The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 5 Scene 3
No Fear Act 5 Scene 3 Page 7

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HERMIONE

You gods, look down
And from your sacred vials pour your graces
150Upon my daughter’s head! Tell me, mine own.
Where hast thou been preserved? where lived? how found
Thy father’s court? for thou shalt hear that I,
Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserved
155Myself to see the issue.

HERMIONE

You gods, look down and pour your blessings upon my daughter’s head! Tell me, my child, where have you been kept safe? Where have you lived? How did you find yourself in your father’s court? Paulina told me the oracle gave hope that you were still alive, so I stayed alive to see you someday.

PAULINA

There’s time enough for that;
Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
Your joys with like relation. Go together,
You precious winners all; your exultation
160Partake to every one. I, an old turtle,
Will wing me to some wither’d bough and there
My mate, that’s never to be found again,
Lament till I am lost.

PAULINA

There’s enough time for that later, and they might want you to answer the same questions. Go together, you happy people, and all rejoice. Like an old turtledove, I’ll take myself off to a solitary bough and mourn my husband, who will never be found again.

LEONTES

O, peace, Paulina!
165Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent,
As I by thine a wife: this is a match,
And made between’s by vows. Thou hast found mine;
But how, is to be question’d; for I saw her,
As I thought, dead, and have in vain said many
170A prayer upon her grave. I’ll not seek far—
For him, I partly know his mind—to find thee
An honourable husband. Come, Camillo,
And take her by the hand, whose worth and honesty
Is richly noted and here justified
175By us, a pair of kings. Let’s from this place.
What! look upon my brother: both your pardons,
That e’er I put between your holy looks
My ill suspicion. This is your son-in-law,
And son unto the king, who, heavens directing,
180Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,
Lead us from hence, where we may leisurely
Each one demand an answer to his part
Perform’d in this wide gap of time since first
We were dissever’d: hastily lead away.

LEONTES

Oh, peace, Paulina! You should take a husband that I approve of, as I take a wife that you approve of. This is a contract, vowed between us. You have found mine, though I don’t know how, since I saw her and believed her to be dead, and I’ve futilely said several prayers on her grave. I won’t have to look far to find you an honorable husband, since I know his mind already. Come, Camillo, take her by the hand. Her worth and honesty is well known and affirmed by both Polixenes and me. Let’s leave this place. (to Hermione) Look at my brother! I beg both your pardons for having suspected sin in your innocent glances. This is your son-in-law, the son of Polixenes, who is engaged to your daughter. Good Paulina, lead us away from here, and we’ll each answer for what we’ve all done in this wide expanse of time since we first separated. Quickly, lead us away.