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Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.

Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal necessities, made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attorney'd, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they have seem'd to be together, though absent; shook hands, as over a vast; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves !

Arch. I think, there is not in the world either malice, or matter, to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius; it is a gentleman of the greatest promise, that ever came into my note. Cam. I very

with

you in the hopes of him: It is a gallant child; one that, indeed, physicks the subject, makes old hearts fresh: they, that went on crutches ere he was born, desire yet their life, to see him a man.

Arch. Would they else be content to die?

Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.

Arch. If the king had no son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one. [E.reunt.

well agree

SCENE II.

THE SAME.

A ROOM OF STATE IN THE PALACE.'

Enter Leontes, Polirenes, Hermione, Mamillius,

Camillo, and Attendants. Pol. Nine changes of the watry star have been The shepherd's note, since we have left our throne Without a burden: time as long again Would be fill'd up, my brother, with our thanks; And yet we should, for perpetuity, Go hence in debt: And therefore, like a cypher, Yet standing in rich place, I multiply, With one we-thank-you, many thousands more That

go

before it. Leon.

Stay your thanks a-while; And pay

them when you part. Pol.

Sir, that's to-morrow.
I am question’d by my fears, of what may chance,
Or breed upon our absence: That may blow
No sneaping winds at home, to make us say,
This is put forth too truly! Besides, I have staya
To tire your royalty.
Leon.

We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to't.
Pol.

No longer stay.
Leon. One seven-night longer.
Pol.

Very sooth, to-morrow.
Leon. We'll part the time between's then: and in
I'll no gain-saying.
Pol.

that

Press me not, 'beseech you, so; There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'the

world, So soon as yours, could win me: so it should now, Were there necessity in your request, although 'Twere needful I deny'd it. My affairs Do even drag me homeward: which to hinder, Were, in your love, a whip to me; my stay, To you a charge, and trouble: to save both, Farewel, our brother.

Leon. Tongue-ty'd, our queen? speak you. Her. I had thought, sir, to have held my peace,

until You had drawn oaths from him, not to stay. You,

sir,
Charge him too coldly: Tell him, you are sure,
All in Bohemia's well: this satisfaction
The by-gone day proclaim’d; say this to him,
He's beat from his best ward.
Leon.

Well said, Hermione.
Her. To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong:
But let him say so then, and let him go;
But let him swear so, and he shall not stay,
We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.
Yet of your royal presence [To Polirenes. ] I'll ad-

venture The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia You take my lord, I'll give him my commission, , To let him there a month, behind the gest Prefix'd for his parting: yet, good-deed, Leontes, I love thee not a jar o'the clock behind

What lady she her lord.—You'll stay?
Pol.

No, madam. Her. Nay, but you

will? Pol.

I may not, verily. Her. Verily! You put me off with limber vows: But I, Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with

oaths, Should yet say, Sir, no going. Verily, You shall not go; a lady's verily is As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet? Force me to keep you as a prisoner, Not like a guest; so you shall pay your fees, When you depart, and save your thanks. How say

you? My prisoner? or my guest? by your dread verily, One of them

you

shall be. Pol.

Your guest then, madam: To be your prisoner, should import offending; Which is for me less easy to commit, Than you to punish. Her.

Not your gaoler then, But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were

boys; You were pretty lordings then. Pol.

fair

queen, Two lads, that thought there was no nore behind, But such a day to-morrow as to-day, And to be boy eternal.

Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o’the two?

We were,

Pol. We were as twinn d lambs, that did frisk

i'the sun,

And bleat the one at the other: what we chang‘d,
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, no, nor dream'd
That any did: Had we pursued that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher reard
With stronger blood, we should haveanswer'd heaven
Boldly, Not guilty; the imposition clear'd,
Hereditary ours.
Her.

By this we gather,
You have tripp'd since.
Pol.

O my most sacred lady,
Temptations have since then been born to us: for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl;
Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.
Her.

Grace to boot! Of this make no conclusion; lest you say, Your queen and I are devils: Yet, go on; The offences we have made you do, we'll answer; If you

first sinn’d with us, and that with us You did continue fault, and that you slipp'd not With any

but with us.
Leon.

Is he won yet?
Her. He'll stay, my lord.
Leon.

At my request, he would not.
Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st
To better purpose.
Her.

Never:
Leon.

Never, but once.

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