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Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes :
For has not the divine Apollo faid,
Is't not the tenour of his oracle,
That king Leontes shall not have an heir,
'Till his lost child be found ? which, that it shall,
Is all • as monstrous to our human reason,
As my Antigonus to break his grave,
And come again to me; who, on my life,
Did perish with the infant. 'Tis your counsel,
My lord should to the heavens be contrary,
Oppose against their wills.-Care not for issue ; [To the king.
The crown will find an heir: Great Alexander
Left his to the worthiest ; so his succeffor
Was like to be the best.
Leo. Good Paulina,
Who haft the memory of Hermione,
I know, in honour,-0, that ever I
Had squar'd me to thy counsel ! then, even now,
I might have look'd upon my queen's full eyes ;
Have taken treasure from her lips,
Paul. And left them
More rich, for what they yielded.
Leo. Thou speak'st truth.
No more such wives ; therefore, no wife : one worse,
And better us’d, would make her 'sainted spirit
Again possess her corps; and, on this stage,
(P-Were we offenders now) appear soul-vext,
And begin, 'why? to me.
Paul. Had she such power, She had just cause.
• as monftrous to our buman reafor,]-as improbable.
P (Were we offenders now)]-Were we to be guilty of fo gross an offence.---(Where we offend ber now.) 9 why ? to me.] to call me to account.
Leo. She had ; and would incense me
To murder her I married.
Paul. I should so :
Were I the ghost that walk’d, I'd bid you mark
Her eye; and tell me, for what dull part in't
You chose her : then I'd shriek, that even your ears
Should 'rift to hear me, and the words that follow'd
Should be, Remember mine.
Leo. Stars, stars,
And all eyes else, dead coals !-fear thou no wife,
I'll have no wife, Paulina.
Never to marry, but by my free leave ?
Leo. Never, Paulina ; so be bless'd my spirit !
Paul. Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.
Cle. You tempt him over-much.
Paul. Unless another,
As like Hermione as is her picture,
• Affront his eye.
Cle. 'Good madam,
Paul. I have done :
Yer, if my lord will marry,—if you will, fir;
No remedy, but you will; give me the office
To chuse you a queen : she shall not be so young
As was your former ; but she shall be such,
As, walk'd your first queen's ghost, it should take joy
To see her in your arms.
· Leo. My true Paulina,
We shall not marry, 'till thou bid'ft us.
Shall be, when your first queen’s again in breach ;
Never till then.
'rift)-split, cleave afunder. . Good madam, I have done.
Gent. One that gives out himself prince Florizel,
Son of Polixenes, with his princess, (she
The faireft I have yet beheld) desires
Access to your high presence.
Leo. What with him ? he comes not
Like to his father's greatness : his approach,
So out of circumstance, and sudden, tell us,
'Tis not a visitation fram'd, but forc'd
By need, and accident, What train?
Gent. But few,
And those but mean.
Leo. His princess, say you, with him?
Gent. Ay; the most peerless piece of earth, I think, That e'er the sun shone bright on.
Paul. Oh Hermione,
As every present time doth boast itself
Above a better, gone; fo must "thy grave
Give way to what's seen now. Sir, you yourself
Have said, and writ so; but your writing now
Is colder than that theme: Sbe bad not been,
Nor was not to be equallid, -thus your verse
Flow'd with her beauty once ; 'cis shrewdly ebb'd,
To say, you have seen a better.
Gent. Pardon, madam :
The one I have almost forgot; (your pardon)
The other, when she has obtain'd your eye,
Will have your tongue too. This is a creature
Would she begin a fect, might quench the zeal
Of all professors else ; make proselytes
Of who she but bid follow.
Uthy grave)-the beauties therein contained.
writ so ;)—the following fentence; though your zeal on that fubject is now somewhat abated.
Paul. How? not women ?
Gent. Women will love her, that she is a woman
More worth than any man; men, that she is
The rarest of all women.
Leo. Go, Cleomenes ;
Yourself, assisted with your honour'd friends,
[Exit Cleomenes. Bring them to our embracement.--Still 'tis strange, He thus should steal upon us.
Paul. Had our prince,
(Jewel of children) seen this hour, he had pair’d
Well with this lord ; there was not full a month
Between their births.
Leo. Prythee, no more; cease; thou know it,
He dies to me again, when talk'd of : sure,
When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches
Will bring me to consider that, which may
Unfurnish me of reason. They are come.-
Enter Florizei, Perdita, Cleomenes, and others.
Your mother was most true to wedlock, prince ;
For she did print your royal father off,
Conceiving you: Were I but twenty one,
Your father's image is so hit in you,
His very air, that I should call you brother,
As I did him; and speak of something, wildly
By us perform'd before. Most dearly welcome!
And your fair princess, goddess !-O, alas!
I lost a couple, that 'twixt heaven and earth
Might thus have stood, begetting wonder, as
You, gracious couple, do! and then I lost.
(All mine own folly) the society,
Amity too, of your brave father; whom,
Though bearing misery, I desire
life Once more to look on.
Flo. Sir, by his command Have I here touch'd Sicilia ; and from him Give you all greetings, that a king, *at friend, Can fend his brother : and, but infirmity (Which waits upon worn times) hath something seiz'd His wish'd ability, he had himself The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his Measur'd, to look upon you; whom he loves (He bade me say so) more than all the scepters, And those that bear them, living.
Leo. Oh, 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 Nackness !--Welcome hither, As is the spring to the earth. And hath he too Expos'd 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.
Leo. Where the warlike Smalus, That noble honour'd lord, is fear'd, and loy'd ? Flo. Most royal fir, from thence; from him, whose
daughter His tears' proclaim'd his, parting with her : thence (A prosperous south-wind friendly) we have crossid, To execute the charge my father gave me, For visiting your highness: My best train I have from your Sicilian Thores dismissid ;
at friend, ]-upon friendly terms, living at friendship with another. y proclaim'd bis, parting with her:]-to be his indeed, being thed so abundantly at parting with her.