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Will be my knell. Go play, boy, play. There | Deceiv'd in thy integrity, deceiv'd
In that which seems so.
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 hoxes honesty behind, restraining
From course requir'd; or else thou must be
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
And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour, by
Sir Smile, his neighbour: nay, there's comfort
Whiles other men have gates, and those gates
As mine, against their will. Should all despair
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physic for't there is
It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful,
From east, west, north, and south: be it
No barricado for a belly: know't;
It will let in and out the enemy
With bag and baggage. Many a thonsand on's
Have the disease, and feel't not. How now, boy!
Mam. I am like you, they say.
A servant grafted in my serious trust,
And therein negligent; or else a fool
That seest a game play'd home, the rich stake
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,
Among 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
Why, that's some comfort. Which oft infects 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.
What! Camillo there?
Cam. Ay, my good lord.
Leon. Go play, Mamillius; thou 'rt an honest
Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.
Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor
When you cast out, it still came home.
Didst note it?
Cam. He would not stay at your petitions; made
His business more material.
Didst perceive it? Aside. They're here with me already, whispering, rounding
Ha' 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,-
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 hobby-horse, deserves a name
When I shall gust it last. How came 't, Camillo, As rank as any flax-wench that puts to
That he did stay?
At the good queen's entreaty. 220
Leon. At the queen's, be't: 'good' should
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.
Cam. To satisfy your highness and the entreaties
Of our most gracious mistress.
Before her troth-plight say 't and justify't.
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.
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
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 is in 't is
The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these
I say, thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee; 3.0
Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave,
Or else a hovering temporizer, that
It is; you lie, you lie : | And flourish'd after, I'd not do 't; but since 353
Nor brass nor stone nor parchment bears not one,
Let villany 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.
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.
Leon. Why, he that wears her like her medal, hanging
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 cup-bearer, whom I from meaner form
Have bench'dand rear'd to worship, who may'st see
Plainly as heaven sees earth, and earth sees
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 lingering 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 that 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.
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 me and So leaves me to consider what is breeding That changes thus his manners.
Cam. I dare not know, my lord.
Pol. How! dare not! do not! Do you know, and dare not
Be intelligent to me? "Tis thereabouts;
For, to yourself, what you do know, you must, 29
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 't.
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. Pol.
How caught of me? Make me not sighted like the basilisk:
I have look'd on thousands, who have sped the better
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 will 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 410
Cry 'lost,' and so good night!
On, good Camillo.
Cam. I am appointed him to murder you.
Pol. By whom, Camillo?
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.
The queen your mother rounds apace: we shall 430 Present our services to a fine new prince One of these days; and then you'd wanton with us,
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 Clear them o' the city. For myself, I'll put My fortunes to your service, which are here 440 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, thereon
Is for a precious creature as she's rare
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 :
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!
SCENE I-Sicilia. Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies. Her. Take the boy to you: he so troubles me, 'Tis past enduring. First Lady. Come, my gracious lord, Shall I be your play fellow?
Mam. There was a man,
Nay, come, sit down; then on.
Mam. Dwelt by a churchyard. I will tell it
Yond crickets shall not hear it.
And give 't me in mine ear.
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 40
Is not infected; but if one present
The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts. I have drunk, and seen the
Camillo was his help in this, his pandar :
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 1
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.
But I'd say he had not,
And I'll be sworn you would believe my saying,
Howe'er you lean to the nayward.
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 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 70
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 't known,
From him that has most cause to grieve it
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.
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 adulteress ; 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 But with her most vile principal, that she's A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
That vulgars give bold'st titles; ay, and privy To this their late escape.
Her. No, by my life, 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.
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 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 pities; but I have 110
That honourable grief lodg'd here which burns
Worse than tears drown. Beseech you all, my
With thoughts so qualified as your charities
Shall best instruct you, measure me; and so
The king's will be perform'd !
Shall I be heard? 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
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.
If 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 her;
For every inch of woman in the world,
Ay, every dram of woman's flesh is false,
If she be.
Leon. First 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
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.
Cease! no more. 150
You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man's nose; but I do see 't and
As you feel doing thus, and see witha!
The instruments that feel.
First Lord. I had rather you did lack than I, | To lock up honesty and honour from
Upon this ground; and more it would content me
To have her honour true than your suspicion, 160
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 stupefied
Or seeming so in skill, cannot or will not
Relish a truth like us, inform yourselves,
We need no more of your advice: the matter,
The loss, the gain, the ordering on 't, is all
You had only in your silent judgment tried it,
Without more overture.
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool.
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 pro-
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?
First Lord. Well done, my lord.
The access of gentle visitors! Is 't lawful, pray
To see her women? any of them? Emilia ?
Gaoler. So please you, madam,
To put apart these your attendants, I
Shall bring Emilia forth.
I pray now, call her.
I must be present at your conference.
Paul. Well, be 't so, prithee.
Here's such ado to make no stain a stain,
As passes colouring.
Re-enter Gaoler, with EMILIA.
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?
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 lunesi' 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-mouth'd, let my tongue blister,
| And never to my red-look'd anger be
The trumpet any more. Pray you, Emilia,
Commend my best obedience to the queen :
Leon. Though I am satisfied and need no more If she dares trust me with her little babe,
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.
I'll show 't the king and undertake to be
Her advocate to the loud'st. We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o' the child : 40
The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades when speaking fails.
Ant. Aside. To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth were known.