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Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and Others. Leon. Was he met there? his train? Camillo with

him? i Lord. Behind the tuft of pines I met them;


Saw I men scour so on their way: I ey'd them;
Even to their ships.

How bless'd am I
In my just censure? in my true opinion?-
Alack, for lesser knowledge!--How accursid,
In being so blest!—There may be in the cup
A spider steep'd, and one may drink; depart,
And yet partake no venom; for his knowledge
Is not infected: but if one present
The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drank, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts:-I have drank, and seen the

spider. Camillo was his help in this, his pander:There is a plot against my life, my crown; All's true, that is mistrusted :— that false villain, Whom I employ'd, was pre-employ'd by him: He has discover'd my design, and I Remain a pinch'd thing; yea, a very trick For them to play at will:—How came the posterns So easily open?

1 Lord. By his great authority; Which often hath no less prevail'd than so, On your command.


I know't too well.Give me the boy; I am glad, you did not nurse him: Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you Have too much blood in him. Her.

What is this? sport? Leon. Bear the boy hence, he shall not come about

Away with him:-and let her sport herself
With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes
Has made thee swell thus.

But I'd say, he had not,
And, I'll be sworn, you would believe my saying,
Howe'er you lean to the nayward.

You, my lords, Look on her, mark her well; be but about To say, she is a goodly lady, and The justice of your hearts will thereto add, 'Tis pity, she's not honest, honourable: Praise her but for this her without-door form, (Which, on my faith, deserves high speech,) and

straight The shrug, the hum, or ha; these petty brands, That calumny doth use: 0, I am out, That mercy does; for calumny will sear Virtue itself :—these shrugs, these hums, and ha's, When you have said, she's goodly, come between, Ere you can say she's honest: But it be known, From him that has most cause to grieve it should be, She's an adultress. Her.

Should a villain say so,

The most replenish'd villain in the world,
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, that she's
A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
That vulgars give bold titles; ay, and privy
To this their late escape.

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 schoolboy's top.--Away with her to prison: He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty "?, But that he speaks.


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

[To her Ladies. There is no cause; when you shall know, your mis

tress Has deserv'd prison, then abound in tears, As I come out; this action '8, 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,

If it prove

Yourself, your queen, your son.
i 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.

She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where
I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her;
Than when I feel, and see her, no farther 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. 2 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 proves 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.

Cease; no more,
You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man's nose: I see't, and feel't,
As you feel doing thus; and see withal

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