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You scarce can right me throughly, then, to say
You did mistake.

No, no; if I mistake
In those foundations which I build upon,
The centre 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,
But that he speaks.

There's some ill planet reigns.
I must be patient till the heavens look
With an aspect more favorable.—Good my lords,
I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
Commonly are; the want of which vain dew,
Perchance, shall dry your pities: but I have
That honorable grief lodged 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;—and so
The king's will be performed!

Shall I be heard ?

[To the Guards. Her. Who is't that goes with me?Beseech

'your highness, 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 Has deserved prison, then abound in tears, As I come out. This action, I now go on,


grace.-Adieu, my I never wished to see you sorry; now, I trust, I shall. --My women, come; you have leave. Leon. Go, do our 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.

Is for my


1 i. e. no foundation can be trusted. 2 He who shall speak for her, is remotely guilty in merely speaking.

If it prove

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.

Ant. She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables I where I lodge 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, If she be.

Leon. Hold your peaces. 1 Lord.



lord, Ant. It is for you we speak, not for ourselves. You are abused, and by some putter-on, That will be damned for't ; 'would I knew the villain, I would land-damn ? him. Be she honor-flawed,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 honor, I'll geld them all: fourteen they shall not see, To bring false generations; they are coheirs ; And I had rather glib myself

, than they
Should not produce fair issue.

Cease; no more.
You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man's nose; but I do see't and feel't,
As you feel doing thus; and see withal
The instruments that feel.3

If it be so,
We need no grave to bury honesty;


1 This passage may be explained thus :—“If she prove false, I'll make my stables or kennel of my wife's chamber; I'll go in couples with her like a dog, and never leave her for a moment; trust her no further than I can feel and see her."

2 “I would land-damn him." Johnson interprets this :- I will damn or condemn him to quit the land.”.

3 I see and feel my disgrace, as you, Antigonus, now feel my doing this to you, and as you now see the instruments that feel, i. e. my fingers Leontes must here be supposed to touch or lay hold of Antigonus.

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 lord,
Upon this ground: and more it would content me
To have her honor true, than your suspicion ;
Be blamed 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 stupefied,
Or seeming so in skill) cannot, or will not,
Relish as1 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.

And I wish, my liege,
You had only in your silent judgment tried it,
Without more overture.

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 touched conjecture,
That lacked 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 despatched in post,
To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's temple,
Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
Of stuffed 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.


1 The old copy reads a truth. Rowe made the correction
2 i. e. proof.
3 i. e. of abilities more than sufficient.

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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 confined ; Lest that the treachery of the two fled hence, Be left her to perform. Comę, 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,

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you not?

Re-enter Attendant, with the Keeper. You know me,

do Keeper.

For a worthy lady,
And one whom I much honor.

Pray you, then,
Conduct me to the queen.

Keep. I may not, madam; to the contrary
I have express commandment.

Here's ado,
To lock up honesty and honor from
The access of gentle visitors! - Is it lawful,
Pray you, to see her women ? any of them?
Emilia ?

Keep. So please you, madam, to put

Apart these

your attendants, I shall bring
Emilia forth.

pray now, call her.

. Withdraw yourselves.

[Exeunt Attend. Keep.

And, madam,
I must be present at your conference.

Paul. Well, be it so, pr’ythee. [Exit Keeper.
Here's such ado to make no stain a stain,
As passes coloring


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, delivered.

Paul. A boy!

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.

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

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-mouthed, let my tongue blister;
And never to my red-looked 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 ;
The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades, when speaking fails.

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1 Lunes. This word has not been found in any other English writer; but it is used in old French for frenzy, lunacy, folly. A similar expression occurs in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1608.



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