The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

A room in LEONTES’ palace.
A room in LEONTES’s palace.
Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies
HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies enter.

HERMIONE

Take the boy to you: he so troubles me,
‘Tis past enduring.

HERMIONE

Take the boy. He is such a pest I can’t take it anymore.

FIRST LADY

Come, my gracious lord,
Shall I be your playfellow?

FIRST LADY

Come with me, my gracious lord. Shall I play with you?

MAMILLIUS

5No, I’ll none of you.

MAMILLIUS

No, I don’t want anything to do with you.

FIRST LADY

Why, my sweet lord?

FIRST LADY

Why, my sweet lord?

MAMILLIUS

You’ll kiss me hard and speak to me as if
I were a baby still. I love you better.

MAMILLIUS

You’ll kiss me too hard and talk baby talk to me. (to Second Lady) I love you better.

SECOND LADY

And why so, my lord?

SECOND LADY

Why is that, my lord?

MAMILLIUS

10Not for because
Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they say,
Become some women best, so that there be not
Too much hair there, but in a semicircle
Or a half-moon made with a pen.

MAMILLIUS

Not because your eyebrows are blacker, though they say that black eyebrows suit some women best, as long as there isn’t too much hair and they are shaped like a semicircle, or drawn like a half-moon.

SECOND LADY

15Who taught you this?

SECOND LADY

Who taught you that?

MAMILLIUS

I learnt it out of women’s faces. Pray now
What colour are your eyebrows?

MAMILLIUS

I learned it from looking at women’s faces. Tell me, what color are your eyebrows?

FIRST LADY

Blue, my lord.

FIRST LADY

Blue, my lord.

MAMILLIUS

Nay, that’s a mock: I have seen a lady’s nose
20That has been blue, but not her eyebrows.

MAMILLIUS

No, you’re joking. I’ve seen a lady’s nose that was blue, but not her eyebrows.

FIRST LADY

Hark ye;
The queen your mother rounds apace: we shall
Present our services to a fine new prince
One of these days; and then you’ld wanton with us,
25If we would have you.

FIRST LADY

Listen: your mother the queen is getting rounder by the day. We’ll be serving a fine new prince one day soon, and then you’ll want to play with us, if we’ll let you.