The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 15

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Exit
He exits.
Re-enter Servant
The Servant re-enters.

SERVANT

350Master, there is three carters, three shepherds,
three neat-herds, three swine-herds, that have made
themselves all men of hair, they call themselves
saltiers, and they have a dance which the wenches
say is a gallimaufry of gambols, because they are
355not in’t; but they themselves are o’ the mind, if it
be not too rough for some that know little but
bowling, it will please plentifully.

SERVANT

Master, three cart drivers, three shepherds, three cowherds, and three swineherds have arrived, dressed up in animal skins. They call themselves jumpers, and they have a dance that the wenches say is filled with many leaps and hops. If it isn’t too energetic for those more used to sedate sports like bowling, it will be greatly pleasing.

SHEPHERD

Away! we’ll none on ’t: here has been too much
homely foolery already. I know, sir, we weary you.

SHEPHERD

Send them away! We’ll have none of it. There has been too much vulgar foolishness already. I know, sir, that we are tiring you.

POLIXENES

360You weary those that refresh us: pray, let’s see
these four threes of herdsmen.

POLIXENES

You’ll tire those that entertain us. Please, let’s see these four trios of herdsmen.

SERVANT

One three of them, by their own report, sir, hath
danced before the king; and not the worst of the
three but jumps twelve foot and a half by the squier.

SERVANT

One trio tells me that they have danced before the king. And even the worst of the three jumps twelve and half feet exactly.

SHEPHERD

365Leave your prating: since these good men are
pleased, let them come in; but quickly now.

SHEPHERD

Stop your chattering. Since these good men would be pleased to see them, let them in, and quickly.

SERVANT

Why, they stay at door, sir.

SERVANT

Why, they’re right at the door, sir.
Exit
He exits.
Here a dance of twelve Satyrs
The twelve satyrs dance.

POLIXENES

O, father, you’ll know more of that hereafter.

POLIXENES

Oh, father, you’ll know more about that soon.