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For Orpheus' lute was strung with poet's sinews ;
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans
Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.

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How use doth breed a habit in a man !
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns.
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any,
And, to the nightingale's complaining notes,


distresses, and record my woes.
O thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless ;
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall,
And leave no memory of what it was !
Repair me with thy presence, Sylvia;
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain !

Love unreturned.

What dangerous action, stood it next to death,
Would I not undergo for one calm look?
O, 'tis the curse in love, and still approved,
When women cannot love where they're beloved.

Infidelity in a Friend.
Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand
Is perjur’d to the bosom? Proteus,
I am sorry I mụst never trust thee more,
But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
The private wound is deepest,

Repentance. Who by repentance is not satisfied, Is not of heaven nor earth.

Inconstancy in Man.

O heaven! were man
But constant, he were perfect : that one error
Fills him with faults.



Polixenes, King of Bohemia, is on a visit to his friend Leontes, King of Sicilia, and is about to take his leave, when he is induced, chiefly by the courteous solicitations of Hermione wife of Leontes, to prolong his visit. Suddenly Leontes, who has hitherto been a kind husband, changes his love for Hermione to the bitterest hate, orders her to prison, and commands Antigonus, a Sicilian lord, to take away her infant daughter, and leave the child exposed in a remote and desert place in Bohemia. An old shepherd finds the little princess and brings her up as his own child under the name of Perdita. When she has arrived at womanhood, she is encountered by Florizel, the son of Polixenes, and they become enamoured of each other, she being then supposed to be the daughter of the old shepherd. The play concludes with the discovery of the royal descent of Perdita, and Hermione (who for a number of years has been supposed to be dead, but who has been only in concealment) is restored to Leontes, who deeply repents of his cruel persecution of her.

Act I.
Fondness of a Father for his Child.
If at home, sir,
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter :

Now my sworn friend, and then mine enemy :
My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all :
He makes a July’s day short as December :
And, with his varying childness, cures in me
Thoughts that would thick my blood.

Regicides hateful.
To do this deed,
Promotion follows; if I could find example
Of thousands, that had struck anointed kings,
And flourished after, I'd not do’t: but since
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one,
Let villany itself forswear't.

Act II.

Eloquence of silent Innocence. The silence often of pure innocence Persuades, when speaking fails.

Exposing an Infant. Come on, poor babe : Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens, To be thy nurses ! Wolves and bears, they say, Casting their savageness aside, have done Like offices of pity.

Act III.


Innocence shall make
False accusation blush, and tyranny
Tremble at patience.

Despair of Pardon
But, O thou tyrant !
Do not repent these things ; for they are heavier
Than all thy woes can stir: therefore betake thee,
To nothing but despair. A thousand knees
Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting,
Upon a barren mountain, and still winter
In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
To look that way thou wert.

Infant exposed.
Poor wretch,
That, for thy mother's fault, art thus exposed
To loss, and what may follow !-Weep I cannot,
But my heart bleeds : and most accursed am I,
To be by oath enjoin'd to this.--Farewell !
The day frowns more and more; thou art like to have
A lullaby too rough.

A Rustic's Description of a Shipwreck. I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes up the shore ! but that's not to the point. O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls ! sometimes to see 'em, and not to see 'em ; now the ship boring the moon with her main-mast; and anon swallowed with yest and froth, as you'd thrust a cork into a hogshead. And then for the land service, „To see how the bear tore out his shoulder-bone; how he cried to me for help, and said his name was Antigonus, a nobleman.-But to make an end of the ship: to see how the sea flap-dragoned * it :-but, first, how the poor souls roared, and the sea mocked them ;-and how the poor gentleman roared, and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than the sea or weather.

* Engulphed.

Act IV.

True Love.

He says, he loves my daughter ;
I think so too ; for never gazed the moon
Upon the water, as he'll stand, and read
As 't were, my daughter's eyes : and, to be plain,
I think there is not half a kiss to choose
Who loves another best.

A Father the best Guest at his Son's Nuptials.
POLIXENES. Methinks, a father
Is, at the nuptial of his son, a guest
That best becomes the table. Pray you, once more
Is not your father grown incapable
Of reasonable affairs ? is he not stupid
With age, and altering rheums ? can he speak ? hear?
Know man from man? dispute his own estate?
Lies he not bed-rid ? and again does nothing,
But what he did being childish ?

No, good sir :
He has his health, and ampler strength, indeed,
Than most have of his age.

By my white beard,
You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
Something unfilial. Reason, my son,
Should choose himself a wife ; buť as good reason,
The father (all whose joy is nothing else
But fair posterity), should hold some counsel
In such a business.


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