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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,
No longer stay.
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
I may not, verily.
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
Was not my lord
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
By this we gather
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
Is he won yet?
At my request he would not.
Never, but once.
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
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,
What means Sicilia ?
How, my lord ! Leon. What cheer? How is 't with you, best
No, in good earnest.
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
Mam. No, my lord, I'll fight.
dole! My brother,
If at home, sir,
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
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
may 't be ?
Or I am much deceiv'd, cuckolds ere now;
arin, That little thinks she has been sluic'd in 's ab
And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour,
by Sir Smile, his neighbour. Nay, there 's comfort
in 't Whiles other men have gates, and those gates
open'd, As mine, against their will. Should all despair That have revolted wives, the tenth of man
kind Would hang themselves. Physic for 't there is It is a bawdy planet, that will strike Where it is predominant; and 't is powerful,
think it, From east, west, north, and south. Be it con
cluded, 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. Leon. Go play, Mamillius ; thou 'rt an honest man.
(Exeunt Mamillius.] Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer. Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor
hold. When you cast ont, it still came home. Leon,
Didst note it? Cam. He would not stay at your petitions ;
made His business more material. Leon.
Didst perceive it ? (Aside.] They're here with me already, whis
pering, rounding, “Sicilia is a so-forth.
'T is far gone, When I shall gust it last. How came't, Camillo, That he did stay?
Cam. 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,
is 't, But of the finer natures? By some severals Of head-piece extraordinary? Lower messes Perchance are to this business porblind ? Say. Cam. Business, my lord ! I think most un.
Stays here longer.
Satisfy! The entreaties of your mistress! Satisfy! Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Ca
millo, With all the nearest things to my heart, as well My chamber-councils, wherein, priest-like,
thou 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. Cam.
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 A servant grafted in my serious trust And therein negligent ; or else a fool That seest a game play'd home, the rich stake
My gracious lord,
pass By its own visage. If I then deny it, 'T is none of mine. Leon.
Ha'not you seen, Camillo, But that's past doubt, you have, or your eye
glass Is thicker than a cuckold's horn, or heard, For to a vision so apparent rumour Cannot be mute, - or thought, for cogita
Cam. I would not be a stander-by to hear
never spoke what did become you less
Is whispering nothing ? Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses ? Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career 286
Of laughter with a sigh? - a note infallible
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
Good my lord, be cur'd
Say it be, 't is true.
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
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
This is strange; methinks
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
Cam. I dare not know, my lord.
and dare not ?
There is a sickness Which puts some of us in distemper, but
If therefore you dare trust my honesty,
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. Pol.
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
I cannot name the disease; and it is caught
How! caught of me!
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
least Is not this suit of mine, that thou declare What incidency thon 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 will tell you,
On, good Camillo.
swears, 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 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
tion 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 pild upon his faith and will continue The standing of his body. Pol.
How should this grow? Cam. I know not; but I am sure 't is safer
to Avoid what's grown than question how 't is
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
By the King or what?
SCENE I. (Sicilia. A room in the palace.] 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 ? Мат.
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.
2. Lady. And why so, my lord ? Mam.
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