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Shall the contents discover, something rare,
And gracious be the issue!
THE SAME. A COURT OF JUSTICE.
Leontes, Lords, and Officers, appear properly seated. Leon. This sessions (to our great grief, we pronounce,)
Even pushes 'gainst our heart: The party tried,
Offi. It is his highness' pleasure, that the 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 lord the king, thy royal husband: the pretence whereof being by circumstances
partly laid open, thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and allegiance 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 from myself; it shall scarce boot me
Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
I doubt not then, but innocence shall make
A moiety of the throne, a great king's daughter,
And only that I stand for. I appeal
To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
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,
Her. More than mistress of, Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not At all acknowledge. For Polixenes, (With whom I am accus'd,) I do confess, I lov'd him, as in honour he requir'd; With such a kind of love, as might become A lady like me; with a love, even such, So, and no other, as yourself commanded: Which not to have done, I think, had been in me Both disobedience and ingratitude,
you, and toward your friend; whose love had spoke,
Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely,
I know not how it tastes; though it be dish'd
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 you have underta'en to do in his absence.
You speak a language that I understand not:
Your actions are my dreams;
You had a bastard by Polixenes,
And I but dream'd it:-As you were past all shame,
Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
Her. Sir, spare your threats; The bug, which you would fright me with, I seek. To me can life be no commodity:
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
But know not how it went: My second joy,
That I should fear to die? Therefore, proceed.
Apollo be my judge.
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!
Re-enter Officers, with Cleomenes and Dion.
Offi. You here shall swear upon this sword of justice,
That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have
Been both at Delphos; and from thence have brought
All this we swear.
Leon. Break up the seals, and read. Offi. [reads.] Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant,