The Winter's Tale
by William Shakespeare
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The Winter's Tale Easiest-to-Read Edition
Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS
ARCHIDAMUS [of Bohemia]
If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on
the like (similar) occasion whereon my [official] services are now on
foot (engaged), you shall see, as I have said, great
difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia.
CAMILLO [of Sicilia]
Verily (in truth), I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge [of the truth].
We cannot with such magnificence--in so rare--I know
not what to say. We will give you sleepy drinks
[so] that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience,
may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse
[the king of] Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to [the king of] Bohemia.
They were trained (raised) together in their childhoods, and
there rooted betwixt them then such an affection
which cannot choose but branch (flourish) now. Since their
more mature dignities and royal necessities made
separation of their society, their encounters,
though not personal, have been royally attorneyed (undertaken by envoys)
with interchange of gifts, letters, loving
embassies [so] that they have seemed to be together,
though absent, [have] shook hands, as over a vast [distance], and
embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed
winds. The heavens continue their loves!
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 (observance).
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, [so that] they that went on
crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to [extend to]
see him a man.
Enter LEONTES, HERMIONE (her-MY-anee), MAMILLIUS, POLIXENES, CAMILLO, and attendants
Nine changes (cycles=months) of the watery star (moon, because it affects the tides) hath been
The shepherd's note (observation) since we have left our throne
Without a burthen (an occupant). Time as long again
Would be filled up, my brother, with our thanks,
And, yet, we should, for perpetuity,
Go hence in [your] debt, and, therefore, like a cipher (a zero),
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply
With one 'We thank you' many thousands more
That go before it.
Sir, that's to-morrow.
I am question'd (worried) by my fears of what may chance
Or breed (happen or develop) upon our absence, that may blow
No sneaping (biting) winds at home to make us say,
'This is put forth too truly (you were right to be worried).' Besides, I have stay'd
To tire your royalty (majesty).
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 (to my benefit) I denied it. My affairs
Do even drag me homeward, which to hinder
Were in your love a whip to me (would cause me pain, even though you did it for love), my stay
To you a charge and trouble. To save both,
Farewell, our brother.
I had thought, sir, to have held my peace until
You have drawn oaths from him (made him swear) not to stay. You, sir,
Charge him too coldly. Tell him, you are sure
All in Bohemia's well. This satisfaction (reassurance)
The by-gone day (yesterday’s news) proclaim'd, say this to him,
He's beat from his best ward (a defensive posture in fencing).
To tell he longs to see his son were strong,
(it would be a good argument to say he longs to see his son)
But let him say so, then, and let him go,
But let him swear so, and he shall not stay,
We'll (we women will) thwack him hence with distaffs.
distaff=spindle used in weaving
Yet, of your (Polixenes’) royal presence I'll adventure (venture)
The borrow (loan) of a week. When at Bohemia
You take (receive) my lord, I'll give him my commission (authorization)
To let him [remain] there a month behind the gest (time)
Prefix'd (appointed) for's (for his) parting. Yet, good deed (indeed), Leontes,
I love thee not a jar (tick) o' the clock behind
What lady-she (any lady?) [loves] her lord. You'll stay?
You put me off with limber (weak) vows, but I,
Though you would seek to unsphere the
stars with oaths,
(it was thought that the stars were set in transparent spheres)
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 (still)?
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 (honored) 'verily,'
One of them you shall be.
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 (any imputation of current guilt) clear'd,
[only] Hereditary ours.
(since they were innocent boys, any sin was inherited from Adam’s disobedience)
(the above lines are the subject of controversy)
O, my most sacred lady!
Temptations have since then been borne to's (to us), 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.
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.
What! Have I twice said well? When was't before?
I prithee tell me. Cram's (cram us) with praise, and make's (make us)
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 (ride us – like a horse)
With one soft kiss [for] a thousand furlongs ere (before)
With spur (spurred on) we heat (gallop across) 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 (divine favor)!
But once before I spoke to the purpose. When?
Nay, let me have't. I long [to hear it].
Why, that was when
Three crabbed (sour like crabapples) months had sour'd themselves to death
Ere I could make thee open thy white hand
And clep (name) thyself my love. Then didst thou utter,
'I am yours forever.'
'Tis grace indeed.
Why, lo you now (look at that), I have spoke to the purpose twice,
The one forever earn'd a royal husband,
The other for some while a friend.
(Hermione gives her hand to Polixenes)
[Aside] Too hot, too hot!
To mingle friendship [too] far is mingling bloods.
I have tremor cordis (of the heart) on me. My heart dances
But not for joy, not joy. This entertainment (hospitality)
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 (hunting horn announcing the death of a deer), O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not nor my brows (forehead sprouting horns)! Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?
I' fecks (in faith)!
Why, that's my bawcock (fine chap). What, hast
smutch'd (smudged) thy nose?
They say it is a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
We must be neat,
(he hesitates, remembering that neat (cows) have horns)
Not neat, but cleanly, captain,
And, yet, the steer, the heifer, and the calf
Are all call'd neat (cows).--Still virginalling (fingering, as if playing a virginal)
Upon his palm!--How now, you wanton (playful) calf!
Art thou my calf?
Thou want'st (are lacking in) a rough pash (hairy head) and the shoots (bull’s horns) that I have,
To be full (completely) like me, yet, they say we are
Almost as like as eggs. Women say so
That will say anything, but were they [as] false
As o'er-dyed blacks (mourning clothes whose color has been changed), as wind, as waters, false
As dice are to be wish'd by one that fixes
one=a cheating gambler
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 (blue as the sky) eye. sweet villain!
Most dear'st! My collop (piece of my flesh)! Can thy dam [commit adultery]?--May't be?--
Affection (lust)! Thy intention stabs the centre (the heart of the matter).
Thou dost make possible things not so held (not thought to be possible),
Communicatest with dreams,--How can this be?--
With what's unreal thou coactive art
(you (affection) are coactive with what is unreal)
And fellow'st nothing. Then 'tis very credent (believable)
fellow’st nothing=you make something out of nothing
Thou mayst co-join with something [real], and thou dost
thou dost=that is what is happening
And that beyond commission (expectation), and I find it [to be so],
And that to the infection of my brains (mind)
And hardening [with horns] of my brows.
You look as if you held a brow of much distraction.
(your forehead reveals much disturbance)
Are you moved (angry), my lord?
No, in good earnest.
How sometimes nature will betray (reveal) its folly,
Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime (laughing stock)
To harder bosoms! Looking on the lines
Of my boy's face, methoughts I did recoil (go backwards)
Twenty-three years and saw myself unbreech'd,
unbreech’d=not yet in breeches (still wearing a dress, as small children did)
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 (youngster),
This squash, this gentleman. (to Mamillius) Mine honest friend,
Will you take eggs for money?
(proverbial saying – can I cheat you a little bit?)
If at home, sir,
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my [subject]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 (make me melancholy).
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 (expensive) in Sicily be cheap.
Next to thyself and my young rover, he's
[heir]-Apparent to my heart.
I am angling (fishing) now,
Though you perceive me not how I give [fishing] 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
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 (a bell rung to announce a death). Go, play, boy, play.
There have been,
Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere (before) 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
has been sluiced=had water drawn off from a pond
And his pond fish'd by his next[-door] neighbour, by
Sir [Fake] Smile, his neighbor. Nay, there's comfort in't (in knowing I’m not the only one)
Whiles other men have gates and those gates open'd,
As mine, against their will. Should all (everybody) despair
That have revolted (unfaithful) wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physic (medicine) for't there is none.
It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
Where 'tis predominant (uppermost in the sky), and 'tis powerful, think it,
From east, west, north and south. Be it concluded,
No barricado for a belly (there is no way to barricade a woman’s womb), know't [for sure].
It will let in and out the enemy
With bag and baggage. Many thousand on's (of us)
Have the disease and feel't not. How now, boy!
They're (people are) here with me already, whispering, rounding (whispering in corners)
'Sicilia (king of Sicilia) is a so-forth.' 'Tis far gone
(so-forth – he winces away from using the word “cuckold”)
When I shall gust (perceive) it last. How came't (did it come about), Camillo,
That he did stay?
“At the queen's,” be't - 'good' should be pertinent,
But, so it is (given the current situation), it is not. Was this taken (comprehended)
By any understanding pate (brain) but thine?
For thy conceit (perceptiveness) is soaking (comprehensive), will draw in
More than the common blocks (blockheads). Not noted, is't,
But of (by) the finer natures? by some severals (people)
Of head-piece extraordinary (high intellect)? Lower messes (people)
Perchance (perhaps) are to this business purblind (dim-sighted)? Say.
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 (most secret admissions), wherein, priest-like, thou
Hast cleansed my bosom. I from thee departed,
Thy penitent (repented of sins) reform'd, but we have been
Deceived in thy integrity, deceived
In that which seems so.
To bide upon't. thou art not honest, or,
If thou inclinest that way, thou art a coward,
Which hoxes (cuts the hamstrings of cows, hobbling them) 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 (to the end), the rich stake drawn (for a prize),
And takest it all for jest.
My gracious lord,
I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful.
In every one of these no man is free,
But that [which] his negligence, his folly, fear,
Among the infinite doings of the world,
Sometime (at some time) 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 (outcome) doubted,
Where of the execution did cry out
(it cried out to be done)
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 (appearance). If I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.
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 (ridden by a man), deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench (country girl) that puts to
Before her troth-plight (betrothal). say't and justify't.
I would not be a stander-by to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken. 'Shrew (beshrew=place a curse on) my heart,
You never spoke what did become you less
Than this, [in] which to reiterate (repeat) were sin
As deep as that, though true (even if it were true).
Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career
(in horsemanship “career” is a short gallop at full speed)
Of laughing with a sigh?--a note infallible
Of breaking honesty (having something to hide)—horsing (touching) foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? Wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? Noon, midnight? And all eyes
Blind with the pin and web (cataracts) but theirs, theirs only,
That would, unseen, be wicked? Is this nothing?
(they think that nobody sees their flirting?)
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.
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 (irresolute schemer), that
Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
Inclining to them both. Were my wife's liver
(the liver was thought to be the seat of passions)
Infected as her life, she would not live
The running of one glass (the passage of sand through an hour glass).
Why, he that wears her like a medal hanging
About his neck, Bohemia, who, if I
Had servants true about me, that bare (wore) eyes
To see alike mine honour as their profits,
(who would see that they were profiting from my honour)
Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
Which should undo more doing, ay, and thou,
His cupbearer,--whom I from meaner form (lower rank)
Have benched and reared to worship (a higher rank), who mayst see
Plainly as heaven sees earth and earth sees heaven
How I am galled (wounded),--mightst bespice (poison) a cup
To give mine enemy a lasting wink (perpetual sleep),
Which draught to me were cordial (restorative).
Sir, my lord,
I could do this, and that with no rash (hasty) potion
But with a lingering dram (small amount) that should not work
Maliciously (violently) like poison, but I cannot
Believe this crack (fault) to be in my dread (revered) mistress,
So sovereignly being honourable.
(since she is so supremely honorable)
I have loved thee,--
Make that thy question, and go rot!
(if you’re going to doubt what I say, then go rot)
Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled,
To appoint myself [willingly] in this vexation, sully
The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
Which to preserve is sleep, which being spotted
Is goads (prods), 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 (without careful consideration)? Would I do this?
Could man so blench (go astray)?
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 forsealing (silencing)
The injury of tongues in courts and kingdoms
Known and allied to yours.
Go then, and with a countenance as clear
As friendship wears at feasts, keep (stay friends) with Bohemia
And with your queen. I am his cupbearer.
If from me he have wholesome beverage,
Account me not your servant.
O miserable lady! But, for me,
What case (situation) 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 (in rebellion), too. To do this deed,
Promotion follows. If (even if) I could find example
Of thousands that had struck anointed kings
And flourish'd after, I'ld not do't, but since
Nor (neither) brass nor stone nor parchment bears not one (reveals even one),
Let villeiny (my own situation) itself forswear't (refuse to do it). I must
Forsake (abandon) the court. To do't or no is certain
To me a break-neck (either one is the death of me). [sees Polixenes] Happy star, reign now!
Here comes Bohemia.
Re-enter POLIXENES (po-LIKS-anees)
The king hath on him such a countenance
As [if] he had lost some province and a region
Loved as he loves himself. Even now I met him
With customary compliment, when he,
Wafting (turning away) his eyes to the contrary and falling
A lip of much contempt, speeds from me and
So leaves me to consider what is breeding (occurring)
That changeth thus his manners.
How! Dare not! Do not. Do you know and dare not?
Be intelligent to me. 'tis thereabouts (it’s plain),
For, to yourself, what you do know, you must [know]
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.
How! caught of me!
Make me not sighted like the basilisk.
(the basilisk killed just by looking)
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 (in addition to that)
Clerk-like experienced, which no less adorns
Our gentry than our parents' noble names,
In whose success we are gentle (gentlemanly),--I beseech you,
If you know aught (anything) which does behove (benefit) my knowledge
Thereof to be inform'd, imprison't not
In ignorant concealment.
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.
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!
(we are ruined, and that’s the end of us)
O, then, my best blood turn
To an infected jelly and my name
Be yoked with his (Judas’) that did betray the Best!
Turn, then, my freshest reputation to
A savour (smell) 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 [about]!
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 (as long as he lives).
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 (body) 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 [fortunes] are here
By this discovery (disclosure) 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 (up to), nor shall you be safer
Than one condemn'd by the king's own mouth, thereon
His execution (putting into effect) sworn.
I do believe thee.
I saw his heart in 's face. Give me thy hand.
Be pilot to me and thy places shall
Still (always) neighbour mine (be at my side). My ships are ready and
My people did expect my [from] 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 [love] 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 (from here). Let us avoid (depart).
Enter Hermione (her-MY-anee), MAMILLIUS, and Ladies
The queen your mother rounds (grows rounder in pregnancy) apace (quickly). We shall
Present our services to a fine new prince
(the word prince was used for both prince and princess)
One of these days, and then you'ld wanton (play) with us,
If we would have you.
Enter LEONTES with ANTIGONUS, Lords, and others
How blest am I
In my just censure, in my true opinion!
Alack, for lesser knowledge! How accursed
(I wish I did not know so much)
In being so blest! There may be in the cup
A spider steep'd (soaked), and one may drink, depart,
And yet partake no venom, for his knowledge
Is not infected, but if one present
(pre-sent’ – accent on second syllable)
The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge (throat and stomach), his sides,
With violent hefts (retching). 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 (co-opted) 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 (side gates and those stationed there)
So easily open?
(Mamillius is led out)
You, my lords,
Look on her, mark her well. Be but about
To say “she is a goodly lady,” and
The justice of your hearts will thereto add,
“'Tis pity she's not honest,” [although she is] honourable (high born).
(the above line might be corrupt)
Praise her but for this her without-door form,
Which on my faith deserves high speech, and straight [comes]
The shrug, the hum or ha, these petty brands (hints of deficiency)
That calumny doth use--O, I am out (mistaken)--
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.
You have mistook, my lady,
Polixenes for Leontes. O thou thing (he avoids “whore”)!
Which I'll not call a creature of thy place (social status),
Lest barbarism, making me the precedent,
Should a like language use to all degrees (social levels)
And mannerly distinguishment leave out
(leave out mannerly distinguishment)
Betwixt the prince and beggar. I have said
(that is, barbarism would call a whore a whore, regardless of social status)
She's an adulteress; I have said with whom.
More, she's a traitor, and Camillo is
A federary (confederate) with her, and one (Camillo) that (who) knows
What she should shame to know (acknowledge) herself
But with her most vile principal (Polixenes), that she's
A bed-swerver (person false to the marriage bed), even as bad as those
That vulgars give bold'st titles (crude names, such as “whore”) [to],
ay, and privy
(Camillo was knowledgeable)
To this their late escape.
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 (declared in public) me! Gentle (gentleman) my lord,
You scarce can right me thoroughly (fully) than to say
You did mistake.
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 (just by speaking).
There's some ill planet reigns.
(Mars and Saturn at certain times were thought to exert evil influences)
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 (lack) of which vain dew
Perchance shall dry your pities, but I have
That honourable (honest) grief lodged here which burns
Worse than tears drown. Beseech you all, my lords,
With thoughts so qualified as your charities (hearts)
Shall best instruct you, measure me, and so (in this light)
The king's will be perform'd (heard)!
Who is't that goes with me? Beseech your highness,
My women may be with me, for, you see,
My plight (pregnancy) 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 (character). Adieu, my lord.
I never wish'd to see you sorry; now
I trust I shall. My women, come; you have leave (permission).
Exit HERMIONE, guarded, with ladies
If it prove
She's otherwise (guilty), I'll keep my stables where
I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her,
(I’ll lock her up just as I do my stables and tie her to me)
Than when I feel and see her no farther trust her,
(I won’t trust her any further than I can feel and see her)
For every inch of woman in the world,
Ay, every dram of woman's flesh, is false, if she be.
It is for you we speak, not for ourselves.
You are abused and by some putter-on (instigator)
That will be damn'd for't. Would I knew the villain,
I would land-damn (lambaste) 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 (neuter) 'em all. Fourteen they shall not see
To bring false generations (bastard children). They are co-heirs,
And I had rather glib (castrate) myself than they
Should not produce fair issue (legitimate children).
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 (grabbing Antigonus’ beard) and see withal (in addition)
The instruments that feel.
(actor’s movements clarify the words)
If it be so,
We need no grave to bury honesty.
(honesty will already have been extinguished)
There's not a grain of it the face to sweeten
Of the whole dungy earth.
(there would not be a grain of it left to sweeten the earth)
I had rather you did lack than I, my lord,
Upon this ground (subject), and more it would content me
To have her honour true than your suspicion
Be blamed for't (cause her to be blamed), how[ever] you might [think].
Why, what need we
Commune with you of this but rather follow
(instead of following)
Our forceful instigation (powerful instinct)? Our prerogative
Calls not your counsels, but our natural goodness
Imparts this, which, if you or (either) stupefied
Or seeming so in skill, cannot or will not
Relish a truth like us (as we have done) [and] inform yourselves,
We need no more of your advice. The matter,
The loss, the gain, the ordering on't is all
How could that be?
Either thou art most ignorant by age
Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's flight,
Added to their familiarity [with each other],
Which was as gross (blatant) as ever touch'd (inspired) conjecture,
That lack'd sight only, nought for approbation (needed nothing more for proof)
But only seeing, all other circumstances
Made up to (confirming) 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 (at top speed)
To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's temple,
Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
Of stuff'd sufficiency (more than adequate competency). Now, from the oracle
They will bring all [truth], whose spiritual counsel, had (received),
Shall stop or spur me. Have I done well?
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 (his – Antigonus’)
Whose ignorant credulity will not
Come up (face up) to the truth. So have we thought it good
From our free person she should be confined,
Lest that the treachery (plot to murder me) of (by) the two fled hence
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us.
We are to speak in public, for this business
Will raise (rouse) us all.
Enter PAULINA, a gentleman, and attendants
Re-enter gentleman, with the gaoler
Exeunt gentleman and attendants
Re-enter gaoler, with EMILIA
As well as one so great and so forlorn
May hold [herself] together. On (because of) her frights and griefs,
Which never tender lady hath born greater,
She is something before her time deliver'd [of a child].
I dare be sworn (I swear)
These dangerous unsafe lunes (insane fits of fancy) i’ the king,
beshrew (curse) them!
He must be told [off] on't, and he shall - the office (duty to tell him off)
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 (loudly). We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o' the child.
The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades when speaking fails.
Most worthy madam,
Your honour and your goodness is so evident
That your free (voluntary) undertaking cannot miss (fail to have)
A thriving issue (outcome). There is no lady living
So meet (suitable) for this great errand. Please your ladyship
To visit the next room. I'll presently (right away)
Acquaint the queen of your most noble offer,
Who but to-day hammer'd of (was seriously thinking about) this design
But durst (dared) not tempt a minister (an official) of honour (“his honour”)
Lest she should be denied.
You need not fear it, sir.
This child was prisoner to the womb and is
By law and process of great nature (a child of 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.
Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, lords, and servants
Nor (neither) night nor day no (any) rest. It is but weakness
To bear the matter thus, mere weakness. If
The cause were not in being (alive),--part o' the cause,
She the adulteress (for the harlot king
Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank (bull’s eye in target practice)
And level (range) of my brain, plot-proof), but she (her)
I can hook to me (keep in my power). Say that she were gone,
Given to the fire (burned alive), [then] a moiety (portion) of my rest
Might come to me again. Who's there?
How does the boy?
He took good rest to-night.
'Tis hoped his sickness is discharged.
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 (for it) in himself,
Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And downright languish'd. Leave me solely. Go,
See how he fares.
Fie, fie! No thought of him (Polixenes).
The thought of my revenges that way
Recoil upon me. In himself (Polixenes) 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 (would) not laugh if I could reach them, nor
Shall she [who is] within my power.
Enter PAULINA, with a child
You must not enter.
Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me (give me your support).
Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
Than the queen's life? A gracious, innocent soul,
More free than he is jealous.
Madam, he hath not slept tonight, commanded
None should come at him.
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 [of] his needless heavings, such as you [that]
Nourish the cause of his awaking. I
Do come with words as medicinal as true,
Honest as either, to purge him of that humour (mood)
That presses him from sleep.
What noise there, ho?
No noise, my lord, but needful conference
About some gossips (godparents for the baptism) for your highness.
Away with that audacious lady! Antigonus,
I charged thee that she should not come about me.
I knew she would.
I told her so, my lord,
On your displeasure's peril and on mine,
[that] She should not visit you.
What, canst not rule her?
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.
La you now, you hear.
When she will take the rein I let her run,
But she'll not stumble (she won’t give me an opportunity to stop her).
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
(than those who seem to be loyal advisers)
From your good queen.
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.
(were I even the worst man about you, I would fight to defend her good name)
Force her hence.
Let him that makes but trifles of his eyes
First hand (lay a hand on) 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
A mankind witch! Hence with her, out o' door,
A most intelligencing bawd (secretive go-between)!
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.
Will you not push her out? Give her the bastard.
(to Antigonus) Thou dotard (old fool)! Thou art woman-tired (had your feathers plucked), unroosted
By thy dame Partlet (hen) here. Take up the bastard,
Take't up, I say, give't to thy crone.
(to Antigonus) Forever
Unvenerable (scorned) be thy hands if thou
Takest up the princess by [acknowledging] that forced baseness (“bastard”)
Which he has put upon't!
He dreads his wife.
So I would you did, then 'twere past all doubt
You'ld call your children yours.
A nest of traitors!
I am none, by this good light.
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 (son and heir), 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.
A callat (nag)
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!
It is yours,
And, might we lay the old proverb to your charge,
So like you, 'tis the worse (unfortunately). 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 (little indentations),
(“his” and “her” were interchangeable)
The pretty dimples of his chin and cheek,
The very mould and frame of hand, nail, finger,
And thou, good goddess Nature, which hast made it
So like to him that got (begot) it, if thou (goddess Nature) hast
The ordering of the mind, too, 'mongst all colours
[allow] No yellow in't, lest she (goddess Nature) suspect, as he does,
(yellow was the color of jealousy)
Her children not her husband's!
A gross hag
And, losel (scoundrel=Antigonus), thou art worthy to be hang'd
That wilt not stay her tongue.
(to audience) [if you] Hang all the husbands
That cannot do that feat, you'll leave yourself
Hardly one subject.
Once more, take her hence.
A most unworthy and unnatural lord.
[we] Can do no more.
I'll ha' thee burnt.
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.
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!
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 don’t need to lay hands on me)?
You [attendants], that are thus so tender o'er his follies,
Will never do him good, not one of you.
So, so [be it]. Farewell. We are gone.
Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this.
My child? Away with't! Even (only) 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 (own) hands
Shall I dash out. Go, take it to the fire,
For thou set'st on (incites) thy wife.
I did not, sir.
These lords, my noble fellows, if they please,
Can clear me in't.
We can. my royal liege,
He is not guilty of her coming hither.
You're liars all.
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 (valuable) 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.
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 (slang for a hen), 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?
Anything, 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. Anything possible.
It shall be possible. Swear by this sword
Thou wilt perform my bidding.
I will, my lord.
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 (loyal follower) 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 (as a stranger) to some place
Where chance may nurse or end it. Take it up.
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 (more than you deserve)! (to the baby) And blessing
Against this cruelty fight on thy side,
Poor thing, condemn'd to loss!
Exit with the child
No, I'll not rear
Enter a 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.
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.
Enter CLEOMENES and DION
I shall report,
For most it caught (impressed) me, the celestial habits (robes),
Methinks I so should term them, and the reverence
Of the grave wearers. O, the sacrifice (burning entrails to the gods)!
How ceremonious, solemn, and unearthly
It was i' the offering!
The violent carriage of it
Will clear or end the business. When the oracle,
Thus, by Apollo's great divine (priest) seal'd up,
Shall the contents discover (reveal), something rare
Even then will rush to knowledge. Go, fresh horses!
And gracious be the issue (outcome)!
Enter LEONTES, lords, and officers
This sessions (trial), to our great grief we pronounce,
Even pushes 'gainst our heart (strikes right to my heart), the party [to be] 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 [a court of] justice, which shall have due (proper) course,
Even to the [declaration of] guilt or the purgation (acquittal).
Produce the prisoner.
Enter Hermione (her-MY-anee) guarded, PAULINA and ladies attending
[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 (plot)
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.
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 (benefit) me
To say 'not guilty,' mine integrity,
Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
Be so (as falsehoods) 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 (stories) can pattern (give precedent for), though devised
And play'd to take (fascinate) spectators. For behold me
A fellow (partner) of the royal bed, which own
A moiety (share) of the throne, a great king's daughter,
The mother to a hopeful (in line) prince, here standing
To prate (plead in vain) and talk for life and honour 'fore
Who[ever] please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
As I weigh grief, which I would spare (do without). For (as for) honour,
'Tis a derivative (it is passed on) from me to mine,
And only that I stand [up to you] for. I appeal
To your own conscience, sir, (before Polixenes
Came to your court) how I was in your grace (favor),
How merited to be so. Since he came,
With what encounter (behavior) so uncurrent (extraordinary) I
Have strain'd [have I strained our relationship] to appear thus (in this court)? 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!
More than mistress of
Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not
At all acknowledge. For Polixenes,
(I only acknowledge what you call a fault)
With whom I am accused, I do confess
I loved him as in honour he required (deserved),
With such a kind of love as might become
A lady like me, with a love even such,
So (to that extent) 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, [as] for conspiracy,
I know not how it tastes, though it be dish'd [out]
For me to try how [it tastes]. All I know of it
Is that Camillo was an honest man,
And why he left your court the gods themselves,
Wotting (knowing) no more than I, are ignorant.
You speak a language that I understand not.
My life stands in the level (range) of your dreams,
(my life stands as the target of your delusions)
Which [life] I'll lay down.
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 (guilty of your crime) are so--so past all truth,
Which to deny concerns more than avails (is worth my while), 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.
(the easiest form of your punishment is death)
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug[bear=bogy] which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity (advantage).
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give [it to you that it is] 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 (born under an unlucky star), is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to [a charge of] murder, myself on every post (notice board)
Proclaimed a strumpet, with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege (the right to stay in bed after giving birth) denied, which 'longs (belongs)
To women of all fashion (kinds). Lastly, [I was] hurried
Here to this place, i' the open air (not recommended following a birth), before
I have got strength of limit (the normal bed-rest). 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 care not for my life)
I prize it not a straw, but for [the sake of] 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 (tyranny and not justice). Your honours all:
I do refer me to the oracle.
Apollo be my judge!
Exeunt certain officers
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 (unrelieved landscape) of my misery, yet with eyes
Of pity, not revenge!
Re-enter officers, with CLEOMENES and DION
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 and DION
[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.
Exeunt PAULINA and ladies with HERMIONE
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 practice (revealed my plot), quit his fortunes here,
Which you knew great, and to the hazard
Of all uncertainties himself commended,
(commended himself to the hazard of all uncertainties)
No richer than his honour. How he glisters
Thorough my rust! and how his pity
Does my deeds make the blacker!
What studied torments (devised tortures), 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 [that] 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 (not been handed down from heaven).
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 [of supplicants],
Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting,
Upon a barren mountain and still (always) winter
In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
To [have you] look that way thou wert.
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 (reminded) 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 (remind) you of my own lord,
Who is lost, too. Take your patience to you (be patient),
And I'll say nothing.
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.
Enter Antigonus (an-TIG-onus) with a child and a mariner
Ay, my lord, and fear
We have landed in ill time, the skies look grimly
And threaten present (immediate) blusters. In my conscience,
The heavens with that we have in hand (that we now deal with) are angry
And frown upon 's.
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[times] another.
I never saw a vessel (image of Hermione) of like sorrow
So [sails-]fill'd and so becoming (beautiful). 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 (“lost one”),
I prithee, call't. For this ungentle (ignoble) 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 (real and not a dream). Dreams are toys.
Yet, for this once, yea, superstitiously (punctiliously),
I will be squared (ruled) by this. I do believe
Hermione hath suffer'd death and that
Apollo would (desires), this being (if this is) indeed the issue (child)
Of King Polixenes, it should here be laid,
Either for life or death, upon the earth
Of its right father. Blossom, speed (fare) thee well!
There lie, and there thy character (an account of your life). (he lays down a box) There these [jewels],
Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee (pay for your upbringing), pretty,
And still rest thine (a remainder for yourself). The storm begins. Poor wretch,
That for thy mother's fault art [you] 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[ly] to have
A lullaby too rough. I never saw
The heavens so dim by day. A savage clamour (dogs and hunters following a bear)!
Well may I get aboard! This is the chase.
I am gone forever.
Exit, pursued by a bear
Enter Old Shepherd
I would (wish) there were no age between sixteen and
three-and-twenty or that youth would sleep out the
rest (the interval), for there is nothing in the between but
getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry (upsetting the old folk),
stealing, fighting--Hark you now! Would any but
these boiled brains (hot-headed idiots) of nineteen and two-and-twenty
hunt [in] this weather? They have scared away two of my
best sheep, which I fear the wolf will sooner find
than the master. If anywhere 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 bairne a very
pretty bairne! A boy or a child (girl), I wonder? A
pretty one, a very pretty one. Sure, some 'scape (escapade),
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 [be]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, Old Shepherd’s son
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 (piercing) the moon with her main-mast and anon (immediately)
swallowed with yeast (foam) and froth, as [if] you'ld thrust a
cork into a hogshead. And then for the
land-service (military service on land), 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 (floated the boat like a raisin in brandy)
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.
Heavy (regrettable) 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 (christening robe) 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 (child left by fairies).
Open't. What's within, boy?
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 (always) requires
nothing but secrecy. Let my sheep go. Come, good
boy, the next way home.
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 (vicious) but when they
are hungry. If there be any of him left, I'll bury
Enter Time, the chorus
I, that please some, try (test) all, both [the] joy and [the] terror
Of [the] good and [the] bad, that makes and unfolds (reveals) 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 (don’t explain what occurred)
Of (during) 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 (accept me)
(law and custom – drama theorists thought that all of a play’s action should occur within one day)
The same I am, ere (before) ancient'st order was
(Or what is now) received. I witness to
The times that brought them in. So shall I do
(I am older than any law or custom)
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 [over] my glass and give my scene such growing
As [if] you had slept between. Leontes leaving,
(leaving Leontes behind)
The effects of his fond jealousies so grieving
That he shuts up himself, imagine me,
Gentle (gentlemanly) 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 (hurry on)
To speak of Perdita, now grown in grace
Equal with wondering (admiration), what of her ensues
I list (prefer) not [to] prophesy but let Time's news
Be known when 'tis brought forth.
A shepherd's daughter
And what to her adheres, which follows after
(what concerns her)
Is the argument (topic) 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.
Enter Polixenes (po-LIKS-anees) and CAMILLO
It is fifteen years since I saw my country. Though
I have for the most part been aired abroad (breathed foreign air), 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 (relief), or I o'erween (presume) to
think so, which is another spur to my departure.
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. [it is] 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 (rewarded) (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 (is) even now to be afresh lamented.
Say to me, when sawest thou the Prince Florizel, my
son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue (offspring) not
being gracious, than they are in losing them when
they (the children) have approved their virtues (have exhibited virtues).
Sir, it is three days since I saw the prince. What
his happier affairs may be are (is) to me unknown, but, I
have missingly (lacking his presence) noted, he is of late much retired
from court and is less frequent to his princely
exercises (studies) than formerly he hath appeared [to be].
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 [away] 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 (amassed a considerable fortune).
That's likewise part of my intelligence, but I
fear the angle (fish hook) 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.
Enter AUTOLYCUS (aw-tol-icus, from the Greek), singing
When daffodils begin to peer (appear),
With heigh! the doxy (a beggar’s mistress) over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year,
For the red blood reigns in (over) the winter's pale.
The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
(housewives draped sheets over hedges to bleach them)
With heigh! The sweet birds, O, how they sing!
Doth set my pugging (pilfering) 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 (expensive velvet cloak), 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 (traveling tinsmiths) may have leave to live
And bear the sow-skin budget (tool kit),
Then my account I well may give (selling stolen linens)
And in the stocks (punishment for vagrancy) avouch it (own up to it).
My traffic is sheets. When the kite builds [its nest with scraps of linen], look to
lesser linen. My father named me Autolycus, who
being, as I am, littered (born) under Mercury, was likewise
a snapper-up (thief) of unconsidered trifles. With die and
drab (playing dice and prostitution) I purchased this caparison (outfit made from rags), and my revenue is [from]
the silly (low) cheat (picker of pockets). Gallows and knock (hanging and being beaten) are too powerful
on the highway (for highway thievery). Beating and hanging are terrors to
me, for, [as for] the life to come, I sleep out the thought
of it. A prize! A prize!
Enter Clown, Old Shepherd’s son
Let me see, every 'leven wether (sheep) tods, every tod
yields pound and odd shilling, fifteen hundred
shorn. What comes the wool to?
(a tod is 28 lbs of wool)
If the springe (bird trap) hold, the [wood]cock's mine.
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 (spends lavishly). 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 (middle-part singers) and bases, but
one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to
horn-pipes (corrupts the church music). I must have saffron to colour the warden
pies (pear pies), mace, dates?--none, that's out of my note (shopping list);
nutmegs, seven; a race (root) or two of ginger, but that I
may beg; four pound of prunes and as many of
raisins o' the sun (sun-dried).
O, that ever I was born!
Grovelling on the ground
I' the name of me--
O, help me, help me! Pluck but off (just pull off) these rags and
then, death, death!
Alack, poor soul! Thou hast need of more rags to lay
on thee rather than have these off.
O, sir, the loathsomeness of them offends me more
than the stripes I have received, which are mighty
ones and millions.
Alas, poor man! A million of beating may come to a
I am robbed, sir, and beaten. My money and apparel
ta'en from me and these detestable things put upon
What, by a horseman (highway man) or a footman (mugger)?
A footman, sweet sir, a footman.
Indeed, he should be a footman [to judge] by the garments he
has left with thee. If this be a horseman's coat,
it hath seen very hot service (heavy use). Lend me thy hand.
I'll help thee. Come, lend me thy hand.
O, good sir, tenderly, O!
Alas, poor soul!
O, good sir, softly, good sir! I fear, sir, my
shoulder-blade is out.
How now! Canst stand?
Picking his pocket
Softly, dear sir, good sir, softly. You ha' done me
a charitable office.
Dost lack any money? I have a little money for thee.
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
anything I want. Offer me no money, I pray you.
That kills my heart.
What manner of fellow was he that robbed you?
A fellow, sir, that I have known to go about with
troll-my-dames (low women). 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.
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 (stay only a little while).
Vices, I would say, sir. I know this man well. He
hath been since an ape-bearer (bearing a pet monkey), then a
process-server (delivering orders from an official/court), a bailiff (court official), then he compassed (got hold of) a
motion (puppet show) 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 [being a] rogue. Some call him Autolycus.
Out upon him! Prig (thief), for my life, prig. He haunts
wakes (festivals), fairs, and bear-baitings.
Very true, sir; he, sir, he; that's the rogue that
put me into this apparel.
Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia. If you had
but looked big and spit at him, he'ld have run.
I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter. I am
false of heart that way, and, that he knew, I warrant
him (I assure you that he would fight?).
How do you now?
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.
Shall I bring thee (accompany you) on the way?
No, good-faced sir. No, sweet sir.
Then, fare thee well. I must go buy spices for our
Prosper you, sweet sir!
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 (profitable deception), bring out (lead on to) another and the
shearers prove (provide evidence of the swindling of?] sheep, let me be unrolled [from the book of thieves] and my name
put in the book of virtue!
Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent (grab onto) the stile-a.
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad [heart] tires in a mile-a.
Enter FLORIZEL and PERDITA
These your unusual weeds (garments) to each part of you
Do give a life, no shepherdess but Flora (goddess of springtime)
Peering (appearing) in April's front (beginning). This your sheep-shearing
Is as a meeting of the petty gods
And you the queen on't (of it).
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 (focus for every eye), you have obscured
With a swain's (peasant’s) wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
Most goddess-like prank'd up (decked out). But that (except for the fact that) our feasts
In every mess have folly (foolishness) and the feeders
Digest it with a custom (as is customary), I should blush
To see you so attired, swoon, I think,
To show (see) myself a glass (in a mirror).
Now Jove afford you cause!
(may Jove give you good reason for talking like this)
To me the [social] difference forges dread. Your greatness (high social position)
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 (in this ridiculous get-up)? What would he say? Or how
Should I, in these my borrow'd flaunts (fancy clothes), behold
The sternness of his presence?
Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
Humbling their deities to (for the sake of) 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 (god of the sun),
Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain (peasant),
As I seem now. Their transformations
Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,
Nor in a way so chaste, [as you], since my desires
Run not before mine honour nor my lusts
Burn hotter than my faith.
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.
Thou dearest Perdita,
With these forced (unnatural) thoughts, I prithee, darken not
The mirth o' the feast. Or (either) I'll be thine, my fair,
Or not my father's. For I cannot be
not my father’s=my father’s (double negative, not uncommon)
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 anything
That you behold the while. Your guests are coming.
Lift up your countenance, as [if] it were the day
Of celebration of that nuptial which
We two have sworn shall come.
Enter Old Shepherd, Clown, Old Shepherd’s son, MOPSA, DORCAS, and others, with POLIXENES and CAMILLO disguised
Fie, daughter! When my old wife lived, upon
This day she was both pantler (in charge of the pantry), butler (in charge of the wine cellar), 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 (once we know who they are).
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.
You're welcome, sir.
Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
For you there's rosemary (remembrance) and rue (grace). These keep
Seeming (appearance) and savour (scent) all the winter long.
Grace and remembrance be to you both,
And welcome to our shearing!
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 (pinks),
Which some call nature's bastards (they are hybrids), of that kind
Our rustic garden's barren, and I care not
To get slips (cuttings) of them.
Say there be.
Yet, nature is made better by no mean (means)
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 (offshoot) to the wildest stock
And make [to] 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.
I'll not put
The dibble (pronged gardening tool) 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 (wet with dew). These are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age. You're very welcome.
You'd be so lean that blasts of January
Would blow you through and through.
Now, my fair'st friend (Florizel),
I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might
Become your time of day and yours (shepherdesses) and yours,
That wear upon your virgin branches yet
Your maidenheads growing. O, Proserpina (carried away to the underworld by Dis),
For the flowers now that, frighted, thou let'st fall
From Dis's (Pluto’s, god of the underworld) wagon! 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 (Venus’, goddess of love) breath, pale primroses
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phoebus (god of the sun) 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 (shepherdesses) garlands of and my sweet friend
To strew him o'er and o'er!
(to strew over him)
No, like a bank for love to lie and play on,
Not like a corpse or, if not, to be buried
But quick (alive) 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.
Whitsun=Whitsunday, Christian festival commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles
What you do
Still (always) 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 [to be]
A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that. Move still (always), still so,
And own no other function. Each your doing,
So singular in each particular,
Crowns what you are doing in the present deed,
[so] That all your acts are queens.
O Doricles (Florizel’s pastoral name),
Your praises are too large but that (were it not for the fact that) your youth,
And the true blood which peepeth fairly through't,
Do plainly give you out (show you to be) an unstain'd shepherd.
With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
You woo'd me the false way (with hidden motives).
I think you have
As little skill to fear as I have purpose
To put you to't (to cause you to fear). But come. Our dance, I pray.
Your hand, my Perdita, so (in this way) turtles (turtle doves) pair
That never mean to part.
Music. Here a dance of shepherds and shepherdesses
They call him Doricles and [he] boasts himself
To have a worthy feeding (large pasturage), but I have it
[only] Upon his own report, and I believe it,
He looks like sooth (truthful). 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.
(which of the two loves the other best)
O, master, if you did but hear [singing] the pedlar (Autolycus) at the
door, you would never dance again after a tabour and
pipe [because the pedlar is so superior]. No, the bagpipe could not move you. He sings
several tunes faster than you'll tell (count) money. He
utters them as [if] he had eaten ballads and all men's
(he learned the songs by swallowing them)
ears grew to (were enchanted by) his tunes.
He hath songs for man or woman of all sizes. No
milliner can so [well] 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 (nonsense refrains to songs), 'jump her and thump
her,' and where some stretch-mouthed rascal would,
as it were, mean mischief and break a foul gap (obscenity) 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.'
He hath ribbons of all the colours i' the rainbow,
points (lace) more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can
learnedly handle, though they come to him by the
gross, inkles (yarn), caddisses (yarn tape), cambrics (fine linen), lawns (another fine linen).
Why, he sings 'em over as [if] 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 (embroidered breast piece) on't.
Enter AUTOLYCUS (aw-tol-icus, from the Greek), singing
Lawn as white as driven snow,
Cypress (crape) black as e'er was crow,
Gloves as sweet as damask roses,
Masks for faces and for noses,
Bugle (glass beaded) bracelet, necklace amber,
Perfume for a lady's chamber,
Golden quoifs (caps) and stomachers,
For my lads to give their dears,
Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
poking-stick=rod for ironing
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.
Is there no manners left among maids? Will they
wear their plackets (petticoats) where they should bear their
faces? Is there not milking-time, [time] when you are
going to bed, or kiln-hole (cupboard) to whistle (whisper) off these
secrets but you must be tittle-tattling before all
our guests? 'tis well they are whispering. Clamour (muffle)
your tongues and not a word more.
Here's one to a very doleful tune, how a usurer's
wife was brought to bed (gave birth) of twenty money-bags at a
burthen (at one time) and how she longed to eat adders' heads and
toads carbonadoed (broiled).
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 (have sex) with one that
loved her. The ballad is very pitiful and as true.
We'll have this song out (finished) anon (soon) by ourselves. My
father and the gentlemen are in sad (serious) 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
Will you buy any tape
Or lace for your cape,
My dainty duck, my dear-a?
Any silk, any thread,
Any toys (bits and pieces) for your head,
Of the new'st and finest, finest wear-a?
Come to the pedlar.
Money's a meddler
(money comes into everything)
That doth utter (put up for sale) all men's ware-a.
Master, there is three carters (wagon drivers), three shepherds,
three neat(cow)-herds, three swine-herds that have made
themselves all men of hair (costumed as satyrs). They call themselves
Saltiers, and they have a dance which the wenches
say is a gallimaufry (medley) of gambols, because they are
not in't, but they themselves are o' the mind (have the intention), if it
be not too rough for some that know little but
bowling (a quiet game), it will please plentifully.
Here a dance of twelve satyrs
O, father (old man), you'll know more of that hereafter.
How now, fair shepherd!
Your heart is full of something that does take
Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
And handed (dealt in) 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 (exchanged) with him. If your lass
(if your lass should abuse interpretation)
Interpretation should abuse and call this
Your lack of love or bounty, you were striated (put in a tight corner)
For a reply, at least if you make a care
Of happy holding her (care about keeping her happy).
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. (to Perdita) O, hear me breathe my life (utter vows)
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 [is]
Or Ethiopian's tooth or the fann'd
snow that's bolted (sifted, as is flour)
or . . . or=either . . .or
By the northern blasts twice o'er (like twice-sifted flour).
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 (physical strength) 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.
(recommend all the good qualities to her service and condemn the bad qualities to their damnation)
O, that must be
I' the virtue of your daughter, one (my father) being dead,
I shall have more than you can dream of yet (now).
Enough, then, for your wonder (admiration). But, come on,
Contract us 'fore these witnesses.
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 (manage) his own estate?
Lies he not bed-rid? And again does nothing
But what he did being childish (when he was a child)?
By my white beard (false beard, which is white),
You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
Something unfilial. Reason (it’s reasonable that) 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.
Discovering (revealing) himself
Whom “son” I dare not call. Thou art too base
To be acknowledged, thou a sceptre's heir
That thus affect'st (is attracted to) a sheep-hook (shepherd’s crook)! Thou, old traitor (the Old Shepherd),
I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece (masterpiece)
Of excellent witchcraft, who of force (necessarily) must know
The royal fool thou copest with,--
I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briers and made
More homely (humble) than thy state (station in life). For thee, fond (foolish) boy,
If I may ever know thou dost but sigh
That thou no more shalt see this knack (bit of a thing), 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 (farther back than the ancient flood). Mark thou my words.
Follow us to the court. Thou churl (peasant – the Old Shepherd), for this time,
Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
From the dead blow of it. And you, enchantment (Perdita),--
Worthy enough [for] a herdsman, yea, him (Florizel), too,
That makes himself, but for (irrespective of) our honour therein,
Unworthy [of] thee,--if ever henceforth thou
These rural latches (cottage doors) 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.
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 (position in life) take care. This dream of mine--
Being now awake, I'll queen it (be the queen) no inch farther
But milk my ewes and weep.
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 [where] 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 (without Christian rites). O, cursed wretch (Perdita),
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.
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 (pulling at the leash) for plucking back (because other people are trying to pull me back), not following
My leash unwillingly.
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 (intend to make) to him, and as hardly [as your speech]
Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear.
Then, till the fury of his highness settle,
Come not before him.
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.
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 anymore,--cast your good counsels
Upon his passion. Let myself and fortune
Tug (engage in a tug-of-war) 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.
(to Camillo) I'll hear you by and by.
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.
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 [I’ll] strive to qualify
And bring him up to liking.
Not any yet,
But, as the unthought-on accident (unexpected discovery by Polixenes) is guilty
To what we wildly do, so we profess
Ourselves to be the slaves of chance and flies
Of every wind that blows.
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 (clothed) 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 (as if you were your father), kisses the hands
Of your fresh princess, o'er and o'er divides him (divides his mind)
'Twixt his unkindness [in the past] and his kindness (natural affection for you). The one
He chides to hell and bids the other grow
Faster than thought or time.
Sent by the king your father
To greet him and to give him comforts (assurances of friendship). Sir,
The manner of your bearing towards him, with
What you as from your father shall deliver,
Things known betwixt us three (Leontes, Polixenes, and Camillo), I'll write you down,
The which shall point you forth at every sitting
What you must say [so] that he shall not perceive
But that you have your father's bosom there
And speak his very heart.
[my offer is] 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 [misery] to take another,
Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
Do their best office if they can but stay (keep) 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 [for the worse].
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 [so] in Sicilia.
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
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 (fake jewel), not a
ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table-book, ballad,
knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring
to keep my pack from fasting (being empty). 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 (most suitable for picking), and, what I saw, to my good use I
remembered. My clown, who wants (lacks) but something (a little) to
be a reasonable man, grew so in love with the
wenches' song that he would not stir his pettitoes (feet)
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 (only hearing was operative). You might have pinched a placket (petticoat pocket), it
was senseless. 'twas nothing to geld a codpiece of a
purse (separate money from a male covering). I could have filed keys off that hung in
chains. No hearing, no feeling, but my sir's (the Clown’s) song
and admiring the nothing (triviality) 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 (a kind of bird=onlookers) from the chaff (husks of birdseeds), I had not
left a purse alive in the whole army.
(cutpurses - pockets were worn externally and held by a thong that could be cut)
CAMILLO, FLORIZEL, and PERDITA come forward
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 (understand) there's a necessity in't,--and
change garments with this gentleman. Though the
pennyworth on his side be the worst, yet hold thee (hold on),
there's some boot (gives him some money).
FLORIZEL and AUTOLYCUS exchange garments
Fortunate mistress,--let my prophecy
Come home to ye!--you must retire yourself
Into some covert (hiding place). Take your sweetheart's hat
And pluck it o'er your brows, muffle your face,
Dismantle you (take off your holiday robes), and, as you can, disliken
The truth of your own seeming, that you may--
For I do fear eyes over (spies watching)--to shipboard
Get undescried (unseen).
Giving it to PERDITA
[Aside to the audience] 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 (Polixenes) after (to follow?), in whose company
I shall review (view) Sicilia, for whose sight
I have a woman's longing.
Exeunt FLORIZEL, PERDITA, and CAMILLO
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 [even] without boot (reward)! What
a boot is here with this exchange! Sure, the gods do
this year connive at us, and we may do anything
extempore (on the spot). The prince himself is about a piece of
iniquity, stealing away from his father with his
clog (Perdita) at his heels. If I thought it were a piece of
honesty to acquaint the king withal (with it), 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, Old Shepherd’s son, and Old Shepherd
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.
Takes off his false beard
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 (disclose).
A lie. You are rough and hairy (not plain). Let me have no
lying. It becomes none but tradesmen, and they
often give us soldiers (Autolycus, dressed in Florizel’s clothes, playing the part of a soldier) the lie (cheat us), but we pay them for
it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel (drawn sword). Therefore,
they do not give us the lie.
Your worship had like to have given us one, if you
had not taken yourself with the manner.
(your worship would probably have lied to us if you were being yourself)
Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier. Seest
thou not the air of the court in these enfoldings (Florizel’s clothes)?
Hath not my gait in it (in the clothes) the measure (dance measure) of the court?
Receives not thy nose court-odor from me? Reflect I
not on thy baseness court-contempt (contemptuously)? Thinkest thou,
for that I insinuate or toaze (extract) from thee thy
business, I am, therefore, no courtier? I am courtier
cap-a-pe (head to foot) and one that will either push on or pluck
back thy business there, whereupon, I command thee to
open (disclose) thy affair.
He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical (peculiar) -
a great man, I'll warrant. I know by the picking
(Autolycus would be using a toothpick)
Age, thou hast lost thy labour.
(old man, your efforts are wasted)
Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy
and vengeance bitter, but those that are germane (related) 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 (nobility)! Some say he shall be stoned, but that death
is too soft for him, say I, draw (for drawing) our throne into a
sheep cote (shelter)! All deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.
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 beset against a brick wall, the
sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he (the sun)
is to behold him with flies blown (deposited) to death (until he dies). 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 (gentlemanly) 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.
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.'
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.
Exeunt Old Shepherd and Clown, Old Shepherd’s son
AUTOLYCUS (to audience)
If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune would
not suffer (not put up with) me. She drops booties (rewards) 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 (support) my advancement? I will bring
these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him (the prince’s ship). If he
think it fit to shore them again (return them to shore) 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 (immune) against that title (rogue) and
what shame else belongs to't. To him (the prince) will I present
them (Old Shepherd and Clown). There may be matter (something for me) in it.
Enter LEONTES, CLEOMENES, DION, PAULINA, and servants
Sir, you have done enough and have perform'd
A saint-like sorrow (penance). 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.
Whilst I remember
Her and her virtues, I cannot forget
My blemishes in them (wrongs done 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.
If you would not so,
You pity not the state nor the remembrance (perpetuation)
Of his most sovereign name. Consider [a] little
What dangers, by his highness' fail of issue (an heir),
May drop upon his kingdom and devour
Incertain (vacillating) lookers on. What were more holy
Than to rejoice the former queen is well (at peace in her grave)?
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?
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 (as it would be for) 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.
Who hast the memory (remembrance) of Hermione,
I know, in honour, O, that ever I
Had squared me to thy counsel (if only I had been ruled by your advice)! Then, even now,
I might have look'd upon my queen's full eyes,
Have taken treasure from her lips--
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 (perplexed in her soul)
And begin, 'Why [have you done this] to me?'
I should so (this is what I would do).
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, [so] that even your ears
Should rift (split) to hear me, and the words that follow'd
Should be, 'Remember mine [eyes].'
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, [if she] walk'd your first queen's ghost,
it should take joy
To see her in your arms.
Enter a gentleman
What [retinue] with him? He comes not
Like (in a manner appropriate) to his father's greatness. His approach,
So out of circumstance and sudden, tells us
'Tis not a visitation framed (planned) but forced
By need and accident. What train (entourage)?
As every present time doth boast itself
Above a better [time] 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 (more dead than Hermione), 'She (Hermione) had not been,
Nor was not to be, equall'd;'--thus your verse
(commonplace double negative)
Flow'd with her beauty once. 'tis (Hermione’s beauty) shrewdly ebb'd
To say you have seen a better.
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 whom she but bid follow.
Exeunt CLEOMENES and others
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 (make a perfect copy of your father),
Conceiving you. Were I but twenty-one,
Your father's image is so hit (copied) 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 (friendship), too, of your brave father, whom,
Though bearing misery (though miserable myself), I desire [for] my life
Once more to look on him.
By his command
Have I here touch'd Sicilia and from him
Give you all greetings that a king, a friend,
Can send his brother, and, but (if it were not for) infirmity,
Which waits upon worn times (which comes with old age), hath something seized
His wish'd ability, he had himself
The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his
Measured (crossed the length of) to look upon you, whom he loves--
He bade me say so--more than all the sceptres
And those that bear them living.
O, my brother,
Good gentleman! The wrongs I have done thee stir
Afresh within me, and these thy offices (official friendly greetings),
So rarely (exceptionally) kind, are as interpreters
Of my behind-hand slackness. Welcome hither,
As is the spring to the earth. And hath he (Polixenes), too (in addition),
Exposed this paragon (Perdita) to the fearful usage,
At least [at best] ungentle, of the dreadful Neptune (sea),
To greet a man (Leontes) not worth her pains (trouble) much less
The adventure (risk) of her person?
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 (the better part of my entourage)
I have from your Sicilian shores dismiss'd,
Who for Bohemia bend (are bound) to signify
Not only my success [in winning Perdita] in Libya, sir,
But my arrival and my wife's in safety
Here where we are.
The blessed gods
Purge all infection from our air whilst you
Do climate (remain) here! You have a holy father,
A graceful (virtuous) 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 [on the other hand] your father's blest,
As he from heaven merits (deserves) it, with you
Worthy [of] his goodness. What might I have been,
Might I a son and daughter now have look'd on,
Such goodly things as [are] you!
Enter a 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.
Here in your city. I now came from him.
I speak amazedly, and it becomes (is suitable for)
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 (the Old Shepherd) of this seeming lady and
Her brother (the Clown), having both their country quitted
With this young prince.
Camillo, sir. I spake with him who now
Has these poor men in question (being questioned). 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.
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 (social rank) as beauty,
That you might well enjoy her.
Dear, look up.
Though Fortune, visible (apparently) an enemy,
Should chase us with my father, power no jot
Hath she to change our loves. Beseech you, sir,
Remember since (the time when) 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.
But your petition
Is yet unanswer'd. I will to your father.
Your honour [being] 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 (success) I make. Come, good my lord.
Enter AUTOLYCUS (aw-tol-icus, from the Greek) and a gentleman
I was by at the opening of the fardel (bundle), 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.
I make a broken delivery (disjointed account) of the business, but the
changes I perceived in the king and Camillo were
very notes of admiration (exclamations of wonderment). 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 [if] they had heard
of a world ransomed, or one destroyed. A notable (remarkable)
passion of wonder appeared in them, but the wisest
beholder, that knew no more but seeing, could not
say if the importance (import) were joy or sorrow, but, in the
extremity of the one, it must needs be (it had to be an extreme case of one or the other).
Enter another gentleman
Nothing but bonfires (characteristic of village festivities). 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?
Most true, if ever truth were pregnant by
circumstance (circumstantial evidence). That which you hear you'll swear you
see, there is such unity in the proofs. The mantle (cloak)
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 (handwriting), the majesty of the
creature (Perdita) in resemblance of the mother, the affection
of nobleness which nature shows above her breeding (upbringing),
and many other evidences proclaim her with all
certainty to be the king's daughter. Did you see
the meeting of the two kings?
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 (faces) of such
distraction that they were to be known by garment,
not by favour (feature). 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 (embracing) her, now he thanks the old
shepherd, which stands by like a weather-bitten
conduit (aqueduct=statue gushing water) of many kings' reigns. I never heard of such
another encounter, which lames report to follow it
and undoes description to do [justice to] it.
Like an old tale still, which will have matter to
rehearse, though credit be asleep and not an ear
open (which has more to relate, even though no one is listening). 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 (Antigonus’) that Paulina knows.
Wrecked the same instant of their master's death and
in the view of the shepherd, so that all the
instruments (witnesses) 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 wept with one eye and laughed with the other – an old saying). She lifted the princess from the earth
and so locks her in embracing as if she would pin
her (Perdita) to her heart that she (Perdita) might no more be in danger
of losing (becoming lost again).
One of the prettiest touches of all and that which
angled (cast a fishing line) for mine eyes, caught the water (tears) though not
the fish, was when, at the relation (telling) of the queen's
death, with the manner how she came to't bravely
confessed and lamented by the king, how
attentiveness (listening to this) wounded his daughter (Perdita), 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.
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 (would take the creation of human beings away from Nature) so perfectly he is her
ape (Nature’s imitator). 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 (feast on the statue with their eyes).
I thought she (Paulina) 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 (secluded)
house. Shall we thither and with our company piece (add to)
Who would be thence that has the benefit of access (who wouldn’t go if he or she could)?
Every wink of an eye some new grace will be born.
Our absence makes us unthrifty to our knowledge (we lose the chance to learn more).
Now, had I not the dash of my former life [as a scoundrel] in me,
would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old
man and his son aboard, the prince [being aboard], told him (the prince) I heard
them talk of a fardel (bundle) 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 (undisclosed). But 'tis all one to me, for, had I
been the finder out of this secret, it would not
have relished (done me any good) among my other discredits.
Enter Old Shepherd and Clown, Old Shepherd’s son, ornately dressed
You are well met, sir (Autolycus). 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 (say that I am lying), do, and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.
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.
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 (valiant fellow in a fight) 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 (wish) thou wouldst
be a tall fellow of thy hands.
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
Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, FLORIZEL, PERDITA, CAMILLO, PAULINA, lords, and attendants
What, sovereign sir,
I did not well I meant well. All my services
You have paid home (repaid), but that you have vouchsafed,
With your crown'd brother (Polixenes) and these your contracted
Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
It is a surplus of your grace (you are more than gracious), which never
My life may last to answer.
We honour you with trouble (extra work), 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.
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 (reveals) HERMIONE standing like a statue
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.
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 (work of art),
There's magic in thy majesty, which has
My evils conjured to remembrance and
From thy admiring (wondering) daughter (Perdita) took the spirits,
Standing like stone with thee.
My lord, your sorrow was too sore (thickly) laid on,
Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
[nor] So many summers [cause to] dry. Scarce any joy
Did ever so long live, no sorrow
But kill'd itself much sooner.
For this affliction has a taste as sweet
As any cordial (heartwarming) 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.
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.
'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?
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.
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.
There's time enough for that,
Lest they desire upon this push (critical moment) to trouble
Your joys with like relation. Go together,
You precious winners all. Your exultation
Partake to every one. I, an old turtle (turtledove),
Will wing me to some wither'd bough and there
My mate, that's never to be found again,
Lament till I am lost.
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 (Polixenes). 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 (betrothed) 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.