The royal party made their way to Paulina's private residence. At the rear of her house she had a chapel in which the statue of Hermione was standing.
"Oh, good Paulina, the great comfort that I have had from you," Leontes said.
"Sovereign sir, when I did not do well, I meant well. All my services you have returned. And you visiting my poor house with your crowned brother and the betrothed heirs of your respective kingdoms is even more gracious, and something I won't live long enough to repay."
"Oh Paulina, alas we reward you with inconvenience but we long to see the statue of Hermione. We have visited your gallery and although it is not without its treasures we don't see the statue Perdita came to venerate."
"Since her life was peerless, the artistic representation of her death is similarly so. For that reason I keep the statue separate. But here it is. Prepare to see a statue imitate life as well as sleep imitates death."
Paulina drew back a curtain to reveal the statue of Hermione on a pedestal.
"I like your silence, it indicates your wonder- but speak, sir. Isn't it lifelike?"
"Her natural posture! Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed this is Hermione. Or rather, you are truly Hermione since despite everything your expression does not scold me, for she was as tender as infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina, Hermione was not so much wrinkled, not quite as old as this interpretation."
"Oh, not by much," Polixenes said.
"So much the sculptor's genius," Paulina said, "sixteen years since her death and she seems to live."
"So much so it pierces my soul. She stood just like this the first time I saw her. I am ashamed. The stone rebukes me for being stonier than it. This art is so majestic it reminds me of my transgressions."
"And give me leave," Perdita said. "And do not say it's superstition, that I kneel and then implore her blessing. Lady, dear Queen, your life ended as mine but began, Give me that hand of yours to kiss."
"Oh, patience!" Paulina said. "The statue is newly painted, the colours are not dry."
"My lord," Camillo said, "your sorrow was too deep to be dispersed by sixteen windy winters and your tears too many to be dried by so many summers. Joy scarcely lasts that long and no sorrow kills itself sooner."
"Dear brother," Polixenes said, "let me who caused so much grief take some sorrow from you."
"My lord, if I knew the sight of my statue would have provoked such a reaction I wouldn't have let you see it."
"Don't draw the curtain," Leontes said.
"No longer shall you look on it or you mind will play tricks on you," Paulina said.
"No, let it be! May I die if it didn’t move! Was it a god who carved this? Polixenes, did it not breathe? Those veins bear blood."
"A masterpiece! Life seems to warm her lips," Polixenes nodded.
"The placing of her eye suggests movement. Art plays tricks on us."
"I'll draw the curtain," Paulina insisted. "My lord is so carried away he’ll soon think it lives!"
"Oh, sweet Paulina, it makes me think of twenty years together! Sanity can't compensate for the joy of this madness. Leave me alone."
"I am sorry, sir, I have disturbed you- I don't want to make it worse."
"Do, Paulina, do. This madness is as sweet as any tonic. It might be madness but I still think something stirs within her. Could a chisel ever carve life? No mockery- I will kiss her!"
"My lord, patience, the red pigment on her lips is still wet. You'll ruin the effect and stain your own lips. Shall I draw the curtain?"
"No, not these twenty years."
"I could look at her for that long!" Perdita added.
"Please, patience or leave," Paulina said, "or prepare for more wonders! If you can take it, I'll make the statue move and descend and take you by the hand, but then you'll think I have supernatural powers, which is not the case."
"Whatever you can make her do,” Leontes said, encouraging Paulina, “I am content to look on. Whatever you can make her say, I am content to hear. It is as easy to make her speak as move."
"It is necessary that you believe. All be still. Those who think this is unnatural must leave."
"Proceed," Leontes said. "All will stay."
"Music, awake her! Strike!"
The observers were mystified and puzzled by the music.
"It is time! Be stone no more. Approach. Look on all who look upon this marvel. Bequeath to death your numbness, from the living Leontes reclaims you. See, she moves. Fear not, her actions will be as holy as my spell."
Hermione flickered into life and then slowly began to descend from the pedestal, as if floating in the air.
"Leontes do not separate yourself her until you see her die again, if you do then you will have killed her twice. Take her hand, as if wooing her anew."
"Oh, she's warm! If this be magic, let it be an art as lawful as eating."
"She embraces him," Polixenes gasped.
"She hugs him as if she were alive," Camillo said. "Let her speak."
"Yes," Said Polixenes, "and tells us where she has been or how she came to be reclaimed from the dead."
"If you were told she is alive you would laugh as if it was an old tale," Paulina said. "But it appears she is alive, but not yet speaking. Give her time. Perdita, please kneel and pray for your mother's blessing. Hermione, Perdita is found."
Hearing that, Hermione spoke.
"You gods, look down and from your sacred vials pour your graces upon my daughter's head! Tell me, my child, how did you survive? Where did you live? How did you come to be at your father's court? Because Paulina told me the oracle said there was a chance you had lived, I lived too just for this day."
"There's plenty of time to swap stories," Paulina said. "Go together, you blessed people. Happiness to everyone. I an old turtle dove will retire to my empty nest and think of the mate I will never find until I leave this world."
"Oh, Paulina, as I would only take a wife with your consent you must take a husband by my consent. You have found me a wife whom I thought dead. I prayed upon her grave. And now I will find you a husband. I'll not seek far- come, Camillo, and take Paulina by the hand. Camillo is a man of worth and honesty, as agreed by two kings. Hermione, Polixenes, both you pardons I seek for suggesting ill of your affection. Hermione, Polixenes' son will be our son-in-law- he is betrothed to our daughter. Good Paulina, lead us to the palace where we can leisurely gossip about the intervening years. Paulina, lead the way."