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Thorough my rust! and how his piety
Does my deeds make the blacker!3


Re-enter PAULINA.

Woe the while!

O, cut my lace; lest my heart, cracking it,
Break too!

1 Lord. What fit is this, good lady?

Paul. What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me? What wheels? racks? fires? What flaying? 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'dst Polixenes, 'twas nothing; That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant, And damnable ungrateful: nor was 't much,

3 Does my deeds make the blacker!] This vehement retraction of Leontes, accompanied with the confession of more crimes than he was suspected of, is agreeable to our daily experience of the vicissitudes of violent tempers, and the eruptions of minds. oppressed with guilt. Johnson.

4 That thou betray'dst Polixenes, 'twas nothing;

That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant,

And damnable ungrateful:] I have ventured at a slight alteration here, against the authority of all the copies, and for fool read -soul. It is certainly too gross and blunt in Paulina, though she might impeach the King of fooleries in some of his past 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 his mind, than rudely to call him idiot to his face. Theobald.

show thee, of a fool,] So all the copies. We should read:

show thee off, a fool,

i. e. represent thee in thy true colours; a fool, an inconstant, &c. Warburton.

Poor Mr. Theobald's courtly remark cannot be thought to deserve much notice. Dr. Warburton too might have spared his sagacity, if he had remembered that the present reading, by a mode of speech anciently much used, means only, It showed thee first a fool, then inconstant and ungrateful. Johnson.

Damnable is here used adverbially. Malone

Thou would'st have poison'd good Camillo's honour,
To have him kill a king; poor trespasses,
More monstrous standing 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 laid to thee, the death

Of the young prince; whose honourable thoughts
(Thoughts high for one so tender) cleft the heart
That could conceive, à gross and foolish sire
Blemish'd his gracious dam: this is not, no,
Laid to thy answer: But the last,—O, lords,
When I have said, cry, woe!-the queen, the queen,
The sweetest, dearest, creature 's dead; and vengeance
· for 't

Not dropp'd down yet.

1 Lord.

The higher powers forbid! Paul. I say, she 's dead; I'll swear 't: if word, nor


Prevail not, go and see: if you can bring
Tincture, or lustre, in her lip, her eye,
Heat outwardly, or breath within, I'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 stir: 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.

The same construction occurs in the second Book of Phaer's version of the Eneid:

"When this the yong men heard me speak, of wild they

waxed wo
wood." Steevens.

5 Thou wouldst have poison'd good Camillo's honour,] How should Paulina know this? No one had charged the King with this crime except himself, while Paulina was absent, attending on Hermione. The Poet seems to have forgotten this circumstance.


though a devil


Would have shed water out of fire, ere don 't:] i. e. a devil would have shed tears of pity o'er the damned, ere he would have committed such an action. Steevens.


Go on, go on:

Thou canst not speak too much; I have deserv'd
All tongues to talk their bitterest.

1 Lord.

Say no more; Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault I' the boldness of your speech.

Paul. I am sorry for 't;" All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,

I do repent: Alas, I have show'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 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 speak of her no more, nor of your children;
I'll not remember you of my own lord,
Who is lost too: Take your patience to you,
And I'll say nothing.

Thou didst speak 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 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 lie; 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 sorrows.


7 I am sorry for 't;] This is another instance of the sudden changes incident to vehement and ungovernable minds. Johnson.

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what's past help,

Should be past grief:] So, in King Richard II:

"Things past redress, are now with me past care."



Bohemia. A desert Country near the Sea.

Enter ANTIGONUS, with the Child; and a Mariner.

Ant. Thou art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd


The deserts of Bohemia?

Ay, my lord; and fear
We have landed in ill time: the skies look grimly,
And threaten present blústers. In my conscience,
The heavens with that we have in hand are angry,
And frown upon us.

Ant. Their sacred wills be done!-Go, get aboard; Look to thy bark; I'll not be long, before

I call upon thee.

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


I'll follow instantly.


To be so rid o' the business.


Go thou away;

I am glad at heart


Come, poor babe :

I have heard, (but not believ'd) the spirits of the dead
May walk again: if such 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 side, some another;
I never saw a vessel of like sorrow,

So fill'd, and so becoming: in pure white robes,
Like very sanctity, she did approach

My cabin where I lay: thrice bow'd before me;
And, gasping to begin some speech, her eyes
Became two spouts: the fury spent, anon
Did this break from her: Good Antigonus,
Since fate, against thy better disposition,
Hath made thy person for the thrower-out

9 Thou art perfect then,] Perfect is often used by Shakspeare

for certain, well assured, or well informed. Johnson.

It is so used by almost all our ancient writers. Steevens.

Of my poor babe, according to thine oath,—

Places remote enough are in Bohemia,

There weep, and leave it crying; and, for the babe

Is counted lost for ever, Perdita,

I pr'ythee, call 't: for this ungentle business,
Put on thee by my lord, thou ne'er shalt see
Thy wife Paulina more:—and so, with shrieks,
She melted into air. Affrighted much,
I did in time collect myself; and thought
This was so, and no slumber. Dreams are toys:
Yet, for this once, yea, superstitiously,
I will be squar'd by this. I do believe,
Hermione hath suffer'd death; and that
Apollo would, this being indeed the issue
Of king Polixenes, it should here be laid,
Either for life, or death, upon the earth
Öf its right father.-Blossom, speed thee well!

[Laying down the child,

There lie; and there thy character:1 there these;

[Laying down a bundle.

-The storm begins:

Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee, pretty, And still rest thine.


That, for thy mother's fault, art thus expos'd
To loss, and what may follow!-Weep I cannot,
But my heart bleeds: and most accurs'd am I,

To be by oath enjoin'd to this.-Farewel!


The day frowns more and more; thou art like to have A lullaby too rough: I never saw

The heavens so dim by day. A savage clamour?

Well may I get aboard!

I am gone for ever.

This is the chace;

[Exit, pursued by a bear.

11 thy character:] thy description; i. e. the writing afterwards discovered with Perdita. Steevens.

24 lullaby too rough:] So, in Dorastus and Faunia: "Shall thy tender mouth, instead of sweet kisses, be nipped with bitter stormes? Shalt thou have the whistling winds for thy lullaby, and the salt sea-fome, instead of sweet milke?" Malone.


A savage clamour?] This clamour was the cry of the dogs and hunters; then seeing the bear, he cries, this is the chace, or, the animal pursued. Johnson.

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