The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 3

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PERDITA

O lady Fortune,
60Stand you auspicious!

PERDITA

Oh, Fortune, remain favorable!

FLORIZEL

See, your guests approach:
Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
And let’s be red with mirth.

FLORIZEL

See, your guests are approaching. Prepare yourself to entertain them in a lively manner, and let’s be red-faced from all our laughter.
Enter Shepherd, Clown, MOPSA, DORCAS, and others, with POLIXENES and CAMILLO disguised
The SHEPHERD, YOKEL, MOPSA, DORCAS, and others enter. POLIXENES and CAMILLO, who are in disguise, also enter.

SHEPHERD

Fie, daughter! when my old wife lived, upon
65This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
Both dame and servant; welcomed all, served all;
Would sing her song and dance her turn; now here,
At upper end o’ the table, now i’ the middle;
On his shoulder, and his; her face o’ fire
70With labour and the thing she took to quench it,
She would to each one sip. You are retired,
As if you were a feasted one and not
The hostess of the meeting: pray you, bid
These unknown friends to’s welcome; for it is
75A way to make us better friends, more known.
Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
That which you are, mistress o’ the feast: come on,
And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
As your good flock shall prosper.

SHEPHERD

Oh, daughter, when my old wife was still alive, on this day she was a pantry maid, butler, cook, mistress of the house, and servant. She welcomed all, served all, would sing her song and dance her share. She would sit first at the head of the table, then in the middle. She’d be on this man’s shoulder, and then on that one’s. Her face would be red from work and what she drank to quench her thirst, and she would drink a toast to each person. You are withdrawn, as if you were a guest and not the hostess of this party. Please, welcome these strangers so that we can become better acquainted. Come, stop blushing and present yourself as that which you are: the mistress of the feast. Come on and welcome us to your sheep-shearing, so that your flock will prosper.

PERDITA

80[To POLIXENES] Sir, welcome:
It is my father’s will I should take on me
The hostess-ship o’ the day.

PERDITA

(to Polixenes) Sir, welcome. My father wishes me to be the hostess here today.