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Have strain'd, to appear thusb: if one jøt beyond
The bound of honour; or, in act, or will,
That way inclining; harden'd be the hearts
Of all that hear me, and my near'st of kin

Leo, Fye upon mye, and my near he hearts

I ne'er heard yet,
That any of these bolder vices wanted
Less impudence to gainsay what they did,
Than to perform it first?.

That's true enough:
Though 'tis a saying, sir, not due to me.
Leon. You will not own it.

More than mistress of, Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not At all acknowledge. For Polixenes, (With whom I am accus'd) I do confess, I lov'd him, as in honour he requir'd ; With such a kind of love, as might become A lady like me; with a love, even such, So, and no other, as yourself commanded: Which not to have done, I think, had been in me Both disobedience and ingratitude, To you, and toward your friend; whose love had

spoke, Eren since it could speak, from an infant freely, That it was yours. Now, for conspiracy, I know not how it tastes; though it be dish'd For me to try how: all I know of it, Is, that Camillo was an honest man;

6 Encounter 80 uncurrent is unallowed or unlawful meeting Strain'd means swerv'd or gone astray from the line of duty. So in Romeo and Juliet:

"Nor aught so good, but strain'd from that fair use,

To appear thus is to seem guilty.

? It is to be observed that originally in our language, two negatives did not affirm, but only étrengthen the negation. Examples of similar phraseology occur in several of our author's plays, and even in the first act of this very drama : in this passage, Johnson observes that, according to the present use of words, less should be more, or wanted should be had.'

And, why he left your court, the gods themselves, Wotting no more than I, are ignorant.

Leon. You knew of his departure, as you know What you have underta’en to do in his absence.

Her. Sir,
You speak a language that I understand not:
My life stands in the levels of your dreams,
Which I'll lay down.

Your actions are my dreams;
You had a bastard by Polixenes,
And I but dream'd it:- As you were past all shame
(Those of your fact9 are so), so past all truth :
Which to deny, concerns more than avails: for as10
Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
No father owning it (which is, indeed,
More criminal in thee, than it), so thou
Shalt feel our justice; in whose easiest passage,
Look for no less than death.

Sir, spare your threats; The bugil, which you would fright me with, I seek. To me can life be no commodity: The crown and comfort of my life, your favour, I do give lost; for I do feel it gone, But know not how it went: My second joy, And first-fruits of my body, from his presence I am barr’d, like one infectious: My third comfort, Starr'd most unluckily12, is from my breast,

8 See note 1, p. 36. To stand within the level of a gun is to stand in a direct line with its mouth, and in danger of being hurt by its discharge. This expression often occurs in Shakspeare; take one instance from K. Henry VIII. Act i. Sc. 2:

'I stood i'the level
Of a full charg'd confederacy, and give thanks

To you that chok'd it. 9 i. e. they who have done like you. Shakspeare had this from Dorastus and Fawnia, 'it was her part to deny such a monstrous crime, and to be impudent in forswearing the fact, since she had passed all shame in committing the fault."

10 It is your business to deny this charge ; but the mere denial will be useless, will prove nothing.

11 Bugbear.

12 “Starr'd most unluckily,' Ill starred; born uuder an inauspicious planet.

The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder: Myself on every post
Proclaim'd a strumpet ; with immodest hatred,
The child-bed privilege denied, which 'longs
To women of all fashion :-Lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i'the open air, before
I have got strength of limit13. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Therefore, proceed.
But yet hear this; mistake me not;-No! life,
I prize it not a straw:—but for mine honour
(Which I would free), if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises; all proofs sleeping else,
But what your jealousies awake; I tell you,
'Tis rigour, and not law.–Your honours all,
I do refer me to the oracle;
Apollo be my judge.
1 Lord.

This your request
Is altogether just: therefore, bring forth,
And in Apollo's name, his oracle.

[Exeunt certain Officers. Her. The emperor of Russia was my father: 0, that he were alive, and here beholding His daughter's trial! that he did but see The flatness14 of my misery; yet with eyes Of pity, not revenge!

Re-enter Officers with CLEOMENES and Dion. Offi. You here shall swear upon this sword of

justice, That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have Been both at Delphos; and from thence have brought

13 Strength of limit, i. e. the degree of strength which it is customary to acquire before women are suffered to go abroad after child-bearing.

14 "The flatness of my misery,' that is absoluteness, the completeness of my misery. So Miltov, P. L. b. ii :

"Thus repuls'd, our final hope

Is flat despair.' i. e. complete or downright despair.

Vol. IV.

This seal’d up oracle, by the hand deliver'd
Of great Apollo's priest; and that, since then,
You have not dar'd to break the holy seal,
Nor read the secrets in't.
Cleo. Dion.

All this we swear. Leon. Break up the seals, and read. Offi. [Reads. ] Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant, his innocent babe truly begotten; and the king shall live without an heir, if that, which is lost, be not found15. Lords. Now blessed be the great Apollo! Her.

Praised! Leon. Hast thou read truth? Offi.

Ay, my lord; even so As it is here set down.

Leon. There is no truth at all i'the oracle:
The sessions shall proceed; this is mere falsehood.

Enter a Servant, hastily.
Serv. My lord the king, the king!

What is the business? Serv. O sir, I shall be hated to report it: The prince your son, with mere conceit and fear Of the queen's speed16, is gone. Leon.

How! gone? Serv.

Is dead. Leon. Apollo's angry; and the heavens themselves Do strike at my injustice. (HERMIONE faints.

How now there? Paul. This news is mortal to the queen :-Look

down, And see what death is doing. Leon.

Take her hence; Her heart is but o'ercharg'd; she will recover.I have too much believ'd mine own suspicion:

15 This is almost literally from Greene's novel.

16 i. e. of the event of the queen's trial. We still say, he sped well or ill.

Some" (Ereumneness Lixenesis good

My gre (Birces for life apply to

'Beseech you, tenderly apply to her Some remedies for life.--Apollo, pardon

[Exeunt PaulinA and Ladies, with HERM. My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle!-I'll reconcile me to Polixenes; New woo my queen; recall the good Camillo,' Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy; For, being transported by my jealousies To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose Camillo for the minister, to poison My friend Polixenes: which had been done, But that the good mind of Camillo tardied My swift command, though I with death, and with Reward, did threaten and encourage him, Not doing it, and being done: he, most humane, And fill'd with honour, to my kingly guest Unclasp'd my practice; quit his fortunes here, Which you knew great; and to the certain 17 hazard Of all incertainties himself commended 18, No richer than his honour:-How he glisters Thorough my rust! and how his piety Does my deeds make the blacker19 !

Re-enter PAULINA. Paul.

Woe the while ! 0, cut my lace, lest my heart, cracking it, Break too! 1 Lord. What fit is this, good lady? Paul. What studied torments, tyrant, last for me? What wheels? racks? fires ? What flaying? boiling In leads or oils ? what old, or newer torture Must I receive; whose every word deserves To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny

17 Certain is not in the first folio, it was supplied by the editor of the second.

18 Sec p. 43, note 16. 19 This vehement retractation of Leontes, accompanied with the

es than he was suspected of, is agreeable to our daily experience of the vicissitudes of violent tempere, and the eruptions of minds oppressed with guilt.

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