Ay, every dram of woman's flesh, is false,
If she be.

Leo. Hold your peaces.

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.

Leo. 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

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.

Leo. 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.

Leo. Why, what need we

Commune with you of this? but rather follow
Our forceful instigation? 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,

[1] Land-damn is probably one of those words which caprice brought into fashion, and which after a short time, reason and grammar drove irrecoverably away. It perhaps meant no more than I will rid the country of him, condemn him to quit the land. JOHNSON.

[2] Some stage direction seems necessary in this place; but what that direction should be, it is not easy to decide. Dr. Johnson gives-striking his brows.

STEEVENS. Leontes must here be supposed to lay hold of either the beard, or arm, or some other part of Antigonus. MALONE.

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.

Leo. How could that be?

Either thou art most ignorant by age,

Or thou wert born a fool.

Added to their familiarity,

Camillo's flight,

(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,


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.

Leo. 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 th' truth: So have we thought it good,
From our free person she should be contin'd;
Lest that the treachery of the two, fled hence,
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us;
We are to speak in public: for this business
Will raise us all.

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

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!

Approbation, in this place, is put for proof. JOHNSON.
That is, of abilities more than enough. JOHNSON.




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

Th' 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.

Keep. And, madam,

I must be present at your conference.

Paul. Well, be it so, pr'ythee.

[Exeunt Attendants.

[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, deliver d.
Paul. A boy?

Emil. A daughter, and a goodly babe,
Lusty, and like to live: the queen receives
Much comfort in't: says, My poor prisoner,
I am innocent as you.

Paul. I dare be sworn :

These dangerous unsafe lunes o' th' king beshrew them!

[5] I have no where, but in our author, observed this word adopted in our tongue to signify frenzy, lunacy. But it is a mode of expression with the French-ya de la lune: (i. e. he has got the moon in his head; he is frantic.) THEOBALD.

He must be told on't, and he shall the office
Becomes a woman best; I'll take't upon me :
If I prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister;
And never to my red-look'd anger be

The trumpet any more :-Pray you, Emilia,
Commend my best obedience to the queen;
It she dares trust me with her little babe,
I'll show't the king, and undertake to be
Her advocate to th' loudest: We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o' th' child;
The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades, when speaking fails.

Emil. Most worthy madam,

Your honour, and your goodness, is so evident,
That your free undertaking cannot miss

A thriving issue; there is no lady living,

So meet for this great errand: Please your ladyship
To visit the next room, I'll presently

Acquaint the queen of your most noble offer;
Who, but to-day, hammer'd of this design;
But durst not tempt a minister of honour,
Lest she should be deny'd.

Paul. Tell her, Emilia,

I'll use that tongue I have: if wit flow from it,
As boldness from my bosom, let it not be doubted
I shall do good.

Emil. Now be you blest for it!

I'll to the queen: Please you, come something nearer. Keep. Madam, if't please the queen to send the babe I know not what I shall incur, to pass it,

Having no warrant.

Paul. You need not fear it, sir:

The child was prisoner to the womb; and is,

By law and process of great nature, thence

Freed and enfranchis'd: not a party to

The anger of the king; nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the queen.

Keep. I do believe it.

Paul. Do not you fear: upon

Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger.



The same.

A Room in the Palace.


GONUS, Lords, and other Attendants.

Leo. Nor night, nor day, no rest: It is but weakness To bear the matter thus; mere weakness, if

The cause were not in being;—part o' th' cause,
She, the adultress ;-for the harlot king
Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
And level of my brain, plot-proof: but she
I can hook to me : Say, that she were gone,
Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
Might come to me again.-Who's there?
1 Attend. My lord?

Leo. How does the boy?

1 Attend. He took good rest to-night; 'Tis hop'd, his sickness is discharg'd. Leo. To see,

His nobleness!


Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
He straight declin'd, droop'd, took it deeply;
Fasten'd and fix'd the shame on't in himself;
Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And downright languish'd.-Leave me solely :-go,
See how he fares. [Exit Atten.]-Fye, fye! no thought

of him ;

The very thought of my revenges that way
Recoil upon me in himself too mighty;
And in his parties, his alliance,-Let him be,
Until a time may serve for present vengeance,
Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes

Laugh at me; make their pastime at my sorrow :
They should not laugh, if I could reach them; nor
Shall she, within my power.

Enter PAULINA, with a Child.

1 Lord. You must not enter.

Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me: Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas,

Than the queen's life? a gracious innocent soul;

More free, than he is jealous.

Ant. That's enough.

[6] Blank and level, meau mark and aim; they are terms of gunnery. DOUCE.

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