Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

I never heard of such another encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undoes description to do it.

2 Gent. What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carried hence the child ?

3 Gent. Like an old tale still; which will have matter to rehearse, though credit be asleep, and not an ear open: He was torn to pieces with a bear; this avouches the shepherd's son; who has not only his innocence (which seems much) to justify him, but a handkerchief, and rings, of his, that Paulina knows.

1 Gent. What became of his bark, and his followers ?

3 Gent. Wrecked, the same instant of their master's death: and in the view of the shepherd: so that all the instruments, which aided to expose the child, were even then lost, when it was found. But, 0, the noble combat, that, 'twixt joy and sorrow, was fought in Paulina ! She had one eye declined for the loss of her husband; another elevated that the oracle was fulfilled: She lifted the princess from the earth; and so locks her in embracing, as if she would pin her to her heart, that she might no more be in danger of losing.

1 Gent. The dignity of this act was worth the audience of kings and princes; for by such was it acted.

3 Gent. One of the prettiest touches of all, and that which angled for mine eyes (caught the water, though not the fish) was, when at the relation of the queen’s death, with the manner how she came to it (bravely confessed, and lamented by the king), how attentiveness wounded his daughter: till, from one sign of dolour to another, she did, with an alas! I would fain say, bleed tears; for, I am sure, my

heart wept blood. Who was most marble there 6 changed colour; some swooned, all sorrowed: if all the world could have seen it, the woe had been universal.

1 Gent. Are they returned to the court ?

3 Gent. No: the princess, hearing of her mother's statue, which is in the keeping of Paulina,-a piece many years in doing, and now newly performed by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano; who, had he himself eternity?, and could put breath into his work, would beguile nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her ape: he so near to Hermione hath done Hermione, that, they say, one would speak to her, and stand in hope of answer: thither with all greediness of affection, are they gone; and there they intend to sup.

2 Gent. I thought, she had some great matter there in hand; for she hath privately, twice or thrice a

6 • Who was most marble :' that is, those who had the hardest hearts. So in King Henry VIII.

• Hearts of most hard temper

Melt and lament for him.' ? However misplaced the praise, it is no small honour to Julio Romano to be thus mentioned by the poet. By eternity Shakspeare only means immortality. It should seem that a painted statue was no singularity in that age; Ben Jonson, in his Magnetic Lady, makes it a reflection on the bad taste of the City:

Rut. I'd have her statue cut now in white marble.
Sr. Moth. And have it painted in most orient colours.
Rut. That's right! all city statues must be painted,

Else they be worth nought in their subtle judgments. Sir Henry Wotton, who had travelled much, calls it an English barbarism. The arts of sculpture and painting were certainly with us in a barbarous state compared with the progress which they had made elsewhere. But painted statues were known to the Greeks, as appears from the accounts of Pausanias and Herodotus. That semibarbarous nations should paint them is not therefore to be wondered at; it is a custom which has prevailed every where in the infancy of art.

day, ever since the death of Hermione, visited that removed house. Shall we thither, and with our company piece the rejoicing ?

1 Gent. Who would be thence, that has the benefit of access? every wink of an eye, some new grace will be born: our absence makes us unthrifty to our knowledge. Let's along. [Exeunt Gentlemen.

Aut. Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me, would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old man and his son aboard the prince; told him, I heard them talk of a fardel, and I know not what: but he at that time, over-fond of the shepherd's daughter (so he then took her to be), who began to be much sea-sick, and himself little better, extremity of weather continuing, this mystery remained undiscovered. But 'tis all one to me: for had I been the finder-out of this secret, it would not have relished among my other discredits.

Enter Shepherd and Clown. Here come those I have done good to against my will, and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.

Shep. Come, boy ; I am past more children; but thy sons and daughters will be all gentlemen born.

Clo. Your are well met, sir: You denied to fight with me this other day, because I was no gentleman born: See you these clothes ? say, you see them not, and think me still no gentleman born: you were best say, these robes are not gentleman born. Give me the lie; do; and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.

Aut. I know, you are now, sir, a gentleman born.

Clo. Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.

8 i. e, remote.

Shep. And so have I, boy.
Clo. So

you

have:—but I was a gentleman born before

my

father: for the king's son took me by the hand, and called me, brother; and then the two kings called my father, brother; and then the prince, my brother, and the princess, my sister, called my father, father; and so we wept: and there was the first gentlemanlike tears that ever we shed.

Shep. We may live, son, to shed many more.

Clo. Ay; or else 'twere hard luck, being in so preposterous estate as we are.

Aut. I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the faults I have committed to your worship, and to give me your good report to the prince my master.

Shep. 'Prythee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are gentlemen.

Clo. Thou wilt amend thy life?
Aut. Ay, an it like your good worship.

Clo. Give me thy hand: I will swear to the prince, thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.

Shep. You may say it, but not swear it.

Clo. Not swear it, now I am a gentleman ? Let boors and franklins 9 say it, I'll swear it.

Shep. How if it be false, son ?

Clo. If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear it, in the behalf of his friend :- And I'll swear to the prince, thou art a tall 10 fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know, thou art no tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt be drunk; but I'll swear it: and I would, thou would'st be a tall fellow of thy hands.

9 i.e. Yeomen.

10 i.e. a bold, courageous fellow. See note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act i. Sc. 5. Autolycus chooses to understand the phrase in one of its senses, which was that of nimble handed, working with his hands, a fellow skilful in thievery. VOL. IV.

M

[ocr errors]

Aut. I will prove so, sir, to my power.

Clo. Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow: If I do not wonder, how thou darest venture to be drunk, not being a tall fellow, trust me not.-Hark! the kings and the princes,' our kindred, are going to see the queen's picture. Come, follow us: we'll be thy good masters 11.

[Exeunt. SCENE III. The same.

A Room in Paulina's House. Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, FLORIZEL, PER

DITA, CAMILLO, PAULINA, Lords, and Attendants. Leon. O grave and good Paulina, the great com

fort That I have had of thee! Paul.

What, sovereign sir, I did not well, I meant well: All

my services, You have paid home: but that you have vouchsaf’d With your crown'd brother, and these your con

tracted
Heirs of your kingdoms, my poor house to visit,
It is a surplus of your grace, which never
My life may last to answer.
Leon.

O 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
That which my daughter came to look upon,
The statue of her mother.
Paul.

As she liv'd peerless, So her dead likeness, I do well believe,

11 Good masters. It was a common petitionary phrase to ask a superior to be good lord or good master to the supplicant.

« AnteriorContinuar »