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The bug, which you would fright me with, I seek.
This your request Is altogether just : therefore, bring forth, And in Apollo's name, his oracle.
[Exeunt certain Officers. Her. The emperor of Russia was my father : O, that he were alive, and here beholding His daughter's trial! that he did but see
* Starr'd most unluckily,] i. e. born under an inauspicious planet.
3-strength of limit.] Strength to pass the limits of the child-bed chamber.
The flatness of my misery;* yet with eyes
Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES and Dion. Off. You here shall swear upon this sword of
justice, That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have Been both at Delphos; and from thence have
All this we swear.
Off. [Reads.] Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant, his innocent babe truly begotten; and the king shall live without an heir, if that, which is lost, be not found.
Lords. Now blessed be the great Apollo!
Ay, my lord; even so As it is here set down.
Leon. There is no truth at all i'the oracle : The sessions shall proceed; this is mere falsehood.
Enter a Servant, hastily.
What is the business?
* The flatness of my misery;] That is, how low, how flat I am laid by my calamity. Johnson.
Of the queen's speed,' is gone.
Is dead. Leon. Apollo's angry; and the heavens them
selves Do strike at my injustice. (HERMIONE faints.] How
now there? Paul. This news is mortal to the queen :
Take her hence :
[Ereunt Paulina and Ladies, with HERM.
with Reward, did threaten and encourage him, Not doing it, and being done: he, most humane, And filld with honour, to my kingly guest Unclasp'd my practice; quit his fortunes here, Which
you knew great; and to the certain hazard Of all incertainties himself commended, No richer than his honour:-How he glisters
s Of the queen's speed,] Of the event of the queen's trial : 50 we still say, he sped well or ill. Johnson.
commended,] i. e. committed.
Thorough my rust! and how his piety
Re-enter PAULINA. Paul.
Woe the while ! 0, cut my lace; lest my heart, cracking it, Break too!
1 Lord. What fit is this, good lady? Paul. What studied torments, tyrant, hast for
What wheels ? racks? fires ? What flaying ? boiling,
? Does my deeds make the blacker!] This vehement retraction of Leontes, accompanied with the contession of more crimes than he was suspected of, is agreeable to our daily experience of the vicissitudes of violent tempers, and the eruptions of minds oppressed with guilt. Johnson.
Thou would'st have poison'd good Camillo's honour,] How should Paulina know this? No one had charged the King with this crime except himself, while Paulina was absent, attending ou Hermione. The poet seems to have forgotten this.
Would have shed water out of fire, ere don't :
queen, The sweetest, dearest, creature's dead ; and ven
Not dropp'd down yet. 1 Lord.
The higher powers forbid ! Paul. I say, she's dead : I'll swear't: if word,
Go on, go on :
Say no more; Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault l'the boldness of your speech.
though a devil Would have shed water out of fire, ere don't :) i. e. a devil yould have shed tears of pity o'er the damned, ere he would have committed such an action.