Act 4 - Scene 1
A room in LEONTES' palace.
Enter LEONTES, CLEOMENES, DION, PAULINA, and Servants
Sir, you have done enough, and have perform'd
A saint-like sorrow: no fault could you make,
have not redeem'd; indeed, paid down
More penitence than done trespass: at the last,
Do as the heavens
have done, forget your evil;
With them forgive yourself.
Whilst I remember
Her and her virtues, I cannot forget
My blemishes in them, and so still think of
wrong I did myself; which was so much,
That heirless it hath made my kingdom and
Destroy'd the sweet'st
companion that e'er man
Bred his hopes out of.
True, too true, my lord:
If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
Or from the all that are took something
To make a perfect woman, she you kill'd
Would be unparallel'd.
I think so. Kill'd!
She I kill'd! I did so: but thou strikest me
Sorely, to say I did; it is as bitter
Upon thy tongue
as in my thought: now, good now,
Say so but seldom.
Not at all, good lady:
You might have spoken a thousand things that would
Have done the time more benefit
Your kindness better.
You are one of those
Would have him wed again.
If you would not so,
You pity not the state, nor the remembrance
Of his most sovereign name; consider
What dangers, by his highness' fail of issue,
May drop upon his kingdom and devour
on. What were more holy
Than to rejoice the former queen is well?
What holier than, for royalty's repair,
present comfort and for future good,
To bless the bed of majesty again
With a sweet fellow to't?
There is none worthy,
Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes;
has not the divine Apollo said,
Is't not the tenor of his oracle,
That King Leontes shall not have an heir
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
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 worthiest; so his successor
like to be the best.
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