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I am sorry for’t, my lord. Cym. O, she was naught; and long of her it That we meet here so strangely; but her son Is gone, we know not how nor where. Pis.

My lord, Now fear is from me, I'll speak troth. Lord

Cloten, Upon my lady's missing, came to me With his sword drawn; foam'd at the mouth,

and swore,
If I discover'd not which way she was gone,
It was my instant death. By accident,
I had a feigned letter of my master's
Then in my pocket, which directed him
To seek her on the mountains near to Milford ;
Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments,
Which he enforc'd from me, away he posts
With unchaste purpose and with oath to violate
My lady's honour. What became of him
I further know not.

Let me end the story:
I slew him there.

Marry, the gods forfend!
I would not thy good deeds should from my

lips Pluck a hard sentence. Prithee, valiant youth, Deny't again.

Gui. I have spoke it, and I did it. 290 Cym. He was a prince.

Gui. A most incivil one. The wrongs he did Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke With language that would make me spurn the

sea, If it could so roar to me. I cut off 's head ; 295 And am right glad he is not standing here To tell this tale of mine. Cym.

I am sorry for thee. By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and

must Endure our law. Thou 'rt dead. Imo.

That headless man I thought had been my lord. Cym.

Bind the offender, 300 And take him from our presence. Bel.

Stay, sir King; This man is better than the man he slew, As well descended as thyself; and hath More of thee merited than a band of Clotens Had ever scar for. [To the Guard.] Let his

arms alone; They were not born for bondage. Cym.

Why, old soldier,
Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for,
By tasting of our wrath ? How of descent
As good as we?

In that he spake too far.
Cym. And thou shalt die for 't.

We will die all three
But I will prove that two on 's are as good
As I have given out him. My sons, I must
For mine own part unfold a dangerous speech,
Though, haply, well for you.

Your danger 's ours. Gui. And onr his.



Have at it then, by leave.
Thou hadst, great King, a subject who
Was call'd Belarius.

What of him? He is
A banish'd traitor.

He it is that hath
Assum'd this age, indeed a banish'd man;
I know not how a traitor.

Take him henee, e
The whole world shall not save him.

Not too hot. First pay me for the nursing of thy sons ; And let it be confiscate all so soon As I have receiv'd it. Cym.

Nursing of my sons ! Bel. I am too blunt and saucy; here 's my

knee. Ere I arise, I will prefer my sons ;. Then spare not the old father. Mighty sir, These two young gentlemen, that call me

father And think they are my sons, are none of mine; They are the issue of your loins, my liege, And blood of your begetting. Cym.

How! my issue ! Bel. So sure as you your father's. I, old

Morgan, Am that Belarius whom you sometime banish'd. Your pleasure was my mere offence, my purr

ishment Itself, and all my treason; that I suffer'd Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes For such and so they are - - these twenty years Have I train'd up. Those arts they have as I Could put into them; my breeding was, sir, as Your Highness knows. Their nurse, Euri

phile, Whom for the theft I wedded, stole these chil

dren. Upon my banishment I mov'd her to 't, Having receiv'd the punishment before, For that which I did then. Beaten for loyalty Excited me to treason. Their dear loss, The more of you 't was felt, the more it shap'd

end of stealing them. But, gracious Here are your sons again; and I must lose Two of the sweet'st companions in the world. The benediction of these covering heavens Fall on their heads like dew! for they are

worthy To inlay heaven with stars. Cym.

Thou weep'st, and speak'st. The service that you three have done is more Unlike than this thou tellist. I lost my children; If these be they, I know not how to wish A pair of worthier sons. Bel.

Be pleas'd awhile. This gentleman, whom I call Polydore, Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius; This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus, Your younger princely son. He, sir, was lapp'd sa In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand Of his queen mother, which for more proba

tion I can with ease produce. Сут.

Guiderius had

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Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star;
It was a mark of wonder.

This is he,
Who hath upon him still that natural stamp.
It was wise Nature's end in the douation,
To be his evidence now.

O, what, am I A mother to the birth of three ? Ne'er mother Rejoic'd deliverance

Blest pray you be, That, after this strange starting from your orbs, You may reign in them now! O Imogen, Thou hast lost by this a kingdom. Imo.

No, my lord ; I have got two worlds by 't. O my gentle

brothers, Have we thus met? O, never say hereafter 375 But I am truest speaker. You call'd me bro

When I was but your sister; I you brothers,
When ye were so indeed.


e'er meet? Arv. Ay, my good lord. Gui.

And at first meeting lov'd ; Continu'd so, until we thought he died.

Cor. By the Queen's dram she swallow'd.

O rare instinct ! When shall I hear all through ? This fierce

abridgement Hath to it circumstantial branches, which Distinction should be rich in. Where, how

liv'd you? And when came you to serve

our Roman captive ? How parted with your brothers? How first met

them? Why fled you from the court ? and whither?

These And your three motives to the battle, with I know not how much more, should be de

manded ; And all the other by-dependencies, From chance to chance; but nor the time nor

place Will serve our long inter'gatories. See, Posthumus anchors upon Imogen, And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye On him, her brothers, me, her master, hitting 395 Each object with a joy; the counterchange Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground, And smoke the temple with our sacrifices. (To Belarius.] Thou my brother; so we 'll

hold thee ever. Imo. You are my father too, and did relieve

me, To see this gracious season. Cym.

All o'erjoy'd, Save these in bonds. Let them be joyful too, For they shall taste our comfort. Imo.

My good master,
I will yet do you service.

Happy be you!
Cym. The forlorn soldier, that so nobly

fought, He would have well becom'd this place, and

grac'd The thankings of a king.



I am, sir, The soldier that did company these three In poor beseeming ; 't was a fitment for The purpose I then follow'd. That I was he, 410 Speak, Iachimo. I had you down and might Have made you finish. lach.

(Kneeling.) I am down again; But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee, As then your force did. Take that life, beseech

Which I so often owe; but your ring first,
And here the bracelet of the truest princess
That ever swore her faith.

Kneel not to me.
The power that I have on you is to spare you,
The malice towards you to forgive you. Live,
And deal with others better.

Nobly doom'd! We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law; Pardon's the word to all. Arv.

You holp us, sir, As you did mean indeed to be our brother; Joy'd are we that you are. Post. Your servant, Princes. Good my lord

of Rome, Call forth your soothsayer. As I slept, me

Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back'd,
Appear'd to me, with other spritely shows
Of mine own kindred. When I wak'd, I found
This label on my bosom, whose containing
Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
Make no collection of it. Let him show
His skill in the construction.

Philarmonus !
Sooth. Here, my good lord.
Luc. Read, and declare the meaning. 454

(Sooth.) (Reads.) “Whenas a lion's whelp shall, to himself unknown, without seeking find, and be embrac'd by a piece of tender air and when from a stately cedar shall be lopp'd branches, which, being dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the old stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end his miseries, Britain be fortunate and flourish in peace and plenty.' Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp; The fit and apt construction of thy name, Being leo-natus, doth import so much. (To Cymbeline.] The piece of tender air, thy

virtuous daughter, Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer We term it mulier; which mulier I divine Is this most constant wife, who, even now, Answering the letter of the oracle, Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp'd about With this most tender air. Cym.

This hath some seeming. Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline, Personates thee; and thy lopp'd branches point Thy two sons forth ; who, by Belarius stolen, 455 For many years thought dead, are now reviv'd, To the majestic cedar join'd, whose issue Promises Britain peace and plenty. Cym.

Well; My peace we will begin. And, Caius Lucius, Although the victor, we submit to Cæsar,







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And to the Roman empire, promising
To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
We were dissuaded by our wicked queen;
Whom heavens, in justice, both on her and

Have laid most heavy hand.


Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tune

The harmony of this peace. The vision
Which I made known to Lucius, ere the stroke
Of this yet scarce-cold battle, at this instant
Is full accomplish'd; for the Roman eagle, 470
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o' the sun
So vanish'd; which foreshow'd our princely

The imperial Cæsar, should again unite His favour with the radiant Cymbeline, Which shines here in the west.



Laud we the gods; And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils

From our bless'd altars. Publish we this peace
To all our subjects. Set we forward. Let
A Roman and a British ensign wave
Friendly together. So through Lud's tow

And in the temple of great Jupiter
Our peace we 'll ratify; seal it with feasts.
Set on there! Never was a war did cease,
Ere bloody hands were wash'd, with such a
[Exeunt. 4




The later limit for the date of The Winter's Tale is fixed by an entry in Simon Forman's * Booke of Plaies,” according to which he witnessed a performance of the drama at the Globe Theatre on May 15, 1611. An earlier limit is plausibly suggested by the theory that the dance of twelve satyrs in iv. iv. 331–352, three of whom had “ danced before the king," was borrowed from the anti-masque in Jonson's Masque of Oberon, performed at court, January 1, 1611. The metrical and stylistic features, as well as the atmosphere and method of treatment, are quite in harmony with this late date, so that there is no reason for doubting that the play was written in the early part of 1611.

No quarto was published, nor is the title found in the Stationers' Register before 1623. The earliest edition is that in the First Folio, in which it is the last of the Comedies. On this, which is unusually accurate, the present text is based.

The source of the plot is Robert Greene's Pandosto: the Triumph of Time, later known as The History of Dorastus and Fawnia. This euphuistic romance, modelled on Lyly and Sidney, was printed in 1588, and was popular enough to run through fourteen editions. Several features of the story have been found both in fiction and in history, but no certain original of Greene's tale has been identified.

The most important change made by Shakespeare in the plot is in saving the life of Hermione, who, as Bellaria in Greene's tale, had died of grief over the death of her son. But a number of minor differences are worth noting. Bohemia and Sicily are interchanged, Greene's Pandosto (Leontes) being King of Bohemia, and Egistus (Polixenes) King of Sicily. Fawnia (Perdita) is put to sea in a cock-boat instead of being exposed on desert shore. The proposal to consult the oracle comes from the queen in Greene, from Leontes in Shakespeare; yet Pandosto accepts the answer of the oracle at once, while Leontes denies its truth until brought to his senses by the death of his son and the swooning of Hermione. On the whole, the jealousy of Leontes is more perverse and fatuous in Shakespeare than in his source. The Clown is substituted by the dramatist for the shepherd's wife of the novel. The wooing of Fawnia is given at great length by Greene, and the situation is complicated by Egistus's wish to marry his son to a princess of Denmark. In his flight from his father's court, Dorastus (Florizel) has the assistance of a servant, Capnio, whom Shakespeare discards, but whose functions in the plot are divided between Camillo and Autolycus. When the prince arrives at the court of Pandosto, he conceals his identity, and is thrown into prison while the king makes love to Fawnia. This unpleasant incident of the courtship of the unrecognized daughter by her father Shakespeare omits, keeping Leontes faithful to the memory of Hermione. This, of course, makes possible the happy ending of the first plot, and renders unnecessary the depression and suicide of Pandosto with which Greene closes his narrative.

The device of bringing an apparent statue to life, which Shakespeare inserted into the story, is found not infrequently in earlier fiction ; but neither that form of it which occurs in Lope de Vega's El Marmol de Felisardo, nor that in the play of The Trial of Chivalry (printed, 1605), is sufficiently close to be regarded as a source.

The characters of Antigonus, Paulina, Emilia, Mopsa, Dorcas, the Clown, and Autolycus are all of Shakespeare's invention. For the last, and for his song in iv. iii. 1 ff. hints may have been derived from Tom Beggar in Robert Wilson's Three Ladies of London (1584), though this does not seem to have been hitherto suggested.

But this enumeration of changes in detail fails to indicate the nature of the transformation wrought by Shakespeare on his material. The superb dignity of Hermione which almost lifts her above pity, the plain-spoken loyalty of Paulina, the peculiar poetic charm of the pastoral scenes of which Perdita is the centre, the humor of the rogue and the rustics, the elements, in short, which make the play delightful, are all Shakespeare's. To Greene belongs the credit of framing an interesting romantic story, the improbabilities and surprises of which Shakespeare seems to have taken no pains to abate, but which, on the contrary, he capped by devising a closing situation, theatrically effective, indeed, but more defiant of likelihood than anything in his source.


LEONTES, king of Sicilia.
MAMILLIUS, young prince of Sicilia.



lords of Sicilia.

POLIXENES, king of Bohemia.

FLORIZEL, prince of Bohemia.

ARCHIDAMUS, a lord of Bohemia.


[A Mariner.]
[A Gaoler.]


SCENE I. [Sicilia. Ante-chamber in the palace of Leontes.]


Old Shepherd, reputed father of Perdita.

Clown, his son.

AUTOLYCUS, a rogue.

Other Lords and Gentlemen [Ladies, Officers] and Servants, Shepherds, and Shepherdesses.
[SCENE: Sicilia and Bohemia.]

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HERMIONE, queen to Leontes.

PERDITA, daughter to Leontes and Hermione. PAULINA, wife to Antigonus.


Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were train'd 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, [28 though not personal, hath been royally attorneyed with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they have seem'd to be together, though absent; shook hands, as over a

EMILIA, a lady [attending on Hermione]. [MOPSA, [DORCAS,


[TIME, as Chorus.]

vast; and embrac'd, 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.



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