Tales from Shakespeare

will acquaint the queen with your noble offer; she was wishing to-day that she had any friend who would venture to present the child to the king.' 'And tell her,' said Paulina, 'that I will speak boldly to Leontes in her defence.' 'May you be for ever blessed,' said Emilia, 'for your kindness to our gracious queen!' Emilia then went to Hermione, who joyfully gave up her baby to the care of Paulina, for she had feared that no one would dare venture to present the child to its father.

Paulina took the new-born infant, and forcing herself into the king's presence, notwithstanding her husband, fearing the king's anger, endeavoured to prevent her, she laid the babe at its father's feet, and Paulina made a noble speech to the king in defence of Hermione, and she reproached him severely for his inhumanity, and implored him to have mercy on his innocent wife and child. But Paulina's spirited remonstrances only aggravated Leontes' displeasure,

← Page-72 p.73 Page-74 →