The Winter's Tale

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Florizel, Perdita, Camillo,

Paulina, Lords, and Attendants


O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
grave (adj.) 1 respected, revered, wise

That I have had of thee!


                         What, sovereign sir,

I did not well, I meant well. All my services

You have paid home: but that you have vouchsafed,
home (adv.) 1 fully, thoroughly, unsparingly

With your crowned brother and these your contracted

Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,

It is a surplus of your grace, which never

My life may last to answer.


                         O Paulina,

We honour you with trouble. But we came

To see the statue of our queen: your gallery

Have we passed through, not without much content
content (n.) 1 pleasure, satisfaction, happiness

In many singularities; but we saw not
singularity (n.) 2 rarity, curiosity, noteworthy object

That which my daughter came to look upon,

The statue of her mother.


                         As she lived peerless,

So her dead likeness I do well believe

Excels whatever yet you looked upon,

Or hand of man hath done; therefore I keep it

Lonely, apart. But here it is: prepare
lonely (adj.) isolated, secluded, standing apart

To see the life as lively mocked as ever

Still sleep mocked death. Behold, and say 'tis well!
mock (v.) 2 imitate, mimic, copy
still (adj.) 1 silent, quiet

Paulina draws a curtain and reveals Hermione, standing

like a statue

I like your silence: it the more shows off

Your wonder. But yet speak: first you, my liege.

Comes it not something near?
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count


                         Her natural posture!

Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she

In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina,

Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing

So aged as this seems.


                         O, not by much!


So much the more our carver's excellence,

Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her

As she lived now.


                         As now she might have done,

So much to my good comfort as it is

Now piercing to my soul. O, thus she stood,

Even with such life of majesty – warm life,

As now it coldly stands – when first I wooed her!

I am ashamed. Does not the stone rebuke me

For being more stone than it? O royal piece!
piece (n.) 2 specimen, masterpiece

There's magic in thy majesty, which has

My evils conjured to remembrance, and
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
admiring (adj.) marvelling, filled with wonder

Standing like stone with thee.


                         And give me leave,

And do not say 'tis superstition, that

I kneel and then implore her blessing. Lady,

Dear queen, that ended when I but began,

Give me that hand of yours to kiss!


                         O, patience!

The statue is but newly fixed, the colour's
fixed (adj.) 3 painted, made fast, finished off

Not dry.


My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
sore (adv.) 1 seriously, greatly, very much

Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,

So many summers dry. Scarce any joy

Did ever so long live; no sorrow

But killed itself much sooner.


                         Dear my brother,

Let him that was the cause of this have power

To take off so much grief from you as he

Will piece up in himself.
piece up (v.) add to, make up, parcel up


                         Indeed, my lord,

If I had thought the sight of my poor image
image (n.) 2 effigy, statue, sculpture

Would thus have wrought you – for the stone is mine –
work (v.), past form wrought 3 affect, stir, act upon

I'd not have showed it.


                         Do not draw the curtain.


No longer shall you gaze on't, lest your fancy
fancy (n.) 4 imagination, mind, mental state

May think anon it moves.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count


                         Let be, let be!

Would I were dead but that methinks already –
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

What was he that did make it? See, my lord:

Would you not deem it breathed, and that those veins

Did verily bear blood?
verily (adv.) in truth, truly, indeed See Topics: Swearing


                         Masterly done!

The very life seems warm upon her lip.


The fixture of her eye has motion in't
fixure (n.) 1 fixture, position, attitude

As we are mocked with art.


                         I'll draw the curtain.

My lord's almost so far transported that

He'll think anon it lives.


                         O sweet Paulina,

Make me to think so twenty years together!

No settled senses of the world can match
sense (n.) 5 mind, power of reason, wits
settled (adj.) 1 calm, steadfast, composed

The pleasure of that madness. Let't alone.


I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirred you; but

I could afflict you farther.


                         Do, Paulina:

For this affliction has a taste as sweet

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

There is an air comes from her. What fine chisel

Could ever yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,

For I will kiss her.
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count


                         Good my lord, forbear.

The ruddiness upon her lip is wet:

You'll mar it if you kiss it; stain your own

With oily painting. Shall I draw the curtain?
painting (n.) 2 paint, pigment, colour


No, not these twenty years.


                         So long could I

Stand by, a looker-on.
forbear (v.) 4 withdraw, leave, give way


                         Either forbear,

Quit presently the chapel, or resolve you
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count
resolve (v.) 4 decide, make up one's mind

For more amazement. If you can behold it,

I'll make the statue move indeed, descend

And take you by the hand: but then you'll think –

Which I protest against – I am assisted

By wicked powers.
power (n.) 9 (usually plural) gods, deities, divinities


                         What you can make her do

I am content to look on; what to speak
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count

I am content to hear; for 'tis as easy

To make her speak as move.


                         It is required

You do awake your faith. Then all stand still;

Or those that think it is unlawful business

I am about, let them depart.



No foot shall stir.
strike (v.), past form stroke 2 beat, sound, strike up


                         Music, awake her, strike!


'Tis time: descend; be stone no more; approach;

Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come,

I'll fill your grave up. Stir; nay, come away.

Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him

Dear life redeems you. You perceive she stirs.

Hermione descends
start (v.) 1 jump, recoil, flinch

Start not: her actions shall be holy as

You hear my spell is lawful. (To Leontes) Do not shun her

Until you see her die again, for then

You kill her double. Nay, present your hand.
double (adv.) 1 doubly, for the second time, twice over

When she was young you wooed her: now, in age,

Is she become the suitor?


                         O, she's warm!

If this be magic, let it be an art

Lawful as eating.


                         She embraces him.


She hangs about his neck.

If she pertain to life, let her speak too.
pertain (v.) belong, have a right


Ay, and make it manifest where she has lived,

Or how stol'n from the dead.


                         That she is living,

Were it but told you, should be hooted at

Like an old tale: but it appears she lives,

Though yet she speak not. Mark a little while.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

(To Perdita) Please you to interpose, fair madam; kneel,

And pray your mother's blessing. Turn, good lady:

Our Perdita is found.


                         You gods, look down,

And from your sacred vials pour your graces
vial (n.) phial, small bottle, flask

Upon my daughter's head! Tell me, mine own,

Where hast thou been preserved? Where lived? How found

Thy father's court? For thou shalt hear that I,

Knowing by Paulina that the oracle

Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserved

Myself to see the issue.
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count


                         There's time enough for that,

Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
push (n.) 6 climactic moment, critical time

Your joys with like relation. Go together,
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
relation (n.) 1 report, account, narration

You precious winners all; your exultation

Partake to everyone. I, an old turtle,
partake (v.) 1 make known, impart, communicate

Will wing me to some withered bough, and there

My mate, that's never to be found again,

Lament till I am lost.
lost (adj.) 1 ruined, perished, destroyed


                         O, peace, Paulina!

Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent,
consent (n.) 2 opinion, feeling, counsel

As I by thine a wife. This is a match,

And made between's by vows. Thou hast found mine –

But how is to be questioned: for I saw her,

As I thought, dead; and have in vain said many

A prayer upon her grave. I'll not seek far –

For him, I partly know his mind – to find thee

An honourable husband. Come, Camillo,

And take her by the hand; whose worth and honesty

Is richly noted, and here justified
justify (v.) 1 affirm, acknowledge, corroborate
noted (adj.) 1 recognizable, well-known, familiar
richly (adv.) 2 abundantly, fully, amply

By us, a pair of kings. Let's from this place.

(To Hermione) What! Look upon my brother. Both your pardons

That e'er I put between your holy looks

My ill suspicion. This' your son-in-law,
ill (adj.) 2 evil, wicked, immoral

And son unto the King, whom heavens directing,

Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,
troth-plight (adj.) engaged, betrothed

Lead us from hence, where we may leisurely

Each one demand and answer to his part

Performed in this wide gap of time since first

We were dissevered. Hastily lead away.
dissevered (adj.) divided, split, broken


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