The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 3
No Fear Act 3 Scene 3 Page 4

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SHEPHERD

Name of mercy, when was this, boy?

SHEPHERD

Goodness me, when did this happen?

CLOWN

Now, now: I have not winked since I saw these
110sights: the men are not yet cold under water, nor
the bear half dined on the gentleman: he’s at it
now.

YOKEL

Just now—I haven’t even blinked since I saw these sights. The men aren’t yet cold under the water, and the bear has only partly dined on the gentleman—he’s still eating now.

SHEPHERD

Would I had been by, to have helped the old man!

SHEPHERD

If only I’d been close by to help the gentleman!

CLOWN

I would you had been by the ship side, to have
115helped her: there your charity would have lacked footing.

YOKEL

I wish you had been near the ship so you could have helped it—on the water you wouldn’t have had a place to stand.

SHEPHERD

Heavy matters! heavy matters! but look thee here,
boy. Now bless thyself: thou mettest with things
dying, I with things newborn. Here’s a sight for
thee; look thee, a bearing-cloth for a squire’s
120child! look thee here; take up, take up, 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?

SHEPHERD

Sad affairs, sad affairs! But look here, boy. Say a blessing. While you were watching things dying, I was meeting with things newly born. Here’s a sight for you. Look, baby clothes for a

squire’s child

A squire was a man of relatively high social standing.

squire’s child
! Look here, pick it up, boy, and open it. Let’s see what’s in it. I’ve been told that the fairies would make me rich. This is some

changeling

A child said to have been swapped for another child by fairies.

changeling
. Open it. What’s in it, boy?

CLOWN

You’re a made old man: if the sins of your youth
125are forgiven you, you’re well to live. Gold! all gold!

YOKEL

You are set, old man! As long as the sins of your youth have been forgiven, you’ll live well. It’s gold, all gold!

SHEPHERD

This is fairy gold, boy, and ’twill prove so: up
with’t, keep it close: home, home, the next way.
We are lucky, boy; and to be so still requires
nothing but secrecy. Let my sheep go: come, good
130boy, the next way home.

SHEPHERD

This is fairy gold, boy, and will prove to be. Pick it up, and hold it close. Let’s go home. We are lucky, boy, and to keep it that way we have to keep this matter a secret. Let the sheep go. Come, good boy, let’s go home.