Page images
PDF
EPUB

6

Measured, to look upon you, whom he loves
(He bade me say so) more than all the sceptres,
And those that bear them, living.

Leon. O, my brother,
(Good gentleman !) the wrongs I have done thee, stir
Afresh within me; and these thy offices,
So rarely kind, are as interpreters
Of my behind-hand slackness !-Welcome hither,
As is the spring to the earth. And hath he too
Exposed this paragon to the fearful usage
(At least, ungentle) of the dreadful Neptune,
To greet'a man, not worth her pains; much less
The adventure of her person?

Flo. Good my lord,
She came from Libya.

Leon. Where the warlike Smalus,
That noble honour'd lord, is fear'd, and loved ?

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 cross'd
To execute the charge my father gave me,
For visiting your highness: My best train
I have from your Sicilian shores dismiss'd;
Who for Bohemia bend, to signify
Not only my success in Libya, Şir,
But my arrival, and my wife's, in safety
Here, where we are.

Leon. The blessed gods
Purge all infection from our air, whilst you
Do climate here! You have a holy father,
A graceful* gentleman; against whose person,
So sacred as it is, I have done sin:
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 son and daughter now have look'd on,
Such goodly things as you ?

Enter a LORD.
Lord. Most noble Sir,
That, which I shall report, will bear no credit,
Were not the proof so nigh. Please you, great Sir,
Bohemia greets you from himself, by me;
Desires you to attacht his son: who has
(His dignity and duty both cast off)
Fled from his father, from his hopes, and with
A shepherd's daughter.
Leon. Where's Bohemia ? speak.

* Full of grace and virtue.

+ Seize, arrest.

Lord. Here in the city: I now came from him.
I speak amazedly; and it becomes
My marvel, and my message. To your court,
Whiles he was hastening (in the chase, it seems,
Of this fair couple), meets he on the way
The father of this seeming lady, and
Her brother, having both their country quitted
With this young prince.

Flo. Camillo has betray'd me;
Whose honour, and whose honesty, till now,
Endured all weathers.

Lord. Lay't so, to his charge;
He's with the king your father.

Leon. Who? Camillo ?
Lord. Camillo, Sir; I spake with him, who now
Has these poor men in question.* Never saw I
Wretches so quake: they kneel, they kiss the earth;
Forswear themselves as often as they speak:
Bohemia stops his ears, and threatens them
With divers deaths in death.

Per. Oh, my poor father !-
The heaven sets spies upon us, will not have
Our contract celebrated.

Leon. You are married ?
Flo. We are not, Sir; nor are we like to be;
The stars, I see, will kiss the valleys first :-
The odds for high and low's alike.t

Leon. My lord,
Is this the daughter of a king ?

Flo. She is,
When once she is my wife.

Leon. That once, I see, by your good father's speed,
Will come on very slowly. "I am sorry,
Most sorry, you have broken from his liking,
Where you were tied in duty: and as sorry,
Your choice is not so rich in worths as beauty,
That you might well enjoy her.

Flo. Dear, look up;
Though fortune, visible an enemy,
Should chase us, with my father;

power no jot
Hath she, to change our loves.-Beseech you, Sir,
Remember since you owed no more to time
Than I do now: with thought of such affections,
Step forth mine advocate; at your request,
My father will grant precious things as trifles

.
Leon. Would he do so, I'd beg your precious mistress,
Which he counts but a trifle.
Paul. Sir, my liege,
Your eye hath too much youth in't: not a month

+ Conversation.

+ A quibble on the false dice so called. Descent, or wealth,

'Fore your queen died, she was more worth such gazes Than what you look on now.

Leon. I thought of her, Even in these looks I made.-But your petition [To FLORIZEL. Is yet unanswered; I will to your father ; Your honour not o'erthrown by your desires, I am a friend to them, and you: upon which errand I now go toward him; therefore, follow me, And mark what way I make: Come, good my lord. [Ereunt.

SCENE II.-The same. Before the Palace.

Enter AUTOLYCUS and a GENTLEMAN.
Aut. 'Beseech you, Sir, were you present at this relation ?

1 Gent. I was by 'at the opening of the fardel, 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.

1 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 seemed almost, with staring at one another, to tear the cases of their eyes; there was speech in their dumbness, language in their very gesture; they looked, as they had heard of a world ransomed, or one destroyed: A notable passion of wonder appeared in them: but the wisest beholder, that knew no more but seeing, could not say, if the importance* were joy, or sorrow: 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 fulfilled; the king's daughter is found: şuch a deal of wonder is broken out within this hour, that ballad-makers cannot be able to express it.

Enter a third GENTLEMAN. Here comes the lady Paulina's steward; he can deliver you more.—How

goes it now, Sir? this news, which is called true, is so like an 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 swear 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 affectiont of nobleness, which nature shows above her breeding,-and many other

* The thing imported.

† Disposition or quality,

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 sight, 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 seemed, sorrow 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.*, Qur 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 Bohemia forgiveness; then embraces his son-in-law; then again worries he his daughter, with clippingt her; now be thanks the old shepherd, which stands by, like a weather-bitten conduit of many kings' reigns. I never heard of such another encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undoes description to do it.

2 Gent. What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carried hence the child

3 Gent. Like an old tale still ; which will have matter to rehearse, though credit be asleep, and not an ear open: He was torn to 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.

1 Gent. What became of his bark and his followers ?

3 Gent. Wrecked, 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 declined for the loss of her husband; another elevated that the oracle was fulfilled; She lifted the princess from the earth ; and so locks her in embracing, as if she would pin her to her heart, that she might no more be in danger of losing.

1 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 (caught the water, though not the fish), was, when at the relation of the queen's death, with the manner how she came to it (bravely confessed, 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; some swooned, all sorrowed: if all the world could have seen it, the woe had been universal.

1 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 performed by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano; who, had he himself eternity, and could put breath into his

* Countenance, features.

† Embracing.

work, would beguile nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her ape: he so near to Hermione hath done Hermione, that, they say, one would speak to her, and stand in hope of answer : thither, with all greediness of affection, are they gone; and there they intend to sup:

2 Gent. I thought she had some great matter there in hand; for she hath privately, twice or thrice a day, ever since the death of Hermione, visited that removed* house. Shall we thither, and with our company piece the rejoicing

1 Gent. Who would be thence, that has the benefit of access ? every wink of an eye some new grace will be born: our absence makes us unthrifty to our knowledge. Let's along.

[Exeunt GENTLEMEN. Aut. Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me, would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old man and his son aboard the prince; told him I heard him talk of a fardel, and I know not what: but he at that time, over-fond of the shepherd's daughter (so he then took her to be), who began to be much sea-sick, and himself little better, extremity of weather continuing, this mystery remained undiscovered. But 'tis all one to me: for had I been the finder-out of this secret, it would not have relished among my other discredits.

Enter SHEPHERD and CLOWN. Here come those I have done good to against my will, and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.

Shep. Come, boy; I am past more children; but thy sons and daughters will be all gentlemen born.

Cio. You are well met, Sir: You denied to fight with me this other day because I was no gentleman born: See you these clothes ? say, you see them not, and think me still no gentleman born: you were best say, these robes are not gentleman born. Give me the lie; do; and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.

Aut. I know, you are now, Sir, a gentleman born.
Clo. Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.
Shep. And so have I, boy.

Clo. So you have: but I was a gentleman born before my father : for the king's son took me by the hand, and called me, brother; and then the two kings called my father, brother; and then the prince, my brother, and the princess, my sister, called my father, father; and so we wept: and there was the first gentleman-like tears that ever we shed.

Shep. We may live, son, to shed many more.

Clo. Ay; or else 'twere hard luck, being in so preposterous estate as we are.

Aut. I humbly beseech you, Sir, to pardon me all the faults I have committed to your worship, and to give me your good report to the prince, my master.

* Remote.

« PreviousContinue »