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i 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,

Merry, or sad, shall’t be?
Her. As merry as you will.

A sad tale's best for winter :
I have one of sprites and goblins.

Let's have that, sir, Come on, sit down:--Come on, and do


best To fright me with your sprites: you're powerful

at it.

Mam. There was a man,-

Nay, come, sit down; then on. Mam: Dwelt by a church-yard; -- I will tell it

softly; Yon crickets shall not hear it. Her.

Come on then, And give't me in mine ear. Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and Others. Leon. Was he met there? 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.

How bless'd am I

my just censure?? in my true opinion ?

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Alack, for lesser knowledge!3 How accurs'd,
In being so blest !- There may be in the cup
A spider 4 steep'd, and one may drink; depart,
And yet partake no venom; for his knowledge
Is not infected: but if one present
The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drank, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts :5-I have drank, and seen the

Camillo was his help 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 command.

I know't too 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.

What is this ? sport?
Leon. Bear the boy hence, he shall not come about

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her ;

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Away with him :--and let her sport herself
With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes

3 O that my knowlege were less. 4 Spiders were esteemed poisonous in our author's time. 5 Heavings. 6 A thing pinched out of clouts, a puppet.

Has made thee swell thus.

But I'd say, he had not,
And, I'll be sworn, you would believe my saying,
Howe'er you lean to the nayward.

You, my lords, Look on her, mark her well; be but about To say, she is a goodly lady, and The justice of your hearts 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

straight The shrug, the hum, or ha; these petty brands, That calumny doth use :-0, I am out, That mercy does; for calumny will sear7 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 be it known,
From him that has most cause to grieve it should be,
She's an adultress.

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.

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,

7 Brand as infamous,

She's an adultress; I have said with whom :
More, she's a traitor; and Camillo is
A federary8 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.

No, by my life,
Privy to none of this: How will this grieve you,

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, no; if I mistake
In those foundations which I build upon,
The center 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.

There's some ill planet reigns :
I must be patient, till the heavens look
With an aspéct 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 ;--and so


8 Confederate,

9 Only. 1 Remotely guilty. 2 In merely speaking.


The king's will be perform'd!

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 see, My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools; There is no cause: when you shall know, your

mistress Has deserv'd prison, then abound in tears, As I come out: 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 women, come; you have

leave. Leon. Go, do our bidding; hence.

[Exeunt Queen and Ladies. 1 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. 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. 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;

If it prove

3 Take my station.

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