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How I am gall'd :) thou might'it be-Spice a cup,
To give mine enemy a lasting wink
Which draught to me were cordial.
Cam. Sir, my lord,
I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
But with a lingring dram, that should not work,
Maliciously, like poison: but I cannot (4)
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So sovereignly being honourable.
Leo. I've lov'd thee. -Make't thy Question, and
Dost think, I am so muddy, so unsettled,
To appoint my self 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'th' 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?
but I cannot Believe tbis crack to be in my dread Mifress, Se sovereignly being bonourable.
I have lov'd thee. Leo. Make tbat tby Question and go rol.] This passage wants very little weighing, to determine safely upon it, that the last Hemistich afsign’d to Camillo, must have been mistakenly placed to him. It is a strange Instance of Disrespect and Infolence in Camillo to his King and Master, to tell him that He has once lov'd him. But Sense and Reason will easily acquit our Poet from such an Impropriety. I have ventur'd at a Transposition, which seems self-evident. Camillo will not be persuaded into a Suspicion of the Disloyalty imputed to his Mif. tress. The King, who believes Nothing but his Jealousy, provok'd that Camillo is so obstinately diffident, finely starts into a Rage and cries ;
I've lou'd tbce. -Make't tby Question, and go ror. i. e. I have tender'd thee well, Camillo, but I here cancel all former Re. spect at once. If Tbou any longer make a Question of my Wife's Dinoyalty ; go from my Presence, and Perdition overtake thee for thy Stubbornness.
Cam. I must believe you, Sir ;
I do, and will fetch off Bebemia for't :
Provided, that, when he's remov'd, your Highness
Will take again your Queen, as yours at first,
Even for your son's sake, and thereby for sealing
The injury of tongues, in Courts and Kingdoms
Known and ally'd to yours.
Leo. Thou doft advise me,
Even so as I mine own course have set down :
I'll give no blemish to her honour, none.
Cam. 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 cup-bearer ;
If from me he have wholesome beveridge,
Account me not your servant.
Leo. This is all ;
Do't, and thou haft the one half of my heart;
Do't not; thou split'it thine own.
Cam. I'll do't, my lord.
Leo. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd me.
Cam. O miserable lady! but, for me,
What case stand-I in ? I must be the poisoner
Of good Polixenes, and my ground to do't
Is the obedience to a master; one,
Who, in rebellion with himself, will have
All that are his, so too. To do this deed,
Promotion follows. If I could find example
Of thousands, that had struck anointed Kings,
And tourish'd after, I'd not do't: but since
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one ;
Let villany it self forswear't. I must
Forsake the Court; to do't, or no, is certain
To me a break neck. Happy far reign now!
Here comes Bohemia,
Pol. This is strange! methinks,
My favour here begins to warp. Not speak?
Good day, Camillo.
Cam. Hail, most royal Sir !
Pol. What is the news i'th' court!
Cam. None rare, my Lord.
Pol. The King hath on him such a countenance,
As he had lost some province, and a region
Lov'd, as he loves himself: even now I met him
With customary compliment, when he,
Wafting his eyes to th' contrary, and falling
A lip of much contempt, speeds from me, and
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
Be intelligent to me, 'tis thereabouts :
For to yourself, what you do know, you must;
And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shews me mine chang'd too ; for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter'd with it.
Cam. There is a fickness
Which puts some of us in distemper; but
I cannot name the disease, and it is caught
yet are well.
Pol. How caught of me?
Make me not fighted like the bafilisk.
I've look'd on thousands, who have sped the better
By my regard, but kill'd none fo : Camillo,
As you are certainly a gentleman,
Clerk like experienc’d, (which no less adorns
Our gentry, than our parents
' noble names,
In whose success we are gentle;) I beseech yo:),
If you know aught, which does behove my knowledge
Thereof to be informd, imprison't not
Cam. I may not answer.
Pol. A ficknesș caught of me, and yet I well?
I must be answer'd, Doft thou hear, Camillo,
I conjure thee by all the parts of man,
Which honour does acknowledge, (whereof the least
Is not this suit of mine,) that thou declare,
What incidency thou doft guels of harm
Is creeping towards me; how far off, how near;
Which way to be prevented, if it be ;
If not, how beft to bear it.
Cam. Sir, I'll tell you.
Since I am charg'd in honour, and by him
That I think honourable ; therefore, mark my counsel ;
Which must be ev'n as swiftly follow'd, as
I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Cry loft, and so good night.
Pol. On, good Camille.
Cam. I am appointed Him to murder you.
Pol. By whom, Camillo ?
Cam. By the King.
Pol. For what?
Cam• He thinks, nay, with all confidence he swears,
As he had seen't, or been an instrument
To vice you to't, that you have toucht his Queen
Pol. Oh, then my best blood turn
To an infected gelly, and my name
Be yoak'd with his, that did betray the best !
Turn then my freshest reputation to
A favour, that may itrike the dullest poftril
Where I arrive; and my approach be fhun'd,
Nay, hated too, worse than the great'it infection
That e'er was heard, or read!
Cam. Swear this though over (5)
Swear his Thought over
By cacb particular Star in Heaven, &c.] The Transposition of a fingle Letter reconciles this Passage to good Sense; which is not ro, as the Text stands in all the printed Copies. Polixenes, in the preceding Speech, had been laying the deepest Imprecations on himself, if he had ever. abus'd Leintes in any Familiarity with his Queen. To which Camillo very pertinently replies :
By each particular star in heaven, and
By all their influences ; you may as well
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon,
As or by oath remove, or counsel shake,
The fabrick of his folly; whose foundation
Is pild upon his faith, and will continue
The standing of his body.
Pol. How should this grow?
Cam. I know not; but I'm sure, 'tis safer to
Avoid what's grown, than question how ?tis born.
If therefore you dare trust my honesty,
That lies inclosed in this trunk, which you
Shall bear along impawn'd, away to night;
Your followers I will whisper to the business ;
And will by twoes, and threes, at several pofterns,
Clear them o'th' city. For myself, I'll put
My fortunes to your service, which are here
By this discovery loft. Be not uncertain ;
For by the honour of
my parents, I
Have utter'd truth ; which if you seek to prove,
I dare not stand by ; nor shall you be safer,
Than one condemned by the King's own mouth :
Thereon his execution sworn.
Pol. I do believe thee:
I saw his heart in's face. Give me thy hand ;
Be pilot to me, and thy places shall
Still neighbour mine. My ships are ready, and
My people did expect my hence departure
Is for a precious creature; as she's rare,
Mult it be great; and, as his person's mighty,
Must it be violent; and, as he does conceive
He is dishonour'd by a man, which ever
Swear this though over, &C.
i. e. Sir, Though you should protest your Innocence never lo
often, and call every Star and Saint in Heaven to witness to
your Adjuration; yet Jealousy is so rooted in my Master's
Borom, that All you can say and swear will bave no Force to