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Thus (by Apollo's great divine seal'd up)
LEONTES, Lords, and Officers, appear properly
seated. Leon. This sessions (to our great grief, we pro
Offi. It is his highness' pleasure, that the queen
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 Polixénes, king of Bohemia; and conspiring with Camillo to take
2 Equal. 3 Equal.
away the life of our sovereign lord the king, thy royal husband; the pretence 4 whereof being by circumstances partly laid open, thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and allegiance of a true subject, didst council 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 from 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,
4 Scheme laid.
6 Own, possess.
How merited to be so; since he came,
I ne'er heard yet,
of these bolder vices wanted
That's true enough ;
Leon. You will not own it.
More than mistress of,
spoke, Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely, That it was yours. Now, for conspiracy, I know not how it tastes; though it be dish'd For me to try how: all I know of it, Is, that Camillo was an honest man; And, why he left your court, the gods themselves,
Wotting no more than I, are ignorant.
Leon. You knew of his departure, as you know What
have underta'en to do in his absence.
Your actions are my dreams;
you were past all shame, (Those of
fact are so,) so past all truth:
Sir, spare your threats ;
I am barr’d, like one infectious: My third comfort, - Starr'd most unluckily,7 is from my breast
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
5 Is within the reach. 6 They who have done like you.
7 Ill-starred; born under an irauspicious planet.
The child-bed privilege denied, which 'longs
This your request
[Exeunt certain Officers. Her. The emperor of Russia was my father : O, that he were alive, and here beholding His daughter's trial! that he did but see The flatness of my misery; yet with eyes Of pity, not revenge
e ! Re-enter Officers with CLEOMENES and Dion. Ofi. You here shall swear upon this sword of
you, Cleomenes and Dion, have
81. e. The degree of strength which it is customary toacquire before women are suffered to go abroad after childbearing. VOL. IV,