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



	[Enter AUTOLYCUS and a Gentleman]

AUTOLYCUS: Beseech you, sir, were you present at this relation?

First Gentleman: I was by at the opening of the fardel, heard the old
	shepherd deliver the manner how he found it:
	whereupon, after a little amazedness, we were all
	commanded out of the chamber; only this methought I
	heard the shepherd say, he found the child.

AUTOLYCUS: I would most gladly know the issue of it.

First Gentleman: I make a broken delivery of the business; but the
	changes I perceived in the king and Camillo were
	very notes of admiration: they seemed almost, with
	staring on one another, to tear the cases of their
	eyes; there was speech in their dumbness, language
	in their very gesture; they looked as they had heard
	of a world ransomed, or one destroyed: a notable
	passion of wonder appeared in them; but the wisest
	beholder, that knew no more but seeing, could not
	say if the importance were joy or sorrow; but in the
	extremity of the one, it must needs be.

	[Enter another Gentleman]

	Here comes a gentleman that haply knows more.
	The news, Rogero?

Second Gentleman: Nothing but bonfires: the oracle is fulfilled; the
	king's daughter is found: such a deal of wonder is
	broken out within this hour that ballad-makers
	cannot be able to express it.

	[Enter a third Gentleman]

	Here comes the Lady Paulina's steward: he can
	deliver you more. How goes it now, sir? this news
	which is called true is so like an old tale, that
	the verity of it is in strong suspicion: has the king
	found his heir?

Third Gentleman: Most true, if ever truth were pregnant by
	circumstance: that which you hear you'll swear you
	see, there is such unity in the proofs. The mantle
	of Queen Hermione's, her jewel about the neck of it,
	the letters of Antigonus found with it which they
	know to be his character, the majesty of the
	creature in resemblance of the mother, the affection
	of nobleness which nature shows above her breeding,
	and many other evidences proclaim her with all
	certainty to be the king's daughter. Did you see
	the meeting of the two kings?

Second Gentleman: No.

Third Gentleman: Then have you lost a sight, which was to be seen,
	cannot be spoken of. There might you have beheld one
	joy crown another, so and in such manner that it
	seemed sorrow wept to take leave of them, for their
	joy waded in tears. There was casting up of eyes,
	holding up of hands, with countenances of such
	distraction that they were to be known by garment,
	not by favour. Our king, being ready to leap out of
	himself for joy of his found daughter, as if that
	joy were now become a loss, cries 'O, thy mother,
	thy mother!' then asks Bohemia forgiveness; then
	embraces his son-in-law; then again worries he his
	daughter with clipping her; now he thanks the old
	shepherd, which stands by like a weather-bitten
	conduit of many kings' reigns. I never heard of such
	another encounter, which lames report to follow it
	and undoes description to do it.

Second Gentleman: What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carried
	hence the child?

Third Gentleman: Like an old tale still, which will have matter to
	rehearse, though credit be asleep and not an ear
	open. He was torn to pieces with a bear: this
	avouches the shepherd's son; who has not only his
	innocence, which seems much, to justify him, but a
	handkerchief and rings of his that Paulina knows.

First Gentleman: What became of his bark and his followers?

Third Gentleman: Wrecked the same instant of their master's death and
	in the view of the shepherd: so that all the
	instruments which aided to expose the child were
	even then lost when it was found. But O, the noble
	combat that 'twixt joy and sorrow was fought in
	Paulina! She had one eye declined for the loss of
	her husband, another elevated that the oracle was
	fulfilled: she lifted the princess from the earth,
	and so locks her in embracing, as if she would pin
	her to her heart that she might no more be in danger
	of losing.

First Gentleman: The dignity of this act was worth the audience of
	kings and princes; for by such was it acted.

Third Gentleman: One of the prettiest touches of all and that which
	angled for mine eyes, caught the water though not
	the fish, was when, at the relation of the queen's
	death, with the manner how she came to't bravely
	confessed and lamented by the king, how
	attentiveness wounded his daughter; till, from one
	sign of dolour to another, she did, with an 'Alas,'
	I would fain say, bleed tears, for I am sure my
	heart wept blood. Who was most marble there changed
	colour; some swooned, all sorrowed: if all the world
	could have seen 't, the woe had been universal.

First Gentleman: Are they returned to the court?

Third Gentleman: No: the princess hearing of her mother's statue,
	which is in the keeping of Paulina,--a piece many
	years in doing and now newly performed by that rare
	Italian master, Julio Romano, who, had he himself
	eternity and could put breath into his work, would
	beguile Nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her
	ape: he so near to Hermione hath done Hermione that
	they say one would speak to her and stand in hope of
	answer: thither with all greediness of affection
	are they gone, and there they intend to sup.

Second Gentleman: I thought she had some great matter there in hand;
	for she hath privately twice or thrice a day, ever
	since the death of Hermione, visited that removed
	house. Shall we thither and with our company piece
	the rejoicing?

First Gentleman: Who would be thence that has the benefit of access?
	every wink of an eye some new grace will be born:
	our absence makes us unthrifty to our knowledge.
	Let's along.

	[Exeunt Gentlemen]

AUTOLYCUS: Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me,
	would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old
	man and his son aboard the prince: told him I heard
	them talk of a fardel and I know not what: but he
	at that time, overfond of the shepherd's daughter,
	so he then took her to be, who began to be much
	sea-sick, and himself little better, extremity of
	weather continuing, this mystery remained
	undiscovered. But 'tis all one to me; for had I
	been the finder out of this secret, it would not
	have relished among my other discredits.

	[Enter Shepherd and Clown]

	Here come those I have done good to against my will,
	and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.

Shepherd: Come, boy; I am past moe children, but thy sons and
	daughters will be all gentlemen born.

Clown: You are well met, sir. You denied to fight with me
	this other day, because I was no gentleman born.
	See you these clothes? say you see them not and
	think me still no gentleman born: you were best say
	these robes are not gentlemen born: give me the
	lie, do, and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.

AUTOLYCUS: I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.

Clown: Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.

Shepherd: And so have I, boy.

Clown: So you have: but I was a gentleman born before my
	father; for the king's son took me by the hand, and
	called me brother; and then the two kings called my
	father brother; and then the prince my brother and
	the princess my sister called my father father; and
	so we wept, and there was the first gentleman-like
	tears that ever we shed.

Shepherd: We may live, son, to shed many more.

Clown: Ay; or else 'twere hard luck, being in so
	preposterous estate as we are.

AUTOLYCUS: I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the
	faults I have committed to your worship and to give
	me your good report to the prince my master.

Shepherd: Prithee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are
	gentlemen.

Clown: Thou wilt amend thy life?

AUTOLYCUS: Ay, an it like your good worship.

Clown: Give me thy hand: I will swear to the prince thou
	art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.

Shepherd: You may say it, but not swear it.

Clown: Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and
	franklins say it, I'll swear it.

Shepherd: How if it be false, son?

Clown: If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear
	it in the behalf of his friend: and I'll swear to
	the prince thou art a tall fellow of thy hands and
	that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know thou art no
	tall fellow of thy hands and that thou wilt be
	drunk: but I'll swear it, and I would thou wouldst
	be a tall fellow of thy hands.

AUTOLYCUS: I will prove so, sir, to my power.

Clown: Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow: if I do not
	wonder how thou darest venture to be drunk, not
	being a tall fellow, trust me not. Hark! the kings
	and the princes, our kindred, are going to see the
	queen's picture. Come, follow us: we'll be thy
	good masters.

	[Exeunt]




	THE WINTER'S TALE






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