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Even for your son's sake; and, thereby, for | If you know aught which does behove my sealing
Do't, and thou hast one half of my heart;
Cam. I'll do't my lord.
Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd me. [Exit.
Cam. O miserable lady!-But, for me, What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner Of good Polixenes: and my ground to do't Is the obedience to a master; one, Who, in rebellion with himself, will have All that are his, so too.-To do this deed, Promotion follows: If I could find example Of thousands, that had struck anointed kings, And flourish'd after, I'd not do't: but since Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not Let villany itself forswear't. I must [one. Forsake the court: to do't, or no, is certain To me a break-neck. Happy star, reign now! Here comes Bohemia.
Pol. This is strange! methinks,
Thereof to be inform'd, imprison it not
Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well!
I must be answer'd.-Dost thou hear, Camillo,
Is not this suit of mine,-that thou declare
Cam. Sir, I'll tell you;
Since I am charg'd in honour, and by him That I think honourable: Therefore mark my counsel;
Which must be even as swiftly follow'd as
Pol. On, good Camillo.
Cam. I am appointed Him to murder you.
Pol. For what?
Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he
As he had seen't, or been an instrument
Pol. O, then my best blood turn
My favour here begins to warp. Not speak? A savour, that may strike the dullest nostril
Cam. Hail, most royal Sir!
Pol. What is the news i'the court?
Pol. The king hath on him such a coun
As he had lost some province, and a region, Lov'd as he loves himself; even now I met him With customary compliment; when he, Wafting his eyes to the contrary, and falling A lip of much contempt, speeds from me; and So leaves me, to consider what is breeding, That changes thus his manners.
Cam. I dare not know, my lord.
Pol. How! dare not? do not. Do you know,
Be intelligent to me? 'Tis thereabouts;
Cam. There is a sickness
Which puts some of us in distemper; but
Pol. How! caught of me? Make me not sighted like the basilisk: have look'd on thousands, who have sped the better
By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo,-
Where I arrive; and my approach be shunn'd,
By each particular star in heaven, and
Pol. How should this grow?
Cam. I know not: but, I am sure, 'tis safer to Avoid what's grown, than question how 'tis born.
If therefore you dare trust my honesty,-
Clear them o'the city: For myself, I'll put
His execution sworn.
Pol. I do believe thee:
I saw his heart in his face. Give me thy hand;
* I. e. I am the person appointed, &c.
SCENE 1.-The same.
Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and LADIES.
Her. Take the boy to you: he so troubles me,
'Tis past enduring.
1 Lady. Come, my gracious lord, Shall I be your playfellow? Mam. No, I'll none of you.
1 Lady. Why, my sweet lord?
Mam. You'll kiss me hard; and speak to me I were a baby still.-I love you better. [as if 2 Lady. And why so, my good lord? Mum. Not for because [say, Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they Become some women best; so that there be not Too much hair there, but in a semi-circle, Or balf-moon made with a pen.
2 Lady. Who taught you this?
1 Lord. Behind the tuft of pines I met them;
Saw I men scour so on their way: I ey'd them Even to their ships.
Leon. How bless'd am I
In my just censure ? in my true opinion?Alack, for lesser knowledge!+ How accurs'd, In being so blest!-There may be in the cup A spider; steep'd, and one may drink; depart, And yet partake no venom; for his knowledge Is not infected: but if one present
The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known How he hath drank, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts:§-I have drank, and seen the spider.
Camillo was his help in this, his pander :-
1 Lord. By his great authority;
Leon. I know't too well.
Give me the boy; I am glad, you did not nurse [you
Though he does bear some signs of me, yet Have too much blood in him.
Her. What is this? sport?
Leon. Bear the boy hence, he shall not come
Away with him :--and let her sport herself
Her. But I'd say, he had not,
And, I'll be sworn, you would believe my say
Mam. I learn'd it out of women's faces. Howe'er you lean to the nayward.
Mam. There was a man,
Her. Nay, come, sit down; then on.
Leon. You, my lords.
Look on her, mark her well; be but about To say, she is a goodly lady, and The justice of your hearts will thereto add, 'Tis pity she's not honest, honourable: Praise her but for this her without-door form, (Which, on my faith, deserves high speech,) and straight
The shrug, the hum, or ha; these pretty brands, That calumny doth use :—0, I am out, That mercy does; for calumny will sear¶ Virtue itself:-these shrugs, these hums, and ha's, [tween, When you have said she's goodly, come beEre you can say she's honest: But be it known, From him that has most cause to grieve it should be,
She's an adultress.
Her. Should a villain say so, The most replenish'd villain in the world, He were as much more villain: you, my lord, Do but mistake.
Leon. You have mistook, my lady, Polixenes for Leontes: O thou thing, Which I'll not call a creature of thy place, Lest barbarism, making me the precedent, Should a like language use to all degrees,
Mam. Dwelt by a church-yard;—I will tell And mannerly distinguishment leave out
Betwixt the prince and beggar!-I have said, She's an adultress; I have said with whom: More, she's a traitor; and Camillo is
* Judgement. +O that my knowledge were less.
+ Spiders were esteemed poisonous in our author's time Heavings.
A thing pinched out of clouts, a puppet.
A federary with her; and one that knows
Her. No, by my life,
Privy to none of this: How will this grieve you, [that When you shall come to clearer knowledge, You thus have publish'd me? Gentle my lord, You scarce can right me throughly then, to say You did mistake.
Leon. No, no; if I mistake
In those foundations which I build upon,
A school-boy's top.-Away with her to prison:
Her. There's some ill planet reigns: I must be patient, till the heavens look With an aspect more favourable.-Good my I am not prone to weeping, as our sex [lords, Commonly are; the want of which vain dew, Perchance, shall dry your pities: but I have That honourable grief lodg'd here, which [lords, Worse than tears drown: 'Beseech you all, my With thoughts so qualified as your charities Shall best instruct you, measure me ;--and so The king's will be perform'd! Leon. Shall I be heard? [To the Guards. Her. Who is't, that goes with me ?-'Beseech your highness,
My women may be with me; for, you see, My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools; [mistress There is no cause: when you shall know, your Has deserv'd prison, then abound in tears, As I come out: this action, I now go on, Is for my better grace.-Adieu, my lord: I never wish'd to see you sorry; now, I trust, I shall.- -My women, come; you have leave.
Leon. Go, do our bidding; hence. [Exeunt Queen and Ladies. 1 Lord. 'Beseech your highness, call the queen again.
Ant. Be certain what you do, Sir; lest your justice [suffer, Prove violence; in the which three great ones Yourself, your queen, your son.
1 Lord. For her, my lord,—
I dare my life lay down, and will do't, Sir, Please you to accept it, that the queen is spotless
I'the eyes of heaven, and to you; I mean,
Ant. If it prove
She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where
Leon. Hold your peaces.
1 Lord. Good my lord,
Ant. It is for you we speak, not for ourselves:
You are abus'd, and by some putter-on,¶ That will be damn'd for't; 'would I knew the villain, [flaw'd,
I would land-damn him: Be she honourI have three daughters; the eldest is eleven;
Ant. If it be so,
We need no grave to bury honesty ;
Leon. What! lack I credit?
1 Lord. I had rather you did lack, than I my lord, [me Upon this ground: and more it would content To have her honour true, than your suspicion; Be blam'd for't how you might.
Leon. Why, what need we Commune with you of this? but rather follow Our forceful instigation? Our prerogative Calls not your counsels: but our natural good.
Imparts this: which, if you (or stupified,
Ant. And I wish, my liege,
You had only in your silent judgement tried it,
Leon. How could that be?
(Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture, That lack'd sight only, nought for approba tion,*
But only seeing, all other circumstances
To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's temple,
Shall stop, or spur me. Have I done well?
Leon. Though I am satisfied, and need no
Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
Ant. [Aside.] To laughter, as I take it,
Enter PAULINA and Attendants. Paul. The keeper of the prison,-call to him; [Exit an Attendant.
Remotely guilty. Take my station.
Let him have knowledge who I am.-Good lady!
No court in Europe is too good for thee, [Sir, What dost thou then in prison ?-Now, good Re-enter Attendant, with the Keeper.
You know me, do you not?
Keep. For a worthy lady,
And one whom much I honour.
Conduct me to the queen.
Keep. I may not, madam; to the contrary
I have express commandment.
Paul. Here's ado,
To lock up honesty and honour from
The access of gentle visitors!Is it lawful, Pray you, to see her women? any of them? Emilia?
Keep. So please you, madam, to put Apart these your attendants, I shall bring Emilia forth.
Paul. I pray now, call her.
Keep. And, madam,
Paul. Well, be it so, pr'ythee.
I must be present at your conference.
[Exit KEEPER. Here's such ado to make no stain a stain, As passes colouring.
Re-enter KEEPER, with EMILIA.
Dear gentlewoman, how fares our gracious lady?
Emil. As well as one so great, and so for
May hold together: On her frights, and griefs, (Which never tender lady hath borne greater,) She is, something before her time, deliver'd. Paul. A boy?
Emil. A daughter; and a goodly babe, Lusty, and like to live: the queen receives Much comfort in't: says, My poor prisoner, I am innocent as you.
Paul. I dare be sworn.
These dangerous unsafe lunes" o'the king! beshrew them!
He must be told on't, and he shall: the office
Emil. Most worthy madam,
Your honour, and your goodness, is so evident,
To visit the next room, I'll presently Acquaint the queen of your most noble offer; Who, but to-day, hammer'd of this design; But durst not tempt a minister of honour, Lest she should be denied.
Paul. Tell her, Emilia,
I'll use that tongue I have: if wit flow from it,
Emil. Now be you bless'd for it! I'll to the queen: Please you, come something nearer.
Keep. Madam, if't please the queen to sen the babe,
I know not what I shall incur, to pass it,
Paul. You need not fear it, Sir:
The child was prisoner to the womb; and is,
Paul. Do not you fear: upon
Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-The same.-A Room in the
She, the adultress;-for the harlot king
Leon. How does the boy?
Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
See how he fares. [Exit Attend.]—Fie, fie! no thought of him ;
The very thought of my revenges that way
Enter PAULINA, with a Child.
1 Lord. You must not enter. Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second
Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas, Than the queen's life? a gracious innocent [soul; More free, than he is jealous.
Ant. That's enough.
1 Atten. Madam, he hath not slept to-night; None should come at him. [commanded
Paul. Not so hot, good Sir;
I come to bring him sleep. "Tis such as you,—
Leon. What noise there, ho?
Away with that audacious lady: Antigonus,
Ant. I told her so, my lord,
On your displeasure's peril, and on mine,
Leon. What, canst not rule her?
Paul. From all dishonesty, he can: in this, (Unless he take the course that you have done, Commit me, for committing honour,) trust it, He shall not rule me.
Ant. Lo you now; you hear!
When she will take the rein, I let her run;
Paul. Good my liege, I come,-
Leon. Good queen!
Paul. Good queen, my lord, good queen: I
And would by combat make her good, so were I
Leon. Force her hence.
Paul. Let him, that makes but trifles of his
First hand me: on mine own accord, I'll off;
Here 'tis ; commends it to your blessing.
A mankind witch! Hence with her, out o'
Paul. Not so:
I am as ignorant in that, as you
As this world goes, to pass for honest.
Will you not push her out? Give her the bas-
By thy dame Partlet here,-take up the
Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
Leon. A callat,
Hence with it; and, together with the dam,
Paul. It is yours;
So like to him that got it, if thou hast
Of tyranny, and will ignoble make you,
Leon. On your allegiance,
Out of the chamber with her. Were I a tyrant,
bas-You, that are thus so tender o'er his follies,
Tak'st up the princess, by that forced¶ baseness
Leon. He dreads his wife.
My child? away with't!-even thou, that hast
Paul. So, I would, you did; then, 'twere And see it instantly consum'd with fire;
past all doubt,
You'd call your children yours.
Leon. A nest of traitors!
Ant. I am none, by this good light.
But one, that's here; and that's himself: for he
(For, as the case now stands, it is a curse