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Hermione.
HERE'S some ill planet reigns:

I must be patient, till the heavens look
With an aspect more favourable.—Good my

lords,
I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
Commonly are; the want of which vain dew,
Perchance, shall dry your pities; but I have
That honourable grief lodg'd here, which burns
Worse than tears drown: 'Beseech you all, my lords,
With thoughts so qualified as your charities
Shall best instruct you, measure me ;—and so
The king's will be perform'd!
Leontes.

Shall I be heard ?

[To the Guards. Hermione. Who is 't that goes with me?—'Beseech

your highness, My women may be with me; for, you see, My plight requires it. Do not eep, good fools;

There is no cause ;

when
you
shall know

your

mistress Has deserv'd prison, then abound in tears, As I come out : this action, I now go on, Is for my better grace.-Adieu, my lord : I never wish'd to see you sorry ; now, I trust, I shall.—My women, come; you have leave.

SCENE II.

Emilia. As well as one so great, and so forlorn,
May hold together : on her frights and griefs
(Which never tender lady hath borne greater),
She is, something before her time, deliver’d.

Paulina. A boy?
Emilia.

A daughter; and a goodly babe,
Lusty, and like to live; the queen receives
Much comfort in 't ; says, My poor prisoner,
I am innocent as you.
Paulina.

I dare be sworn : These dangerous unsafe lunes o' the king ! beshrew them! He must be told on’t, and he shall : the office Becomes a woman best ; I'll take 't upon me : If I prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister; And never to my

red-look'd

anger

be The trumpet any more :-Pray you, Emilia, Commend

my

best obedience to the queen;
If she dares trust me with her little babe,
I'll show 't the king, and undertake to be
Her advocate to th’ loudest: we do not know
How he may soften at the sight o' the child ;
The silence often of

pure

innocence Persuades, when speaking fails. Emilia.

Most worthy madam,

Your honour, and your goodness, is so evident,
That your free undertaking cannot miss
A thriving issue; there is no lady living,
So meet for this great errand : Please your ladyship
To visit the next room, I'll presently
Acquaint the queen of your most noble offer ;
Who, but to-day, hammer'd of this design ;
But durst not tempt a minister of honour,
Lest she should be denied.
Paulina.

Tell her, Emilia,
I'll use that tongue I have : if wit flow from it,
As boldness from my bosom, let it not be doubted
I shall do good.
Emilia.

Now be

you

blest for it! I 'll to the queen: Please you, come something nearer.

Keeper. Madam, if 't please the queen to send the babe,
I know not what I shall incur, to pass it,
Having no warrant.
Paulina.

You need not fear it, sir :
The child was prisoner to the womb; and is,
By law and process of great nature, thence
Freed and enfranchis'd; not a party to
The anger of the king ; nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the queen.

Keeper. I do believe it.
Paulina.

Do not you fear; upon
Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger.

SCENE III.

Paulina. Good my liege, I come,-
And, I beseech you, hear me, who profess
Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
Your most obedient counsellor; yet that dare

Less appear so, in comforting your evils,
Than such as most seem yours :- I say, I come
From your good queen.
Leontes.

Good queen!
Paulina. Good queen, my lord, good queen: I say,

good queen;
And would by combat make her good, so were I
A man, the worst about you.
Leontes.

Force her hence.
Paulina. Let him, that makes but trifles of his eyes,
First hand me: on mine own accord, I'll off;
But, first, I'll do my errand.-The good queen,
For she is good, hath brought you forth a daughter;
Here 'tis ; commends it to your blessing.

Paulina. It is yours; And, might we lay the old proverb to your charge, So like you, 'tis the worse.—Behold, my lords, Although the print be little, the whole matter And copy of the father; eye, nose, lip, The trick of his frown, his forehead; nay, the valley, The pretty dimples of his chin, and cheek; his smiles; The very mould and frame of hand, nail, and finger :And thou, good goddess nature, which hast made it So like to him that got it, if thou hast The ordering of the mind too, 'mongst all colours No yellow in 't; lest she suspect, as he does, Her children not her husband's !

ACT III. SCENE II.

Hermione. Since what I am to say, must be but that Which contradicts my accusation; and

The testimony on my part, no other
But what comes from myself; it shall scarce boot me
To say, Not guilty: mine integrity,
Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
Be so receiv'd. But thus, If powers divine
Behold our human actions (as they do),
I doubt not then, but innocence shall make
False accusation blush, and tyranny
Tremble at patience.—You, my lord, best know
(Who least will seem to do so), my past life
Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
As I am now unhappy; which is more
Than history can pattern, though devis'd,
And play'd, to take spectators : For behold me,-
A fellow of the royal bed, which owe
A moiety of the throne, as great king's daughter,
The mother to a hopeful prince,-here standing
To prate and talk for life, and honour, 'fore
Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
As I weigh grief, which I would spare : for honour,
'Tis a derivative from me to mine,"
And only that I stand for. I appeal
To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
Came to your court, how I was in your grace,
How merited to be so; since he came,
With what encounter so uncurrent I
Have strain'd, to appear thus : if one jot beyond
The bound of honour; or, in act, or will,
That way inclining; harden'd be the hearts
Of all that hear me, and my near’st of kin
Cry, Fye upon my grave !
Leontes.

I never heard yet,
That any of these bolder vices wanted

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