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Monologues for Men


Come, poor babe.

I have heard (but not believ’d) the spirits o’ th’ dead

May walk again. If such thing be, thy mother

Appear’d to me last night; for ne’er was dream

So like a waking. To me comes a creature,

Sometimes her head on one side, some another—

I never saw a vessel of like sorrow,

So fill’d, and so becoming; in pure white robes,

Like very sanctity, she did approach

My cabin where I lay; thrice bow’d before me,

And (gasping to begin some speech) her eyes

Became two spouts; the fury spent, anon

Did this break from her: “Good Antigonus,

Since fate (against thy better disposition)

Hath made thy person for the thrower-out

Of my poor babe, according to thine oath,

Places remote enough are in Bohemia,

There weep and leave it crying; and for the babe

Is counted lost for ever, Perdita

I prithee call’t. For this ungentle business,

Put on thee by my lord, thou ne’er shalt see

Thy wife Paulina more.” And so, with shrieks,

She melted into air. Affrighted much,

I did in time collect myself and thought

This was so, and no slumber. Dreams are toys,

Yet for this once, yea, superstitiously,

I will be squar’d by this. I do believe

Hermione hath suffer’d death, and that

Apollo would (this being indeed the issue

Of King Polixenes) it should here be laid,

Either for life or death, upon the earth

Of its right father. Blossom, speed thee well!

Laying down the child, with a scroll.

There lie, and there thy character; there these,

Placing a bundle beside it.

Which may, if Fortune please, both breed thee, pretty,

And still rest thine.


The storm begins. Poor wretch,

That for thy mother’s fault art thus expos’d

To loss, and what may follow! Weep I cannot,

But my heart bleeds; and most accurs’d am I

To be by oath enjoin’d to this. Farewell!

The day frowns more and more; thou’rt like to have

A lullaby too rough. I never saw

The heavens so dim by day. A savage clamor!

Well may I get aboard! This is the chase;

I am gone for ever.

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