Imatges de pÓgina

Saw I men scour so on their way: I ey'd them
Even to their ships.

Leo. How bless'd am I

In my just censure! in my true opinion!
Alack, for lesser knowledge !--How accurs'd,
In being so bless'd!-

[Hermione rises.

There is a plot against my life, my crown;
All's true, that is mistrusted :-that false villain,
Whom I employ'd, was pre-employ'd by him:

[She leads Mamillius to R.

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?

Pho. By his great authority;

Which often hath no less prevail'd than so,

On your command.

Leo. I know't too well.

Give me the boy; [To Her.] I'm glad you did not

nurse him:

Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you

Have too much blood in him.

Her. (R.) What is this?-sport?

Leo. (c.) Bear the boy hence :-he shall not come about her :

Away with him.

[Hermione retires up to her seat.-Thasius leads. Mamillius off, L.

Look on her, mark her well: be but about

To say

66 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 sear

Virtue itself: [She returns to the R.] 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 adulteress.

Her. (R.) Should a villain say so,

The most replenish'd villain in the world,

He were as much more villain :-You, my lord,
Do but mistake.

Leo. You have mistook, my lady,
Polixenes for Leontes.-O, thou thing,
Which I'll not call a creature of thy place,
Lest barbarism, making me the precedent,
Should a like language use to all degrees,
And mannerly distinguishment leave out
Betwixt the prince and beggar. I have said,
She's an adulteress; I have said, with whom :
More, she's a traitor; and Camillo is

A feodary with her; and one that knows,
What she should shame to know herself,
That she's

A bed swerver;

Ay, and privy

To this their late escape.

Her. No, by my life,

Privy to none of this. How will this grieve you,
When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that
You have thus publish'd me! Gentle, my lord,
You scarce can right me thoroughly then, to say
You did mistake.

Leo. No, no; if I mistake

In those foundations which I build upon,
The centre is not big enough to bear

[Goes back.

A school-boy's top. Away with her to prison:
He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,

But that he speaks.

[She throws herself on Sofa.

Her. [Rises, and comes forward R. c.] There's some ill planet reigns:

I must be patient, till the heavens look

With an aspect more favourable. Good, my lords,

I am not prone to weeping, as our sex

Commonly are; the want of which vain dew,

Perchance, shall dry your pities: [To Guards, &c. on

the L.] but I have

That honourable grief lodg'd here, which burns

Worse than tears drown: 'Beseech you all, my lords, With thoughts so qualified as your charities

Shall best instruct you, measure me ;—and so

The king's will be perform'd.

Leo. Shall I be heard?

Her. (c.) Who is't, that goes with me?--'Beseech

your highness,

[To Leontes.

My women may be with me; for, you see,

My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools;

[To her Ladies, R. There is no cause: when you shall know your mistress Has deserv'd prison, then abound in tears:

This action, I now go on,

Is for my better grace. (R.) Adieu, my lord:

I never wish'd to see you sorry; now,

I trust I shall. My women, come-you have leave.
Leo. Go, do our bidding; hence.

[Retires to back ground.

[Exit Hermione, followed by Emilia, Lamai,

Hero, Officers, and Guards, R.

Pho. (L.) 'Beseech your highness, call the queen again. Ant. (L.) For her, my lord,

I dare my life lay down, and will do't, sir,

Please you to accept it, that the queen is spotless.

Leo. Hold your peaces.

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;

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,
Fourteen they shall not see,

To bring false generations.

Leo. Cease; no more:

You smell this business with a sense as cold

As is a dead man's nose; but I do see't,

And feel't, as you feel doing thus; [Striking his hands together, and coming forward, c.] 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?

Ant. 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. (c.) Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's flight,
Added to their familiarity,


Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture,
Doth push on this proceeding;

Yet, for a greater confirmation,

(For, in an act of this importance, 'twere
Most piteous to be wild,) I have despatch'd
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?
Pho. 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 the truth? So have we thought it good,
From our free person she should be confin'd;

Lest that the treachery of the two, fled hence,
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us.
Ant. Yet, hear me, gracious sovereign-

Leo. (L.) We need no more of your advice: the matter. The loss, the gain, the ordering on't, is all

Properly ours: we'll spare your wisdom, sir.

[Exeunt Leontes and Phocion, L.

Ant. And I wish, my liege,

You had only in your silent judgment tried it

Without more overture.

SCENE II.-A Prison.

[Exit, R.

Enter PAULINA and two GENTLemen, r.

Pau. (c.) The keeper of the prison call to him; Let him have knowledge who I am.

Good lady!

[Exit Gentleman, L.

No court in Europe is too good for thee;
What dost thou then in prison?

Enter GENTLEMAN, with the KEEper, l.

Now, good sir,

You know me-do you not?
Kee. (L.) For a worthy lady,
And one whom much I honour.
Pau. 'Pray you then,
Conduct me to the queen.

Kee. (L. c.) I may not, madam; to the contrary I have express commandment.

Pau. Here's ado,

To lock up honesty and honour from

The access of gentle visitors!—Is it lawful,
'Pray you, to see her women? any of them?
Emilia ?

Kee. So please you, madam, to put

Apart these your attendants, I shall bring

Emilia forth.

Pau. I pray you now call her.

Withdraw yourselves.

Kee. And, madam,

[Exeunt the two Gentlemen, L.

I must be present at your conference.
Pau. Well, be it so, 'prithee.

[Exit Keeper, L.

Here's such ado to make no stain a stain,
As passes colouring.

Enter the KEEPER and EMILIA, L.

Dear gentlewoman, how fares our gracious lady?
Emi. 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.
Pau. A boy?

Emi. A daughter; and a goodly babe,
Lusty, and like to live: the queen receives
Much comfort in't: says, 66
My poor prisoner,

I am innocent as you.'

Pau. I dare be sworn :

These dangerous unsafe lunes of the king! beshrew them!
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.
Pray you, Emilia,

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

Emi. Most worthy madam,

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

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