Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardin Aasand
Peer Reviewed

The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

Scaena Tertia.
Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Florizell, Perdita, Camillo,
3185Paulina: Hermione (like a Statue:) Lords, &c.
Leo. O graue and good Paulina, the great comfort
That I haue had of thee?
Cc Paul. What
302The Winters Tale.
Paul. What (Soueraigne Sir)
I did not well, I meant well: all my Seruices
3190You haue pay'd home. But that you haue vouchsaf'd
(With your Crown'd Brother, and these your contracted
Heires of your Kingdomes) my poore House to visit;
It is a surplus of your Grace, which neuer
My life may last to answere.
3195Leo. O Paulina,
We honor you with trouble: but we came
To see the Statue of our Queene. Your Gallerie
Haue we pass'd through, not without much content
In many singularities; but we saw not
3200That which my Daughter came to looke vpon,
The Statue of her Mother.
Paul. As she liu'd peerelesse,
So her dead likenesse I doe well beleeue
Excells what euer yet you look'd vpon,
3205Or hand of Man hath done: therefore I keepe it
Louely, apart. But here it is: prepare
To see the Life as liuely mock'd, as euer
Still Sleepe mock'd Death: behold, and say 'tis well.
I like your silence, it the more shewes-off
3210Your wonder: but yet speake, first you (my Liege)
Comes it not something neere?
Leo. Her naturall Posture.
Chide me (deare Stone) that I may say indeed
Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she,
3215In thy not chiding: for she was as tender
As Infancie, and Grace. But yet (Paulina)
Hermione was not so much wrinckled, nothing
So aged as this seemes.
Pol. Oh, not by much.
3220Paul. So much the more our Caruers excellence,
Which lets goe-by some sixteene yeeres, and makes her
As she liu'd now.
Leo. As now she might haue done,
So much to my good comfort, as it is
3225Now piercing to my Soule. Oh, thus she stood,
Euen with such Life of Maiestie (warme Life,
As now it coldly stands) when first I woo'd her.
I am asham'd: Do's not the Stone rebuke me,
For being more Stone then it? Oh Royall Peece:
3230There's Magick in thy Maiestie, which ha's
My Euils coniur'd to remembrance; and
From thy admiring Daughter tooke the Spirits,
Standing like Stone with thee.
Perd. And giue me leaue,
3235And doe not say 'tis Superstition, that
I kneele, and then implore her Blessing. Lady,
Deere Queene, that ended when I but began,
Giue me that hand of yours, to kisse.
Paul. O, patience:
3240The Statue is but newly fix'd; the Colour's
Not dry.
Cam. My Lord, your Sorrow was too sore lay'd-on,
Which sixteene Winters cannot blow away,
So many Summers dry: scarce any Ioy
3245Did euer so long liue; no Sorrow,
But kill'd it selfe much sooner.
Pol. Deere my Brother,
Let him, that was the cause of this, haue powre
To take-off so much griefe from you, as he
3250Will peece vp in himselfe.
Paul. Indeed my Lord,
If I had thought the sight of my poore Image
Would thus haue wrought you (for the Stone is mine)
Il'd not haue shew'd it.
3255Leo. Doe not draw the Curtaine.
Paul. No longer shall you gaze on't, least your Fancie
May thinke anon, it moues.
Leo. Let be, let be:
Would I were dead, but that me thinkes alreadie.
3260(What was he that did make it?) See (my Lord)
Would you not deeme it breath'd? and that those veines
Did verily beare blood?
Pol. 'Masterly done:
The very Life seemes warme vpon her Lippe.
3265Leo. The fixure of her Eye ha's motion in't,
As we are mock'd with Art.
Paul. Ile draw the Curtaine:
My Lord's almost so farre transported, that
Hee'le thinke anon it liues.
3270Leo. Oh sweet Paulina,
Make me to thinke so twentie yeeres together:
No setled Sences of the World can match
The pleasure of that madnesse. Let't alone.
Paul. I am sorry (Sir) I haue thus farre stir'd you: but
3275I could afflict you farther.
Leo. Doe Paulina:
For this Affliction ha's a taste as sweet
As any Cordiall comfort. Still me thinkes
There is an ayre comes from her. What fine Chizzell
3280Could euer yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,
For I will kisse her.
Paul. Good my Lord, forbeare:
The ruddinesse vpon her Lippe, is wet:
You'le marre it, if you kisse it; stayne your owne
3285With Oyly Painting: shall I draw the Curtaine.
Leo. No: not these twentie yeeres.
Perd. So long could I
Stand-by, a looker-on.
Paul. Either forbeare,
3290Quit presently the Chappell, or resolue you
For more amazement: if you can behold it,
Ile make the Statue moue indeed; descend,
And take you by the hand: but then you'le thinke
(Which I protest against) I am assisted
3295By wicked Powers.
Leo. What you can make her doe,
I am content to looke on: what to speake,
I am content to heare: for 'tis as easie
To make her speake, as moue.
3300Paul. It is requir'd
You doe awake your Faith: then, all stand still:
On: those that thinke it is vnlawfull Businesse
I am about, let them depart.
Leo. Proceed:
3305No foot shall stirre.
Paul. Musick; awake her: Strike:
'Tis time: descend: be Stone no more: approach:
Strike all that looke vpon with meruaile: Come:
Ile fill your Graue vp: stirre: nay, come away:
3310Bequeath to Death your numnesse: (for from him,
Deare Life redeemes you) you perceiue she stirres:
Start not: her Actions shall be holy, as
You heare my Spell is lawfull: doe not shun her,
Vntill you see her dye againe; for then
3315You kill her double: Nay, present your Hand:
When she was young, you woo'd her: now, in age,
Is she become the Suitor?
Leo. Oh, she's warme:
If this be Magick, let it be an Art
The Winters Tale. 303
3320Lawfull as Eating.
Pol. She embraces him.
Cam. She hangs about his necke,
If she pertaine to life, let her speake too.
Pol. I, and make it manifest where she ha's liu'd,
3325Or how stolne from the dead?
Paul. That she is liuing,
Were it but told you, should be hooted at
Like an old Tale: but it appeares she liues,
Though yet she speake not. Marke a little while:
3330Please you to interpose (faire Madam) kneele,
And pray your Mothers blessing: turne good Lady,
Our Perdita is found.
Her. You Gods looke downe,
And from your sacred Viols poure your graces
3335Vpon my daughters head: Tell me (mine owne)
Where hast thou bin preseru'd? Where liu'd? How found
Thy Fathers Court? For thou shalt heare that I
Knowing by Paulina, that the Oracle
Gaue hope thou wast in being, haue preseru'd
3340My selfe, to see the yssue.
Paul. There's time enough for that,
Least they desire (vpon this push) to trouble
Your ioyes, with like Relation. Go together
You precious winners all: your exultation
3345Partake to euery one: I (an old Turtle)
Will wing me to some wither'd bough, and there
My Mate (that's neuer to be found againe)
Lament, till I am lost.
Leo. O peace Paulina:
3350Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent,
As I by thine a Wife. This is a Match,
And made betweene's by Vowes. Thou hast found mine,
But how, is to be question'd: for I saw her
(As I thought) dead: and haue (in vaine) said many
3355A prayer vpon her graue. Ile not seeke farre
(For him, I partly know his minde) to finde thee
An honourable husband. Come Camillo,
And take her by the hand: whose worth, and honesty
Is richly noted: and heere iustified
3360By Vs, a paire of Kings. Let's from this place.
What? looke vpon my Brother: both your pardons,
That ere I put betweene your holy lookes
My ill suspition: This your Son-in-law,
And Sonne vnto the King, whom heauens directing
3365Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,
Leade vs from hence, where we may leysurely
Each one demand, and answere to his part
Perform'd in this wide gap of Time, since first
We were disseuer'd: Hastily lead away. Exeunt.