tracts from the Accounts of the Eevels at Court," 8vo, 1842,
printed for the Shakespeare Society 1 . " The Winter's Talc "
was probably selected on account of its novelty and popu-
larity 2 .
The second piece of evidence on this point has also recent-
1 From the Introduction to the same work, we find that " The
Winter's Tale" was also represented at court on Baster Tuesday,
2 The expenses of eleven other plays are included in the same ac-
count, viz. ' Tha Tempest," " King and no King," "The City Gal-
lant," "The Almanack," "The Twins' Tragedy," " C: p.d's Re-
venge," "The Silver Age," " Lucretia," "The Nobleman," "Hy-
men's Holiday," and " The Maid's Tragedy." At most, only one of
these had been printed before they were thus acted, and some of them
never came from the press " The Nobleman," by Cyril Tourneur,
was entered at Stationers' Hall for publication on 15th February,
1011. " Lucretia" may have been a different play from Heywood's
" Rape of Lucrece," which bears date in 1608 : if so, there is no ex-
ception, and all that came from the press at any period were printed
subsequently to 1611-12, the earliest in 1613, and the latest in 1055.
Hence a strong inference may be drawn, that they were all dramas
which had been recommended for court-performance by their novelty
ly come to light. It is contained in a MS. Diary, or Note-
book, kept by Dr. Simon Formaii, (MSS. Ashm. 208.) in
winch, under date of the loth May, 1611, he states that he
saw " The Winter's Tale" at the Globe Theatre : this was the
May preceding the representation of it at Court on the 5th
November. He gives the following brief account of the plot,
which ingeniously includes all the main incidents:
" Observe there how Leonres, king of Sicilia, was overcome
with jealousy of his wife with the king of Bohemia, his friend
that came to see him ; and how he contrived his death, and
would have had his cup-bearer to have poisoned [him], who
gave the king of Bohemia warning thereof, and fled with him
to Bohemia. Eemember, also, how he sent to the oracle of
Apollo, and the answer of Apollo that she was guiltless, and
that the king was jealous. &c. ; and how, except the child was
found again that was lost, the king should die without issue;
for the child was carried into Bohemia, and there laid in a
forest, and brought up by a shepherd ; and the king of Bohe-
mia's son married that wench, and how they fled into Sicilia
to Leontes; and the shepherd having showed the letter of the
nobleman whom Leontes sent, it was that child, and [by] the
jewels found about her, she was known to be Leontes' daugh-
ter, and was then sixteen years old. Eemember, also, the
rogue that came in all tattered, like Coll Pipci, and how he
feigned him sick, and to have been robbed of all he had ; and
how he cozened the poor man of all his money, and after
came to the sheep-sheer with a pedlar's packe, and there
cozened them again of all their money. And how he changed
apparel with the king of Bohemia's son, and then how he
turned courtier, &c. Beware of trusting feigned beggars or
We have reason to think that " The "Winter's Tale " was in
its first run on the 15th May, 1611, and that the Globe Thea-
tre had not then been long opened'for the season.
The opinion that the play was then a novelty, is strongly
confirmed by the third piece of evidence, which Malone dis-
covered late in life, and which induced him to relinquish his
earlier opinion, that "The Winter's Tale" was written in
1G04. He found a memorandum in the office-book of Sir
Henry Herbert, Master of the Eevels, dated the 19th August,
1623, in which it was stated that "The Winter's Tale,"' was
" an old play formerly allowed of by Sir George Buc." Sir
George Buc was Master of the Kevels from October, 1610,
until May, 1622. Sir George Buc must, therefore, nave
licensed "The Winter's Tale" between October, 1610, when
he was appointed to his oiEce, and May, 1611, when Forman
saw it at the Globe.
It ruignt have been composed by Shakespeare in the autumn
and winter of 1610-11, with a view to its production on the
Bank-side, as soon as the usual performances by the King's
players commenced there. Sir Henry Herbert informs us.
that when he gave permission to revive " The Winter's Tale "
in August 1623, "the allowed book" (that to which Sir
George Buc had appended his signature) "was missing." U
had no doubt been destroyed when the Globe T/ieatre was
consumed by fire on 29th June, 1613.
We have seen that "The Tempest" and "The Winter's
Tale" wore both acted at Whitehall, and included in Sii
George BUG'S account of the expenses of the Revels from
October, 1611, to October, 1612 3 . How much older "The
Tempest" might be than " The Winter's Tale," we have nc
means of determining; but there is a circumstance which
shows that the composition of " The Tempest " was anterior
to that of" The Winter's Tale;" and this brings us to speaK
of the novel upon which the latter is founded.
As early as the year 1588, Eobert Greene printed a tract
called " Pandosto:' The Triumph of Time," better known aa
" The History of Dorastus and Fawnia," the title it bore in
some of the later copies. As far as we now know, il was not
reprinted until 1607, and a third impression appeared in 1009:
it afterwards went through many editions*; but it seems uot
unlikely that Shakespeare was directed to it, as a proper sub-
ject for dramatic representation, by the third impression
which came out the year before we suppose him to have com-
menced writing his " Winter's Tale*." In many respects our
great dramatist follows Greene's story very closely, as may
be seen by some of the notes in the course of the play, and
by the recent republication of " Pandosto " from the unique
copy of 1588, in " Shakespeare's Library." There is, how-
ever, one remarkable variation, which it is necessary to point
out. Greene says :
"The guard left her" (the Queen) "in this perplexitie,
and carried the child to the king, who, quite devoide of pity,
commanded that without delay it should be put in the boat,
having neither sail nor rudder to guide it, and so to be car-
ried into the midst of the sea, and there left to the wind and
wave, as the destinies please to appoint."
3 The circumstance that II The Tempest" and " The Winter's Tale"
nearly the same datf- of composition, seems to give great additional
probability to th opinion, that Ben Jonson alluded to them in the
following: pasFisr- 1 in the Induction to his " Bartholomew Fair." which
was acted in 1CU, while Shakespeare's two plays were still high in
popular fav \ir : a If there be never a Servant-monster i j the Fair*
who cm hfll it, he says? nor a nest of Anticks ? He is loth to make
nat-ire afraid in his Playes, like those that beget Tales, Tempests,
and su;h like Drolleries." The Italic type and the capitals are aa
they stand in the original edition in folio, 1631 GifTord (Ben Jon-
son's Werks, Vol. iv. p. 370) could not be brought to acknowledge
that the words ' Servant-monster," "Anticks," " Tales," and "Tem-
pests," applied to Shakespeare, but with our present information the
fact seems hardly disputable.
* How long it continued popular, may be judged from the fact that'
it was printed as a chap-book as recently as the year 1735, when it
was called " The Fortunate Lovers ; or the History of Dorastus, Prince
of Sisily, and of Fawnia, only daughter and heir to the King of Bo-
5 In a note upon a passage in Act iii. sc. 2, a reason is assigned foi
Hi inking that Shakr.-pf.irc did not employ the first edition of Greene ;
novel, but in all probability that of 1009.
The cl.il.l thus " left to the wind am! wave" is the I'enlita
of Shakespeare, who describes the way in which the infant
was exposed very differently, and probably for this reason :
that in " The Tempest " he had previously (perhaps not long
before) represented Prospero and Miranda turned adrift at
sea in the same manner ns Greene had stated his heroine to
have been disposed of. When, therefore, Shakespeare came
to write " The Winter's Tale." instead of following Greene,
as he had usually done in other minor circumstances, he
varied from the original narrative, in order to avoid an objec-
tionable similarity of incident in his two dramas. It is true,
that in the conclusion Shakespeare has also made important
and most judicious changes in the story; since nothing could
well be more revoking than for Pandosto (who answers to
Leontes) first to fall dotingly in love with his own daughter,
and afterwards to commit suicide. The termination to which
our great dramatist brings the incidents is at once striking,
natural, and beautiful, and is an equal triumph of judgment
It is, perhaps, singular that Malone, who observed upon
the "involved parenthetical sentences" prevailing in "The
Winter's Tale," did not in that very peculiarity find a proof
that it must have been one of Shakespeare's later productions.
In the Stationers' Registers there is no earlier entry of it than
that of Nov. 8, 1623, when the publication of the first folio
was contemplated by Blount and Jaggard : it originally ap-
peared in that volume, where it is regularly divided into Acts
and Scenes: the " Wynter's Nighte's Pastime," noticed in
the registers under date of May 22, 1594, must have been a
different work. If any proof of the kind were wanted, we
learn from two lines in'" Dido, Queen of Carthage," by Mar-
lowe and Nash, 1594, 4to, that "a winter's tale" was a then
current phrase :
" Who would not undergoe all kinde of toyle
To be well stord with such a winter's tale?" Sign. D. 3 b
In representing Bohemia to be a maritime country, Shake
speare adopted the popular notion, as it had been encouraged
since 1588 by Greene's " Pandosto." With regard to the pre-
vailing ignorance of geography, the subsequent package from
John Taylor's " Travels to Prague in Bohemia," a jonrvey per-
formed by him in 1620, shows that the satirical writer did not
consider it strange that an alderman of London wn* not aware
that a fleet of ships could not arrive at a port of Bohemia :
" I am no sooner eased of him, but Gregory Gandenroose, nn
Alderman of Gotham, catches me by the goll, demanding if
Bohemia be a great town, and whether there be any meat in
it, and whether the last fleet of ships be arrived there." It
is to be observed, that Shakespeare reverses the scene of
" Pandosto," and represents as passing in Sicily, what Greene
had made to occur in Bohemia. In several places he more
verbally followed Greene in this play than he did even Lodge
in " As You Like it ;" but the general variations are greater
from " Pandosto " than from " Kosalynde." Shakespeare
does not adopt one of the appellations given by Greeje ; and
it may be noticed that, just anterior to the time of our poet,
the name he assigns to the Queen of Leontes had been em-
ployed as that of a male character : in " The rare Triumphs
of Love and Fortune," acted at court in 1581-2, and printed
in 1589, Hermione is the lover of the heroine.
"The idea of this delightful drama" (says Coleridge in his
Lit. Rein, vol. ii. p. 250) is a genuine jealousy of disposition,
and it should be immediately followed by "the perusal of
Othello,' which is the direct contrast of it in every particu-
lar. For jealousy is a vice of the mind, a culpable tendency
of temper, having certain well known and well defined effects
and concomitants, all of which are visible in Leontes, and 1
boldly say, not one of which marks its presence in Othello :
such "as, first, an excitability by the most inadequate causes,
and an eagerness to snatch at proofs ; secondly, a grosaness
of conception, and a disposition to degrade the object of the
passion by sensual fancies and images ; thirdly, a sense of
uhamo of his own feelings exhibited in a solitary moodiness
of humour, and yet from the violence of the passion forced to
utter itself, and therefore catching occasions to ease the mind
by ambiguities, and equivoques, by talking to those who can-
not, and who are known not to be able to understand what
is said to them ; in short, by soliloquy in the form of dialogue,
and hence a confused, broken, and fragmentary manner ;
fourthly, a dread of vulgar ridicule, as distinct from a high
sense of honour, or a mistaken sense of duty ; and lastly, and
immediately consequent on this, a spirit of selfish viudictive-
In his lectures in 1815, Coleridge dwelt on the " not easily
jealous " frame of Othello's mind, and on the art of the great
poet in working upon his generous and unsuspecting nature:
he contrasted the characters of Othello and Leontes in this
respect, the latter from predisposition requiring no such ma-
lignant instigator as lago.
VOL. III. 21
LEONTES, King of Sicilia.
MAMILLIUS, young Prince of Sicilia.
ROGERO. a Gentleman of Sicilia.
Officers of a Court of Judicature.
POLIXENES, King of Bohemia.
FLORIZEL, Prince of Bohemia.
ARCHIDAMUS, a Lord of Bohemia.
An old Shepherd, reputed Father of Perdita.
Clown, his Son.
Servant to the old Shepherd.
AUTOLYCUS, a Rogue.
Time, the Chorus.
HERMIONE, Queen to Leontes.
PERDITA, Daughter to Leontes and Hermione.
PAULINA, Wife to Antigonus.
EMILIA, a Lady attending the Queen.
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants 5 Satyrs, Shepherds
Shepherdesses, Guards, &c.
SCENE, sometimes in Sicilia, sometimes in Bohemia.
THE WINTER'S TALE,
SCENE I. Sicilia. An Antechamber in LEONTES'
Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS.
Arch. If you should 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 Sicilia.
Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of
Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he
justly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us,
we will be justified in our loves ; for, indeed,
Cam. Beseech you,
Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my know-
ledge : 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 insuffi-
cience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little
Cam. You pay a great deal too dear for what 's given
Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding in-
structs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohe-
mia. 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 so 1 royally attorney'd, with
interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies, that
ihey have seemed to be together, though absent, shook
1 This word is not in f. e.
324 THE WINTER'S TALE. ACT r.
hands, as over a vast, and embraced, as it were, from
the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue
their loves !
Arch. I think, there is not in the world either
malice, or matter, to alter it. You have an unspeak-
able comfort of your young prince Mamillius : it is a
gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into
Cam. 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.
Arch. Would they else be content to die>?
Cam. Yes ; if there were no other excuse why they
should desire to live.
Arch. If the king had no son they would desire to
live on crutches till he had one. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. The Same. A Room of State in the
Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES. HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS
CAMILLO, and Attendants,
Pol. Nine changes of the watery star have been
The shepherd's note, since we have left our throne
Without a burden : time as long again
Would be fill'd up, my brother, with our thanks ;
And yet we should for perpetuity
Go hence in debt : and therefore, like a cipher,
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply
With one we-thank-you many thousands more
That go before it.
Leon. Stay your thanks awhile,
And pay them when you part.
Pol. Sir, that 's to-morrow.
I am question'd by my fears, of what may chance,
Or breed upon our absence : may there 1 blow
No sneaping 2 winds at home, to make us say,
"This is put forth too early 3 ." Besides, I have stay'd
To tire your royalty.
Leon. We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to 't.
Pol. No longer stay.
1 that may : in 1. e. * Nipping. s truly : in e.
sc. ir. THH WINTER'S TALE. 325
Leon. One seven-night longer.
Pol. Very sooth, to-morrow.
Leon. We '11 part the time between 's then ; and in that
I '11 no gain-saying.
Pol. Press me not, beseech you.
There is no tongue that moves, none, none i' the world,
So soon as yours, could win me : so it should now,
Were there necessity in your request, although
'T were needful I denied it. My affairs
Do even drag me homeward ; which to hinder,
Were in your love a whip to me, my stay
To you a charge, and trouble : to save both,
Farewell, our brother.
Leon. Tongue-tied, our queen ? speak you
Her. I had thought, sir, to have held my peace, unti
You had drawn oaths from him, not to stay. You, sir
Charge him too coldly : tell him, you are sure
All in Bohemia 's well : this satisfaction
The by-gone day proclaim'd. Say this to him,
He 's beat from his best ward.
Leon. Well said, Hermione. [He walks apart
Her. To tell he longs to see his son were strong :
But let him say so then, and let him go ;
But let him swear so, and he shall not stay,
We '11 thwack him hence with distaffs. [venture
Yet of your royal presence [To POLIXENES.] I '11 ad-
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I '11 give him my commission,
To let him there a month behind the gest a
Prefix'd for 's parting ; yet, good deed, 3 Leontes,
I love thee not a jar* o' the clock behind
What lady should her lord. You '11 stay ?
Pol. No, madam
Her. Nay, but you will ?
Pol. I may not, verily.
Her. Verily !
You put me off with limber vows ; but I,
Though you would seek t' unsphere the stars with oaths.
Should yet say, " Sir, no going." Verily,
You shall not go : a lady's verily is
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet ?
Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
1 Not in f. e. "Period; a word derived from the French, gistt
* Indeed. * A tick.
326 THE WINTER'S TALE. ACT i,
Not like a guest, so you shall pay your fees,
When you depart, and save your thanks. How say you ?
My prisoner, or my guest ? by your dread verily,
One of them you shall be.
Pol. Your guest then, madam .
To be your prisoner should import offending ;
Which is for me less easy to commit,
Than you to punish.
Her. Not your jailor, then,
But your kind hostess. Come, I '11 question you
Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were boys ,
You were pretty lordliiigs then.
Pol. We were, fair queen,
Two lads, that thought there was no more behind,
But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy eternal.
Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o' the two ?
Pol. We were as twirm'd lambs, that did frisk i' the
And bleat the one at th' other : what we chang'd,
Was innocence for innocence : we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd
That any did. Had we pursued that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
Boldly " not guilty ;" the imposition clear'd.
Her. By this we gather,
You have tripp'd since.
Pol. ! my most sacred lady,
Temptations have since then been born to 's ; for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl :
Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.
Her. Grace to boot !
Of this make no conclusion, lest you say,
Your queen and I are devils : yet, go on :
Th' offences we have made you do, we '11 answer ;
If you first sinn'd with us, and that with us
You did continue fault, and that you slipp'd not
With any, but with us.
Leon. Is he won yet 9 ' Coming forward.
Her. He '11 stay, my lord.
sc. ii. THE WINTER'S TALE. 327
Leon. At my request he - vould not,
Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st
To better purpose.
Her. Never ?
Leon. Never, but once.
Her. What ? have I twice said well ? when was 't
1 pr'ythee, tell me. Cram's with praise, and make's
As fat as tame things : one good deed, dying tongueless,
Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages : you may ride 's
With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs, er*e
With spur we clear 1 an acre. But to the good 3
My last good deed was to entreat his stay :
What was my first ? it has an elder sister,
Or I mistake you : 0, would her name were Grace !
But once before I spoke to the purpose : When ?
Nay, let me have ; t ; I long.
Leon. Why, that was when
Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to death.
Ere 1 could make thee open thy white hand,
And clap 3 thyself my love : then didst thou utter
" I am yours for ever."
Her. It is Grace, indeed.
Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice :
The one for ever earn'd a royal husband,
1'h' other for some while a friend.
[Giving her hand to POLIXENES
Leon. Too hot, too hot ! [Aside
To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.
I have tremor cordis on me : my heart dances,
But not for joy, not joy. This entertainment
May a free face put on ; derive a liberty
From heartiness, from bounty's fertile* bosom,
And well become the agent : 't may, I grant ;
But to be paddling palms, and pinching fingers,
As now they are ; and making practis'd smiles,
As in a looking-glass ; and then to sigh, as 't were
The mort* o' the deer ; ! that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows. Mamillius,
Art thou my boy ?
1 heat : in f. e. ' goal : in f. e. 3 To clap, or join hands, -was part
ef the betrothal. 4 from bounty, fertile &c. : in f. e. B The long
last sounded at the ? J ath of the deer.
328 THE WINTER'S TALE. ACT i.
Mam. Ay, my good lord.
Leon. F fecks ?
Why, that 's my baweoek. 1 What ! hast smutch'd thy
They say, it is a copy out of mine.
We must be neat ; not neat, but cleanly, captain :
And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf,
Are all call'd neat. Still virginalling"
[Observing POLIXENES and HERMICNE.
Upon his palm ? How now, you wanton calf :
Art thou my calf?
Mam. Yes, if you will, my lord.
Leon. Thou wanf'st a rough pash. 3 and the shoots
that I have.
To be full* like me : yet, they say. we are
Almost as like as eggs : women say so.
That will say any thing : but were they false
As our dead* blacks, as wind, as waters ; false
As dice are to be wish'd. by one that fixes
No bourn Hwixt his and mine ; yet were it true
To say this boy were like me. Come, sir page,
Look on me with your welkin* eye : sweet villain f
Most dear'st ! my collop ! Can thy dam? may't be
Affection ? 7 thy intention stabs the 9 centre ;
Thou dost make possible things not so held,
Communicat'st with dreams ; (how can this be ?)
With what 's unreal thou coactive art,
And fellow'st nothing. Then, 't is very credent,
Thou may'st co-join with something ; and thou dost,
And that beyond commission ; and I find it.
And that to the infection of my brains,
And hardening of my browB.
Pol. What means Sicilia ?
Her. He something seems unsettled.
Pol How, my lord f
i Supposed to be derived from beau cog. 3 Playing with her
fingers, as on a virginal, -which was an oblong musical instrument,
played with keys, like a piano. => Head. Fully. * o'er-dyed : in
I.e. Blue, like the sky. ' This passage is usually pointed', with a
period before affection which thus commences a sentence it has the
epse, taken in connection with this reading, of imagination inten-
tion, that of intensity. The punctuation of the text is that of th
old copies. The passage (to the end of the speech) is crossed out by
' of 1632. to the (of the heart)
BC. ii. THE WINTER'S TALE. 329
Leon What cheer ? how is 't with you, best brother ?
[Holding his forehead. 1
Her. You look,
As if you held a brow of much distraction :
Are you mov'd, my lord ?
Leon. No, in good earnest.
How sometimes nature will betray its folly, [Aside. 1
Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime