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He were as much more villain : you, my lord,
Do but mistake.
Leon.

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,
She's an adultress; I have said, with whom ;
More, she's a traitor; and Camillo is
A federary” with her; and one that knows
What she should shame to know herself,
But with her most vile principal,o that she's
A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
That vulgars give bold'st titles; ay, and privy
To this their late escape.
Her.

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

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.
Her.

There's some ill planet reigns :
I must be patient, till the heavens look
With an aspect more favourable.-Good my lords,
I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
Commonly are; the want of which vain dew,

- federary-] i. e. Confederate. • But with her most vile principal,] But has here the sense of only. The meaning is, Hermione should be ashamed to know what she knows, even though she had no other confidant than her wicked companion in guilt. p He, who shall speak

for her, is afar off guilty, But that he speaks.] Far off guilty, signifies, guilty in a remote degree.Johnson. But that he speaksmeans, in merely speaking.-MALONE.

n

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
The king's will be perform'd !
Leon.

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 stables9 where
I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her;
Than when I feel, and see her, no further trust her;
For every inch of woman in the world,
Ay, every dram of woman's flesh, is false,
If she be.
Leon.

Hold your peaces.

If it prove

my stables~] i. e. My constant station,-a stable stand is a term of the forest laws, and signifies a place where a deer-stealer fixes his stand, and keeps watch for the purpose of killing deer as they pass by.-HANMER.

1 Lord.

Good my lord,
Ant. It is for you we speak, not for ourselves :
You are abus’d, and by some putter-on,"
That will be damn'd for't; 'would I knew the villain,
I would land-damn him :* Be she honour-flaw'd;
I have three daughters; the eldest is eleven;
The second, and the third, nine, and some five;
If this prove true, they'll pay for't: by mine honour,
I'll geld them all : fourteen they shall not see,
To bring false generations : they are co-heirs;
And I had rather glib' myself, than they
Should not produce fair issue.
Leon.

Cease; no more.
You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man's nose : but I do see't, and feel't,
As you feeling doing thus ;" and see withal
The instruments that feel.
Ant.

If it be so,
We need no grave to bury honesty;
There's not a grain of it, the face to sweeten
Of the whole dungy earth.
Leon.

What! lack I credit?
1 Lord. I had rather you did lack, than I, my lord,
Upon this ground : and more it would content me
To have her honour true, than your suspicion ;
Be blam'd for't how you might.
Leon.

Why, what need we
Commune with you of this ? but rather follow
Our forceful instigation ? Our

Our prerogative
Calls not your counsels; but our natural goodness
Imparts this : which, --if you (or stupified,
Or seeming so in skill,) cannot, or will not,
Relish as truth, like us; inform yourselves,
We need no more of your advice: the matter,

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putter-on,] i. e. Instigator.

land-damn him:] Of this disputed sentence Dr. Johnson's interpretation, which considers it as meaning “ I'll condemn him to quit the country,” is the most delicate ; but I fear that the more gross explanation of Hanmer is most correct. He derives the word from lant or land the old word for urine, and explains it, “ stop his urine by mutilation."

- glib-) i. e. Castrate.

doing thuis ;] Leontes at these words grasps the arm of Antigonus.

The loss, the gain, the ordering on't, is all
Properly ours.
Ant.

And I wish, my liege,
You had only in your silent judgment tried it,
Without more overture..
Leon.

How could that be?
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's flight,
Added to their familiarity,
(Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture,
That lack'd sight only, nought for approbation,*
But only seeing, all other circumstances
Made up to the deed), doth push on this proceeding :
Yet, for a greater confirmation,
(For in an act of this importance, 'twere
Most piteous to be wild), I have despatch'd in post,
To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's temple,
Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
Of stuff'd sufficiency :) Now, from the oracle
They will bring all ; whose spiritual counsel had,
Shall stop, or spur me. Have I done well ?

1 Lord. Well done, my lord. .

Leon. Though I am satisfied, and need no more
Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
Give rest to the minds of others; such as he,
Whose ignorant credulity will not
Come up to the truth : So have we thought it good,

, From our free

person she should be confin'd;
Lest that the treachery of the two, fled hence,
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us ;
We are to speak in publick: for this business
Will raise us all.

Ant. [aside.] To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth were known.

[Exeunt.

X

y

approbation,}-is here put for proof.
stuff'd sufficiency :] i. e. Of abilities more than enough.

the treachery of the two,&c.] Hermione is confined lest she should execute the plot against his life and crown, in which he has before declared that she is federary with Polixenes and Camillo.—Johnson.

Z

SCENE II.

The same.

The outer Room of a Prison. Enter PAULINA and Attendants. Paul. The keeper of the prison,-call to him;

[Exit an Attendant.
Let him have knowledge who I am.-Good lady!
No court in Europe is too good for thee,
What dost thou then in prison ?-Now, good sir,

Re-enter Attendant, with the Keeper.
You know me, do you not?
Keep. .

For a worthy lady,
And one whom much I honour.
Paul.

Pray you then,
Conduct me to the queen.

Keep. I may not, madam; to the contrary
I have express commandment.
Paul.

Here's ado,
To lock up honesty and honour from
The access of gentle visitors ! -Is it lawful,
Pray you, to see her women? any of them?
Emilia?

Keep. So please you, madam, to put
Apart these your attendants, I shall bring
Emilia forth.
Paul.

I pray now call her.
Withdraw yourselves.

[Exeunt Attend. Keep. .

And, madam, I must be present at your conference. Paul. Well, be it so, pr’ythee.

[Exit Keeper. Here's such ado to make no stain a stain, As passes colouring.

Re-enter Keeper, with Emilia.
Dear gentlewoman, how fares our gracious lady?

Emil. As well as one so great, and so forlorn,
May hold together: on her frights, and griefs,
(Which never tender lady hath borne greater),
She is, something before her time, delivered.

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