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I like your silence: it the more shows off
Your wonder; but yet speak :-first you, my liege.
Comes it not something near ?

Her natural posture. —
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.

O! not by much.
Paul. So much the more our carver's excellence;
Which lets go by some sixteen years, and makes her
As she liv'd now.

As now she might have done,
So much to my good comfort, as it is
Now piercing to my soul. 0! thus she stood,
Even with such life of majesty, (warm life,
As now it coldly stands) when first I woo'd her.
I am asham'd: 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 conjur'd to remembrance; and
From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
Standing like stone with thee.

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


to kiss. Paul.

O, patience! The statue is but newly fix’d, the colour'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,

But kill'd itself much sooner.

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.

Indeed, my lord,
If I had thought, the sight of my poor image
Would thus have wrought you, (for the stone is mine)
I'd not have show'd it.

Do not draw the curtain. Paul. No longer shall you gaze on't, lest your fancy May think anon it moves. Leon.

Let be, let be! Would I were dead, but that, methinks, already :What was he that did make it?-See, my lord, Would you not deem it breath'd, and that those veins Did verily bear blood ? Pol.

Masterly done :

very life seems warm upon her lip.
Leon. The fixure of her eye has motion in't,
As we are mock'd with art.

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

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 stirr'd you ;

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I could afflict


farther. Leon.

Do, Paulina, For this affliction has a taste as sweet

3 Would I were dead, but that, methinks, already—] Leontes, in his ecstasy, breaks off without completing what he was about to say : what was in his thought seems to have been something to contradict his wish, “ Would I were dead,” because he almost fancies that the statue of Hermione is alive.

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.

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 ?

Leon. No, not these twenty years.

So long could I
Stand by, a looker on.

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.

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.

It is requir’d,
You do awake your faith. Then, all stand still.
On, those that think it is unlawful business
I am about; let them depart.

No foot shall stir.

Music awake her. Strike!


'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;

4 On, those that think, &c.] The meaning is, “Let those go on, and depart, who think it is unlawful business I am about.” Sir T. Hanmer, without necessity, altered“ on,” the reading of the old copy, to or, and he has been usually followed. “On” could hardly have been misprinted for or, because in all the old copies it is followed by a colon.

Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him
Dear life redeems you.—You perceive, she stirs.

[HERMIONE descends 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 woo'd her; now, in age,
Is she become the suitor ?

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

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

Pol. Ay; and make it manifest where she has liv’d,
Or how stoln from the dead?

That she is living,
Were it but told you, should be hooted at
Like an old tale; but it appears she lives,
Though yet she speak not. Mark a little while.-
Please you to interpose, fair madam: kneel,
And pray your mother's blessing.–Turn, good lady,
Our Perdita is found.

[PERDITA kneels to HERMIONE. Iler.

You gods, look down,
And from your sacred vials pour your graces
Upon my daughter's head Tell me, mine own,
Where hast thou been preserv’d? where liv'd ? how

Thy father's court ? for thou shalt hear, that I,
Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserv’d
Myself to see the issue.

There's time enough for that,
Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
Your joys with like relation.—Go together,

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You precious winners all: your exultation
Partake to every one. I, an old turtle,
Will wing me to some wither'd bough, and there
My mate, that's never to be found again,
Lament till I am lost.

O peace, Paulina!
Thou should'st a husband take by my consent,
As I by thine, a wife: this is a match,
And made between's by vows. Thou hast found mine;
But how is to be question'd, for I saw her,
As I thought, dead; and have in vain said many
A prayer upon her

grave: I'll not seek far
(For him, I partly know his mind) to find thee
An honourable husband.—Come, Camillo,
And take her by the hand, whose worth, and honesty,
Is richly noted, and here justified
By us, a pair of kings.—Let's from this place.-
What Look upon my brother :—both your pardons,
That e'er I put between your holy looks
My ill suspicion.—This your son-in-law,
And son unto the king, (whom heavens directing)
Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,
Lead us from hence, where we may leisurely
Each one demand, and answer to his part
Perform’d in this wide gap of time, since first
We were dissever'd. Hastily lead away. [Exeunt.




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