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Aut. I will trust you.

Walk before toward the sea-side; go on the right hand; I will but look upon the hedge, and follow you.

Clo. We are blessed in this man, as I may say, even blessed.

Shep. Let's before, as he bids us; he was provided to do us good. [Exeunt Shepherd and Clown.

Aut. If I had a mind to be honest, I see, fortune would not suffer me; she drops booties in 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 I will present them, there may be matter in it.



SCENE I. Sicilia. A Room in the Palace of Leontes. Enter LEONTES, CLEOMENES, DION, PAULINA,

and others. Cleo. Sir, you have done enough, and have per

form'd A saintlike sorrow: no fault could


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.

The wrong

I think so.


Whilst I remember
Her and her virtues, I cannot forget
My blemishes in them; and so still think of

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.

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.

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 seldom. Cleo.

Not at all, good lady:
You might have spoken a thousand things that would
Have done the time more benefit, and grac'd
Your kindness better.

You are one of those,
Would have him wed again.

If you would not so,
You pity not the state, nor the remembrance
Of his most sovereign dame; 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 1 ?
What holier, than,--for royalty's repair,
For present comfort and for future good,
1 i.e. at rest, dead. So in Antony and Cleopatra :-

Mess. First, madam, he is well.
Cleop. Why, there's more gold; but, sirrah, mark,

We use to say the dead are well.'

To bless the bed of majesty again
With a sweet fellow to't?

There is none worthy,
Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
Will have fulfilld 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 as 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 LEONTES. The crown will find an heir: Great Alexander Left his to the worthiest; so his successor Was like to be the best. Leon.

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. Leon.

Thou speak’st truth. No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse, And better us’d, would make her sainted spirit Again possess


corps; and, on this stage (Where we offenders now appear), soul-vex'd, Begin, And why to me?

2 The old copy reads, “And begin, why to me.' The transposition of and was made by Steevens.


Had she such power, She had just cause. Leon.

She had; and would incense 3 me To murder her I married. Paul.

I should so: Were I the ghost that walk’d, I'd bid


mark Her eye; and tell


for what dull part in't You chose her: then I'd shriek, that even your ears Should rift * to hear me; and the words that follow'd Should be, Remember mine. Leon.

Stars, stars, And all


else dead coals !—fear thou no wife, I'll have no wife, Paulina. Paul.


you swear Never to marry, but by my free leave?

Leon. Never, Paulina; so be bless'd my spirit ! Paul. Then, good my lords, bear witness to his

oath. Cleo. You tempt him over-much. Paul.

Unless another, As like Hermione as is her picture, Affront" his eye.

3 Incense, to instigate or stimulate, was the ancient sense of this word;

it is rendered in the Latin dictionaries by dare stimulo. So in King Richard III.

* Think you, my lord, this little prating York

Was not incensed by his subtle mother ?' 4 i.e. split.

5 i. e, meet his eye, or encounter it. Affrontare, Ital. Shakspeare uses this word with the same meaning again in Hamlet, Act iii. Sc. 1:

“That he, as 'twere by accident, may here

Affront Ophelia. And in Cymbeline: Your preparation can affront no less than what you hear of. The word is used in the same sense by Ben Jonson, and even by Dryden. Lodge, in the Preface to his Translation of Seneca, says, “No soldier is counted valiant that affronteth not his enemie.'




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 choose you a queen : She shall not be so young As was your former; but she shall be such, As, walk'd your first queen's ghost, it should take joy To see her in your arms. Leon.

My true Paulina, We shall not marry, till thou bidd'st us. Paul.

That Shall be, when your first queen's again in breath; Never till then.

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. Leon.

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 forc'd
By need, and accident. What train ?

And those but mean.

His princess, say you, with him ?
Gent. Ay; the most peerless piece of earth, I think,
That e'er the sun shone bright on.

O Hermione, As

every present time doth boast itself Above a better, gone; so must thy grave Give way

to what's seen now. Sir, you yourself

But few,


6 i.e. thy beauties which are buried in the grave.

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