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Will be my knell. Go play, boy, play. There | Deceiv'd in thy integrity, deceiv'd
have been,
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 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 Would hang themselves. Physic for't there is



It is a bawdy planet, that will strike Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful, think it,

From east, west, north, and south be it concluded,

No barricado for a belly: know 't;
It will let in and out the enemy
With bag and baggage. Many a thousand on's
Have the disease, and feel't not. How now, boy!
Mam. I am like you, they say.
Why, that's some comfort.
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

'Sicilia is a so-forth.' 'Tis far gone,
When I shall gust it last. How came 't, Camillo,
That he did stay?

At the good queen's entreaty. 220 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.




Stays here longer.

Leon. Ay, but why?


Cam. To satisfy your highness and the entreaties

Of our most gracious mistress.

Leon. Satisfy! 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


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
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.


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
As rank as any flax-wench that puts to
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.

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Leon. 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 90 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 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.

Cam. No, no, my lord.

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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.



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? 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.

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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.


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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

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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!


A Room in the Palace.


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?

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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.

Come on then, n

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How blest 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 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

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Her. 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.


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.

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 lords,



There's some ill planet reigns: I must be patient till the heavens look

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Leon. Go, do our bidding: hence!

Exit Queen, guarded; with Ladies. First 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. First 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.

90 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,

Ant. 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. Hold your peaces! 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,


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First Lord. I had rather you did lack than I, my lord,



To lock up honesty and honour from
The access of gentle visitors! Is 't lawful, pray

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
Properly ours.


Ant. 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 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.

Leon. Though I am satisfied and need no more Than what I know, yet shall the oracle 190 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.



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Re-enter Gaoler, 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.'


I dare be sworn: These dangerous unsafe lunesi' the king, beshrew them!


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 :
If she dares trust me with her little babe,
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.

Most worthy madam,
Your honour and your goodness is so evident
That your free undertaking cannot miss
A thriving issue: there is no lady living
So meet for this great errand. Please your lady

ship To visit the next room, I'll presently Acquaint the queen of your most noble offer, Who but to-day hammer'd of this design, But durst not tempt a minister of honour, Lest she should be denied.

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Paul. Tell her, Emilia, I'll use that tongue I have: if wit flow from 't As boldness from my bosom, let 't not be doubted I shall do good.

Emil. Now be you blest for it! I'll to the queen. Please you, come something


Gaoler. Madam, if 't please the queen to send the babe,

I know not what I shall incur to pass it,
Having no warrant.

You need not fear it, sir: The child was prisoner to the womb, and is By law and process of great nature thence Freed and enfranchis'd; not a party to The anger of the king, nor guilty of, If any be, the trespass of the queen.

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