Page images

I have express commandment.

Here's ado,
To lock up honesty and honour from
The access of gentle visitors !- Is it lawful,
Pray you to see her women ? any of them?

Keep. So please you, madam, to put
Apart these your attendants, I shall bring
Emilia forth.
Paul. I

pray now, call her. Withdraw yourselves.

[Exeunt Attend. Keep. .

And, madam,
I must be present at your conference.

Paul. Well, be it so, pr’ythee. [E.rit Keeper.
Here's such ado to make no stain a stain,
As passes colouring.

Re-enter Keeper, with Emilia.
Dear gentlewoman, how fares our gracious lady?

Emil. As well as one so great, and so forlorn,
May hold together : on her frights, and griefs,
(Which never tender lady hath borne greater)
She is, something before her time, deliver’d.

Paul. A boy?

A daughter ; and a goodly babe, Lusty, and like to live: the queen receives Much comfort in't: says, My poor prisoner, I am innocent as you. Paul.

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


& These dangerous unsafe lunes o' the king !] I have no where, but in our author, observed this word adopted in our tongue, to signify frenzy, lunacy. But it is a mode of expression with the French.-11 y a de la lune: (i. e. he has got the moon in his head; he is frantick.) Cotgrave. “ Lune, folie. Les femmes ont des lunes dans la tete. Richelet.” THEOBALD.

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


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

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
Free'd 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.

Do not you fear: upon Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger.



The same.

A Room in the Palace.

Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and other

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

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.

My lord?

[Advancing Leon. How does the boy? 1 Atten.

He took good rest to-night; Tis hop'd, his sickness is discharg'd.

His nobleness !
Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
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,

To see,

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 upon 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. i Lord.

You must not enter. Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to



you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
Than the queen's life? a gracious innocent soul;
More free than he is jealous.

That's enough. 1 Atten. Madam, he hath not slept to-nights

commanded None should come at him. Paul.

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


Leave me solely:] That is, leave me alone.

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

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
Ile shall not rule me.

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

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,'
Than such as most seem yours :--I say,

I come
From your good queen.

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.? ?

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.

' in comforting your evils,] Comforting is here used in the legal sense of comforting and abetting in a criminal action.

the worst about you.] Were I the weakest of your servants, I would yet claim the combat against any accuser. VOL. III.


« PreviousContinue »