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In every one of these no man is free,
But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
Amongst 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 affects the wisest : these, 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.
Have not you seen, Camillo, (But that's past doubt : you have ; or your eye-glass, Is thicker than a cuckold's horn ;) or heard, (For, to a vision so apparent, rumour Cannot be mute,) or thought, (for cogitation Resides not in that man, that does not think it,) My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess, (Or else be impudently negative, To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say, My wife's a woman that deserves a name Too rank to mention : say it, and justify it.
Cam. I would not be a stander-by, to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken: 'Shrew my heart,
You never spoke what did become
Than this; which to reiterate, were sin
As deep as that, though true.
Is whispering nothing ?
Is leaning cheek to cheek ? stopping the career
Of laughter with a sigh ? (a note infallible
Of breaking honesty :) wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes blind
With the pin ånd web?, but theirs, theirs only,
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 : Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these no-
If this be nothing.
Good my lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas'd opinion, and betimes;
For 'tis most dangerous.
Say, it be; 'tis true.
Cam. No, no, my lord.
I say, thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee;
Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave:
Or else a hovering temporizer, that
Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
Inelining to them both : Were my wife's liver
Infected as her life, she would not live
The running of one glass.
Who does infect her ? Leon. Why he, that wears her like her medal,
hanging About his neck, Bohemia : 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 : Ăy, and thou, His cup-bearer, — whom I from meaner form Have bench'd, and rear'd to worship; who may'st Plainly, as heaven sees earth, and earth sees heaven, How I am galled, - thou might'st bespice a cup, To give mine enemy a lasting wink; Which draught to me were cordial. Cam.
Sir, my lord, I could do this; and that with no rash ® potion,
But with a ling’ring dram, that should not work
Maliciously like poison : But I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So sovereignly being honourable.
I have lov'd thee,
Make't thy question, and go rot!
Dost think, I am so muddy, so unsettled,
To appoint myself in this vexation? sully
The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
Which to preserve, is sleep ; which being spotted,
Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wasps ?
Give scandal to the blood o' the 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 blencho?
I must believe I do; and will fetch off Bohemia for't: Provided, that when he's remov'd, your highness Will take again your queen, as yours at first; Even for your son's sake; and, thereby, for sealing The injury of tongues, in courts and kingdoms Known and allied to yours. Leon.
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 Bohemia, And with your queen: I am his cupbearer ; If from me he have wholsome beverage, Account me not your servant. Leon.
This is all Do't, and thou hast the one half of
heart Do't not, thou split'st thine own. Cam.
I'll do't, my lord. Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd
91. e. Could any man so start off from propriety ?
Cam. O miserable lady!- But, for me,
What case 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, so 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 villainy itself forswear't. I must
Forsake the court: to do't, or no, is certain
To me a break-neck. Happy star, reign now !
Here comes Bohemia.
This is strange, methinks,
My favour here begins to warp. Not speak ?
Hail, most royal sir !
Pol. What is the news i' the court?
None rare, my lord.
Pol. The king hath on him such a countenance,
As he had lost some province, and a region,
Lov'd as he loves himself: even now I met him
With customary compliment ; when he,
Wafting his eyes to the 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 chang'd complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shows me mine chang'd to : for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding,
Myself thus alter'd with it.
There is a sickness
Which puts some of us in distemper; but
I cannot name the disease ; and it is caught
you that yet are well.
How ? caught of me? Make me not sighted like the basilisk: I have look'd on thousands, who have sped the better By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo, As you are certainly a gentleman; thereto Clerk-like, experienc'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
known ledge Thereof to be inform’d, imprison it not In ignorant concealment. Cam.
I may not answer.
Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well!
I must be answer'd. Dost thou hear, Camillo,
I conjure thee, by all the parts of man,
Which honour does acknowledge, whereof the
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 charg'd in honour, and by him
That I think honourable : Therefore, mark my
Which must be even as swiftly follow'd, as
I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Cry, lost, and so good-night.
1 For succession.
? Gentle was opposed to simple; well born.