Page images

Her heart is but o'ercharg'd : she will recover:
I have too much believ'd mine own suspicion :
Beseech you, tenderly apply to her
Some remedies for life.

(Exeunt Paul, and Ladies, with Her,

Apollo, pardon
My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle! -
I'll reconcile me to Polixenes ;
New woo my queen; recall the good Camillo,
Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy :
For, being transported by my jealousies
To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose
Camillo for the minister, to poison
My friend Polixenes: which had been done,
But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
My swift command, though I with death and with
Reward did threaten and encourage him,
Not doing it and being done; he, most humane,
And fill'd with honor, to my kingly guest
Unclasp'd my practice; quit his fortunes here,
Which you knew great; and to the certain hazard
Of all incertainties himself commended,
No richer than his honor: - how he glisters
Thorough my rust ! and how his piety
Does my deeds make the blacker!

Re-enter PAULINA.

Woe the while ! O, cut my lace, lest my heart, cracking it, Break too!

First Lord. What fit is this, good lady?

Paul. What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me? What wheels ? racks ? fires ? what flaying? or what boiling In lead or oil ? what old or newer torture Must I receive, whose every word deserves To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny Together working with thy jealousies,Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle For girls of nine, - 0, think what they have done, And then run mad indeed,- stark mad! for all Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it. That thou betray’dst Polixenes, 'twas nothing,

That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant,
And damnable ingrateful; nor was't much,
Thou wouldst have poison'd good Camillo's honor,
To have him kill a king ; - poor trespasses,
More monstrous standing by : whereof I reckon
The casting forth to crows thy baby daughter,
To be or none, or little,- though a devil
Would have shed water out of fire ere done't ;
Nor is't directly laid to thee, the death
Of the young prince, whose honorable thoughts —
Thoughts high for one soʻtender — cleft the heart
That could conceive a gross and foolish sire
Blemish'd his gracious dam : this is not, no,
Laid to thy answer: but the last,- O lords,
When I have said, cry, “ Woe!” — the queen, the queen,
The sweet'st, dear'st creature's dead; and vengeance for't
Not dropp'd down yet.

First Lord. The higher powers forbid !

Paul. I say she's dead ; I'll swear't. If word nor oath
Prevail not, go and see: if you can bring
Tincture or luster in her lip, her eye,
Heat outwardly or breath within, I'll serve you
As I would do the gods.— But, O thou tyrant !
Do not repent these things; for they are heavier
Than all thy woes can stir : therefore betake thee
To nothing but despair. A thousand knees
Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting,
Upon a barren mountain, and still winter
In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
To look that way thou wert.

Go on, go on :
Thou canst not speak too much ; I have deserv'd
All tongues to talk their bitterest.
First Lord.

Say no more:
Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault
I'the boldness of your speech.

I'm sorry for't:
All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
I do repent. Alas, I've show'd too much
The rashness of a woman ! he is touch'd
To the noble heart.- What's gone, and what's past help,
Should be past grief : do not receive affliction

At my petition; I beseech you, rather
Let me be punish'd, that have minded you
Of what you should forget. Now, good my liege,
Sir, royal sir, forgive a foolish woman:
The love I bore your queen,- lo, fool again !
I'll speak of her no more, nor of your children;
I'll not remember you of my own lord,
Who is lost too: take you your patience to you,
And I'll say nothing.

Thou didst speak but well,
When most the truth; which I receive much better
Than to be pitied of thee. Prithee, bring me
To the dead bodies of my queen and son :
One grave shall be for both; upon them shall
The causes of their death appear, unto
Our shame perpetual. Once a day I'll visit
The chapel where they lie ; and tears shed there
Shall be my recreation : so long as nature
Will bear up with this exercise, so long
I daily vow to use it. Come, and lead me
Unto these sorrows.

(Exeunt. SCENE III. Bohemia. A desert country near the sea.

Enter ANTIGONUS with the Child, and a Mariner.

Ant. Thou’rt perfect, then, our ship hath touch'd upon The deserts of Bohemia ? Mar.

Ay, my lord; and fear We've landed in ill time: the skies look grimly, And threaten present blusters. In my conscience, The heavens with that we have in hand are angry, And frown upon 's.

Ant. Their sacred wills be done ! Go, get aboard ;
Look to thy bark : I'll not be long before
I call upon thee.

Mar. Make your best haste; and go not
Too far i' the land: 'tis like to be loud weather ;
Besides, this place is famous for the creatures
of prey that keep upon't.

Go thou away :
I'll follow instantly.

I'm glad at heart
To be so rid o' the business.



Come, poor babe :-I've heard,- but not believ'd, — the spirits o’the dead May walk again : if such thing be, thy mother Appear’d 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 wend, 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 ;

(Laying down a bundle, Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee, pretty, And still rest thine.-- The storm begins :-poor wretch

Thunder 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!-

[Noise of hunters, dogs, and bears within, Well may I get aboard ! – This is the chase : I am gone for ever.

[Exit, pursued by a bear. Enter an old Shepherd. Shep. I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest ; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting Hark you now ! - Would any but these boiled brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty hunt this weather? They have scared away two of my best sheep, which I fear the wolf will sooner find than the master: if any where I have them, 'tis by the seaside, browsing of ivy. Good luck, an't be thy will ! what have we here? [Seeing the Child.] Mercy on's, a barn ; a very pretty barn ! A boy or a child, I wonder ? A pretty one; a very pretty one: sure, some scape : though I am not bookish, yet I can read waiting-gentlewoman in the scape. This has been some stair-work, some trunk-work, some behind-door-work : they were warmer that got this than the poor thing is here. I'll take it up for pity: yet I'll tarry till my son come; he hallooed but even now.- Whoa, ho, hoa !

Clo. [within] Hilloa, loa ! Shep. What, art so near ? If thou'lt see a thing to talk on when thou art dead and rotten, come hither.

Enter Clown. What ailest thou, man?

Clo. I have seen two such sights, by sea and by land ! - but I am not to say it is a sea, for it is now the sky: betwixt the firmament and it you cannot thrust a bodkin's point,

Shep. Why, boy, how is it?

Clo. I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes up the shore !- but that's not to the point. O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls ! sometimes to see, em, and not to see 'em; now the ship boring the moon with her main-mast, and anon swallowed with yest and froth, as you'd thrust a cork into a hogshead,

« PreviousContinue »