Passage: The Winter's Tale, 5.2.1-40

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Table of Contents: Course Two

AUTOLYCUS: Beseech you, sir, were you present at this
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 commanded out of the chamber; only this,
methought, I heard the shepherd say, he found the
AUTOLYCUS: I would most gladly know the issue of it.
FIRST GENTLEMAN: I make a broken delivery of the busi-     [10]
ness; but the changes I perceived in the King and Cam-
illo were very notes of admiration. They seemed al-
most, with staring on one another, to tear the cases of
their eyes. There was speech in their dumbness, lang-
uage in their very gesture; they looked as they had
heard of a world ransomed, or one destroyed. A notable
passion of wonder appeared in them; but the wisest
beholder,that knew no more but seeing, could not say
if th' importance were joy or sorrow; but in the ex-
tremity of the one, it must needs be.                        [20]
     Enter another GENTLEMAN.
Here comes a gentleman that happily knows more.--
The news, Rogero?
SECOND GENTLEMAN: Nothing but bonfires. The oracle
is fulfilled; the King's daughter is found. Such a deal of
wonder is broken out within this hour that ballad
makers cannot be able to express it.
     Enter another GENTLEMAN.
Here comes the Lady Paulina's steward, he can deliver
you more. How goes it now, sir? This news which is
called true is so like an old tale, that the verity of it is in
strong suspicion. Has the King found his heir?     [30]
THIRD GENTLEMAN: Most true, if ever truth were preg-
nant by circumstance. That which you hear you'll
swear you see, there is such unity in the proofs. The
mantle of Queen Hermione's; her jewel about the neck
of it; the letters of Antigonus found with it, which they
know to be his character; the majesty of the creature in
resemblance of the mother; the affection of nobleness
which nature shows above her breeding; and many
other evidences proclaim her, with all certainty, to be
the King's daughter.     [40]

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Send queries to Michael Best, English Department, University of Victoria, Victoria B.C. V8W 3W1, Canada.