The Winter's Tale eBook

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

Clown.
[Within.] Hilloa, loa!

Shepherd
What, art so near?  If thou’lt see a thing to talk on when thou
art dead and rotten, come hither.

[Enter clown.]

What ail’st thou, man?

Clown.  I have seen two such sights, by sea and by land!—­but I am not to say it is a sea, for it is now the sky:  betwixt the firmament and it, you cannot thrust a bodkin’s point.

Shepherd
Why, boy, how is it?

Clown.  I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes up the shore!  But that’s not to the point.  O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls! sometimes to see ’em, and not to see ’em; now the ship boring the moon with her mainmast, and anon swallowed with yest and froth, as you’d thrust a cork into a hogshead.  And then for the land service,—­to see how the bear tore out his shoulder-bone; how he cried to me for help, and said his name was Antigonus, a nobleman.—­But to make an end of the ship,—­to see how the sea flap-dragon’d it:—­but first, how the poor souls roared, and the sea mocked them;—­and how the poor gentleman roared, and the bear mocked him,—­both roaring louder than the sea or weather.

Shepherd
Name of mercy! when was this, boy?

Clown.  Now, now; I have not winked since I saw these sights:  the men are not yet cold under water, nor the bear half dined on the gentleman; he’s at it now.

Shepherd
Would I had been by to have helped the old man!

Clown
I would you had been by the ship-side, to have helped her: 
there your charity would have lacked footing.

Shepherd. [Aside.] Heavy matters, heavy matters!  But look thee here, boy.  Now bless thyself:  thou mettest with things dying, I with things new-born.  Here’s a sight for thee; look thee, a bearing-cloth for a squire’s child! look thee here; take up, take up, boy; open’t.  So, let’s see:—­it was told me I should be rich by the fairies:  this is some changeling:—­open’t.  What’s within, boy?

Clown
You’re a made old man; if the sins of your youth are forgiven
you, you’re well to live.  Gold! all gold!

Shepherd.  This is fairy-gold, boy, and ’twill prove so:  up with it, keep it close:  home, home, the next way!  We are lucky, boy:  and to be so still requires nothing but secrecy—­Let my sheep go:—­come, good boy, the next way home.

Clown.  Go you the next way with your findings.  I’ll go see if the bear be gone from the gentleman, and how much he hath eaten:  they are never curst but when they are hungry:  if there be any of him left, I’ll bury it.

Shepherd.  That’s a good deed.  If thou mayest discern by that which is left of him what he is, fetch me to the sight of him.

Clown
Marry, will I; and you shall help to put him i’ the ground.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Winter's Tale from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.