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Oh, that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter's tryal ; that he did but see
The flatness of my misery ; yet with eyes
Of Pity, not Revenge !
Offi. You here shall fwear upon the Sword of Justice,
That you, Cleomines and Dion, have
Been both at Delphos, and from thence have brought
This seal'd up Oracle, by the hand deliver'd
Of great Apollo's Priest ; and that since then
You have not dar'd to break the holy Seal,.
Nor read the secrets in't.
Cleo. Dion. All this we swear.
Leo. Break up the Seals, and read.
. Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true Subject, Leontes, a jealous Tyrant, his innocent babe truly begotten; and the King Jhall live without an beir, if That, which is loft, be not found.
Lords. Now blessed be the great Apollo !
Her. Praised !
Leo. Hast thou read truth?
Offi. Ay, my lord, even so as it is here fet down.
Leo. There is no truth at all i'th' Oracle ;
The Sesion shall proceed ; this is meer fallhood.
Ser. My lord the King, the King,
Leo. What is the bufiness?
Ser. O Sir, I fall be hated to report it.
The Prince your son, with meer conceitand fearr
Of the Queen's Speed, is gone.
Leo. How gone?
Ser. Is dead.
Leo. Apollo's angry, and the heav'ns themfelves
Do strike at my injustice. —How now, there?
[Her. faints. Pau. This news is mortal to the Queen, look down, And see what death is doing.
Leo. Take her hence; Her heart is but o'er-charg’d; she will recover. [Exeunt Paulina and ladies with Hermione.
I have too much believ'd mine own suspicion :
'Beseech you tenderly apply to her
Some remedies for life. Apolla, pardon
My great Prophaneness 'gainit thine Oracle!
I'll reconcile me to Polixenes,
New woo my Queen, recal the good Camillo ;
(Whom I proclaim a man of Truth, of Mercy)
For being transported by my jealoufies
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 ; tho' I'with death, and with
Reward, did threaten, and eneourage him,
Not doing it, and being done ; he (most humane,
And fill'd with Honour) 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 honour : how he glifters
dark Ruft! and how his Piety Does my deeds make the blacker !
Pau. Woe the while.!
O, cut my lace, left my heart, cracking it,
Lord. What fit is this, good lady?
Pau. What studied torments, Tyrant, haft for me? What wheels ? racks ? fires? what flaying? boiling ?
In leads, or oils ? what old, or newer, torture
Must I receive? whose every word deferves
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 ! O, 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'dft Polixenes, 'twas nothing ; (8)
That did but shew thee of a Soul inconstant,
And damnable ingrateful: nor was't much,
Thou would't have poison'd good Camillo's honour,
To have him kill a King: poor trespasses,
More monftrous standing by ;. whereof I reckon
The casting forth to crows thy baby-daughter,
To be, or none, or little ;, tho' 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 honourable thoughts,
(Thoughts high for one so tender) 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 sweetelt, deareft, creature's dead; and vengeance
Not dropt down yet.
Lord. The higher Powers forbid !
Pau. I say, the’s dead, I'll swear't: if word, nor oath, Prevail not, go and see: if you can bring. Tincture or lustre 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 ftir: therefore betake thee To nothing but Despair. A thousand, knees, Ten thousand years together, naked, fafting, Upon a barren mountain, and still winter. . In fterm perpetual, could not move the Gods (8) That thou betray'df Polixenes, 'twas Norbing i
Tbat did but pew thee, of a Fool, inconftant,
And damnable ingrateful.] I haye ventur'd at a nights Alteration here, against the Authority of all the Copies. It is certainly, too gross and blunt in Paulina, tho' She might im. peach the King of Fooleries, in fome of his paft Actions and Conduct, to call him downright a Fool. And it is much more pardonable in her to arraign his Morals, and the Qualities of bis Mind, than rudely to call him' Idiot to his Face.,
To look that
Leo. Go on, go on :
Thou canst not speak too much ; I have deserv'd
All tongues to talk their bitterest.
Lord. Say no more ;
Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault
I'th' boldness of your speech.
Pau. I am sorry for’t.
All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
I do repent : alas, I've shew'd too much.
The rashness of a woman; he is touch'd
To th' 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
of my own lord,
Who is loft too. Take you your patience to you,.
And I'll say nothing.
Leo. Thou didit speak but well,
When most the truth; which I receive much better
Than to be pitied of thee. Pr'ythee, 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
One shame perpetual ; once a day I'll visit
The Chapel where they lye, 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.
To these forrows.
SCENE changes to Bohemia. A desart Country;
the Sea at a little distance. Enter Antigonus with a Child, and a Mariner. Ant. HOU art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd
upon The desarts 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 heav'ns with that we have in hand are angry,
And frown upon's.
Ant. Their sacred wills be done ! get thee 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'th' land ; 'tis-like to be loud weather.
Besides, this place is famous for the creatures.
Of prey, that keep upon't.
Ant.. Go thou away.
I'll follow instantly.
Mar. I'm glad at heart To be so rid o'th' business.
[Exit. Ant. Come, poor babe ; I have heard, but not believ'd, the spirits of the dead May walk again; if such thing be, thy mother Appear'd to me last night ; for ne'er was dream So like a waking. To me comes a creature, Sometimes her head on one side, fome another, I never faw. a vessel of like sorrow So fillid, and so becoming ; in pure white robes, Like very fanctity, 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,