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Sir, I'll tell you ;

Since I'm charg'd in honour, and by him

That I think honourable: Therefore, mark my counsel;
Which must be even as swiftly follow'd, as

I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Cry, lost, and so good night.


On, good Camillo. Cam. I am appointed him to murder you.' Pol. By whom, Camillo ?



By the king.

For what?

Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he swears, As he had seen't, or been an instrument

To vice" you to't,-that you have touch'd his queen


O, then my best blood turn

To an affected jelly; and my name

Be yok'd with his, that did betray the best!
Turn then my freshest reputation to

A savour, that may strike the dullest nostril
Where I arrive; and my approach be shunn'd,
Nay, hated too, worse than the greatest infection
That e'er was heard, or read!

By each particular star in heaven, and
By all their influences, you may as well
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon,
As or, by oath, remove, or counsel, shake
The fabrick of his folly; whose foundation
Is pil'd upon his faith, and will continue
The standing of his body.

Swear his thought over

z I am appointed Him to murder you.] i. e. I am the person appointed by him to murder you. The by was perhaps omitted by accident, which is here understood.


To vice-] i. e. To seduce.

b that did betray the best!] i. e. Judas.

c Swear his thought over] Swear over is here very probably given in the sense of over swear; i. e. "strive to bear down his thought, his jealousy, by oaths." In our author we have in the same manner, weigh out for outweigh, over swear for swear over.-STEEVENS.

d -—whose foundation

Is pil'd upon his faith,] This folly which is erected on the foundation of settled belief.-STEEVENS.


How should this grow?
Cam. I know not: but, I am sure, 'tis safer to
Avoid what's grown, than question how 'tis born.
If therefore you dare trust my honesty,-
That lies enclosed in this trunk, which you
Shall bear along impawn'd,-away to-night.
Your followers I will whisper to the business;
And will, by twos, and threes, at several posterns,
Clear them o'the city: For myself, I'll put
My fortunes to your service, which are here
By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain;
For, by the honour of my parents, I

Have utter'd truth: which if you seek to prove,
I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer

Than one condemn'd by the king's own mouth, thereon
His execution sworn.


I do believe thee;

I saw his heart in his face. Give me thy hand;
Be pilot to me, and thy places shall

Still neighbour mine: My ships are ready, and
My people did expect my hence departure

Two days ago. This jealousy

Is for a precious creature as she's rare,
Must it be great; and, as his person's mighty,
Must it be violent: and as he does conceive
He is dishonour'd by a man which ever
Profess'd to him, why, his revenges must

In that be made more bitter. Fear o'ershades me:
Good expedition be my friend, and comfort
The gracious queen, part of his theme, but nothing
Of his ill-ta'en suspicion! Come, Camillo;
I will respect thee as a father; if

Thou bear'st my life off hence: Let us avoid.


thy places-neighbour mine:] i. e. Thy appointments at court shall be near my person.

fGood expedition be my friend, &c.] If we explain this passage according to the sense of the words, it means-"May good expedition prove my friend by removing me from a place of danger, and, by withdrawing the object of her husband's jealousy, may it comfort the queen, who is part of his theme; i. e. of the object of his disquiet, but is not suspected by Leontes as I am."--Polixenes seems to have forgotten the full purport of Camillo's information, and to conceive that he alone was obnoxious to the anger of Leontes.

Cam. It is in mine authority, to command
The keys of all the posterns: Please your highness
To take the urgent hour: come, sir, away.



SCENE I.-The same.

Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies.

Her. Take the boy to you: he so troubles me, 'Tis past enduring.

1 Lady.

Come, my gracious lord.

Shall I be your play-fellow?


No, I'll none of you.

1 Lady. Why, my sweet lord?

Mam. You'll kiss me hard; and speak to me as if I were

a baby still. I love you better.

2 Lady. And why so, my lord?


Not for because

Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they say,
Become some women best; so that there be not

Too much hair there, but in a semi-circle,

Or half-moon made with a pen.

2 Lady.

Who taught you this?

Blue, my lord.

Mam. I learn'd it out of women's faces.-Pray now What colour are your eye-brows?

1 Lady.

Mam. Nay, that's a mock: I have seen a lady's nose That has been blue, but not her eye-brows.

2 Lady.

Hark ye:

The queen, your mother, rounds apace: we shall

Present our services to a fine new prince,

One of these days; and then you'd wanton with us,
If we would have you.

1 Lady.

She is spread of late

Into a goodly bulk: Good time encounter her!

Her. What wisdom stirs amongst you? Come, sir, now

I am for you again : Pray you, sit by us,

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Let's have that, good sir.

Come on, sit down:-Come on, and do your best
To fright me with your sprites: you're powerful at it.
Mam. There was a man,-


Nay, come, sit down; then on.

Mam. Dwelt by a church-yard ;-I will tell it softly; Yon crickets shall not hear it.


And give❜t me in mine ear.

Come on then,

Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and Others.

Leon. Was he met there? his train? Camillo with him? 1 Lord. Behind the tuft of pines I met them: never 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 accurs'd,
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,

¤ In my just censure? in my true opinion ?—] Censure in the time of ouraut hor was generally used (as in this instance) for judgment.

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h Alack for lesser knowledge!-] That is, O that my knowledge were less.--JOHNSON. i A spider steep'd,] That spiders were esteemed venomous appears by the evidence of a person examined on Sir T. Overbury's affair. The Countesse wished me to get the strongest poyson I could, accordingly I bought seven great spiders."-HENDERSON.


hefts:] Heavings.

Whom I employed, 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.

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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 :


What is this? sport?

Leon. Bear the boy hence, he shall not come about her; Away with him :-and let her sport herself

With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes
Has made thee swell thus.

And, I'll be sworn, you would believe my saying,
Howe'er you lean to the nayward.


But I'd say, he had not,

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:-O, I am out,

That mercy does; for calumny will searm

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 be it known,
From him that has most cause to grieve it should be,
She's an adultress.


Should a villain say so,

The most replenish'd viilain in the world,



a pinch'd thing ;] To pinchin in Chaucer means to jeer, or banter. r-] i. e. Brand as infamous.


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