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Enter Camillo, and Archidamus.

ARCHI DA MU S. F you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bithynia, on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall fee, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bithynia your


Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bithynia the visitation which he justly owes him.

Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves; for, indeed

Cam. 'Beseech you

Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge; we cannot with such magnificence — in so rare

I know not what to say — we will give you sleepy drinks, that your

senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.

Cam. You pay a great deal too dear, for what's given freely.

Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.

Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bithynia; they were train’d together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal necessities, made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attornied with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies, that they have seem’d to be together, though 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!


Arch. 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. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: it is a gallant child; one that, indeed, physicks the subject, makes old hearts fresh: they that went on crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to see him a man.

Arch. 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 son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one.


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Enter Leontes, Hermione, Mamillus, Polixenes, Camillo, and

Pol. Nine changes of the watry star hath been
The shepherd's note, since we have left our throne
Without a burden ; time as long again
Would be fillid up, my brother, with our thanks,
And yet we should, for perpetuity,
Go hence in debt : and therefore, like a cipher,
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply
With one we thank you, many thousands more
That before it.

Leo. Stay your thanks a while,
And pay them when you part.



Pol. Sir, that's to-morrow :
I'm question’d by my fears, of what may chance
Or breed upon our absence: there may blow
Some sneaping winds at home, to make us say,
This is put forth too early: besides, I have stay'd
To tire your royalty,

Leo. We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to’t.

Pol. No longer stay.
Leo. One sev’nnight longer.
Pol. Very sooth, to-morrow.

Leo. We'll part the time between's then: and in that
I'll no gainsaying.

Pol. Press me not, ’beseech you !
There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'th'world
So soon as yours, could win me: so it should now,
Were there necessity in your request, although
'Twere needful I deny'd it. My affairs
Do even drag me homeward; which to hinder,
Were, in your love, a whip to me; my stay,
To you a charge, and trouble: to save both,
Farewel, our brother!

Leo. Tonguety'd our queen ? speak you.

Her. I had thought, sir, to have held my peace, until
You had drawn oaths from him not to stay: you, sir,
Charge him too coldly. Tell him, you are sure,
All in Bithynia'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 son, were strong; But let him say so then, and let him go; But let him swear so, and he shall not stay, We'll thwack him hence with distaffs. Yet of your royal presence I'll adventure [to Polixenes. The borrow of a week. When at Bithynia Vol. II.



You take my lord, I'll give you my commission
To let him there a month, behind the geste
Prefixʼd for's parting: yet, good heed, Leontes ;
.I love thee not a jar o'th'clock behind
What lady she her lord. You'll stay?

Pol. No, madam.
Her. Nay, but you

will. Pol. I may not, verily.

Her. Verily?
You put me off with limber vows; but I,
Though you would seek t’unsphere the stars with oaths,
Should yet say, sir, no going: verily
You shall not go; a lady's verily is
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?
Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
Not like a guest? so you shall pay your fees
When you depart, and save your thanks. How say you?
My prisoner? or my guest ? by your dread verily,
One of them you shall be.

Pol. Your guest then, madam :
To be your prisoner, should import offending;
Which is for me, less easy to commit,
Than you to punish.

Her. Not your jailer then,

kind hostess : come, I'll question you Of my

lord's tricks and yours, when you were boys : You were pretty lordings then?

Pol. We were, fair queen,
Two lads, that thought there was no more behind,
But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy eternal.

Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o'th'two?

Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frisk i'th' sun,
And bleat the one at th’other: what we chang’d,
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, no, nor dream'd


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you say,

That any did : had we pursu'd that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
Boldly, not guilty; th’imposition clear’d
Hereditary ours.

Her. By this we gather
You have trip'd since.

Pol. O my most sacred lady,
Temptations have since then been born to's; for
In those unfledg’d days was my wife a girl ;
Your precious self had then not cross’d

the eyes Of my young playfellow.

Her. O, grace to boot !
Of this make no conclusion; left
Your queen and I are devils. Yet, go on;
Th’offences we have made you do, we'll answer,
If you first sinn'd with us, and that with us
You did continue fault; and that you slip'd not

but with us.
Leo. Is he won yet?
Her. He'll stay, my lord.

Leo. At my request he would not:
Hermione, my dearest, thou ne'er spok'st
To better purpose.

Her. Never?
Leo. Never, but once.

Her. What? have I twice said well? when was't before?
I pry’thee, tell me; cram’s with praise, and make’s
As fat as tame things: one good deed, dying tongueless,
Slaughters a thousand, waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages.


With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs, ere
With spur we heat an acre. But, to th' goal:
My last good deed was to entreat his stay;
What was my first? it has an elder sister,
Or I mistake you : 0, would her name were Grace !

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