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A CT II. S CE N E I.
Enter HIRMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies.
Her. Take the boy to you: he so troubles me,
'Tis past enduring.
1. Lady. Come, my gracious Lord. Shall I be your play-fellow ?
Mam. No, I'll none of you.
1. Lady. Why, my sweet Lord ?
Mam. You'll kiss me hard; and speak to me as if I were a baby still. I love you better. 2. Lady. And why so, my good Lord.?
Mam. Not for because Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they say, Become some women best; so that there be not Too much hair there, but in a semicircle, Or half-mooni made with a pen. 2. Lady. Who taught you this? Mam. I learn'd it out of women's faces. Pray'
What colour are your eye-brows ?
1. Lady. Blue, my Lord. Mam. Nay, that's a mock: I have seen a lady's
nose That has been blue, but not her eye-brows.
2. Lady. Hark ye: The Queen, your mother, rounds apace: we shall Present our services to a fine new Prince, One of these days; and then you'd wanton with us, If we would have you.
1. Lady. She is spread of late Into a goodly bulk: Good time encounter her!
Her. What wisdom stirs amongst you ? Come, Sir;
I am for you again: Pray you, sit by us,
And tell 's a tale.
Mam. Merry, or sad, shall't be?
Her. As merry as you will.
Mam. A sad tale's best for winter;
I have one of sprites and goblins.
Her. Let's have that, Sir.
Come on, sit down: Come on, and do your best
To fright me with your sprites; you're powerful at it.
Mam. There was a man,
Her. Nay, come, sit down; then on.
Mam. Dwelt by a church-yard; I will tell it
sofily: Yon crickets shall not hear it.
Her. Come on theil, And give't me in mine ear. Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and Others.' Leon. Was he met threre? his train ? Camillo with
him ? 1. Lord. Behind the tuft of pines I met them;
Saw I men scour so on their way; I ey'd them
Even to their ships.
Leon. How bless'd am I
In my just censure ? in my true opinion ?
Alack, for lesser knowledge! How accursid,
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
Is not infecied: but if one present
The abhor'd ingredient to his eye, make knowu
How he hath drank, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts: I have drank, and seen the
spider. Camillo was his lielp in this, his pander:
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 I
Remain a pinch'd thing; yea, a very trick
For them to play at will: - How came the posterns
So easily open ?
1. Lord. By his great authority;
Which often hath no less prevail'd than so,
On your coinmand.
Leon. I know't 100 well. –
Give me the boy; I am glad, you did not nurse him:
Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you
Have too much blood in him.
Her. What is this? sport?
Leon. Bear the boy hence, he shall not come
Away with him: and let her sport herself
With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes
Has made the swell thus.
Her. But I'd say, he had not,
And, I'll be sworn, you would believe my saying,
Howe'er you lean to the wayward.
Leon. You, my Lords, Look on her, mark her well; be but about To say, she is a goodly lady, and The justice of your hcarts, 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 strug, the hum, or ha; these petty brands,
That calumny doth use: -0, 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 it be known,
From him that has most cause to grieye it should be,
She's an adultress.
Her. Should a villain say so,
The most replenishid 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: 0 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 adultress; I have said, with whom:
Morc, 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 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.
Leon. No, no; if I mistake
In those foundations which I build upon,
The center is not big enough to bear
A schoolboy's top.
Away with her to prison
He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
But that he speaks.
Her. There's sume ill planet reigns :
I must be patieni, 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
That honourable grief lodg'd 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; -
The King's will be perform'd!
Leon. 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 sce, My plight requires it. Do not wecp, good fools; There is no cause: when you shall know, your mistress Has deserv'd prison, then abound in tears, As I come, ont; this action, I now go on, Is for my better grace. Adieu, my Lord : I never wish'd to see you sorry; now, I trust, I shall · My wonien, come; you have leave. Leon. Go, do our bidding; hence.
[ Exeunt QUEEN and LADIES. 1. Lord. 'Beseech your Highness, call the Queen
Ant. Be certain what you do, Sir; lest your justice
Prove violence; in the which three great ones suffer,
Yourself, your Queen, your son.
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. If it prove
She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where
I lodge my wife; I'll go in conples with her;
Than when I feel, and sec her,"119 further trust fier;