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Cam. No, no, my lord.
It is; you lie, you lie:
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,
Inclining 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: Ay, and thou, His cupbearer,—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.-might'st bespice a cup,
To give mine enemy a lasting wink;
Which draught to me were cordial.
Sir, my lord,
I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
But with a lingʻring 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
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 blench?
I must believe you, sir;
I do ; and will fetch off Bohemia fort:
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.
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 ain his cupbearer;
I from me he have wholesome beverage,
Account me not your servant.
This is all :
Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou split'st thine own.
I'll do't, my lord.
Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd
[Exit. Cam. O miserable lady :-But, for ine, 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
• Could man so blench?] To blench is to start off, to shrink.
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 3
And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your chang’d complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shows me mine chang'd too : 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
Of 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 my know-
Thereof to be inform’d, imprison it not
In ignorant concealment.
Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well!
I must be answer'd.-Dost thou hear, Camillo,
I conjure thec, 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.
On, good Camillo.
Cam. I am appointed Him to murder you.
? In whose success we are gentle,] Success here means succes. sion. Gentle is evidently opposed to simple; alluding to the distinction between the gentry and yeomanry:
8 I am appointed Him to murder you.] i. e. I am the person appointed to murder you. VOL. III.
Pol. By whom, Camillo ?
By the king,
For what? Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence be
swears, As he had seen't, or been an instrument To vice
to't,-that you have touch'd his queen Forbiddenly. Pol.
best blood turn
To an infected jelly; and my name
Be yok'd with his, that did betray the best!
Turn then my freshest reputation to
A savour, that may strike the dullest nostril
Where I arrive; and my approach be shunn'd,
Nay, hated too, worse than the great'st infection
That e'er was heard, or read !
Swear his thought over
By each particular star in heaven, and
By all their influences, you may as well
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon,
As or, by oath, remove, or counsel, shake
The fabrick of his folly; whose foundation
Is pild upon his faith, and will continue
The standing of his body.
How should this grow? Cam. I know not: but, I am sure, 'tis safer to Avoid what's grown, than question how 'tis born. If therefore you dare trust my honesty, That lies enclosed in this trunk, which
you Shall bear along impawn'd,-away to-night. Your followers I will whisper to the business ; And will, by twos, and threes, at several posterns, Clear them o' the city : For myself, I'll put
9 To vice - ] i. e. to draw, persuade you; probably for advise.
whose foundation Is pild upon his faith,] This folly which is erected on the foundation of settled belief.