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That seest a game play'd home, the rich stake drawn,
And tak’st it all for jest.
My gracious lord,
I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful ;
every one of these no man is free,
But that his 'negligence, his folly, fear,
Amongst the infinite doings of the world,
Sometime puts forth: In your affairs, my lord,
If ever I were wilful-negligent,
It was my folly; if industriously
I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end ; if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the issue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 'twas a fear
Which oft affects the wisest: these, my lord,
Are such allow'd infirmities, that honesty
Is never free of. But, 'beseech your grace,
Be plainer with me : let me know my trespass
By its own visage : if I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.
Have not you seen, Camillo
(But that's past doubt: you have; or your eye-glass
Is thicker than a cuckold's horn ;) or heard,
(For, to a vision so apparent, rumour
Cannot be mute,) or thought, (for cogitation
Resides not in that man, that does not think it,)
My wife is slippery ? If thou wilt confess,
(Or else be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say,
My wife's a hobbyhorse ; deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before her troth-plight : say it, and justify it.
Can. I would not be a stander-by, to hear
q Whereof the erecution did cry of out
Against the non-performance,] This is one of the expressions by which Shakspeare too frequently clouds his meaning. This sounding phrase means, I think, no more than a thing necessary to be done.—Johnson. I leave this note, but believe the author means to say that Camillo never omitted to do any thing for the service of Leontes unless the execution of the act appeared so perilous, as to render the non-performance of it a matter of prudence rather than neglect or timidity.
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken: 'Shrew my heart,
You never spoke what did become you less
Than this ; which to reiterate, were sin
As deep as that, though true.
Is whispering nothing ?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughter with a sigh? (a note infallible
Of breaking honesty :) horsing foot on foot ?
Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes ? noon, midnight? and all eyes blind
With the pin and web," but theirs, theirs only,
That would unseen be wicked ? is this nothing ?
Why, then the world, and all that's in't, is nothing;
The covering sky is nothing ; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing ; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.
Good my lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas'd opinion, and betimes ;
For 'tis most dangerous.
Say, it be; 'tis true.
Cam. No, no, my lord.
It is; you lie, you lie:
I say, thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee;
Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave;
Or else a hovering temporizer, that
Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
Inclining to them both : Were my wife's liver
Infected as her life, she would not live
The running of one glass.
Who does infect her?
Leon. Why he, that wears her like her medal,· hanging
About his neck, Bohemia : Who-if I
Had servants true about me: that bare eyes
To see alike mine honour as their profits,
the pin and web,] A disorder of the eye, consisting of some excrescence growing on the ball of the eye.-NARES. her medal,] i. e. Her portrait.
Their own particular thrifts,—they would do that
Which should undo more doing : Ay, and thou,
His cupbearer,--whom I from meaner form
Have bench’d, and rear’d to worship; who may’st see
Plainly, as heaven sees earth, and earth sees heaven,
How I am galled,-might'st bespice a cup,
To give mine enemy a lasting wink :
Which draught to me were cordial.
Sir, my lord,
I could do this; and that with no rash potion,
But with a ling'ring dram, that should not work
Maliciously like poison: But I cannot
Believe this crack to be my dread mistress,
So sovereignly being honourable.
I have lov'd thee,"
Make’t thy question, and go rot!
Dost think, I am so muddy, so unsettled,
To appoint myself in this vexation? sully
The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
Which to preserve, is sleep; which being spotted,
Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wasps ?
Give scandal to the blood o'the prince my son,
Who, I do think is mine, and love as mine;
Without ripe moving to't?-would I do this ?
Could man so blench ?x
I must believe you, sir;
I do; and will fetch off Bohemia for’t :
Provided, that when he's remov’d, your highness
Will take again your queen, as yours at first;
Even for your son's sake; and, thereby, for sealing
The injury of tongues, in courts and kingdoms
Known and allied to yours.
Thou dost advise me,
rash potion-maliciously like poison:] Rash is hasty, maliciously is malignantly, with effects openly hurtful.-Johnson.
u I have lov'd thee, -] I believe that Theobald and Tyrwhitt were right in attributing these words to Leontes. They then mean, I love you no longer:Make that thy question, thy subject of consideration, and go rot. If we retain the old reading, the words of Leontes Make't thy question and go rot, must refer to what Camillo has said relative to the queen's chastity.
hlench?] i. e. Start off, shrink.
Even so as I mine own course have set down :
I'll give no blemish to her honour, none.
Cam. My lord,
Go then; and with a countenance as clear
As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia,
And with your queen: I am his cupbearer ;
If from me he have wholesome beverage,
Account me not your
This is all :
Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou split'st thy own.
I'll do't, my lord.
Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis’d me.
[Exit. Cam. O miserable lady!-But, for me, What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner Of good Polixenes: and my ground to do't Is the obedience to a master; one, Who, in rebellion with himself, will have All that are his, so too.—To do this deed, Promotion follows: If I could find example Of thousands, that had struck anointed kings, And flourish'd after, I'd not do't: but since Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one, Let villainy itself forswear't. I must Forsake the court: to do't, or no, is certain To me a break-neck. Happy star, reign now ! Here comes Bohemia.
This is strange! methinks,
My favour here begins to warp. Not speak ?-
Hail, most royal sir!
Pol. What is the news i'the court ?
None rare, my lord.
Pol. The king hath on him such a countenance,
As he had lost some province, and a region,
Lov'd as he loves himself: even now I met him
With customary compliment; when he,
Wafting his eyes to the contrary, and falling
A lip of much contempt, speeds from me; and
So leaves me to consider what is breeding,
That changes thus his manners.
Cam. I dare not know, my lord.
Pol. How ! dare not? do not. Do you know, and
Be intelligent to me? 'Tis thereabouts;
For, to yourself, what you do know, you must;
And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shows me mine chang'd too: for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter'd with it.
There is a sickness
Which puts some of us in distemper; but
I cannot name the disease; and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.
How ! caught of me?
Make me not sighted like the basilisk:
I have look'd on thousands, who have sped the better
By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo,
As you are certainly a gentleman; thereto
Clerk-like, experienced, which no less adorns
Our gentry, than our parents' noble names,
In whose success we are gentle,"—I beseech you,
If you know aught which does behove my knowledge
Thereof to be inform’d, imprison it not
In ignorant concealment.
Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well!
I must be answer'd.-Dost thou hear, Camillo,
I cónjure thee, by all the parts of man,
Which honour does acknowledge,-whereof the least
Is not this suit of mine,--that thou declare
What incidency thou dost guess of harm
Is creeping toward me; how far off, how near;
Which way to be prevented, if to be;
If not how best to bear it.