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3 Gent. No: the princess hearing of her mother's statue, which is in the keeping of Paulina,-a piece many years in doing, and now newly perform’d by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano ; who, had he himself 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 and affection, are they gone; and there they intend to sup.
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:
(Ereunt 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 him, I heard them talk of a fardel, and I know not what : but he at that time, over-fond 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 remain'd undiscover'd. But 'tis all one to me : for had I been the finder-out of this secret, it would not have relish'd amoug my other discredits.
Enter SHEPHERD and Clown. Here comes those I have done good to against my will, and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.
Shep. Come, boy ; I am past more children : but thy sons and daughters will be all gentlemen born.
Clown. You are well met, Sir : You denied 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.
Clown. Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.
Shep. And so have I, boy.
Clown. 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.
Clown. Ay; or else 'twere 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. 'Pr’ythee son, do ; for we must be gentle, now we are gentlemen.
Clown. Thou wilt amend thy life?
Clown. 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.
Clown. 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 ?
Clown. 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 thou 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.
Clown. Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow : If I do not wonder how thou darest 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.-The same.- A Room in PAULINA's
House. Enter LEONTES, POLIxenes, FLORIZEL, Perdita,
CAMILLO, PAULINA, Lords and Attendants. Leon. O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort That I have had of thee!
Paul. What, sovereign Sir,
I did not well, I meant well : all my services,
Leon. O Paulina,
Puul. As she lived 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 nuock'd, as ever Still sleep mock'd death : behold ; and say, 'tis well.
[Paulina undruws a Curtain, and
discovers a Statue.
Leon. Her natural posture !
Pol. 0, not by much.
Paul. So much the more our carver's excellence; Which let's go by some sixteen years, and makes her As she lived now.
Leon. As now she might have done, ! So much to my good comfort, as it is Now piercing to my soul. O, thus she stood, Even with such life of majesty, (warm life, As now it coldly stands,) when first I woo'd her! I am ashamed : does not the stone rebuke me, For being more stone than it?-0, royal piece, There's magic in thy majesty ; which has
evils conjured to remembrance: and From thy admiring daughter took the spirits, Standing like stone with thee!
Per. And give me leave ;
I kneel, and then implore her blessing.–Lady,
Paul. O, patience ;
Cam. My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on;
Pol. Dear my brother,
Paul. Indeed, my lord,
(mine,) Leon. Do not draw the curtain.
Paul. No longer shall you gaze on't; lest your May think anon, it moves.
(fancy Leon. Let be, let be. Would I were dead, but that, methinks, already What was he, that did make it?-See, my lord, Would you not deem; it breathed? And that those Did verily bear blood ?
(veins Pol. Masterly done : The very life seems warm upon her lip.
Leon. The fixure of her eye has motion in't,
Paul. I'll draw the curtain ;
Leon. O sweet Paulina,
Paul. I am sorry, Sir, I have thus far stirr'd you : I could afflict you further.
Paul. Good my lord, forbear :
Leon. No, not these twenty years.
Per. So long could I Stand by, a looker on.
Paul. Either forbear,
Leon. What you can make her do,
Paul. It is required,
Leon. Proceed ; No foot shall stir.
Paul. Music; awake her : strike. [Music. 'Tis time ; descend ; be stone no 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 redeem you. You perceive, she stirs :
[Hermione comes down from the Pedestal. 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 age, Is she become the suitor. Leon. 0, she's warm !
[Embracing her. If this be magic, let it be an art Lawful as eating.
Pol. She embraces him.
Cam. She hangs about his neck;
Pol. Ay, and make't manifest where she has lived Or, how stolen from the dead?
Paul. 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.
[Presenting Perdita, who kneels to Hermione.