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Leo. Whilft I remember

Her and her virtues, I cannot forget

My blemishes in them, and so still think of
The wrong I did myfelf; which was so much,
That heir-lefs it hath made my kingdom; and
Deftroy'd the sweet'ft companion, that e'er man (30)
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 fomething good,
To make a perfect woman; fhe, you kill'd,
Would be unparallel'd.

Leo. I think fo.


Kill'd? the I kill'd ? I did fo, but thou strik’st me
Sorely, to fay I did; it is as bitter

Upon my tongue, as in my thought. Now, good now,
Say fo but feldom.

Cleo. 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 fo,

You pity not the State, nor the remembrance
Of his moft fovereign name; confider 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 prefent comfort, and for future good,
To blefs the bed of Majefty again

(30) Deftroy'd the fweet'ft companion, that e'er man
Bred his bopes out of, true.

Paul. Teo true, my Lord.] A very flight examination will convince ev'ry intelligent reader, that, true, here has jump'd out of its place in all the editions. What the King would fay, is abfolutely complete without it and the placing it, where the printed copies have done, is an embarrafment to the fenfe. Thefe two reafons, I hope, will be fufficient to juftify my transposition.

With a fweet fellow to't?·

Paul. There is none worthy,

Refpecting her that's gone; befides, the gods
Will have fulfill'd their fecret purposes:
For has not the divine Apollo faid,

Is't not the tenor of his oracle,

That King Leontes fhall not have an heir,

'Till his loft child be found? which, that it fhall,
Is all as monftrous 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 fhould to the heav'ns be contrary;
Oppofe against their wills.

The Crown will find an heir.

Care not for issue;

[To the King.

Great Alexander

Left his to th' worthieft; fo his fucceffor

Was like to be the beft.

Leo. Good Paulina,

Who haft the memory of Hermione,

I know, in honour: O, that ever I

Had fquar'd me to thy counfel! 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 fpeak'st truth:

No more fuch wives, therefore no wife; one worfe,
And better us'd, would make her fainted fpirit (31)
Again poffefs her corps; and on this stage,
(Where we offend her now) appear foul-vext,
And begin, Why to me?

(31)- -would make ber fainted fpirit

Again poffefs ber corps, and on this flage

(Where we offenders now appear) foul wext,

And begin, &c.] 'Tis obvious, that the grammar is defective; and the fenfe confequently wants fupporting. The flight change I have made cures both and, furely, 'tis an improvement to the fentiment for the King to fay, that Paulina and he offended his dead wife's ghoft with the fubject of a second match; rather than in general terms to call themselves offenders, finners.


Paul. Had the fuch

She had just fuch caufe.


Leo. She had, and would incenfe me To murder her I married.

Paul. I fhould fo:

Were I the ghoft that walk'd, I'd bid you mark
Her eye, and tell me, for what dull part in't
You chofe her; then I'd fhriek, that even your ears
Shou'd rift to hear me, and the words that follow'd
Should be, Remember mine.

Leo. Stars, ftars,

And all eyes elfe, dead coals: fear thou no wife :
I'll have no wife, Paulina.

Paul. Will you fwear

Never to marry, but by my free leave?

Leo. Never, Paulina; fo be blefs'd my spirit!
Paul. Then, good my Lords, bear witnefs to his oath.
Cleo. You tempt him over-much.

Paul. Unlefs 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 you will; give me the office

To chufe you a Queen; fhe fhall not be fo young
As was your former; but she shall be fuch,

As, walk'd your first Queen's ghoft, it should take joy
To fee her in

your arms.

Leo. My true Paulina,

We shall not marry, 'till thoù bid'st us.

Paul. That

Shall be, when your firft Queen's again in breath:
Never 'till then.

Enter a Gentleman.

Gent. One that gives out himfelf Prince Florizel, Son of Polixenes, with his Princess (she,

The fairest I have yet beheld) defires access

To your high prefence.

Leo. What with him? he comes not

Like to his father's greatnefs; his approach,
So out of circumftance and fudden, tells us,
'Tis not a vifitation fram'd, but forc'd
By need and accident. What train ?
Gent. But few,

And thofe but mean.

Leo. His Princefs, fay you, with him?

Gent. Yes; the moft peerless piece of earth, I think, That e'er the fun fhone bright on.

Paul. Oh Hermione,

As every prefent time doth boast itself
Above a better, gone; fo must thy grave
Give way to what's feen now.

Sir, you yourself
Have faid, and writ fo; but your writing now
Is colder than that theme; fhe had not been,
Nor was the to be equall'd; thus your verse
Flow'd with her beauty once; 'tis fhrewdly ebb'd,
To fay, you've seen a better.

Gent. Pardon, Madam;

The one I have almoft forgot, (your pardon)

The other, when she has obtain'd your eye,

Will have your tongue too.

This is a creature,

Would the begin a fect, might quench the zeal

Of all profeffors elfe, make profelytes

Of who the but bid follow.

Paul. How? not women?

Gent. Women will love her, that fhe is a woman More worth than any man: men, that fhe is

The rarest of all women.

Leo. Go, Cleomines;

Yourfelf, (affitted with your honour'd friends)

Bring them to our embracement. Still 'tis ftrange,
He thus fhould steal upon us.

Paul. Had our Prince

[Exit Cleomines.

(Jewel of children) feen this hour, he had pair'd Well with this Lord; there was not full a month Between their births.

Leo. Pr'ythee, no more; ceafe; thou know'ft, He dies to me again, when talk'd of: fure, When I fhall fee this gentleman, thy speeches


Will bring me to confider that which may
Unfurnish me of reafon. They are come.

Enter Florizel, Perdita, Cleomines, and others;
Your mother was most true to wedlock, Prince,
For fhe did print your royal father off,
Conceiving you. Were I but twenty-one,
Your father's image is fo hit in you,

His very air, that I fhould call you brother,
As I did him, and fpeak of fomething wildly
By us perform'd before. Moft dearly welcome,
As your fair Princefs, goddefs:-oh! alas!
I loft a couple, that 'twixt heav'n and earth (32)
Might thus have flood begetting wonder, as
You gracious couple do; and then I loft
(All mine own folly) the fociety,

Amity too of your brave father, whom
(Tho' bearing mifery) I defire my life
Once more to look on.

Flo. Sir, by his command

Have I here touch'd Sicilia, and from him

Give you all greetings, that a King, (at friend)
Can fend his brother; and but infirmity,

Which waits upon worn times, hath fomething feiz’d.

His wifh'd ability, he had himself

The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his

Meafur'd, to look upon you; whom he loves,
He bade me fay fo, more than all the scepters,
And thofe that bear them living.

Leo. Oh, my brother!

Good gentleman, the wrongs I have done thee ftir (32) I loft a couple, that 'twixt beav'n and earth

Might thus bave flood, begetting wonder, as

You gracious couple do ;] I have several times hinted how dangerous to fenfe an innocent comma is, in the hands of ignorance, The editors, by a ftupid pointing here, had ftifled a fine byperbole, and blunder'd the text into abfurdity. Did the young Prince and his Confört ftand betwixt heaven and earth, fufpenfi ad ventos, as Virgil calls it? No fuch matter. The King's meaning is this; he had loft a pair of children, who might have ftood the wonder of two worlds, the objects of admiration to gods and men; as this young Prince and his Princess did, in his opinion,


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