The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 8

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FLORIZEL

I think you have
As little skill to fear as I have purpose
To put you to’t. But come; our dance, I pray:
Your hand, my Perdita: so turtles pair,
180That never mean to part.

FLORIZEL

I think you have as little cause to fear as I have intention to make you feel afraid. But come, dance with me please. Give me your hand, my Perdita, just as turtledoves pair for life and never part from one another.

PERDITA

I’ll swear for ’em.

PERDITA

I’ll swear to their philosophy.

POLIXENES

This is the prettiest low-born lass that ever
Ran on the green-sward: nothing she does or seems
But smacks of something greater than herself,
185Too noble for this place.

POLIXENES

She is the prettiest common girl that’s ever run across the lawn. Everything she does has an air of something greater than herself, something too noble for this place.

CAMILLO

He tells her something
That makes her blood look out: good sooth, she is
The queen of curds and cream.

CAMILLO

He’s saying something that makes her blush. Goodness, her complexion is as creamy as milk.

CLOWN

Come on, strike up!

YOKEL

Come on, play the music!

DORCAS

190Mopsa must be your mistre marry, garlic,
To mend her kissing with!

DORCAS

Mopsa will be your dance partner. Give her garlic to make her breath better!

MOPSA

Now, in good time!

MOPSA

Now, that’s enough!

CLOWN

Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.
Come, strike up!

YOKEL

Don’t say a word. We’ll act with manners. Come, play the music!
Music. Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses
Music plays. The shepherds and shepherdesses dance.

POLIXENES

195Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
Which dances with your daughter?

POLIXENES

Good shepherd, can you tell me who is the handsome young man dancing with your daughter?

SHEPHERD

They call him Doricles; and boasts himself
To have a worthy feeding: but I have it
Upon his own report and I believe it;
200He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter:
I think so too; for never gazed the moon
Upon the water as he’ll stand and read
As ’twere my daughter’s eyes: and, to be plain,
I think there is not half a kiss to choose
205Who loves another best.

SHEPHERD

They call him Doricles and say he has a valuable pasture. He’s told me so himself, and I believe him. He looks honest. He says he loves my daughter, and I think he does. He gazes into my daughter’s eyes as intently as the moon shines onto water. And, to be blunt, I don’t think there’s a way to tell from their kiss who loves the other more.