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LEONTES, King of Sicilia
ACT I. SCENE 1.-Sicilia.-An Antechamber in LFONTES
Palace. Enter Camillo, and ARCHIDAMUS. Arch. If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bo• hemia, on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia, and your Sicilia.
Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes hii.
Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves : for indeed,
Cam. 'Beseechi you,
Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge : we cannot with such magnificencein so rare-I know not what to say.----We will give you sleepy drinks; that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.
Cam. You pay a great deal too dear, for what's given freely.
Arch. Believe me, I speak as iny understanding instructs ine, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
Cam. Sicilia caunot shew himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were train'd 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 neces. sities, made separation of their society, their ens counters, though not personal, have been royally attornied* with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies ; that they have seenid to be together, though absent : shook hands, as over a vast t; and
* Nobly supplied by substitution of embassies.
+ Wide waste of country. VOL.
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 well agree with you in the hopes of him : it is a gallant child; one that, indeed, phy. sics the subject*, makes old hearts fresh : they, that went on crutches ere he was born, desire yet their life, to see hini 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.
(Ereunt. SCENE II.-The same.-A Roon of State in the
Palace. Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, HERMIONE, MAWIL
LIUS, CAMILLO, and Attendants. Pol. Nine changes of the wat'ry 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 as say, This is put forth too truly! Besides, I have stay'd To tire your royalty.
Leon. We are tougher, Lrother, 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 that I'll no gain-saying,
• Affords a cordial to the state. + Nipping,
Pol. 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 denied 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, Farewell, our brother. Leon. Tongue-tied, 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 hiin 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.
fler. 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 distaffsYet of your royal presence (To Polixenes.] I'll ad
Pol. No, madam.
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
• Gests were the names of the stages where the king appointed to lie, during a royal progress. | Indeed.