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heavy, and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to him, though remov'd fifty times, shall all come under the hangman: which though it be great pity, yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue, a ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into grace! Some say he shall be ston'd; but that death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne into a sheep-cote! all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.

Clo. Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an't like you, sir?

Aut. He has a son, who shall be flay'd alive; then, 'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a wasp's nest; then stand, till he be three quarters and a dram dead; then recover'd again with aqua-vitae, or some other hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and in the hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall he be set against a brick wall, the sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he is to behold him with flies blown to death. But what talk we of these traitorly rascals, whose miseries are to be smil'd at, their offences being so capital? Tell me (for you seem to be honest plain men) what you have to the King: being something gently consider'd, I'll bring you where he is aboard, tender your persons to his presence, whisper him in your behalfs: and, if it be in man, besides the King, to effect your suits, here is man shall do it.

Clo. He seems to be of great authority: close with him, give him gold; and though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold; shew the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado. Remember, ston'd and flay'd alive!

Shep. An't please you, sir, to undertake the business for us, here is that gold I have: I'll make it w2

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 business?

Clo. In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flay'd out of it.

Aut. O, that's the case of the shepherd's son: — Hang him, he'll be made an example.

Clo. Comfort, good comfort: we must to the King, and shew our strange sights: he must know 'tis none of your daughter, nor my sister; we are gone else. Sir, I will give you as much as this old man does, when the business is perform'd; and remain, as he says, your pawn till it be brought you.

Aut. I will trust you. Walk before toward the sea-side: go on the right hand; I will but look upon the hedge, and follow you.

Clo. We are bless'd in this man, as I may say, even bless'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 honest, I see Fortune would not suffer me; she drops booties in my mouth. I am courted now with a double occasion; gold, and a means to do the Prince my master good; which, who knows how that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him; if he think it fit to shore them again, and that the complaint they have to the King concerns him nothing, let him call me rogue for being so far officious; for I am proof against that title, and what shame else belongs to't. To him will I present them; there may be matter in it. [Exit.

ACT V.

Scene I. — Sicilia. A Room in the Palace of Leontes.

Enter Leontes, Cleomenes, Dion, Paulina, and others.

Cleomenes.

SIR, you have done enough, and have perform'd
A saint-like sorrow. No fault could you make
Which you have not redeem'd; indeed, paid down
More penitence than done trespass! At the last
Do, as the Heavens have done; forget your evil;
With them, forgive yourself.

Leon. Whilst I remember

Her, and her virtues, I cannot forget
My blemishes in them; and so still think of
The wrong I did myself; which was so much,
That heirless it hath made my kingdom, and
Destroy'd the sweet'st companion that e'er man
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, she you kill'd
Would be unparallel'd.

Leon. I think so. Kill'd!She I kill'd! I did so; but thou strik'st me
Sorely, to say I did: it is as bitter
Upon thy tongue as in my thought. Now, good now,
Say so but seldom.

Cleo. Not at all, good lady;

You might have spoken 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.

Dion. If you would not so,

You pity not the State, nor the remembrance
Of his most sovereign name; consider 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 present comfort and for future good, —
To bless the bed of majesty again
With a sweet fellow to't?

Paul. There is none worthy,

Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes:
For has not the divine Apollo said,
Is't not the tenor of his oracle,
That King Leontes shall not have an heir
Till his lost child be found? which, that it shall,
Is all as monstrous 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 should to the Heavens be contrary,
Oppose against their wills. [To Leontes.] Care

not for issue;The Crown will find an heir. Great Alexander
Left his to th' worthiest; so his successor
Was like to be the best.

Leon. Good Paulina,—

Who hast the memory of Hermione,

I know, in honour, — O, that ever I
Had squar'd me to thy counsel! 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.

Leon. Thou speak'st truth.

No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse,
And better us'd, would make her sainted spirit
Again possess her corpse, and, on this stage
(Where we offenders now) appear, soul-vex'd,
And begin, 'Why to me?'

Paul. Had she such power,

She had just cause.

Leon. She had; and would incense me

To murther her I married.

Paul. I should so:

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

Leon. Stars, stars,

And all eyes else dead coals ! — Fear thou no wife, I'll have no wife, Paulina.

Paul. Will you swear

Never to marry, but by my free leave?

Leon. Never, Paulina! so be bless'd my spirit!

Paul. Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath, —

Cleo. You tempt him over-much.

Paul. Unless another,

A.s like Hermione as is her picture,
Affront his eye; —

Cleo. Good Madam, I have done.

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