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Aut. I will prove so, fir, to my power.
Clo. Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow : If I do not wonder, how thou dar'st 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. [Exeunt.
Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Florizel, Perdita, Camillo, Paulina,
Lords, and Attendants.
Leo. O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
That I have had of thee !
Paul. What, sovereign fir,
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.
Leo. 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.
Paul. 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 Neep mock'd death : behold; and say, 'tis well.
[Paulina draws a curtain, and discovers a statue.
I like your silence, it the more shews off
Your wonder: But yet speak ;-first, you, my liege.
Comes it not something near?
Leo. 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.
Pol. Oh, not by much.
Paul. So much the more our carver's excellence;
Which lets go by fome sixteen years, and makes her
As she liv'd now.
Leo. As now she might have done,
So much to my good comfort, as it is
Now piercing to my soul. Oh, 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 ?-Oh, royal piece,
There's magick in thy majesty; which has
My evils conjur'd to remembrance; and
From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
Standing like stone with thee!
Per. 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.
Paul. Oh, 'patience;
' patience ; ]-stay awhile, forbear.
The statue is but newly fix'd, the colour's
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.
Pol. 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.
Paul. Indeed, my lord,
If I had thought, the fight of my poor image
Would thus have wrought you, (for the stone is mine)
I'd not have shew'd it.
Leo. Do not draw the curtain.
Paul. No longer shall you gaze on't ; lest your fancy May think anon, it moves.
Leo. 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 :
The very life seems warm upon her lip.
Leo. 'The fixure of her eye has motion in't,
So are we mock'd with art.
Paul. I'll draw the curtain ;
My lord's almost so far transported, that
He'll think anon, it lives.
Leo. O sweet Paulina,
Make me to think so twenty years together ;
s already]—'tis on the point to move.
i The fixure of her eye bas motion in't, fo are wel—The fix'd gaze of her eye hạth all the appearance of tremulous motion imparted to it by the artist--As we are mock'd. VOL. II.
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 ftirr'd you: but I could afflict
Leo. Do, Paulina ;
For this affliction has a taste as sweet
cordial comfort.-Still, methinks,
There is an air comes from her: What fine chizzel
Could ever yet cut breath ? Let no man mock me,
For I will kiss her.
Paul. 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 ?
Leo. No, not these twenty years.
Per. So long could I
Stand by, a looker on.
Paul. 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.
Leo. 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.
Paul. 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 deparf.
No foot shall ftir.
Paul. Mufick; 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 : ftir ; nay, come away;
Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him
Dear life redeems you.—You perceive, she stirs :
[Hermione comes down.
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.
Leo. Oh, she's warm!
[Embracing ber. If this be magick, let it be an art Lawful as eating
Pol. 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 ftol'n from the dead?
Paul. That she is living, Were it but told you, should be hooted at Like an old tale ; but it appears, the 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 Perdita, who kneels to Hermione. Her. You gods, look down, And from your sacred vials pour your graces Upon my daughter's head !--Tell me, mine own, Where haft thou been preserv'd ? where liv'd ? how found Thy father's court? for thou shalt hear, that I, Knowing by Paulina, that the oracle