Page images


tom, 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

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

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

Clo. 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 gentlemen 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 prin. cess, 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.

Shep. Pr’ythee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are gentlemen.

Clo. Thou wilt amend thy life?
Aut. Ay, an it like your good worship.

Clo. Give me thy hand: I will swear to the prince thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.

Shep. You may say it, but not swear it.

Clo. Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and franklins say it, I'll swear it.

Shep. How if it be false, son?

Clo. If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear it in the behalf of his friend. —And I'll swear to the prince, thou art a tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know thou art no tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt be drunk: but I'll swear it; and I would thou wouldst be a tall fellow of thy hands.

Aut. I will prove so, sir, to my power.

Clo. Ay, by any means, prove a tall fellow : if I do not wonder how thou darest venture to be drunk, not being a tall fellow, trust me not.-Hark! the kings and the princes, our kindred, are going to see the queen's picture. Come, follow us: we'll be thy good masters.



PAULINA, Lords, and Attendants.
Leon. O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
That I have had of thee!

What, sovereign sir,
I did not well, I meant well. All my services
You have paid home: but that you have vouchsaf'd,
With your crown'd brother, and these your contracted
Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
It is a surplus of your grace which never
My life may last to answer.

O Paulina,
We honour you with trouble:—but we came
To see the statue of our queen: your gallery
Have we pass’d through, not without much content

In many singularities; but we saw not
That which my daughter came to look upon,
The statue of her mother.

As she liv'd peerless,
So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
Excels whatever yet you look'd upon,
Or hand of man hath done; therefore I keep it
Lonely, apart. But here it is: prepare
To see the life as lively mock'd as ever
Still sleep mock'd death: behold; and say 'tis well.
[PAULINA undraws a curtain, and discovers HERMIONE

standing as a statue.
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.

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

As now she might have done,
So much to my good comfort, as it is
Now piercing to my soul. O, 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 yours to kiss.

0, patience!
The statue is but newly fix'd, the colour's
Not dry.

Cam. My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,

2 M

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, alreadyWhat 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:
The 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: but
I could afflict you further.

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


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.

[ocr errors]


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;
Or those that think it is unlawful business
I am about, let them depart.

No foot shall stir,

Music, awake her: strike !- [Music.
'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;.
Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him
Dear life redeems you.—You perceive she stirs :

[HERMIONE comes down 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. Ñay, present your hand:
When she was young you wood her; now in age
Is she become the suitor.

0, 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 't manifest where she has liv'd,
Or how stol'n 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. [Presenting PER., who kneels to HER.

You gods, look down,


« PreviousContinue »