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Leo. I think so. Kill'd ?
Kill'd' she I kill'd ? I did so, but thou strik'st me
Sorely, to say I did; it is as bitter
Upon thy tongue, as in my thought. Now, good now,
Say so but feldom.
Cle. Not at all, good Lady;
You might have spoke a thousand things that would
Have done the time more benefit, and grace'd
Your kindness better.
Paul. You are one of those
Would have him wed again.
Dion. If you would not so,
You pity not the state, nor the remembrance
Of his most sovereign name; consider little,
What dangers by his Highness' fail of issue
May drop upon his kingdom, and devour
Incertain lookers on. What were more holy,
Than to rejoice the former Queen? This will.
What holier, than for royalty's repair,
For present comfort, and for future good,
To bless the bed of Majesty again
With a sweet fellow to't ?
Paul. There is none worthy,
Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes :
For has not the divine Apollo said,
Is't not the tenor of his oracle,
That King Leontes shall not have an heir,
Till his lolt child be found ? which, that it shall,
Is all as monstrous to our human reason,
As my Antigonous to break his grave,
And come again to me; who,
on my life, Did perish with the infant. 'Tis
counsel My Lord should to the heav'ns be contrary, Oppose against their wills.-Care not for issue ;
[To the King
The crown will find an heir. Great Alexander
Left his to th' worthiest; fo his successor
Was like to be the best.
Leo. Good Paulina,
Who hast the memory of Hermione,
I know, in honour; 0, that ever I
Had squar'd me to thy counfel! then, even now
I might have look'd upon my Queen's full eyes,
Have taken treasure from her lips !
Paul. And left them
More rich, for what they yielded.
Leo. Thou speak'st truth:
No more such wives, therefore no wife ; one worse,
And better us’d, would make her fainted spirit
Again possess her corpse; and on this stage
(Where we offend her now) appear foul-vex'd,
And begin, Why to me?-
Paul. Had she such power, She had just cause.
Leo. 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
eye, and tell me, for what dull part in't
You chose her; then I'd shriek, that even your ears
Shou'd rift to hear me, and the words that follow'd
Should be, Remember mine.
Leo. Stars, stars,
And all eyes else, dead coals: fear thou no wife.
I'll have no wife, Paulina.
Never to marry, but by my free leave ?
Leo. Never, Paulina; so be bless’d my spirit !
Paul. Then, good my Lords, bear witness to his
Cleo. You tempt him over-much.
Paul. Unless another,
As like Hermione as is her picture,
Affront his eye.
Cleo. Good Madam, pray, have done.
Paul. Yet, if my Lord will marry; if you will, Sir;
No remedy, but you will; give me the office
To chuse you a Queen ; she ihall not be to young
As was your former ; but the shall be fuch
As, walk'd your first Queen's gholt, it should take joy
To see her in your arms.
Leo. My true Paulina,
We lhall not marry till thou bid'It us.
Shall be when your first Queen's again in breath:
Never till then.
SCENE II. Enter a Gentleman.
Gent. One that gives out himself Prince Florizel,
Son of Polixenes, with his Princess (she
The fairest I have yet beheld), desires access
To your high presence.
Leo. 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 force'd
By need and accident. What train ?
Gent. But few,
And those but mean.
Leo. His Princess, fay you, with him?
Gent. Yes, the most peerless piece of carth, I think,
That e'er the fun shone bright on.
Paul. Oh Hermione,
As every present time doth boast itself
Above a better gone; fo mult thy grave
Give way to what's seen now. Sir, you yourself
Have said, and writ so: but your writing now
Is colder than that theme; he had not been,
Nor was she to be equalld; thus your verse
Flow'd with her beauty once; 'tis threwdly e's b'd,
To say you've seen a better.
Gent. Pardon, Madam ;
The one I have almost forgot, (your pardon);
The other when she has obtain's your eye,
Will have your tongue too. This is a creature,
Would the begin a lect, might quench the zeal
Of all professors else, make profelytes
Cf who the but bid follow.
Paul. How? not women ?
Gent. Women will love her, that she is a woman
More worth than any man; men, that she is
The rareit of all women.
Leo. Go, Clomenes;
Yourself (aflisted with your honour'd friends)
Grave for epitaph.
Bring them to our embracement. Still 'tis strange He thus should steal upon us.
[Exit Cleo. 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.
Leo. Pr'ythee, no more ; cease; thou know'ft, Hedies to me again, when talk'd of : sure, When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches Will bring me to contider that which may Unfurnish me of reaion. They are come.
S CE N E III.
Enter Florizel, Perdita, Cleomenes, and others.
Your mother was most true to wedlock, Prince,
For she did print your royal father oif
Conceiving you. Were I but twenty-one,
Your father's image is so hit in you,
His very air, that I Mould call you brother,
As I did him, and speak of something wildly
By us perform'd before. Moll dearly welcoine,
As you fair Princess, goddess !---Oh! alas !
I lost a couple, that 'twixt heav'n and earth
Might thus have stood begetting wonder, as
You gracious couple do ; and then I loft
(All mine own folly!) the society,
Amity too of your brave father, whom
(Tho' bearing mifery) I defire my life
Once more to look on.
Flo. Sir, by his command
Have I here touch'd Sicilia, and from him
Give you all greetings that a King (as friend)
Can fend his brother; and but infirmity,
Which waits upon worn times, hath something feiz'd
His wish'd ability, he had himself
The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his
Measur'd, to look upon you; whom he loves,
He bade me fay fo, more than all the sceptres,
And those that bear them living.
Leo. Oh, my brother! Good gentleman, the wrongs I have done thee ftir
Afresh within me; and these thy offices,
So rarely kind, are as interpreters
Of my behind-hand flackness. Welcome hither,
As is th’spring to th' earth. And hath he too
Expos'd this paragon to th' fearful usage
(At leaft, ungentle) of the dreadful Neptune,
To greet a man not worth her pains, much less
Thi adventure of her person ?
Flo. Good my Lord,
She came from Libya.
Leo. Where the warlike Smalas,
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 prosp'rous south-wind friendly) we have cross’d,
To execute the charge my father gave me,
For visiting your Highness; my best train
I have from your Sicilian fhores disiniss’d,
Who for Bithynia bend, to signify
Not only my success in Libya, Sir,
But my arrival, and my wife's, in safety
Here where we are.
Leo. The blessed gods
Purge all infection from our air, whilst
Do climate here! You have a holy father,
A graceful gentleman, against whose person,
So facred as it is, I have done sin;
For which the heavens, taking angry note,
Have left me issueless; and your father's bless’d,
As he from heaven merits it, with you,
Worthy his goodness. What might I have been,
Might í a fon and daughter now have look'd on,
Such goodly things as you !
SCENE IV. Enter a Lord.
Lord. Most Noble Sir,
That which I shall report will bear no credit,
Were not the proof fo high. Please you, great Sir,
Bithynia greets you from himself, by me;
Defires you to attach his son, who has
His dignity and duty both cast off,