SCENE IIBefore LEONTES' palace.
Enter AUTOLYCUS and a Gentleman.
Beseech you, sir, were you present at
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.
I would most gladly know the issue (10)
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?
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?
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 matter 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?
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 countenance
of such distraction that they were to be known
by garment, not by favor. 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.
What, pray you, became of Antigonus,
that carried hence the child?
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.
What became of his bark and
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.
The dignity of this act was
worth the audience of kings and princes; for
by such was it acted.
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 color; some swooned, all sorrowed:
if all the world could have seen 't, the woe
had been universal.
Are they returned to the court?
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.
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?
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.
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.
Come, boy; I am past moe children,
but thy sons and daughters will be all gentlemen
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.
I know you are now, sir, a gentleman
Ay, and have been so any time these
four hours. (149)
And so have I, boy.
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.
We may live, son, to shed many more.
Ay; or else 'twere hard luck, being in
so preposterous estate as we are.
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.
Prithee, son, do; for we must be gentle,
now we are gentlemen.
Thou wilt amend thy life?
Ay, an it like your good worship.
Give me thy hand: I will swear to the
prince thou art as honest a true fellow as any
is in Bohemia.
You may say it, but not swear it.
Not swear it, now I am a gentleman?
Let boors and franklins say it, I'll swear it.
How if it be false, son?
If it 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.
I will prove so, sir, to my power.
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.