« PreviousContinue »
The Winter's Tale.
Leontes, King of Sicilia.
ANTIGONUS, f T~.J.~ta;^ll„
Eoqero, a Gentleman of
Polixenes, King of Bohemia.
An Old Shepherd, reputed
Clown, his Son.
Hermione, Queen to Leontes.
Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, Officers, and Servants, Shepherds, and Shepherdesses, Guards, <tc.
SCENE—Sometimes in Sicilia, sometimes in Bohemia.
Scene L—Sicilia. An Ante-chamber in the
Enter Camillo and Archidamus.
Arch. 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. I think this coming summer, the King of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves: for, indeed—
Cam. 'Beseech you—
Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificence—in so rare—I know not what to say.—We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses, unintelligent of our insufBcience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.
Cam. You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.
Arch. 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 trained 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 attorneyed 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!
Arch. 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.
Arch. Would they else be content to die 1
Cam. Yes, if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.
Arch. If the king had no son, they would desire Scene II.—Sicilia. A Room of State in the
Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Hermione, MamilLius, Camillo, and Attendants.
Pol. Nine changes of the watery star have 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.
Leon. Stay your thanks awhile,
And pay them when you part.
Pol. Sir, that's to-morrow
I am questioned by my fears of what may chance
Leon. We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to't.
No longer stay.
Leon. One seven-night longer.
Very sooth, to-morrow.
Leon. We 'll part the time between's then; and in that, I 'll no gainsaying.
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
'T were needful I denied it. My affairs
Do even drag me homeward; which to hinder
Were, in your love, a whip to me, my stay,
To you a charge and trouble: to save both,
Farewell, our brother.
Leon. Tongue-tied, our queen 1 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 coldlj : tell him, you are sure
Leon. Well said, Hermione.