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Even for your son's sake; and, thereby, for | If you know aught which does behove my sealing

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Do't, and thou hast one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou split'st thine own.

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.

Enter POLIXenes.

Pol. This is strange! methinks,


Thereof to be inform'd, imprison it not
In ignorant concealment.
Cam. I may not answer.

Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well!

I must be answer'd.-Dost thou hear, Camillo,
I cónjure thee, by all the parts of man,
Which honour does acknowledge, whereof
the least

Is not this suit of mine,-that thou declare
What incidency thou dost guess of harm
Is creeping toward me; how far off, how near;
Which way to be prevented, if to be;
If not, how best to bear it.

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
I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Cry, lost, and so good-night.

Pol. On, good Camillo.

Cam. I am appointed Him to murder you.
Pol. By whom, Camillo ?
Cam. By the king.

Pol. For what?

Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he


As he had seen't, or been an instrument
To vice you to't,-that you have touch'd his

Pol. O, then my best blood turn
To an infected jelly; and my name
Be yok'd with his, that did betray the best!
Turn then my freshest reputation to

My favour here begins to warp. Not speak? A savour, that may strike the dullest nostril

Good-day, Camillo.

Cam. Hail, most royal Sir!

Pol. What is the news i'the court?
Cam. None rare my lord.

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,
and dare not

Be intelligent to me? 'Tis thereabouts;
For, to yourself, what you do know, you must;
And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shows me mine chang'd to: for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter'd with it.

Cam. There is a sickness

Which puts some of us in distemper; but
I cannot name the disease; and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.

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,-
As you are certainly a gentleman; thereto
Clerk-like, experienc'd, which no less adorns
Our gentry, than our parents' noble names,
In whose success we are gentle,t- I beseech


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Where I arrive; and my approach be shunn'd,
Nay, hated too, worse than the great'st infec
That e'er was heard, or read!

By each particular star in heaven, and
Cam. Swear his thought over
By all their influences, you may as well
As or, by oath, remove, or counsel, shake,
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon,
The fabric of his folly: whose foundation
The standing of his body.
Is pil'd upon his faith, and will continue

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,-
That lies inclosed in this trunk, which you
Shall bear along impawn'd,-away to-night.
Your followers I will whisper to the business;
And will, by twos, and threes, at several pos-


Clear them o'the city: For myself, I'll put
My fortunes to your service, which are here
By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain;
For, by the honour of my parents, I
Have utter'd truth: which if you seek to prove,
I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer
Than one condemn'd by the king's own mouth,


His execution sworn.

Pol. I do believe thee:

I saw his heart in his face. Give me thy hand;
Be pilot to me, and thy places shall
Still neighbour mine; My ships are ready, and
Two days ago.-This jealousy
My people did expect my hence departure

* I. e. I am the person appointed, &c.
+ Draw.
Settled belief.

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SCENE 1.-The same.


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 :-
There is a plot against my life, my crown;
All's true that is mistrusted:-that false villain,
Whom I employ'd, was pre-employ'd by him:
He has discover'd my design, and I
Remain a pinch'd thing;|| yea, a very trick
For them to play at will:-How came the pos-
So easily open?

1 Lord. By his great authority;
Which often hath no less prevail'd than so,
On your command.

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

about her;

Away with him :--and let her sport herself
With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes
Has made thee swell thus.

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.

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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

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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.
Brand as infamous.

A federary with her; and one that knows
What she would shame to know herself,
Butt with her most vile principal, that she's
A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
That vulgars give bold titles; ay, and privy
To this their late escape.

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,
The centre is not big enough to bear

A school-boy's top.-Away with her to prison:
He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
But that he speaks.§


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,
In this which you accuse her.

Ant. If it prove

She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where
I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her;
Than when I feel, and see her, no further trust
For every inch of woman in the world, [her;
Ay, every dram of woman's flesh, is false,
If she be.


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;

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Ant. If it be so,

We need no grave to bury honesty ;
There's not a grain of it, the face to sweeten
Of the whole dungy earth.

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,
Or seeming so in skill,) cannot, or will not,
Relish as truth, like us; inform yourselves,
We need no more of your advice: the matter,
The loss, the gain, the ordering on't, is all
Properly ours.

Ant. And I wish, my liege,

You had only in your silent judgement tried it,
Without more overture.

Leon. How could that be?
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's flight,
Added to their familiarity,

(Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture, That lack'd sight only, nought for approba tion,*

But only seeing, all other circumstances
Made up to the deed,) doth push on this pro-
Yet, for a greater confirmation, [ceeding:
(For, in an act of this importance, 'twere
Most piteous to be wild,) I have despatch'd in

To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's temple,
Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
Of stuff'd sufficiency: Now, from the oracle
They will bring all; whose spiritual counsel

Shall stop, or spur me. Have I done well?
1 Lord. Well done, my lord.

Leon. Though I am satisfied, and need no


Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
Give rest to the minds of others; such as he,
Whose ignorant credulity will not
Come up to the truth: So have we thought it
From our free person she should be confin'd;
Lest that the treachery of the two, fled hence,
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us;
We are to speak in public: for this business
Will raise us all.

Ant. [Aside.] To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth were known. [Exeunt.
SCENE 11.-The same.-The outer Room of a


Enter PAULINA and Attendants. Paul. The keeper of the prison,-call to him; [Exit an Attendant.

Remotely guilty. Take my station.

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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.
Paul. Pray you, then,

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.

[Exeunt Attend.

Withdraw yourselves.

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
Becomes a woman best; I'll take't upon me:
If I prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blis-
And never to my red-look'd anger be
The trumpet any more:-Pray you, Emilia,
Commend my best obedience to the queen;
If she dares trust me with her little babe,
I'll show't the king, and undertake to be
Her advocate to the loudest: We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o'the child;
The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades, when speaking fails.

Emil. Most worthy madam,

Your honour, and your goodness, is so evident,
That free undertaking cannot miss
A thriving issue; there is no lady living,
So meet for this great errand: Please your


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,
As boldness from my bosom, let it not be
I shall do good.

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,
Having no warrant.

Paul. You need not fear it, Sir:

The child was prisoner to the womb; and is,
By law and process of great nature, thence
Freed and enfranchis'd: not a party to
The anger of the king; nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the queen.
Keep. I do believe it.

Paul. Do not you fear: upon

Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.-The same.-A Room in the

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She, the adultress;-for the harlot king
Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
And level of my brain, plot-proof: but she
I can hook to me: Say, that she were gone,
Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
Might come to me again.- -Who's there?
1 Atten. My lord?

Leon. How does the boy?
1 Atten. He took good rest to-night;
"Tis hop'd, his sickness is discharg'd.
Leon. To see,
His nobleness!

Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
He straight declin'd, droop'd, took it deeply;
Fasten'd and fix'd the shame on't in himself;
Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And downright languish'd.-Leave me sole-

See how he fares. [Exit Attend.]—Fie, fie! no thought of him ;

The very thought of my revenges that way
Recoil upon me in himself too mighty;
And in his parties, his alliance,-Let him be,
Until a time may serve : for present vengeance,
Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes [row:
Laugh at me; make their pastime at my sor-
They should not laugh, if I could reach them;
Shall she, within my power.

Enter PAULINA, with a Child.

1 Lord. You must not enter. Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second

to me:

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,—
That creep like shadows by him, and do sigh
At each his needless heavings,--such as you
Nourish the cause of his awaking: I
Do come with words as med'cinal as true;
Honest, as either; to purge him of that hu-
That presses him from sleep.

Leon. What noise there, ho?
Paul. No noise, my lord; but needful con-

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Away with that audacious lady: Antigonus,
I charg'd thee, that she should not come about
I knew, she would.

Ant. I told her so, my lord,

On your displeasure's peril, and on mine,
She should not visit you.

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;
But she'll not stumble.

Paul. Good my liege, I come,-
And, I beseech you, hear me, who profess
Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
Your most obedient counsellor; yet that dare
Less appear so, in comforting your evils,*
Than such as most seems yours:-I say, I
From your good queen.

Leon. Good queen!


Paul. Good queen, my lord, good queen: I
say, good queen ;

And would by combat make her good, so were I
A man, the worst about you.

Leon. Force her hence.

Paul. Let him, that makes but trifles of his


First hand me: on mine own accord, I'll off;
But, first, I'll do my errand.-The good queen
For she is good, hath brought you forth a

Here 'tis ; commends it to your blessing.
[Laying down the Child.

Leon. Out!

A mankind witch! Hence with her, out o'
A most intelligencing bawd!

Paul. Not so:


I am as ignorant in that, as you
In so entitling me: and no less honest
Than you are mad; which is enough, I'll war-

As this world goes, to pass for honest.
Leon. Traitors!


Will you not push her out? Give her the bas-
Thou, dotard, [To ANTIGONUS.] thou art wo-
man-tir'd, unroosted

By thy dame Partlet here,-take up the
Take't up, I say; give't to thy crone. [tard;
Paul. For ever

Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou

Leon. A callat,

Of boundless tongue; who late hath beat her
And now baits me!-This brat is none of mine;
It is the issue of Polixenes:

Hence with it; and, together with the dam,
Commit them to the fire.

Paul. It is yours;

And, might we lay the old proverb to your
So like you, 'tis the worse.-Behold, my lords,
Although the print be little, the whole matter
And copy of the father: eye, nose, lip,
The trick of his frown, his forehead; nay, the
The pretty dimples of his chin, and cheek; his
The very mould and frame of hand, nail, finger:
And, thou, good goddess nature, which hast
made it

So like to him that got it, if thou hast
The ordering of the mind too, 'mongst all

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Of tyranny, and will ignoble make you,
Yea, scandalous to the world.

Leon. On your allegiance,

Out of the chamber with her. Were I a tyrant,
Where were her life? she durst not call me so,
If she did know me one. Away with her.
Paul. I pray you, do not push me; I'll be
Look to your babe, my lord; 'tis yours: Jove
[send her
A better guiding spirit!-What need these

bas-You, that are thus so tender o'er his follies,
Will never do him good, not one of you.
So, so:-Farewell; we are gone. [Exit.
Leon. Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to

Tak'st up the princess, by that forced¶ baseness
Which he has put upon't?

Leon. He dreads his wife.

My child? away with't!-even thou, that hast
A heart so tender o'er it, take it hence,

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.
Paul. Nor I; nor any,

But one, that's here; and that's himself: for he
The sacred honour of himself, his queen's,
His hopeful son's, his babe's, betrays to slander,
Whose sting is sharper than the sword's; and
will not

(For, as the case now stands, it is a curse
He cannot be compell'd to't,) once remove
The root of his opinion, which is rotten,
As ever oak, or stone, was sound.

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