« PredošláPokračovať »
Ant. I did not, Sir:
1. Lord. We can; my royal Liege, He is not guilty of her coming hither.
Leon.. You are liars all, !. Lord. “Beseech your Highness, give us better
credit: We have always truly serv'd you; and beseech So to estcem, of us: And on our knees we beg, (As recompence of our dear services, Past, and to come,) that you do change this pur
pose; Which, being so horrible, so bloody, must Lead on to some foul issue: We all kneel.
Leon. I am a feather for each wind that blows: Shall I live on, to see this bastard kneel And call me father? Better burn it now, Than curse it then. But, be it; let it live: It shall not neither. You, Sir, come you hither;
[TO ANTIGONUS. You, that have been so tenderly officious With lady Margery, your midwife, there, To save this bastard's life:
for 'tis a bastard, So sure as this beard's grey, what will you ad.
venture To save this brat's life?
Ant. Any thing, my Lord,
Leon. It shall be possible: Swear by this sword, Thou wilt perform my bidding.
Ant. I will, my Lord.
Leon. Mark, and perform it; ( seest thou ?) for
the fail of any point in't shall not only be Death to thyself, but to thy lewd-tongued wife; Whom, for this time, we pardon. We enjoin thee, As thou art liegeman to us,
that thou carry This female bastard hence; and that thou bear it To some remote and desert place, quite out Of our dominions; and that there thou leave it, Without more mercy, to its own protection, And favour of the climate. As by strange fortune It came to us, I do in justice charge thee, On thy soul's peril, and thy body's torture, – That thou commend it strangely 10':ome place, Where chance may nurse, or end it: Take it up.
Ant. I swear to do this : though a present death Had been more merciful. Come on, poor babe: Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens, To we thy nurses! Wolves, and bears, they say, Casting their savageness aside, have done Like offices of pity. Sir, be prosperous In more than this decd does require! and blessing, Against this cruelty, fight on thy side, Poor thing, condemnd to loss !
[ Exit, with the child. Leon. - No, I'll not rear Another's issue.
1. Attend. Please your Highness, posts, From those you sent to the oracle, are come An hour since: Cleomenes and Dion, Being well arriv'd from Delphos, are both landed, Hasting to the court.
1. Lord. So please you, Sir, their spced Hath been beyond account.
Leon. Twenty-three days They haye been absent: "Tis good specd; foretels,
The great Apollo suddenly will have
A CT III.
A Street in some town.
Enter CLEOMENES and Dion. Cleo. The climate's delicate; the air most sweet; Fertile the isle; temple much surpassing The common praise it bears.
Dion. I shall report,
Cleo. Bitt, of all, the burst
Dion. If the event o'the journey
Cleo. Great Apollo,
So forcing faults upon Hermione,
Dion. The violent carriage of it
horses; And gracious be the issue!
SCENE I 1.
The same. A Court of Justice. LEONTES, Lords, and Officers, appear properly
seated. Leon. This sessions (to our great grief, we pro
Off. It is his Highness' pleasure, that the Queen Appear in person here in court. Silence! HERMIONE is brought in, guarded; PAULINA
and Ladies, attending. Leon. Read the indictment. Offi. Hermione, Queen to the worthy Leontes, King of Sicilia, thou art here accused and arraigned of high treason, in committing adultery with Polixenes, King of Bohemia; and conspiring with Camillo to take away the life of our sovereign Vol. VI,
lord the King, thy royal husband: the pretence whereof being by circumstances partly laid open, thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and alle. giance of a true subject, didst counsel and aid them, for their better safety, to fly away by night.
Her. Since what I am to say, must be but that Which contradicts my accusation; and The testimony on my part, no other But what comes froin myself; it shall scarce boot me To say, Not guilty: mine integrity, Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it, Be so receiv'd. But thus, If powers divine Behold our human actions, (as they do, ) I doubt not then, but innocence shall make False accusation blush, and tyranny Tremble at patience. You, my Lord, best know, (Who least will seem to do so,) my past life Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true, As I am now unhappy; which is more Than history can pattern, though devis'd, And play'd, to take spectators: For behold me, A fellow of the royal bed, which owe A moiety of the throne, a great King's daughter, The mother to a hopeful Prince, here standing, To prate and talk for life, and honour, 'fore Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it As I weigh grief, which I would spare: for honour, 'Tis a derivative from me to mine, And only that I stand for. I appeal To your own conscience, Sir, before Polixenes Came to your court, how I was in your grace, How merited to be so; since he came, With what encounter so uncurrent I Have strain'd, to appear thus: if one jot beyond The bound of honour; or, in act, or will,