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Serv. Ay, the most peerless piece of earth,

I think,
That e'er the sun shone bright on.

O Hermione,
As every present time doth boast itself
Above a better gone, so must thy grave
Give way to what's seen now! Sir, you your
Have said and writ so, but your writing now »
Is colder than that theme, "She had not been,
Nor was not to be equall'd; " - thus your verse
Flow'd with her beauty once. 'Tis shrewdly

ebb'd, To say you have seen a better. Serv.

Pardon, madam: The one I have almost forgot, - your pardon, The other, when she has obtain'd your eye, 106 Will have your tongue too. This is a creature, Would she begin a sect, might quench the zeal Of all professors else, make proselytes Of who she but bid follow. Paul.

How? Not women! Serv. Women will love her, that she is a







I might have look'd upon my queen's full eyes,
Have taken treasure from her lips

And left them
More rich for what they yielded.

Thou speak'st truth. No more such wives ; therefore, no wife. One

worse, And better us'd, would make her sainted spirit Again possess her corpse, and on this stage, (Where we offenders now appear) soul-vex’d, Begin, “And why to me - ?" Paul.

Had she such power, so She had just cause.

Leon. She had; and would incense me To murder her I married. Paul.

I should so. Were I the ghost that walk'd, I'd bid you

mark Her eye, and tell me for what dull part in 't You chose her; then I'd shriek, that even your Should rift to hear me ; and the words that

follow'd Should be “ Remember mine." Leon.

Stars, stars, And all eyes else dead coals! Fear thou no wife; I'll have no wife, Paulina. Paul.

Will you swear
Never to marry but by my free leave ?

Leon. Never, Paulina ; so be blest my spirit !
Paul. Then, good my lords, bear witness to

his oath.
Cleo. You tempt him over-much.

Unless another,
As like Hermione as is her picture,
Affront his eye.

Good madam,

I have done. Yet, if my lord will marry, – if you will, sir, No remedy, but you will, give me the office To choose you a queen. She shall not be so

As was your former; but she shall be such
As, walk'd your first queen's ghost, it should
To see her in your arms.

My true Paulina,
We shall not marry till thou bid'st us,

That Shall be when your first queen 's again in

breath; Never till then.

Enter a SERVANT.
Serv. One that gives out himself Prince Flo-

Son of Polixenes, with his princess, she
The fairest I have yet beheld, desires access
To your high presence.

Leon. What with him ? He comes not
Like to his father's greatness. His approach,
So out of circumstance and sudden, tells us
'Tis not a visitation fram'd, but forc'd
By need and accident. What train ?

But few, And those but mean. Le

His princess, say you, with him?




take joy


More worth than any man; men, that she is
The rarest of all women.

Go, Cleomenes ; Yourself, assisted with your honour'd friends, Bring them to our embracement. Still, 't is strange

(Exeunt (Cleomenes and others). He thus should steal upon us. Paul.

Had our prince, Jewel of children, seen this hour, he had pair'd Well with this lord. There was not full a month Between their births. Leon. Prithee, more ;

cease, Thop know'st He dies to me again when talk'd of. Sure, When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches Will bring me to consider that which may Unfurnish me of reason. They are come. Re-enter CLEOMENES and others, with FLORIZEL

and PERDITA. Your mother was most true to wedlock, Prince, For she did print your royal father off, Conceiving you. Were I but twenty-one, Your father's image is so hit in you, His very air, that I should call you brother, 195 As I did him, and speak of something wildly By us perform'd before. Most dearly welcome! And your fair princess, – goddess ! –0, alas! I lost a couple, that 'twixt heaven and earth Might thus have stood begetting wonder as You, gracious couple, do; and then I lost All mine own folly - the society, Amity too, of your brave father, whom, Though bearing misery, I desire my life Once more to look on him. Flo.

By his command Have I here touch'd Sicilia, and from him Give yon all greetings that a king, at friend, Can send his brother; and, but infirmity Which waits upon worn times hath something

seiz'd His wish'd ability, he had himself



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The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and

his Measur'd to look upon you ; whom he loves He bade me say so — more than all the sceptres And those that bear them living. Leon.

O my brother, Good gentleman! the wrongs I have done thee

stir Afresh within me, and these thy offices, so rarely kind, are as interpreters Of my behind-hand slackness. Welcome hither, As is the spring to the earth. And hath he too Expos'd this paragon to the fearful usage, (At least ungentle,) of the dreadful Neptune, To greet a man not worth her pains, much

less The adventure of her person? Flo.

Good my lord, She came from Libya. Leon.

Where the warlike Smalus, That noble honour'd lord, is fear'd and lov'd ? Flo. Most royal sir, from thence; from him,

whose daughter His tears proclaim'd his, parting with her;

thence, A prosperous south-wind friendly, we have

To execute the charge my father gave me
For visiting your Highness. My best train
I have from your Sicilian shores dismiss'd ;
Who for Bohemia bend, to signify
Not only my success in Libya, sir,
But my arrival and my wife's in safety
Here where we are.

The blessed gods
Purge all infection from our air whilst you
Do climate here! You have a holy father,
A graceful gentleman, against whose person,
So sacred as it is, I have done sin ;
For which the heavens, taking angry note,
Have left me issueless; and your father 's blest,
As he from heaven merits it, with you
Worthy his goodness. What might I have been,
Might I a son and daughter now have look'd

on, Such goodly things as you ?

Enter a LORD. Lord.

Most noble sir, That which I shall report will bear no credit, Were not the proof so nigh. Please you, great

sir, Bohemia greets you from himself by me; Desires you to attach his son, who has His dignity and duty both cast off Fled from his father, from his hopes, and with A shepherd's daughter. Leon.

Where's Bohemia ? Speak. Lord. Here in your city; I now came from

him. I speak amazedly; and it becomes My marvel and my message. To your court Whiles he was hast’ning, in the chase, it seems, Of this fair couple, meets he on the way The father of this seeming lady, and Her brother, having both their country quitted With this young prince.


Camillo has betray'd me; Whose honour and whose honesty till now Endur'd all weathers. Lord.

Lay't so to his charge: He's with the King your father. Leon.

Who? Camillo ? Lord. Camillo, sir ; I spake with him ; who Has these poor men in question. Never saw I Wretches so quake. They kneel, they kiss the

earth, Forgwear themselves as often as they speak. 200 Bohemia stops his ears, and threatens them With divers deaths in death, Per.


my, poor father! The heaven sets spies upon us, will not have Our contract celebrated. Leon.

You are married ? Flo. We are not, sir, nor are we like to be. 205 The stars, I see, will kiss the valleys first; The odds for high and low 's alike. Leon.

My lord, Is this the daughter of a king ? Flo.

She is, When once she is my wife. Leon. That " once," I see by your good

father's speed, Will come on very slowly. I am sorry, Most sorry, you have broken from his liking Where you were tied in duty, and as sorry Your choice is not so rich in worth as beauty, That you might well enjoy her. Flo.

Dear, look up. Though Fortune, visible an enemy, Should chase us with my father, power no jot Hath she to change our loves. Beseech you, sir, Remember since you ow'd no more to time Than I do now. With thought of such affec

tions, Step forth mine advocate. At your request My father will grant precious things as trifles. Leon. Would he do so, I'd beg your precious

mistress, Which he counts but a trifle. Paul.

Sir, my liege, Your eye hath too much youth in 't. Not a

month Fore your queen died, she was more worth Than what you look on now. Leon,

I thought of her, Even in these looks I made. [To Florizel.] But

your petition Is yet unanswer'd. I will to your father. Your honour not o'erthrown by your desires, 230 I am friend to them and you ; upon which er

rand I now go toward him; therefore follow me And mark what way I make. Come, good my lord.

Ereunt. SCENE II. (Before Leontes' palace.] Enter AUTOLycus and a GENTLEMAN. Aut. Beseech you, sir, were you present at this relation ?

1. Gent. I was by at the opening of the far






such gazes





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del, 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 child.

Aut. I would most gladly know the issue of it.

1. Gent. I make a broken delivery of the business ; but the changes I perceived in the King and Camillo were very notes of admiration. They seem'd 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 look'd as they had heard (1 of a world ransom'd, 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 the importance were joy or sorrow; but in the extremity of the one, it must needs be.

Enter another GENTLEMAN. Here comes a gentleman that haply knows more. The news, Rogero ?

2. Gent. Nothing but bonfires. The oracle is fulfill'd; 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 a third GENTLEMAN. Here comes the Lady Paulina's steward : [28 he can deliver you more. How goes it now, sir? This news which is call'd true is so like an old tale, that the verity of it is in strong suspicion. Has the King found his heir ?

3. Gent. Most true, if ever truth were pregnant 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 niother, the affection of (39 nobleness which nature shows above her breeding, and many other evidences proclaim her with all certainty to be the King's daughter. Did you see the meeting of the two kings ?

2. Gent. No.

3. Gent. Then have you lost a sight which was to be seen, cannot be spoken of. There might you have beheld one joy crown another, so and in such manner that it seem'd sorrow wept to take leave of them, for their joy waded in tears. There was casting up of eyes, (50 holding up of hands, with countenances of such distraction that they were to be known by garment, not by favour. Our king, being ready to leap out of himself for joy of his found daughter, as if that joy were now become a (65 loss, cries, “ O, thy mother, thy mother!" then asks Bohemia forgiveness ; then embraces his son-in-law; then again worries he his daughter with clipping her; now he thanks the old shepherd, which stands by like a weatherbitten conduit of many kings' reigns. I [80 never heard of such another encounter, which lames report to follow it and undoes description to do it.


2. Gent. What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carried hence the child ?

3. Gent. Like an old tale still, which will have matter to rehearse, though credit be asleep and not an ear open. He was torn to pieces with a bear; this avouches the shepherd's son, who has not only his innocence, which seems much, to justify him, but a handkerchief and rings of his that Paulina knows.

1. Gent. What became of his bark and his followers ?

3. Gent. Wreck'd the same instant of their (a* master's death and in the view of the shepherd ; so that all the instruments which aided to expose the child were even then lost when it was found. But O, the noble combat that 'twixt joy and sorrow was fought in Paulina ! She had one ( eye declin'd for the loss of her husband, another elevated_that the oracle was fulfill'd. She lifted the Princess from the earth, and so locks her in embracing, as if she would pin her to her heart that she might no more be in danger of losing:

1. Gent. The dignity of this act was worth the audience of kings and princes; for by such was it acted.

3. Gent. One of the prettiest touches of all, and that which angl'd for mine eyes, caught ( the water though not the fish, was when, at the relation of the Queen's death, with the manner how she came to't bravely confess'd and lamented by the King, how attentiveness wounded his daughter; till, from one sign of dolour to another, she did with an “ Alas," I would as fain say, bleed tears, for I am sure my heart wept blood. Who was most marble there changed colour; some swooned, all sorrowed. If all the world could have seen 't, the woe had been universal.

1. Gent. Are they returned to the court ?

3. Gent. No. The Princess hearing of her mother's statue, which is in the keeping of Paulina, piece many years in doing and now newly perform'd by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano, who, had he him- (105 self eternity and could put breath into his work, would beguile Nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her ape. He so near to Hermione hath done Hermione that they say one would speak to her and stand in hope of answer. Thither with all greediness of affection are they gone, and there they intend to sup. 112

2. Gent. I thought she had some great matter there in hand; for she hath privately twice or thrice a day, ever since the death of Hermione, visited that removed house. Shall we thither and with our company piece the rejoicing ?

1. Gent. Who would be thence that has the benefit of access ? Every wink of an eye some new grace will be born. Our absence makes us unthrifty to our knowledge. Let's along.

(Exeunt (Gentlemen). Aut. Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me, would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old man and his son aboard the Prince, told hi I heard them talk of a far



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del and I know not what; but he at that (126 time, overfond of the shepherd's daughter, so he then took her to be, who began to be much sea-sick, and himself little better, extremity of weather continuing, this mystery remained undiscover'd. But 't is all one to me; for had I been the finder out of this secret, it would not have relish'd among my other discredits.

Enter SHEPHERD and Clown. Here come those I have done good to against my will, and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.

Shep. Come, boy ; I am past moe children, but thy sons and daughters will be all gentlemen born.

Clo. You are well met, sir. You deni'd to fight with me this other day, because I was no gentleman born. See you these clothes ? Say you see them not and think me still no gentleman born. You were best say these robes are not gentlemen born. Give me the lie, do, and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.

Aut. I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.

Clo. Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.

Shep. And so have I, boy.

Clo. So you have ; but I was a gentleman born before my father. For the King's son took me by the hand, and call'd me brother; and then the two kings call'd my father brother; and then the Prince my

brother and the Princess my sister call'd my father father; and so we wept, and there was the first gentleman-like tears that ever we shed.

Shep. We may live, son, to shed many more.

Clo. Ay; or else 't were hard luck, being in so preposterous estate as we are.

Aut. I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the faults I have committed to your worship, and to give me your good report to the Prince my master.

Shep. Prithee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are gentlemen.

Clo. Thou wilt amend thy life?
Aut. Ay, an it like your good worship.

Clo. Give me thy hand : I will swear to the Prince thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.

Shep. You may say it, but not swear it.

Clo. Not swear it, now I am a gentleman ? Let boors and franklins say it, I'll swear it.

Shep. How if it be false, son ?

Clo. If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear it in the behalf of his friend ; and I'll swear to the Prince thou art a tall fellow of thy hands and that thon wilt not be drunk ; but I know thou art no tall fellow of thy hands and that thou wilt be drunk ; but I'll swear it, and I would thou wouldst be a tall fellow of thy hands.

Aut. I will prove so, sir, to my power.
Clo. Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow.
If I do not wonder how thou dar'st venture to
be drunk, not being a tall fellow, trust me not.

Hark! the kings and the princes, our kindred, are going to see the Queen's picture. Come, follow us; we'll be thy good masters.

(Exeunt. SCENE III. (A chapel in Paulina's house.) Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, FLORIZEL, PER

Leon. O grave and good Paulina, the great

That I have had of thee !

What, sovereign sir, I did not well I meant well. All my services You have paid home; but that you have

vouchsaf'd, With your crown'd brother and these your con

tracted Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit, It is a surplus of your grace, which never My life may last to answer. Leon.

O Paulina, We honour you with trouble. But we came To see the statue of our queen. Your gallery 10 Have we pass'd through, not without much

content In many singularities; but we saw not That which my daughter came to look upon, The statue of her mother. Paul.

As she liv'd peerless, So her dead likeness, I do well believe, Excels whatever yet you look'd upon Or hand of man hath done ; therefore I keep it Lonely, apart. But here it is. Prepare To see the life as lively mock'd as ever Still sleep mock'd death. Behold, and say 't is well.

[Paulina draws a curtain, and dis

covers Hermione standing like a

statue.] I like your silence; it the more shows off Your wonder; but yet speak. First, you, my

liege; Comes it not something near ? Leon.

Her natural posture !
Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she 25
In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina,
Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
So aged as this seems.

O, not by much.
Paul, So much the more our carver's excel-

lence, Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes

her As she liv'd now. Leon.

As now she might have done, So much to my good comfort, as it is Now piercing to my soul, 0, thus she stood, Even with such life of majesty, warm life, As now it coldly stands, when first I woo'd

her! I am asham'd ; does not the stone rebuke me For being more stone than it ? O royal piece There's magic in thy majesty, which has My evils conjur'd to remembrance, and





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From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
Standing like stone with thee.

And give me leave,
And do not say 't is superstition, that
I kneel and then implore her blessing. Lady,
Dear queen, that ended when I but began,
Give me that hand of yours to kiss.

0, patience!
The statue is but newly fix'd, the colour 's
Not dry.
Cam. My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid

Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
So many summers dry. Scarce any joy
Did ever so long live; no sorrow
But kill'd itself much sooner.

Dear my brother,
Let him that was the cause of this have power
To take off so much grief from you as he
Will piece up in himself.

Indeed, my lord, If I had thought the sight of my poor image Would thus have wrought you, — for the stone

is mine I'd not have show'd it. Leon.

Do not draw the curtain. Paul. No longer shall you gaze on't, lest

your fancy May think anon it moves. Leon.

Let be, let be. Would I were dead, but that, methinks, al

ready What was he that did make it? See, my lord, Would you not deem it breath'd, and that

those veins Did verily bear blood ? Pol.

Masterly done! The very life seems warm upon her lip:

Leon. The fixure of her eye has motion in 't, As we are mock'd with art. Paul.

I'll draw the curtain. My lord 's almost so far transported that He'll think anon it lives. Leon.

O sweet Paulina, 70 Make me to think so twenty years together! No settled senses of the world can match The pleasure of that madness. Let it alone.

Paul. I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirr'd I could afflict you farther. Leon.

Do, Paulina; For this affliction has a taste as sweet As any cordial comfort. Still, methinks, There is an air comes from her. What fine

chisel Could ever yet cut breath? Let no man mock For I will kiss her. Paul.

Good my lord, forbear.
The ruddiness upon her lip is wet;
You 'll mar it if you kiss it, stain your own
With oily painting. Shall I draw the curtain ?

Leon. No, not these twenty years.

So long could I
Stand by, a looker on.

Either forbear, Quit presently the chapel, or resolve you

For more amazement. If you can behold it,
I'll make the statue move indeed, descend
And take you by the hand; but then you 'll

Which I protest against - I am assisted
By wicked powers.

What you can make her do,
I am content to look on ; what to speak,
I am content to hear; for 't is as easy
To make her speak as move.

It is requir'd You do awake your faith. Then all stand still, Or, those that think it is unlawful business I am about, let them depart. Leon.

Proceed; No foot shall stir. Paul. Music, awake her; strike!

(Music.] 'Tis time; descend; be stone more :

approach Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come, I'll fill your grave up. Stir, nay, come away, Bequeath to death your numbness ; for from

him Dear life redeems you. You perceive she stirs.

(Hermione comes down.] Start not; her actions shall be holy as You hear my spell is lawful. Do not shun her Until you see her die again, for then You kill her double. Nay, present your hand. When she was young you woo'd her ; now in

Is she become the suitor ?

O, she's warm !
If this be magic, let it be an art
Lawful as eating.

She embraces him.
Cam. She hangs about his neck,
If she pertain to life let her speak too.
Pol. Ay, and make 't manifest where she

has liv'd,
Or how stolen from the dead.

That she is living,
Were it but told you, should be hooted at
Like an old tale; but it appears she lives,
Though yet she speak not. Mark a little while.

Please you to interpose, fair madam ; kneel
And pray your mother's blessing. Turn, good

lady; Our Perdita is found. Her.

You gods, look down And from your sacred vials pour your graces Upon my daughter's head! Teli

me, mine
Where hast thon been preserv'd ? where liv'd ?

how found
Thy father's court ? for thou shalt hear that I,
Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserv'd
Myself to see the issue.

Paul. There's time enough for that;
Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
Your joys with like relation. Go together, ise
You precious winners all ; your exultation
Partake to every one. I, an old turtle,
Will wing me to some wither'd bough and





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