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The Winter’s Tale: Act 5, Scene 2

The Winter’s Tale
Act 5, Scene 2

Sicilia. Before Leontes’ palace.

  1. Enter Autolycus and a Gentleman.

Autolycus

2
  1. Beseech you, sir, were you present at this relation?

First Gentleman

3 - 7
  1. I was by at the opening of the fardel, heard the old
  2. shepherd deliver the manner how he found it; whereupon,
  3. after a little amazedness, we were all commanded out of the
  4. chamber; only this, methought, I heard the shepherd say, he
  5. found the child.

Autolycus

8
  1. I would most gladly know the issue of it.

First Gentleman

9 - 21
  1. I make a broken delivery of the business; but the changes I
  2. perceiv’d in the King and Camillo were very notes of
  3. admiration. They seem’d almost, with staring on one another,
  4. to tear the cases of their eyes. There was speech in their
  5. dumbness, language in their very gesture; they look’d as
  6. they had heard of a world ransom’d, or one destroy’d. A
  7. notable passion of wonder appear’d in them; but the wisest
  8. beholder, that knew no more but seeing, could not say if th’
  9. importance were joy or sorrow; but in the extremity of the
  10. one, it must needs be.
  11. Enter another Gentleman.
  12. Here comes a gentleman that haply knows more. The news,
  13. Rogero?

Second Gentleman

22 - 30
  1. Nothing but bonfires. The oracle is fulfill’d; the King’s
  2. daughter is found. Such a deal of wonder is broken out
  3. within this hour that ballad-makers cannot be able to
  4. express it.
  5. Enter another Gentleman.
  6. Here comes the Lady Paulina’s steward, he can deliver you
  7. more. How goes it now, sir? This news, which is call’d true,
  8. is so like an old tale, that the verity of it is in strong
  9. suspicion. Has the King found his heir?

Third Gentleman

31 - 39
  1. Most true, if ever truth were pregnant by circumstance. That
  2. which you hear you’ll swear you see, there is such unity in
  3. the proofs. The mantle of Queen Hermione’s; her jewel about
  4. the neck of it; the letters of Antigonus found with it,
  5. which they know to be his character; the majesty of the
  6. creature in resemblance of the mother; the affection of
  7. nobleness which nature shows above her breeding; and many
  8. other evidences proclaim her, with all certainty, to be the
  9. King’s daughter. Did you see the meeting of the two kings?

Second Gentleman

40
  1. No.

Third Gentleman

41 - 55
  1. Then have you lost a sight which was to be seen, cannot be
  2. spoken of. There might you have beheld one joy crown
  3. another, so and in such manner that it seem’d sorrow wept to
  4. take leave of them, for their joy waded in tears. There was
  5. casting up of eyes, holding up of hands, with countenance of
  6. such distraction that they were to be known by garment, not
  7. by favor. Our king, being ready to leap out of himself for
  8. joy of his found daughter, as if that joy were now become a
  9. loss, cries, O, thy mother, thy mother!”; then asks Bohemia
  10. forgiveness; then embraces his son-in-law; then again
  11. worries he his daughter with clipping her. Now he thanks the
  12. old shepherd, which stands by like a weather-bitten conduit
  13. of many kings’ reigns. I never heard of such another
  14. encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undoes
  15. description to do it.

Second Gentleman

56 - 57
  1. What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carried hence the
  2. child?

Third Gentleman

58 - 62
  1. Like an old tale still, which will have matter to rehearse,
  2. though credit be asleep and not an ear open: he was torn to
  3. pieces with a bear. This avouches the shepherd’s son, who
  4. has not only his innocence (which seems much) to justify
  5. him, but a handkerchief and rings of his that Paulina knows.

First Gentleman

63
  1. What became of his bark and his followers?

Third Gentleman

64 - 72
  1. Wrack’d the same instant of their master’s death, and in the
  2. view of the shepherd; so that all the instruments which
  3. aided to expose the child were even then lost when it was
  4. found. But O, the noble combat that ’twixt joy and sorrow
  5. was fought in Paulina! She had one eye declin’d for the loss
  6. of her husband, another elevated that the oracle was
  7. fulfill’d. She lifted the Princess from the earth, and so
  8. locks her in embracing, as if she would pin her to her
  9. heart, that she might no more be in danger of losing.

First Gentleman

73 - 74
  1. The dignity of this act was worth the audience of kings and
  2. princes, for by such was it acted.

Third Gentleman

75 - 84
  1. One of the prettiest touches of all, and that which angled
  2. for mine eyes (caught the water though not the fish), was
  3. when, at the relation of the Queen’s death (with the manner
  4. how she came to’t bravely confess’d and lamented by the
  5. King), how attentiveness wounded his daughter, till (from
  6. one sign of dolor to another) she did (with an Alas!”), I
  7. would fain say, bleed tears; for I am sure my heart wept
  8. blood. Who was most marble there chang’d color; some
  9. swounded, all sorrow’d. If all the world could have seen’t,
  10. the woe had been universal.

First Gentleman

85
  1. Are they return’d to the court?

Third Gentleman

86 - 94
  1. No. The Princess hearing of her mother’s statue, which is in
  2. the keeping of Paulinaa piece many years in doing and now
  3. newly perform’d by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano,
  4. who, had he himself eternity and could put breath into his
  5. work, would beguile Nature of her custom, so perfectly he is
  6. her ape. He so near to Hermione hath done Hermione that they
  7. say one would speak to her and stand in hope of answer.
  8. Thither with all greediness of affection are they gone, and
  9. there they intend to sup.

Second Gentleman

95 - 98
  1. I thought she had some great matter there in hand, for she
  2. hath privately twice or thrice a day, ever since the death
  3. of Hermione, visited that remov’d house. Shall we thither,
  4. and with our company piece the rejoicing?

First Gentleman

99 - 101
  1. Who would be thence that has the benefit of access? Every
  2. wink of an eye some new grace will be born. Our absence
  3. makes us unthrifty to our knowledge. Let’s along.
  1. Exeunt Gentlemen.

Autolycus

103 - 115
  1. Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me, would
  2. preferment drop on my head. I brought the old man and his
  3. son aboard the Prince; told him I heard them talk of a
  4. fardel, and I know not what; but he at that time, overfond
  5. of the shepherd’s daughter (so he then took her to be), who
  6. began to be much sea-sick, and himself little better,
  7. extremity of weather continuing, this mystery remain’d
  8. undiscover’d. But ’tis all one to me; for had I been the
  9. finder-out of this secret, it would not have relish’d among
  10. my other discredits.
  11. Enter Shepherd and Clown.
  12. Here come those I have done good to against my will, and
  13. already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.

Old Shepherd

116 - 117
  1. Come, boy, I am past more children, but thy sons and
  2. daughters will be all gentlemen born.

Clown

118 - 123
  1. You are well met, sir. You denied to fight with me this
  2. other day, because I was no gentleman born. See you these
  3. clothes? Say you see them not and think me still no
  4. gentleman born. You were best say these robes are not
  5. gentlemen born. Give me the lie, do; and try whether I am
  6. not now a gentleman born.

Autolycus

124
  1. I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.

Clown

125
  1. Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.

Old Shepherd

126
  1. And so have I, boy.

Clown

127 - 132
  1. So you have. But I was a gentleman born before my father;
  2. for the King’s son took me by the hand, and call’d me
  3. brother; and then the two kings call’d my father brother;
  4. and then the Prince, my brother, and the Princess, my
  5. sister, call’d my father father; and so we wept; and there
  6. was the first gentleman-like tears that ever we shed.

Old Shepherd

133
  1. We may live, son, to shed many more.

Clown

134 - 135
  1. Ay; or else ’twere hard luck, being in so preposterous
  2. estate as we are.

Autolycus

136 - 138
  1. I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the faults I
  2. have committed to your worship, and to give me your good
  3. report to the Prince my master.

Old Shepherd

139 - 140
  1. Prithee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are
  2. gentlemen.

Clown

141
  1. Thou wilt amend thy life?

Autolycus

142
  1. Ay, and it like your good worship.

Clown

143 - 144
  1. Give me thy hand: I will swear to the Prince thou art as
  2. honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.

Old Shepherd

145
  1. You may say it, but not swear it.

Clown

146 - 147
  1. Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and franklins
  2. say it, I’ll swear it.

Old Shepherd

148
  1. How if it be false, son?

Clown

149 - 154
  1. If it be ne’er so false, a true gentleman may swear it in
  2. the behalf of his friend; and I’ll swear to the Prince thou
  3. art a tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt not be
  4. drunk; but I know thou art no tall fellow of thy hands, and
  5. that thou wilt be drunk; but I’ll swear it, and I would thou
  6. wouldst be a tall fellow of thy hands.

Autolycus

155
  1. I will prove so, sir, to my power.

Clown

156 - 160
  1. Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow. If I do not wonder how
  2. thou dar’st venture to be drunk, not being a tall fellow,
  3. trust me not. Hark, the kings and the princes, our kindred,
  4. are going to see the Queen’s picture. Come, follow us; we’ll
  5. be thy good masters.
  1. Exeunt.
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