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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 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.
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,
You have paid home: but that you have vouchsafed,
With your crowned brother, and these your contracted
Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
Is a surplus of your grace, which never
My life may last to answer.
We honor you with trouble. But we came
To see the statue of our queen : your gallery
Have we passed 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.
As she lived peerless,
So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
Excels whatever yet you looked upon,
Or hand of man hath done; therefore I keep it
Lonely, apart. But here it is; prepare
To see the life as lively mocked, as ever
Still sleep mocked death. Behold; and say, tis well.
[Paul. undraws a curtain and discovers 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, 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.
VOL. II. – 10
0, not by much.
Paul. So much the more our carver's excellence;
Which lets go by some sixteen years, and makes her
As she lived now.
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 wooed 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
My evils conjured to remembrance; and
From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
Standing like stone with thee.
Per. And give me leave;
And do not say, 'tis 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.
The statue is but newly fixed; the color's
Cam. My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on;
Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
So many summers, dry; scarce any joy
Did ever so long live; no sorrow,
But killed 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 showed it.
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, already What was he that did make it ?- See, my lord, Would you not deem, it breathed ? and that those veins Did verily bear blood ? Pol.
Masterly done. The very life seems warm upon her lip.
Leon. The fixture of her eye has motion in't,
As we are mocked with art.
I'll draw the curtain :
My lord's almost so far transported, that
He'll think anon it lives.
O, sweet Paulina,
Make me to think so twenty years together;
No settled senses of the world can match
The pleasure of that madness. Let't alone.
Paul. I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirred you; but
I could afflict you further.
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 get cut breath ? Let no man mock me,
For I will kiss her.
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 1
Stand by, a looker on.
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 think
(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 'tis as easy
To make her speak, as move.
Paul. It is required,
You do awake your faith. Then, all stand still,
Or those that think it is unlawful business
I am about, let them depart.
No foot shall stir.
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 redeems 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 wooed her; now, in age,
Is she become the suitor.
O, she's warm! [Embracing her.
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 mak’t manifest where she has lived,
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.
[Presenting PER., who kneels to HER. Her.
You gods, look down, And from your sacred vials pour your graces Upon my daughter's head!—Tell me, mine own, Where hast thou been preserved ? where lived ? how found ? Thy father's court ? For thou shalt hear, that IKnowing by Paulina that the oracle Gave hope, thou wast in being - have preserved 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, You precious winners all; your exultation Partake to every one. I, an old turtle, Will wing me to some withered bough; and there My mate, that's never to be found again, Lament till I am lost. Leon.
O peace, Paulina ; Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent, As I by thine, a wife. This is a match, And made between's by vows. Thou hast found mine; But how, is to be questioned; for I saw her,
As I thought, dead; and have in vain said many
A prayer upon her grave. I'll not seek far
(For him, I partly know his mind) to find thee
An honorable husband.- Come, Camillo,
And take her by the hand; whose worth, and honesty,
Is richly noted; and here justified
By us, a pair of kings.-Let's from this place.
What?-Look upon, my brother.-—Both your pardons,
That e'er I put between your holy looks
My ill suspicion.—This your son-in-law,
And son unto the king, (whom Heavens directing,)
Is troth-plight to your daughter.— Good Paulina,
Lead us from hence: where we may leisurely
Each one demand, and answer to his part
Performed in this wide gap of time, since first
We were dissevered. Hastily lead away. [Exeunt.