Act 4 - Scene 3
A chapel in PAULINA'S house.
Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, FLORIZEL, PERDITA, CAMILLO, PAULINA, Lords, and Attendants
O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
That I have had of thee!
What, sovereign sir,
I did not well I meant well. All my services
You have paid home: but that you have
With your crown'd brother and these your contracted
Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house
It is a surplus of your grace, which never
My life may last to answer.
We honour you with trouble: but we came
To see the statue of our queen: your gallery
pass'd through, not without much content
In many singularities; but we saw not
That which my daughter
came to look upon,
The statue of her mother.
As she lived peerless,
So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
Excels whatever yet you look'd upon
hand of man hath done; therefore I keep it
Lonely, apart. But here it is: prepare
To see the life as lively
mock'd as ever
Still sleep mock'd death: behold, and say 'tis well.
PAULINA draws a curtain, and discovers HERMIONE standing like a statue
I like your silence, it the more shows off
Your wonder: but yet speak; first, you, my liege,
Comes it not something
Her natural posture!
Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art
In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina,
Hermione was not so
much wrinkled, nothing
So aged as this seems.
O, not by much.
So much the more our carver's excellence;
Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
As now she might have done,
So much to my good comfort, as it is
Now piercing to my soul. O, thus
Even with such life of majesty, warm life,
As now it coldly stands, when first I woo'd her!
ashamed: does not the stone rebuke me
For being more stone than it? O royal piece,
There's magic in thy
majesty, which has
My evils conjured to remembrance and
From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
like stone with thee.
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