Page images

Free'd and enfranchis'd: not a party to
The anger of the king; nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the queen.

Keep. I do believe it.

Do not you fear: upon
Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger.



The same.

A Room in the Palace.

Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and other

Leon. Nor night, nor day, no rest: It is but weak-

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 8 of my brain, plot-proof: but she
I can hook to me : Say, that she were gone,
Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
Might come to me again. Who's there?
1 Atten.

My lord?

[Advancing Leon. How does the boy? 1 Atten.

He took good rest to-night; 'Tis hop'd, his sickness is discharg'd.

His nobleness !

To see,

8 Mark and aim,

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 downright languish'd.-- Leave me solely:9-go,
See how he fares. [Erit Attend.]-Fye, fye! no

thought of him ;-
The very thought of my revenges that way
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
Shall she, within my power.

Enter PAULINA, with a Child. 1 Lord.

You must not enter. Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to


Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
Than the queen's life? a gracious innocent soul;
More free, than he is jealous.

That's enough.
1 Atten. Madam, he hath not slept to-night;

commanded None should come at him. Paul.

Not so hot, good sir ;
I come to bring him sleep. 'Tis such as you,-
That creep like shadows by him, and do sigh
At each his needless heavings,--such as you

9 Alone,

i Ant.

Nourish the cause of his awaking : I
Do come with words as med'cinal as true;
Honest, as either; to purge him of that humour,

him from sleep. Leon.

What noise there, ho? Paul. No noise, my lord; but needful conference, About some gossips for your highness. Leon.

Away with that audacious lady : Antigonus,
I charg'd thee, that she should not come about me;
I knew, she would.

I told her so, my lord,
On your displeasure's peril, and on mine,
She should not visit

you. Leon.

What, canst not rule her?
Paul. From all dishonesty, he can : in this,'
(Unless he take the course that you have done,
Commit me, for committing honour,) trust it,
He shall not rule me.

Lo you now; you hear!
When she will take the rein, I let her run;
But she'll not stumble.

Good my liege, I come, -
And, I beseech you, hear me, who profess
Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
Your most obedient counsellor ; yet that dare
Less appear so, in comforting your evils,'
Than such as most seem yours :-


I come
From your good queen.

Good queen!
Paul. Good queen, my lord, good queen: I say,

good queen;

Abetting your ill courses.


And would by combat make her good, so were I
A man, the worst about you.

Force her hence.
Paul. Let him, that makes but trifles of his eyes,
First hand me: on mine own accord, I'll off ;
But, first, I'll do my errand. The good queen,
For she is good, hath brought you forth a daughter;
Here 'tis; commends it to your blessing.

[Laying down the Child.

Out! A mankind 3 witch! Hence with her, out o' door: A most intelligencing bawd! Paul.

Not so: I am as ignorant in that, as you In so entitling me: and no less honest Than you are mad; which is enough, I'll warrant, As this world goes, to pass for honest. Leon.

Traitors! Will you not push her out? Give her the bastard : Thou, dotard, [TO ANTIGONUS.] thou art woman

tir'd,4 unroosted
By thy dame Partlet here,-take up the bastard;
Take't up, I say; give't to thy crone.s

For ever
Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
Tak'st up the princess, by that forced baseness
Which he has put upon't!

He dreads his wife.

2 Lowest.

3 Masculine. 4 Pecked by

woman; hen-pecked.

5 Worn-out old woman.
6 Forced is false; uttered with violence to truth.

Nor I; nor any,



Paul. So, I would, you did ; then, 'twere past all

doubt, You'd call


yours. Leon.

A nest of traitors! Ant. I am none, by this good light.

Paul. But one, that's here'; and that's himself: for he The sacred honour of himself, his queen's, His hopeful son's, his babe's, betrays to slander, Whose sting is sharper than the sword's; and will not (For, as the case now stands, it is a curse He cannot be compellid to’t,) once remove The root of his opinion, which is rotten, As ever oak, or stone, was sound. Leon.

A callat,
Of boundless tongue; who late hath beat her hus.

And now baits me!--This brat is none of mine;
It is the issue of Polixenes:
Hence with it; and, together with the dam,
Commit them to the fire.

It is

yours; And, might we lay the old proverb to your charge, So like you, 'tis the worse. --Behold, my lords, Although the print be little, the whole matter And copy

of the father : eye, nose, lip, The trick of his frown, his forehead; nay, the valley, The pretty dimples of his chin, and cheek; his

smiles; The very mould and frame of hand, nail, finger: And, thou, good goddess nature, which hast made it

6 Trull,

« PreviousContinue »