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Paul. Yet, if my lord will marry, (if you will, sir, No remedy but you will,) give me the office To choose you a Queen; she shall not be so young As was your former: but she shall be such As, walk'd your first Queen's ghost, it should take

joy To see her in your arms.

Leon. My true Paulina,

We shall not marry till thou bidd'st us.

Paul. That Shall be when your first Queen's again in breath; Never till then.

Enter a Gentleman.

Gentleman. One that gives out himself Prince Florizel, Son of Polixenes, with his Princess, (she The fairest I have yet beheld,) desires access To your high presence.

Leon. What with him? he comes not

Like to his father's greatness: his approach,
So out of circumstance and sudden, tells us
'Tis not a visitation fram'd, but forc'd
By need and accident. What train?

Gent. But few,

And those but mean.

Leon. His Princess, say you, with him?

Gent. Ay, the most peerless piece of earth, I think, That e'er the sun shone bright on.

Paul. 0 Hermione,

As every present time doth boast itself
Above a better, gone, so must thy grave
Give way to what's seen now. Sir, you yourself
Have said, and writ so, (but your writing now

Is colder than that theme,) "She had not been, Nor was not to be equall'd;"—thus your verse Flow'd with her beauty once; 'tis shrewdly ebb'd, To say you have seen a better.

Gent. Pardon, Madam;

The one I have almost forgot; (your pardon;)
The other, when she has obtain'd your eye,
Will have your tongue too. This is a creature,
Would she begin a sect, might quench the zeal
Of all professors else, make proselytes
Of who she but bid follow.

Paul. How? not women?

Gent. Women will love her, that she is a woman, More worth than any man; men, that she is The rarest of all women.

Leon. Go, Cleomenes;

Yourself, assisted with your honour'd friends,
Bring them to our embracement. — Still 'tis strange
\_Exeunt Cleomenes, Lords, and Gentleman.
He thus should steal upon us.

Paul. Had our Prince

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

Leon. Pr'ythee, no more: cease; thou know'st

He dies to me again, when talk'd of: sure,
When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches
Will bring me to consider that which may
Unfurnish me of reason. — They are come. —

Enter Cleomenes, with Florizel, Pekdita, and


Your mother was most true to wedlock, Prince;
For she did print your royal father off,
Conceiving you. Were I but twenty-one,

Your father's image is so hit in you,
His very air, that I should call you brother,
As I did him, and speak of something, wildly
By us perform'd before. Most dearly welcome!
And your fair Princess, — goddess ! — O, alas!
I lost a couple, that 'twixt Heaven and Earth
Might thus have stood, begetting wonder, as
You, gracious couple, do: and then I lost
(All mine own folly) the society,
Amity too, of your brave father; whom,
Though bearing misery, I desire my life
Once more to look on him.

Flo. By his command

Have I here touch'd Sicilia: and from him
Give you all greetings, that a King, at friend,
Can send his brother: and, but infirmity
(Which waits upon worn times) hath something seiz'd
His wish'd ability, he had himself
The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his
Measur'd to look upon you; whom he loves
(He bade me say so) more than all the sceptres,
And those that bear them, living.

Leon. O, my brother,

(Good gentleman!) the wrongs I have done thee stir
Afresh within me; and these thy offices,
So rarely kind, are as interpreters
Of my behind-hand slackness ! — Welcome hither,
As is the Spring to th' Earth. And hath he too
Expos'd this paragon to th' fearful usage
(At least, ungentle) of the dreadful Neptune,
To greet a man not worth her pains; much less
Th' adventure of her person?

Flo. Good my lord,

She came from Libya.

Leon. Where the warlike Smalus,

That noble honour'd lord, is fear'd and lov'd?Flo. Most royal sir, from thence; from him, whose
His tears proclaim'd his, parting with her: thence
(A prosperous south-wind friendly) we have cross'd,
To execute the charge my father gave me
For visiting your Highness. My best train
I have from your Sicilian shores dismiss'd;Who for Bohemia bend, to signify
Not only my success in Libya, sir,
But my arrival, and my wife's, in safety
Here, where we are.

Leon. The blessed gods

Purge all infection from our air, whilst you
Do climate here! You have a holy father,
A graceful gentleman; against whose person,
So sacred as it is, I have done sin:
For which the Heavens, taking angry note,
Have left me issueless: and your father's bless'd
(As he from Heaven merits it) with you,
Worthy his goodness. What might I have been,
Might I a son and daughter now have look'd on,
Such goodly things as you!

Enter a Lord. Lord. Most noble sir, That which I shall report will bear no credit,
Were not the proof so nigh. Please you, great sir,
Bohemia greets you from himself by me;Desires you to attach his son; who has
(His dignity and duty both cast off)
Fled from his father, from his hopes, and with
A shepherd's daughter.

Leon. Where's Bohemia? speak.


Lord. Here in your city: I now came from him. I speak amazedly; and it becomes My marvel and my message. To your Court Whiles he was hast'ning, (in the chase, it seems, Of this fair couple,) meets he on the way The father of this seeming lady, and Her brother, having both their country quitted With this young Prince.

Flo. Camillo has betray'd me;

Whose honour, and whose honesty, till now
Endur'd all weathers.

Lord. Lay't so to his charge;

He's with the King your father.

Leon. Who? Camillo?

Lord. Camillo, sir; I spake with him; who now Has these poor men in question. Never saw I Wretches so quake: they kneel, they kiss the earth, Forswear themselves as often as they speak: Bohemia stops his ears, and threatens them With divers deaths in death.

Per. O, my poor father! —

The Heaven sets spies upon us, will not have
Our contract celebrated.

Leon. You are married?

Flo. We are not, sir, nor are we like to be: The stars, I see, will kiss the valleys first: — The odds for high and low's alike.

Leon. My lord,

Is this the daughter of a King?

Flo. She is,

When once she is my wife.

Leon. That once, I see, by your good father's speed, Will come on very slowly. I am sorry, Most sorry, you have broken from his liking,

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