The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Before LEONTES’ palace.
In front of LEONTES’ palace.
Enter AUTOLYCUS and a Gentleman
AUTOLYCUS and a Gentleman enter.
AUTOLYCUS
Beseech you, sir, were you present at this relation?
AUTOLYCUS
Please, sir, were you there when it was revealed?
FIRST GENTLEMAN
I was by at the opening of the fardel, heard the old
shepherd deliver the manner how he found it:
whereupon, after a little amazedness, we were all
5commanded out of the chamber; only this methought I
heard the shepherd say, he found the child.
FIRST GENTLEMAN
I was there when the bundle was opened, and heard the old shepherd tell how he found it. Then, after some shock, we were all told to leave the room. But as I went, I thought I heard the shepherd say he found the child.
AUTOLYCUS
I would most gladly know the issue of it.
AUTOLYCUS
I would love to know the result of it.
FIRST GENTLEMAN
I make a broken delivery of the business; but the
changes I perceived in the king and Camillo were
10very notes of admiration: they seemed almost, with
staring on one another, to tear the cases of their
eyes; there was speech in their dumbness, language
in their very gesture; they looked as they had heard
of a world ransomed, or one destroyed: a notable
15passion of wonder appeared in them; but the wisest
beholder, that knew no more but seeing, could not
say if the importance were joy or sorrow; but in the
extremity of the one, it must needs be.
FIRST GENTLEMAN
I could only hear bits and pieces of the conversation. But I could hear the king and Camillo speaking in tones of admiration. They looked at each other so intently and with such astonishment that it seemed as if their eyes might pop out. Even their inability to speak communicated something, and so did their gestures. They looked as if the world had been taken hostage, or destroyed. They were obviously amazed. But even the most astute observer would be unable to say if it was joy or sorrow they felt, though obviously a great deal of one or the other.
Enter another Gentleman
A second Gentleman enters.
Here comes a gentleman that haply knows more.
20The news, Rogero?
Here comes a gentleman who perhaps knows more. Any news, Rogero?

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