[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
 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.
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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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?
SECOND GENTLEMAN No.
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
 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,
 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.
 I never heard of such another encounter, which
lames report to follow it and undoes description to
SECOND GENTLEMAN What, pray you, became of Antigonus,
that carried hence the child?
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,
 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
 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.
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
 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,
 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
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
 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.
 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,
 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
 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
 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
 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
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
 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.
AUTOLYCUS I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.
SHEPHERD’S SON Ay, and have been so any time these
SHEPHERD And so have I, boy.
SHEPHERD’S SON 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 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
 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
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
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
 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
 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,
 the Kings and Princes, our kindred, are going to see
the Queen’s picture. Come, follow us. We’ll be thy