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And your three motives to the battle, with
I know not how much more, should be demanded;
And all the other by-dependencies,
Will serve our long inter'gatories. See,
And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
Imo. You are my father too, and did relieve me,
To see this gracious season.
Save these in bonds. Let them be joyful too, For they shall taste our comfort.
I will yet do you service.
My good master,
Happy be you!
Cym. The forlorn soldier, that so nobly
Which I so often owe; but your ring first,
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. Cym. Nobly doom'd! We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law; Pardon 's the word to all.
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, methought
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back'd,
Luc. Read, and declare the meaning. 434 [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
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 a 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
Other Lords and Gentlemen [Ladies, Officers] and Servants, Shepherds, and Shepherdesses.
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
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.
SCENE II. [A room of state in the same.] Enter LEONTES, HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, POLIXENES, CAMILLO [and Attendants].
Pol. Nine changes of the watery star hath 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