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Aut. How blessed are we, that are not simple men! Yet nature might have made me as these are ; Therefore I'll not disdain.

Clo. This cannot but be a great courtier.

Shep. His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomely.

Clo. He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical ; a great man, I'll warrant; I know, by the picking on's teeth.

Aut. The fardel there? what's i’ the fardel ? Wherefore that box ?

Shep. Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel, and box, which none must know but the king; and which he shall know within this hour, if I may come to the speech of him.

Aut. Age, thou hast lost thy labor.
Shep. Why, sir ?

Aut. The king is not at the palace; he is gone aboard a new ship to purge melancholy, and air himself. For, if thou be'st capable of things serious, thou must know, the king is full of grief.

Shep. So 'tis said, sir ; about his son, that should have married a shepherd's daughter.

Aut. If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly; the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.

Clo. Think you so, sir ?

Aut. Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy, and vengeance bitter; but those that are germanel to him, though removed fifty times, shall all come under the hangman ; which, though it be great pity, yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue, a ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into grace! Some say he shall be stoned; but that death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne into a sheep-cote! All deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.

Clo. Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an't like you, sir ?

i Germane, related.

Aut. He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then, ’nointed over with honey, set on the head of a wasp's nest; then stand, till he be three quarters and a dram dead; then recovered again with aquavitæ, or some other hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and in the hottest day prognostication proclaims,' shall he be set against a brick wall, the sun looking with a southward eye upon him ; where he is to behold him, with flies blown to death. But what talk we of these traitorly rascals, whose miseries are to be smiled at, their offences being so capital ? Tell me (for you seem to be honest, plain men) what you have to the king; being something gently considered, I'll bring you where he is aboard, tender your persons to his presence, whisper him in your behalfs; and, if it be in man, besides the king, to effect your suits, here is man shall do it.

Clo. He seems to be of great authority. Close with him, give him gold ; and though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold ; show the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado. Remember! stoned, and flayed alive.

Shep. An't please you, sir, to undertake the business for us, here is that gold I have. I'll make it as much more; and leave this young man in pawn, till I bring it you.

Aut. After I have done what I promised ?
Shep. Ay, sir.

Aut. Well, give me the moiety.--Are you a party in this business?

Clo. In some sort, sir; but though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.

Aut. O, that's the case of the shepherd's son,Hang him, he'll be made an example.

Clo. Comfort, good comfort. We must to the king, and show our strange sights; he must know, 'tis none of your daughter nor my sister ; we are gone else. Sir, I will give you as much as this old man does, when the business is performed; and remain, as he says, your pawn, till it be brought you.

1 The hottest day foretold in the almanac.

Aut. I will trust you. Walk before toward the seaside ; 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 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.

[Exit.

ACT V.

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

formed
A saintlike sorrow; no fault could you make,
Which you have not redeemed ; indeed, paid down
More penitence, than done trespass. At the last,

VOL. III. 12

Do, as the Heavens have done ; forget your evil:
With them, forgive yourself.
Leon.

Whilst 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
Destroyed 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 killed,
Would be unparalleled.
Leon.

I think so. Killed !
She I killed! 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 graced
Your kindness better.
Paul.

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

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, -
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

1 i. e. at rest, dead.

Will have fulfilled their secret purposes ;
For has not the divine Apollo said,
Is't not the tenor 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 honor,—0, that ever I
Had squared me to thy counsel !—Then, even now,
I might have looked upon my queen's full eyes;
Have taken treasure from her lips,-

Paul.
More rich for what they yielded.
Leon.

Thou speak'st truth.
No more such wives; therefore no wife. One worse,
And better used, would make her sainted spirit
Again possess her corps; and on this stage,
(Where we offenders now appear,) soul-vexed,
Begin, And why to me? 1
Paul.

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

She had ; and would incenseme
To murder her I married.
Paul.

I should so.
Were I the ghost that walked, I'd bid you mark
Her eye; and tell me, for what dull part in't

oked upon my lips,

and left them

1 The old copy reads, “ And begin, Why to me?” The transposition of and was made by Steevens.

2 Incense, to instigate or stimulate, was the ancient sense of this word: it is rendered in the Latin dictionaries by dare stimulo.

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