The Winter’s Tale – HermioneHomepage / Academic programs / Faculty of Arts and Science / Humanities / Drama / Student Resources / The Winter’s Tale – Hermione The Winter’s Tale – HermioneShakespeare – WomenAct 3, sc.2, lines 23-54Since what I am to say must be but that Which contradicts my accusation, and The testimony on my part no other But what comes from myself, it shall scarce boot me To say “Not guilty.” Mine integrity, Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it, Be so received. But thus, if Powers Divine Behold our human actions, as they do, I doubt not then but innocence shall make False accusation blush and tyranny Tremble at patience. You, my lord, best know, Who least will seem to do so, my past life Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true, As I am now unhappy–which is more Than history can pattern, though devised And played to spectators. For behold me A fellow of the royal bed, which owe A moiety of the throne, a great King’s daughter, The mother to a hopeful Prince, here standing To prate and talk for life and honor ‘fore Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it As I weigh grief, which I would spare. For honor, ‘Tis a derivative from me to mine, And only that I stand for. I appeal To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes Came to your Court, how I was in your grace, How merited to be so; since he came, With what encounter so uncurrent I Have strained, to appear thus. If one jot beyond The bound of honor, or in act or will That way inclining, hardened be the hearts Of all that hear me, and my near’st of kin Cry fie upon my grave!