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DRAMATIS PERSON Æ.
LEONTES, king of Sicilia :
HERMIONE, queen to Leontes.
Two other Ladies
, } attending the queen. DORCAS
, } Shepherdesses.
Attendants, Guards, Shepherds, and Shepherdesses.
Time, as Chorus.
SCENE.-SOMETIMES IN SICILIA, SOMETIMES IN BOHEMIA.
nter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS. ARCH. If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit
Bohemia, on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia.
Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us we will be justified in our loves : for, indeed—
Cam. Beseech you
we cannot with such magnificence—in so rare-I know not what to say.—We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.
Cam. You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.
Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
Cam. Sicilia cannot shew himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods ; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities and royal necessities made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attorneyed, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies ; that they have seemed to be together, though absent ; shook hands, as over a vast ; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves !
Arch. I think there is not in the world either malice or matter to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius ; it is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into my note.
Cam. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: it is a gallant child ; one that, indeed, physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh ; they that went on crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to see him a man.
Arch. Would they else be content to die ?
Cam. Yes ; if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.
Arch. If the king had no son they would desire to live on crutches till he had one.
SCENE II.-The same.
A Room of State in the Palace.
Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, CAMILLO,
before it. Leon.
Stay your thanks awhile ;
Sir, that's to-morrow.
We are tougher, brother,
No longer stay.
Very sooth, to-morrow.
Press me not, beseech you, so ;
To you a charge and trouble : to save both,
Tongue-tied, our queen ? speak you.
Well said, Hermione. Her. To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong : But let him say so then, and let him go ; But let him swear so, and he shall not stay, We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.Yet of your royal presence [To POLIXENES] I'll adventure The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia You take my lord, I'll give him my commission, To let him there a month, behind the gest? Prefix'd for's parting: yet, good deed, Leontes, I love thee not a jar o' the clock behind What lady should her lord. 3—You'll stay ? Pol.
No, madam. Her. Nay, but you will ? Pol.
I may not, verily. Her. Verily! You put me off with limber vows; but I, Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with oaths, Should yet say, 'Sir, no going. Verily, You shall not go; a lady's verily is As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet? Force me to keep you as a prisoner, Not like a guest ; so you
shall When you depart, and save your thanks. How say you ? My prisoner, or my guest ? by your dread verily, One of them you shall be. Pol.
Your guest then, madam :
pay your fees