The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

A room in LEONTES’ palace.
A room in LEONTES’S palace.
LEONTES, CLEOMENES, DION, PAULINA, and several servants enter.
Sir, you have done enough, and have perform’d
A saint-like sorrow: no fault could you make,
Which you have not redeem’d; indeed, paid down
More penitence than done trespa at the last,
5Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil;
With them forgive yourself.
(to Leontes) Sir, you have done enough and have shown the sorrow and piety of a saint. You have redeemed every mistake you might have made, and have paid more penance than you have done wrong. At last, forgive your sins as Heaven has forgiven it, and forgive yourself.
Whilst I remember
Her and her virtues, I cannot forget
My blemishes in them, and so still think of
10The wrong I did myself; which was so much,
That heirless it hath made my kingdom and
Destroy’d the sweet’st companion that e’er man
Bred his hopes out of.
As long as I remember her and her virtue, I can’t forget how I attacked them, and I still think of the wrong I did. My misbehavior was so terrible that it has left my kingdom without an heir and destroyed the sweetest companion that a man could hope would bear his children.
True, too true, my lord:
15If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
Or from the all that are took something good,
To make a perfect woman, she you kill’d
Would be unparallel’d.
It is too true, my lord. Even if you wedded every woman in the world one by one, or took the best quality from each and made the perfect woman, the woman you killed couldn’t be matched.
I think so. Kill’d!
20She I kill’d! I did so: but thou strikest me
Sorely, to say I did; it is as bitter
Upon thy tongue as in my thought: now, good now,
Say so but seldom.
I think so, too. Killed! The woman I killed! I did, but you wound me deeply to say it so bluntly. You say it as bitterly as I think it. Now, please, don’t say it often.