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That will be damn'd for’t; 'would, I knew the villain,
I would land- damm him : be the 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,
I'll geld 'em all: fourteen they shall not see,
To bring false generations : they are co-heirs,
And I had rather glib myself, then they
Should not produce fair issue.
Leo. Cease; no more:
You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man's nose ; I fee't and feel't,
As you feel doing thus ; and fee 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 ?
Lord. 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. Why, what need we
of this ? but rather follow
Our forceful instigation ? our prerogative
Calls not your counsels, but our natural goodness
Imparts this ; which, if you, (or stupified,
Or seeming so, in skill,) cannot, or will not
Relish a truth like us; inform yourselves,
We need no more of your rice; the matter,
The loss, the gain, the ord'ring on't, is all
Ant. And I wish, my Liege,
You had only in your filent judgment try'd it,
Without more overture.
Leo, How could that be ?
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's fight,
Added to their familiarity,
(Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture,
That lack'd fight only ; nought for approbation,
But only seeing; all other circumstances
Made up to th deed) 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 dispatch'd in poft,
To sacred Delpbos, to Apollo's temple,
Cleomines and Dion, whom you know
Of fuff'd sufficiency: Now, from the oracle
They will bring all : whose spiritual counsel had,
Shall stop, or fpur me. Have I done well?
Lord. Well done, my Lord.
Leo. Tho' I am satisfy'd, and need no more
Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
Give rest to th' minds of others; such as he,
Whose ignorant credulity will not
Come up to th' truth. So have we thought it good
From our free person, she should be contin'd;
Left that the treachery of the two, Aed hence,
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us,
We are to speak in publick; for this business
Will raise us all.
Ant. To laughter, as I'take it,
If the good truth were known.
[Exeunt. SCEN E changes to a Prison:
Enter Paulina, and a Gentleman.
Paul. He keeper of the prison, call to him :
Let him have knowledge who I am. Good lady,
No court in Europe is too good for thee;
What doft thou then in prison š now, good Sir,
You know me, do you
Re-enter Gentleman, with the Goaler.
Goa. For a worthy lady,
And one whom much I honour.
Paul. Pray you then,
Conduct me to the Queen.
Goa. I may not, Madam;
To the contrary I have express commandment.
Paul. Here's aido to lock up honesty and honour from
Th' access of gentle visitors! Is't lawful, pray you,
To see her women ? any of them ? Emilia?
Goa. So please you, Madam,
To put a-part these your attendants, I
Shall bring Emilia forth.
Paul. I pray you now, call her :
[Exeunt Gent. &c.
Goa. And, Madam,
I must be present at your conference,
Paul. Well; be it fo, pr'ythee.
Here's such ado to make no Itain a stain,
As passes colouring. Dear gentlewoman,
How fares our gracious lady?
Emil. 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.
Paul. A boy?
Emil. A daughter, and a goodly babe,
Lufty, and like to live: the Queen receives
Mach comfort in't: says, My poor prisoner,
I'm innocent as you.
Paul. I dare be sworn :
These dangerous, unsafe lunes i' th' King! beshrew
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;
(7) Tbese dang'rous, unsafe Lunes i' th' King ! ----] I have a
no where, but in our Author, observ'd this Word adopted in
our Tongue, to signify, Frenzy, Lunacy. But it is a Mode of
Expression with the Frencb. Il y a de lune : (i. e. He has
got the Moon in his Head; he is frantick.) Cotgrave. Lunes
tolie. Les femmes ont des lunes dans la tête, Richelet,
And never to my
The trumpet any more! Pray you, Emilia;
Commend my best obedience to the Queen,
If she dares trust me with her little babe,
I'll few't the King, and undertake to be
Her advocate to th loud'st. We do not know,
How he may soften at the fight o'th' child :
The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades, when speaking fails.
Emil. Moft worthy Madam,
Your honour and your goodness is so evident,
your free undertaking cannot miss
A thriving issue : there is no lady living
So meet for this great errand. Please your ladyship
To visit the next room, I'll presently
Acquaint the Queen of your most noble offer,
Who but to day hammer'd of this design ;
But durft not tempt a minister of honour,
Left she should be deny d.
Paul. Teli her, Enilia,
I'll use that tongue I have ; if wit flow from't,
As boldness from my bosom, let't not be doubted
I shall do good.
Emil. Now be-you blest for it!
I'll to the Queen: please you, come something nearer.
Goa. Madam, if't please the Queen to send the babe,
I know not what I shall incur, to pass it,
Having no warrant.
Paul. You need not fear it, Sir ;
The child was prisoner to the womb, and is
By law and process of great nature thence
Free'd and enfranchis'd; not a party to
The anger of the King, nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the Queen.
Goa. I do believe it.
Paul. Do not you fear ; upon mine honour, I Will stand 'twixt you and danger.
SCENE changes to the Palace.
Enter Leontes, Antigonus, Lords and other Attendants.
TOR night, nor day, no rest ; - it is but
To bear the matter thus ; meer weakness, if
The cause were not in being ; part o' th' cause,
She, the adultress ; for the Harlot-King
Is quite beyond mine arm; out of the blank
And level of my brain ; plot-proof; but she
I can hook to me: say, that she were gone,
Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
Might come to me again. Who's there !
Enter an Attendant.
Atten. My Lord.
Leo. How do's the boy?
Atten. He took good reft to night ; 'tis hop'd,
His fickness is discharg'd.
Léo. To see his nobleness !
Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
He straight declin'd, droop'd, took it deeply ;
Falten'd, and fix'd the shame on't in himself ;
Threw off his fpirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And down-right languish'd. Leave me solely; go,
See how he fares.--Fie, fie, no thought of him ;-
The very thought of my revenges
Recoyl upon me; in himself too mighty,
And in his parties, his alliance; let him be,
Until a time may serve. For present vengeance,
Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
Laugh at me; make their pastime at my sorrow;
They should not laugh, if I could reach them
Shali the, within my power.