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That heirless it hath made my kingdom, and
Destroy'd the sweet'st companion, that e'er man
Bred his hopes out of: true.
Paul.

Too true, my lord :
If one by one you wedded all the world,
Or from the all that are took something good,
To make a perfect woman, she you kill'd
Would be unparalleld.
Leon.

I think so.

Kill'd! She I kill'd? I did so; but thou strik'st me Sorely, to say I did: it is as bitter Upon thy tongue, as in my thought. Now, good now, Say so but seldom. Cleo.

Not at all, good lady:
You might have spoken a thousand things that would
Have done the time more benefit, and grac'd
Your kindness better.
Paul.

You are one of those,
Would have him wed again.
Dion.

If you would not so,
You pity not the state, nor the remembrance
Of his most sovereign name®; consider little,

6

s Bred his hopes out of : true.) We restore here the reading of all the old editions. Leontes, in grief and remorse, states a fact, and adds mournfully “true ;” to which Paulina naturally adds that it is “too true.” All the modern editors, from the time of Theobald, have disturbed the authentic text, and have made Paulina say, " True, too true, my lord.” The word “true," printed without a capital, could hardly have found its way into the preceding line by a mere error of the press.

nor the remembrance Of his most sovereign NAME.) Nearly all the modern editions, in opposition to all the old copies, have dame instead of “ name ;” as if the reference were to Hermione, and not the preservation of the name of Leontes, by marrying again, and having issue to succeed to the throne. Not the slightest notice is taken of the important and injurious change. In the folios“ name " is printed with a capital letter, as if to avoid the possibility of error. How the blunder came to be originally committed is, therefore, surprising, but more surprising still, how it came to be so often repeated, by those who professed to have printed from a new and careful collation of the old folios. The editor who passed the error first might plead that the compositor had accidentally taken up a wrong letter ; but no such excuse can avail for those who, one after another, have reiterated the mistake, merely because they did not consult the authorities they affected to follow.

What dangers, by his highness' fail of issue,
May drop upon his kingdom, and devour
Incertain lookers-on. What were more holy,
Than to rejoice the former queen is well?
What holier than, for royalty's repair,
For present comfort, and for future good,
To bless the bed of majesty again
With a sweet fellow to't?
Paul.

There is none worthy,
Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes ;
For has not the divine Apollo said,
Is't not the tenour of his oracle,
That king Leontes shall not have an heir,
Till his lost child be found ? which, that it shall,
Is all as monstrous to our human reason,
As my Antigonus to break his grave,
And come again to me; who, on my life,
Did perish with the infant. "Tis your counsel,
My lord should to the heavens be contrary,
Oppose against their wills.-Care not for issue;
The crown will find an heir: Great Alexander
Left his to the wortbiest, so his successor
Was like to be the best.
Leon.

Good Paulina,
Who hast the memory of Hermione,
I know, in honour,—0, that ever I
Ilad squar'd me to thy counsel Sthen, even now,
I might have look'd upon my queen's full eyes,
Have taken treasure from her lips,-
Paul.

And left them
More rich, for what they yielded.
Leon.

Thou speak'st truth.
No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse,
And better us’d, would make her sainted spirit
Again possess her corpse; and, on this stage,
(Where we offenders now appear) soul-vex’d,

Begin, “And why to me??"
Paul.

Had she such power,
She had just cause®.
Leon.

She had ; and would incense me
To murder her I married.
Paul.

I should so:
Were I the ghost that walk’d, I'd bid you mark
Her eye, and tell me for what dull part in't
You chose her ? then I'd shriek, that even your ears
Should rift to hear me, and the words that follow'd
Should be, “Remember mine.”
Leon.

Stars, stars!
And all eyes else dead coals.-Fear thou no wife;
I'll have no wife, Paulina.
Paul.

Will you swear
Never to marry, but by my free leave?

Leon. Never, Paulina ; so be bless'd my spirit !
Paul. Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.
Cleo. You tempt him over-much.
Paul.

Unless another,
As like Hermione as is her picture,
Affront his eye.
Cleo.

Good madam, I have done.

7

and, on this stage, (Where we offenders now appear) soul-vex'd, Begin, “ And why to me?”] The old copies gave this passage thus :

means

“ and on this stage
(Where we offenders now appear) soul-vex'd,

And begin, why to me ?” It was the source of much conflict and conjecture, but all that seems necessary is to transpose the words “ And begin," and then the sense is clear. “ And why to me?“ And why such treatment to me, who deserved so much better, than one worse and better used ?" Steevens made the judicious transposition.

8 She had just cause.) The two oldest editions insert such after “just,” which is prejudicial to the meaning and to the metre : the necessary correction was made in the third folio.

9 Good madam,-I have done.) Steevens proposed to transfer “I have done” to Paulina, who has anything but concluded. Malone adopted the change, which seems on every ground objectionable. Cleomenes endeavours to interpose, but finding it vain, he gives over the attempt with “I have done,” and then Paulina continues. Mr. Knight rightly prefers the old reading.

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 biddist us.
Paul.

That
Shall be when your first queen's again in breath :
Never till then.

Enter a Gentleman'.
Gent. 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.

O Hermione !
As every present time doth boast itself
Above a better, gone, so must thy grace
Give way to what's seen now. Sir, you yourself

1

10 Enter a Gentleman.) In the old copies, the stage-direction is, “Enter a Servant ;” but it is obvious from what he says, and is said to him, that he is above the rank of “ a servant."

so must thy Grace] The MS. corrector of Lord Francis Egerton's folio, 1623, has altered “grave" to grace, which seems the true reading, although Edwards says, “ Thy grare here means thy beauties, which are buried in the grave : the continent for the contents." “Grace” is synonymous with beauty, as could easily be shown by a hundred instances.

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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 whom she but did 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.-
Re-enter CLEOMENES, with FLORIZEL, PERDITA, and Other's.
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,

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