Imagens da página

Not so:


Out! A mankind witch! Hence with her, out o' door: A most intelligencing bawd!

Puul. I am as ignorant in that, as you In so entitling me: and no less honest Than you are mad; which is enough, I'll warrant, As this world goes, to pass for honest. Leon.

Traitors! Will you not push her out? Give her the bastard :Thou, dotard, [To Antigonus.] thou art woman

tir'd, unroosted
By thy dame Partlet here,-take up the bastard;
Take't up, I say; give't to thy crone.

Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
Tak’st up the princess, by that forced baseness
Which he has put upon't!

He dreads his wife.
Paul. So, I would, you did; then 'twere past all

doubt, You'd call


yours. Leon.

A nest of traitors! Ant. I am none, by this good light. Paul.

Nor I; nor any, But one, that's here; and that's himself: for he The sacred honour of himself, his queen's, His hopeful son's, his babe's, betrays to slander,

For ever

A mankind witch!] i. e. masculine.

thou art woman-tir'd,] Woman-tir'd, is peck'd by a woman; hen-pecked.

- thy crone.) i. e. thy old-worn out woman. A croan is old toothless sheep: thence an old woman. o Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou

Tak’st up the princess, by that forced baseness—] Leontes had ordered Antigonus to take up the bastard; Paulina forbids him to touch the Princess under that appellation. Forced is false, uttered with violence to truth. JOHNSON,

Whose sting is sharper than the sword's; and will

not (For, as the case now stands, it is a curse He cannot be compellid to't,) once remove The root of his opinion, which is rotten, As ever oak, or stone, was sound. Leon.

A callat,
Of boundless tongue; who late hath beat her hus-

And now baits me!--This brat is none of mine;
It is the issue of Polixenes:
Hence with it; and, together with the dam,
Cominit them to the fire.

And, might we lay the old proverb to your charge,
So like you, 'tis the worse.-Behold, my lords,
Although the print be little, the whole matter

of the father: eye, nose, lip, The trick of his frown, his forehead; nay, the val

It is yours;


The pretty dimples of his chin, and cheek; his

smiles; The very mould and frame of hand, nail, finger:And, thou, good goddess nature, which hast made it So like to him that got it, if thou hast The ordering of the mind too, 'mongst all colours No yellow in't;" lest she suspect, as he does, Her children not her husband's! Leon.


gross hag!-
And, lozel, thou art worthy to be hang'd,
That wilt not stay her tongue.

Hang all the husbands, That cannot do that feat, you'll leave yourself Hardly one subject.

? No yellow in't ;] Yellow is the colour of jeolousy.

& And, lozel,] 'A term of contempt, meaning worthless, dishonest.


Once more, take her hence.
Paul. A most unworthy and unnatural lord
Can do no more.

I'll have thee burn'd.

I care not:
It is an heretick, that makes the fire,
Not she, which burns in't. I'll not call you tyrant;
But this most cruel usage of your queen
(Not able to produce more accusation
Than your own weak-hing'd fancy,) something sa-


Of tyranny, and will ignoble make you,
Yea, scandalous to the world.

On your allegiance,
Out of the chamber with her. Were I a tyrant,
Where were her life? she durst not call me so,
If she did know me one. Away with her.

Paul. I pray you, do not push me; I'll be gone. Look to your babe, my lord 'tis yours: Jove send

her A better guiding spirit!—What need these hands ? You, that are thus so tender o'er his follies, Will never do him good, not one of you. So, so:-Farewell; we are gone.

[Exit. Leon. Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this.My child? away with't!—even thou, that hast A heart so tender o'er it, take it hence, And see it instantly consum'd with fire; Even thou, and none but thou. Take it up straight: Within this hour bring me word 'tis done, (And by good testimony,) or I'll seize thy life, With what thou else call'st thine: If thou refuse, And wilt encounter with my wrath, say so; The bastard brains with these my proper hands Shall I dash out. Go, take it to the fire ;, For thou sett'st on thy wife. Ant.

I did not, sir :


These lords, my noble fellows, if they please,
Can clear me in't.
1 Lord.

We can; my royal liege,
He is not guilty of her coming hither.

Leon. You are liars all.
i Lord. 'Beseech your highness, give us better

credit: We have always truly serv'd you ; and beseech So to esteem of us : And on our knees we beg, (As recompense of our dear services, Past, and to come,) that you do change this pur

pose; Which, being so horrible, so bloody, must Lead on to some foul issue: We all kneel.

Leon. I am a feather for each wind that blows:Shall I live on, to see this bastard kneel And call me father? Better burn it now, Than curse it then. But, be it ; let it live : It shall not neither.—You, sir, come you hither;

You, that have been so tenderly officious
With lady Margery, your midwife, there,
To save this bastard's life :-for 'tis a bastard,
So sure as this beard's grey,—what will you adventure
To save this brat's life?

Any thing, my lord,
That my ability may undergo,
And nobleness impose: at least, thus much;
I'll pawn the little blood which I have left,
To save the innocent: any thing possil

Leon. It shall be possible: Swear by this sword,
Thou wilt perform my bidding,

I will, my lord. Leon, Mark, and perform it; (seest thou?) for

the fail



Swear by this sword,] It was anciently the custom to swear by the cross on the handle of a sword.

Of any point in't shall not only be
Death to thyself, but to thy lewd-tongu'd wife ;
Whom, for this time, we pardon. We enjoin thee,
As thou art liegeman to us, that thou carry
This female bastard hence; and that thou bear it
To some remote and desert place, quite out
Of our dominions; and that there thou leave it,
Without more mercy, to its own protection,
And favour of the climate. As by strange fortune
It came to us, I do in justice charge thee,-
On thy soul's peril, and thy body's torture, -
That thou commend it strangely to some place,
Where chance may nurse, or end it: Take it up.

Ant. I swear to do this, though a present death
Had been more merciful.—Come on, poor babe:
Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens,
To be thy nurses! Wolves, and bears, they say,
Casting their savageness aside, have done
Like offices of pity.--Sir, be prosperous
În more than this deed doth require! and blessing,
Against this cruelty, fight on thy side,
Poor thing, condemn’d to loss!

[Exit, with the Child. Leon.

No, I'll not rear Another's issue.

1 Atten. Please your highness, posts, From those you sent to the oracle, are come An hour since: Cleomenes and Dion, Being well arriv'd from Delphos, are both landed, Hasting to the court. 1 Lord.

So please you, sir, their speed Hath been beyond account. Leon.

Twenty-three days They have been absent: 'Tis good speed; foretels,

commend it strangely to some place,] Commit it to some place, as a stranger, without more provision.

« AnteriorContinuar »