Act 5 Scene 2

Scene 2

[Enter Autolycus and a Gentleman.]

AUTOLYCUS  Beseech you, sir, were you present at this

FIRST GENTLEMAN  I was by at the opening of the fardel,
 heard the old shepherd deliver the manner how he
[5]  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

AUTOLYCUS  I would most gladly know the issue of it.

[10]FIRST GENTLEMAN  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
[15]  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 th’ importance
[20]  were joy or sorrow; but in the extremity of the one it
 must needs be.

[Enter another Gentleman.]

 Here comes a gentleman that happily knows more.—
 The news, Rogero?

SECOND GENTLEMAN  Nothing but bonfires. The oracle
[25]  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 another Gentleman.]

 Here comes the Lady Paulina’s steward. He can
 deliver you more.—How goes it now, sir? This news
[30]  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?

THIRD GENTLEMAN  Most true, if ever truth were pregnant
 by circumstance. That which you hear you’ll
[35]  swear 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 of the mother, the
[40]  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?


[45]THIRD GENTLEMAN  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
[50]  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,
[55]  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.
[60]  I never heard of such another encounter, which
 lames report to follow it and undoes description to
 do it.

SECOND GENTLEMAN  What, pray you, became of Antigonus,
 that carried hence the child?

[65]THIRD GENTLEMAN  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,
[70]  but a handkerchief and rings of his that Paulina

FIRST GENTLEMAN  What became of his bark and his

THIRD GENTLEMAN  Wracked the same instant of their
[75]  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
[80]  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.

[85]FIRST GENTLEMAN  The dignity of this act was worth the
 audience of kings and princes, for by such was it

THIRD GENTLEMAN  One of the prettiest touches of all,
 and that which angled for mine eyes—caught the
[90]  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 dolor to another, she did,
[95]  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

[100]FIRST GENTLEMAN  Are they returned to the court?

THIRD GENTLEMAN  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
[105]  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.
[110]  Thither with all greediness of affection are they
 gone, and there they intend to sup.

SECOND GENTLEMAN  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,
[115]  visited that removed house. Shall we thither and
 with our company piece the rejoicing?

FIRST GENTLEMAN  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
[120]  to our knowledge. Let’s along.
[The Three Gentlemen  exit.]

AUTOLYCUS  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
[125]  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 seasick, and himself little

 better, extremity of weather continuing, this mystery
 remained undiscovered. But ’tis all one to
[130]  me, for had I been the finder-out of this secret, it
 would not have relished among my other

[Enter Shepherd and Shepherd’s  Son,
both dressed in rich clothing.]

 Here come those I have done good to against my
 will, and already appearing in the blossoms of their
[135]  fortune.

SHEPHERD  Come, boy, I am past more children, but thy
 sons and daughters will be all gentlemen born.

SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Autolycus]  You are well met, sir.
 You denied to fight with me this other day because I
[140]  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.

[145]AUTOLYCUS  I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Ay, and have been so any time these
 four hours.

SHEPHERD  And so have I, boy.

SHEPHERD’S SON  So you have—but I was a gentleman
[150]  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
[155]  first gentlemanlike tears that ever we shed.

SHEPHERD  We may live, son, to shed many more.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Ay, or else ’twere hard luck, being in
 so preposterous estate as we are.

AUTOLYCUS  I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all

[160]  the faults I have committed to your Worship and to
 give me your good report to the Prince my master.

SHEPHERD  Prithee, son, do, for we must be gentle now
 we are gentlemen.

SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Autolycus]  Thou wilt amend thy
[165]  life?

AUTOLYCUS  Ay, an it like your good Worship.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Give me thy hand. I will swear to the
 Prince thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in

[170]SHEPHERD  You may say it, but not swear it.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Not swear it, now I am a gentleman?
 Let boors and franklins say it; I’ll swear it.

SHEPHERD  How if it be false, son?

SHEPHERD’S SON  If it be ne’er so false, a true gentleman
[175]  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
[180]  wouldst be a tall fellow of thy hands.

AUTOLYCUS  I will prove so, sir, to my power.

SHEPHERD’S SON  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,
[185]  the Kings and Princes, our kindred, are going to see
 the Queen’s picture. Come, follow us. We’ll be thy
 good masters.
[They exit.]

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