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again, and that the complaint they have to the king concerns him nothing, let him call me rogue, for being so far officious ; for I am proof against that title, and what same else belongs to't: to him will I present them, there may be matter in it.
[Exit. ACT v. SCENE 1.
Enter Leontes, Cleomenes, Dion, Paulina, and servants.
C LE OM EN E S.
IR, you have done enough; and have perform'd
Which you have not redeem'd ; indeed, paid down
More penitence, than done trespass. At the last,
Do as the heav'ns have done, forget your evil;
With them, forgive yourself.
LEO. Whilft 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 heir-less it hath made my kingdom; and
Destroy'd the sweet'st companion, that e'er man
Bred his hopes out of..
PAUL. 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 unparalleld.
Leo. I think so. Killd?
Kill'd? The I kill'd? I did so, but thou strik'lt me
Sorely, to fay I did? it is as bitter
Upon thy tongue, as in my thought. Now, good now,
Say so but feldom.
Cųeo. Not at all, good lady ;
You might have spoke a thousand things, that would
Have done the time more benefit, and grac'd
Your kindness better.
Paul. You are one of those,
Would have him wed again.
Dio. 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 loyalty's repair,
For present comfort, and for future good,
To bless the bed of majesty again
With a sweet fellow to't?
PAUL. 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 tenour of his oracle,
That king Leontes shall not have an heir,
”Till his loft child be found? which, that it Mall,
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 council,
My lord should to the heav'ns be contrary;
Oppose against their wills. Care not for issue ; [To the king.
The crown will find an heir. Great Alexander
Left his to th' worthieft; fo his successor
Was like to be the best.
LEO. Good Paulina,
Who hast the memory of Hermionc,
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
(Where we offend her now) appear soul-vext,
And begin, Why to me?
Paul. Had she such power,
She had just cause.
Leo. She had, and would incense me.
To murder her I married.
PAUL. I should fo,
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.
Povl. Will you swear
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.
Cleo. You tempt him over-much.
PAUL. Unless another,
As like Hermione as is her picture,
Affront his eye.
Cleo. Good madam, pray, have done.
Paul. Yet, if my lord will marry.--If you will, sir;
No remedy, but if you will; give me the office
To chuse you a queen; the fhall not be fo 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'it us.
Shall be, when your first queen's again in breath :
Never till then.
SCENE II. Enter a Gentleman,
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, tells 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, fay you, with him ?
Gent. Yes; the most peerless piece of earth, I think, That e'er the fun shone bright on.
Paul. Oh Hermione,
As every present time doth boast itself
Above a better, gone, so must thy grave
to what's seen now. Sir, you yourself
Have faid, and writ so ; (but your writing now
Is colder than that theme) “ She had not been
“ Nor was she to be equall'd;" thus your
verse Flow'd with her beauty once; 'tis shrewdly ebb’d, To say, you've 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 sect, might quench the zeal
Of all professors else, make proselytes
Of who the but did follow.
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, Cleomines;
Yourself affifted with your honour'd friends, [ExitCleomines.
Bring them to our embracement. Still 'tis strange
He thus should steal upon us.
Paul. Had our prince,
Jewel of children, seen this hoor, he had pair'd
Well with this lord; there was not full a month
Between their births.
Leo. Prythee no more; cease; thou know'ft,