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The Winter’s Tale
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Navigate this workThe Winter’s Tale
Act 5, scene 3
Leontes, Polixenes, Perdita, Florizell, and Camillo go with Paulina to view the statue of Hermione. Leontes grieves over her death, and Perdita kneels to entreat her blessing. Paulina tells the Hermione statue that the oracle has been fulfilled and instructs her to come down.Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Florizell, Perdita, Camillo,
Paulina, ⌜and⌝ Lords.
3288 O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
3289 That I have had of thee!
PAULINA 3290 What, sovereign sir,
3291 I did not well, I meant well. All my services
3292 5 You have paid home. But that you have vouchsafed,
3293 With your crowned brother and these your contracted
3294 Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
3295 It is a surplus of your grace which never
3296 My life may last to answer.
LEONTES 3297 10 O Paulina,
3298 We honor you with trouble. But we came
3299 To see the statue of our queen. Your gallery
3300 Have we passed through, not without much content
3301 In many singularities; but we saw not
3302 15 That which my daughter came to look upon,
3303 The statue of her mother.
PAULINA 3304 As she lived peerless,
3305 So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
3306 Excels whatever yet you looked upon
3307 20 Or hand of man hath done. Therefore I keep it
3308 ⌜Lonely,⌝ apart. But here it is. Prepare
3309 To see the life as lively mocked as ever
3310 Still sleep mocked death. Behold, and say ’tis well.
⌜She draws a curtain
to reveal⌝ Hermione (like a statue).
3311 I like your silence. It the more shows off
3312 25 Your wonder. But yet speak. First you, my liege.
3313 Comes it not something near?
LEONTES 3314 Her natural posture!—
3315 Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
3316 Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
p. 2273317 30 In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
3318 As infancy and grace.—But yet, Paulina,
3319 Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
3320 So agèd as this seems.
POLIXENES 3321 O, not by much!
3322 35 So much the more our carver’s excellence,
3323 Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
3324 As she lived now.
LEONTES 3325 As now she might have done,
3326 So much to my good comfort as it is
3327 40 Now piercing to my soul. O, thus she stood,
3328 Even with such life of majesty—warm life,
3329 As now it coldly stands—when first I wooed her.
3330 I am ashamed. Does not the stone rebuke me
3331 For being more stone than it?—O royal piece,
3332 45 There’s magic in thy majesty, which has
3333 My evils conjured to remembrance and
3334 From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
3335 Standing like stone with thee.
PERDITA 3336 And give me leave,
3337 50 And do not say ’tis superstition, that
3338 I kneel, and then implore her blessing.⌜She kneels.⌝
3340 Dear queen, that ended when I but began,
3341 Give me that hand of yours to kiss.
PAULINA 3342 55 O, patience!
3343 The statue is but newly fixed; the color’s
3344 Not dry.
CAMILLO, ⌜to Leontes, who weeps⌝
3345 My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
3346 Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
3347 60 So many summers dry. Scarce any joy
3348 Did ever so long live; no sorrow
3349 But killed itself much sooner.
p. 229POLIXENES 3350 Dear my brother,
3351 Let him that was the cause of this have power
3352 65 To take off so much grief from you as he
3353 Will piece up in himself.
PAULINA 3354 Indeed, my lord,
3355 If I had thought the sight of my poor image
3356 Would thus have wrought you—for the stone is
3357 70 mine—
3358 I’d not have showed it.
LEONTES 3359 Do not draw the curtain.
3360 No longer shall you gaze on ’t, lest your fancy
3361 May think anon it moves.
LEONTES 3362 75 Let be, let be.
3363 Would I were dead but that methinks already—
3364 What was he that did make it?—See, my lord,
3365 Would you not deem it breathed? And that those
3367 80 Did verily bear blood?
POLIXENES 3368 Masterly done.
3369 The very life seems warm upon her lip.
3370 The fixture of her eye has motion in ’t,
3371 As we are mocked with art.
PAULINA 3372 85 I’ll draw the curtain.
3373 My lord’s almost so far transported that
3374 He’ll think anon it lives.
LEONTES 3375 O sweet Paulina,
3376 Make me to think so twenty years together!
3377 90 No settled senses of the world can match
3378 The pleasure of that madness. Let ’t alone.
3379 I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirred you, but
3380 I could afflict you farther.
LEONTES 3381 Do, Paulina,
3382 95 For this affliction has a taste as sweet
p. 2313383 As any cordial comfort. Still methinks
3384 There is an air comes from her. What fine chisel
3385 Could ever yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,
3386 For I will kiss her.
PAULINA 3387 100 Good my lord, forbear.
3388 The ruddiness upon her lip is wet.
3389 You’ll mar it if you kiss it, stain your own
3390 With oily painting. Shall I draw the curtain?
3391 No, not these twenty years.
PERDITA, ⌜rising⌝ 3392 105 So long could I
3393 Stand by, a looker-on.
PAULINA 3394 Either forbear,
3395 Quit presently the chapel, or resolve you
3396 For more amazement. If you can behold it,
3397 110 I’ll make the statue move indeed, descend
3398 And take you by the hand. But then you’ll think—
3399 Which I protest against—I am assisted
3400 By wicked powers.
LEONTES 3401 What you can make her do
3402 115 I am content to look on; what to speak,
3403 I am content to hear, for ’tis as easy
3404 To make her speak as move.
PAULINA 3405 It is required
3406 You do awake your faith. Then all stand still—
3407 120 ⌜Or⌝ those that think it is unlawful business
3408 I am about, let them depart.
LEONTES 3409 Proceed.
3410 No foot shall stir.
PAULINA 3411 Music, awake her! Strike!
3412 125 ’Tis time. Descend. Be stone no more. Approach.
3413 Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come,
3414 I’ll fill your grave up. Stir, nay, come away.
3415 Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him
3416 Dear life redeems you.—You perceive she stirs.
p. 233⌜Hermione descends.⌝
3417 130 Start not. Her actions shall be holy as
3418 You hear my spell is lawful. Do not shun her
3419 Until you see her die again, for then
3420 You kill her double. Nay, present your hand.
3421 When she was young, you wooed her; now in age
3422 135 Is she become the suitor?
LEONTES 3423 O, she’s warm!
3424 If this be magic, let it be an art
3425 Lawful as eating.
POLIXENES 3426 She embraces him.
CAMILLO 3427 140She hangs about his neck.
3428 If she pertain to life, let her speak too.
3429 Ay, and make it manifest where she has lived,
3430 Or how stol’n from the dead.
PAULINA 3431 That she is living,
3432 145 Were it but told you, should be hooted at
3433 Like an old tale, but it appears she lives,
3434 Though yet she speak not. Mark a little while.
3435 ⌜To Perdita.⌝ Please you to interpose, fair madam.
3437 150 And pray your mother’s blessing. ⌜To Hermione.⌝
3438 Turn, good lady.
3439 Our Perdita is found.
HERMIONE 3440 You gods, look down,
3441 And from your sacred vials pour your graces
3442 155 Upon my daughter’s head! Tell me, mine own,
3443 Where hast thou been preserved? Where lived? How
3445 Thy father’s court? For thou shalt hear that I,
3446 Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
3447 160 Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserved
3448 Myself to see the issue.
PAULINA 3449 There’s time enough for that,
3450 Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
p. 2353451 Your joys with like relation. Go together,
3452 165 You precious winners all. Your exultation
3453 Partake to everyone. I, an old turtle,
3454 Will wing me to some withered bough and there
3455 My mate, that’s never to be found again,
3456 Lament till I am lost.
LEONTES 3457 170 O peace, Paulina.
3458 Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent,
3459 As I by thine a wife. This is a match,
3460 And made between ’s by vows. Thou hast found
3462 175 But how is to be questioned, for I saw her,
3463 As I thought, dead, and have in vain said many
3464 A prayer upon her grave. I’ll not seek far—
3465 For him, I partly know his mind—to find thee
3466 An honorable husband.—Come, Camillo,
3467 180 And take her by the hand, whose worth and honesty
3468 Is richly noted and here justified
3469 By us, a pair of kings. Let’s from this place.
3470 ⌜To Hermione.⌝ What, look upon my brother! Both
3471 your pardons
3472 185 That e’er I put between your holy looks
3473 My ill suspicion. This your son-in-law
3474 And son unto the King, whom heavens directing,
3475 Is troth-plight to your daughter.—Good Paulina,
3476 Lead us from hence, where we may leisurely
3477 190 Each one demand and answer to his part
3478 Performed in this wide gap of time since first
3479 We were dissevered. Hastily lead away.