The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 22

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Exit
He exits.

FLORIZEL

Why look you so upon me?
I am but sorry, not afeard; delay’d,
But nothing alter’d: what I was, I am;
More straining on for plucking back, not following
520My leash unwillingly.

FLORIZEL

(to Perdita) Why do you look at me like that? I am only sorry, not afraid. Our plans are delayed, but not altered. I was in love, and I still am. Now I’m all the more determined to move forward for having been held back. I won’t be pulled against my will.

CAMILLO

Gracious my lord,
You know your father’s temper: at this time
He will allow no speech, which I do guess
You do not purpose to him; and as hardly
525Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear:
Then, till the fury of his highness settle,
Come not before him.

CAMILLO

My gracious lord, you know your father’s temper. Just now he won’t let you speak, which I guess you don’t plan to do anyway, and I fear he can hardly stand to look at you yet. So, until his anger settles, don’t approach him.

FLORIZEL

I not purpose it.
I think, Camillo?

FLORIZEL

I won’t try it. Is it you, Camillo?

CAMILLO

530Even he, my lord.

CAMILLO

It is I, my lord.

PERDITA

How often have I told you ’twould be thus!
How often said, my dignity would last
But till ’twere known!

PERDITA

How often have I told you it would be this way! How often have I said that my dignity would only last as long we weren’t discovered!

FLORIZEL

It cannot fail but by
535The violation of my faith; and then
Let nature crush the sides o’ the earth together
And mar the seeds within! Lift up thy looks:
From my succession wipe me, father; I
Am heir to my affection.

FLORIZEL

Your dignity will only be hurt if I break my promise to you, and if I do, may nature crush the Earth and any sources of life within it! Lift up your eyes. Let my father disown me as his heir. I am heir to my love.