Page images

But when I came, alas ! to wive,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, By swaggering could I never thrive,

For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came unto my bed,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, With toss-pots still had drunken head,

For the rain it raineth every day. A great while ago the world begun,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain : But that's all one, our play is done,

And we 'll strive to please you every day.




LEONTES, King of Sicilia.
ANTIGONUS, Sicilian Lords.
Other Sicilian Lords,
Officers of a Court of Judicature.
Sicilian Gentlemen.
POLIXENES, King of Bohemia.
FLORIZEL, his Son.
ARCHIDAMUS, a Bohemian Lord.
A Mariner.
An old Shepherd, reputed Father of PERDITA.
Clown, his Son.
Servant to the old Shepherd.
Time, as Chorus.

[blocks in formation]

Attendants, Guards; Satyrs, Shepherds, Shepherdesses.

SCENE,- Sometimes in Sicilia, sometimes in BOHEMIA.



SCENE I.- Sicilia. An Antechamber in LEONTES' Palace.

Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS. Arch. If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia and your

Sicilia. Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes hiin.

Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves; for, indeed,

Cam. Beseech you, — Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificence—in so rare-I know not what to say.- We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little

accuse us.

Cam. You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely. Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.

Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities and royal necessities made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attorneyed, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies ; that they have seemed to be together, though absent; shook hands, as over a vast; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves !

Arch. I think there is not in the world either malice or matter to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius : it is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into my note.

Cam. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: it is a gallant child; one that, indeed, physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh ; they that went on crutches ere he was born, desire yet their life to see him a man.

Arch. Would they else be content to die?

Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.

Arch. If the king had no son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one.


SCENE II.-SICILIA. A Room of State in the Palace.

Pol. Nine changes of the wat'ry star have been

The shepherd's note, since we have left our throne
Without a burden : time as long again
Would be fill'd up, my brother, with our thanks ;
And yet we should, for perpetuity,
Go hence in debt: and therefore, like a cipher,
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply
With one we-thank-you many thousands more

That go before it.

Stay your thanks a while,
And pay them when you part.

Sir, that's to-morrow.
I am question’d by my fears, of what may chance,
Or breed upon our absence, that may blow
No sneaping winds at home, to make us say,
“This is put forth too truly.” Besides, I have stay'd

To tire your royalty.

We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to 't.

No longer stay.
Leon. One seven-night longer.

Very sooth, to-morrow.
Leon. We'll part the time between 's then : and in that

I'll no gain-saying.

Press me not, beseech you, so.
There is no tongue that moves, none, none i' the world,

« PreviousContinue »