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Leon. Never, but once.
What cheer? how is't with you, best brother?
Her. What? have I twice said well? when was't Her. You look, before?
I pr'ythec, tell me! Cram us with praise, and make us
As fat as tame things! One good deed, dying
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 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.
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's dole! - My
Are you so fond of your young prince, as we
Do seem to be of ours?
Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice, Pol. If at home, sir,
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!
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?
Mam. Ay, my good lord.
Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch'd thy
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?
Mam. Yes, if you will, my lord.
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 welcome;
Let what is dear in Sicily, be cheap!
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,
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
[Exeunt Polixenes, Hermione, and Attendants. Co, play, boy, play!-thy mother plays, and I
Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that 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
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 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 open'd,
As mine, against their will: should all despair,
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
be?)-Would hang themselves. Physic for't there is none;
It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
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-died 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 be?
Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:
Thou dost make possible things not so held,
Communicat'st with dreams;-(How can this
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 meaus Sicilia?
Her. He something seems unsettled.
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.
They're here with me already; whispering, rounding,
Sicilia is a so-forth. 'Tis far gone,
When I shall gust it last.-How came't, Camillo,
That he did stay?
Cam. At the good queen's entreaty.
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,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say,
My wife's a hobbyhorse; deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before her troth-plight; say it, and justify it!
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.
Leon. Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek, is meeting noses,
Kissing with inside lip, stopping the career
Leon. At the queen's, be't: good, should be pertinent; Of laughter with a sigh, (a note infallible
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.
Cam. 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.
Cam. Be it forbid, my lord!
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 nothings,
If this be nothing.
Cam. Good my lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas'd opinion, and betimes;
For 'tis most dangerous.
Leon. 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 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.
Cam. Who does infect her?
Leon. Why, he that wears her like her medal, hanging
Leon. Tho bide upon't; -thou art not honest: or, About his neck, Bohemia; who - ifI
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,
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
That seest a game play'd home, the rich stake drawn, Have bench'd, and rear'd to worship, who may'st see
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; ifindustriously
I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end: if ever fearful
To do athing, where l 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.
Leon. Have not you seen, Camillo,
(But that's past doubt: you have; or your eyeglass Is thicker than a cuckold's horn;) or heard,
(For, to a vision so apparent, rumour
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.
Cam. 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,-
Leon. Make't 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 sheets,
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?
Cam. 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.
Leon. 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 cup-bearer;
If from me he have wholesome beverage,
Account me not your servant!
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.
Pol. This is strange! methinks,
My favour here begins to warp. Not speak?
Good-day, Camillo !
Cam. Hail, most royal sir!
Pol. What is the news i'the court?
Cam. 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
So leaves me, to consider what is breeding,
That changes thus his manners.
Cam. I dare not know, my lord.
Cam. By the king.
Pol. For what?
Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he swears,
As he had seen't, or been an instrument
To vice you to't,-that you have touch'd his queen
Pol. 0, 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.
Pol. 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 trunk, 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,
Pol. How! dare not? do not. Do you know, and dare Clear them of the city. For myself, I'll put
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.
Cam. This 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.
Make me not sighted like the basilisk:
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.
Pol. 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 miné. My ships are ready, and
My people did expect my hence departure
Two days ago. This jealousy
I have look'd on thousands, who have sped the better Is for a precious creature: as she's rare,
By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo,
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,
If you know aught, which does behove my knowledge
Thereof to be inform'd, imprison it not
In ignorant concealment!
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 ;
Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies. Her. Take the boy to you! he so troubles me, 'Tis past enduring.
1 Lady. Come, my gracious lord! Shall I be your play-fellow?
Mam. No, I'll none of you.
1 Lady. Why, my sweet lord?
Mam. You'll kiss me hard, and speak to me as if
I were a baby still.-I love you better.
2 Lady. And why so, my good lord?
Mam. Not for because
Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they say,
Become some women best; so that there be not
Too much hair there, but in a semi-circle,
Or half moon made with a pen.
2 Lady. Who taught you this?
Mam. I learn'dit out of women's faces. - Pray now What colour are your eye-brows?
Remain a pinch'd thing; yea, a very trick
For them to play at will. -How came the posterns
So easily open?
1 Lord. By his great authority,
Which often hath no less prevail'd than so,
On your command.
Leon. I know't too well.
Give me the boy! I am glad, you did not nurse him:
Though he does bear some sign of me, yet you
Have too much blood in him.
Her. What is this? sport?
Leon. Bear the boy hence, he shall not come about her;
Away with him!-and let her sport herself
With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes
Has made thee swell thus.
Her. But I'd say, he had not,
And, I'll be sworn, you would believe my saying,
Howe'er you lean to the nayward.
Look on her, mark her well; be but about
To say, she is a goodly lady, and
The justice of your hearts will thereto add,
'Tis pity she's not honest, honourable;
Praise her but for this her without-door form,
(Which, on my faith, deserves high speech,) and
The shrug, the hum, or ha; these petty brands,
That calumny doth use. -O, I am out,
Mam. Nay, that's a mock: I have seen a lady's nose That mercy does; for calumny will sear
Virtue itself:-these shrugs, these hums, and ha's,
When you have said, she's goodly, come between,
Ere you can say, she's honest: but be it known
From him, that has most cause to grieve it should be,
She's an adultress.
Her. Should a villain say so,
The most replenish'd villain in the world,
He were as much more villain; you, my lord,
Iler. What wisdom stirs amongst you? Come sir, now Do but mistake.
I am for you again: pray you, sit by us,
And tell's a tale!
Mam. Merry, or sad, shall't be?
Her. As merry as you will.
Mam. A sad tale's best for winter;
I have one of sprites and goblins.
Her. 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 it. Mam. There was a man,
Her. Nay, come, sit down; then on!
Leon. You have mistook, my lady,
Polixenes for Leontes. O thou thing,
Which I'll not call a creature of thy place,
Lest barbarism, making me the precedent,
Should a like language use to all degrees,
And mannerly distinguishment leave out
Betwixt the prince and beggar!-I have said,
She's an adultress; I have said with whom:
More, she's a traitor; and Camillo is
A federary with her, and one that knows,
What she should shame to know herself,
Mam. Dwelt by a church-yard:- I will tell it softly; But with her most vile principal, that she's
Yon crickets shall not hear it.
Her. 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? 1 Lord. Behind the tuft of pines I met them; never Saw I men scour so on their way: I ey'd them Even to their ships.
Leon. 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 oue present
The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known,
How he hath drank, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts-Ihave drank,and seen the spider.
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
A bed-swerver, even as bad as those,
That vulgars give bold titles; ay, and privy
To this their late escape.
Privy to none of this. How will this grieve you,
When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that
You thus have publish'd me? Gentle my lord,
You scarce can right me throughly then, to say
You did mistake.
Leon. No, no; if I mistake
In those foundations, which I build upon,
The center is not big enough to bear
A school-boy's top.-Away with her to prison!
He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
Bat that he speaks.
Her. There's some ill planet reigns:
I must be patient, till the heavens look
With an aspect more favourable.—Good my lords,
I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
Commonly are; the want of which vain dew,
Perchance, shall dry your pitics: but I have
That honourable grief lodg'd here, which burns
Worse, than tears drown. Beseech you all, my lords,
With thoughts so qualified, as your charities
Shall best instruct you, measure me;
The king's will be perform'd!
Leon. Shall I be heard?
Her. Who is't, that goes with me? highness,
[To the Guards.
My women may be with me; for, you see,
My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools!
There is no cause; when you shall know, your mistress
Had deserv'd prison, then abound in tears,
As I come out; this action I now go on,
Is for my better grace. -Adieu, my lord:
I never wish'd to see you sorry; now,
I trust, I shall.-My women, come! you have leave.
Leon. Go, do your bidding; hence!
[Exeunt Queen and Ladies. 1 Lord. 'Beseech your highness, call the queen again! Ant. Be certain what you do, sir; lest your justice Prove violence; in the which three great ones suffer, Yourself, your queen, your son.
1 Lord. For her, my lord,
I dare my life lay down, and will do't, sir,
Please you to accept it, that the queen is spotless
I'the eyes of heaven, and to you; I mean,
In this which you accuse her.
She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables, where
Ilodge my wife: I'll go in couples with her;
Than when I feel, and see her, no further trust her;
For every inch of woman in the world,
Ay, every dram of woman's flesh, is false,
Leon. Hold your peaces!
1 Lord. Good my lord,
Ant. It is for you we speak, not for ourselves :
You are abus'd, and by some putter-on,
That will be damn'd for't; 'would I knew the villain,
I would land-damn him. Be she honour-flaw' d,-
I have three daughters; the eldest is eleven ;
The second, and the third, nine and some five;
If this prove true, they'll pay for't: by mine honour,
I'll geld them all; fourteen they shall not see,
To bring false generations: they are co-heirs;
And I had rather glib myself, than they
Should not produce fair issue.
Leon. Cease; no more!
You smell this business with a sense as cold,
As is a dead man's nose: I see't, and feel't,
As you feel doing thus; and see withal
The instruments that feel.
Ant. Ifit be so,
We need no grave to bury honesty ;
There's not a grain of it, the face to sweeten
Of the whole dungy earth.
Leon. What! lack I credit?
1 Lord. I had rather you did lack, than I, my lord,
Upon this ground: and more it would content me
To have her honour true, than your suspicion;
Be blam'd for't how you might.
Leon. Why, what need we
Commune with you of this? but rather follow
Our forceful instigation? Our prerogative
Calls not your counsels; but our natural goodness
Imparts this: which, if you, (or stupified,
Or seeming so in skill,) cannot, or will not,
Relish as truth, like us; inform yourselves,
We need no more of your advise: the matter,
The loss, the gain, the ordering on't, is all
Ant. And I wish, my liege,
You had only in your silent judgement tried it,
Without more overture..
Leon. How could that be?
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's flight,
Added to their familiarity,
(Which was as gross, as ever touch'd conjecture,
That lack'd sight only, nought for approbation,
But only seeing, all other circumstances
Made up to the deed,) doth push on his proceeding:
Yet, for a greater confirmation,
(For, in an act of this importance, 'twere
Most piteous to be wild, ) I have despatch'd in post,
To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's temple,
Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
Of stuff'd sufficiency: now, from the oracle
They will bring all; whose spiritual counsel had,
Shall stop or spur me. Have I done well?
1 Lord. Well done, my lord.
Leon. Though I am satisfied, and need no more
Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
Give rest to the minds of others; such as he,
Whose ignorant credulity will not
Come up to the truth. So have we thought it good,
From our free person she should be confin'd:
Lest that the treachery of the two, fled hence,
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us!
We are to speak in public: for this business
Will raise us all.
Ant. [Aside.] To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth were known.
SCENE II. The same. The outer room of a prison.
Enter PAULINA and Attendants.
Paul. The keeper of the prison,-call to him;
[Exit an Attendant.
Let him have knowledge, who I am.-Good lady!
No court in Europe is too good for thee;
What dost thou then in prison?-Now, good sir,
Re-enter Attendant, with the Keeper.
You know me, do you not?
And one whom I much honour.
Keep. For a worthy lady,
Paul. Pray you then,
Conduct me to the queen!
Keep. I may not, madam; to the contrary
I have express commandment.
Paul, Here's ado,
To lock up honesty and honour from
The access of gentle visitors!-Is it lawful,
Pray you, to see her women? any of them?
Keep. So please you, madam, to pnt
Apart these your attendants, I shall bring
Paul. Ipray now, call her!—
Keep. And, madam,
I must be present at your conference.
Paul. Well, be it so, pr'ythee.
Here's such ado to make no stain a stain,
As passes colouring.
Re-enter Keeper, with EMILIA.
Dear gentlewoman, how fares our gracious lady?
Emil. As well, as one so great, and so forlorn,
May hold together: on her frights, and griefs,
(Which never tender lady hath borne greater,)
She is, something before her time, deliver'd.
Paul. A boy?
Emil. A daughter; and a goodly babe,
Lusty, and like to live: the queen receives
Much comfort in't: says, My poor prisoner,
I am innocent, as you.
Paul. I dare be sworn:
These dangerous unsafe lunes o'the king! beshrew