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Of the whole dungy earth.

Leon. What! lack I credit ?

i 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


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.

ANT. And I wish, my liege,
You had only in your filent 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 pulh on this proceeding :
Yet, for a greater confirmation,
(For, in an act of this importance, 'twere
Most piteous to be wild,) I have despatch'd in poft,
To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's, temple,
Cleomenes and Dion, whom
Of stuff’d sufficiency: Now, from the oracle

H h iij

you know

They will bring all ; whose spiritual counsel had,
Shall stop, or spur me.

Have I done well ?
i 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 publick : for this business Will raise us all.

Ant. [-Afde.] To laughter, as I take it, If the good truth were known.


SCENE II. The same. The outer Room of a Prison.

Enter PAULIN A 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 fir,

Re-enter Attendant, with the KEEPER, You know me, do you not ?

Keep. For a worthy lady, And one whom much I honour.

Paul. Pray you then, Conduct me to the

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 ?
Emilia ?

Keep. So please you, madam, to put
Apart these your attendants, I shall bring
Emilia forth.

Paul. I pray you 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 so stain a stain, As países 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, Lufty, 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 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

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,

H h iiij

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 fight o'the child;
The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades, when speaking fails.

Emil. 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 ladyship
To visit the next room, I'll presently
Acquaint the



your moft noble offer ;
Who, but to-day, hammer'd of this design;
But durft not tempt a minister of honour,
Left she should be denied.

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


blest for it! I'll to the queen : Please you, come something nearer.

Keep. Madam, if't please the queen to send the babe,
I know not what I shall incur, to pass it,
Having no warrant.

Paul. You need not fear it, fir :
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

of the king ; nor guilty of, If any be, the trespass of the queen.

Keep. I do believe it.

Paul. Do not you fear : upon Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger. [Exeunt. SCENE III. The same. A Room in the Palace. Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and other

ATTENDANTS. Leon. Nor night, nor day, no reft : It is but weakness 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

moiety of my rest Might come to me again.- -Who's there? I Atten. My lord ?

[advancing. Leon. How does the boy ?

I Atten. He took good rest to-night ; 'Tis hop'd, his fickness is discharg’d.

Leon. To see, 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 down-right languish'd.—Leave me solely: go, See how he fares. [Exit ATTEND.]-Fie, fie! no thought

of him ;

The very thought of

my revenges that

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 : They should not laugh, if I could reach them ; nor

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