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The Winter's Tale



LEONTES	king of Sicilia.

MAMILLIUS	young prince of Sicilia.

	|  Four Lords of Sicilia.

POLIXENES	King of Bohemia.

FLORIZEL	Prince of Bohemia.

ARCHIDAMUS	a Lord of Bohemia.

Old Shepherd	reputed father of Perdita. (Shepherd:)

Clown	his son.

AUTOLYCUS	a rogue.

	A Mariner. (Mariner:)

	A Gaoler.  (Gaoler:)

HERMIONE	queen to Leontes.

PERDITA	daughter to Leontes and Hermione.

PAULINA	wife to Antigonus.

EMILIA	a lady attending on Hermione,

	|  Shepherdesses.

	Other Lords and Gentlemen, Ladies, Officers,
	and Servants, Shepherds, and Shepherdesses.
	(First Lord:)
	(First Gentleman:)
	(Second Gentleman:)
	(Third Gentleman:)
	(First Lady:)
	(Second Lady:)
	(First Servant:)
	(Second Servant:)

Time	as Chorus.

SCENE	Sicilia, and Bohemia.



SCENE I	Antechamber in LEONTES' palace.


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

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

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

CAMILLO	Beseech you,--

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARCHIDAMUS	Would they else be content to die?

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

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




SCENE II	A room of state in the same.

	POLIXENES, CAMILLO, and Attendants]

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

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

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

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

POLIXENES	No longer stay.

LEONTES	One seven-night longer.

POLIXENES	Very sooth, to-morrow.

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

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

LEONTES	Tongue-tied, our queen?
	speak you.

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

LEONTES	Well said, Hermione.

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

POLIXENES	No, madam.

HERMIONE	Nay, but you will?

POLIXENES	                  I may not, verily.

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

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

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

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

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

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

HERMIONE	                  By this we gather
	You have tripp'd since.

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

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

LEONTES	Is he won yet?

HERMIONE	He'll stay my lord.

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

HERMIONE	                                 Never?

LEONTES	Never, but once.

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

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

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

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

MAMILLIUS	                           Ay, my good lord.

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

MAMILLIUS	                  Yes, if you will, my lord.

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

POLIXENES	What means Sicilia?

HERMIONE	He something seems unsettled.

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

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

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

MAMILLIUS	No, my lord, I'll fight.

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	To your own bents dispose you: you'll be found,
	Be you beneath the sky.


		  I am angling now,
	Though you perceive me not how I give line.
	Go to, go to!
	How she holds up the neb, the bill to him!
	And arms her with the boldness of a wife
	To her allowing husband!

	[Exeunt POLIXENES, HERMIONE, and Attendants]

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

MAMILLIUS	I am like you, they say.

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

CAMILLO	Ay, my good lord.

LEONTES	Go play, Mamillius; thou'rt an honest man.


	Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.

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

LEONTES	Didst note it?

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

LEONTES	Didst perceive it?


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

CAMILLO	                  At the good queen's entreaty.

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

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


CAMILLO	Stays here longer.

LEONTES	Ay, but why?

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

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

CAMILLO	Be it forbid, my lord!

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	Say it be, 'tis true.

CAMILLO	No, no, my lord.

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

CAMILLO	Who does infect her?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CAMILLO	I'll do't, my lord.

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


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

	[Re-enter POLIXENES]

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

CAMILLO	                  Hail, most royal sir!

POLIXENES	What is the news i' the court?

CAMILLO	None rare, my lord.

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

CAMILLO	I dare not know, my lord.

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

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

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

CAMILLO	I may not answer.

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

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

POLIXENES	On, good Camillo.

CAMILLO	I am appointed him to murder you.

POLIXENES	By whom, Camillo?

CAMILLO	                        By the king.


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

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

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

POLIXENES	How should this grow?

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

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

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




SCENE I	A room in LEONTES' palace.

	[Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies]

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

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

MAMILLIUS	No, I'll none of you.

First Lady	Why, my sweet lord?

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

Second Lady	And why so, my lord?

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

Second Lady	Who taught you this?

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

First Lady	Blue, my lord.

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

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

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

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

MAMILLIUS	Merry or sad shall't be?

HERMIONE	As merry as you will.

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

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

MAMILLIUS	There was a man--

HERMIONE	                  Nay, come, sit down; then on.

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

HERMIONE	Come on, then,
	And give't me in mine ear.

	[Enter LEONTES, with ANTIGONUS, Lords and others]

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

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

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

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

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

HERMIONE	What is this? sport?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	Shall I be heard?

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

LEONTES	Go, do our bidding; hence!

	[Exit HERMIONE, guarded; with Ladies]

First Lord	Beseech your highness, call the queen again.

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

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

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

LEONTES	         Hold your peaces.

First Lord	Good my lord,--

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

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

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

LEONTES	What! lack I credit?

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

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

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

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

First Lord	Well done, my lord.

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


	To laughter, as I take it,
	If the good truth were known.




SCENE II	A prison.

	[Enter PAULINA, a Gentleman, and Attendants]

PAULINA	The keeper of the prison, call to him;
	let him have knowledge who I am.

	[Exit Gentleman]

		               Good lady,
	No court in Europe is too good for thee;
	What dost thou then in prison?

	[Re-enter Gentleman, with the Gaoler]

		         Now, good sir,
	You know me, do you not?

Gaoler	For a worthy lady
	And one whom much I honour.

PAULINA	Pray you then,
	Conduct me to the queen.

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

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

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

PAULINA	I pray now, call her.
	Withdraw yourselves.

	[Exeunt Gentleman and Attendants]

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

PAULINA	Well, be't so, prithee.

	[Exit Gaoler]

	Here's such ado to make no stain a stain
	As passes colouring.

	[Re-enter Gaoler, with EMILIA]

	Dear gentlewoman,
	How fares our gracious lady?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaoler	I do believe it.

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




SCENE III	A room in LEONTES' palace.

	[Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and Servants]

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

First Servant	My lord?

LEONTES	How does the boy?

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

LEONTES	To see his nobleness!
	Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
	He straight declined, droop'd, took it deeply,
	Fasten'd and fix'd the shame on't in himself,
	Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
	And downright languish'd. Leave me solely: go,
	See how he fares.

	[Exit Servant]

	Fie, fie! no thought of him:
	The thought of my revenges that way
	Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty,
	And in his parties, his alliance; let him be
	Until a time may serve: for present vengeance,
	Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
	Laugh at me, make their pastime at my sorrow:
	They should not laugh if I could reach them, nor
	Shall she within my power.

	[Enter PAULINA, with a child]

First Lord	You must not enter.

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

ANTIGONUS	That's enough.

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

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

LEONTES	What noise there, ho?

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

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

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

LEONTES	What, canst not rule her?

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

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

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

LEONTES	Good queen!

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

LEONTES	Force her hence.

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

	[Laying down the child]

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

	I am as ignorant in that as you
	In so entitling me, and no less honest
	Than you are mad; which is enough, I'll warrant,
	As this world goes, to pass for honest.

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

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

LEONTES	He dreads his wife.

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

LEONTES	A nest of traitors!

ANTIGONUS	I am none, by this good light.

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

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	Once more, take her hence.

PAULINA	A most unworthy and unnatural lord
	Can do no more.

LEONTES	                  I'll ha' thee burnt.

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

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

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


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

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

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

LEONTES	You're liars all.

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

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

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

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

ANTIGONUS	I will, my lord.

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

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

	[Exit with the child]

LEONTES	No, I'll not rear
	Another's issue.

	[Enter a Servant]

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

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

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




SCENE I	A sea-port in Sicilia.


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

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

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

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

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

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




SCENE II	A court of Justice.

	[Enter LEONTES, Lords, and Officers]

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

Officer	It is his highness' pleasure that the queen
	Appear in person here in court. Silence!

	[Enter HERMIONE guarded;
	PAULINA and Ladies attending]

LEONTES	Read the indictment.

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	You will not own it.

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

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

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

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

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

First Lord	This your request
	Is altogether just: therefore bring forth,
	And in Apollos name, his oracle.

	[Exeunt certain Officers]

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

	[Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES and DION]

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

	|	All this we swear.

LEONTES	Break up the seals and read.

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

Lords	Now blessed be the great Apollo!


LEONTES	Hast thou read truth?

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

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

	[Enter Servant]

Servant	My lord the king, the king!

LEONTES	What is the business?

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

LEONTES	How! gone!

Servant	Is dead.

LEONTES	Apollo's angry; and the heavens themselves
	Do strike at my injustice.

	[HERMIONE swoons]

		     How now there!

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

LEONTES	Take her hence:
	Her heart is but o'ercharged; she will recover:
	I have too much believed mine own suspicion:
	Beseech you, tenderly apply to her
	Some remedies for life.

	[Exeunt PAULINA and Ladies, with HERMIONE]

		  Apollo, pardon
	My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle!
	I'll reconcile me to Polixenes,
	New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo,
	Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy;
	For, being transported by my jealousies
	To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose
	Camillo for the minister to poison
	My friend Polixenes: which had been done,
	But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
	My swift command, though I with death and with
	Reward did threaten and encourage him,
	Not doing 't and being done: he, most humane
	And fill'd with honour, to my kingly guest
	Unclasp'd my practise, quit his fortunes here,
	Which you knew great, and to the hazard
	Of all encertainties himself commended,
	No richer than his honour: how he glisters
	Thorough my rust! and how his pity
	Does my deeds make the blacker!

	[Re-enter PAULINA]

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

First Lord	          What fit is this, good lady?

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

First Lord	The higher powers forbid!

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

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

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

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

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




SCENE III	Bohemia. A desert country near the sea.

	[Enter ANTIGONUS with a Child, and a Mariner]

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

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

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

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

ANTIGONUS	Go thou away:
	I'll follow instantly.

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


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

	[Exit, pursued by a bear]

	[Enter a Shepherd]

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

	[Enter Clown]

Clown	Hilloa, loa!

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

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

Shepherd	Why, boy, how is it?

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

Shepherd	Name of mercy, when was this, boy?

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

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

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

Shepherd	Heavy matters! heavy matters! but look thee here,
	boy. Now bless thyself: thou mettest with things
	dying, I with things newborn. Here's a sight for
	thee; look thee, a bearing-cloth for a squire's
	child! look thee here; take up, take up, boy;
	open't. So, let's see: it was told me I should be
	rich by the fairies. This is some changeling:
	open't. What's within, boy?

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

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

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

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

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

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





	[Enter Time, the Chorus]

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




SCENE II	Bohemia. The palace of POLIXENES.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CAMILLO	I willingly obey your command.

POLIXENES	My best Camillo! We must disguise ourselves.




SCENE III	A road near the Shepherd's cottage.

	[Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing]

AUTOLYCUS	When daffodils begin to peer,
	With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
	Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year;
	For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.

	The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
	With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they sing!
	Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
	For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.

	The lark, that tirra-lyra chants,
	With heigh! with heigh! the thrush and the jay,
	Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
	While we lie tumbling in the hay.

	I have served Prince Florizel and in my time
	wore three-pile; but now I am out of service:

	But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?
	The pale moon shines by night:
	And when I wander here and there,
	I then do most go right.

	If tinkers may have leave to live,
	And bear the sow-skin budget,
	Then my account I well may, give,
	And in the stocks avouch it.

	My traffic is sheets; when the kite builds, look to
	lesser linen. My father named me Autolycus; who
	being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise
	a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles. With die and
	drab I purchased this caparison, and my revenue is
	the silly cheat. Gallows and knock are too powerful
	on the highway: beating and hanging are terrors to
	me: for the life to come, I sleep out the thought
	of it. A prize! a prize!

	[Enter Clown]

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


	If the springe hold, the cock's mine.

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

AUTOLYCUS	O that ever I was born!

	[Grovelling on the ground]

Clown	I' the name of me--

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

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

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

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

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

Clown	What, by a horseman, or a footman?

AUTOLYCUS	A footman, sweet sir, a footman.

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

AUTOLYCUS	O, good sir, tenderly, O!

Clown	Alas, poor soul!

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

Clown	How now! canst stand?

AUTOLYCUS	[Picking his pocket]

	Softly, dear sir; good sir, softly. You ha' done me
	a charitable office.

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

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

Clown	What manner of fellow was he that robbed you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clown	How do you now?

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

Clown	Shall I bring thee on the way?

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

Clown	Then fare thee well: I must go buy spices for our

AUTOLYCUS	Prosper you, sweet sir!

	[Exit Clown]

	Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your spice.
	I'll be with you at your sheep-shearing too: if I
	make not this cheat bring out another and the
	shearers prove sheep, let me be unrolled and my name
	put in the book of virtue!


	Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
	And merrily hent the stile-a:
	A merry heart goes all the day,
	Your sad tires in a mile-a.




SCENE IV	The Shepherd's cottage.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PERDITA	O lady Fortune,
	Stand you auspicious!

FLORIZEL	See, your guests approach:
	Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
	And let's be red with mirth.

	[Enter Shepherd, Clown, MOPSA, DORCAS, and
	others, with POLIXENES and CAMILLO disguised]

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

PERDITA	[To POLIXENES]                  Sir, welcome:
	It is my father's will I should take on me
	The hostess-ship o' the day.


		       You're welcome, sir.
	Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
	For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
	Seeming and savour all the winter long:
	Grace and remembrance be to you both,
	And welcome to our shearing!

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

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

POLIXENES	Wherefore, gentle maiden,
	Do you neglect them?

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

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

PERDITA	So it is.

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

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

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

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

FLORIZEL	What, like a corse?

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

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

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

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

PERDITA	I'll swear for 'em.

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

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

Clown	Come on, strike up!

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

MOPSA	Now, in good time!

Clown	Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.
	Come, strike up!

	[Music. Here a dance of Shepherds and

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

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

POLIXENES	She dances featly.

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

	[Enter Servant]

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

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

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

POLIXENES	This is a brave fellow.

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

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

Clown	Prithee bring him in; and let him approach singing.

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

	[Exit Servant]

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

PERDITA	Ay, good brother, or go about to think.

	[Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clown	What hast here? ballads?

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

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

MOPSA	Is it true, think you?

AUTOLYCUS	Very true, and but a month old.

DORCAS	Bless me from marrying a usurer!

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

MOPSA	Pray you now, buy it.

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

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

DORCAS	Is it true too, think you?

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

Clown	Lay it by too: another.

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

MOPSA	Let's have some merry ones.

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

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

DORCAS	We had the tune on't a month ago.

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

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

DORCAS	     Whither?

MOPSA	                  O, whither?

DORCAS	Whither?

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

DORCAS	          Me too, let me go thither.

MOPSA	     Or thou goest to the orange or mill.

DORCAS	     If to either, thou dost ill.


DORCAS	       What, neither?


DORCAS	     Thou hast sworn my love to be.

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

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

	[Exit with DORCAS and MOPSA]

AUTOLYCUS	And you shall pay well for 'em.

	[Follows singing]

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


	[Re-enter Servant]

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

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

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

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

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

Servant	Why, they stay at door, sir.


	[Here a dance of twelve Satyrs]

POLIXENES	O, father, you'll know more of that hereafter.


	Is it not too far gone? 'Tis time to part them.
	He's simple and tells much.


		      How now, fair shepherd!
	Your heart is full of something that does take
	Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
	And handed love as you do, I was wont
	To load my she with knacks: I would have ransack'd
	The pedlar's silken treasury and have pour'd it
	To her acceptance; you have let him go
	And nothing marted with him. If your lass
	Interpretation should abuse and call this
	Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
	For a reply, at least if you make a care
	Of happy holding her.

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

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

FLORIZEL	                  Do, and be witness to 't.

POLIXENES	And this my neighbour too?

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

POLIXENES	Fairly offer'd.

CAMILLO	This shows a sound affection.

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

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

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

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

Shepherd	Come, your hand;
	And, daughter, yours.

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

FLORIZEL	                  I have: but what of him?

POLIXENES	Knows he of this?

FLORIZEL	                  He neither does nor shall.

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

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

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

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

POLIXENES	Let him know't.

FLORIZEL	He shall not.

POLIXENES	                  Prithee, let him.

FLORIZEL	No, he must not.

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

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

POLIXENES	                  Mark your divorce, young sir,

	[Discovering himself]

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

Shepherd	O, my heart!

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


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

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

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


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

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

FLORIZEL	I not purpose it.
	I think, Camillo?

CAMILLO	                  Even he, my lord.

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

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

CAMILLO	Be advised.

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

CAMILLO	                  This is desperate, sir.

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

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

FLORIZEL	Hark, Perdita

	[Drawing her aside]

	I'll hear you by and by.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

	[They talk aside]

	[Re-enter AUTOLYCUS]

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

	[CAMILLO, FLORIZEL, and PERDITA come forward]

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

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

CAMILLO	Shall satisfy your father.

PERDITA	Happy be you!
	All that you speak shows fair.

CAMILLO	Who have we here?


	We'll make an instrument of this, omit
	Nothing may give us aid.

AUTOLYCUS	If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.

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

AUTOLYCUS	I am a poor fellow, sir.

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

AUTOLYCUS	I am a poor fellow, sir.


		   I know ye well enough.

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

AUTOLYCUS	Are you in earnest, sir?


		   I smell the trick on't.

FLORIZEL	Dispatch, I prithee.

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

CAMILLO	Unbuckle, unbuckle.

	[FLORIZEL and AUTOLYCUS exchange garments]

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

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

CAMILLO	No remedy.
	Have you done there?

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

CAMILLO	Nay, you shall have no hat.

	[Giving it to PERDITA]

	Come, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.

AUTOLYCUS	Adieu, sir.

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

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

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

CAMILLO	The swifter speed the better.


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

	[Re-enter Clown and Shepherd]

	Aside, aside; here is more matter for a hot brain:
	every lane's end, every shop, church, session,
	hanging, yields a careful man work.

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

Shepherd	Nay, but hear me.

Clown	Nay, but hear me.

Shepherd	Go to, then.

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

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

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

AUTOLYCUS	[Aside]  Very wisely, puppies!

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

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

Clown	Pray heartily he be at palace.

AUTOLYCUS	[Aside]  Though I am not naturally honest, I am so
	sometimes by chance: let me pocket up my pedlar's excrement.

	[Takes off his false beard]

	How now, rustics! whither are you bound?

Shepherd	To the palace, an it like your worship.

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

Clown	We are but plain fellows, sir.

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

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

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

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

Shepherd	My business, sir, is to the king.

AUTOLYCUS	What advocate hast thou to him?

Shepherd	I know not, an't like you.

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

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

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

Clown	This cannot be but a great courtier.

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

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

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

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

AUTOLYCUS	Age, thou hast lost thy labour.

Shepherd	Why, sir?

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

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

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

Clown	Think you so, sir?

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

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

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

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

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

AUTOLYCUS	After I have done what I promised?

Shepherd	Ay, sir.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

	[Exeunt Shepherd and Clown]

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




SCENE I	A room in LEONTES' palace.


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

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

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

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

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

PAULINA	You are one of those
	Would have him wed again.

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

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


		      Care not for issue;
	The crown will find an heir: great Alexander
	Left his to the worthiest; so his successor
	Was like to be the best.

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

PAULINA	And left them
	More rich for what they yielded.

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

PAULINA	Had she such power,
	She had just cause.

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	Never, Paulina; so be blest my spirit!

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

CLEOMENES	You tempt him over-much.

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

CLEOMENES	                  Good madam,--

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

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

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

	[Enter a Gentleman]

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

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

Gentleman	But few,
	And those but mean.

LEONTES	His princess, say you, with him?

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

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

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

PAULINA	How! not women?

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

LEONTES	Go, Cleomenes;
	Yourself, assisted with your honour'd friends,
	Bring them to our embracement. Still, 'tis strange

	[Exeunt CLEOMENES and others]

	He thus should steal upon us.

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

LEONTES	Prithee, no more; cease; thou know'st
	He dies to me again when talk'd of: sure,
	When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches
	Will bring me to consider that which may
	Unfurnish me of reason. They are come.

	[Re-enter CLEOMENES and others, with FLORIZEL and PERDITA]

	Your mother was most true to wedlock, prince;
	For she did print your royal father off,
	Conceiving you: were I but twenty-one,
	Your father's image is so hit in you,
	His very air, that I should call you brother,
	As I did him, and speak of something wildly
	By us perform'd before. Most dearly welcome!
	And your fair princess,--goddess!--O, alas!
	I lost a couple, that 'twixt heaven and earth
	Might thus have stood begetting wonder as
	You, gracious couple, do: and then I lost--
	All mine own folly--the society,
	Amity too, of your brave father, whom,
	Though bearing misery, I desire my life
	Once more to look on him.

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

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

FLORIZEL	Good my lord,
	She came from Libya.

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

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

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

	[Enter a Lord]

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

LEONTES	Where's Bohemia? speak.

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

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

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

LEONTES	Who? Camillo?

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

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

LEONTES	You are married?

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

LEONTES	My lord,
	Is this the daughter of a king?

	When once she is my wife.

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	I thought of her,
	Even in these looks I made.


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




SCENE II	Before LEONTES' palace.

	[Enter AUTOLYCUS and a Gentleman]

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

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

AUTOLYCUS	I would most gladly know the issue of it.

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

	[Enter another Gentleman]

	Here comes a gentleman that haply knows more.
	The news, Rogero?

Second Gentleman	Nothing but bonfires: the oracle is fulfilled; the
	king's daughter is found: such a deal of wonder is
	broken out within this hour that ballad-makers
	cannot be able to express it.

	[Enter a third Gentleman]

	Here comes the Lady Paulina's steward: he can
	deliver you more. How goes it now, sir? this news
	which is called true is so like an old tale, that
	the verity of it is in strong suspicion: has the king
	found his heir?

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

Second Gentleman	No.

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

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

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

First Gentleman	What became of his bark and his followers?

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

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

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

First Gentleman	Are they returned to the court?

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

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

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

	[Exeunt Gentlemen]

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

	[Enter Shepherd and Clown]

	Here come those I have done good to against my will,
	and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.

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

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

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

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

Shepherd	And so have I, boy.

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

Shepherd	We may live, son, to shed many more.

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

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

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

Clown	Thou wilt amend thy life?

AUTOLYCUS	Ay, an it like your good worship.

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

Shepherd	You may say it, but not swear it.

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

Shepherd	How if it be false, son?

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

AUTOLYCUS	I will prove so, sir, to my power.

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




SCENE III	A chapel in PAULINA'S house.

	CAMILLO, PAULINA, Lords, and Attendants]

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

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

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

PAULINA	As she lived peerless,
	So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
	Excels whatever yet you look'd upon
	Or hand of man hath done; therefore I keep it
	Lonely, apart. But here it is: prepare
	To see the life as lively mock'd as ever
	Still sleep mock'd death: behold, and say 'tis well.

	[PAULINA draws a curtain, and discovers HERMIONE
	standing like a statue]

	I like your silence, it the more shows off
	Your wonder: but yet speak; first, you, my liege,
	Comes it not something near?

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

POLIXENES	O, not by much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	Do not draw the curtain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEONTES	No, not these twenty years.

PERDITA	So long could I
	Stand by, a looker on.

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

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

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

LEONTES	Proceed:
	No foot shall stir.

PAULINA	Music, awake her; strike!


	'Tis time; descend; be stone no more; approach;
	Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come,
	I'll fill your grave up: stir, nay, come away,
	Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him
	Dear life redeems you. You perceive she stirs:

	[HERMIONE comes down]

	Start not; her actions shall be holy as
	You hear my spell is lawful: do not shun her
	Until you see her die again; for then
	You kill her double. Nay, present your hand:
	When she was young you woo'd her; now in age
	Is she become the suitor?

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

POLIXENES	                  She embraces him.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Next: Venus and Adonis