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THE WINTER'S TALE.
Who for Bithynia bend, to signify
Leo. The blessed gods
Enter a Lord.
Leo. Where's Bithynia ? speak.
Lord. Here in your city; I now came from him.
Flo. Camillo has betray'd me,
Lord. Lay't so to his charge;
Leo. Who? Camillo ?
Per. O my poor father! !
Leo. You are marry'd ?
Flo. We are not, sir, nor are we like to be ;
Leo. My lord,
Flo. She is,
Leo. That once, 1 see, by your good father's speed,
Flo. Dear, look up;
My father will grant precious things, as trifles.
Leo. Would he do so, I'd beg your precious mistress,
Pau. Sir, my liege,
Leo. I thought of her,
Enter Autolicus, and a Gentleman. Aut." ESEECH you, fir, were you present at this relation?
I Gent. I was by at the opening of the farthel, heard the old shepherd deliver the manner how he found it; whereupon, after a little amazedness, we were all commanded out of the chamber; only this, methought, I heard the shepherd say, he found the child.
Aut. I would most gladly know the issue of it.
i Gent. I make a broken delivery of the business; but the changes I perceived in the king and Camillo, were very notes of admiration: they seem'd almost, with staring on one another, to tear the cases of their eyes: there was speech in their dumbness, language in their very gesture; they look'd as if they had heard of a world ransom’d, or one destroy'd: a notable passion of wonder appear’d in them; but the wisést beholder, that knew no more but seeing, could not say, if th’importance were joy or forrow; but in the extremity of the one it must needs be.
Enter another Gentleman. Here comes a gentleman that happily knows more. The news, Rogero ?
2 Gent. Nothing but bonfires : the oracle is fulfill’d; the king's daughter is found: such a deal of wonder is broken out within this hour, that ballad-makers cannot be able to express it.
Enter another Gentleman. Here comes the lady Paulina's steward, he can deliver you more. How goes it now, sír? this news which is call’d true is so like an
fir old tale, that the verity of it is in strong suspicion : has the king. found his heir ?
3 Gent. Most true, if ever truth were pregnant by circumstance: that which you hear, you'll fwear you see, there is such unity in the proofs. The mantle of queen Hermione; her jewel about the neck of it; the letters of Antigonus found with it, which they know to be his character; the majesty of the creature, in resemblance of the mother; the affection of nobleness, which nature shows above her breeding; and many other evidences proclaim her with all certainty to be the king's daughter. Did you see the meeting of the two kings?
2 Gent. No.
3 Gent. Then have you lost a fight which was to be seen, cannot be spoken of. There might you have beheld one joy crown another; so, and in such manner, that, it seem’d, forrow wept to take leave of them ; for their joy waded in tears. There was casting up of eyes, holding up of hands, with countenance of such distraction, that they were to be known by garment, not by favour. Our king being ready to leap out of himself
, for joy of his found daughter, as if that joy were now become a loss, cries, o, thy mother, thy mother! then asks Bithynia forgiveness; then embraces his son-in-law; then again worries he his daughter with clipping her: now he thanks the old shepherd, who stands by like a weather-beaten conduit of many kings reigns. I never heard of such another encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undoes description to draw it.
2 Gent. What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carry'd hence the child?
3 Gent. Like an old tale still, which will have matters to rehearse, though credit be asleep, and not an ear open; he was torn in pieces with a bear : this avouches the shepherd's son, who has not only his innocence, which seems much, to justify him, but a handkerchief and rings of his, that Paulina knows.
i Gent. What became of his bark, and his followers ?
3 Gent. Wreck'd the same instant of their master's death; and in the view of the shepherd: so that all the instruments which aided to expose the child, were even then lost, when it was found. But, 0, the noble combat, that, 'twixt joy and sorrow, was 'fought in Paulina! She had one eye declin'd for the loss of her husband, another elevated that the oracle was fulfill’d: she lifted the princess from the earth, and so lock'd her in embracing, as if she would pin her to her heart, that she might no more be in danger of losing.
Gent. The dignity of this act was worth the audience of kings and princes, for by such was it acted.
3 Gent. One of the prettiest touches of all, and that which angled for mine eyes, was, when at the relation of the queen's death, with the manner how she came to it, bravely confess’d, and lamented by the king, how attentiveness wounded his daughter; till, from one sign of dolour to another, she did, with an alas, I would fain say, bleed tears; for, I am sure, my heart wept blood. Who was most marble there changed colour; fome swooned, all sorrowed: if all the world could have seen't, the woe had been universal.
i Gent. Are they returned to the court?
3 Gent. No: the princess hearing of her mother's statue, which is in the keeping of Paulina, a piece many years in doing, and now newly perform’d by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano, who, had he himself eternity, and could put breath into his work, would beguile nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her ape: he so near to Hermione hath done Hermione, that, they fay, one would speak to her, and stand in hope of answer. Thíther with all greediness of affection are they gone, and there they intend to sup.