knew of his departure, as you know
   What you have underta'en to do in's absence.

HERMIONE

   Sir,
   You speak a language that I understand not:
   My life stands in the level of your dreams,
   Which I'll lay down.

LEONTES

   Your actions are my dreams;
   You had a bastard by Polixenes,
   And I but dream'd it. As you were past all shame,--
   Those of your fact are so--so past all truth:
   Which to deny concerns more than avails; for as
   Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
   No father owning it,--which is, indeed,
   More criminal in thee than it,--so thou
   Shalt feel our justice, in whose easiest passage
   Look for no less than death.

HERMIONE

   Sir, spare your threats:
   The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
   To me can life be no commodity:
   The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
   I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
   But know not how it went. My second joy
   And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
   I am barr'd, like one infectious. My third comfort
   Starr'd most unluckily, is from my breast,
   The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
   Haled out to murder: myself on every post
   Proclaimed a strumpet: with immodest hatred
   The child-bed privilege denied, which 'longs
   To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
   Here to this place, i' the open air, before
   I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
   Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
   That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
   But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
   I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
   Which I would free, if I shall be condemn'd
   Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
   But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
   'Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
   I do refer me to the oracle:
   Apollo be my judge!

First Lord

   This your request
   Is altogether just: therefore bring forth,
   And in Apollos name, his oracle.
   Exeunt certain Officers

HERMIONE

   The Emperor of Russia was my father:
   O that he were alive, and here beholding
   His daughter's trial! that he did but see
   The flatness of my misery, yet with eyes
   Of pity, not revenge!
   Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES and DION

Officer

   You here shall swear upon this sword of justice,
   That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have
   Been both at Delphos, and from thence have brought
   The seal'd-up oracle, by the hand deliver'd
   Of great Apollo's priest; and that, since then,
   You have not dared to break the holy seal
   Nor read the secrets in't.

CLEOMENES DION

   All this we swear.

LEONTES

   Break up the seals and read.

Officer

   [Reads] Hermione is chaste;
   Polixenes blameless; Camillo a true subject; Leontes
   a jealous tyrant; his innocent babe truly begotten;
   and the king shall live without an heir, if that
   which is lost be not found.

Lords

   Now blessed be the great Apollo!

HERMIONE

   Praised!

LEONTES

   Hast thou read truth?

Officer

   Ay, my lord; even so
   As it is here set down.

LEONTES

   There is no truth at all i' the oracle:
   The sessions shall proceed: this is mere falsehood.
   Enter Servant

Servant

   My lord the king, the king!

LEONTES

   What is the business?

Servant

   O sir, I shall be hated to report it!
   The prince your son, with mere conceit and fear
   Of the queen's speed, is gone.

LEONTES

   How! gone!

Servant

   Is dead.

LEONTES

   Apollo's angry; and the heavens themselves
   Do strike at my injustice.
   HERMIONE swoons
   How now there!

PAULINA

   This news is mortal to the queen: look down
   And see what death is doing.

LEONTES

   Take her hence:
   Her heart is but o'ercharged; she will recover:
   I have too much believed mine own suspicion:
   Beseech you, tenderly apply to her
   Some remedies for life.
   Exeunt PAULINA and Ladies, with HERMIONE
   Apollo, pardon
   My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle!
   I'll reconcile me to Polixenes,
   New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo,
   Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy;
   For, being transported by my jealousies
   To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose
   Camillo for the minister to poison
   My friend Polixenes: which had been done,
   But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
   My swift command, though I with death and with
   Reward did threaten and encourage him,
   Not doing 't and being done: he, most humane
   And fill'd with honour, to my kingly guest
   Unclasp'd my practise, quit his fortunes here,
   Which you knew great, and to the hazard
   Of all encertainties himself commended,
   No richer than his honour: how he glisters
   Thorough my rust! and how his pity
   Does my deeds make the blacker!
   Re-enter PAULINA

PAULINA

   Woe the while!
   O, cut my lace, lest my heart, cracking it,
   Break too.

First Lord

   What fit is this, good lady?

PAULINA

   What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me?
   What wheels? racks? fires? what flaying? boiling?
   In leads or oils? what old or newer torture
   Must I receive, whose every word deserves
   To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny
   Together working with thy jealousies,
   Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle
   For girls of nine, O, think what they have done
   And then run mad indeed, stark mad! for all
   Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it.
   That thou betray'dst Polixenes,'twas nothing;
   That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant
   And damnable ingrateful: nor was't much,
   Thou wouldst have poison'd good Camillo's honour,
   To have him kill a king: poor trespasses,
   More monstrous standing by: whereof I reckon
   The casting forth to crows thy baby-daughter
   To be or none or little; though a devil
   Would have shed water out of fire ere done't:
   Nor is't directly laid to thee, the death
   Of the young prince, whose honourable thoughts,
   Thoughts high for one so tender, cleft the heart
   That could conceive a gross and foolish sire
   Blemish'd his gracious dam: this is not, no,
   Laid to thy answer: but the last,--O lords,
   When I have said, cry 'woe!' the queen, the queen,
   The sweet'st, dear'st creature's dead,
   and vengeance for't
   Not dropp'd down yet.

First Lord

   The higher powers forbid!

PAULINA

   I say she's dead; I'll swear't. If word nor oath
   Prevail not, go and see: if you can bring
   Tincture or lustre in her lip, her eye,
   Heat outwardly or breath within, I'll serve you
   As I would do the gods. But, O thou tyrant!
   Do not repent these things, for they are heavier
   Than all thy woes can stir; therefore betake thee
   To nothing but despair. A thousand knees
   Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting,
   Upon a barren mountain and still winter
   In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
   To look that way thou wert.

LEONTES

   Go on, go on
   Thou canst not speak too much; I have deserved
   All tongues to talk their bitterest.

First Lord

   Say no more:
   Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault
   I' the boldness of your speech.

PAULINA

   I am sorry for't:
   All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
   I do repent. Alas! I have show'd too much
   The rashness of a woman: he is touch'd
   To the noble heart. What's gone and what's past help
   Should be past grief: do not receive affliction
   At my petition; I beseech you, rather
   Let me be punish'd, that have minded you
   Of what you should forget. Now, good my liege
   Sir, royal sir, forgive a foolish woman:
   The love I bore your queen--lo, fool again!--
   I'll speak of her no more, nor of your children;
   I'll not remember you of my own lord,
   Who is lost too: take your patience to you,
   And I'll say nothing.

LEONTES

   Thou didst speak but well
   When most the truth; which I receive much better
   Than to be pitied of thee. Prithee, bring me
   To the dead bodies of my queen and son:
   One grave shall be for both: upon them shall
   The causes of their death appear, unto
   Our shame perpetual. Once a day I'll visit
   The chapel where they lie, and tears shed there
   Shall be my recreation: so long as nature
   Will bear up with this exercise, so long
   I daily vow to use it. Come and lead me
   Unto these sorrows.
   Exeunt

SCENE III. Bohemia. A desert country near the sea.

   Enter ANTIGONUS with a Child, and a Mariner 

ANTIGONUS

   Thou art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd upon
   The deserts of Bohemia?

Mariner

   Ay, my lord: and fear
   We have landed in ill time: the skies look grimly
   And threaten present blusters. In my conscience,
   The heavens with that we have in hand are angry
   And frown upon 's.

ANTIGONUS

   Their sacred wills be done! Go, get aboard;
   Look to thy bark: I'll not be long before
   I call upon thee.

Mariner

   Make your best haste, and go not
   Too far i' the land: 'tis like to be loud weather;
   Besides, this place is famous for the creatures
   Of prey that keep upon't.

ANTIGONUS

   Go thou away:
   I'll follow instantly.

Mariner

   I am glad at heart
   To be so rid o' the business.
   Exit

ANTIGONUS

   Come, poor babe:
   I have heard, but not believed,
   the spirits o' the dead
   May walk again: if such thing be, thy mother
   Appear'd to me last night, for ne'er was dream
   So like a waking. To me comes a creature,
   Sometimes her head on one side, some another;
   I never saw a vessel of like sorrow,
   So fill'd and so becoming: in pure white robes,
   Like very sanctity, she did approach
   My cabin where I lay; thrice bow'd before me,
   And gasping to begin some speech, her eyes
   Became two spouts: the fury spent, anon
   Did this break-from her: 'Good Antigonus,
   Since fate, against thy better disposition,
   Hath made thy person for the thrower-out
   Of my poor babe, according to thine oath,
   Places remote enough are in Bohemia,
   There weep and leave it crying; and, for the babe
   Is counted lost for ever, Perdita,
   I prithee, call't. For this ungentle business
   Put on thee by my lord, thou ne'er shalt see
   Thy wife Paulina more.' And so, with shrieks
   She melted into air. Affrighted much,
   I did in time collect myself and thought
   This was so and no slumber. Dreams are toys:
   Yet for this once, yea, superstitiously,
   I will be squared by this. I do believe
   Hermione hath suffer'd death, and that
   Apollo would, this being indeed the issue
   Of King Polixenes, it should here be laid,
   Either for life or death, upon the earth
   Of its right father. Blossom, speed thee well!
   There lie, and there thy character: there these;
   Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee, pretty,
   And still rest thine. The storm begins; poor wretch,
   That for thy mother's fault art thus exposed
   To loss and what may follow! Weep I cannot,
   But my heart bleeds; and most accursed am I
   To be by oath enjoin'd to this. Farewell!
   The day frowns more and more: thou'rt like to have
   A lullaby too rough: I never saw
   The heavens so dim by day. A savage clamour!
   Well may I get aboard! This is the chase:
   I am gone for ever.
   Exit, pursued by a bear
   Enter a Shepherd

Shepherd

   I would there were no age between sixteen and
   three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the
   rest; for there is nothing in the between but
   getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry,
   stealing, fighting--Hark you now! Would any but
   these boiled brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty
   hunt this weather? They have scared away two of my
   best sheep, which I fear the wolf will sooner find
   than the master: if any where I have them, 'tis by
   the seaside, browsing of ivy. Good luck, an't be thy
   will what have we here! Mercy on 's, a barne a very
   pretty barne! A boy or a child, I wonder? A
   pretty one; a very pretty one: sure, some 'scape:
   though I am not bookish, yet I can read
   waiting-gentlewoman in the 'scape. This has been
   some stair-work, some trunk-work, some
   behind-door-work: they were warmer that got this
   than the poor thing is here. I'll take it up for
   pity: yet I'll tarry till my son come; he hallooed
   but even now. Whoa, ho, hoa!
   Enter Clown

Clown

   Hilloa, loa!

Shepherd

   What, art so near? If thou'lt see a thing to talk
   on when thou art dead and rotten, come hither. What
   ailest thou, man?

Clown

   I have seen two such sights, by sea and by land!
   but I am not to say it is a sea, for it is now the
   sky: betwixt the firmament and it you cannot thrust
   a bodkin's point.

Shepherd

   Why, boy, how is it?

Clown

   I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages,
   how it takes up the shore! but that's not the
   point. O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls!
   sometimes to see 'em, and not to see 'em; now the
   ship boring the moon with her main-mast, and anon
   swallowed with yest and froth, as you'ld thrust a
   cork into a hogshead. And then for the
   land-service, to see how the bear tore out his
   shoulder-bone; how he cried to me for help and said
   his name was Antigonus, a nobleman. But to make an
   end of the ship, to see how the sea flap-dragoned
   it: but, first, how the poor souls roared, and the
   sea mocked them; and how the poor gentleman roared
   and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than
   the sea or weather.

Shepherd

   Name of mercy, when was this, boy?

Clown

   Now, now: I have not winked since I saw these
   sights: the men are not yet cold under water, nor
   the bear half dined on the gentleman: he's at it
   now.

Shepherd

   Would I had been by, to have helped the old man!

Clown

   I would you had been by the ship side, to have
   helped her: there your charity would have lacked footing.

Shepherd

   Heavy matters! heavy matters! but look thee here,
   boy. Now bless thyself: thou mettest with things
   dying, I with things newborn. Here's a sight for
   thee; look thee, a bearing-cloth for a squire's
   child! look thee here; take up, take up, 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?

Clown

   You're a made old man: if the sins of your youth
   are forgiven you, you're well to live. Gold! all gold!

Shepherd

   This is fairy gold, boy, and 'twill prove so: up
   with't, keep it close: home, home, the next way.
   We are lucky, boy; and to be so still requires
   nothing but secrecy. Let my sheep go: come, good
   boy, the next way home.

Clown

   Go you the next way with your findings. I'll go see
   if the bear be gone from the gentleman and how much
   he hath eaten: they are never curst but when they
   are hungry: if there be any of him left, I'll bury
   it.

Shepherd

   That's a good deed. If thou mayest discern by that
   which is left of him what he is, fetch me to the
   sight of him.

Clown

   Marry, will I; and you shall help to put him i' the ground.

Shepherd

   'Tis a lucky day, boy, and we'll do good deeds on't.
   Exeunt

ACT IV

   SCENE I:
   Enter Time, the Chorus

Time

   I, that please some, try all, both joy and terror
   Of good and bad, that makes and unfolds error,
   Now take upon me, in the name of Time,
   To use my wings. Impute it not a crime
   To me or my swift passage, that I slide
   O'er sixteen years and leave the growth untried
   Of that wide gap, since it is in my power
   To o'erthrow law and in one self-born hour
   To plant and o'erwhelm custom. Let me pass
   The same I am, ere ancient'st order was
   Or what is now received: I witness to
   The times that brought them in; so shall I do
   To the freshest things now reigning and make stale
   The glistering of this present, as my tale
   Now seems to it. Your patience this allowing,
   I turn my glass and give my scene such growing
   As you had slept between: Leontes leaving,
   The effects of his fond jealousies so grieving
   That he shuts up himself, imagine me,
   Gentle spectators, that I now may be
   In fair Bohemia, and remember well,
   I mentioned a son o' the king's, which Florizel
   I now name to you; and with speed so pace
   To speak of Perdita, now grown in grace
   Equal with wondering: what of her ensues
   I list not prophecy; but let Time's news
   Be known when 'tis brought forth.
   A shepherd's daughter,
   And what to her adheres, which follows after,
   Is the argument of Time. Of this allow,
   If ever you have spent time worse ere now;
   If never, yet that Time himself doth say
   He wishes earnestly you never may.
   Exit

SCENE II. Bohemia. The palace of POLIXENES.

   Enter POLIXENES and CAMILLO 

POLIXENES

   I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more importunate:
   'tis a sickness denying thee any thing; a death to
   grant this.

CAMILLO

   It is fifteen years since I saw my country: though
   I have for the most part been aired abroad, I
   desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent
   king, my master, hath sent for me; to whose feeling
   sorrows I might be some allay, or I o'erween to
   think so, which is another spur to my departure.

POLIXENES

   As thou lovest me, Camillo, wipe not out the rest of
   thy services by leaving me now: the need I have of
   thee thine own goodness hath made; better not to
   have had thee than thus to want thee: thou, having
   made me businesses which none without thee can
   sufficiently manage, must either stay to execute
   them thyself or take away with thee the very
   services thou hast done; which if I have not enough
   considered, as too much I cannot, to be more
   thankful to thee shall be my study, and my profit
   therein the heaping friendships. Of that fatal
   country, Sicilia, prithee speak no more; whose very
   naming punishes me with the remembrance of that
   penitent, as thou callest him, and reconciled king,
   my brother; whose loss of his most precious queen
   and children are even now to be afresh lamented.
   Say to me, when sawest thou the Prince Florizel, my
   son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue not
   being gracious, than they are in losing them when
   they have approved their virtues.

CAMILLO

   Sir, it is three days since I saw the prince. What
   his happier affairs may be, are to me unknown: but I
   have missingly noted, he is of late much retired
   from court and is less frequent to his princely
   exercises than formerly he hath appeared.

POLIXENES

   I have considered so much, Camillo, and with some
   care; so far that I have eyes under my service which
   look upon his removedness; from whom I have this
   intelligence, that he is seldom from the house of a
   most homely shepherd; a man, they say, that from
   very nothing, and beyond the imagination of his
   neighbours, is grown into an unspeakable estate.

CAMILLO

   I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a
   daughter of most rare note: the report of her is
   extended more than can be thought to begin from such a cottage.

POLIXENES

   That's likewise part of my intelligence; but, I
   fear, the angle that plucks our son thither. Thou
   shalt accompany us to the place; where we will, not
   appearing what we are, have some question with the
   shepherd; from whose simplicity I think it not
   uneasy to get the cause of my son's resort thither.
   Prithee, be my present partner in this business, and
   lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.

CAMILLO

   I willingly obey your command.

POLIXENES

   My best Camillo! We must disguise ourselves.
   Exeunt

SCENE III. A road near the Shepherd's cottage.

   Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing 

AUTOLYCUS

   When daffodils begin to peer,
   With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
   Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year;
   For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.
   The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
   With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they sing!
   Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
   For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
   The lark, that tirra-lyra chants,
   With heigh! with heigh! the thrush and the jay,
   Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
   While we lie tumbling in the hay.
   I have served Prince Florizel and in my time
   wore three-pile; but now I am out of service:
   But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?
   The pale moon shines by night:
   And when I wander here and there,
   I then do most go right.
   If tinkers may have leave to live,
   And bear the sow-skin budget,
   Then my account I well may, give,
   And in the stocks avouch it.
   My traffic is sheets; when the kite builds, look to
   lesser linen. My father named me Autolycus; who
   being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise
   a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles. With die and
   drab I purchased this caparison, and my revenue is
   the silly cheat. Gallows and knock are too powerful
   on the highway: beating and hanging are terrors to
   me: for the life to come, I sleep out the thought
   of it. A prize! a prize!
   Enter Clown

Clown

   Let me see: every 'leven wether tods; every tod
   yields pound and odd shilling; fifteen hundred
   shorn. what comes the wool to?

AUTOLYCUS

   [Aside]
   If the springe hold, the cock's mine.

Clown

   I cannot do't without counters. Let me see; what am
   I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three pound
   of sugar, five pound of currants, rice,--what will
   this sister of mine do with rice? But my father
   hath made her mistress of the feast, and she lays it
   on. She hath made me four and twenty nose-gays for
   the shearers, three-man-song-men all, and very good
   ones; but they are most of them means and bases; but
   one puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to
   horn-pipes. I must have saffron to colour the warden
   pies; mace; dates?--none, that's out of my note;
   nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger, but that I
   may beg; four pound of prunes, and as many of
   raisins o' the sun.

AUTOLYCUS

   O that ever I was born!
   Grovelling on the ground

Clown

   I' the name of me--

AUTOLYCUS

   O, help me, help me! pluck but off these rags; and
   then, death, death!

Clown

   Alack, poor soul! thou hast need of more rags to lay
   on thee, rather than have these off.

AUTOLYCUS

   O sir, the loathsomeness of them offends me more
   than the stripes I have received, which are mighty
   ones and millions.

Clown

   Alas, poor man! a million of beating may come to a
   great matter.

AUTOLYCUS

   I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and apparel
   ta'en from me, and these detestable things put upon
   me.

Clown

   What, by a horseman, or a footman?

AUTOLYCUS

   A footman, sweet sir, a footman.

Clown

   Indeed, he should be a footman by the garments he
   has left with thee: if this be a horseman's coat,
   it hath seen very hot service. Lend me thy hand,
   I'll help thee: come, lend me thy hand.

AUTOLYCUS

   O, good sir, tenderly, O!

Clown

   Alas, poor soul!

AUTOLYCUS

   O, good sir, softly, good sir! I fear, sir, my
   shoulder-blade is out.

Clown

   How now! canst stand?

AUTOLYCUS

   [Picking his pocket]
   Softly, dear sir; good sir, softly. You ha' done me
   a charitable office.

Clown

   Dost lack any money? I have a little money for thee.

AUTOLYCUS

   No, good sweet sir; no, I beseech you, sir: I have
   a kinsman not past three quarters of a mile hence,
   unto whom I was going; I shall there have money, or
   any thing I want: offer me no money, I pray you;
   that kills my heart.

Clown

   What manner of fellow was he that robbed you?

AUTOLYCUS

   A fellow, sir, that I have known to go about with
   troll-my-dames; I knew him once a servant of the
   prince: I cannot tell, good sir, for which of his
   virtues it was, but he was certainly whipped out of the court.

Clown

   His vices, you would say; there's no virtue whipped
   out of the court: they cherish it to make it stay
   there; and yet it will no more but abide.

AUTOLYCUS

   Vices, I would say, sir. I know this man well: he
   hath been since an ape-bearer; then a
   process-server, a bailiff; then he compassed a
   motion of the Prodigal Son, and married a tinker's
   wife within a mile where my land and living lies;
   and, having flown over many knavish professions, he
   settled only in rogue: some call him Autolycus.

Clown

   Out upon him! prig, for my life, prig: he haunts
   wakes, fairs and bear-baitings.

AUTOLYCUS

   Very true, sir; he, sir, he; that's the rogue that
   put me into this apparel.

Clown

   Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia: if you had
   but looked big and spit at him, he'ld have run.

AUTOLYCUS

   I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter: I am
   false of heart that way; and that he knew, I warrant
   him.

Clown

   How do you now?

AUTOLYCUS

   Sweet sir, much better than I was; I can stand and
   walk: I will even take my leave of you, and pace
   softly towards my kinsman's.

Clown

   Shall I bring thee on the way?

AUTOLYCUS

   No, good-faced sir; no, sweet sir.

Clown

   Then fare thee well: I must go buy spices for our
   sheep-shearing.

AUTOLYCUS

   Prosper you, sweet sir!
   Exit Clown
   Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your spice.
   I'll be with you at your sheep-shearing too: if I
   make not this cheat bring out another and the
   shearers prove sheep, let me be unrolled and my name
   put in the book of virtue!
   Sings
   Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
   And merrily hent the stile-a:
   A merry heart goes all the day,
   Your sad tires in a mile-a.
   Exit

SCENE IV. The Shepherd's cottage.

   Enter FLORIZEL and PERDITA 

FLORIZEL

   These your unusual weeds to each part of you
   Do give a life: no shepherdess, but Flora
   Peering in April's front. This your sheep-shearing
   Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
   And you the queen on't.

PERDITA

   Sir, my gracious lord,
   To chide at your extremes it not becomes me:
   O, pardon, that I name them! Your high self,
   The gracious mark o' the land, you have obscured
   With a swain's wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
   Most goddess-like prank'd up: but that our feasts
   In every mess have folly and the feeders
   Digest it with a custom, I should blush
   To see you so attired, sworn, I think,
   To show myself a glass.

FLORIZEL

   I bless the time
   When my good falcon made her flight across
   Thy father's ground.

PERDITA

   Now Jove afford you cause!
   To me the difference forges dread; your greatness
   Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble
   To think your father, by some accident,
   Should pass this way as you did: O, the Fates!
   How would he look, to see his work so noble
   Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how
   Should I, in these my borrow'd flaunts, behold
   The sternness of his presence?

FLORIZEL

   Apprehend
   Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
   Humbling their deities to love, have taken
   The shapes of beasts upon them: Jupiter
   Became a bull, and bellow'd; the green Neptune
   A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god,
   Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,
   As I seem now. Their transformations
   Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,
   Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires
   Run not before mine honour, nor my lusts
   Burn hotter than my faith.

PERDITA

   O, but, sir,
   Your resolution cannot hold, when 'tis
   Opposed, as it must be, by the power of the king:
   One of these two must be necessities,
   Which then will speak, that you must
   change this purpose,
   Or I my life.

FLORIZEL

   Thou dearest Perdita,
   With these forced thoughts, I prithee, darken not
   The mirth o' the feast. Or I'll be thine, my fair,
   Or not my father's. For I cannot be
   Mine own, nor any thing to any, if
   I be not thine. To this I am most constant,
   Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle;
   Strangle such thoughts as these with any thing
   That you behold the while. Your guests are coming:
   Lift up your countenance, as it were the day
   Of celebration of that nuptial which
   We two have sworn shall come.

PERDITA

   O lady Fortune,
   Stand you auspicious!

FLORIZEL

   See, your guests approach:
   Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
   And let's be red with mirth.
   Enter Shepherd, Clown, MOPSA, DORCAS, and others, with POLIXENES and CAMILLO disguised

Shepherd

   Fie, daughter! when my old wife lived, upon
   This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
   Both dame and servant; welcomed all, served all;
   Would sing her song and dance her turn; now here,
   At upper end o' the table, now i' the middle;
   On his shoulder, and his; her face o' fire
   With labour and the thing she took to quench it,
   She would to each one sip. You are retired,
   As if you were a feasted one and not
   The hostess of the meeting: pray you, bid
   These unknown friends to's welcome; for it is
   A way to make us better friends, more known.
   Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
   That which you are, mistress o' the feast: come on,
   And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
   As your good flock shall prosper.

PERDITA

   [To POLIXENES] Sir, welcome:
   It is my father's will I should take on me
   The hostess-ship o' the day.
   To CAMILLO
   You're welcome, sir.
   Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
   For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
   Seeming and savour all the winter long:
   Grace and remembrance be to you both,
   And welcome to our shearing!

POLIXENES

   Shepherdess,
   A fair one are you--well you fit our ages
   With flowers of winter.

PERDITA

   Sir, the year growing ancient,
   Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth
   Of trembling winter, the fairest
   flowers o' the season
   Are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors,
   Which some call nature's bastards: of that kind
   Our rustic garden's barren; and I care not
   To get slips of them.

POLIXENES

   Wherefore, gentle maiden,
   Do you neglect them?

PERDITA

   For I have heard it said
   There is an art which in their piedness shares
   With great creating nature.

POLIXENES

   Say there be;
   Yet nature is made better by no mean
   But nature makes that mean: so, over that art
   Which you say adds to nature, is an art
   That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
   A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
   And make conceive a bark of baser kind
   By bud of nobler race: this is an art
   Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
   The art itself is nature.

PERDITA

   So it is.

POLIXENES

   Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,
   And do not call them bastards.

PERDITA

   I'll not put
   The dibble in earth to set one slip of them;
   No more than were I painted I would wish
   This youth should say 'twere well and only therefore
   Desire to breed by me. Here's flowers for you;
   Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
   The marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun
   And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
   Of middle summer, and I think they are given
   To men of middle age. You're very welcome.

CAMILLO

   I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,
   And only live by gazing.

PERDITA

   Out, alas!
   You'd be so lean, that blasts of January
   Would blow you through and through.
   Now, my fair'st friend,
   I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might
   Become your time of day; and yours, and yours,
   That wear upon your virgin branches yet
   Your maidenheads growing: O Proserpina,
   For the flowers now, that frighted thou let'st fall
   From Dis's waggon! daffodils,
   That come before the swallow dares, and take
   The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
   But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes
   Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses
   That die unmarried, ere they can behold
   Bight Phoebus in his strength--a malady
   Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and
   The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,
   The flower-de-luce being one! O, these I lack,
   To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
   To strew him o'er and o'er!

FLORIZEL

   What, like a corse?

PERDITA

   No, like a bank for love to lie and play on;
   Not like a corse; or if, not to be buried,
   But quick and in mine arms. Come, take your flowers:
   Methinks I play as I have seen them do
   In Whitsun pastorals: sure this robe of mine
   Does change my disposition.

FLORIZEL

   What you do
   Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet.
   I'ld have you do it ever: when you sing,
   I'ld have you buy and sell so, so give alms,
   Pray so; and, for the ordering your affairs,
   To sing them too: when you do dance, I wish you
   A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do
   Nothing but that; move still, still so,
   And own no other function: each your doing,
   So singular in each particular,
   Crowns what you are doing in the present deed,
   That all your acts are queens.

PERDITA

   O Doricles,
   Your praises are too large: but that your youth,
   And the true blood which peepeth fairly through't,
   Do plainly give you out an unstain'd shepherd,
   With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
   You woo'd me the false way.

FLORIZEL

   I think you have
   As little skill to fear as I have purpose
   To put you to't. But come; our dance, I pray:
   Your hand, my Perdita: so turtles pair,
   That never mean to part.

PERDITA

   I'll swear for 'em.

POLIXENES

   This is the prettiest low-born lass that ever
   Ran on the green-sward: nothing she does or seems
   But smacks of something greater than herself,
   Too noble for this place.

CAMILLO

   He tells her something
   That makes her blood look out: good sooth, she is
   The queen of curds and cream.

Clown

   Come on, strike up!

DORCAS

   Mopsa must be your mistress: marry, garlic,
   To mend her kissing with!

MOPSA

   Now, in good time!

Clown

   Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.
   Come, strike up!
   Music. Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses

POLIXENES

   Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
   Which dances with your daughter?

Shepherd

   They call him Doricles; and boasts himself
   To have a worthy feeding: but I have it
   Upon his own report and I believe it;
   He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter:
   I think so too; for never gazed the moon
   Upon the water as he'll stand and read
   As 'twere my daughter's eyes: and, to be plain.
   I think there is not half a kiss to choose
   Who loves another best.

POLIXENES

   She dances featly.

Shepherd

   So she does any thing; though I report it,
   That should be silent: if young Doricles
   Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
   Which he not dreams of.
   Enter Servant

Servant

   O master, if you did but hear the pedlar at the
   door, you would never dance again after a tabour and
   pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you: he sings
   several tunes faster than you'll tell money; he
   utters them as he had eaten ballads and all men's
   ears grew to his tunes.

Clown

   He could never come better; he shall come in. I
   love a ballad but even too well, if it be doleful
   matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant thing
   indeed and sung lamentably.

Servant

   He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes; no
   milliner can so fit his customers with gloves: he
   has the prettiest love-songs for maids; so without
   bawdry, which is strange; with such delicate
   burthens of dildos and fadings, 'jump her and thump
   her;' and where some stretch-mouthed rascal would,
   as it were, mean mischief and break a foul gap into
   the matter, he makes the maid to answer 'Whoop, do me
   no harm, good man;' puts him off, slights him, with
   'Whoop, do me no harm, good man.'

POLIXENES

   This is a brave fellow.

Clown

   Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable conceited
   fellow. Has he any unbraided wares?

Servant

   He hath ribbons of an the colours i' the rainbow;
   points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can
   learnedly handle, though they come to him by the
   gross: inkles, caddisses, cambrics, lawns: why, he
   sings 'em over as they were gods or goddesses; you
   would think a smock were a she-angel, he so chants
   to the sleeve-hand and the work about the square on't.

Clown

   Prithee bring him in; and let him approach singing.

PERDITA

   Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words in 's tunes.
   Exit Servant

Clown

   You have of these pedlars, that have more in them
   than you'ld think, sister.

PERDITA

   Ay, good brother, or go about to think.
   Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing

AUTOLYCUS

   Lawn as white as driven snow;
   Cyprus black as e'er was crow;
   Gloves as sweet as damask roses;
   Masks for faces and for noses;
   Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
   Perfume for a lady's chamber;
   Golden quoifs and stomachers,
   For my lads to give their dears:
   Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
   What maids lack from head to heel:
   Come buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
   Buy lads, or else your lasses cry: Come buy.

Clown

   If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou shouldst take
   no money of me; but being enthralled as I am, it
   will also be the bondage of certain ribbons and gloves.

MOPSA

   I was promised them against the feast; but they come
   not too late now.

DORCAS

   He hath promised you more than that, or there be liars.

MOPSA

   He hath paid you all he promised you; may be, he has
   paid you more, which will shame you to give him again.

Clown

   Is there no manners left among maids? will they
   wear their plackets where they should bear their
   faces? Is there not milking-time, when you are
   going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle off these
   secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling before all
   our guests? 'tis well they are whispering: clamour
   your tongues, and not a word more.

MOPSA

   I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry-lace
   and a pair of sweet gloves.

Clown

   Have I not told thee how I was cozened by the way
   and lost all my money?

AUTOLYCUS

   And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad;
   therefore it behoves men to be wary.

Clown

   Fear not thou, man, thou shalt lose nothing here.

AUTOLYCUS

   I hope so, sir; for I have about me many parcels of charge.

Clown

   What hast here? ballads?

MOPSA

   Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad in print o'
   life, for then we are sure they are true.

AUTOLYCUS

   Here's one to a very doleful tune, how a usurer's
   wife was brought to bed of twenty money-bags at a
   burthen and how she longed to eat adders' heads and
   toads carbonadoed.

MOPSA

   Is it true, think you?

AUTOLYCUS

   Very true, and but a month old.

DORCAS

   Bless me from marrying a usurer!

AUTOLYCUS

   Here's the midwife's name to't, one Mistress
   Tale-porter, and five or six honest wives that were
   present. Why should I carry lies abroad?

MOPSA

   Pray you now, buy it.

Clown

   Come on, lay it by: and let's first see moe
   ballads; we'll buy the other things anon.

AUTOLYCUS

   Here's another ballad of a fish, that appeared upon
   the coast on Wednesday the four-score of April,
   forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this
   ballad against the hard hearts of maids: it was
   thought she was a woman and was turned into a cold
   fish for she would not exchange flesh with one that
   loved her: the ballad is very pitiful and as true.

DORCAS

   Is it true too, think you?

AUTOLYCUS

   Five justices' hands at it, and witnesses more than
   my pack will hold.

Clown

   Lay it by too: another.

AUTOLYCUS

   This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.

MOPSA

   Let's have some merry ones.

AUTOLYCUS

   Why, this is a passing merry one and goes to
   the tune of 'Two maids wooing a man:' there's
   scarce a maid westward but she sings it; 'tis in
   request, I can tell you.

MOPSA

   We can both sing it: if thou'lt bear a part, thou
   shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.

DORCAS

   We had the tune on't a month ago.

AUTOLYCUS

   I can bear my part; you must know 'tis my
   occupation; have at it with you.
   SONG

AUTOLYCUS

   Get you hence, for I must go
   Where it fits not you to know.

DORCAS

   Whither?

MOPSA

   O, whither?

DORCAS

   Whither?

MOPSA

   It becomes thy oath full well,
   Thou to me thy secrets tell.

DORCAS

   Me too, let me go thither.

MOPSA

   Or thou goest to the orange or mill.

DORCAS

   If to either, thou dost ill.

AUTOLYCUS

   Neither.

DORCAS

   What, neither?

AUTOLYCUS

   Neither.

DORCAS

   Thou hast sworn my love to be.

MOPSA

   Thou hast sworn it more to me:
   Then whither goest? say, whither?

Clown

   We'll have this song out anon by ourselves: my
   father and the gentlemen are in sad talk, and we'll
   not trouble them. Come, bring away thy pack after
   me. Wenches, I'll buy for you both. Pedlar, let's
   have the first choice. Follow me, girls.
   Exit with DORCAS and MOPSA

AUTOLYCUS

   And you shall pay well for 'em.
   Follows singing
   Will you buy any tape,
   Or lace for your cape,
   My dainty duck, my dear-a?
   Any silk, any thread,
   Any toys for your head,
   Of the new'st and finest, finest wear-a?
   Come to the pedlar;
   Money's a medler.
   That doth utter all men's ware-a.
   Exit
   Re-enter Servant

Servant

   Master, there is three carters, three shepherds,
   three neat-herds, three swine-herds, that have made
   themselves all men of hair, they call themselves
   Saltiers, and they have a dance which the wenches
   say is a gallimaufry of gambols, because they are
   not in't; but they themselves are o' the mind, if it
   be not too rough for some that know little but
   bowling, it will please plentifully.

Shepherd

   Away! we'll none on 't: here has been too much
   homely foolery already. I know, sir, we weary you.

POLIXENES

   You weary those that refresh us: pray, let's see
   these four threes of herdsmen.

Servant

   One three of them, by their own report, sir, hath
   danced before the king; and not the worst of the
   three but jumps twelve foot and a half by the squier.

Shepherd

   Leave your prating: since these good men are
   pleased, let them come in; but quickly now.

Servant

   Why, they stay at door, sir.
   Exit
   Here a dance of twelve Satyrs

POLIXENES

   O, father, you'll know more of that hereafter.
   To CAMILLO
   Is it not too far gone? 'Tis time to part them.
   He's simple and tells much.
   To FLORIZEL
   How now, fair shepherd!
   Your heart is full of something that does take
   Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
   And handed love as you do, I was wont
   To load my she with knacks: I would have ransack'd
   The pedlar's silken treasury and have pour'd it
   To her acceptance; you have let him go
   And nothing marted with him. If your lass
   Interpretation should abuse and call this
   Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
   For a reply, at least if you make a care
   Of happy holding her.

FLORIZEL

   Old sir, I know
   She prizes not such trifles as these are:
   The gifts she looks from me are pack'd and lock'd
   Up in my heart; which I have given already,
   But not deliver'd. O, hear me breathe my life
   Before this ancient sir, who, it should seem,
   Hath sometime loved! I take thy hand, this hand,
   As soft as dove's down and as white as it,
   Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd
   snow that's bolted
   By the northern blasts twice o'er.

POLIXENES

   What follows this?
   How prettily the young swain seems to wash
   The hand was fair before! I have put you out:
   But to your protestation; let me hear
   What you profess.

FLORIZEL

   Do, and be witness to 't.

POLIXENES

   And this my neighbour too?

FLORIZEL

   And he, and more
   Than he, and men, the earth, the heavens, and all:
   That, were I crown'd the most imperial monarch,
   Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth
   That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge
   More than was ever man's, I would not prize them
   Without her love; for her employ them all;
   Commend them and condemn them to her service
   Or to their own perdition.

POLIXENES

   Fairly offer'd.

CAMILLO

   This shows a sound affection.

Shepherd

   But, my daughter,
   Say you the like to him?

PERDITA

   I cannot speak
   So well, nothing so well; no, nor mean better:
   By the pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
   The purity of his.

Shepherd

   Take hands, a bargain!
   And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to 't:
   I give my daughter to him, and will make
   Her portion equal his.

FLORIZEL

   O, that must be
   I' the virtue of your daughter: one being dead,
   I shall have more than you can dream of yet;
   Enough then for your wonder. But, come on,
   Contract us 'fore these witnesses.

Shepherd

   Come, your hand;
   And, daughter, yours.

POLIXENES

   Soft, swain, awhile, beseech you;
   Have you a father?

FLORIZEL

   I have: but what of him?

POLIXENES

   Knows he of this?

FLORIZEL

   He neither does nor shall.

POLIXENES

   Methinks a father
   Is at the nuptial of his son a guest
   That best becomes the table. Pray you once more,
   Is not your father grown incapable
   Of reasonable affairs? is he not stupid
   With age and altering rheums? can he speak? hear?
   Know man from man? dispute his own estate?
   Lies he not bed-rid? and again does nothing
   But what he did being childish?

FLORIZEL

   No, good sir;
   He has his health and ampler strength indeed
   Than most have of his age.

POLIXENES

   By my white beard,
   You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
   Something unfilial: reason my son
   Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason
   The father, all whose joy is nothing else
   But fair posterity, should hold some counsel
   In such a business.

FLORIZEL

   I yield all this;
   But for some other reasons, my grave sir,
   Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
   My father of this business.

POLIXENES

   Let him know't.

FLORIZEL

   He shall not.

POLIXENES

   Prithee, let him.

FLORIZEL

   No, he must not.

Shepherd

   Let him, my son: he shall not need to grieve
   At knowing of thy choice.

FLORIZEL

   Come, come, he must not.
   Mark our contract.

POLIXENES

   Mark your divorce, young sir,
   Discovering himself
   Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base
   To be acknowledged: thou a sceptre's heir,
   That thus affect'st a sheep-hook! Thou old traitor,
   I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
   But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece
   Of excellent witchcraft, who of force must know
   The royal fool thou copest with,--

Shepherd

   O, my heart!

POLIXENES

   I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briers, and made
   More homely than thy state. For thee, fond boy,
   If I may ever know thou dost but sigh
   That thou no more shalt see this knack, as never
   I mean thou shalt, we'll bar thee from succession;
   Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
   Far than Deucalion off: mark thou my words:
   Follow us to the court. Thou churl, for this time,
   Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
   From the dead blow of it. And you, enchantment.--
   Worthy enough a herdsman: yea, him too,
   That makes himself, but for our honour therein,
   Unworthy thee,--if ever henceforth thou
   These rural latches to his entrance open,
   Or hoop his body more with thy embraces,
   I will devise a death as cruel for thee
   As thou art tender to't.
   Exit

PERDITA

   Even here undone!
   I was not much afeard; for once or twice
   I was about to speak and tell him plainly,
   The selfsame sun that shines upon his court
   Hides not his visage from our cottage but
   Looks on alike. Will't please you, sir, be gone?
   I told you what would come of this: beseech you,
   Of your own state take care: this dream of mine,--
   Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch farther,
   But milk my ewes and weep.

CAMILLO

   Why, how now, father!
   Speak ere thou diest.

Shepherd

   I cannot speak, nor think
   Nor dare to know that which I know. O sir!
   You have undone a man of fourscore three,
   That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea,
   To die upon the bed my father died,
   To lie close by his honest bones: but now
   Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me
   Where no priest shovels in dust. O cursed wretch,
   That knew'st this was the prince,
   and wouldst adventure
   To mingle faith with him! Undone! undone!
   If I might die within this hour, I have lived
   To die when I desire.
   Exit

FLORIZEL

   Why look you so upon me?
   I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd,
   But nothing alter'd: what I was, I am;
   More straining on for plucking back, not following
   My leash unwillingly.

CAMILLO

   Gracious my lord,
   You know your father's temper: at this time
   He will allow no speech, which I do guess
   You do not purpose to him; and as hardly
   Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear:
   Then, till the fury of his highness settle,
   Come not before him.

FLORIZEL

   I not purpose it.
   I think, Camillo?

CAMILLO

   Even he, my lord.

PERDITA

   How often have I told you 'twould be thus!
   How often said, my dignity would last
   But till 'twere known!

FLORIZEL

   It cannot fail but by
   The violation of my faith; and then
   Let nature crush the sides o' the earth together
   And mar the seeds within! Lift up thy looks:
   From my succession wipe me, father; I
   Am heir to my affection.

CAMILLO

   Be advised.

FLORIZEL

   I am, and by my fancy: if my reason
   Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;
   If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,
   Do bid it welcome.

CAMILLO

   This is desperate, sir.

FLORIZEL

   So call it: but it does fulfil my vow;
   I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
   Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may
   Be thereat glean'd, for all the sun sees or
   The close earth wombs or the profound sea hides
   In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath
   To this my fair beloved: therefore, I pray you,
   As you have ever been my father's honour'd friend,
   When he shall miss me,--as, in faith, I mean not
   To see him any more,--cast your good counsels
   Upon his passion; let myself and fortune
   Tug for the time to come. This you may know
   And so deliver, I am put to sea
   With her whom here I cannot hold on shore;
   And most opportune to our need I have
   A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared
   For this design. What course I mean to hold
   Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
   Concern me the reporting.

CAMILLO

   O my lord!
   I would your spirit were easier for advice,
   Or stronger for your need.

FLORIZEL

   Hark, Perdita
   Drawing her aside
   I'll hear you by and by.

CAMILLO

   He's irremoveable,
   Resolved for flight. Now were I happy, if
   His going I could frame to serve my turn,
   Save him from danger, do him love and honour,
   Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia
   And that unhappy king, my master, whom
   I so much thirst to see.

FLORIZEL

   Now, good Camillo;
   I am so fraught with curious business that
   I leave out ceremony.

CAMILLO

   Sir, I think
   You have heard of my poor services, i' the love
   That I have borne your father?

FLORIZEL

   Very nobly
   Have you deserved: it is my father's music
   To speak your deeds, not little of his care
   To have them recompensed as thought on.

CAMILLO

   Well, my lord,
   If you may please to think I love the king
   And through him what is nearest to him, which is
   Your gracious self, embrace but my direction:
   If your more ponderous and settled project
   May suffer alteration, on mine honour,
   I'll point you where you shall have such receiving
   As shall become your highness; where you may
   Enjoy your mistress, from the whom, I see,
   There's no disjunction to be made, but by--
   As heavens forefend!--your ruin; marry her,
   And, with my best endeavours in your absence,
   Your discontenting father strive to qualify
   And bring him up to liking.

FLORIZEL

   How, Camillo,
   May this, almost a miracle, be done?
   That I may call thee something more than man
   And after that trust to thee.

CAMILLO

   Have you thought on
   A place whereto you'll go?

FLORIZEL

   Not any yet:
   But as the unthought-on accident is guilty
   To what we wildly do, so we profess
   Ourselves to be the slaves of chance and flies
   Of every wind that blows.

CAMILLO

   Then list to me:
   This follows, if you will not change your purpose
   But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia,
   And there present yourself and your fair princess,
   For so I see she must be, 'fore Leontes:
   She shall be habited as it becomes
   The partner of your bed. Methinks I see
   Leontes opening his free arms and weeping
   His welcomes forth; asks thee the son forgiveness,
   As 'twere i' the father's person; kisses the hands
   Of your fresh princess; o'er and o'er divides him
   'Twixt his unkindness and his kindness; the one
   He chides to hell and bids the other grow
   Faster than thought or time.

FLORIZEL

   Worthy Camillo,
   What colour for my visitation shall I
   Hold up before him?

CAMILLO

   Sent by the king your father
   To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,
   The manner of your bearing towards him, with
   What you as from your father shall deliver,
   Things known betwixt us three, I'll write you down:
   The which shall point you forth at every sitting
   What you must say; that he shall not perceive
   But that you have your father's bosom there
   And speak his very heart.

FLORIZEL

   I am bound to you:
   There is some sap in this.

CAMILLO

   A cause more promising
   Than a wild dedication of yourselves
   To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores, most certain
   To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
   But as you shake off one to take another;
   Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
   Do their best office, if they can but stay you
   Where you'll be loath to be: besides you know
   Prosperity's the very bond of love,
   Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
   Affliction alters.

PERDITA

   One of these is true:
   I think affliction may subdue the cheek,
   But not take in the mind.

CAMILLO

   Yea, say you so?
   There shall not at your father's house these
   seven years
   Be born another such.

FLORIZEL

   My good Camillo,
   She is as forward of her breeding as
   She is i' the rear our birth.

CAMILLO

   I cannot say 'tis pity
   She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress
   To most that teach.

PERDITA

   Your pardon, sir; for this
   I'll blush you thanks.

FLORIZEL

   My prettiest Perdita!
   But O, the thorns we stand upon! Camillo,
   Preserver of my father, now of me,
   The medicine of our house, how shall we do?
   We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's son,
   Nor shall appear in Sicilia.

CAMILLO

   My lord,
   Fear none of this: I think you know my fortunes
   Do all lie there: it shall be so my care
   To have you royally appointed as if
   The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,
   That you may know you shall not want, one word.
   They talk aside
   Re-enter AUTOLYCUS

AUTOLYCUS

   Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, his
   sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I have sold
   all my trumpery; not a counterfeit stone, not a
   ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table-book, ballad,
   knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring,
   to keep my pack from fasting: they throng who
   should buy first, as if my trinkets had been
   hallowed and brought a benediction to the buyer:
   by which means I saw whose purse was best in
   picture; and what I saw, to my good use I
   remembered. My clown, who wants but something to
   be a reasonable man, grew so in love with the
   wenches' song, that he would not stir his pettitoes
   till he had both tune and words; which so drew the
   rest of the herd to me that all their other senses
   stuck in ears: you might have pinched a placket, it
   was senseless; 'twas nothing to geld a codpiece of a
   purse; I could have filed keys off that hung in
   chains: no hearing, no feeling, but my sir's song,
   and admiring the nothing of it. So that in this
   time of lethargy I picked and cut most of their
   festival purses; and had not the old man come in
   with a whoo-bub against his daughter and the king's
   son and scared my choughs from the chaff, I had not
   left a purse alive in the whole army.
   CAMILLO, FLORIZEL, and PERDITA come forward

CAMILLO

   Nay, but my letters, by this means being there
   So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.

FLORIZEL

   And those that you'll procure from King Leontes--

CAMILLO

   Shall satisfy your father.

PERDITA

   Happy be you!
   All that you speak shows fair.

CAMILLO

   Who have we here?
   Seeing AUTOLYCUS
   We'll make an instrument of this, omit
   Nothing may give us aid.

AUTOLYCUS

   If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.

CAMILLO

   How now, good fellow! why shakest thou so? Fear
   not, man; here's no harm intended to thee.

AUTOLYCUS

   I am a poor fellow, sir.

CAMILLO

   Why, be so still; here's nobody will steal that from
   thee: yet for the outside of thy poverty we must
   make an exchange; therefore discase thee instantly,
   --thou must think there's a necessity in't,--and
   change garments with this gentleman: though the
   pennyworth on his side be the worst, yet hold thee,
   there's some boot.

AUTOLYCUS

   I am a poor fellow, sir.
   Aside
   I know ye well enough.

CAMILLO

   Nay, prithee, dispatch: the gentleman is half
   flayed already.

AUTOLYCUS

   Are you in earnest, sir?
   Aside
   I smell the trick on't.

FLORIZEL

   Dispatch, I prithee.

AUTOLYCUS

   Indeed, I have had earnest: but I cannot with
   conscience take it.

CAMILLO

   Unbuckle, unbuckle.
   FLORIZEL and AUTOLYCUS exchange garments
   Fortunate mistress,--let my prophecy
   Come home to ye!--you must retire yourself
   Into some covert: take your sweetheart's hat
   And pluck it o'er your brows, muffle your face,
   Dismantle you, and, as you can, disliken
   The truth of your own seeming; that you may--
   For I do fear eyes over--to shipboard
   Get undescried.

PERDITA

   I see the play so lies
   That I must bear a part.

CAMILLO

   No remedy.
   Have you done there?

FLORIZEL

   Should I now meet my father,
   He would not call me son.

CAMILLO

   Nay, you shall have no hat.
   Giving it to PERDITA
   Come, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.

AUTOLYCUS

   Adieu, sir.

FLORIZEL

   O Perdita, what have we twain forgot!
   Pray you, a word.

CAMILLO

   [Aside] What I do next, shall be to tell the king
   Of this escape and whither they are bound;
   Wherein my hope is I shall so prevail
   To force him after: in whose company
   I shall review Sicilia, for whose sight
   I have a woman's longing.

FLORIZEL

   Fortune speed us!
   Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.

CAMILLO

   The swifter speed the better.
   Exeunt FLORIZEL, PERDITA, and CAMILLO

AUTOLYCUS

   I understand the business, I hear it: to have an
   open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is
   necessary for a cut-purse; a good nose is requisite
   also, to smell out work for the other senses. I see
   this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive.
   What an exchange had this been without boot! What
   a boot is here with this exchange! Sure the gods do
   this year connive at us, and we may do any thing
   extempore. The prince himself is about a piece of
   iniquity, stealing away from his father with his
   clog at his heels: if I thought it were a piece of
   honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would not
   do't: I hold it the more knavery to conceal it;
   and therein am I constant to my profession.
   Re-enter Clown and Shepherd
   Aside, aside; here is more matter for a hot brain:
   every lane's end, every shop, church, session,
   hanging, yields a careful man work.

Clown

   See, see; what a man you are now!
   There is no other way but to tell the king
   she's a changeling and none of your flesh and blood.

Shepherd

   Nay, but hear me.

Clown

   Nay, but hear me.

Shepherd

   Go to, then.

Clown

   She being none of your flesh and blood, your flesh
   and blood has not offended the king; and so your
   flesh and blood is not to be punished by him. Show
   those things you found about her, those secret
   things, all but what she has with her: this being
   done, let the law go whistle: I warrant you.

Shepherd

   I will tell the king all, every word, yea, and his
   son's pranks too; who, I may say, is no honest man,
   neither to his father nor to me, to go about to make
   me the king's brother-in-law.

Clown

   Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest off you
   could have been to him and then your blood had been
   the dearer by I know how much an ounce.

AUTOLYCUS

   [Aside] Very wisely, puppies!

Shepherd

   Well, let us to the king: there is that in this
   fardel will make him scratch his beard.

AUTOLYCUS

   [Aside] I know not what impediment this complaint
   may be to the flight of my master.

Clown

   Pray heartily he be at palace.

AUTOLYCUS

   [Aside] Though I am not naturally honest, I am so
   sometimes by chance: let me pocket up my pedlar's excrement.
   Takes off his false beard
   How now, rustics! whither are you bound?

Shepherd

   To the palace, an it like your worship.

AUTOLYCUS

   Your affairs there, what, with whom, the condition
   of that fardel, the place of your dwelling, your
   names, your ages, of what having, breeding, and any
   thing that is fitting to be known, discover.

Clown

   We are but plain fellows, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

   A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me have no
   lying: it becomes none but tradesmen, and they
   often give us soldiers the lie: but we pay them for
   it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; therefore
   they do not give us the lie.

Clown

   Your worship had like to have given us one, if you
   had not taken yourself with the manner.

Shepherd

   Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?

AUTOLYCUS

   Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier. Seest
   thou not the air of the court in these enfoldings?
   hath not my gait in it the measure of the court?
   receives not thy nose court-odor from me? reflect I
   not on thy baseness court-contempt? Thinkest thou,
   for that I insinuate, or toaze from thee thy
   business, I am therefore no courtier? I am courtier
   cap-a-pe; and one that will either push on or pluck
   back thy business there: whereupon I command thee to
   open thy affair.

Shepherd

   My business, sir, is to the king.

AUTOLYCUS

   What advocate hast thou to him?

Shepherd

   I know not, an't like you.

Clown

   Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant: say you
   have none.

Shepherd

   None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor hen.

AUTOLYCUS

   How blessed are we that are not simple men!
   Yet nature might have made me as these are,
   Therefore I will not disdain.

Clown

   This cannot be but a great courtier.

Shepherd

   His garments are rich, but he wears
   them not handsomely.

Clown

   He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical:
   a great man, I'll warrant; I know by the picking
   on's teeth.

AUTOLYCUS

   The fardel there? what's i' the fardel?
   Wherefore that box?

Shepherd

   Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and box,
   which none must know but the king; and which he
   shall know within this hour, if I may come to the
   speech of him.

AUTOLYCUS

   Age, thou hast lost thy labour.

Shepherd

   Why, sir?

AUTOLYCUS

   The king is not at the palace; he is gone aboard a
   new ship to purge melancholy and air himself: for,
   if thou beest capable of things serious, thou must
   know the king is full of grief.

Shepard

   So 'tis said, sir; about his son, that should have
   married a shepherd's daughter.

AUTOLYCUS

   If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly:
   the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall
   feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.

Clown

   Think you so, sir?

AUTOLYCUS

   Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy
   and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to
   him, though removed fifty times, shall all come
   under the hangman: which though it be great pity,
   yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue a
   ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into
   grace! Some say he shall be stoned; but that death
   is too soft for him, say I draw our throne into a
   sheep-cote! all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.

Clown

   Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear. an't
   like you, sir?

AUTOLYCUS

   He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then
   'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a
   wasp's nest; then stand till he be three quarters
   and a dram dead; then recovered again with
   aqua-vitae or some other hot infusion; then, raw as
   he is, and in the hottest day prognostication
   proclaims, shall be be set against a brick-wall, the
   sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he
   is to behold him with flies blown to death. But what
   talk we of these traitorly rascals, whose miseries
   are to be smiled at, their offences being so
   capital? Tell me, for you seem to be honest plain
   men, what you have to the king: being something
   gently considered, I'll bring you where he is
   aboard, tender your persons to his presence,
   whisper him in your behalfs; and if it be in man
   besides the king to effect your suits, here is man
   shall do it.

Clown

   He seems to be of great authority: close with him,
   give him gold; and though authority be a stubborn
   bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold: show
   the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand,
   and no more ado. Remember 'stoned,' and 'flayed alive.'

Shepherd

   An't please you, sir, to undertake the business for
   us, here is that gold I have: I'll make it as much
   more and leave this young man in pawn till I bring it you.

AUTOLYCUS

   After I have done what I promised?

Shepherd

   Ay, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

   Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in this business?

Clown

   In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitiful
   one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.

AUTOLYCUS

   O, that's the case of the shepherd's son: hang him,
   he'll be made an example.

Clown

   Comfort, good comfort! We must to the king and show
   our strange sights: he must know 'tis none of your
   daughter nor my sister; we are gone else. Sir, I
   will give you as much as this old man does when the
   business is performed, and remain, as he says, your
   pawn till it be brought you.

AUTOLYCUS

   I will trust you. Walk before toward the sea-side;
   go on the right hand: I will but look upon the
   hedge and follow you.

Clown

   We are blest in this man, as I may say, even blest.

Shepherd

   Let's before as he bids us: he was provided to do us good.
   Exeunt Shepherd and Clown

AUTOLYCUS

   If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune would
   not suffer me: she drops booties in my mouth. I am
   courted now with a double occasion, gold and a means
   to do the prince my master good; which who knows how
   that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring
   these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him: if he
   think it fit to shore them again and that the
   complaint they have to the king concerns him
   nothing, let him call me rogue for being so far
   officious; for I am proof against that title and
   what shame else belongs to't. To him will I present
   them: there may be matter in it.
   Exit

ACT V SCENE I. A room in LEONTES' palace.

   Enter LEONTES, CLEOMENES, DION, PAULINA, and Servants 

CLEOMENES

   Sir, you have done enough, and have perform'd
   A saint-like sorrow: no fault could you make,
   Which you have not redeem'd; indeed, paid down
   More penitence than done trespass: at the last,
   Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil;
   With them forgive yourself.

LEONTES

   Whilst I remember
   Her and her virtues, I cannot forget
   My blemishes in them, and so still think of
   The wrong I did myself; which was so much,
   That heirless it hath made my kingdom and
   Destroy'd the sweet'st companion that e'er man
   Bred his hopes out of.

PAULINA

   True, too true, my lord:
   If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
   Or from the all that are took something good,
   To make a perfect woman, she you kill'd
   Would be unparallel'd.

LEONTES

   I think so. Kill'd!
   She I kill'd! I did so: but thou strikest me
   Sorely, to say I did; it is as bitter
   Upon thy tongue as in my thought: now, good now,
   Say so but seldom.

CLEOMENES

   Not at all, good lady:
   You might have spoken a thousand things that would
   Have done the time more benefit and graced
   Your kindness better.

PAULINA

   You are one of those
   Would have him wed again.

DION

   If you would not so,
   You pity not the state, nor the remembrance
   Of his most sovereign name; consider little
   What dangers, by his highness' fail of issue,
   May drop upon his kingdom and devour
   Incertain lookers on. What were more holy
   Than to rejoice the former queen is well?
   What holier than, for royalty's repair,
   For present comfort and for future good,
   To bless the bed of majesty again
   With a sweet fellow to't?

PAULINA

   There is none worthy,
   Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
   Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes;
   For has not the divine Apollo said,
   Is't not the tenor of his oracle,
   That King Leontes shall not have an heir
   Till his lost child be found? which that it shall,
   Is all as monstrous to our human reason
   As my Antigonus to break his grave
   And come again to me; who, on my life,
   Did perish with the infant. 'Tis your counsel
   My lord should to the heavens be contrary,
   Oppose against their wills.
   To LEONTES
   Care not for issue;
   The crown will find an heir: great Alexander
   Left his to the worthiest; so his successor
   Was like to be the best.

LEONTES

   Good Paulina,
   Who hast the memory of Hermione,
   I know, in honour, O, that ever I
   Had squared me to thy counsel! then, even now,
   I might have look'd upon my queen's full eyes,
   Have taken treasure from her lips--

PAULINA

   And left them
   More rich for what they yielded.

LEONTES

   Thou speak'st truth.
   No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse,
   And better used, would make her sainted spirit
   Again possess her corpse, and on this stage,
   Where we're offenders now, appear soul-vex'd,
   And begin, 'Why to me?'

PAULINA

   Had she such power,
   She had just cause.

LEONTES

   She had; and would incense me
   To murder her I married.

PAULINA

   I should so.
   Were I the ghost that walk'd, I'ld bid you mark
   Her eye, and tell me for what dull part in't
   You chose her; then I'ld shriek, that even your ears
   Should rift to hear me; and the words that follow'd
   Should be 'Remember mine.'

LEONTES

   Stars, stars,
   And all eyes else dead coals! Fear thou no wife;
   I'll have no wife, Paulina.

PAULINA

   Will you swear
   Never to marry but by my free leave?

LEONTES

   Never, Paulina; so be blest my spirit!

PAULINA

   Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.

CLEOMENES

   You tempt him over-much.

PAULINA

   Unless another,
   As like Hermione as is her picture,
   Affront his eye.

CLEOMENES

   Good madam,--

PAULINA

   I have done.
   Yet, if my lord will marry,--if you will, sir,
   No remedy, but you will,--give me the office
   To choose you a queen: she shall not be so young
   As was your former; but she shall be such
   As, walk'd your first queen's ghost,
   it should take joy
   To see her in your arms.

LEONTES

   My true Paulina,
   We shall not marry till thou bid'st us.

PAULINA

   That
   Shall be when your first queen's again in breath;
   Never till then.
   Enter a Gentleman

Gentleman

   One that gives out himself Prince Florizel,
   Son of Polixenes, with his princess, she
   The fairest I have yet beheld, desires access
   To your high presence.

LEONTES

   What with him? he comes not
   Like to his father's greatness: his approach,
   So out of circumstance and sudden, tells us
   'Tis not a visitation framed, but forced
   By need and accident. What train?

Gentleman

   But few,
   And those but mean.

LEONTES

   His princess, say you, with him?

Gentleman

   Ay, the most peerless piece of earth, I think,
   That e'er the sun shone bright on.

PAULINA

   O Hermione,
   As every present time doth boast itself
   Above a better gone, so must thy grave
   Give way to what's seen now! Sir, you yourself
   Have said and writ so, but your writing now
   Is colder than that theme, 'She had not been,
   Nor was not to be equall'd;'--thus your verse
   Flow'd with her beauty once: 'tis shrewdly ebb'd,
   To say you have seen a better.

Gentleman

   Pardon, madam:
   The one I have almost forgot,--your pardon,--
   The other, when she has obtain'd your eye,
   Will have your tongue too. This is a creature,
   Would she begin a sect, might quench the zeal
   Of all professors else, make proselytes
   Of who she but bid follow.

PAULINA

   How! not women?

Gentleman

   Women will love her, that she is a woman
   More worth than any man; men, that she is
   The rarest of all women.

LEONTES

   Go, Cleomenes;
   Yourself, assisted with your honour'd friends,
   Bring them to our embracement. Still, 'tis strange
   Exeunt CLEOMENES and others
   He thus should steal upon us.

PAULINA

   Had our prince,
   Jewel of children, seen this hour, he had pair'd
   Well with this lord: there was not full a month
   Between their births.

LEONTES

   Prithee, no more; cease; thou know'st
   He dies to me again when talk'd of: sure,
   When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches
   Will bring me to consider that which may
   Unfurnish me of reason. They are come.
   Re-enter CLEOMENES and others, with FLORIZEL and PERDITA
   Your mother was most true to wedlock, prince;
   For she did print your royal father off,
   Conceiving you: were I but twenty-one,
   Your father's image is so hit in you,
   His very air, that I should call you brother,
   As I did him, and speak of something wildly
   By us perform'd before. Most dearly welcome!
   And your fair princess,--goddess!--O, alas!
   I lost a couple, that 'twixt heaven and earth
   Might thus have stood begetting wonder as
   You, gracious couple, do: and then I lost--
   All mine own folly--the society,
   Amity too, of your brave father, whom,
   Though bearing misery, I desire my life
   Once more to look on him.

FLORIZEL

   By his command
   Have I here touch'd Sicilia and from him
   Give you all greetings that a king, at friend,
   Can send his brother: and, but infirmity
   Which waits upon worn times hath something seized
   His wish'd ability, he had himself
   The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his
   Measured to look upon you; whom he loves--
   He bade me say so--more than all the sceptres
   And those that bear them living.

LEONTES

   O my brother,
   Good gentleman! the wrongs I have done thee stir
   Afresh within me, and these thy offices,
   So rarely kind, are as interpreters
   Of my behind-hand slackness. Welcome hither,
   As is the spring to the earth. And hath he too
   Exposed this paragon to the fearful usage,
   At least ungentle, of the dreadful Neptune,
   To greet a man not worth her pains, much less
   The adventure of her person?

FLORIZEL

   Good my lord,
   She came from Libya.

LEONTES

   Where the warlike Smalus,
   That noble honour'd lord, is fear'd and loved?

FLORIZEL

   Most royal sir, from thence; from him, whose daughter
   His tears proclaim'd his, parting with her: thence,
   A prosperous south-wind friendly, we have cross'd,
   To execute the charge my father gave me
   For visiting your highness: my best train
   I have from your Sicilian shores dismiss'd;
   Who for Bohemia bend, to signify
   Not only my success in Libya, sir,
   But my arrival and my wife's in safety
   Here where we are.

LEONTES

   The blessed gods
   Purge all infection from our air whilst you
   Do climate here! You have a holy father,
   A graceful gentleman; against whose person,
   So sacred as it is, I have done sin:
   For which the heavens, taking angry note,
   Have left me issueless; and your father's blest,
   As he from heaven merits it, with you
   Worthy his goodness. What might I have been,
   Might I a son and daughter now have look'd on,
   Such goodly things as you!
   Enter a Lord

Lord

   Most noble sir,
   That which I shall report will bear no credit,
   Were not the proof so nigh. Please you, great sir,
   Bohemia greets you from himself by me;
   Desires you to attach his son, who has--
   His dignity and duty both cast off--
   Fled from his father, from his hopes, and with
   A shepherd's daughter.

LEONTES

   Where's Bohemia? speak.

Lord

   Here in your city; I now came from him:
   I speak amazedly; and it becomes
   My marvel and my message. To your court
   Whiles he was hastening, in the chase, it seems,
   Of this fair couple, meets he on the way
   The father of this seeming lady and
   Her brother, having both their country quitted
   With this young prince.

FLORIZEL

   Camillo has betray'd me;
   Whose honour and whose honesty till now
   Endured all weathers.

Lord

   Lay't so to his charge:
   He's with the king your father.

LEONTES

   Who? Camillo?

Lord

   Camillo, sir; I spake with him; who now
   Has these poor men in question. Never saw I
   Wretches so quake: they kneel, they kiss the earth;
   Forswear themselves as often as they speak:
   Bohemia stops his ears, and threatens them
   With divers deaths in death.

PERDITA

   O my poor father!
   The heaven sets spies upon us, will not have
   Our contract celebrated.

LEONTES

   You are married?

FLORIZEL

   We are not, sir, nor are we like to be;
   The stars, I see, will kiss the valleys first:
   The odds for high and low's alike.

LEONTES

   My lord,
   Is this the daughter of a king?

FLORIZEL

   She is,
   When once she is my wife.

LEONTES

   That 'once' I see by your good father's speed
   Will come on very slowly. I am sorry,
   Most sorry, you have broken from his liking
   Where you were tied in duty, and as sorry
   Your choice is not so rich in worth as beauty,
   That you might well enjoy her.

FLORIZEL

   Dear, look up:
   Though Fortune, visible an enemy,
   Should chase us with my father, power no jot
   Hath she to change our loves. Beseech you, sir,
   Remember since you owed no more to time
   Than I do now: with thought of such affections,
   Step forth mine advocate; at your request
   My father will grant precious things as trifles.

LEONTES

   Would he do so, I'ld beg your precious mistress,
   Which he counts but a trifle.

PAULINA

   Sir, my liege,
   Your eye hath too much youth in't: not a month
   'Fore your queen died, she was more worth such gazes
   Than what you look on now.

LEONTES

   I thought of her,
   Even in these looks I made.
   To FLORIZEL
   But your petition
   Is yet unanswer'd. I will to your father:
   Your honour not o'erthrown by your desires,
   I am friend to them and you: upon which errand
   I now go toward him; therefore follow me
   And mark what way I make: come, good my lord.
   Exeunt

SCENE II. Before LEONTES' palace.

   Enter AUTOLYCUS and a Gentleman 

AUTOLYCUS

   Beseech you, sir, were you present at this relation?

First Gentleman

   I was by at the opening of the fardel, heard the old
   shepherd deliver the manner how he found it:
   whereupon, after a little amazedness, we were all
   commanded out of the chamber; only this methought I
   heard the shepherd say, he found the child.

AUTOLYCUS

   I would most gladly know the issue of it.

First Gentleman

   I make a broken delivery of the business; but the
   changes I perceived in the king and Camillo were
   very notes of admiration: they seemed almost, with
   staring on one another, to tear the cases of their
   eyes; there was speech in their dumbness, language
   in their very gesture; they looked as they had heard
   of a world ransomed, or one destroyed: a notable
   passion of wonder appeared in them; but the wisest
   beholder, that knew no more but seeing, could not
   say if the importance were joy or sorrow; but in the
   extremity of the one, it must needs be.
   Enter another Gentleman
   Here comes a gentleman that haply knows more.
   The news, Rogero?

Second Gentleman

   Nothing but bonfires: the oracle is fulfilled; the
   king's daughter is found: such a deal of wonder is
   broken out within this hour that ballad-makers
   cannot be able to express it.
   Enter a third Gentleman
   Here comes the Lady Paulina's steward: he can
   deliver you more. How goes it now, sir? this news
   which is called true is so like an old tale, that
   the verity of it is in strong suspicion: has the king
   found his heir?

Third Gentleman

   Most true, if ever truth were pregnant by
   circumstance: that which you hear you'll swear you
   see, there is such unity in the proofs. The mantle
   of Queen Hermione's, her jewel about the neck of it,
   the letters of Antigonus found with it which they
   know to be his character, the majesty of the
   creature in resemblance of the mother, the affection
   of nobleness which nature shows above her breeding,
   and many other evidences proclaim her with all
   certainty to be the king's daughter. Did you see
   the meeting of the two kings?

Second Gentleman

   No.

Third Gentleman

   Then have you lost a sight, which was to be seen,
   cannot be spoken of. There might you have beheld one
   joy crown another, so and in such manner that it
   seemed sorrow wept to take leave of them, for their
   joy waded in tears. There was casting up of eyes,
   holding up of hands, with countenances of such
   distraction that they were to be known by garment,
   not by favour. Our king, being ready to leap out of
   himself for joy of his found daughter, as if that
   joy were now become a loss, cries 'O, thy mother,
   thy mother!' then asks Bohemia forgiveness; then
   embraces his son-in-law; then again worries he his
   daughter with clipping her; now he thanks the old
   shepherd, which stands by like a weather-bitten
   conduit of many kings' reigns. I never heard of such
   another encounter, which lames report to follow it
   and undoes description to do it.

Second Gentleman

   What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carried
   hence the child?

Third Gentleman

   Like an old tale still, which will have matter to
   rehearse, though credit be asleep and not an ear
   open. He was torn to pieces with a bear: this
   avouches the shepherd's son; who has not only his
   innocence, which seems much, to justify him, but a
   handkerchief and rings of his that Paulina knows.

First Gentleman

   What became of his bark and his followers?

Third Gentleman

   Wrecked the same instant of their master's death and
   in the view of the shepherd: so that all the
   instruments which aided to expose the child were
   even then lost when it was found. But O, the noble
   combat that 'twixt joy and sorrow was fought in
   Paulina! She had one eye declined for the loss of
   her husband, another elevated that the oracle was
   fulfilled: she lifted the princess from the earth,
   and so locks her in embracing, as if she would pin
   her to her heart that she might no more be in danger
   of losing.

First Gentleman

   The dignity of this act was worth the audience of
   kings and princes; for by such was it acted.

Third Gentleman

   One of the prettiest touches of all and that which
   angled for mine eyes, caught the water though not
   the fish, was when, at the relation of the queen's
   death, with the manner how she came to't bravely
   confessed and lamented by the king, how
   attentiveness wounded his daughter; till, from one
   sign of dolour to another, she did, with an 'Alas,'
   I would fain say, bleed tears, for I am sure my
   heart wept blood. Who was most marble there changed
   colour; some swooned, all sorrowed: if all the world
   could have seen 't, the woe had been universal.

First Gentleman

   Are they returned to the court?

Third Gentleman

   No: the princess hearing of her mother's statue,
   which is in the keeping of Paulina,--a piece many
   years in doing and now newly performed by that rare
   Italian master, Julio Romano, who, had he himself
   eternity and could put breath into his work, would
   beguile Nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her
   ape: he so near to Hermione hath done Hermione that
   they say one would speak to her and stand in hope of
   answer: thither with all greediness of affection
   are they gone, and there they intend to sup.

Second Gentleman

   I thought she had some great matter there in hand;
   for she hath privately twice or thrice a day, ever
   since the death of Hermione, visited that removed
   house. Shall we thither and with our company piece
   the rejoicing?

First Gentleman

   Who would be thence that has the benefit of access?
   every wink of an eye some new grace will be born:
   our absence makes us unthrifty to our knowledge.
   Let's along.
   Exeunt Gentlemen

AUTOLYCUS

   Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me,
   would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old
   man and his son aboard the prince: told him I heard
   them talk of a fardel and I know not what: but he
   at that time, overfond of the shepherd's daughter,
   so he then took her to be, who began to be much
   sea-sick, and himself little better, extremity of
   weather continuing, this mystery remained
   undiscovered. But 'tis all one to me; for had I
   been the finder out of this secret, it would not
   have relished among my other discredits.
   Enter Shepherd and Clown
   Here come those I have done good to against my will,
   and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.

Shepherd

   Come, boy; I am past moe children, but thy sons and
   daughters will be all gentlemen born.

Clown

   You are well met, sir. You denied to fight with me
   this other day, because I was no gentleman born.
   See you these clothes? say you see them not and
   think me still no gentleman born: you were best say
   these robes are not gentlemen born: give me the
   lie, do, and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.

AUTOLYCUS

   I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.

Clown

   Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.

Shepherd

   And so have I, boy.

Clown

   So you have: but I was a gentleman born before my
   father; for the king's son took me by the hand, and
   called me brother; and then the two kings called my
   father brother; and then the prince my brother and
   the princess my sister called my father father; and
   so we wept, and there was the first gentleman-like
   tears that ever we shed.

Shepherd

   We may live, son, to shed many more.

Clown

   Ay; or else 'twere hard luck, being in so
   preposterous estate as we are.

AUTOLYCUS

   I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the
   faults I have committed to your worship and to give
   me your good report to the prince my master.

Shepherd

   Prithee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are
   gentlemen.

Clown

   Thou wilt amend thy life?

AUTOLYCUS

   Ay, an it like your good worship.

Clown

   Give me thy hand: I will swear to the prince thou
   art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.

Shepherd

   You may say it, but not swear it.

Clown

   Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and
   franklins say it, I'll swear it.

Shepherd

   How if it be false, son?

Clown

   If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear
   it in the behalf of his friend: and I'll swear to
   the prince thou art a tall fellow of thy hands and
   that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know thou art no
   tall fellow of thy hands and that thou wilt be
   drunk: but I'll swear it, and I would thou wouldst
   be a tall fellow of thy hands.

AUTOLYCUS

   I will prove so, sir, to my power.

Clown

   Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow: if I do not
   wonder how thou darest venture to be drunk, not
   being a tall fellow, trust me not. Hark! the kings
   and the princes, our kindred, are going to see the
   queen's picture. Come, follow us: we'll be thy
   good masters.
   Exeunt

SCENE III. A chapel in PAULINA'S house.

   Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, FLORIZEL, PERDITA, CAMILLO, PAULINA, Lords, and Attendants 

LEONTES

   O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
   That I have had of thee!

PAULINA

   What, sovereign sir,
   I did not well I meant well. All my services
   You have paid home: but that you have vouchsafed,
   With your crown'd brother and these your contracted
   Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
   It is a surplus of your grace, which never
   My life may last to answer.

LEONTES

   O Paulina,
   We honour you with trouble: but we came
   To see the statue of our queen: your gallery
   Have we pass'd through, not without much content
   In many singularities; but we saw not
   That which my daughter came to look upon,
   The statue of her mother.

PAULINA

   As she lived peerless,
   So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
   Excels whatever yet you look'd upon
   Or hand of man hath done; therefore I keep it
   Lonely, apart. But here it is: prepare
   To see the life as lively mock'd as ever
   Still sleep mock'd death: behold, and say 'tis well.
   PAULINA draws a curtain, and discovers HERMIONE standing like a statue
   I like your silence, it the more shows off
   Your wonder: but yet speak; first, you, my liege,
   Comes it not something near?

LEONTES

   Her natural posture!
   Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
   Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
   In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
   As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina,
   Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
   So aged as this seems.

POLIXENES

   O, not by much.

PAULINA

   So much the more our carver's excellence;
   Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
   As she lived now.

LEONTES

   As now she might have done,
   So much to my good comfort, as it is
   Now piercing to my soul. O, thus she stood,
   Even with such life of majesty, warm life,
   As now it coldly stands, when first I woo'd her!
   I am ashamed: does not the stone rebuke me
   For being more stone than it? O royal piece,
   There's magic in thy majesty, which has
   My evils conjured to remembrance and
   From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
   Standing like stone with thee.

PERDITA

   And give me leave,
   And do not say 'tis superstition, that
   I kneel and then implore her blessing. Lady,
   Dear queen, that ended when I but began,
   Give me that hand of yours to kiss.

PAULINA

   O, patience!
   The statue is but newly fix'd, the colour's Not dry.

CAMILLO

   My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
   Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
   So many summers dry; scarce any joy
   Did ever so long live; no sorrow
   But kill'd itself much sooner.

POLIXENES

   Dear my brother,
   Let him that was the cause of this have power
   To take off so much grief from you as he
   Will piece up in himself.

PAULINA

   Indeed, my lord,
   If I had thought the sight of my poor image
   Would thus have wrought you,--for the stone is mine--
   I'ld not have show'd it.

LEONTES

   Do not draw the curtain.

PAULINA

   No longer shall you gaze on't, lest your fancy
   May think anon it moves.

LEONTES

   Let be, let be.
   Would I were dead, but that, methinks, already--
   What was he that did make it? See, my lord,
   Would you not deem it breathed? and that those veins
   Did verily bear blood?

POLIXENES

   Masterly done:
   The very life seems warm upon her lip.

LEONTES

   The fixture of her eye has motion in't,
   As we are mock'd with art.

PAULINA

   I'll draw the curtain:
   My lord's almost so far transported that
   He'll think anon it lives.

LEONTES

   O sweet Paulina,
   Make me to think so twenty years together!
   No settled senses of the world can match
   The pleasure of that madness. Let 't alone.

PAULINA

   I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirr'd you: but
   I could afflict you farther.

LEONTES

   Do, Paulina;
   For this affliction has a taste as sweet
   As any cordial comfort. Still, methinks,
   There is an air comes from her: what fine chisel
   Could ever yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,
   For I will kiss her.

PAULINA

   Good my lord, forbear:
   The ruddiness upon her lip is wet;
   You'll mar it if you kiss it, stain your own
   With oily painting. Shall I draw the curtain?

LEONTES

   No, not these twenty years.

PERDITA

   So long could I
   Stand by, a looker on.

PAULINA

   Either forbear,
   Quit presently the chapel, or resolve you
   For more amazement. If you can behold it,
   I'll make the statue move indeed, descend
   And take you by the hand; but then you'll think--
   Which I protest against--I am assisted
   By wicked powers.

LEONTES

   What you can make her do,
   I am content to look on: what to speak,
   I am content to hear; for 'tis as easy
   To make her speak as move.

PAULINA

   It is required
   You do awake your faith. Then all stand still;
   On: those that think it is unlawful business
   I am about, let them depart.

LEONTES

   Proceed:
   No foot shall stir.

PAULINA

   Music, awake her; strike!
   Music
   'Tis time; descend; be stone no more; approach;
   Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come,
   I'll fill your grave up: stir, nay, come away,
   Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him
   Dear life redeems you. You perceive she stirs:
   HERMIONE comes down
   Start not; her actions shall be holy as
   You hear my spell is lawful: do not shun her
   Until you see her die again; for then
   You kill her double. Nay, present your hand:
   When she was young you woo'd her; now in age
   Is she become the suitor?

LEONTES

   O, she's warm!
   If this be magic, let it be an art
   Lawful as eating.

POLIXENES

   She embraces him.

CAMILLO

   She hangs about his neck:
   If she pertain to life let her speak too.

POLIXENES

   Ay, and make't manifest where she has lived,
   Or how stolen from the dead.

PAULINA

   That she is living,
   Were it but told you, should be hooted at
   Like an old tale: but it appears she lives,
   Though yet she speak not. Mark a little while.
   Please you to interpose, fair madam: kneel
   And pray your mother's blessing. Turn, good lady;
   Our Perdita is found.

HERMIONE

   You gods, look down
   And from your sacred vials pour your graces
   Upon my daughter's head! Tell me, mine own.
   Where hast thou been preserved? where lived? how found
   Thy father's court? for thou shalt hear that I,
   Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
   Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserved
   Myself to see the issue.

PAULINA

   There's time enough for that;
   Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
   Your joys with like relation. Go together,
   You precious winners all; your exultation
   Partake to every one. I, an old turtle,
   Will wing me to some wither'd bough and there
   My mate, that's never to be found again,
   Lament till I am lost.

LEONTES

   O, peace, Paulina!
   Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent,
   As I by thine a wife: this is a match,
   And made between's by vows. Thou hast found mine;
   But how, is to be question'd; for I saw her,
   As I thought, dead, and have in vain said many
   A prayer upon her grave. I'll not seek far--
   For him, I partly know his mind--to find thee
   An honourable husband. Come, Camillo,
   And take her by the hand, whose worth and honesty
   Is richly noted and here justified
   By us, a pair of kings. Let's from this place.
   What! look upon my brother: both your pardons,
   That e'er I put between your holy looks
   My ill suspicion. This is your son-in-law,
   And son unto the king, who, heavens directing,
   Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,
   Lead us from hence, where we may leisurely
   Each one demand an answer to his part
   Perform'd in this wide gap of time since first
   We were dissever'd: hastily lead away.
   Exeunt

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