Page images
PDF
EPUB

Shep. And so have I, boy.

Clo. So you have;—but I was a gentleman born before my father; for the king's son took me by the hand, and called me, brother; and then the two kings called my father, brother; and then the prince, my brother, and the princess, my sister, called my father, father; and so we wept; and there was the first gentlemanlike tears that ever we shed.

Shep. We may live, son, to shed many more.

Clo. Ay; or else 'twere hard luck, being in so preposterous estate as we are.

Aut. I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the faults I have committed to your worship, and to give me your good report to the prince my master.

Shep. °Pr’ythee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are gentlemen.

Clo. Thou wilt amend thy life?
Aut. Ay, an it like your good worship.

Clo. Give me thy hand. I will swear to the prince, thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.

Shep. You may say it, but not swear it.

Clo. Not swear it, now I am a gentleman ? Let boors and franklins ? say it, I'll swear it.

Shep. How if it be false, son ?

Clo. If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear it in the behalf of his friend. And I'll swear to the prince, thou art a tall a fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know thou art no tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt be drunk ; but I'll swear it; and I would thou wouldst be a tall fellow of thy hands.

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

1 i. e. yeomen. 2 i. e. a bold, courageous fellow.

the queen's picture. Come, follow us; we'll be thy good masters."

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

The same. A Room

House.

in Paulina's

Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, Florizal, 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, It is a surplus of your grace, which never My life may last to answer. Leon.

0, Paulina, 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,2 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 !

Paul.

1 Good masters. It was a common petitionary phrase to ask a superior to be good lord, or good master to the supplicant.

2 The old copy reads lovely.

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.
Pol.

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.
Leon.

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.
Paul.

O patience ;
The statue is but newly fixed; the color's
Not dry.

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,

Pol.

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. Paul.

Indeed, my lord, If I had thought the sight of my poor image

Leon.

Did verily

warm up

Would thus have wrought you, (for the stone is mine,)
I'd not have showed it.?
Leon.

Do not draw the curtain. Paul. No longer shall you gaze on't ; lest your

fancy May think anon it moves.

Let be, let be. 'Would I were dead, but that, methinks, alreadyWhat 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.3°
Paul.

I'll draw the curtain ;
My lord's almost so far transported, that
He'll think anon it lives.
Leon. ..

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. Leon.

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 yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,
For I will kiss her.
Paul.

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 ?

1 Worked, agitated.

2 The folio reads, I'd not have showed it.” In the late edition of Malone's Shakspeare it stands, “Ill not have showed it.” But surely this is erroneous. 3 As for as if. With has the force of by.

VOL. III.

[ocr errors]

Leon. No, not these twenty years.
Per.

So long could I
Stand by, a looker on.
Paul.

Either forbear,
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.
Leon.

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.
Leon.

Proceed;
No foot shall stir.
Paul.
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. Leon.

O, she's warm! [Embracing her.
If this be magic, let it be an art
Lawful as eating.
Pol.

She embraces him.
Cam. She hangs about his neck;
If she pertain to life, let her speak too.

« PreviousContinue »