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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, 3 fled hence,
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us;
We are to speak in publick: for this business
Will raise us all.

Ant. [aside] To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth were known.

The same.

The outer Room of a Prison.
Enter PAULINA and Attendants.
Paul. The keeper of the prison,-call to him;

[Exit an Attend. Let him have knowledge who I am.

.-Good lady!
No court in Europe is too good for thee,
What dost thou then in prison ?-Now, good sir,

Re-enter Attendant, with the Keeper.
You know me, do you not?

For a worthy lady,
And one whom much I honour.

Pray you then,
Conduct me to the queen.

Keep. I may not, madam; to the contrary
I have express commandment.

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?

Keep. So please you, madam, to put
Apart these your attendants, I shall bring
Emilia forth.

I pray you now, call her.
Withdraw yourselves.

[Exeunt Attend. Keep.

And, madam, I must be present at your conference. Paul. Well, be it so, pr’ythee.

[Exit Keep.

3 Lest that the treachery of the two, &c.] He has before declared, that there is a plot against his life and crown, and that Hermione is federary with Polisenes and Camillo. Johnson.

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

Re-enter Keeper, with EMILIA.
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?

A daughter; and a goodly babe,
Lusty, and like to live: the queen receives
Much comfort in 't: says, My poor prisoner,
I am innocent as you.

I dare be sworn:
These dangerous unsafe lunes o'the 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;
And never to my red look'd anger be
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 show 't the king, and undertake to be
Her advocate to th' 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.

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

4 These dangerous unsafe lunes of the king') I have no where, but in our author, observed this word adopted in our tongue, to signify frenzy, lunacy. But it is a mode of expression with the French.— Il y a de la lune: (i. e. he has got the moon in his head; he is frantick.) Cotgrave. “ Lune, folie. Les femmes ont des lunes dans la tete. Richelet.” Theobald.

A similar expression occurs in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1608: “I know 'twas but some peevish moon in him.” Again, in As you Like it, Act III, sc. ii : “At which time would I, being but a moonish youth,” &c. Steevens.

The old copy has—; the king. This slight correction was made by Mr. Steevens. Malone.

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 durst not tempt a minister of honour,
Lest she should be denied.

Tell her, Emilia,
I 'll use that tongue I have: if wit flow from it,
As boldness from my bosom, let it not be doubted
I shall do good.

Now be you blest for it!
I'll to the queen: Please you, come something nearer.

Keep. Madam, if 't please the queen to send the babe,
I know not what I shall incur, to pass it,
Having no warrant.

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 enfranchisid: not a party to
The anger of the king; nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the queen.

Keep. I do believe it.

Do not you fear: upon
Mine honour, I will stand ’twixt you and danger.

The same.

A Room in the Palace.
Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and other

Leon. Nor night, nor day, no rest: It is but weakness
To bear the matter thus; mere weakness, if
The cause were not in being ;-part oʻthe cause,
She, the adultress ;--for the harlot king
Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
And level of my brain,5 plot-proof: but she

out of the blank And level of my brain,] Beyond the aim of any attempt that I can make against him. Blank and level are terms of archery.


To see,

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?
1 Atten.

My lord? (Advancing. Leon. How does the boy? 1 Atten.

He took good rest to-night; 'Tis hop'd, his sickness is discharg'd.

Leon. His nobleness! Conceiving the dishonour of his mother, He straight declin'd, droop'd, took it deeply; Fasten'd and fix'd the shame on 't in himself; Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep, And downright languish'd.-Leave me solely:6-go, See how he fares. (E.cit Attend.)-Fy, fy! no thought

of him;
The very thought of my revenges

that way
Recoil 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; nor
Shall she, within my power,

Enter PAULINA, with a Child.
1 Lord.

You must not enter.

Blank and level, mean mark and aim; but they are terms of gunnery, not of archery. Douce. So, in King Henry VIII:

I stood i'th' level
Of a full-charg'd conspiracy.” Ritson.

Leave me solely:] That is, leave me alone. M. Mason 7 The very thought of my revenges that way

Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty;

And in his parties, his alliance,] So, in Dorastus and Fawnia: • Pandosto, although he felt that revenge was a spur to warre, and that envy always proffereth steele, yet he saw Egisthus was not only of great puissance and prowesse to withstand him, but also had many kings of his alliance to ayd him, if need should serve; for he married the Emperor of Russia's daughter." Our author, it is observable, whether from forgetfulness or design, has made this lady the wife (not of Egisthus, the Polixenes of this play, but) of Leontes. Malone.

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Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me': Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas, Than the queen's life! a gracious innocent soul; More free, than he is jealous. Ant.

That's enough. 1 Atten. Madam, he hath not slept to-night; com

None should come at him.

Not so hot, good sir;
I come to bring him sleep. 'Tis such as you
That creep like shadows by him, and do sigh
At each his needless heavings, such as you
Nourish the cause of his awaking: I
Do come with words as med'cinal as true;
Honest, as either; to purge him of that humour,
That presses him from sleep.

What noise there, ho?
Paul. No noise, my lord; but needful conference,
About some gossips for your highness.

Away with that audacious lady: Antigonus,
I charg'd thee, that she should not come about me;
I knew, she would.

I told her so, my lord,
On your displeasure's peril, and on mine,
She should not visit you.

What, canst not rule her?
Paul. From all dishonesty, he can: in this,
(Unless he take the course that you have done,
Commit me, for committing honour) trust it,
He shall not rule me.

Lo you now; you hear!
When she will take the rein, I let her run;
But she 'll not stumble.

Good my liege, I come,
And, I beseech you, hear me, who profess:
Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
Your most obedient counsellor; yet that dare
Less appear so, in comforting your evils,


who profess -- ] Old copy-professes. Steevens.

in comforting your evils,] Comforting is here used in the legal sense of comforting and abetting in a criminal action.

M. Mason.

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