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Cam. He would not stay at your petitions ; made
His business more material.

Didst perceive it?
They're here with me already: whispering, rounding,
Sicilia is a so-forth. 'Tis far gone,
When I shall gust it last. - How came't, Camillo,
That he did stay?

At the good queen's entreaty.
Leon. At the queen's, be't: good, should be pertinent;
But so it is, it is not. Was this taken
By any understanding pate but thine ?
For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in
More than the common blocks.-Not noted, is't,
But of the finer natures? By some severals,
Of head-piece extraordinary ? Lower messes,
Perchance, are to this business purblind : say.

Cam. Business, my lord? I think most understand
Bohemia stays here longer.


Stays here longer.
Leon. Ay, but why?

Cam. To satisfy your highness, and the entreaties
Of our most gracious mistress.

The entreaties of your mistress? Satisfy ?-
Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Camillo,
With all the nearest things to my heart, as well
My chamber-councils; wherein, priestlike, thou
Hast cleansed my bosom; I from thee departed
Thy penitent reformed; but we have been
Deceived in thy integrity, deceived
In that which seems so.

Be it forbid, my lord !
Leon. To bide upon't: Thou art not honest; or,
If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward;
Which boxes honesty behind, restraining
From course required; or else thou must be counted
A servant, grafted in my serious trust,
And therein negligent; or else a fool,
That seest a game played home, the rich stake drawn,
And tak'st it all for jest.

My gracious lord,
I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful;
In 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 played 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 allowed infirmities, that honesty
Is never free of. But, ’beseech your grace,
Be plainer with me; let me know my trespass
By its own visage.

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, rumor Cannot be mute,) or thought, — (for cogitation Resides not in that man, that does not think,)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 hobby-horse, deserves a name

As rank as any fax-wench, that puts to

troth-plight: say it, and justify it.
Cam. I would not be a stander-by to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken. 'Shrew my heart,

never spoke what did become you less
Than this, which to reiterate, were sin
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,

Good my lord, be cured



As deep


If this be nothing.


VOL. II. - 6

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Of this diseased 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 his medal, hanging
About his neck, Bohemia. Who— if I
Had servants true about me, that bare eyes
To see alike mine honor as their profits,
Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
Which should undo more doing. Ay, and thou,
His cupbearer,— whom I from meaner form
Have benched, and reared to worship; who mayst see
Plainly, as heaven sees earth, and earth sees heaven,
How I am galled,- mightst 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 lingering dram, that should not work
Maliciously like poison. But I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So sovereignly being honorable.
I have loved 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?

I must believe you, sir.
I do; and will fetch off Bohemia for't;
Provided, that when he's removed, your highness
Will take again your queen, as yours at first;




Is the

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,
Even so as I mine own course have set down.
I'll give no blemish to her honor, none.

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 servant.

This is all;
Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou splittest thine own.

I'll do't, my lord.
Leon, I will seem friendly, as thou hast advised me.

[Exit. Cam, O miserable lady — But, for me,

case stand I in? I must be the poisoner
Of good Polixenes : and my ground to do't

obedience to a master; one,
Who, in rebellion with himself, will have

are his, so too.—To do this deed,
Promotion follows. If I could find example
of thousands, that had struck anointed kings,
And flourished after, I'd not do't; but since
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one,
Let villany itself forswear't. I must
Forsake the court: to do't, or no, is certain

reign ! Comes Bohemia.


This is strange! Methinks
My fa vor here begins to warp. Not speak?

All that

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To me a break-neck.



Good-day, Camillo.

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

as he loves himself. Even now I met him

customary compliment; when he, Wafting his eyes to the contrary, and falling A lip of much contempt, speeds from me; and



Loved With

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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

dare not
Be intelligent to me? 'Tis thereabouts;
For, to yourself, what you do know, you must;
And cannot say you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your changed complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shows me mine changed too; for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus altered 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 looked on thousands, who have sped the better
By my regard, but killed 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 informed, imprison it not
In ignorant concealment.

I may not answer.
Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well!
I must be answered. - Dost thou hear, Camillo,
I conjure thee, by all the parts of man,
Which honor 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.

Sir, I'll tell you;
Since I am charged in honor, and by him
That I think honorable. Therefore, mark my counsel;
Which must be even as swiftly followed, 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 ?

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