Archives For William Shakespeare

Sapient (adj.)

Sapient means wise, learned, and erudite. It was sited in Shakespeare’s King Lear (KL [Lear says to the Fool] Thou sapient sir, sit here)

“King Lear and the Fool in the Storm” by William Dyce

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?

(On 10/24/14 – Join me for the continuation of “The Winter’s Tale”,

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


Fangled (adj.)

Fangled means drifting, meandering, wandering. It was sited in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (AC I.iv.45 [Caesar said to Lepidus about the people] This common body, / Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream.)

Posthumus and Imogen by John Faed

Vagabon (adj.)

Vagabon means drifting, meandering, wandering. It was sited in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (AC I.iv.45 [Caesar said to Lepidus about the people] This common body, / Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream.)


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.


(On 10/23/14 – Join me for the continuation of “The Winter’s Tale”,

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


Tack About (v.)

Tack About means to change course or to run against the wind. It was sited in Shakespeare’s The Two  Noble Kinsmen (TNK III.iv.10 [Gaoler's Daughter alone speaks of a ship] Up with a course or two, and tack about.)


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.

(On 10/22/14 – Join me for the continuation of “The Winter’s Tale”,

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