Page images

Leon. You will ? why, happy man be his dole!

My brother,
Are you so fond of your young prince, as we
Do seem to be of ours?

If at home, sir,
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter :
Now, my sworn friend, and then mine enemy;
My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all ;
He makes a July's day short as December;
And, with his varying childness, cures in me
Thoughts that would thick


blood. Leon.

So stands this squire Officed with me. We two will walk, my lord, And leave you to your graver steps.—Hermione, How thou lov'st us, show in our brother's welcome; Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap. Next to thyself, and my young rover, he's Apparent to my heart. Her.

If you would seek us,
We are yours i'the garden. "Shall's attend you there?
Leon. To your own bents dispose you: you'll be

Be you beneath the sky ;-1 am angling now,
Though you perceive me not how I give line.
Go to, go to!

[ Aside. Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE.
How she holds up the neb, the bill to him!
And arms her with the boldness of a wife
To her allowing husband! Gone already!
Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a forked



[Exeunt Pol., HER., and Attendants. Go, play, boy, play ;-thy another plays, and I Play too; but so disgraced a part, whose issue Will hiss me to my grave; contempt and clamor Will be my knell.—Go, play, boy, play.—There have


1 i. e. may happiness be his portion !
9 Heir apparent, next claimant.
3 i. e. mouth.

4 i. e. a horned one.

[ocr errors]

Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now;
And many a man there is, even at this present,
Now, while I speak this, holds his wife by the arm,
That little thinks she has been sluiced in his absence,
And bis pond fished by his next neighbor, by
Sir Smile, his neighbor. Nay, there's comfort in't,
Whiles other men have gates; and those gates opened,
As mine, against their will.

Should all despair,
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physic for’t there is none;
It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful, think it,
From east, west, north, and south : be it concluded,
No barricado for a belly ; know it;
It will let in and out the enemy,
With bag and baggage. Many a thousand of us
Have the disease, and feel't not.—How now, boy?

Mam. I am like you, they say:

Why, that's some comfort.-
What! Camillo there?

Cam. Ay, my good lord.
Leon. Go play, Mamillius : thou’rt an honest man.-

[Exit Mamillius. Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.

Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor hold;
When you cast out, it still came home.

Didst note it?
Cam. He would not stay at your petitions ; made
His business more material.

Didst perceive it?-
They're here with me already :3 whispering, round-

ing, Sicilia is a so-forth. 'Tis far gone,


[ocr errors]

1 “It still came home," a nautical term, meaning, “ the anchor would not take hold."

2 The more you requested him to stay, the more urgent he represented that business to be which summoned him away.

3 Not Polixenes and Hermione, but casual observers. 4 To round in the ear was to tell secretly, to whisper.

5 A so-forth, a phrase apparently employed to avoid the utterance of an opprobrious one. So, so, is sometimes used in a similar manner.

When I shall gust' it last.—How came 't, Camillo,
That he did stay?

At the good queen's entreaty.
Leon. At the queen’s, be't: good, should be per-

But so it is, it is not. Was this taken
By any understanding pate but thine ?
For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in
More than the common blocks.—Not noted, is't,
But of the finer natures ? By some severals,
Of head-piece extraordinary ? Lower messes,
Perchance, are to this business purblind : say.

Cam. Business, my lord ? I think most understand
Bohemia stays here longer.

Ha? Cam.

Stays here longer. Leon. Ay, but why?

Cam. To satisfy your highness, and the entreaties Of our most gracious mistress. Leon.

Satisfy The entreaties of your mistress ?

mistress ?

—Satisfy ?
Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Camillo,
With all the nearest things to my heart, as well
My chamber-councils; wherein, priestlike, thou
Hast cleansed my bosom ; I from thee departed
Thy penitent reformed; but we have been
Deceived in thy integrity, deceived
In that which seems so.

Be it forbid, my lord! !
Leon. To bide upon’t: Thou art not honest; or,
If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward;
Which hoxes 3 honesty behind, restraining
From course required; or else thou must be counted
A servant, grafted in my serious trust,
And therein negligent; or else a fool,
That seest a game played home, the rich stake drawn,
And tak’st it all for jest.


1 i. e. taste it:-“ille domus sciet ultimus.” .........Juv. Sat. x.
2 Messes is here put for degrees, conditions.
3 To hor is to hamstring: the proper word is to hough.






My gracious lord,

may be negligent, foolish, and fearful
In every one of these no man is free,
But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
Amongst the infinite doings of the world,
Sometime puts forth. In your affairs, my lord, ,
If ever I were wilful-negligent,
It was my folly ; if industriously
I played the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end ; if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the issue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 'twas a fear
Which oft affects the wisest. These, my lord,
Are such allowed infirmities, that honesty
Is never free of. But, 'beseech your grace,
Be plainer with me; let me know my trespass
By its own visage. If I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.

Have not you seen, Camillo,
(But that's past doubt : you have ; or your eye-glass
Is thicker than a cuckold's horn ;) or heard,
(For, to a vision so apparent, rumor
Cannot be mute,) or thought,-(for cogitation
Resides not in that man, that does not think,) –
My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess,
(Or else be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say, ,
My wife's a hobby-horse ; deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before a troth-plight: say it, and justify it.

Cam. I would not be a stander-by to hear My sovereign mistress clouded so, without

, My present vengeance taken. 'Shrew my heart,

? This is expressed obscurely, but seems to mean “ the execution of which (when done) cried out against the non-performance of it before.".

2 Leontes means to say, “Have you not thought that my wife is slippery? (for cogitation resides not in the man that does not think my wife is slippery.") The four latter words, though disjoined from the word think by the necessity of a parenthesis, are evidentiy to be connected in construction with it.

And all eyes

You never spoke what did become you

Than this, which to reiterate, were sin
As deep as that, though true.

Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career
Of laughter with a sigh? (a note infallible
Of breaking honesty :) Horsing foot on foot ?
Skulking in corners ? Wishing clocks more swift ?
Hours, minutes ? Noon, midnight?


With the pin and web, but theirs, theirs only,
That would unseen be wicked ? Is this nothing ?
Why, then, the world, and all that's in't, is nothing ;
The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.

Good my lord, be cured
Of this diseased opinion, and betimes;
For 'tis most dangerous.

Say, it be; 'tis true.
Cam. No, no, my lord.


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 his medal,

It is ; you


About his neck, Bohemia. Who-if I
Had servants true about me, that bare eyes
To see alike mine honor as their profits,
Their own particular thrifts,—they would do that

1 The pin and web is the cataract in an early stage.
2 i. e. one hour.
3 The old copy reads, “ her medal.”

« PreviousContinue »