Enter Antigonus with the child, and a Mariner
Thou art perfect, then, our ship hath touched upon
The deserts of Bohemia?
Ay, my lord, and fear
We have landed in ill time: the skies look grimly,
And threaten present blusters. In my conscience,
The heavens with that we have in hand are angry
And frown upon's.
Their sacred wills be done! Go, get aboard;
Look to thy bark. I'll not be long before
I call upon thee.
Make your best haste, and go not
Too far i'th' land: 'tis like to be loud weather.
Besides, this place is famous for the creatures
Of prey that keep upon't.
Go thou away:
I'll follow instantly.
I am glad at heart
To be so rid o'th' business.
Come, poor babe.
I have heard, but not believed, the spirits o'th' dead
May walk again: if such thing be, thy mother
Appeared to me last night; for ne'er was dream
So like a waking. To me comes a creature,
Sometimes her head on one side, some another:
I never saw a vessel of like sorrow,
So filled and so becoming. In pure white robes,
Like very sanctity, she did approach
My cabin where I lay; thrice bowed before me,
And, gasping to begin some speech, her eyes
Became two spouts; the fury spent, anon
Did this break from her: ‘ Good Antigonus,
Since fate, against thy better disposition,
Hath made thy person for the thrower-out
Of my poor babe, according to thy oath,
Places remote enough are in Bohemia:
There weep, and leave it crying; and for the babe
Is counted lost for ever, Perdita
I prithee call't. For this ungentle business,
Put on thee by my lord, thou ne'er shalt see
Thy wife Paulina more.’ And so, with shrieks,
She melted into air. Affrighted much,
I did in time collect myself, and thought
This was so, and no slumber. Dreams are toys:
Yet for this once, yea superstitiously,
I will be squared by this. I do believe
Hermione hath suffered death, and that
Apollo would, this being indeed the issue
Of King Polixenes, it should here be laid,
Either for life or death, upon the earth
Of its right father. Blossom, speed thee well!
He lays down the child, and a scroll
There lie, and there thy character;
(he lays down a box)
Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee, pretty,
And still rest thine. The storm begins. Poor wretch,
That for thy mother's fault art thus exposed
To loss and what may follow! Weep I cannot,
But my heart bleeds; and most accursed am I
To be by oath enjoined to this. Farewell!
The day frowns more and more. Thou'rt like to have
A lullaby too rough: I never saw
The heavens so dim by day. – A savage clamour!
Well may I get aboard! This is the chase.
I am gone for ever!
Exit, pursued by a bear
Enter an old Shepherd
I would there were no age between ten and
three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the
rest: for there is nothing in the between but getting
wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing,
fighting. Hark you now: would any but these boiled
brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty hunt this
weather? They have scared away two of my best sheep,
which I fear the wolf will sooner find than the master. If
anywhere I have them, 'tis by the seaside, browsing of
ivy. Good luck, an't be thy will!
He sees the child
What have we here? Mercy on's, a barne! A very pretty
barne! A boy or a child, I wonder? A pretty one, a very
pretty one. Sure, some scape. Though I am not bookish,
yet I can read waiting gentlewoman in the scape: this
has been some stair-work, some trunk-work, some
behind-door-work. They were warmer that got this than
the poor thing is here. I'll take it up for pity – yet I'll
tarry till my son come: he hallowed but even now.
yokel, rustic, country bumpkin; also: low comic character [in a play]
What! Art so near? If thou'lt see a thing to
talk on when thou art dead and rotten, come hither.
What ail'st thou, man?
I have seen two such sights, by sea and by land!
But I am not to say it is a sea, for it is now the sky:
betwixt the firmament and it you cannot thrust a bodkin's
Why, boy, how is it?
I would you did but see how it chafes, how it
rages, how it takes up the shore – but that's not to the
point. O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls! Sometimes
to see 'em, and not to see 'em: now the ship boring
the moon with her mainmast, and anon swallowed with
yeast and froth, as you'd thrust a cork into a hogshead.
And then for the land-service: to see how the bear tore
out his shoulder bone, how he cried to me for help, and
said his name was Antigonus, a nobleman. But to make
an end of the ship: to see how the sea flap-dragoned it;
but first, how the poor souls roared, and the sea mocked
them; and how the poor gentleman roared, and the bear
mocked him, both roaring louder than the sea or weather.
Name of mercy, when was this, boy?
Now, now! I have not winked since I saw these
sights. The men are not yet cold under water, nor the
bear half dined on the gentleman; he's at it now.
Would I had been by, to have helped the old
I would you had been by the ship side, to have
helped her: there your charity would have lacked
Heavy matters, heavy matters! But look thee
here, boy. Now bless thyself: thou met'st with things
dying, I with things new-born. Here's a sight for thee:
look thee, a bearing-cloth for a squire's child! Look thee
He points to the box
Take up, take up, boy; open it. So, let's see. It was told
me I should be rich by the fairies. This is some changeling.
Open't. What's within, boy?
(opening the box)
You're a made old man. If the
sins of your youth are forgiven you, you're well to live.
Gold! All gold!
This is fairy gold, boy, and 'twill prove so. Up
with't, keep it close. Home, home, the next way! We are
lucky, boy, and to be so still requires nothing but
secrecy. Let my sheep go! Come, good boy, the next
Go you the next way with your findings. I'll go
see if the bear be gone from the gentleman, and how
much he hath eaten. They are never curst but when
they are hungry. If there be any of him left, I'll bury it.
That's a good deed. If thou mayest discern by
that which is left of him what he is, fetch me to th' sight
Marry will I; and you shall help to put him
'Tis a lucky day, boy, and we'll do good deeds