The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

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A chapel in PAULINA’S house.
A chapel in PAULINA’S house.
LEONTES, POLIXENES, FLORIZEL, PERDITA, CAMILLO, and PAULINA enter, along with lords and attendants.
O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
That I have had of thee!
Oh, serious and good Paulina, you have given me great comfort.
What, sovereign sir,
I did not well I meant well. All my services
5You have paid home: but that you have vouchsafed,
With your crown’d brother and these your contracted
Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
It is a surplus of your grace, which never
My life may last to answer.
Sir, even if I didn’t always succeed in doing well, I always meant well. You’ve repaid all my services. The fact that you’ve vowed to visit my poor house with your royal brother and the heirs of each of your kingdoms shows your immense grace, which I’ll never be able to repay.
10O Paulina,
We honour you with trouble: but we came
To see the statue of our queen: your gallery
Have we pass’d through, not without much content
In many singularities; but we saw not
15That which my daughter came to look upon,
The statue of her mother.
Oh, Paulina, we honor you by disturbing you. But we came to see the statue of my queen. We’ve passed through your gallery, which has many amazing items, but we didn’t see what my daughter came to see: the statue of her mother.
As she lived peerless,
So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
Excels whatever yet you look’d upon
20Or 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.
Just as she was without peer in life, I believe that her dead statue is more beautiful that anything you’ve seen or that man has created. So I keep it apart from the others. But here it is. Prepare to see life mimicked as well as sleep mimics death. Look, and say it is beautiful.

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