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SCENE I. Antechamber in LEONTES' palace.


Arch. If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, 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 him.


Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us we will be justified in our loves; for indeedCam. Beseech you,

Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificence-in 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 my understanding instructs me and as mine honesty pu's it to utterance.

Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained 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 necessities made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attor neyed with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they have seemed to be together, though absent, shook hands, as over a vast, and embraced, as it were, from tho 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 physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh: they that went on crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to see him 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.

[Exeunt. 50

SCENE II. A room of state in the same.


Pol. Nine changes of the watery star hath been
The shepherd's note since we have left our throne
Without a burthen: 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 cipher,
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply

With one "We thank you" many thousands moe
That go before it.


Stay your thanks a while; And pay them when you part.


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 us say


This is put forth too truly:" besides, I have stay'd To tire your royalty.

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Leon. We'll part the time between 's then; and in that I'll no gainsaying.


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.

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 him too coldly. Tell him, you are sure
All in Bohemia 's well; this sati-faction

The by-gone day proclaim'd: say this to him,
He's beat from his best ward.


Well said, Hermione.

Her. 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 distaffs.

Yet of your royal presence I'll adventure
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I'll give him my commission
To let him there a month behind the gest
Prefix'd for 's parting: yet, good deed, Leontes,
I love thee not a jar o' the clock behind
What lady-she her lord.


Her. Nay, but you will?


Her. Verily!

You'll stay?

No, madam

I may not, verily.

You put me off with limber vows; but I,

Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with oaths, Should yet say "Sir, no going. Verily,

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You shall not go a lady's "Verily" 's

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 you?




My prisoner? or my guest! by your dread “Verily,"
One of them you shall be.

To be your prisoner should import offending;
Which is for me less easy to commit

Your guest, then, madam :

Than you to punish.


Not your gaoler, then,

But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you

Of my lord's tricks and yours when you were boys :
You were pretty lordings then?


We were, fair queen,

Two lads that thought there was no more behind

But such a day to-morrow as to-day,

And to be boy eternal.


Was not my lord

The verier wag o' the two?


Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs that did frisk i' the sun, And bleat the one at the other: what we changed

Was innocence for innocence; we knew not

The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd

That any did. Had we pursued that life,

And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd

With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
Boldly "not guilty;" the imposition clear'd

Hereditary ours.


By this we gather
You have tripp'd since.

O my most sacred lady!
Temptations have since then been born to 's; for
In those unfledged days was my wife a girl;
Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.


Grace to boot!
Of this make no conclusion, lest you say
and I are devils: yet go on;
The offences we have made you do we'll answer,
If you first sinn'd with us and that with us
You did continue fault and that you slipp'd not
With any but with us.


Is he won yet?

Her. He'll stay, my lord..

At my request he would not. Hermione, my dearest, thou never spokest

To better purpose.




Never, but once.



Her. What have I twice said well? when wast 't before?


I prithee tell me; cram's with praise, and make 's
As fat as tame things: one good deed dying tongueless
Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages: you may ride's
With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs ere
With spur we heat an acre. But to the goal:
My last good deed was to entreat his stay:
What was my first? it has an elder sister,

Or I mistake you: O, would her name were Grace!
But once before I spoke to the purpose: when?
Nay, let me have 't; I long.


Why, that was when

Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to death,
Ere I could make thee open thy white hand
And clap thyself my love: then didst thou utter

"I am yours for ever."


"Tis grace indeed.

Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice:
The one for ever earn'd a royal husband;

The other for some while a friend.

[Aside] Too hot, too hot!
To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.
I have tremor cordis on me: my heart dances;
But not for joy; not joy. This entertainment
May a free face put on, derive a liberty
From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
And well become the agent; 't may, I grant ;
But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,
As now they are, and making practised smiles,
As in a looking-glass, and then to sigh, as 'twere
The mort o' the deer; O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows! Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?



Ay, my good lord.

I' fecks!




Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch'd thy nose? They say it is a copy out of mine.

Come, captain,

We must be neat ; not neat, but cleanly, captain:

And yet the steer, the heifer and the calf

Are all call'd neat.-Still virginalling

Upon his palm !-How now, you wanton calf!

Art thou my calf?


Yes, if you will, my lord.

Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash and the shoots that I


To be full like me yet they say we are

Almost as like as eggs; women say so,


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