Page images
PDF
EPUB

Leo. I think so. Kill'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 feldom.

Cle. Not at all, good Lady ; You might have spoke a thousand things that would Have done the time more benefit, and grac'd 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 name; 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? This will,
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
Will have fulfill'd their secret purpofes:
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 heav'ns be contrary,
Oppose against their wills. -Care not for issue ;

[To the King.
The crown will find an heir. Great Alexander
Left his to th’worthicit ; so his successor
Was like to be the best.

Leo, Good Paulina,
Who has the memory of Hermione,
I know, in honour; O, 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.

Leo. Thou speak'st truth :
No more such wives, therefore no wife; one worse,
And better us’d, would make her fainted spirit
Again possess her corpse; and on this stage
(Where we offend her now) appear soul-vex’d,
And begin, Why to me ?-
Paul. Had she such

power, She had just cause.

Leo. She had, and would incense me
To murder her I married.

Paul, I should fo.
Were I the ghost that walk’d, I'd bid you

mark Her eye, and tell me, for what (lull

part

in't
You chose her; then I'd shriek, that even your ears
Shou'd rift to hear me, and the words that follow'd
Should be, Remember mine..

Leo. Stars, stars,
And all eyes else, dead coals : fear thou no wife.
I'll have no wife, Paulina.

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

Leo. 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.

Cleo. Good Madam, pray, have done.

Paul. Yet, if my Lord will marry ; if you will, Sir;
No remedy, but you will; give me the office
To chuse 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 ghoft, it should take joy
To see her in your arms.

Leo. My true Paulina,
We shall not marry till thou bidd’It us.

VOL. III.

A a

Paul. That
Shall be when your first Queen's again in breath :
Never till then.

*

SCENE II. Enter a Gentleman.
Gent. One that gives out himself Prince Florizel,
Son of Polixenes, with his Princess (she
The faireft I have yet beheld), desires access
To your high presence.

Leo. 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 ?

Gent. But few,
And those but mean.

Leo. His Princess, say you, with him?

Gent. Yes; the most peerless piece of earth, I think, That e'er the sun shone bright on.

Paul. Oh Hermione,
As every present time doth boast itfelf
Above a better gone ; so must thy grave
Give way to what's seen now. Sir, you yourself
Have said, and writ so: but your writing now
Is colder than that theme : she had not been,
Nor was she to be equallid; thus

your

verse Flow'd with her beauty once ; 'tis shrewdly ebb’d, To say you've seen a better.

Gent. Pardon, Madam;
The one I have almost forgot, (your pardon);
The other when she has obtain'd your eye,
Will have your tongue too. This is a creature,
Would she begin a sect, might quench the zeal
Of all professors else, make profelytes
Of who she but bid follow.
Paul. How? not women

?
Gent. Women will love her, that she is a woman
More worth than any man; men, that she is
The rarest of all women.

Leo. Go, Clomenes ;
Yourself (ailifted with your honour'd friends)

Grave for epitapha

Bring them to our embracement. Still ’tis strange
He thus should steal upon us.

[Exit. Cleo. Paul. Had our Prince (Jewel of children) seen this hour, he had pair’d Well with this Lord; there was not full a month Between their births.

Leo. Pr’ythee, no more; cease; thou know'st, He dies to me again, when talk'd of : fure, When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches Will bring me to consider that which may Unfurnish me of reason. They are come,

[blocks in formation]

Enter Florizel, Perdita, Cleomenes, and others. Your mother was most true to wedlock, Prince, For she did print your royal father off Conceiving you. Were I but twenty-one, Your father's image is so hit in you, His very air, that I should call you brother, As I did him, and speak of something wildly By us perform'd before. Most dearly welcome, As your fair Princess, goddess !-Oh! alas ! I lost a couple, that 'twixt heav'n and earth Might thus have stood begetting wonder, as You gracious couple do ; and then I loft (All mine own folly !) the society, Amity too of your brave father, whom (Tho' bearing mifery) I defire my life Once more to look on.

Flo. Sir, by his command Have I here touch'd Sicilia, and from him Give you all greetings that a King (at friend) Can send his brother; and but infirmity, Which waits upon worn times, hath something seiz'd His wish'd ability, he had himself The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his Measur’d, to look upon you ; whom he loves, He bade me say so, more than all the sceptres, And those that bear them living.

Leo. Oh, my brother ! Good gentleman, the wrongs I have done thee ftir

Afresh within me; and these thy offices,
So rarely kind, are as interpreters
Of my behind-hand Nackness. Welcome hither,
As is th’spring to th' earth. And hath he too
Expos'd this paragon to th’ fearful ufage
(At least, ungentle) of the dreadful Neptune,
To greet a man not worth her pains, much less
Th' adventure of her person ?

Fl. Good my Lord,
She came from Libya.

Leo. Where the warlike Smalus,
That noble honour'd Lord, is fear'd and loy'd?

Flo. Most royal Sir,
From thence; from him, whose daughter
His tears proclaim’d his parting with her; thence
(A prosperous south-wind friendly) we have crossd,
To execute the charge my father gave me,
For visiting your Highness; my best train
I have from your Sicilian shore dismiss’d,
Who for Bithynia bend, to signify
Not only my success in Libya, Sir,
But my arrival, and my wife's, in safety
Here where we are.

Leo. The blessed gods Purge all infection from our air, whilft you Do climate here! You have a holy father, A graceful gentleman, against whose person, So sacred as it is, I have done fin ; For which the heavens, taking angry note, Have left me issueless; and your father's bless'd, As he from heaven merits it, with you, Worthy his goodness. What might I have been, Might I a fon and daughter now have look'd on, Such goodly things as you !

SCENE IV. Enter a Lord. Lord. Most Noble Sir, That which I shall report, will bear no credit, Were not the proof so high. Please you, great Sir, Bithynia greets you from himself, by me; Desires you to attach his son, who has His dignity and duty both cast off,

« PreviousContinue »