The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 26

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CAMILLO

Then list to me:
This follows, if you will not change your purpose
But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia,
615And there present yourself and your fair princess,
For so I see she must be, ‘fore Leontes:
She shall be habited as it becomes
The partner of your bed. Methinks I see
Leontes opening his free arms and weeping
620His welcomes forth; asks thee the son forgiveness,
As ‘twere i’ the father’s person; kisses the hands
Of your fresh princess; o’er and o’er divides him
‘Twixt his unkindness and his kindness; the one
He chides to hell and bids the other grow
625Faster than thought or time.

CAMILLO

Then listen to me. If you won’t change your mind and are determined to flee, head to Sicilia, and present yourself and your fair princess before Leontes. She should be dressed in a way suitable for the wife of a prince. I think Leontes will open his arms and will weep as he bids you welcome. He’ll ask your forgiveness as though he were your father, and he’ll kiss your princess’s hands. He’s caught between berating himself for his past unkindness to your father and trying to be more kind now.

FLORIZEL

Worthy Camillo,
What colour for my visitation shall I
Hold up before him?

FLORIZEL

Worthy Camillo, what reason should I give him for my visit?

CAMILLO

Sent by the king your father
630To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,
The manner of your bearing towards him, with
What you as from your father shall deliver,
Things known betwixt us three, I’ll write you down:
The which shall point you forth at every sitting
635What you must say; that he shall not perceive
But that you have your father’s bosom there
And speak his very heart.

CAMILLO

Tell him you are sent by your father to greet him and comfort him. I’ll write you a note containing things known by the three of us telling you what to say. That and the manner with which you greet him will make him believe that you represent your father’s feelings.