« PreviousContinue »
LEONTES, King of Sicilia.
DORCA:, } Shepberdelles
Goaler, Shepherds, Shepberdesses, and Attendantso SCENE, partly in Sicilia, and partly in Bithynia. The plot taken from the old story- book of Doraftus and Faunia.
N B. The Country here callid Bithynia bath in all former Edje rions been printed Bohemia an inland kingdom fituated nearly in the center of Europe, whereas many of the great incid nts of the Play turn upon its being a maritime country of which Pol: xenes wis the King. 'This is a blunder and an absurdity of which Shakespear in justice ought not to be thought capable: and as he hath turn'd quite anew the story containd in the old paltry book of Doraftus and Faunia, changing most of the main circumstances and all the names of the Persons; it is probable he removed this impropriety and placed the scene in Bithynia, which the ignorance and negligence of the first Transcribers or Printers inight corrupt and bring back again to Bohe. mia by a lefs variation in the letters than they have been guilty of in numberless other places of this work.
ACT I. SCENE I.
A palace. Enter Camillo, und Archidamuc. Arcb. F you fall chance, Camillo, to visit Bitbynia,
on the like occafion whereon my fervices are now on foot, you thall fee, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bithynia and your
Sicilia. Cam. I think, this coming summer, the King of Sicilia means to pay Bitbynia the vilitation which he justly owes bim.
Arcb. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves.; for indeed
Cam. 'Beseech you
Arcb. Verily.I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge we cannot with fuch magnificence-in so rare-I know not what to say—we will give you Neepy drinks, that your fenses" (unintelligent of car insufficience) may, tho' they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.
Cam. You pay a great deal too dear, for what's given freely.
Arth. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
Cam. Sicilia cannot thew himself over-kind to Bitbynia's VOL, IV.
they were train’d together in their childhoods ; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot chuse but branch now. Since their more mature dignities and royal necessities made separation of their society, their incounterss though not personal, have been royally attornied with enterchange of gifts, letters, loving embaffies, that they have seem'd to be together, tho' absent ; shook hands, as over a vast sea, and embrac'd as it were from the ends of opposed winds. The heav'ns continue their love !
Arcb. I think there is not in the world either malice or matter to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young Prince Mamillus : it is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into my note. Cam.
you in the hopes of him : it is a gallant child, one that, indeed, phyficks the subject, makes old hearts fresh : they that went on crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to see him a man.
Arcb. Would they else be content to die?
Cam. Yes, if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.
Arch. If the King had no fon, they would defire to live on crutches 'till he had one.
[Exeunt. SCENE II. Enter Leontes, Hermione, Mamillus,
Polixenes, Camillo, and Attendants.
Leo. Stay your thanks a while,
Pel. Sir, that's to-morrow :
To tire your Royalty.
Léo. We are tougher, brother, Than you can put us to'ti
Pol. No longer stay,
Pel. Press me not, 'befeech you !
you a charge and trouble: to save both, Farewel, our brother !
Leo. Tongue-ty'd our Queen ? speak you,
Her. I had thought, Sir, to have held my peace, uncil You had drawn oaths from him not to stay : you, Sir, Charge him too coldly. Tell him you are sure All in Bitbynia's well : this satisfaction The by-gone day proclaim'd ; say this to him, He's beat from his best ward,
Leo. Well said, Hermione.
Her. To tell; he longs to see his fon, were frong i
Pol. No, Madam.
You put me off with limber vows ;but I,
Pol. Your guest then, Madam :
Hir. Not your goaler then,
Pol. We were, fair Queen,
Her. Was not my Lord the verier wag o'th'two ?
Pol. We were as twinn'a lambs, that did frisk i th' (waja
Her. By this we gather:
Pol. O my moft sacred Lady,
Hey, Oh.. Grace to boot !