The Winter's Tale

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Autolycus and a Gentleman


Beseech you, sir, were you present at this

relation (n.) 1 report, account, narration


I was by at the opening of the fardel,
fardel (n.) burden, load, bundle

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.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


I would most gladly know the issue of it.
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count


I make a broken delivery of the
broken (adj.) 1 disjointed, fragmentary, disconnected
delivery (n.) 2 account, statement, narration

business; but the changes I perceived in the King and

Camillo were very notes of admiration. They seemed
admiration (n.) 1 amazement, astonishment, wonder
note (n.) 4 sign, mark, token

almost, with staring on one another, to tear the cases of
case (n.) 9 holder, covering, receptacle

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
seeing (n.) appearance, observing, beholding

th' importance were joy or sorrow: but in the extremity
extremity (n.) 1 utmost degree, greatest amount
importance (n.) 1 import, subject-matter

of the one it must needs be.

Enter another Gentleman
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

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
deliver (v.) 1 report [to], communicate [to], tell, describe

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
pregnant (adj.) 4 meaningful, compelling, convincing

by circumstance. That which you hear you'll swear
circumstance (n.) 1 detail(s), particular(s), specifics

you see, there is such unity in the proofs: the mantle 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
character (n.) 3 handwriting, style of writing, lettering

of the mother; the affection of nobleness which
affection (n.) 6 disposition, character, state of mind

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
countenance (n.) 1 demeanour, bearing, manner

distraction that they were to be known by garment, not
distraction (n.) 1 perturbation, agitation, frenzied state

by favour. Our king, being ready to leap out of himself
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks

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
clip (v.) 1 embrace, clasp, hug

her; now he thanks the old shepherd, which stands by

like a weather-bitten conduit of many kings' reigns. I
conduit (n.) 3 channel, outflowing, water-spout, fountain

never heard of such another encounter, which lames
lame (v.) give the appearance of lameness to, make deficient [by comparison]

report to follow it and undoes description to do it.
do (v.) 4 convey, deliver, transmit
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out
undo (v.) 2 bring to naught


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
credit (n.) 1 credibility, believing, belief
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance
rehearse (v.) 1 relate, recount, give an account of

an ear open: he was torn to pieces with a bear. This

avouches the shepherd's son, who has not only his
avouch (v.) 1 declare, assert, affirm

innocence, which seems much, to justify him, but a

handkerchief and rings of his that Paulina knows.


What became of his bark and his
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel



Wracked the same instant of their
wrack (v.) 1 wreck, shipwreck, lose at sea

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
act (n.) 1 activity, action, performance

the audience of kings and princes, for by such was it



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
relation (n.) 1 report, account, narration

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
dolour (n.) sorrow, grief, lamentation

fain say bleed tears; for I am sure my heart wept blood.
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

Who was most marble there changed colour; some
marble (adj.) enduring, solid [as marble]

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
piece (n.) 1 work (of art), creation

that rare Italian master, Julio Romano, who, had he
rare (adj.) 2 unusual, striking, exceptional

himself eternity and could put breath into his work,

would beguile Nature of her custom, so perfectly he is
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick
custom (n.) 3 trade, business, line of work

her ape: he so near to Hermione hath done Hermione
ape (n.) 1 mimic, imitator, impersonator

that they say one would speak to her and stand in hope

of answer. Thither with all greediness of affection are
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion
greediness (n.) eagerness, keenness, enthusiasm

they gone, and there they intend to sup.
sup (v.) 1 have supper See Topics: Frequency count


I thought she had some great

matter there in hand, for she hath privately, twice or
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue

thrice a day, ever since the death of Hermione, visited

that removed house. Shall we thither, and with our
removed (adj.) 1 remote, secluded, further away

company piece the rejoicing?
piece (v.) 1 add to, join to, augment


Who would be thence that has the

benefit of access? Every wink of an eye some new grace
wink (n.) 2 blink

will be born. Our absence makes us unthrifty to our
unthrifty (adj.) 2 wasteful of the chance to increase

knowledge. Let's along.

Exeunt Gentlemen


Now, had I not the dash of my former life
dash (n.) 3 trace, touch, tinge

in me, would preferment drop on my head. I brought
preferment (n.) advancement, promotion

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
fardel (n.) burden, load, bundle

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
extremity (n.) 3 utmost severity, extreme intensity, hardship

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
relish (v.) 3 be acceptable, find favour


Enter Shepherd and Clown

Here come those I have done good to against my will,

and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.
blossoms (n.) prime, peak, full flowering [as of a plant]


Come, boy, I am past more children; but thy

sons and daughters will be all gentlemen born.


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
lie (n.) accusation of lying, charge of falsehood

try whether I am not now a gentleman born.
try (v.) 3 contest, decide, fight out


I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.


Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.


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 (adj.) 3 malapropism for ‘prosperous’

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
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

we are gentlemen.


Thou wilt amend thy life?


Ay, an it like your good worship.
like (v.) 1 please, suit See Topics: Politeness


Give me thy hand. I will swear to the Prince thou

art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.
true (adj.) 4 honest, upright, law-abiding


You may say it, but not swear it.


Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors
boor (n.) peasant, rustic

and franklins say it, I'll swear it.
franklin (n.) landowner ranking below the gentry, rich freeholder, yeoman


How if it be false, son?
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken


If it be 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
tall (adj.) 1 brave, valiant, bold

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.
power (n.) 8 faculty, function, ability


Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow. If I do not

wonder how thou dar'st 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.
picture (n.) 2 likeness, image, imitation


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