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120

My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools;
There is no cause : when you shall know your

mistress
Has deserved prison, then abound in tears
As I come out: this action I now go on
Is for my better grace. Adieu, my lord :
I never wish'd to see you sorry; now
I trust I shall. My women, come; you have leave.
Leon. Go, do our bidding; hence !

[Exit Queen, guarded; with Ladies. First Lord. Beseech your highness, call the

queen again. Ant. Be certain what you do, sir, lest your

justice Prove violence; in the which three great ones

suffer, Yourself, your queen, your son. First Lord.

For her, my lord, I dare my life lay down and will do 't, sir, Please you to accept it, that the queen is spotless I’ the eyes of heaven and to you ; In this which you accuse her. Ant.

If it

prove She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her; Than when I feel and see her no farther trust her ; For every

inch of woman in the world, Ay, every dram of woman's flesh is false, If she be.

Leon. Hold your peaces.
First Lord.

Good my lord, 118. fools ; here a term of 134. I'll keep my stables where tender familiarity.

I lodge my wife, turn my wife's 121. action, lawsuit, trial.

chamber into a stall, -treat her

as I treat my horses and hounds, 122. for my better grace, to nay, run in leashes with her set me in a fairer light.

myself.

130

I mean,

140

Ant. It is for you we speak, not for ourselves :
You are abused and by some putter-on
That will be damn'd for't; would I knew the

villain,
I would land-damn him. Be she honour-flaw'd,
I have three daughters; the eldest is eleven;
The second and the third, nine, and some five;
If this prove true, they 'll pay for 't: by mine

honour,
I'll geld 'em all; fourteen they shall not see,
To bring false generations : they are co-heirs;
And I had rather glib myself than they
Should not produce fair issue.
Leon.

Cease; no more: 150
You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man's nose : but I do see 't and feel 't,
As you feel doing thus; and see withal
The instruments that feel.

Ant.
We need no grave to bury honesty:
There's not a grain of it the face to sweeten

If it be so,

This per

141. putter-on, instigator. consisted of the public announce143. land- damn.

ment of the delinquents' names plexing word is very possibly a to an audience previously summisprint, due to the accidental moned by a blowing of horns repetition of the word 'damn and trumpets along the countryimmediately above; the repeti side. Cf. Halliwell, Dict. of tion having no stylistic point. Archaic Words, and Notes and Numerous conjectures are re Queries, iii. 464 (quot. Ingleby). corded by the Camb. edd., e.g. 148. false generations, bastard land - damm (Hanmer); laud offspring. anum (Farmer); live - damn 149. glib, geld. (Walker) ; lamback (Collier) ;

153. doing thus. Leontes Lord, damn (Schmidt). The here grasps some part of Antiword has also been regarded as gonus person, probably his a quibbling variation of landan

Hanmer introduced a a dialectical word still current corresponding stage - direction for the rustic punishment in into his text. flicted in various districts upon 154. The instruments that • slanderers and adulterers'; it feel, the fingers.

arm.

160

Of the whole dungy earth.
Leon.

What ! lack I credit ? First Lord. I had rather you did lack than I,

my lord, Upon this ground; and more it would content me To have her honour true than your suspicion, Be blamed for 't how you might. Leon.

Why, what need we
Commune with you of this, but rather follow
Our forceful instigation? Our prerogative
Calls not your counsels, but our natural goodness
Imparts this; which if you, or stupified
Or seeming so in skill, cannot or will not
Relish a truth like us, inform yourselves
We need no more of your advice : the matter,
The loss, the gain, the ordering on't, is all
Properly ours.
Ant.

And I wish, my liege,
You had only in your silent judgment tried it,
Without more overture.
Leon.

How could that be?
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo's flight,
Added to their familiarity,
Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture,
That lack'd sight only, nought for approbation
But only seeing, all other circumstances
Made up to the deed, doth push on this pro-

ceeding :
Yet, for a greater confirmation,
For in an act of this importance 'twere
Most piteous to be wild, I have dispatch'd in post

170

180

167. Relish, perceive.

177. That lack'd sight only, 172. overture, disclosure. etc., (conjecture) that wanted

176. touch'd conjecture, roused nothing but ocular evidence to suspicion.

be proof. VOL. IV 305

x

19

To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's temple,
Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
Of stuff?d sufficiency: now from the oracle
They will bring all; whose spiritual counsel had,
Shall stop or spur me.

Have I done well ?
First Lord. Well done, my lord.

Leon. Though I am satisfied and need no more Than what I know, yet shall the oracle Give rest to the minds of others, such as he Whose ignorant credulity will not Come up to the truth. So have we thought it good From our free person she should be confined, Lest that the treachery of the two fled hence Be left her to perform. Come, follow us; We are to speak in public; for this business Will raise us all.

Ant. [Aside] To laughter, as I take it, If the good truth were known.

[Exeunt.

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Enter PAULINA, a Gentleman, and Attendants.

Paul. The keeper of the prison, call to him ; Let him have knowledge who I am. [Exit Gent.

Good lady,
No court in Europe is too good for thee;
What dost thou then in prison ?

Re-enter Gentleman, with the Gaoler.

Now, good sir, You know me, do you not?

183. Delphos, Delphi. It is ing Greene. conceived as an island (iii. 1. 1), 185. stuf'd, adequate. probably through confusion with Delos. Buf in both points

194. free, accessible to all. Shakespeare was merely follow. 198. raise, rouse, stir up.

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Gaol.

For a worthy lady
And one whom much I honour.
Paul.

Pray you then,
Conduct me to the queen.
Gaol.

I may not, madam :
To the contrary I have express commandment.

Paul. Here's ado, To lock up honesty and honour from The access of gentle visitors! Is 't lawful, pray

you,
To see her women? any of them ? Emilia ?

Gaol. So please you, madam,
To put apart these your attendants, I
Shall bring Emilia forth.
Paul.

I pray now, call her.
Withdraw yourselves.

[Exeunt Gentleman and Attendants. Gaol.

And, madam, I must be present at your

conference. Paul. Well, be 't so, prithee.

[Exit Gaoler. Here's such ado to make no stain a stain As passes colouring.

20

Re-enter Gaoler, 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?
Emil.

A daughter, and a goodly babe,
Lusty and like to live : the queen receives
Much comfort in 't; says 'My poor prisoner,
20. passes colouring, outdoes all the arts of painting.

23. on, as a consequence of.

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