The Winter's Tale


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Antigonus with the child, and a Mariner
perfect (adj.) 2 certain, definite, positive


ANTIGONUS

Thou art perfect, then, our ship hath touched upon

The deserts of Bohemia?
desert, desart (n.) 5 desolate place, wilderness


MARINER

                         Ay, my lord, and fear

We have landed in ill time: the skies look grimly,
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

And threaten present blusters. In my conscience,
bluster (n.) storm, tempest, rough blast
conscience, in my to my mind See Topics: Discourse markers
present (adj.) 3 imminent, impending, approaching

The heavens with that we have in hand are angry

And frown upon's.


ANTIGONUS

Their sacred wills be done! Go, get aboard;

Look to thy bark. I'll not be long before
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel

I call upon thee.


MARINER

                         Make your best haste, and go not

Too far i'th' land: 'tis like to be loud weather.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count
loud (adj.) 4 windy, stormy, blustery

Besides, this place is famous for the creatures

Of prey that keep upon't.
keep (v.) 1 lodge, live, dwell


ANTIGONUS

                         Go thou away:

I'll follow instantly.


MARINER

                         I am glad at heart

To be so rid o'th' business.

Exit


ANTIGONUS

                         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,
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
vessel (n.) body, frame

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,
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

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,
ungentle (adj.) 3 harsh, violent, cruel

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,
affright (v.) frighten, terrify, scare

I did in time collect myself, and thought

This was so, and no slumber. Dreams are toys:
toy (n.) 4 piece of nonsense, foolish affair

Yet for this once, yea superstitiously,
superstitiously (adv.) paying special attention; or: with irrational belief

I will be squared by this. I do believe
square (v.) 5 rule, direct, influence

Hermione hath suffered death, and that

Apollo would, this being indeed the issue
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count

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
character (n.) 2 personality sketch, personal description

There lie, and there thy character;

(he lays down a box)

                         there these;

Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee, pretty,
breed (v.), past form bred 1 raise, bring up, support

And still rest thine. The storm begins. Poor wretch,
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

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!
savage (adj.) 1 fierce, ferocious, wild

Well may I get aboard! This is the chase.
chase (n.) 2 prey, game, victim, quarry

I am gone for ever!

Exit, pursued by a bear

Enter an old Shepherd


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
between (n.) interim, interval, meantime

wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing,
ancientry (n.) 2 old people, elderly
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

fighting. Hark you now: would any but these boiled
boiled-brain (n.) hothead, maniac, headstrong fellow

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
barn, barne (n.) child, baby

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
child (n.) 1 baby girl

pretty one. Sure, some scape. Though I am not bookish,
scape, 'scape (n.) 2 escapade, fling, sexual wrongdoing

yet I can read waiting gentlewoman in the scape: this
gentlewoman (n.) woman of good breeding, well-born lady See Topics: Address forms

has been some stair-work, some trunk-work, some

behind-door-work. They were warmer that got this than
get (v.) 1 beget, conceive, breed

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.
hallow, holloa, hollow (v.) 1 shout, yell, cry out
tarry (v.) 1 stay, remain, linger

Whoa-ho-hoa!

Enter Clown
clown (n.) yokel, rustic, country bumpkin; also: low comic character [in a play]


CLOWN

Hilloa, loa!


SHEPHERD

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?


CLOWN

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
bodkin (n.) 2 small sharply pointed implement for piercing

point.


SHEPHERD

Why, boy, how is it?


CLOWN

I would you did but see how it chafes, how it
chafe (v.) 1 fret, rage, seethe

rages, how it takes up the shore – but that's not to the
take up (v.) 3 occupy, fill up

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
anon (adv.) 2 [after ‘now’] at another time, presently

yeast and froth, as you'd thrust a cork into a hogshead.
hogshead (n.) large cask, barrel [of wine]
yeast (n.) foam, froth, spume

And then for the land-service: to see how the bear tore
land-service (n.) military service done on land

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;
flap-dragon (v.) swallow like a flap-dragon

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.


SHEPHERD

Name of mercy, when was this, boy?


CLOWN

Now, now! I have not winked since I saw these
wink (v.) 1 shut one's eyes

sights. The men are not yet cold under water, nor the

bear half dined on the gentleman; he's at it now.


SHEPHERD

Would I had been by, to have helped the old

man!


CLOWN

I would you had been by the ship side, to have

helped her: there your charity would have lacked

footing.
footing (n.) 1 support, surface, foundation, foothold


SHEPHERD

Heavy matters, heavy matters! But look thee
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

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
bearing-cloth (n.) christening-garment, baptismal shawl

here!

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.
changeling (n./adj.) 1 child taken by fairies, stolen child

Open't. What's within, boy?


CLOWN

(opening the box)

You're a made old man. If the

sins of your youth are forgiven you, you're well to live.
well to live (adj.) well-to-do, well-off, prosperous

Gold! All gold!


SHEPHERD

This is fairy gold, boy, and 'twill prove so. Up

with't, keep it close. Home, home, the next way! We are
close (adj.) 1 secret, concealed, hidden
next (adj.) nearest, shortest, most direct

lucky, boy, and to be so still requires nothing but
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

secrecy. Let my sheep go! Come, good boy, the next

way home.


CLOWN

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
curst (adj.) 2 angry, furious, fierce

they are hungry. If there be any of him left, I'll bury it.


SHEPHERD

That's a good deed. If thou mayest discern by

that which is left of him what he is, fetch me to th' sight

of him.


CLOWN

Marry will I; and you shall help to put him

i'th' ground.


SHEPHERD

'Tis a lucky day, boy, and we'll do good deeds

on't.

Exeunt

 
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