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Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Winter’s Tale


ACT V. SCENE I—SICILIA. A Room in the Palace of



and others.

Cleo. 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


More penitence than done trespass: at the last,

Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil;

With them, forgive yourself.

Leon.                                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.

Paul.                        True, to true, my lord;

If, one by one, you wedded all the world,

Or from the all that are the something good,

To make a perfect woman, she you kill’d

Would be unparallel’d.

Leon.                        I think so.—Kill’d!

She I kill’d! I did so: buy thou strik’st me

Sorely, to say I did: it is a bitter           [now,

Upon thy tongue as in my thought: now, good

Say so but seldom.

Cleo.                     Not at all, good lady;

You might have spoken a thousand things that


Have done the time more benefit, and grac’d

Your kindness better.

Paul.                        You are one of those

Would have him wed again.

Dion.                             If you would not so,

You pit not the state nor the remembrance

Of his most sovereign nae; 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 it?

Paul.                           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 thall,

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.

Leon.                           Good Paulina,—

Who hast the memory of Hermione,

I know, in honour,—O, that ever I            [now,

Had squar’d me to thy counsel!—then, even

I might have look’d upon my queen’s full eyes;

Have taken treasure from her lips,—

Paul.                                      And left them

More rich for what they yielded.

Leon.                           Thou speak’st truth.

No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one


And better us’d, would make her sainted spirit

Again possess her corpse; and, on this stage,—

Where we offend her now,—appear, soul-vexed,

And begin, Why to me?

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ACT V. SCENE I—SICILIA. A Room in the Palace of


Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Winter’s Tale


ACT IV. SCENE III.—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

Shep. None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock

nor hen.                                            [men!

Aut. How bless’d are we that are not simple

Yet nature might have made me as these are,

Therefore I will not disdain.

Clo. This cannot be but a great courtier.

Shep. His garments are rich, but he wears

them not handsomely.

Clo. He seems to be the more noble in being

fantastical: a great man, I’ll warrant; I know

by the picking on’s teeth.

Aut. The fardel there? what’s i’ the fardel?

Wherefore that box?

Shep. Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel

and box, which none must know but the king;

and which he shall know within this houir, if I

may come to the speech of him.

Aut. Age, thou hast lost thy labour.

Shep. Why, sir?

Aut.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.

Shep. So ’tis said, sir,—about his son, that

should have married a shepherd’s daughter.

Aut. If that sheperd be not in hand-fast,

let him fly: the curses he shall have, the tor-

tures he shall feel, will break the back of man,

the heart of monster.

Clo. Think you so, sir?

Aut. No 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 neces-

sary. 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.

Clo. Has the old man e’er a son, sir, do you

hear, an’t like you, sir?

Aut. 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 aquavitæ, or some other hot infu-

sion; then, raw as he is, andin the hottest day

prognostication proclaims, shall he be set

against a brick-wall, the sun looking with a

southward eye upon him,—where he is to be-

hold him with flies blown to death. But what

talk we of these traitorly raskals, whose mis-

eries are to be smiled at, their offences being so

capital? Tell me,—for you seem to be honest

plain men,—what have you 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.

Clo. 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. Remem-

ber,—stoned and flayed alive.

Shep. 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.

Aut. After I have done what I promised?

Shep. Ay, sir.

Aut. Well, give me the moiety.—Are you a

party in this business?

Clo. In some sort, sir: but though my case be

a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of


Aut. O, that’s the case of the shepherd’s son.

Hang him, he’ll be made an example!

Clo. 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 per-

formed; and remain, as he says, your paw till

it be brought you.

Aut. 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.

Clo. We are blessed in this man, as I may

say, even blessed.

Shep. Let’s before, as he bids us: he was pro-

vided to do us good.

[Exeunt Shepherd and Clown.

Aut. If I had a mind to be honest, I see For-

tune 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 con-

cerns him nothing, let him call me rogue for be-

ing 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 atter in it.


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ACT V. SCENE I—SICILIA. A Room in the Palace of


Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Winter’s Tale


ACT IV. SCENE III.—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

There is no other way but to tell the king she’s

a changeling, and none of your flesh and blood.

Shep. Nay, but hear me.

Clo. Nay, but hear me.

Shep. Go to, then.

Clo. 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 pun-

ished 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.

Shep. I will tell the king all, every word,—

yea, an 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-


Clo. Indeed, brother-in-law was the furthest

off you could have been to him; and then your

blood had been the dearer by I know how much

an ounce.

Aut. Very wisely, puppies!                       [Aside.

Shep. Well, let us to the king: there is that

in this fardel will make him scratch his beard!

Aut. I know not what impediment this com-

plaint may be to the flight of my master. [Aside.

Clo. Pray heartily he be at palace.

Aut. Though I am not naturally honest, I

am so sometimes by chance. Let me pocket up

my pedlar’s excrement. [Aside, and takes off his

false beard.]—How now, rustics! whither are

you bound?

Shep. To the palace, an it like your worship.

Aut. Your affairs there, what, with whom,

the condition of that fardel, the place of your

dwelling, your names, your ages, of what hav-

ing, breeding, and anything that is fitting to be

known? discover.

Clo. We are but plain fellows, sir.

Aut. A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me

have no lying; it becomes none but tradesmen,

and they often give us soldiers that lie: but we

pay them for it with stamped coin, not stabbing

steel; therefore they do not give us the lie.

Clo. Your worship had like to have given us

one, if you had not taken yourself with the


Shep. Are you a courtier, an’t like you, sir?

Aut.  Whether it like me or no, I am a

courtier. Seest thou not the air of the court in

these enfoldings? hath my gait in it the

measure of the court? receives not thy nose

court-odour from me? reflect I not on thy base-

ness court-contempt? Thinkest thou, for that

I insinuate, or toze from thee thy business, I

am therefore no courtier? I am courtier cap-

a-pé; and one that will either push on or pluck

back thy business there: whereupon I com-

mand thee to open thy affair.

Shep. My business, sir, is to the king.

Aut. What advocate hast thou to him?

Shep. I know not, an’t like you

Clo. Advocate’s the court=word for a phea-

sant, say you have none.

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ACT IV. SCENE III—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Winter’s Tale


ACT IV. SCENE III.—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

Flo. Despatch, I pr’ythee.

Aut. Indeed, I have had earnest; but I can-

not with conscience take it.

Cam. Unbuckle, unbuckle.—

[FLO. and AUTOL. exchange garments.

Fortunate mistress,—let my prophecy

Come home to you!—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


For I do fear eyes over,—to shipboard

Get undescried.

Per.                   I see the play so lies

That I must bear a part.

Cam.                              No remedy.—

Have you done there?

Flo.                    Should I now meet my father,

He would not call me son.

Cam. Nay, you shall have no hat.—

[Giving it to PERDITA.

Come, lady, come.—Farewell, my friend.

Aut. Adieu, sir.

Flo. O Perdita, what have we twain forgot?

Pray you, a word.         [They converse apart.

Cam. What I do next, shall be to tell the

king                                              [Aside.

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.

Flo.                                   Fortune speed us!—

Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.

Cam. The swifter speed the better.

[Exeunt FLOR., PER., and CAM.

Aut. 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 con-

nive at us, and we may do anything 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 hon-

esty to acquaint the king withal, I would not

do’t: I hod 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 shope, church,

session, hanging, yields a careful man work.

Clo. See. see: what a man you are now!

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ACT IV. SCENE III—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Winter’s Tale


ACT IV. SCENE III.—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.


Aut. Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and

Trust, his sworn brother, a very simple gentle-

man! I have sold all my trumpery; not a

counterfeit stone, not a riand, glass, poman-

der, 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 re-

membered. My clown (who wants but some-

thing 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 would

have filed keys off that hung in chains: no hear-

ing, 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 scared my choughs from the chaff, I

had not left a purse alive in the whole army.

[CAM., FLO., and PER. come forward.

Cam. Nay, but my letters, by this means

being there

So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doublt.

Flo. And those that you’ll procure from king


Cam. Shall satisfy your father.

Per.                                      Happy be you!

All that you speak shows fair.

Cam.                               Who have we here?—


We’ll make an instrument of this; omit

Nothing may give us aid.

Aut. If they have overheard e now,—why,

hanging.                                          [Aside.

Cam. How now, good fellow! why shakest

thou so? Fear not, man; 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.                                          [Giving money.

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ACT IV. SCENE III—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Winter’s Tale


ACT IV. SCENE III.—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

Flo.                                       Worthy Camillo,

What colour for my visitation shall I

Hold up before him?

Cam.                   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


The which shall point your 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.

Flo.                                    I am bound to you:

There is some sap in this.

Cam.                            A course more promissing

Than a wild dedication of yourselves [certain

To unpath’d waters, undream’d shores, most

To miseries enough: no hope to help;

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,          [gether

Whose fresh complexion and whose heard to-

Affliction alters.

Per.                  One of these is true:

I think affliction may subdue the cheek,

But not take in the mind.

Cam.                                Yea, say you so?

There shall not, at your father’s house, these

seven years

Be born another such.

Flo.                                My good Camillo.

She is as forward of her breeding as

She is i’ the rear our birth.

Cam.                                I cannot say ’tis pity

She lacks instruction; for she seems a mistress

To most that teach.

Per.                          Your pardon, sir, for this:

I’ll blush you thanks.

Flo. 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

Cam.                               My lord,

Fear none of this: I think you know my for-


Do all lie there: it shall be so my care

To have you royall appointed as if       [sir,

The scene you play were mine. For instance,

That you may know you shall not want,—one

word.                                      [They talk aside.

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ACT IV. SCENE III—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Winter’s Tale


ACT IV. SCENE III.—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.

Cam.                                  O, my lord.

I would your spirit were easier for advice,

Or stronger for your need.

Flo.               Hark, Perdita.—[Takes her aside.

I’ll hear you by and by.               [To Camillo.

Cam.                            He’s irremovable,

Resolv’d 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.

Flo.                               Now, good Camillo,

I am so fraught with curious business that

I leave out ceremony.                          [Going.

Cam.                          Sir, I think

You have heard of my poor services, i’ the love

That I have borne your father?

Flo.                                          Very nobly

Have you deserv’d: it is my father’s music

To speak your deeds; not little of his care

To have them recompens’d as thought on.

Cam.                                          Well, my lord,

If you may please to think I love the king,

And, through him, which 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      [ing

I’m point you where you shall have such receiv-

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 forfend! your ruin,—marry her;

And,—with my est endeavours in your ab-


Your discontenting father strive to qualify,

And bring him up to liking.

Flo.                                     How, Camillo,

May this, almost a miracle, be done?

That I may call thee something more than man,

And, after that, trust to thee.

Cam.                                   Have you thought on

A place whereto you’ll go?

Flo. 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.

Cam.                                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 prin-


For so, I see, she must be,—‘fore Leontes:

She shall be habited as it becomes

The partner of your bed. Methinks I see

Leonites opening his free arms, and weeping

His welcomes forth; asks thee, ‘the son, forgive-


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


He chides to hell, and bids the other grow

Faster than thought on time.

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ACT IV. SCENE III—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.