Page images
PDF
EPUB

They're here with me already; whisp'ring, rounding *
Sicilia is a so-forth'tis far gone,
When I shall gust it last. How cam't, Camillo,
That he did stay?

Cam. At the good Queen's intreaty.

Leo. At the Queen's be't: good, should be pertinent; But so it is, it is not. Was this taken By any understanding pate but thine ? For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in More than the common blocks; not noted, is't But of the finer natures ? by some severals Of head-piece extraordinary; lower mesles, Perchance, are to this business purblind? say.

Cam. Business, my Lord ? I think most understand Bithynia stays here longer.

Leo. Ha ?
Cam. Stays here longer.
Leo. Ay, but why?

Cam. To satisfy your Highness, and th' intreaties Of our most gracious mistress.

Ley. Satisfy
Th’intreaties of your mistress ? satisfy ?
Let that suffice. I've trusted thee, Camillo,
With all the things nearest my heart; as well
My chamber-counsels, wherein, priest-like, thou
Hast cleans'd my

bosom. I from thee departed
Thy penitent reform'd; but we have been
Deceiv'd in thy integrity; deceiv'd
In that which seems so.

Cam. Be it forbid, my Lord
Leo. To bide upon't.--

-Thou art not honeft ; or,
If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward,
Which boxes honesty behind, restraining
From course requir’d: or else thou muit be counted
A servant grafted in my serious trust,
And therein negligent; or else a fool,
That feelt a game play'd home, the rich stake drawn,
And tak ft it all for jeit.

Gam. My gracious Lord,
I may be negligent, foolish and fearful.
In ev'ry one of these no man is free,
* i, e, rounding in the ear; a phrase in use at that time,

But

But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
Among the infinite doings of the world,
Sometime puts forth. In your affairs, my Lord,
If ever I were wilful negligent,
It was my folly: if industriously
I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end : if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the issue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 'twas a fear
Which oft infeats the wifeft. There, my Lord,
Are such allow'd infirmities, that honesty
Is never free of. But, ’beseech your Grace,
Be plainer with me, let me know my trespass
By its own visage; if I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.

Leo. Ha’ not you seen, Camillo,
(But that's past doubt you have ; or your eye-glass
Is thicker than a cuckold's horns), or heard,
(For to a vision so apparent, rumour
Cannot be mute), or thought, (for cogitation
Refides not in that man that does not think it),
My wife is slippery? if thou wilt, confefs;
(Or else be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought), then faj,
My wife's a hobby-horse, deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before her troth-plight: fay't and justify't.

Cam, I would not be a stander-by, to hear
My sovereign Mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken; 'fhrew my heart,
You never spoke what did become you less
Than this; which to reiterate, were fin
As deep as that, tho' true.

Leo. Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
Killing with inside lip ? stopping the career
Of laughter with a figh? (a note infallible
Of breaking honesty); horfing foot and foot?
Sculking in corners ? withing clocks more swift ?
Hours, minutes? the moon, midnight, and all eyes
Blind with the pin and weh, but theirs; theirs only,

That

That would, unseen, be wicked? Is this nothing?
Why, then the world, and all that's in't, is nothing.
The covering sky is nothing, Bithynia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.

Gam. Good my Lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas'd opinion, and betimes;
For 'tis most dangerous.

Leo. Say it be, 'tis true.
Cam. No, no, my

Lord.
Leo. It is ; you lye, you lye,
I say thou lyelt, Camillo, and I hate thee ;
Pronounce thee a gross lowt, a mindless slave,
Or else a hovering temporizer, that
Canft with thine eyes at once fee good and evil,
Inclining to them both; were my wife's liver
Infected as her life, she would not live
The running of one glass.

Cam. Who do's infect her?

Leo. Why he that wears her like his medal, hanging
About his neck; Bithynia, who, if I
Had servants true about me, that bare eyes
To see alike mine honour, as their profits,
Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
Which should undo more doing : 1, and thou
His cup-bearer, (whom I from meaner form
Have bench'd, and rear'd to worship; who may'st fee
Plainly, as heav'n fees earth, and earth sees heav'n,
How I am gall’I); thou mightst be-fpice a cup,
To give mine enemy a laiting wink;
Which draught to me were cordial.

Cam. Sir, my Lord,
I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
But with a sing’ring dram that should not work
Malicioufly, like poison : but I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread Mistress,
So fovereignly being honourable.

Les. I've lov'd thee.- Make't thy question, and go
Do'st think I am so muddy, fo unsettled, [rot:
To appoint myself in this vexation? Sully
The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
(Which to preserve is fleep; which being spotted, ,

Is

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?

Cam. I must believe you, Sir;
I do, and will fetch off Bithynia for’t :
Provided, that, when he's remov'd, your highness
Will take again your Queen, as your's at first,
Even for your son's fake, and thereby for sealing
The injury of tongues, in courts and kingdoms
Known and allay'd to your's.

Leo. Thou dost 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 Bithynia,
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 hast the one half of my heart,
Do't not, thou split'st thine own.

Cam. I'll do't, my Lord.
Leo. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd me.

[Exit.
Cam. O miserable Lady! but, for me,
What cafe 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 fo too. To do this deed,
Promotion follows. If I could find example
Of thousands, that had struck anointed kings,
And flourish'd after, I'd not do't ; but since
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one;
Let villany itself forfwear't, I must
Forsake the court; to do't or no, is certain
To me a break-neck. Happy star reign now!
Here comes Bithynia.

[ocr errors]

S CE N E IV.

Enter Polixenes.
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 à region
Lov'd as he love's 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

dare not?
Be intelligent to me, 'tis thereabouts :
For to yourself, what you do know, you must;
And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo.
Your changed complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shews me mine change'd too; for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter'd with it.

Cam. There is a sickness
Which puts some of us in distemper; but
I cannot name the disease, and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.

Pol. How caught it of me?
Make me not fighted like the basilisk.
I've look'd on thousands, who have sped the better
By my regard, but killed none so. Camillo,
As you are certainly a gentleman,
Clerk-like experience'd, (which no less adorns
Our gentry, than our parents' noble names,
In whose success * we are gentle), I beseech you,
If you know aught which does behove my knowledge
* i.e. succesion.
VOL. III.

Thereof

Еe

« PreviousContinue »