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peace until



I am question’d by my fears, of what may

chance Or breed upon our absence; that may blow No sneaping winds at home, to make us say, “ This is put forth too truly." Besides, I have

stay'd To tire your Royalty. Leon.

We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to 't.

No longer stay.
Leon. One seven-night longer.

Very sooth, to-morrow. Leon. We 'll part the time between 's then;

and in that I'll no gainsaying. Pol.

Press me not, beseech you, so. There is no tongue that moves, none, none i’

the world, So soon as yours could win me. So it should

now, Were there necessity in your request, although ’T were needful I deni’d'it. My affairs Do even drag me homeward ; which to hinder Were in your love a whip to me; my stay To you a charge and trouble. To save both, Farewell, our brother.

Leon. Tongue-tied our Queen ? Speak you.

Her. I had thought, sir, to have held my You had drawn oaths from him uot to stay.

You, sir, Charge him too colaly. Tell him, you are

sure All in Bohemia 's well; this satisfaction The by-gone day proclaim'd. Say this to him, He's beat from his best ward. Leon.

Well said, Hermione. Her. To tell, he longs to see his son, were

strong ; But let him say so then, and let him go; But let him swear so, and he shall not stay; We'll thwack him hence with distaffs. Yet of your royal presence I 'll adventure The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia You take my lord, I'll give him my commis

To let him there a month behind the gest
Prefix'd for 's parting ; yet, good deed, Leontes,
I love thee not a jar o' the clock behind
What lady she her lord. You 'll stay?

No, madam.
Her. Nay, but you will ?

I may not, verily.
Her. Verily!
You put me off with limber vows ; but I,
Though you would seek to unsphere the stars

with oaths, Should yet say, "Sir, no going;" Verily, You shall not go; a lady's Verily" s As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet ? Force me to keep you as a prisoner, Not like a guest ; so you shall pay your fees When you depart, and save your thanks. How

say you? My prisoner or my guest ? By your dread

" Verily," One of them you shall be.


Your guest, then, madam. To be your prisoner should import offending, Which is for me less easy to commit Than you to punish. Her.

Not your gaoler, then, But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question Of my lord's tricks and yours when you were

boys. You were pretty lordings then ? Pol.

We were, fair Queen, Two lads that thought there was no

But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy eternal.

Was not my lord
The verier wag o' the two ?
Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs that did

frisk i' the sun, And bleat the one at the other. What we

chang'd Was innocence for innocence ; we knew not The doctrine of ill-doing, no, nor dream'd That any did. Had we pursu'd that life, And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd With stronger blood, we should have answer'd

Boldly, “Not guilty"; the imposition clear'd
Hereditary ours.

By this we gather
You have tripp'd since.

O my most sacred lady! Temptations have since then been born to 's;

for In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl ; Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes Of my young play-fellow. Her.

Grace to boot! Of this make no conclusion, lest you say Your Queen and I are devils. Yet go on ; The offences we have made you do we'll an

swer, If you first sinn'd with us, and that with us You did continue fault, and that you slipp'd

With any but with us.

Is he won yet?
Her. He 'll stay, my lord.

At my request he would not.
Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st
To better purpose.

Never ?

Never, but once.
Her. What! have I twice said well ? When

was 't before ? I prithee tell me ; cram 's with praise, and

make's As fat as tame things. One good deed dying

tongueless Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that. Our praises are our wages; you may ride's With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs ere With spur we heat an acre. But to the goal: My last good deed was to entreat his stay; What was my first? It has an elder sister, Or I mistake you. O, would her name were


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But once before I spoke to the purpose ;

when? Nay, let me have 't; I long; Leon.

Why, that was when Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves

to death, Ere I could make thee open thy white hand And clap thyself my love; then didst thou

utter, I am yours for ever." Her.

'T is grace indeed, 105 Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the pur

pose twice : The one for ever earn'd a royal husband ; The other for some while a friend.

[Gives her hand to Polizenes.) Leon.

(Aside.] Too hot, too hot 1 To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods. I have tremor cordis on me; my heart

dances, But not for joy ; not joy, This entertainment May a free face put on, derive a liberty From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom, And well become the agent; 't may, grant ;

I But to be paddling palms and pinching fin

gers, As now they are, and making practis'd smiles, As in a looking-glass; and then to sigh, as 't The mort o' the deer; -0, that is entertain

ment My bosom likes not, nor my brows! Mamillius, Art thou my boy ? Мат.

Ay, my good lord. Leon.

I' fecks! Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch'd

thy nose ? They say it is a copy out of mine. Come, cap

tain, We must be neat; not neat, but cleanly, cap

tain: And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf Are all call'd neat. - Still virginalling Upon his palm! - How now, you wanton calf ! Art thou my calf ? Mam.

Yes, if you will, my lord. Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash and the

shoots that I have, To be full like me ; yet they say we are Almost as like as eggs; women say so, That will say anything. But were they false As o'er-dy'd blacks, as wind, as waters, false As dice are to be wish'd by one that fixes No bourn 'twixt his and mine, yet were it true To say this boy were like me. Come, sir page, 135 Look on

me with your welkin eye. Sweet

villain! Most dear'st! my collop! Can thy dam? Affection | thy intention stabs the centre. Thou dost make possible things not so beld, Communicat'st with dreams ; – how can this

be? With what 's unreal thou coactive art, And fellow'st nothing. Then 't is very credent Thou mayst co-join with something; and thou


And that beyond commission, and I find it,
And that to the infection of my brains
And hardening of my brows.

What means Sicilia ?
Her. He something seems unsettled.

How, my lord ! Leon. What cheer? How is 't with you, best


You look
As if you held a brow of much distraction.
Are you mov'd, my lord ?

No, in good earnest.
How sometimes nature will betray its folly, iai
Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime
To harder bosoms! Looking on the lines
Of my boy's face, methoughts I did recoil
Twenty-three years, and saw myself un-

breech'd In my green velvet coat, my dagger muzzl'd, Lest it should bite its master, and so prove, As ornaments oft do, too dangerous. How like, methought, I then was to this kernel, This squash, this gentleman. Mine honest

Will you take eggs for money?

Mam. No, my lord, I'll fight.
Leon. You will! Why, happy man be 's

dole! My brother,
Are you so fond of your young prince as we
Do seem to be of ours ?

If at home, sir,
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter,
Now my sworn friend and then mine enemy,
My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all.
He makes a July's day short as December,
And with his varying childness cures in me
Thoughts that would thick my blood,

So stands this squire Offic'd with me. We two will walk, my lord, And leave you to your graver steps. Hermione, How thou lov'st us, show in our brother's wel

Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap.
Next to thyself and my young rover, he's
Apparent to my heart.

If you would seek us, We are yours i' the garden. Shall 's attend you

there? Leon. To your own bents dispose you ; you 'll

be found, Be you beneath the sky. (Aside.] I am angling Though you perceive me not how I give line. Go to, go to! How she holds up the neb, the bill to him ! And arms her with the boldness of a wife To her allowing husband !

(Exeunt Polixenes, Hermione, and attendants.)

Gone already! 185 Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and cars a

fork'd one! Go, play, boy, play. Thy mother plays, and I Play too, but so disgrac'd a part, whose issue Will niss me to my grave; contempt and clamour Will be my knell. Go, play, boy, play. There

have been,






may 't be ?



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It is a bawdy planet, that will strike Where't is predominant; and 't is powerful, think it,

From east, west, north, and south. Be it concluded,

No barricado for a belly; know 't;
It will let in and out the enemy


With bag and baggage. Many thousand on 's Have the disease, and feel't not. How now, boy!

Mam. I am like you, they say. Leon. Why, that's some comfort. What, Camillo there? Cam. Ay, my good lord.


est man.

Leon. Go play, Mamillius; thou 'rt an hon[Exeunt Mamillius.] Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer. Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor hold.

When you cast out, it still came home.
Didst note it?
Cam. He would not stay at your petitions;

His business more material.

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Leon. Didst perceive it? [Aside.] They're here with me already, whispering, rounding, "Sicilia is a so-forth.' "T is far gone, When I shall gust it last. How came 't, Camillo, That he did stay?


At the good Queen's entreaty. Leon. At the Queen's be 't; "good" should be pertinent;


But, so it is, it is not. Was this taken
By any understanding pate but thine?
For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in
More than the common blocks. Not noted,


Bohemia stays here longer.




is 't,

But of the finer natures? By some severals
Of head-piece extraordinary? Lower messes
Perchance are to this business purblind? Say.
Cam. Business, my lord! I think most un-



Leon. Ay, but why?
Cam. To satisfy your Highness and the en-

treaties Of our most gracious mistress.

Stays here longer.

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Hast cleans'd my bosom, I from thee departed
Thy penitent reform'd; but we have been
Deceiv'd in thy integrity, deceiv'd
In that which seems so.

Be it forbid, my lord!
Leon. To bide upon 't, thou art not hon-
est, or,

If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward,
Which hoxes honesty behind, restraining

From course requir'd; or else thou must be counted



By its own visage. If I then deny it, "T is none of mine.



A servant grafted in my serious trust
And therein negligent; or else a fool

That seest a game play'd home, the rich stake drawn,

And tak'st it all for jest.
My gracious lord,
I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful;
In every one of these no man is free
But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
Among the infinite doings of the world,
Sometime puts forth. In your affairs, my lord,
If ever I were wilful-negligent,


It was my folly; if industriously
I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the issue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 't was a fear
Which oft infects the wisest: these, my lord,
Are such allow'd infirmities that honesty
Is never free of. But, beseech your Grace,
Be plainer with me; let me know my tres-




Ha' not you seen, Camillo, But that's past doubt, you have, or your eye


or heard, —

Is thicker than a cuckold's horn,
For to a vision so apparent rumour
Cannot be mute, - -or thought,


for cogita

tion Resides not in that man that does not think, – My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess, Or else be impudently negative,

To have nor eyes nor ears nor thought, then



My wife's a hobby-horse, deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench that puts to
Before her troth-plight: say 't and justify 't.
Cam. I would not be a stander-by to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken. Shrew my heart,
You never spoke what did become you less
Than this; which to reiterate were sin
As deep as that, though true.


Leon. Is whispering nothing? Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses? Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career 286

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vis'd me.



Of laughter with a sigh? - a note infallible
Of breaking honesty ; - horsing foot on foot ?
Skulking in corners ? wishing clocks more

swift? Hours, minutes ? noon, midnight ? and all eyes Blind with the pin-and-web but theirs, theirs

only, That would unseen be wicked? Is this no

thing? Why, then the world and all that's in 't is

nothing; The covering

sky is nothing ; Bohemia nothing ; My wife is nothing ; nor nothing have these

If this be nothing.

Good my lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas'd opinion, and betimes;
For 't is most dangerous.

Say it be, 't is true.
Cam. No, no, my lord.

It is ; you lie, you lie! I

say thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee, Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave, Or else a hovering temporizer, that Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil, Inclining to them both. Were my wife's liver Infected as her life, she would not live The running of one glass. Cam.

Who does infect her? Leon. Why, he that wears her like her medal,

hanging About his neck, Bohemia ; who, if I Had servants true about me, that bare eyes To see alike mine honour as their profits, Their own particular thrifts, they would do

that Which should undo more doing ; ay, and thou, His cup-bearer, - whom I from meaner form Have bench'd' and rear'd to worship, who

mayst see Plainly as heaven sees earth and earth sees

How I am galld, – mightst bespice a cup,
To give mine enemy a lasting wink;
Which draught to me were cordial.

Sir, my lord, I could do this, and that with no rash potion, But with a lingering dram that should not

work Maliciously like poison; but I cannot Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress, So sovereignly being honourable. I have lov'd thee,

Leon. Make that thy question, and go rot! Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled, To appoint myself in this vexation, sully The purity and whiteness of my sheets, Which to preserve is sleep, which being spotted Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wasps, Give scandal to the blood o' the Prince my son, Who I do think is mine and love as mine, Without ripe moving to't? Would I do this ? Could man so blench? Cam.

I must believe you, sir ; I do; and will fetch off Bohemia for 't'; Provided that, when he's removed, your High



Will take again your queen as yours at first, Even for your son's sake; and thereby for

sealing The injury of tongues in courts and kingdoms Known and allied to yours. Leon.

Thou dost advise me Even so as I mine own course have set down. I'll give no blemish to her honour, none.

Cam. My lord, Go then ; and with a countenance as clear As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohe

mia And with your queen. I am his cupbearer: ** If from me he have wholesome beverage, Account me not your servant. Leon.

This is all. Do't and thou hast the 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 ad

(Erit. sse 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 villainy itself forswear 't. I must
Forsake the court. To do't, or no, is certain
To me a break-neck. Happy star reign now !
Here comes Bohemia.


This is strange; methinks
My favour here begins to warp. Not speak ! *
Good day, Camillo.

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 counte As he had lost some province and a region Lov'd as he loves himself. Even now I met

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 changeth 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: 't is 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 too; for I

must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter'd with 't.

There is a sickness Which puts some of us in distemper, but








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I cannot name the disease; and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.

How! caught of me!
Make me not sighted like the basilisk.
I have look'd on thousands, who have sped the


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, I beseech you,
If you know aught which does behove my


Thereof to be inform'd, imprison 't not
In ignorant concealment.


I may not answer. Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well!


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

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.


Sir, I will tell you,
Since I am charg'd in honour and by him
That I think honourable; therefore mark my

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!


On, good Camillo.
Cam. I am appointed him to murder you.
Pol. By whom, Camillo?
For what?
Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he

By the King.



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


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
A savour that may strike the dullest nostril
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!


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


How should this grow?
Cam. I know not; but I am sure 't is safer


Avoid what's grown than question how 't is born.

If therefore you dare trust my honesty,
That lies enclosed 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 posterns
Clear them o' the city. For myself, I'll put
My fortunes to your service, which are here 440
By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain;
For, by the honour of my parents, I

Have utt'red 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, thereon

His execution sworn.

I do believe thee;
I saw his heart in 's face. Give me thy hand.
Be pilot to me, and thy places shall

Still neighbour mine. My ships are ready and My people did expect my hence departure Two days ago. This jealousy


Is for a precious creature. As she's rare,
Must it be great; and as his person's mighty,
Must it be violent; and as he does conceive
He is dishonour'd by a man which ever
Profess'd to him, why, his revenges must
In that be made more bitter. Fear o'ershades



"Tis past enduring. [1.] Lady.

Shall I be your playfellow?



Good expedition be my friend, and comfort The gracious queen; - part of his theme, but nothing

Of his ill-ta'en suspicion! Come, Camillo ;
I will respect thee as a father if
Thou bear'st my life off hence. Let us avoid.
Cam. It is in mine authority to command
The keys of all the posterns. Please your

To take the urgent hour. Come, sir, away.



What colour are your eyebrows? [1.] Lady.



SCENE 1. [Sicilia. A room in the palace.] Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and LADIES. Her. Take the boy to you; he so troubles


Come, my gracious lord,


No, I'll none of you. [1] Lady. Why, my sweet lord? Mam. You'll kiss me hard and speak to me


as if

I were a baby still. - I love you better.
2. Lady. And why so, my lord?
Not for because
Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they



Become some women best, so that there be not
Too much hair there, but in a semicircle,
Or a half-moon made with a pen.
2. Lady.

Who taught this?

Mam. I learnt it out of women's faces. Pray

Blue, my lord

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