[Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Florizell, Perdita, Camillo,
Paulina, and Lords.]
O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
That I have had of thee!
PAULINA What, sovereign sir,
I did not well, I meant well. All my services
 You have paid home. But that you have vouchsafed,
With your crowned 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.
LEONTES O Paulina,
We honor you with trouble. But we came
To see the statue of our queen. Your gallery
Have we passed 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.
PAULINA As she lived peerless,
So her dead likeness, I do well believe,
Excels whatever yet you looked upon
 Or hand of man hath done. Therefore I keep it
Lonely, apart. But here it is. Prepare
To see the life as lively mocked as ever
Still sleep mocked death. Behold, and say ’tis well.
[She draws a curtain
to reveal Hermione (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 near?
LEONTES Her natural posture!—
Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
 In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
As infancy and grace.—But yet, Paulina,
Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
So agèd as this seems.
POLIXENES O, not by much!
35 So much the more our carver’s excellence,
Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
As she lived now.
LEONTES As now she might have done,
So much to my good comfort as it is
 Now piercing to my soul. O, thus she stood,
Even with such life of majesty—warm life,
As now it coldly stands—when first I wooed her.
I am 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,
Standing like stone with thee.
PERDITA And give me leave,
 And do not say ’tis superstition, that
I kneel, and then implore her blessing. [She kneels.]
Dear queen, that ended when I but began,
Give me that hand of yours to kiss.
PAULINA O, patience!
The statue is but newly fixed; the color’s
CAMILLO , [to Leontes, who weeps
My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
 So many summers dry. Scarce any joy
Did ever so long live; no sorrow
But killed itself much sooner.
POLIXENES Dear my brother,
Let him that was the cause of this have power
 To take off so much grief from you as he
Will piece up in himself.
PAULINA Indeed, my lord,
If I had thought the sight of my poor image
Would thus have wrought you—for the stone is
I’d not have showed it.
LEONTES Do not draw the curtain.
No longer shall you gaze on ’t, lest your fancy
May think anon it moves.
LEONTES Let be, let be.
Would I were dead but that methinks already—
What was he that did make it?—See, my lord,
Would you not deem it breathed? And that those
 Did verily bear blood?
POLIXENES Masterly done.
The very life seems warm upon her lip.
The fixture of her eye has motion in ’t,
As we are mocked with art.
PAULINA I’ll draw the curtain.
My lord’s almost so far transported that
He’ll think anon it lives.
LEONTES O sweet Paulina,
Make me to think so twenty years together!
 No settled senses of the world can match
The pleasure of that madness. Let ’t alone.
I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirred you, but
I could afflict you farther.
LEONTES Do, Paulina,
 For this affliction has a taste as sweet
As any cordial comfort. Still methinks
There is an air comes from her. What fine chisel
Could ever yet cut breath? Let no man mock me,
For I will kiss her.
PAULINA Good my lord, forbear.
The ruddiness upon her lip is wet.
You’ll mar it if you kiss it, stain your own
With oily painting. Shall I draw the curtain?
No, not these twenty years.
PERDITA , rising] So long could I
Stand by, a looker-on.
PAULINA Either forbear,
Quit presently the chapel, or resolve you
For more amazement. If you can behold it,
 I’ll make the statue move indeed, descend
And take you by the hand. But then you’ll think—
Which I protest against—I am assisted
By wicked powers.
LEONTES What you can make her do
 I am content to look on; what to speak,
I am content to hear, for ’tis as easy
To make her speak as move.
PAULINA It is required
You do awake your faith. Then all stand still—
120 Or those that think it is unlawful business
I am about, let them depart.
No foot shall stir.
PAULINA Music, awake her! Strike!
 ’Tis time. Descend. Be stone no more. Approach.
Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come,
I’ll fill your grave up. Stir, nay, come away.
Bequeath to death your numbness, for from him
Dear life redeems you.—You perceive she stirs.
 Start not. Her actions shall be holy as
You hear my spell is lawful. Do not shun her
Until you see her die again, for then
You kill her double. Nay, present your hand.
When she was young, you wooed her; now in age
 Is she become the suitor?
LEONTES O, she’s warm!
If this be magic, let it be an art
Lawful as eating.
POLIXENES She embraces him.
CAMILLO She hangs about his neck.
If she pertain to life, let her speak too.
Ay, and make it manifest where she has lived,
Or how stol’n from the dead.
PAULINA That she is living,
 Were it but told you, should be hooted at
Like an old tale, but it appears she lives,
Though yet she speak not. Mark a little while.
[To Perdita.] Please you to interpose, fair madam.
 And pray your mother’s blessing. [To Hermione.
Turn, good lady.
Our Perdita is found.
HERMIONE You gods, look down,
And from your sacred vials pour your graces
 Upon my daughter’s head! Tell me, mine own,
Where hast thou been preserved? Where lived? How
Thy father’s court? For thou shalt hear that I,
Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
 Gave hope thou wast in being, have preserved
Myself to see the issue.
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
Partake to everyone. I, an old turtle,
Will wing me to some withered bough and there
My mate, that’s never to be found again,
Lament till I am lost.
LEONTES O peace, Paulina.
Thou 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
 But how is to be questioned, for I saw her,
As I thought, dead, and have in vain said many
A prayer upon her grave. I’ll not seek far—
For him, I partly know his mind—to find thee
An honorable husband.—Come, Camillo,
 And take her by the hand, whose worth and honesty
Is richly noted and here justified
By us, a pair of kings. Let’s from this place.
[To Hermione.] What, look upon my brother! Both
 That e’er I put between your holy looks
My ill suspicion. This your son-in-law
And son unto the King, whom heavens directing,
Is troth-plight to your daughter.—Good Paulina,
Lead us from hence, where we may leisurely
 Each one demand and answer to his part
Performed in this wide gap of time since first
We were dissevered. Hastily lead away.