The Winter's Tale By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 1

ACT I. SCENE 1. Sicilia. An Antechamber in LEONTES' Palace.


If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on the
like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see,
as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia and your

I think this coming summer the King of Sicilia means to
pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.

Wherein our entertainment shall shame us we will be
justified in our loves; for indeed, —

Beseech you, —

Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we
cannot with such magnificence — in so rare — I know not what to
say. — We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses,
unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot
praise us, as little accuse us.

You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.

Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me
and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.

Sicilia cannot show himself overkind to Bohemia. They were
trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt
them then such an affection which cannot choose but branch now.
Since their more mature dignities and royal necessities made
separation of their society, their encounters, though not
personal, have been royally attorneyed with interchange of gifts,
letters, loving embassies; that they have seemed to be together,
though absent; shook hands, as over a vast; and embraced as it
were from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their

I think there is not in the world either malice or matter to
alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young Prince
Mamillius: it is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever
came into my note.

I very well agree with you in the hopes of him. It is a
gallant child; one that indeed physics the subject, makes old
hearts fresh: they that went on crutches ere he was born desire
yet their life to see him a man.

Would they else be content to die?

Yes, if there were no other excuse why they should desire to

If the king had no son, they would desire to live on crutches
till he had one.


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