Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > The Winter's Tale > Act III, scene III

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	[Enter ANTIGONUS with a Child, and a Mariner]

ANTIGONUS: Thou art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd upon
	The deserts of Bohemia?

Mariner: 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.

ANTIGONUS: Their sacred wills be done! Go, get aboard;
	Look to thy bark: I'll not be long before
	I call upon thee.

Mariner: Make your best haste, and go not
	Too far i' the land: 'tis like to be loud weather;
	Besides, this place is famous for the creatures
	Of prey that keep upon't.

ANTIGONUS: Go thou away:
	I'll follow instantly.

Mariner: I am glad at heart
	To be so rid o' the business.

	[Exit]

ANTIGONUS: Come, poor babe:
	I have heard, but not believed,
	the spirits o' the dead
	May walk again: if such thing be, thy mother
	Appear'd 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 fill'd and so becoming: in pure white robes,
	Like very sanctity, she did approach
	My cabin where I lay; thrice bow'd 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 thine 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 suffer'd 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!
	There lie, and there thy character: there these;
	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 enjoin'd 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 a Shepherd]

Shepherd: I would there were no age between sixteen 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 any where I have them, 'tis by
	the seaside, browsing of ivy. Good luck, an't be thy
	will 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 hallooed
	but even now. Whoa, ho, hoa!

	[Enter Clown]

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
	ailest 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 point.

Shepherd: Why, boy, how is it?

Clown: I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages,
	how it takes up the shore! but that's not 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 main-mast, and anon
	swallowed with yest and froth, as you'ld 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.

Shepherd: Name of mercy, when was this, boy?

Clown: 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.

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.

Shepherd: Heavy matters! heavy matters! but look thee here,
	boy. Now bless thyself: thou mettest with things
	dying, I with things newborn. Here's a sight for
	thee; look thee, a bearing-cloth for a squire's
	child! look thee here; take up, take up, boy;
	open't. 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?

Clown: You're a made old man: if the sins of your youth
	are forgiven you, you're well to live. 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 lucky, boy; and to be so still requires
	nothing but 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 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 the
	sight of him.

Clown: Marry, will I; and you shall help to put him i' the ground.

Shepherd: 'Tis a lucky day, boy, and we'll do good deeds on't.

	[Exeunt]




	THE WINTER'S TALE






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