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SCENE I.-Sicilia. An Ante-chamber in Leontes' Palace.
Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS.
Arch. If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia on the like occasion, wherein my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia, and your Sicilia.
Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame ns, we will be justified in our loves: for, indeed, Cam. 'Beseech you,
SCENE,-Sometimes in Sicilia, sometimes in Bohemia.
Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificencein so rare-I know not what to say.--We will give you sleepy drinks; that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us. [given freely. Cam. You pay a great deal too dear for what's Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utter
Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal necessities, made separation of ociety, their
An old Shepherd, reputed Father of Perdita.
Clown, his Son.
Servant to the old Shepherd.
AUTOLYCUS, a Rogue.
Time, as Chorus.
HERMIONE, Queen to Leontes.
PERDITA, Daughter to Leontes and Hermione. PAULINA, Wife to Antigonus.
Two other Ladies, attending the Queen.
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Satyrs for a Dance;
Shepherds, Shepherdesses, Guards, &c.
encounters, though not personal, have been royally attornied, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they have seemed to be together, though absent; shook hands, as over a vast; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves!
Arch. I think, there is not in the world either malice, or matter, to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius; it is a gentleman of the greatest promise, that ever came into my note.
Cam. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: It is a gallant child; one that, indeed, physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh: they, that went on crutches ere he was born, desire yet their life, to see him a man.
Arch, Would they else be content to die? Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse, why they should desire to live.
Arch. If the king had no son, they would desire to live on crutches, till he had one. [Exeunt. SCENE II.-The same. A Room of state in the Palace.
Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, HERMIONE, MA-
MILLIUS, CAMILLO, and Attendants.
Pol. Nine changes of the wat'ry star have been
The shepherd's note, since we have left our throne
Without a burden: time as long again
Would be fill'd up, my brother, with our thanks;
And yet we should, for perpetuity,
Go hence in debt. And therefore, like a cipher,
Than you can put us to't.
Leon. One seven-night longer.
Very sooth, to-morrow.
Leon. We'll part the time between's then: and
I'll no gain-saying.
Press me not, 'beseech you, so;
There is no tongue, that moves, none, none i' the
So soon as yours, could win me: so it should now,
Were there necessity in your request, although
"Twere needful I denied 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 peace until [sir, You had drawn oaths from him, not to stay. You, Charge him too coldly: 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.
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 (to Polixenes) I'll ad
Her. Nay, but you will? Pol.
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I'll give him my commission,
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?
I may not, verily.
You put me off with limber vows: But I,
Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with
Should yet say, Sir, no going. Verily,
You shall not go; a lady's verily is
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
My prisoner? or my guest? by your dread verily,
One of them you shall be.
Pol. Your guest then, madam: To be your prisoner, should import offending; Which is for me less easy to commit,
Than you to punish.
Not your gaoler then,
But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you
Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were
You were pretty lordlings then.
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, no, nor dream'd
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
Boldly, Not guilty; the imposition clear'd,
By this we gather,
You have tripp'd since.
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 not then cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.
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.
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, but once.
Her. What? have I twice said well? when was't before?
I pr'ythee, tell me : Cram us with praise, and
As fat as tame things: One good deed, dying tongue-
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 was, to entreat his stay;
What was my first? it has an elder sister,
Or I mistake you: O, would her name were Grace!
But once before I spoke to the purpose: When?
Nay, let me hav't; I long.
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.
It is Grace, indeed.— Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose The one for ever earn'd a royal husband; [twice: The other, for some while a friend.
(Giving her hand to Polixenes.)
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 become the agent: it may, I grant :
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; O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows.-Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?
Ay, my good lord.
I'fecks? Why, that's my bawcock. What, bast smutch'd thy nose?-
They say, it's 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?-How now, you wanton calf? Art thou my calf?
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 any thing: But were they false
As o'er-dyed 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 dear'st! my collop!-Can thy dam?-may't
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 may'st 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. 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, methoughts, I did recoil Twenty-three years; 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 quash, this gentleman:-Mine honest friend, Will you take eggs for money?
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?
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, 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? [found, Leon. To your own bents dispose you: you'll be Be you beneath the sky :-I am angling now, Though you perceive me not how I give line. Go to, go to!
(Aside. 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; Inch-thick, knee-deep; o'er head and ears a fork'd
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 sluic'd in's absence,
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
As mine, against their will: Should all despair,
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physic for't there is
It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful, think it,
From east, west, north, and south: Be it concluded,
No barricado for a belly; know it;
It will let in and out the enemy,
With bag and baggage: many a thousand of us
Have the disease and feel't not.-How now, boy?
Mam. I am like you, they say.
Why, that's some comfort.
Cam. Ay, my good lord.
Leon. Go play, Mamillius; thou'rt an honest [Exit 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. 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, roundSicilia is a so-forth: 'Tis far gone, [ing, 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 perBut so it is, it is not. Was this taken [tinent; By any understanding pate but thine? For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in More than the common blocks :-Not noted, is't, But 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 underBohemia stays here longer. [stand
Stays here longer.
Leon. Ay, but why? Cam. To satisfy your highness, and the entreaOf our most gracious mistress. [ties Leon.
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.
Cam. Be it forbid, my lord! Leon. To bide upon't;-Thou art not honest: 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 drawn, And tak'st it all for jest.
Cam. 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, Amongst 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 affects 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-
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.
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 it,)
My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess,
(Or else be impudently negative,
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
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say, As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia,
My wife's a hobbyhorse; deserves a name
And with your queen: I am his cup-bearer;
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
If from me he have wholesome beverage,
Before her troth-plight; say it, and justify it. Account me not your servant.
This is all:
Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou split'st thine own.
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? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of langhter 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 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 no-
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.
It is; you lie, you
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.
Who does infect her?
Leon. Why, he that wears her like her medal,
About his neck, Bohemia; Who-if I [hanging
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 may'st
Plainly, as heaven sees earth, and earth sees heaven,
How I am galled,-might'st 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 ling ring 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,
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'll do't, my lord. Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd [Exit.
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,
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 too: for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter'd with it.
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.
How! caught of me? Make me not sighted like the basilisk
I have look'd on thousands, who have sped the better
Make't thy question, and go rot! By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo,-
Dost think, I am so muddy, so ansettled,
To appoint myself in this vexation? sully
The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
Which to preserve, is sleep; which being spotted,
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,
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 have struck anointed kings,
And flourish'd after, I'd not do't: but since
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one,
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?————
If you know aught which does behove my knowledge) The keys of all the posterns: Please your highness
Thereof to be inform'd, imprison it not
To take the urgent hour: Come, sir, away. [Exeunt.
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 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.
Sir, I'll tell you;
Since I am charg'd in honour, and by him'
That I think honourable: Therefore, mark my coun-
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?
By the king.
For what? Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he As he had seen't, or been an instrument [swears, To vice you to't, that you have touch'd his queen Forbiddenly.
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 infection,
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, 'tis safer to
Avoid what's grown, than question how 'tis born.
If therefore you dare trust my honesty,-
That lies enclosed in this trank, 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 of 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.
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
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 me;
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
Merry, or sad, shall't be? Her. As merry as you wilk. Mam.
A sad tale's best for winter;
I have one of sprites and goblins.
Let's have that, sir.
Come on, sit down:-Come on, and do your best
To fright me with your sprites: you're powerful at
Mam. There was a man,-
Nay, come, sit down; then on.
Mam. Dwelt by a church-yard:-I will tell it
Yon crickets shall not hear it.
Come on then,
And give't me in mine ear.
Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and others. Leon. Was he met there? his train? Camillo with him? [never
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.
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
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
For them to play at will:-How came the posterns
So easily open?
By his great authority;