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1. L. This your request
Is altogether juft:--therefore, bring forth,
And in Apollo's name, his oracle.
[Exeunt certain Officers,
HER. The emperor of Russia was my father :
O, that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter's trial! that he did but see
The fatness of my misery ; yet with eyes
Of pity, not revenge!
Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES,
and Dion, bringing in the Oracle.
off. You here shall swear upon this T sword of justice,
Cleomenes and Dion, have
Been both at Delphos ; and from thence have brought
This T feal'd-up oracle, by the hand deliver'd
Of great Apollo's priest ; and that, since then,
You have not dar'd to break the holy seal,
Nor read the secrets in't.
CLE. Dio. All this we swear.
Leo. Break up the feals, and read.
Off (reads.) Hermione is chaft, Polixenes blame-
less, Camillo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant,
bis innocent babe truly begotten; and the king shall
live without an heir, if that, which is loft, be not
Lor. Now bleffed be the great Apollo !
Leo. Hast thou read truth?
Of Ay, my lord; even fo
As it is here set down.
LEO. There is no truth at all i'the oracle :
The sessions Mall proceed ; this is meer fallhood,
Enter a Gentleman, bastily.
Gen. My lord the king, the king!
LEO. What is the business ?
Gen. O, fir, I shall be hated to report it:
The prince your son, with meer conceit and fear
Of the queen's fpeed, is gone.
Leo. How! gone?
Gen. Is dead.
LEO. Apollo's angry; and the heavens themselves
Do ftrike at my injustice..(Her. faints.] How now there?
Pau. This news is mortal to the queen:-Look down, And see what death is doing.
LEO. Take her hence:
Her heart is but o’er-charg'd; she will recover.
[Her. is born off ; Pau. and Ladies follow her.
I have too much believ'd mine own suspicion :
'Befeech you, tenderly, apply to her
Some remedies for life. - Apollo, pardon
My great prophaneness 'gainst thine oracle ! -
I'll reconcile me to Polixenes ;
New-woo my queen; recall the good Camillo,
Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy :
For, being transported by my jealousies
To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose
Camillo for the minister, to poison
My friend Polixenes : which had been done,
But that the good mind of Camillo tardy'd
My swift command; though I with death, and with
Reward, did threaten and encourage him,
Not doing it, and being done : he, most humane,
And fill'd with honour, to my kingly guest
Unclasp'd my practice ; quit his fortunes here,
Which you knew great ; and to the certain hazard
Of all incertainties himself commended,
No richer than his honour:- How he glifters
Through my dark ruft ! and how his piety
Does my deeds make the blacker !
Re-enter PAULINA, hastily.
PAU. Woe the while !
O, cut my lace; left my heart, cracking it,
1. L. What fit is this, good lady?
Pau. What study'd torments, tyrant, hast for me? What wheels? racks? fires? What Haying, rather: boiling In leads, or oils? what old, or newer, torture Must I receive; whose every word deserves To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny, Together working with thy jealousies, (Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle For girls of nine) o, think what they have done, And then run mad indeed ; stark mad! for all Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it. That thou betray'dit Polixenes, 'twas nothing; That did but shew thee, of a fool, inconstant, And damnable ingrateful : nor was’t much, Thou would'st have poison'd good Camillo’s honour, To have him kill a king; poor trespasies, More monstrous ftanding by: whereof I reckon The casting-forth to crows thy baby daughter To be or none, or little; though a devil Would have shed water out of fire, ere don't: Nor is't directly lay'd to thee, the death Of the young prince; whose honourable thoughts (Thoughts high for one fo tender) cleft the heart,
That could conceive, a gross and foolish fire
Blemish'd his gracious dam : this is not, no,
Lay'd to thy answer : But the last, – 0, lords,
When I have said, cry,
woe! _ the
queen, The sweet'st, dear'ft, creature's dead; and vengeance for't Not dropt down yet.
1. L. The higher powers forbid !
Pav. I say, she's dead; I'll fwear't: if word, nor oath,
Prevail not, go and see : if you can bring
Tincture, or luftre, in her lip, her eye,
Heat outwardly, or breath within, l'll serve you
As I would do the gods. – But, o, thou tyrant!
Do not repent these things ; for they are heavier
Than all thy woes can ftir : therefore betake thee
To nothing but despair: a thousand knees,
Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting,
Upon a barren mountain, and still winter
In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
To look that way thou wert.
Leo. Go on, go on :
Thou canst not speak too much ; I have deserv'd
All tongues to talk their bite'reft.
1. L. Say no more ;
Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault
I'the boldness of your speech.
Pav. I am sorry for’t; All faults I make, when I shall come to know them, I do repent: Alas, I have shew'd too much The rashness of a woman : he is touch'd To the noble heart.-What's gone, and what's past help, Should be paft grief: Do not receive affliction At my petition, I beseech you ; rather
Let me be punish'd, that have minded you
Of what you should forget. Now, good my liege,
Sir, royal fir, forgive a foolish woman:
The love I bore your queen, -Lo, fool again ! -
I'll speak of her no more, nor of your
children; I'll not remember
my own lord,
Who is loft too: take you your patience to you,
And I'll say nothing.
Leo. Thou didst speak but well,
When most the truth ; which I receive much better,
Than to be pity'd of thee. Pr’ythee, bring me
To the dead bodies of my queen, and son:
One grave shall be for both; upon them shall
The causes of their death appear, unto
Our shame perpetual : Once a day, I'll visit
The chapel where they lye; and tears, shed there,
Shall be my recreation : so long as nature
Will bear up with this exercise, so long
I daily vow to use it. Come, and lead me
To these my sorrows.
SCENE III. Bohemia. Desarts upon the Sea. Enter ANTIGONUS, with the Child; and a Mariner.
Ant. Thou art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd upon The desarts of Bohemia?
Mar. Ay, my lord ; and fear
We have landed in ill time: the skies look grimly,
And threaten present
my conscience, The heavens with that we have in hand are angry, And frown
Ant. Their facred wills be done! _Go, get aboard, Look to thy bark; I'll not be long, before