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

Her. 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, nor dream'd 4
That any did. Had we pursued that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd Heaven
Boldly, 'Not guilty ;' the imposition cleard
Hereditary ours.
Her.

By this we gather,
You have tripp'd since.
Pol.

O my most sacred lady,
Temptations have since then been born to us : for
In those unfledg’d days was my wife a girl ;
Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
Of my young playfellow.
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 answer ;
If

you first sinn'd with us, and that with us
You did continue fault, and that you slipp'd not
With any but with us.
Leon.

Is he won yet?

5

Her. He'll stay, my

lord. Leon.

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

purpose. Her.

Never? Leon.

Never, but once. Her. What! have I twice said well ? when was 't before ? I prithee, tell me : cram us with praise, and make us As fat as tame things ;6 one good deed dying tongueless Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that. Our praises are our wages. You may

ride

us,
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 : 0, would her name were Grace !
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.

It is Grace, indeed.-
Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the

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

[Giving her hand to POLIXENES. Leon.

Too hot, too hot!

[Aside.
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 come the agent: it may, I grant :

a

a

6

But to be paddling palms, and pinching fingers,
As now they are ; and making practis'd smiles,
As in a looking-glass ;-and then to sigh, as 'twere
The mort o' the deer ;6 O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows.—Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?
Mam.

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, captain, We must be neat; not neat, but cleanly, captain : And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf, Are all call'd neat.-Still virginalling

[Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE. Upon his palm ?7—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,
Look on me with your welkin eye :: sweet villain !
Most dearest ! my collop !—Can thy dam ?—may't be ?
Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:
Thou dost make possible things not so held,
Communicat'st with dreams ;-(how can this be ?)—
With what's unreal thou coactive art,
And fellow'st nothing : then, 'tis

very

credent
Thou mayst co-join with something; and thou dost-
And that beyond commission; and I find it
And that to the infection of my

brains And hardening of my brows.

Pol.

What means Sicilia ?
Her. He something seems unsettled.
Pol.

How, my lord!
What cheer ? how is 't with you, best brother ?
Her.

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

No, in good earnest.-
How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime
To harder bosoms! Looking on the lines
Of my boy's face, methought I did recoil
Twenty-three years ;10 and saw myself unbreech'd,
In my green velvet coat; my dagger muzzled,
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,u this gentleman. Mine honest friend,
Will
you
take eggs

for
money

? 12 Mam. No, my lord, I'll fight. Leon. You will ? why, happy man be his dole !-my

brother,
Are you so fond of your young prince, as we
Do seem to be of ours ?
Pol.

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.
Leon.

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, shew in our brother's welcome ;
Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap :

a

Next to thyself and my young rover, he's
Apparent to my heart.
Her.

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 now,
Though you perceive me not how I give line.
Go to, go to!

Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE.
How she holds up the neb, the bill to him !
And arms her with the boldness of a wife
To her allowing husband! Gone already!

[Exeunt POLIXENES, HERMIONE, and Attendants.
Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a fork'd one.
Go, play, boy, play :—thy mother plays, and I
Play too; but so disgrac'd a part, whose issue
Will hiss me to my grave; contempt and clamour
Will be my knell.-Go, play, boy, play.—There have been,
Or I am much deceiv'd, cuckolds ere now;
And many a man there is, even at this present,
Now, while I speak this, holds his wife by the arm,
That little thinks she has been 'wanton with'
Sir Smile, his neighbour. Should all despair
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physic for’t there's none;
It is a 'pestilent' planet, that will strike
Where ’tis predominant; and ’tis powerful, think it,
From east, west, north, and south : many thousands on us
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.

;

[Exit MAMILLIUS. Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.

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