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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about The Winter's Tale.

Mamillius
Nay, that’s a mock:  I have seen a lady’s nose
That has been blue, but not her eyebrows.

First lady
                               Hark ye: 
The queen your mother rounds apace.  We shall
Present our services to a fine new prince
One of these days; and then you’d wanton with us,
If we would have you.

Second lady
                      She is spread of late
Into a goodly bulk:  good time encounter her!

Hermione
What wisdom stirs amongst you?  Come, sir, now
I am for you again:  pray you sit by us,
And tell ’s a tale.

Mamillius
                    Merry or sad shall’t be?

Hermione
As merry as you will.

Mamillius
A sad tale’s best for winter.  I have one
Of sprites and goblins.

Hermione
                        Let’s have that, good sir. 
Come on, sit down;—­come on, and do your best
To fright me with your sprites:  you’re powerful at it.

Mamillius
There was a man,—­

Hermione
                   Nay, come, sit down:  then on.

Mamillius
Dwelt by a churchyard:—­I will tell it softly;
Yond crickets shall not hear it.

Hermione
                                 Come on then,
And give’t me in mine ear.

[Enter Leontes, Antigonus, Lords, and Guards.]

Leontes
Was he met there? his train?  Camillo with him?

First lord
Behind the tuft of pines I met them; never
Saw I men scour so on their way:  I ey’d them
Even to their ships.

Leontes
                     How bles’d am I
In my just censure, in my true opinion!—­
Alack, for lesser knowledge!—­How accurs’d
In being so blest!—­There may be in the cup
A spider steep’d, and one may drink, depart,
And yet partake no venom; for his knowledge
Is not infected; but if one present
The abhorr’d ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts;—­I have drunk, and seen the spider. 
Camillo was his help in this, his pander:—­
There is a plot against my life, my crown;
All’s true that is mistrusted:—­that false villain
Whom I employ’d, was pre-employ’d by him: 
He has discover’d my design, and I
Remain a pinch’d thing; yea, a very trick
For them to play at will.—­How came the posterns
So easily open?

First lord
                By his great authority;
Which often hath no less prevail’d than so,
On your command.

Leontes
                 I know’t too well.—­
Give me the boy:—­I am glad you did not nurse him: 
Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you
Have too much blood in him.

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