The Winter’s Tale: Act 3, Scene 2

 

The Winter’s Tale.         Act 3, Scene 2.      Hermione

(This text is featured in our interview with Jolly Abraham)

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22.  Since what I am to say must be but that
23.  Which contradicts my accusation and
24.  The testimony on my part no other
25.  But what comes from myself, it shall scarce boot me
26.  To say ‘not guilty:’ mine integrity
27.  Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
28.  Be so received. But thus: if powers divine
29. Behold our human actions, as they do,
30. I doubt not then but innocence shall make
31. False accusation blush and tyranny
32. Tremble at patience. You, my lord, best know,
33. Who least will seem to do so, my past life
34. Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
35. As I am now unhappy; which is more
36. Than history can pattern, though devised
37. And play’d to take spectators. For behold me
38. A fellow of the royal bed, which owe
39. A moiety of the throne a great king’s daughter,
40. The mother to a hopeful prince, here standing
41. To prate and talk for life and honour ‘fore
42. Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
43. As I weigh grief, which I would spare: for honour,
44. ‘Tis a derivative from me to mine,
45. And only that I stand for. I appeal
46. To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
47. Came to your court, how I was in your grace,
48. How merited to be so; since he came,
49. With what encounter so uncurrent I
50. Have strain’d to appear thus: if one jot beyond
51. The bound of honour, or in act or will
52. That way inclining, harden’d be the hearts
53. Of all that hear me, and my near’st of kin
54. Cry fie upon my grave!

 

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