The Winter’s Tale
Act V, Scene 1
Sicilia. A room in the palace of Leontes.
- Enter Leontes, Cleomines, Dion, Paulina, Servants.
Cleomines1 - 6
- 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.
Leontes7 - 13
- Whilest 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.
Paulina14 - 18
- 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.
Leontes19 - 23
- I think so. Kill’d?
- She I kill’d? I did so; but thou strik’st me
- Sorely, to say I did. It is as bitter
- Upon thy tongue as in my thought. Now, good now,
- Say so but seldom.
Cleomines24 - 27
- Not at all, good lady.
- You might have spoken a thousand things that would
- Have done the time more benefit, and grac’d
- Your kindness better.
Paulina28 - 29
- You are one of those
- Would have him wed again.
Dion30 - 40
- 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?
Paulina41 - 57
- 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.
- To Leontes.
- Care not for issue,
- The crown will find an heir. Great Alexander
- Left his to th’ worthiest; so his successor
- Was like to be the best.
Leontes58 - 63
- Good Paulina,
- Who hast the memory of Hermione,
- I know, in honor, O, that ever I
- Had squar’d me to thy counsel! Then, even now,
- I might have look’d upon my queen’s full eyes,
- Have taken treasure from her lips—
Paulina64 - 65
- And left them
- More rich for what they yielded.
Leontes66 - 71
- Thou speak’st truth:
- No more such wives, therefore no wife. One worse,
- And better us’d, would make her sainted spirit
- Again possess her corpse, and on this stage
- (Where we offenders now) appear soul-vex’d,
- And begin, “Why to me—?”
Paulina72 - 73
- Had she such power,
- She had just cause.
Leontes74 - 75
- She had, and would incense me
- To murder her I married.
Paulina76 - 81
- 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.”
Leontes82 - 84
- Stars, stars,
- And all eyes else dead coals! Fear thou no wife;
- I’ll have no wife, Paulina.
Paulina85 - 86
- Will you swear
- Never to marry but by my free leave?
- Never, Paulina, so be bless’d my spirit!
- Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.
- You tempt him overmuch.
Paulina90 - 92
- Unless another,
- As like Hermione as is her picture,
- Affront his eye.
- Good madam—
Paulina94 - 100
- 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.
Leontes101 - 102
- My true Paulina,
- We shall not marry till thou bid’st us.
Paulina103 - 105
- Shall be when your first queen’s again in breath;
- Never till then.
- Enter First Servant.
First Servant106 - 109
- 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.
Leontes110 - 114
- 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 fram’d, but forc’d
- By need and accident. What train?
First Servant115 - 116
- But few,
- And those but mean.
- His princess, say you, with him?
First Servant118 - 119
- Ay; the most peerless piece of earth, I think,
- That e’er the sun shone bright on.
Paulina120 - 128
- 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.
First Servant129 - 135
- 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.
- How? Not women?
First Servant137 - 139
- Women will love her, that she is a woman
- More worth than any man; men, that she is
- The rarest of all women.
Leontes140 - 144
- Go, Cleomines;
- Yourself, assisted with your honor’d friends,
- Bring them to our embracement.
- Exeunt Cleomines and others.
- Still, ’tis strange
- He thus should steal upon us.
Paulina145 - 148
- 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.
Leontes149 - 168
- 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.
- Enter Florizel, Perdita, Cleomines, and others.
- 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.
Florizel169 - 178
- 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 seiz’d
- His wish’d ability, he had himself
- The lands and waters ’twixt your throne and his
- Measur’d to look upon you; whom he loves
- (He bade me say so) more than all the sceptres,
- And those that bear them, living.
Leontes179 - 188
- 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 th’ earth. And hath he too
- Expos’d this paragon to th’ fearful usage
- (At least ungentle) of the dreadful Neptune,
- To greet a man not worth her pains, much less
- Th’ adventure of her person?
Florizel189 - 190
- Good my lord,
- She came from Libya.
Leontes191 - 192
- Where the warlike Smalus,
- That noble honor’d lord, is fear’d and lov’d?
Florizel193 - 202
- 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.
Leontes203 - 213
- The blessed gods
- Purge all infection from our air whilest 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 bless’d
- (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.
First Lord214 - 221
- 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.
- Where’s Bohemia? Speak.
First Lord223 - 230
- 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 hast’ning (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.
Florizel231 - 233
- Camillo has betray’d me;
- Whose honor and whose honesty till now
- Endur’d all weathers.
First Lord234 - 235
- Lay’t so to his charge:
- He’s with the King your father.
- Who? Camillo?
First Lord237 - 242
- 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.
Perdita243 - 245
- O my poor father!
- The heaven sets spies upon us, will not have
- Our contract celebrated.
- You are married?
Florizel247 - 249
- 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.
Leontes250 - 251
- My lord,
- Is this the daughter of a king?
Florizel252 - 253
- She is,
- When once she is my wife.
Leontes254 - 259
- 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.
Florizel260 - 267
- Dear, look up.
- Though Fortune, visible an enemy,
- Should chase us with my father, pow’r no jot
- Hath she to change our loves. Beseech you, sir,
- Remember since you ow’d 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.
Leontes268 - 269
- Would he do so, I’ld beg your precious mistress,
- Which he counts but a trifle.
Paulina270 - 273
- 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.
Leontes274 - 281
- I thought of her,
- Even in these looks I made.
- To Florizel.
- But your petition
- Is yet unanswer’d. I will to your father.
- Your honor 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.