« PreviousContinue »
Leo. To your own bents difpofe you; you'll be found,
Be you beneath the fky: I am angling now,
Tho' you perceive me not how I give line;
Go to, go to.
[Afide, obferving Her.
How the holds up the neb! the bill to him!
And arms her with the boldness of a wife
[Exc. Polix. Her, and Attendants. Manent Leo.
Mam, and Cam.
To her allowing husband. Gone already!
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 fo difgrac'd a part, whose iffue
Will hifs 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 prefent,
Now while I speak this, holds his wife by th'arm,
That little thinks fhe has been fluic'd in's abfence,
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 thofe gates open'd,
As mine, against their will. Should all despair
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Phyfick for't there is none;
It is a bawdy planet, that will ftrike
Where 'tis predominant; * many a thousand of's
Have the disease, and feel't not. How now, boy?
Mam. I am like you, they say.
Leo. Why, that's fome comfort.
What is Camillo there?
Cam. Ay, my good Lord.
Leo. Go play, Mamillus-thou'rt an honest man,
Camillo; this great Sir will yet ftay longer.
Cam. You had much ado to make the anchor hold;
predominant; and 'tis powerful: think it.
From eaft, welt, north and fouth, be it concluded,
No barricado for a belly. Know't,
It will let in and out the enemy,
With bag and baggage: many, oce
When you caft out, it still came home.
Leo. Didft note it?
Cam. He would not stay at your petitions made ; His bufinefs more material.
Leo. Didft perceive it?
They're here with me already; whifp'ring round, Afide.
Sicilia is a-fo forth; far gone,
When I shall guft it laft. How came't, Camillo,
That he did stay?
Cam. At the good Queen's entreaty.
Leo. At the Queen's be't; good should be pertinent; But fo it is, it is not. Was this taken By any understanding pate but thine? For thy conceit is foaking, will draw in More than the common blocks; not noted, is't, But of the finer natures? by fome severals Of head-piece extraordinary? lower messes Perchance are to this bufinefs purblind? fay.
Cam. Bufinefs, my Lord? I think most understand Bithynia ftays here longer.
Leo. Ha? ftays here longer. Ay, but why? Cam. To fatisfie your Highnefs, and th' entreaties Of our most gracious mistress.
Leo. Satisfie? 1
Th' entreaties of your mistress? satisfie ?—
Let that fuffice. I've trufted thee, Camillo,
With all the things nearest my heart, with all
My chamber-councels, wherein, priest-like, thou
Haft cleans'd my bofom; I from thee departed
Thy penitent reform'd: but we have been
Deceiv'd in thy integrity, deceiv'd
In that which feems fo.
Cam. Be it forbid, my Lord!
Leo. To bide upon't-thou art not honeft, or,
If thou inclin'ft that way, thou art a coward,
Which hockles honefty behind, reftraining
From courfe requir'd; or else thou must be counted
A fervant grafted in my ferious truft,
And therein negligent; or else a fool,
That feeft a game plaid home, the rich stake drawn,
And tak'ft it all for jeft.
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,
Sometime puts forth in your affairs, my Lord,
If ever I were wilful negligent,
It was my folly; if injuriously
I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the iffue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 'twas a fear
Which oft infects the wifeft: these, my Lord,
Are fuch allow'd infirmities, that honefty
Is never free of. But 'befeech your Grace,
Be plainer with me, let me know my trespass
By its own vifage; if I then deny it,
"Tis none of mine.
Leo. Ha' not you feen, Camillo,
(But that's past doubt; you have, or your eye-glass Is thicker than a cuckold's horn) or heard,
(For to a vifion fo apparent, rumour
Cannot be mute) or thought, (for cogitation
Refides not in that man, that does not think't)
My wife is flippery? if thou wilt, confefs,
(Or elfe be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thoughts) then say,
My wife's a hobby-horse, deferves a name
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before her troth-plight: fay't and justify't.
Cam. I would not be a ftander-by, to hear
My fovereign mistress clouded fo, without
My prefent vengeance taken; 'fhrew my heart,
You never fpoke what did become you lefs
Than this, which to reiterate, were fin
As deep as that, tho' true.
Leo. Is whifpering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting nofes
Kiffing with infide lip? ftopping the career
Of laughter with a figh? (a note infallible
Of breaking honesty :) horfing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wifhing clocks more swift?
Hours minutes? the noon midnight? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web, but theirs; theirs only,
That would unfeen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why then the world, and all that's in't, is nothing;
The covering fky is nothing, Bithynia nothing,
My wife is nothing, nor nothing have these nothings
If this be nothing.
Cam. Good my Lord, be cur'd
Of this difeas'd opinion, and betimes,
For 'tis most dangerous.
Leo. Say it be, 'tis true.
Cam. No, no, my Lord.
Leo. It is; you lie, you lie :
I fay thou lieft, Camillo, and I hate thee,
Pronounce thee a grofs lowt, a mindless flave,
Or elfe a hovering temporizer, that
Canft with thine eyes at once fee good and evil,
Inclining to them both: were my wife's liver
Infected, as her life, fhe would not live
The running of one glass.
Cam. Who do's infect her?
Leo. Why, he that wears her like her medal, hanging About his neck, Bithynia; who, if I Had fervants true about me, that bear eyes To fee alike mine honour, as their profits, Their own particular thrifts; they would do that Which should undo more doing: I, and thou His cup-bearer, whom I from meaner form Have bench'd, and rear'd to worship, who may'it fee Plainly, as heav'n fees earth, and earth fees heav'r How I am gall'd, thou might'ft be-spice a cup, To give mine enemy a lafting wink, Which draught to me were cordial.
Cam. Sir, my Lord,
I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
But with a lingring dram, that should not work,
Like a malicious poison: but I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So fovereignly being honourable,
Leo. Make that thy queftion, and go rot:
Do'ft think I am fo muddy, fo unfettled,
To appoint my self in this vexation? Sully
The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
Which to preserve, is sleep; which being spotted,
Is goads, and thorns, nettles, and tails of wafps :
Give scandal to the blood o'th' Prince, my son,
Who, I do think, is mine, and love as mine;
Without ripe moving to't would I do this?
Could man fo blench?
Cam. I muft believe, you, Sir,
I do, and will fetch off Bithynia for't:
Provided that when he's remov'd, your Highness
Will take again your Queen, as yours at first,
Even for your fon's fake, and thereby for fealing
The injury of tongues, in Courts and Kingdoms
Known and ally'd to yours.
Leo. Thou dost advise me,
Even fo as I mine own courfe have fet 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 feafts, keep with Bithynia,
And with your Queen: I am his cup-bearer;
If from me he have wholefome beveridge,
Account me not your fervant.
Leo. This is all.
Do't, and thou haft the one half of my heart
Do't not, thou fplit'ft thine own.
Cam. I'll do't, my Lord.
Leo. I will feem friendly, as thou haft advis'd me. [Exit. Cam. O miferable Lady! but for me,
What cafe ftand 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