The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 13

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DORCAS

Is it true too, think you?

DORCAS

You think it’s true, too?

AUTOLYCUS

305Five justices’ hands at it, and witnesses more than
my pack will hold.

AUTOLYCUS

Five judges would swear to it, and there are more witnesses’ statements than I could pack along with me.

CLOWN

Lay it by too: another.

YOKEL

Put that one aside, too, and let’s see another.

AUTOLYCUS

This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.

AUTOLYCUS

This is a happy ballad, and very pretty.

MOPSA

Let’s have some merry ones.

MOPSA

Let’s have some happy ones.

AUTOLYCUS

310Why, this is a passing merry one and goes to
the tune of ‘Two maids wooing a man:’ there’s
scarce a maid westward but she sings it; ’tis in
request, I can tell you.

AUTOLYCUS

Here’s a very merry one, which goes to the tune of “Two Maids Courting a Man.” There’s hardly a woman west of here that doesn’t sing it. It’s in great demand, I can tell you.

MOPSA

We can both sing it: if thou’lt bear a part, thou
315shalt hear; ’tis in three parts.

MOPSA

We can both sing it. If you will sing one part, we can do it, since there are three parts and three of us.

DORCAS

We had the tune on’t a month ago.

DORCAS

We learned the tune for it a month ago.

AUTOLYCUS

I can bear my part; you must know ’tis my
occupation; have at it with you.

AUTOLYCUS

I can sing my part. As you know, I’m a singer by trade. Go ahead.
SONG
They sing.

AUTOLYCUS

Get you hence, for I must go
320Where it fits not you to know.

AUTOLYCUS

Go away, because I must go to a place that you don’t know.

DORCAS

Whither?

DORCAS

Where?

MOPSA

O, whither?

MOPSA

Oh, where?

DORCAS

Whither?

DORCAS

Where?

MOPSA

It becomes thy oath full well,
325Thou to me thy secrets tell.

MOPSA

It wouldn’t be breaking your promise to tell me your secrets.