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Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor hold : When you cast out, 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 ?They're here with me already ; whispering, rounding, • Sicilia is a-so-forth :' 'Tis far gone, When I shall gust it last.—How came' 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 purblind ? say.

Cam. Business, my lord ! I think most understand
Bohemia stays here longer.

Ha !

Stays here longer. Leon. Ay, but why ?

Cam. To satisfy your highness, and the entreaties
Of our most gracious mistress.

The entreaties of your mistress satisfy !-
Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Camillo,
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.

Be it forbid, my

lord !

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Leon. To bide upon 't ;-thou art not honest; or,
If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward ;
Which hoxes 13 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 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,
Sometimes 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, 'twas 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 trespass
By its own visage: if I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.

Have 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 cogitation 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 say,


My wife's 'incontinent;' deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench :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.

Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? stopping the career
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 14 but theirs, theirs only,
That would unseen be wicked ? is this nothing ?
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 nothings,
If this be nothing.

Good my lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas'd opinion, and betimes ;
For 'tis most dangerous.

Say, it be ; 'tis true.
Cam. No, no, my

lord. Leon.

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 temporiser, that
Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
Inclining to them both. Were


wife's liver
Infected as her life, she would not live
The running of one glass.

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 cupbearer-whom I from meaner form
Have bench’d, and reard to worship; who may'st


Plainly, as heaven sees earth, and earth sees heaven,
How I am galled-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-

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 'name,'
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 ?

I must believe you, sir ;
I do; and will fetch off Bohemia for 't ;
Provided that, when he's remov'd, your highness
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.

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 Bohemia
And with your queen. I am his cupbearer ;
If from me he have wholesome beverage,
Account me not your servant.

This is all :-
Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou splitt'st thine own.

I'll do't, my

lord. Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd me.

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 one,
Let villany 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 ?

None rare, my lord.
Pol. The king hath on him such a countenance


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