Imatges de pÓgina
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Clown. Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?

Autolicus. Whether it like me, or no, I am a courtier.-Seest thou not the air of a courtier in these enfoldings? Hath not my gait in it the measure of the court?

Act IV. Se. III.



SCENE I.-Sicilia.-A Square before the Palace of Leontes.


Arc. (R. C.) 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. (c.) I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.

Arc. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves; for, indeed—

Cam. 'Beseech you~

Arc. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot, with such magnificence-in so rareI 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 ac

cuse us.

Cam. You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.

Arc. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.

Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over kind to Bohemia: they were train'd 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 attornied 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 the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves!

Arc. 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.

Arc. Would they else be content to die?

Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.

Arc. If the king had no son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one.

[Trumpets sound.]

Cam. Come, my lord.

[Exeunt, L.

SCENE II.-A Room of State in the Palace.-Trumpets sound.

Ladies ranged, L. Lords and Gentlemen, R.


Pol. (R. C.) Nine changes of the watery star hath been The shepherd's note, since we have left our throne Without a burden: time as long again

Would be filled 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 more

That go before it.

Leo. (c.) Stay your thanks awhile,

And pay them when you part.

Pol. Sir, that's to-morrow,

I'm question'd by my fears, of what may chance

Or breed upon our absence:

Besides, I have stay'd

To tire your royalty.

Leo. We are tougher, brother,

Than you can put us to❜t.

Pol. No longer stay.

Leo. One seven-night longer.

Pol. Very sooth, to-morrow.

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

Pol. 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.

Leo. 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 satisfaction

The by-gone day proclaimed; say this to him,
He's beat from his best ward.

Leo. 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 guest
Prefix'd for his parting: yet, good deed, Leontes,
I love thee not a jar o'the clock behind
What lady she her lord. You'll stay!

Pol. No, madam.

Her. Nay, but you


Pol. I may not, verily.

Her. Verily!

You put me off with limber vows: but I,

Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with


Should yet say,

"Sir, no going." [Mamillius and Atten

dant enter at L. U. E.] Verily,

You shall not go; a lady's verily is

As potent as a lord's. [Leontes on returning to his state chair meets Mamillius, who goes back with him.] 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. [Leontes sits;
Mamillius leans on his knee.] How say you?
My prisoner? or my guest? By your dread verily,
One of them you shall be.

Pol. Your guest then, madam:

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

Than you to punish.

Her. 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.

Pol. 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.

Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o'the two?

Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs that did frisk i'the


And bleat the one at the other: what we chang'd

Was innocence for innocence: we knew not

The doctrine of ill-doing; no, 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.

Her. (R. C.) By this we gather, You have tripp'd since.

Pol. (c.) O, my most sacred lady,

Temptations have since then been born to us; for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl;

Your precious self had not then cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.

Her. Grace to boot!

Of this make no conclusion; lest you say,

Your queen and I are devils: yet, go on;

The offences we have made you do, we'll answer.

Leo. [Coming forward L. C. with Mamillius.] Is he

won yet?

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