Abbildungen der Seite

to offer to have his daughter come into grace! fome fay, he fhall be fton'd; but that death is too foft for him, fay I draw our throne into a fheep-coat! all deaths are too few, the fharpest too easy.


Clo. Has the old man e'er a fon, Sir, do you hear, and't like you, Sir?

Aut. He has a fon, who fhall be flay'd alive, then 'nointed over with honey, fet on the head of a wafp's neft, then ftand 'till he be three quarters and a dram dead; then recover'd again with aqua vita, or fome other hot infufion; then raw as he is, (and in the hottest day prognoftication proclaims) fhall he be fet against a brick-wall, the fun looking with a fouthward eye upon death. But what talk we of these traitorly rafcals, whose miferies are to be fmil'd at, their offences being fo capital? Tell me, (for you feem to be honest plain men) what you have to the King; being fomething gently confider'd, I'll bring you where he is aboard, tender your perfons to his prefence, whisper him in your behalf, and if it be in man befides the King, to effect your fuits, here is a man fhall do it.

Clo. He feems to be of great authority; clofe with him, give him gold; and tho' authority be a ftubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nofe with gold; fhew the infide of your purfe to the outfide of his hand, and no more ado. Remember, fton'd, and flay'd alive

Shep. And't pleafe you, Sir, to undertake the bufinefs for, us, here is that gold I have; I'll make it as much more, and leave this young man in pawn 'till I bring it you.

Aut. After I have done what I promised?

Shep. Ay, Sir.

Aut. Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in

this bufinefs?

Cla. In fome fort, Sir; but tho' my cafe be a pitiful one, I hope, I fhall not be flay'd out of it.

Aut. Oh, that's the cafe of the fhepherd's fon; hang him, he'll be made an example.

Clo. Comfort, good comfort; we must to the King,


and fhew our ftrange fights; he must know, 'tis none of your daughter, nor my fifter; we are gone else. Sir, I will give you as much as this old man does, when the bufinefs is perform'd; and remain, as he fays, your . pawn 'till it be brought you.

Aut. I will trust you, walk before toward the fea-fide, go on the right hand; I will but look upon the hedge, and follow you.

Clo. We are blefs'd in this man, as I may fay,even blefs'd. Shep. Let's before, as he bids us: he was provided to do us good. [Exeunt Shepherd and Clown.

Aut. If I had a mind to be honeft, I fee, Fortune would not fuffer me; the drops booties in my mouth. I am courted now with a double occafion: gold, and a means to do the Prince my mafter good; which, who knows how that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring thefe two moles, these blind ones, aboard him; if he think it fit to fhoar them again, and that the complaint they have to the King concerns him nothing, let him call me rogue, for being fo far officious; for I am proof against that title, and what fhame elfe belongs to't: to him will I prefent them, there may be matter in it. [Exit.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE changes to Sicilia.

Enter Leontes, Cleomines, Dion, Paulina, and Servants.


IR, you have done enough, and have perform'd


A faint-like forrow: no fault could you make, Which you have not redeem'd'; indeed, paid down More penitence, than done trefpafs. At the laft, Do as the heavens 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 fo ftill think of
The wrong I did myself; which was fo 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 something good,
To make a perfect woman; fhe, you kill'd,
Would be unparallel'd.

Leo. I think fo. Kill'd?

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 Highnefs' 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 sweet st companion, that e'er man
Bred bis 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 justify 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 shall,
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 speak'ft truth:

No more fuch wives, therefore no wife; one worse,
And better us'd, would make her fainted fpirit (31)
Again poffefs her corps; and on this ftage,

(Where we offend her now) appear foul-vext,
And begin, Why to me?


- would make ber fainted Spirit

Again poffefs ber corps, and on this flage

(Where we offenders now appear) foul vext,

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 fecond match; rather than ́in general terms to call themselves offenders, Jinners.


Paul. Had fhe 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; so be bless'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 the fhall 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 fhall 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 Princefs (fhe,

The fairest I have yet beheld) defires access

To your high prefence.

Leo. What with him? he comes not

« ZurückWeiter »