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I like your silence; it the more shows off
Your wonder : but yet speak; first, you, my liege :-
Comes it not somuthing near?
Leo. [L. in amazement.] Her natural posture !
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.-
0, thus she stood,
Even with such life of majesty,
When first I woo'd her!
I am asham’d.
0, royal piece,
There's magic 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. (R.) And give me leave;
And do not say, 'tis superstition, that
I kneel, and then implore her blessing.
Leo. O, masterpiece of art! nature's deceiv'd
By thy perfection, and at every
look My penitence is all afloat again.
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.
Pau. Indeed, my lord,
If I had thought, the sight of my poor image
Would thus have wrought you,
I'd not have show'd it.
Leo. Do not draw the curtain.
Pau. 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 ?
Pau.' I'll draw the curtain ;
My lord's almost so far transported, that
He'll think anon, it lives.
Leo. Make me think so twenty years together;
No settled senses of the world can match
The pleasure of that madness.- Let 't alone.
Pau. I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirr'd you; but I could afflict you further.
Leo. 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.
Pau. Good my lord, forbear :
The ruddiness upon her lip is wet;
You'll mar it, if you kiss it.
Shall I draw the curtain ?
Leo. No, not these twenty years.
Per. So long could I
Stand by, a looker-on.
Pau. 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.
Pau. 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 depart.
Leo. Proceed :
No foot shall stir.
Pau. Music-awake her-strike. 'Tis time ; descend; be stone no more : approach ; Strike all that look upon with marvel.-Come.
[Solemn music.--Hermione turns towards Leontcs. Leo. Heavenly powers !
[Music. --Hermione descends from the Pedestal. Pau. (R. C.) Start not; her actions shall be holy, as, You hear, my spell is lawful : Nay, present your hand.
Leo. (R. C.) Support me, Heaven !If this be more than visionary bliss, My reason cannot hold.-My queen, my wife ? But speak to me, and turn me wild with transport.“
I cannot hold me longer from those arms.-
She is warm-she lives !
Per. 0, Florizel !
Leo. Her beating heart meets mine, and fluttering owns Its long-lost half: these tears, that choke her voice, Are hot and moist-it is Hermione !
Pol. O, make it manifest where she has liv’d,
Or, how stolen from the dead.
Pau. Mark a little while
Please you to interpose, fair madam;
[To Perdita.] kneel, And pray your mother's blessing.–Turn, good lady; Our Perdita is found :
[Presents Perdita.—Hermione catches her in her arms.
And with her found
A princely husband; whose instinct of royalty,
From under the low thatch where she was bred,
Took his untutor'd queen. [Perdita and Florizel koneel.
Her. You gods, look down,
And from your sacred phials pour your graces
Upon their princely heads !
Leo. Hark, hark ! she speaks-
O pipe, through sixteen winters dumb! then deem'd
Harsh as the raven's throat; now musical
As nature's song, tun'd to the according spheres !
Her. My lord,
my king—there's distance in those names-My husband !
Leo. O, my Hermione ! have I deserv'd That tender name ?-Be witness, holy powers, If penitence may cleanse the soul from guilt, Leontes' tears have wash'd his crimes away. If thanks unfeign'd be all that you require, Most bounteous gods, for happiness like mine, Read in my heart, your mercy's not in vain!
Her. No more, my best lov'd lord :-be all that's pass'd Buried in this enfolding, and forgiven.
Leo. Thou matchless saint !- Thou paragon of virtue !. Per. Thus let me bow, and kiss that honour'd hand. Her. Thou, Perdita, my long-lost child, that fill'st My measure up of bliss—tell me, mine own, Where hast thou been preserv'd ? where liv'd ? how found Thy father's court ? for thou shalt hear, that IKnowing by Paulina, that the oracle Gave hope thou wast in being-have preserv'd Myself to see the issue.
Pau. (R.) 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.
Leo. (c.) No, no, Paulina;
Live bless'd with blessing others.—My Polixenes-
What? Look upon my brother : (Polixenes advances from
the L.)—both your pardons,
That e'er I put between your holy looks
My ill suspicion.—Come, our good Camillo,
Now pay thy duty here : thy worth and honesty
Are richly noted, and here justified
By us, a pair of kings-And, my best queen,
Again I give you this your son-in-law,
And son unto the king, by Heaven's directing
Long troth-plight to our daughter.
Per. (R. C.) I am all shame,
And ignorance itself, how to put on
This novel garment of gentility;
And yield a patch'd behaviour,
That ill becomes this presence :-I shall learn,
I trust I shall with meekness :- but I feel-
Ab, happy that I do!-a love, a heart,
Unalter'd to my prince, my Florizel.
Flo. (R. c.) Be still my queen of May, my shepherdess;
Rule in my heart; my wishes be thy subjects,
And harmless as thy sheep.
Leo. Now, good Paulina,
Lead us from hence; where we may leisurely
Each one demand, and answer to his part
Perform'd in this wide gap of time, since first
We were dissever'd :-
Then thank the righteous gods,
Who after tossing in a frightful storm,
Guide us to port, and cheerful beams display,
To gild the happy evening of our day.
Attendants. PAUL. FLOR. Per. Her. LEON. POL. CLEO. Cam. R.]