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scene III.

PAULINA's House.

[Trumpets sound.]

My life


Perdita, FLORIZEL, ARCHIDAMUS, EMILIA, Phocion, Hero, CLEOMENES, Lamia, Dion, and THASIUS.

Paul. What, sovereign sir, I did not well, I meant well: All my services You have paid home: but that you have vouchsaf'd With your crown'd brother, and these your con

tracted Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit, It is a surplus of your grace, which never


last to answer. Leon. 0, 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.

Paul. As she liv'd peerless, So her dead likeness, I do well believe, Excels whatever yet you look'd upon.Prepare To see the life as lively mock'd as ever Still sleep mock'd death :-Behold, and say, 'tis?


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PAULINA undraws a Curtain, and discovers a Statue.
I like your silence; it the more shows off
Your wonder: But yet speak; first, you, my liege:-
Comes it not something near?

Leon. 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.--
O, thus she stood,
Even with such life of majesty,
When first I woo'd her!-
I am asham'd.-
O, 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. And give me leave;
And do not say, 'tis superstition, that
I kneel, and then implore her blessing.

Leon. O, masterpiece of art! nature's deceiv'd
By thy perfection, and at every look
My penitence is all afloat again.
Pol. Dear


brother, Let him, that was the cause of this, have

To take off so much grief from you, as he
Will piece up in himself.

Paul. 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.

Leon. Do not draw the curtain.
Paul. No longer shall you gaze on't ; lest your

May think anon, it moves.

Leon. 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

Did verily bear blood ?

Paul. I'll draw the curtain;
My lord's almost so far transported, that
He'll think anon, it lives.

Leon. Make me to think so twenty years toge


No settled senses of the world can match
The pleasure of that madness.—Let't alone.
Paul. I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirr'd you;

I could afflict


Leon. Do, Paulina;
For this affliction has a taste as sweet

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.

Paul. Good my lord, forbear:
The ruddiness


her lip is wet; You'll mar it, if you kiss it. Shall I draw the curtain ?

Leon. No, not these twenty years.

Per. So long could I Stand by, a looker-on.

Paul. 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.

Leon. 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,

Paul. It is requir'd,
You do awake your faith: Then, all stand still;
Or ihose, that think it is unlawful business
I am about, let them depart.

Leon. Proceed:
No foot shall stir.

Paul. Music,-awake her,-strike. "Tis time; descend; be stone no more: approach ; Strike all that look upon with marvel.--Come.

[Music.—HERMIONE turns towards

LEONTES. Leon. Heavenly powers!

[Music. - HERMIONE descends from the Pe

Paul. Start not; her actions shall be holy, as,
You hear, my spell is lawful :.
Nay, present your hand.

Leon. 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 trans-

I cannot hold me longer from those arms.-
She is warm,--she lives !

Per. O Florizel !
Leon. Her beating heart meets mine, and fluttering


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 livd, Or, how stolen from the dead.

Paul. Mark a little while, Please you to interpose, fair madam ; kneel, And pray your mother's blessing.---Turn, good


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.

Her. You gods, look down,
And from your sacred phials pour your graces
Upon their princely heads !

Leon. Hark, hark! she speaksO, 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 !

Leon. O, my Hermione !-have I desery'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. Leon. 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 1,

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