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The Winter’s Tale: Act II, Scene 2

The Winter’s Tale
Act II, Scene 2

Sicilia. The outer room of a prison.

  1. Enter Paulina, a Gentleman, and Attendants.

Paulina

1 - 7
  1. The keeper of the prison, call to him;
  2. Let him have knowledge who I am.
  3. Exit Gentleman.
  4.                                  Good lady,
  5. No court in Europe is too good for thee,
  6. What dost thou then in prison?
  7. Enter Gentleman with the Jailer.
  8.                                Now, good sir,
  9. You know me, do you not?

Jailer

8 - 9
  1.                          For a worthy lady,
  2. And one who much I honor.

Paulina

10 - 11
  1.                           Pray you then,
  2. Conduct me to the Queen.

Jailer

12 - 13
  1.                          I may not, madam:
  2. To the contrary I have express commandment.

Paulina

14 - 17
  1. Here’s ado, to lock up honesty
  2. And honor from th’ access of gentle visitors.
  3. Is’t lawful, pray you, to see her women?
  4. Any of them? Emilia?

Jailer

18 - 20
  1.                      So please you, madam,
  2. To put apart these your attendants, I
  3. Shall bring Emilia forth.

Paulina

21 - 22
  1.                           I pray now call her.—
  2. Withdraw yourselves.
  1. Exeunt Gentleman and Attendants.

Jailer

23 - 24
  1.                      And, madam, I must
  2. Be present at your conference.

Paulina

25 - 29
  1. Well; be’t so; prithee.
  2. Exit Jailer.
  3. Here’s such ado to make no stain a stain
  4. As passes coloring.
  5. Enter Jailer with Emilia.
  6.                     Dear gentlewoman,
  7. How fares our gracious lady?

Emilia

30 - 33
  1. As well as one so great and so forlorn
  2. May hold together. On her frights and griefs
  3. (Which never tender lady hath borne greater)
  4. She is, something before her time, deliver’d.

Paulina

34
  1. A boy?

Emilia

35 - 38
  1.        A daughter, and a goodly babe,
  2. Lusty and like to live. The Queen receives
  3. Much comfort in’t; says, My poor prisoner,
  4. I am innocent as you.”

Paulina

39 - 52
  1.                        I dare be sworn.
  2. These dangerous, unsafe lunes i’ th’ King, beshrew them!
  3. He must be told on’t, and he shall. The office
  4. Becomes a woman best. I’ll take’t upon me.
  5. If I prove honey-mouth’d, let my tongue blister;
  6. And never to my red-look’d anger be
  7. The trumpet any more. Pray you, Emilia,
  8. Commend my best obedience to the Queen.
  9. If she dares trust me with her little babe,
  10. I’ll show’t the King, and undertake to be
  11. Her advocate to th’ loud’st. We do not know
  12. How he may soften at the sight o’ th’ child:
  13. The silence often of pure innocence
  14. Persuades when speaking fails.

Emilia

53 - 62
  1.                                Most worthy madam,
  2. Your honor and your goodness is so evident
  3. That your free undertaking cannot miss
  4. A thriving issue. There is no lady living
  5. So meet for this great errand. Please your ladyship
  6. To visit the next room, I’ll presently
  7. Acquaint the Queen of your most noble offer,
  8. Who but today hammered of this design,
  9. But durst not tempt a minister of honor,
  10. Lest she should be denied.

Paulina

63 - 66
  1.                            Tell her, Emilia,
  2. I’ll use that tongue I have. If wit flow from’t
  3. As boldness from my bosom, let’t not be doubted
  4. I shall do good.

Emilia

67 - 68
  1.                  Now be you blest for it!
  2. I’ll to the Queen.—Please you, come something nearer.

Jailer

69 - 71
  1. Madam, if’t please the Queen to send the babe,
  2. I know not what I shall incur to pass it,
  3. Having no warrant.

Paulina

72 - 77
  1.                    You need not fear it, sir.
  2. This child was prisoner to the womb, and is
  3. By law and process of great Nature thence
  4. Freed and enfranchis’d, not a party to
  5. The anger of the King, nor guilty of
  6. (If any be) the trespass of the Queen.

Jailer

78
  1. I do believe it.

Paulina

79 - 80
  1. Do not you fear. Upon mine honor, I
  2. Will stand betwixt you and danger.
  1. Exeunt.
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