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SCENE III. Enter Dion and Cleomenes.
Lord. This your request
Is altogether just ; therefore bring forth,
And in Apollo's name, his oracle.
Her. The Emperor of Russia was my father,
Oh, that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter's trial ; that he did but see
The fatness of my misery ; yet with eyes
Of pity, not revenge!
Oppi. You here shall swear upon the sword of justice,
That you, Cleomines and Dion, have
Been both at-Delphos, and from thence have brought
This seal'd up oracle, by the hand deliver'd
Of great Apollo's priest; and that since then
You have not dar'd to break the holy seal,
Nor read the secrets in't.
Cleo, Dion. All this we swear.
Leo. Break up the feals, and read.
Offi.“ Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless, Ca“millo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant, his inno
cent babe truly begotten; and the king shall live without an heir, if that which is lost, be not found.” LORDs. Now blessed be the great Apollo ! Her. Praised! Leo. Hast thou read truth? Offi. Ay, my lord, even so as it is here set down,
Leo. There is no truth at all i'th'oracle;
The session shall proceed; this is mere falfhood.
Serv. My lord the king, the king,
Leo. What is the busines?
Serv. O lr, I shall be bated to report it.
The prince your fon, with mere conceit and fear,
Of the queen's speed, is gone.
Leo. How gone
Sek. Is dead.
Leo. A pollo's angry, and the heav'ns themfelves
Do strike at my injustice. -How now ? there!
[Hermione faints. Paul. This news is mortal to the queen : look down, And see what death is doing.
Leo. Take her hence ;
Her heart is but o'er-charg'd; the will recover.
(Exeunt Paulina and ladies with Hermione.
I have too much believ'd mine own'suspicion:
'Beseech you tenderly apply to her
Some remedies for life. Apollo, pardon
My great prophaneness 'gainst thine oracle !
I'll reconcile me to Polixenes,
New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo;
Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy ;
For, being transported by my jealoufies
To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose
Camillo for the minister, to poison
My friend Polixenes ; which had been done,
But that she good mind of Camillo'tardied
My swift command ; tho' I with death, and with
Reward did threaten and encourage him,
Not doing it, and being done; he (most humane,
And filld with honour) to my kingly gueft
Unclasp'd my practice, quit his fortunes here,
Which you knew great, and to the certain hazard
Of all incertainties himself commended,
No richer than his honour : how he glisters
Through my dark rust! and how his piety
Does my deeds make the blacker!
SCENE IV. Enter Paulina.
PAUL, Woe the while !
0, cut my lace, left my heart, cracking it,
LORD. What fit is this, good lady?
PAUL. What study'd torments, tyrant, haft for me? What wheels ? racks ? fires? what flaying ? boiling? burnIn leads or oils? what old, or newer, torture [ing? Must I receive ? whose every word deserves To taste of thy most worst. Thy tyranny Together working with thy jealoulies, Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle For girls of nine ! O, think, what they have done, And then run mad, indeed ; stark mad, for all Thy by-goạe fooleries were but spices of it. That thou betray’dst Polixenes, 'twas nothing ; That did but shew thee, of a fool, inconstant, And damnable ingrateful : nor was’t much, Thou wouldst have poison'd good Camillo's honour, To have him kill a king : poor trespasses, More monstrous standing by ; whereof I reckon The casting forth to crows thy taby-daughter, To be, or none, or little; tho'a devil Would have shed water out of fire, ere don't : Nor is't directly laid to thee, the death Of the young prince, whose honourable thoughts (Thoughts high for one fo tender) cleft the heart,
That could conceive a gross and foolish fire
Blemish'd his gracious dam : this is not, no,
Laid to thy answer ; but the last -o lords,
When I have said, cry, Woe!--the queen, the queen,
The sweetest, deareft, creature's dead; and vengeance for't
Not drop down yet.
Lord. The higher powers forbid !
Paul. I say, she's dead : I'll swear't: if word, nor oath,
Prevail not, go and see; if you can bring
Tincture or lustre in her lip, her eye,
Heat outwardly, or breath within, I'll serve you
As I would do the gods. But, O thou tyrant !
Do not repent these things, for they are heavier
Than all thy woes can stir : therefore betake thee
To nothing but despair. A thousand knees,
Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting,
Upon a barren mountain, and still winter
In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
To look that way thou wert.
Leo. Go on, go on :
Thou can'st not speak too much: I have deserv’d
All tongues to talk their bitter est.
LORD. Say no more;
Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault
I'th' boldness of
Paul. I'm sorry for't.
All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
I do repent : alas, l've shew'd too much
The rashness of a woman; he is touch'd
To th’noble heart. What's gone, and what's past help,
Should be part grief. Do not receive affiliation
At my petition, I beseech you ; rather
Let me be punish’d, that have minded you
Of what you should forget. Now, my good liege,
Sir, royal fir, forgive a foolish woman;
The love I bore your queen -lo, fool again!
I'll speak of her no more, nor of your children:
I'll not remember you of my own lord,
Who is lost too. Take you your patience to you.
And I'll say nothing.
Leo. Thou did'st say but well,
When most the truth ; which I receive much better
Than to be pitied of thee. Pr’ythee, bring me
To the dead bodies of my queen and son ;
One grave shall be for both. Upon them shall
The causes of their death appear unto
Our shame perpetual ; once a day I'll visit
The chapel where they lie, and tears shed there
Shall be my recreation. So long as nature
Will bear up with this exercise,
So long I daily vow to use it. Come,
And lead me to these sorrows.
(Exeunt, SCENE VI. Changes to Bohemia. A desert country ;
the sea at a little distance.
Enter Antigonus with a child, and a mariner.
Ant. Thou art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd upon
The deserts of Bohemia ?
MAR. Ay, my lord; and fear
We've landed in ill time: the skies look grimly,
And threaten present blusters. In my conscience,
The heav'ns with that we have in hand are angry,
And frown upon's.
Ant. Their sacred wills be done ! get thee aboard,