« PreviousContinue »
Clo. We are bless'd in this man, as I may say, even bless'd.
Sbep. Let's before, as he bids us : he was provided to do us good.
[Exeunt Shep. and Clo. Aut. If I had a mind to be honest, I see, fortune would not suffer me ; she drops booties in my mouth. I am courted now with a double occasion; gold, and a means to do the prince my master good; which, who knows how that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him : if he think it fit to shore them again, and that the complaint they have to the king concerns him nothing, let him call me rogue, for being so far officious; for I am proof against that title, and what shame else belongs to’t: To him will I present them, there may be matter in it.
ACT V. SCENE I.
. . Sicilia.
Enter Leontes, Cleomenes, Dion, Pauline, and Servants.
Cle. Sir, you have done enough, and have perform'd
A saint-like sorrow : no fault could you make,
Which you have not redeem'd; indeed, paid down
More penitence, than done trespass: At the last,
Do, as the heavens have done ; forget your evil;
With them, forgive yourself.
Leo. Whilft I remember
Her, and her virtues, I cannot forget
My blemishes in them; and so still think of
The wrong I did myself: which was so much,
That heirless it hath made my kingdom ; and
Destroy'd the sweet'st companion, that e’er man
Bred his hopes out of.
Paul. True, too true, my lord:
If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
Or, from the all that are, took something good,
To make a perfect woman; she, you kill'd,
Would be unparallel'd.
Leo. I think so. 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 grac'd
Your kindness better.
Paul. You are one of those,
Would have him wed again.
Dio. 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" is well?
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
' Incertain lookers on.]Innocent persons involved in doubts and contests about the rightful heir to the crown. m is well?]-rests in peace-former queen ? This will.
for royalty's repair, 1-to repair the breach in the succession. VOL. II.
Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes:
For has not the divine Apollo said,
Is't not the tenour of his oracle,
That king Leontes shall not have an heir,
'Till his lost child be found ? which, that it shall,
Is all oas monstrous to our human reason,
As my Antigonus to break his grave,
And come again to me; who, on my life,
Did perish with the infant. 'Tis your counsel,
My lord should to the heavens be contrary,
Oppose against their wills.-Care not for issue ; [To the king,
The crown will find an heir: Great Alexander
Left his to the worthieft; fo his fucceffor
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 counsel! 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 sainted fpirit
Again possess her corps; and, on this stage,
(P Were we offenders now) appear soul-vext,
And begin, 9 why? to me.
Paul. Had she such power,
She had just cause.
o as monstrous to our human reason, ]—as improbable.
p'(Were we offenders now)]-Were we to be guilty of fo gross an offence.-(Where we offend her now.) I why? to me.] - to call me to account.
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 mark
Her eye; and tell me, for what dull part in't
You chose her : chen I'd shriek, that even your ears
Should '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.
Paul. Will you swear
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 oath, Cle. You tempt him over-much. *Paul. Unless another, As like Hermione as is her picture, • Affront his eye.
Cle. "Good madam,
Paul. I have done :
Yet, if my lord will marry,-if you will, sir;
No remedy, but you will; give me the office
To chuse you a queen : The shall not be so young
As was your former, but she shall be such,
As, walk’d your first queen's ghoft, it should take joy
To see her in your arms.
Leo. My true Paulina,
We shall not marry, 'till thou bid'it us.
Shall be, when your first queen’s again in breath ;
Never till then.
rift]-Split, cleave asunder.
Affront]-meet i Good madam, I have done.
U u 2
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, tell us,
'Tis not a visitation fram'd, but forc'd
By need, and accident, What train ?
Gent. But few,
And those but mean.
Leo. His princess, say you, with him ?
Gent. Ay; the most peerless piece of earth, I think, That e'er the sun shone bright on..
Paul. Oh Hermione,
As every present time doth boast itself
Above a better, gone; so must 'thy grave
Give way to what's feen now. Sir, you yourself
Have said, and "writ so; but your writing now
Is colder than that theme: She had not been,
Nor was not to be equalld,—thus your verse
Flow'd with her beauty once ; 'tis shrewdly ebb’d,
To say, you have seen a better,
Gent. Pardon, madam :
The one I have almost forgot ; (your pardon)
The other, when she has obtain'd your eye,
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.
! thy grave)-the beauties therein contained.
W writ lo;]—the following sentence; though your zeal on that subject is now somewhat abated.