Exit pursued by a Beare.

Shep. I would there were no age betweene ten and three and twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest: for there is nothing (in the betweene) but getting wenches with childe, wronging the Auncientry, stealing, fighting, hearke you now: would any but these boyldebraines of nineteene, and two and twenty hunt this weather? They haue scarr'd away two of my best Sheepe, which I feare the Wolfe will sooner finde then the Maister; if any where I haue them, 'tis by the sea-side, brouzing of Iuy. Good-lucke (and't be thy will) what haue we heere? Mercy on's, a Barne? A very pretty barne; A boy, or a Childe I wonder? (A pretty one, a verie prettie one) sure some Scape; Though I am not bookish, yet I can reade Waiting-Gentlewoman in the scape: this has beene some staire-worke, some Trunke-worke, some behinde-doore worke: they were warmer that got this, then the poore Thing is heere. Ile take it vp for pity, yet Ile tarry till my sonne come: he hallow'd but euen now. Whoa-ho-hoa. Enter Clowne.

Clo. Hilloa, loa

Shep. What? art so neere? If thou'lt see a thing to talke on, when thou art dead and rotten, come hither: what ayl'st thou, man? Clo. I haue seene two such sights, by Sea & by Land: but I am not to say it is a Sea, for it is now the skie, betwixt the Firmament and it, you cannot thrust a bodkins point

Shep. Why boy, how is it? Clo. I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes vp the shore, but that's not to the point: Oh, the most pitteous cry of the poore soules, sometimes to see 'em, and not to see 'em: Now the Shippe boaring the Moone with her maine Mast, and anon swallowed with yest and froth, as you'ld thrust a Corke into a hogshead. And then for the Land-seruice, to see how the Beare tore out his shoulder-bone, how he cride to mee for helpe, and said his name was Antigonus, a Nobleman: But to make an end of the Ship, to see how the Sea flapdragon'd it: but first, how the poore soules roared, and the sea mock'd them: and how the poore Gentleman roared, and the Beare mock'd him, both roaring lowder then the sea, or weather

Shep. Name of mercy, when was this boy? Clo. Now, now: I haue not wink'd since I saw these sights: the men are not yet cold vnder water, nor the Beare halfe din'd on the Gentleman: he's at it now

Shep. Would I had bin by, to haue help'd the olde man

Clo. I would you had beene by the ship side, to haue help'd her; there your charity would haue lack'd footing

Shep. Heauy matters, heauy matters: but looke thee heere boy. Now blesse thy selfe: thou met'st with things dying, I with things new borne. Here's a sight for thee: Looke thee, a bearing-cloath for a Squires childe: looke thee heere, take vp, take vp (Boy:) open't: so, let's see, it was told me I should be rich by the Fairies. This is some Changeling: open't: what's within, boy? Clo. You're a mad olde man: If the sinnes of your youth are forgiuen you, you're well to liue. Golde, all Gold

Shep. This is Faiery Gold boy, and 'twill proue so: vp with't, keepe it close: home, home, the next way. We are luckie (boy) and to bee so still requires nothing but secrecie. Let my sheepe go: Come (good boy) the next way home

Clo. Go you the next way with your Findings, Ile go see if the Beare bee gone from the Gentleman, and how much he hath eaten: they are neuer curst but when they are hungry: if there be any of him left, Ile bury it

Shep. That's a good deed: if thou mayest discerne by that which is left of him, what he is, fetch me to th' sight of him

Clowne. 'Marry will I: and you shall helpe to put him i'th' ground

Shep. 'Tis a lucky day, boy, and wee'l do good deeds on't.

Exeunt.

The Winters Tale Page 19

William Shakespeare Plays

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