ACT V, SCENE I. A room in LEONTES' palace.
[Enter LEONTES, CLEOMENES, DION, PAULINA, and Servants]
- Sir, you have done enough, and have perform'd
- A saint-like sorrow: no fault could you make,
- Which you have not redeem'd; indeed, paid down
- More penitence than done trespass: at the last,
- Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil;
- With them forgive yourself.
- Whilst I remember
- Her and her virtues, I cannot forget
- My blemishes in them, and so still think of
- The wrong I did myself; which was so much,
- That heirless it hath made my kingdom and
- Destroy'd the sweet'st companion that e'er man
- Bred his hopes out of.
- True, too true, my lord:
- If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
- Or from the all that are took something good,
- To make a perfect woman, she you kill'd
- Would be unparallel'd.
- I think so. Kill'd!
- She I kill'd! I did so: but thou strikest me
- Sorely, to say I did; it is as bitter
- Upon thy tongue as in my thought: now, good now,
- Say so but seldom.
- Not at all, good lady:
- You might have spoken a thousand things that would
- Have done the time more benefit and graced
- Your kindness better.
- You are one of those
- Would have him wed again.
- If you would not so,
- You pity not the state, nor the remembrance
- Of his most sovereign name; consider little
- What dangers, by his highness' fail of issue,
- May drop upon his kingdom and devour
- Incertain lookers on. What were more holy
- Than to rejoice the former queen is well?
- What holier than, for royalty's repair,
- For present comfort and for future good,
- To bless the bed of majesty again
- With a sweet fellow to't?
- There is none worthy,
- Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
- Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes;
- For has not the divine Apollo said,
- Is't not the tenor 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;
- The crown will find an heir: great Alexander
- Left his to the worthiest; so his successor
- Was like to be the best.
- Good Paulina,
- Who hast the memory of Hermione,
- I know, in honour, O, that ever I
- Had squared me to thy counsel! then, even now,
- I might have look'd upon my queen's full eyes,
- Have taken treasure from her lips--
- And left them
- More rich for what they yielded.
- Thou speak'st truth.
- No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse,
- And better used, would make her sainted spirit
- Again possess her corpse, and on this stage,
- Where we're offenders now, appear soul-vex'd,
- And begin, 'Why to me?'
- Had she such power,
- She had just cause.
- She had; and would incense me
- To murder her I married.
- I should so.
- Were I the ghost that walk'd, I'ld bid you mark
- Her eye, and tell me for what dull part in't
- You chose her; then I'ld shriek, that even your ears
- Should rift to hear me; and the words that follow'd
- Should be 'Remember mine.'
- Stars, stars,
- And all eyes else dead coals! Fear thou no wife;
- I'll have no wife, Paulina.
- Will you swear
- Never to marry but by my free leave?
- Never, Paulina; so be blest my spirit!
- Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.
- You tempt him over-much.
- Unless another,
- As like Hermione as is her picture,
- Affront his eye.
- I have done.
- Yet, if my lord will marry,--if you will, sir,
- No remedy, but you will,--give me the office
- To choose 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.
- My true Paulina,
- We shall not marry till thou bid'st us.
- Shall be when your first queen's again in breath;
- Never till then.
[Enter a Gentleman]
- One that gives out himself Prince Florizel,
- Son of Polixenes, with his princess, she
- The fairest I have yet beheld, desires access
- To your high presence.
- What with him? he comes not
- Like to his father's greatness: his approach,
- So out of circumstance and sudden, tells us
- 'Tis not a visitation framed, but forced
- By need and accident. What train?
- But few,
- And those but mean.
- His princess, say you, with him?
- Ay, the most peerless piece of earth, I think,
- That e'er the sun shone bright on.
- O Hermione,
- As every present time doth boast itself
- Above a better gone, so 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, 'She had not been,
- Nor was not to be equall'd;'--thus your verse
- Flow'd with her beauty once: 'tis shrewdly ebb'd,
- To say you have seen a better.
- 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 sect, might quench the zeal
- Of all professors else, make proselytes
- Of who she but bid follow.
- Women will love her, that she is a woman
- More worth than any man; men, that she is
- The rarest of all women.
- 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.
- By his command
- Have I here touch'd Sicilia and from him
- Give you all greetings that a king, at friend,
- Can send his brother: and, but infirmity
- Which waits upon worn times hath something seized
- His wish'd ability, he had himself
- The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his
- Measured to look upon you; whom he loves--
- He bade me say so--more than all the sceptres
- And those that bear them living.
- 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?
- Good my lord,
- She came from Libya.
- Where the warlike Smalus,
- That noble honour'd lord, is fear'd and loved?
- 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, sir,
- But my arrival and my wife's in safety
- Here where we are.
- 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 blest,
- 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]
- 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 attach his son, who has--
- His dignity and duty both cast off--
- Fled from his father, from his hopes, and with
- A shepherd's daughter.
- Where's Bohemia? speak.
- Here in your 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.
- Camillo has betray'd me;
- Whose honour and whose honesty till now
- Endured all weathers.
- Lay't so to his charge:
- He's with the king your father.
- 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.
- O my poor father!
- The heaven sets spies upon us, will not have
- Our contract celebrated.
- You are married?
- 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.
- My lord,
- Is this the daughter of a king?
- She is,
- When once she is my wife.
- 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 worth as beauty,
- That you might well enjoy her.
- 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.
- Would he do so, I'ld beg your precious mistress,
- Which he counts but a trifle.
- Sir, my liege,
- Your eye hath too much youth in't: not a month
- 'Fore your queen died, she was more worth such gazes
- Than what you look on now.
- I thought of her,
- Even in these looks I made.
- But your petition
- Is yet unanswer'd. I will to your father:
- Your honour not o'erthrown by your desires,
- I am 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.
ACT V, SCENE III. A chapel in PAULINA'S house.
[Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, FLORIZEL, PERDITA, CAMILLO,
PAULINA, Lords, and Attendants]
- 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 vouchsafed,
- 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.
- 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.
- O, not by much.
- So much the more our carver's excellence;
- Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
- As she lived 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 ashamed: does not the stone rebuke me
- For being more stone than it? O royal piece,
- There's magic in thy majesty, which has
- My evils conjured 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.
- O, patience!
- The statue is but newly fix'd, the colour's Not dry.
- 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.
- 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'ld not have show'd it.
- Do not draw the curtain.
- No longer shall you gaze on't, lest your fancy
- May think anon it moves.
- 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 breathed? and that those veins
- Did verily bear blood?
- Masterly done:
- The very life seems warm upon her lip.
- The fixture 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.
- I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirr'd you: but
- I could afflict you farther.
- 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.
- 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?
- No, not these twenty years.
- So long could I
- Stand by, a looker on.
- 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 required
- You do awake your faith. Then all stand still;
- On: those that think it is unlawful business
- I am about, let them depart.
- No foot shall stir.
- Music, 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: stir, 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?
- O, she's warm!
- If this be magic, let it be an art
- Lawful as eating.
- She embraces him.
- She hangs about his neck:
- If she pertain to life let her speak too.
- Ay, and make't manifest where she has lived,
- Or how stolen 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.
- You gods, look down
- And from your sacred vials pour your graces
- Upon my daughter's head! Tell me, mine own.
- Where hast thou been preserved? where lived? how found
- Thy father's court? for thou shalt hear that I,
- Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
- Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserved
- Myself to see the issue.
- There's time enough for that;
- Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
- Your joys with like relation. Go together,
- You precious winners all; your exultation
- Partake to every one. I, an old turtle,
- Will wing me to some wither'd bough and there
- My mate, that's never to be found again,
- Lament till I am lost.
- O, peace, Paulina!
- Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent,
- As I by thine a wife: this is a match,
- And made between's by vows. Thou hast found mine;
- But how, is to be question'd; for I saw her,
- As I thought, dead, and have in vain said many
- A prayer upon her grave. I'll not seek far--
- For him, I partly know his mind--to find thee
- An honourable husband. Come, Camillo,
- And take her by the hand, whose worth and honesty
- Is richly noted and here justified
- By us, a pair of kings. Let's from this place.
- What! look upon my brother: both your pardons,
- That e'er I put between your holy looks
- My ill suspicion. This is your son-in-law,
- And son unto the king, who, heavens directing,
- Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,
- Lead us from hence, where we may leisurely
- Each one demand an answer to his part
- Perform'd in this wide gap of time since first
- We were dissever'd: hastily lead away.