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Didst note it? Cam. He would not stay at your petitions; made His business more material.


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.
That he did stay?

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
· How came't, Camillo, 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 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


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 under-

Bohemia stays here longer.



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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 hotes 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,
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 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-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 it,)

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.

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

Say, it be; 'tis true.

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. No, no, my lord.

Who does infect her?
Leon. Why he, that wears her like her medal,

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 rear'd to worship; who may'st see
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,

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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?

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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 split'st thine own.

Leon. I will seem friendly,


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 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.

I'll do't, my lord. as thou hast advis'd [Exit.

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
By my regard, but kill'd none so.


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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

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.

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On, good Camillo.
Cam. I am appointed him to murder you.
Pol. By whom, Camillo?

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By the king.


For what? Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he


As he had seen't or been an instrument
To vice you to❜t,

that you have touch'd his queen

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!


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,
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.

How should this grow?
Cam. I know not: but, I am sure, 'tis safer to

Cam. I dare not know, my lord.

Pol. How dare not? do not. Do you know, Avoid what's grown, than question how 'tis born. and dare not

If therefore you dare trust my honesty,

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.

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,
Clear them o' 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,


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 fabrick of his folly; whose foundation
Is pil'd upon his faith, and will continue
The standing of his body.

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Blue, my lord. Mam. Nay, that's a mock: I have seen a lady's


That has been blue, but not her eye-brows.

2 Lady. Hark ye: The queen, your mother, rounds apace: we shall Present our services to a fine new prince, One of these days; and then you'd wanton with us, If we would have you.

I am for you again: Pray you, sit by us,

And tell 's a tale.

1 Lady.

She is spread of late Into a goodly bulk: Good time encounter her! Her. What wisdom stirs amongst you? Come, sir, now

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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 The keys of all the posterns: Please your highness To take the urgent hour: come, sir, away. [Exeunt.

Come on then,

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;


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 trick
For them to play at will: How came the



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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.

Leon. You, my lords, 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 pty, 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,
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, | I'the eyes of heaven, and to you; I mean,
She's an adultress.
In this which you accuse her.
Li it prove
She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where
I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her;
Than when I feel, and see her, no further trust Ler
For every inch of woman in the world,
Ay, every dram of woman's flesh, is false,
If she be

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 vil-


Should a villain say so,
The most replenish'd villain in the world,
He were as much more villain: you, my lord,
Do but mistake.


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

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Has 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.

Leon. Go, do our bidding; hence.

[Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies. 1 Lord. 'Beseech you 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

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My women, come; you have

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If it 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.

What! lack I credit?
1 Lord. I had rather you did lack, than I, my
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.

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 advice: the matter,
The loss, the gain, the ordering on't, is all
Properly ours.


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And I wish, my liege,

You had only in your silent judgment tried it,
Without more overture.

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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 this proceeding.
Yet, for a greater confirmation,
(For, in an act of this importance, 'twere
Most piteous to be wild,) I have dispatch'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 mote

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He must be told on't, and he shall the office
Becomes a woman best; I'll take't upon me :
If I prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister;
And never to iny red-look'd anger be
The trumpet any more: - Pray you, Emilia,
Commend my best obedience to the queen ;
If she dares trust me with her little babe,
I'll show't the king, and undertake to be
Her advocate to th' loudest: We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o'the child;

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Leon. Nor night nor day, no rest: It is but


To bear the matter thus; mere weakness, if
The cause were not in being; part o'the cause,
She, the adultress; for the harlot king
Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
And level of my brain, plot-proof: but she
I can hook to me: Say, that she were gone,
Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
Might come to me again.

Who's there?

1 Allen.

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.

Leon. How does the boy?
1 Allen.

He took good rest to-night;

To see,

I am innocent as you.

Paul. A boy?
A daughter; and a goodly babe, 'Tis hop'd, his sickness is discharg'd.
Lusty, and like to live: the queen receives
Much comfort in't: says, My poor prisoner,
His nobleness!
Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
He straight declin'd, droop'd, took it deeply;
Fasten'd and fix'd the shame on't in himself;
Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And downright languish'd.


I dare be sworn :
These dangerous unsafe lunes o'the king! beshrew


Leave me solely. See how he fares. Erit Attend.] - Fye, fye! no thought of him ;


The very thought of my revenges that way
Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty:
And in his parties, his alliance, Let him be.
Until a time may serve for present vengeance,
Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
Laugh at me; make their pastime at my sorrow

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My lord? [Advancing.

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