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Much comfort in't : says, My poor prisoner,
I are innocent as you.
Paul.

I dare be sworn :
These dangerous unsafe lunes ' o'the king! beshrew

them! He must be told on't, and he shall : the office Becomes a woman best ; I'll take't upon me: If I prové honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister ; And never to my red-looked 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.
Emil.

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

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. Emil.

Now be

you

blest for it! I'll to the queen : Please you, come something Keep. Madam, if't please the queen to send the

babe,

nearer.

Lunacies, fits of madness,

3

I know not what I shall-incur, to pass

it, Having no warrant. Paul.

You need not fear it, sir :
The child was prisoner to the womb; and is,
By law and process of great nature, thence
Freed and enfranchis'd: 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.
Paul.

Do not you

fear : upon Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger.

[Exeunt.

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Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and other

Attendants.

Leon. Nor night, nor day, no rest : It is but weak

ness

To bear the matter thus ; mere weakness, if
The cause were not in being ; - part o'the cause,
She, the adultress ; — for the harlot king
Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
And level of my brain, plot-proof : but she
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.

[Adváncing 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,

My lord ?

To see,

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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-go,
See how he fares. [Exit Attend. ]— Fye, fye! no

thought of him;
The very thought of my revenges that way
Recoil uponi 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. 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-

manded
None should come at him.
Paul.

Not so hot, good sir;
I come to bring him sleep. 'Tis such as you,
Thát 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.
Leon.

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

6 Alone.

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

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

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.
Ant.

Lo you now; you

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

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",
Thàn such as most seem yours : - I say, I come
From your good queen.
Leon.

Good queen!
Paul. Good queen, my lord, good queen : I say,

good queen;
And would by combat make her good, so were I
A man, the worst about you.
Leon.

Force her hence.
Paul. Let him, that makes but trifles of his eyes,
First hand me : on mine own accord, I'll off ;
But, first, I'll do my errand. — The good queen,
For she is good, hath brought you forth a daughter;
Here'tis; commends it to your blessing.

[Laying down the Child. Leon.

Out!

7 Abetting your

ill courses.

8 Lowest.

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Not so:

to pass

For ever

A

very witch! Hence with her, out o' door :
A most intelligencing bawd !

Paul.
I am as ignorant in that, as you
In so entitling me; and no less honest
Than
you are mad;

which is enough, I'll warrant,
As this world
goes,

for honest.
Leon.

Traitors!
Will you not push her out? Give her the bastard :-
Thou, dotard, [TO ANTIGONUS.] thou art woman-

tir'd', unroosted
By thy dame Partlet here, - take

up

the bastard ;
Take't
up,

I say; give’t to thy crone."
Paul.
Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
Tak’st up the princess, by that forced’ baseness
Which he has put upon't!
Leon.

He dreads his wife.
Paul. So, I would, you did; then, 'twere past all

doubt,
You'd call your children yours.
Leon.

A nest of traitors!
Ant. I am none, by this good light.
Paul.
But

one, that's here; and that's himself: for he
The sacred honour of himself, his queen's,
His hopeful son's, his babe's, betrays to slander,
Whose sting is sharper than the sword's; and will

not
(For, as the case now stands, it is a curse
He cannot be compell’d to't,) once remove
The root of his opinion, which is rotten,
As ever oak, or stone, was sound.
Leon.

Nor I; nor any,

A callat 3,

1

9 Pecked by a woman; hen-pecked.

i Worn-out old woman. a Forced is false; uttered with violence to truth.

3 Trull.

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