Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Oh, that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter's tryal; that he did but fee
The flatness of my misery; yet with eyes
Of Pity, not Revenge!

Offi. You here fhall fwear upon the Sword of Juftice,
That you, Cleomines and Dion, have

Been both at Delphos, and from thence have brought
This feal'd up Oracle, by the hand deliver'd
Of great Apollo's Prieft; and that fince then
You have not dar'd to break the holy Seal,.
Nor read the fecrets in't.

Cleo. Dion. All this we fwear.

Leo. Break up the Seals, and read.

Offi. Hermione is chafte, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true Subject, Leontes, a jealous Tyrant, his innocent babe truly begotten; and the King fhall live without an heir, if That, which is loft, be not found.

Lords. Now bleffed be the great Apollo!

Her. Praised!

Leo. Haft thou read truth?

Off. Ay, my lord, even fo as it is here fet down.
Leo. There is no truth at all i'th' Oracle ;
The Seffion shall proceed; this is meer falfhood.

Enter Servant.

Ser. My lord the King, the King,

Leo. What is the bufinefs?

Ser. O Sir, I fhall be hated to report it.

The Prince your fon, with meer conceit and fear
Of the Queen's Speed, is gone.

Leo. How gone?

Ser. Is dead.

Leo. Apollo's angry, and the heav'ns themfelves Do ftrike at my injuftice.-How now, there?

[Her.faints.

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; fhe will recover.

[Exeunt Paulina and ladies with Hermione.

I

<

I have too much believ'd mine own fufpicion :
'Beseech you tenderly apply to her
Some remedies for life. Apollo, pardon
My great Prophanenefs 'gainst thine Oracle!
I'll reconcile me to Polixenes,

New woo my Queen, recal the good Camillo;
(Whom I proclaim a man of Truth, of Mercy)
For being tranfported by my jealoufies

To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chofe
Camillo for the Minifter, to poifon

My friend Polixenes; which had been done,
But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
My fwift Command; tho' 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
Unclafp'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!

*

Enter Paulina.

Pau. Woe the while!

O, cut my lace, left my heart, cracking it,

Break too.

Lord. What fit is this, good lady?

Pau. What ftudied torments, Tyrant, haft for me? What wheels? racks? fires? what flaying? boiling?

burning

1

In leads, or oils ? what old, or newer, torture

Muft I receive? whofe every word deferves
To tafte of thy moft worst. Thy Tyranny
Together working with thy Jealoufies,
(Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle
For girls of nine!) O, think, what they have done,
And then run mad, indeed; ftark mad, for all
Thy by-gone fooleries were but fpices of it.

[ocr errors]

That

That thou betray'dft Polixenes, 'twas nothing; (S)
That did but fhew thee of a Soul inconstant,
And damnable ingrateful: nor was't much,
Thou would't have poison'd good Camillo's honour,
To have him kill a King: poor trefpaffes,
More monftrous standing by; whereof I reckon
The cafting forth to crows thy baby-daughter,
To be, or none, or little;, tho' a devil
Would have fhed water out of fire, ere done't::
Nor is't directly laid to thee, the death
Of the young Prince, whofe honourable thoughts
(Thoughts high for one fo tender) cleft the heart,
That could conceive a grofs and foolish Sire
Blemish'd his gracious Dam: this is not, no,
Laid to thy anfwer; but the laft, O lords,

When I have faid, cry, woe! the Queen, the Queen,The sweetest, deareft, creature's dead; and vengeance for't.

Not dropt down yet.

Lord. The higher Powers forbid !

Pau. I fay, the's dead, I'll fwear't: if word, nor oath,.
Prevail not, go and fee: if you can bring
Tincture or luftre in her lip, her eye,

Heat outwardly, or breath within, I'll ferve you
As I would do the Gods. But, O thou tyrant!
Do not repent thefe things; for they are heavier
Than all thy woes can ftir: therefore betake thee
To nothing but Defpair. A thousand. knees,
Ten thousand years together, naked, fafting,
Upon a barren mountain, and ftill winter
In term perpetual, could not move the Gods

(8) That thou betray'dft Polixenes, 'twas Nothing ;
That did but few thee, of a Fool, inconftant,

And damnable ingrateful.] I haye ventur'd at a flight Alteration here, against the Authority of all the Copies. It is certainly too grofs and blunt in Paulina, tho' She might impeach the King of Focleries, in fome of his paft Actions and Conduct, to call him downright a Fool. And it is much more pardonable in her to arraign his Morals, and the Qualities of is Mind, than rudely to call him Idiot to his Face.

To

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 bitterest.

Lord. Say no more;

Howe'er the bufiness goes, you have made fault
I'th' boldness of your speech.

Pau. I am forry for❜t.

All faults I make, when I fhall come to know them,
I do repent: alas, I've fhew'd too much.

The rafhnefs of a woman; he is touch'd

To th' noble heart. What's gone, and what's paft help, Should be past 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 Sir, forgive a foolish woman;

The love I bore your Queen-lo, fool again !-
I'll fpeak of her no more, nor of

your children: I'll not remember you of my own lord,

Who is loft too. Take you your patience to you,.
And I'll fay nothing.

Leo. Thou didft fpeak but well,

;

When most the truth; which I receive much better
Than to be pitied of thee. Pr'ythee, bring me
To the dead bodies of my Queen and fon
One Grave shall be for both. Upon them shall
The caufes of their death appear unto
One fhame perpetual; once a day I'll vifit
The Chapel where they lye, and tears, shed there,
Shall be my recreation. So long as nature
Will bear up with this exercise, fo long

I daily vow to use it. Come, and lead me
To these forrows.

[Exeunt.

SCENE

SCENE changes to Bohemia. A defart Country ; the Sea at a little diftance.

Enter Antigonus with a Child, and a Mariner.

Ant. TH

HOU art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd upon

The defarts of Bohemia ?

Mar. Ay, my lord; and fear,

We've landed in ill time; the skies look grimly,
And threaten prefent blufters. In my confcience,
The heav'ns with that we have in hand are angry,
And frown upon's.

Ant. Their facred wills be done! get thee aboard, Look to thy bark, I'll not be long before

I call upon thee.

Mar. Make your best hafte, and go not Too far i'th' land; 'tis like to be loud weather. Befides, this place is famous for the creatures Of prey, that keep upon't.

Ant. Go thou away.

I'll follow inftantly.

Mar. I'm glad at heart To be fo rid o' th' business.

Ant. Come, poor babe ;

[Exit.

I have heard, but not believ'd, the spirits of the dead
May walk again; if fuch thing be, thy mother
Appear'd to me last night; for ne'er was dream
So like a waking. To me comes a creature,
Sometimes her head on one fide, fome another,
I never faw a veffel of like forrow

So fill'd, and fo becoming; in pure white robes,
Like very fanctity, fhe did approach.

My cabin where I lay; thrice bow'd before me,
And, gafping to begin fome speech, her eyes
Became two pouts; the fury spent, anon
Did this break from her. "Good Antigonus,
"Since fate, against thy better difpofition,
"Hath made thy perfon for the thrower-out

Of my poor babe, according to thine oath,

"Places

« AnteriorContinuar »