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Is not this suit of mine,-that thou declare
What incidency thou dost guess of harm

Is creeping toward me; how far off, how near;
Which way to be prevented, if to be;

If not, how best to bear it.


Sir, I'll tell you;

Since I am charged in honor, and by him

That I think honorable. Therefore, mark my counsel;
Which must be even as swiftly followed, as

I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Cry, lost, and so good-night.

On, good Camillo.
Cam. I am appointed him to murder you.1
Pol. By whom, Camillo ?



By the king.

For what?

Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he


As he had seen't, or been an instrument


To vice you to't,-that you have touched his queen Forbiddenly.


O, then my best blood turn
To an infected jelly; and my name

Be yoked with his, that did betray the best!3
Turn then my freshest reputation to

A savor, that may strike the dullest nostril
Where I arrive; and my approach be shunned,
Nay, hated too, worse than the great'st infection
That e'er was heard, or read!

Swear his thought over
By each particular star in heaven, and
By all their influences, you may as well
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon,

1 "I am appointed him to murder you;" I am the person appointed to murder you.

2 i. e. to screw or move you to it. A vice, in Shakspeare's time, meant any kind of winding screw. The vice of a clock was a common expression.

3 That is, Judas.

4 "Swear his thought over." The meaning apparently is, " Over-swear his thought by," &c.

As, or by oath, remove, or counsel, shake
The fabric of his folly; whose foundation
Is piled upon his faith,' and will continue
The standing of his body.


How should this grow
Cam. I know not; but, I am 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 impawned,-away to-night.
Your followers I will whisper to the business;
And will, by twos, and threes, at several posterns,
Clear them o' the city. For myself, I'll put
My fortunes to your service, which are here
By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain :
For, by the honor of my parents, I

Have uttered 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,


His execution sworn.


I do believe thee:

I saw his heart in his face. Give me thy hand;
Be pilot to me, and thy places shall

Still neighbor mine.

My ships are ready, and

My people did expect my hence departure
Two days ago.-This jealousy

Is for a precious creature; as she's rare,

Must it be great; and, as his person's mighty,
Must it be violent; and as he does conceive
He is dishonored by a man which ever
Professed to him, why, his revenges must

In that be made more bitter. Fear o'ershades me;
Good expedition be my friend, and comfort

The gracious queen, part of his theme, but nothing

1 "Is piled upon his faith;" this folly which is erected on the foundation of settled belief.

2 i. e. I will place thee in elevated rank, always near to my own in dignity, or near my person.

Of his ill-ta'en suspicion!


Come, Camillo;

I will respect thee as a father, if

Thou bear'st my life off hence. Let us avoid.
Cam. It is in mine authority to command
The keys of all the posterns.

Please your highness To take the urgent hour. Come, sir, away.



SCENE I. The same.

Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies.

Her. Take the boy to you: he so troubles me,

'Tis past enduring.

1 Lady.

Come, my gracious lord,

No, I'll none of you.

Shall I be your playfellow ?


1 Lady. Why, my sweet lord?

Mam. You'll kiss me hard; and speak to me as if

I were a baby still.-I love you better.

2 Lady. And why so, my lord?

Not for because

Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they say,
Become some women best; so that there be not

Too much hair there, but in a semicircle,

Or half-moon made with a pen.

2 Lady.

Who taught you this?

Mam. I learned it out of women's faces.-Pray


What color are your eyebrows?

1 Johnson might well say, "I can make nothing of the following words:

and comfort

The gracious queen, part of his theme, but nothing

Of his ill-ta'en suspicion.'

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He suspected the line which connected them to the rest to have been lost.

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1 Lady.

Blue, my lord.

Mam. Nay, that's a mock; I have seen a lady's


That has been blue, but not her eyebrows.

2 Lady.

Hark ye;

The queen, your mother, rounds apace: we shall
Present our services to a fine new prince,

One of these days; and then you'd wanton with us,
If we would have you.

1 Lady.

She is spread of late Into a goodly bulk. Good time encounter her! Her. What wisdom stirs amongst you? Come, sir,


I am for you again. Pray you, sit by us,

And tell's a tale.


Her. As merry as you will.

Merry, or sad, shall't be?

A sad tale's best for winter.

Let's have that, good sir.

I have one of sprites and goblins.

Come on, sit down.-Come on, and do your best

To fright me with your sprites: you're powerful at it.
Mam. There was a man,-

Her. Nay, come, sit down; then on.

Mam. Dwelt by a churchyard ;-I will tell it softly; Yon crickets shall not hear it.


And give't me in mine ear.

Come on then,

Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and others.

Leon. Was he met there? his train? Camillo with him?

1 Lord. Behind the tuft of pines I met them;


Saw I men scour so on their way. I eyed them
Even to their ships.


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How blessed am I
in my true opinion!-

1 i. e. judgment.


Alack, for lesser knowledge! How accursed,
In being so blest!-There may be in the cup
A spider steeped, and one may drink; depart,
And yet partake no venom; for his knowledge
Is not infected: but if one present

The abhorred ingredient to his eye; make known,
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides
With violent hefts.3-I have drunk, and seen the

Camillo was his help in this, his pander.-
There is a plot against my life, my crown;
All's true that is mistrusted.-That false villain,
Whom I employed, was pre-employed by him:
He has discovered my design, and I

Remain a pinched thing; yea, a very trick
For them to play at will.-How came the posterns
So easily open?

1 Lord.

By his great authority; Which often hath no less prevailed than so,

On your command.


I know't too well.

Give me the boy; I am glad you did not nurse him. Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you Have too much blood in him.


What is this? sport?

Leon. Bear the boy hence; he shall not come about


Away with him ;-and let her sport herself

With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes

Has made thee swell thus.


But I'd say, he had not,

You, my lords,

And, I'll be sworn, you would believe my saying,
Howe'er you lean to the nayward.


Look on her, mark her well; be but about

1 That is, O that my knowledge were less!

2 Spiders were esteemed poisonous in our author's time.

3 Hefts, heavings.

4 i. e. "a thing pinched out of clouts; a puppet for them to move and actuate as they please."

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